Minutes and jobs

EDITOR: This is a request to shoppers who choose to use the self-service check-out option at stores. Please don’t. It doesn’t save you any money, and you are contributing to the loss of jobs of local workers. Using a human checker probably takes a little more time, but how many of us are really on such a tight schedule that a few minutes are really that important?

The consequences of people using the self-serve feature is you save only a little time, more workers find themselves unemployed, you pay the same amount of money, and big corporations reap the benefits.

In my opinion, in the best of all worlds, everyone would be able to afford as many local products as are available, from a local source. Since that isn’t always the case, at least we can support our local workers. They are us; we are them.


Santa Rosa

Costly drugs

EDITOR: As grandparents of a 4-year-old with the cystic fibrosis mutation G551D, we were extremely interested to read Joe Nocera’s June 21 column (“A costly miracle drug”). Nocera is correct, the cost for the Vertex drug Kalydeco is approximately $300,000 a year.

Mutation G551D is the particular mutation that is helped by Kalydeco, which is approved for people 6 years old and up. Our grandson, Waylon, is taking the “miracle” Kalydeco in a trial study in Seattle to try to obtain Food and Drug Administration approval to lower the age limit. Waylon has experienced incredible reductions in his symptoms since starting the drug.

As stated, cystic fibrosis is an orphaned disease. It is also a terminal disease, whose research funding comes primarily from the private sector, particularly the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

It is our hope that the government will provide funding for cystic fibrosis and other orphaned diseases whose funding now is mainly provided through the efforts of family, friends and other private parties. Many of these orphaned diseases can be cured with sufficient funding. For now, donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation are helping to give patients and our Waylon more tomorrows.


Santa Rosa

Ending the blockade

EDITOR: Yes, it’s a blockade and it imposes a terrible hardship on the people of Gaza. And, yes, the destruction of homes and infrastructure in Gaza is lamentable. But I don’t know what Barbara Briggs-Letson (“Moral blur, not clarity,” Letters, Thursday) would have Israel do with a neighbor bent on its eradication. I guarantee you that were it Canadian terrorists raining rockets down upon the good citizens of Seattle, the U.S. military wouldn’t be polite in its response. At least I hope not. When the leaders in Gaza are ready to live peacefully side by side with Israel, then the goods and services they desperately need to develop a functional and peaceful society will flow freely into and out of Gaza. It really is that simple.


Santa Rosa

In harm’s way

EDITOR: Sometimes I’m not sure if the letters are actual letters or satiric fabrications. If the letter by Jim Passage (“Police and force,” Sunday) was satire, then bravo to the author. If real, then there are some problems here.

His suggestion to prohibit combat veterans from being peace officers is ridiculous. Some of the best and finest officers I worked with were veterans. Single-shot weapons? Oh yeah, when that weapon has been discharged, what is the officer to do? Try to reload while under fire and watch innocent victims get killed? Securing weapons in the car trunks: what happens in a high risk situation? Is the officer expected to fiddle with car keys to attain his weapon? How many lives are jeopardized in these ticking seconds?

I imagine that Passage has never been in harm’s way, or in a real life-or-death situation where firearms are necessary for protection. If so, he is one fortunate individual. There is a wall in Sacramento listing the 1,000-plus names of peace officers who lost their lives protecting the citizens of California. Maybe Passage should journey to Sacramento and look at these names. It might change his perspective.



Immigration and GOP

EDITOR: Thomas F. Feeney (“Democrats and welfare,” Letters, June 21) thinks that Democrats want illegal immigrants here because they vote for Democrats.

The kids on our border are fleeing gangs in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The gangs there make these kids an offer they can’t refuse — join our gang, or die.

They are far too young to vote. President Barack Obama asked for more money to secure our border. The Republicans said no. All the voter ID laws are from Republican governors. They are voter suppression laws for minorities, aged and other populations that tend to vote Democrats.

Feeney seems unaware that Obama has deported more illegal immigrants that any other president.

The worst piece of his nonsense was when he stated that Obama was allowing soldiers to die because they tend to vote Republican. As a veteran, that angered me greatly. The president asked for more money for the VA and, again, the Republicans said no.

If he is concerned about welfare, look at the real welfare, corporate welfare. That is where billions of our dollars go.

Feeney needs to come out of the right-wing bubble he is in and learn the real facts, not the drivel he espouses.