All of us must make efforts

Dear editor:

I am referring to your article, "Confusion over a bag rule."

Jeff Brown should be ashamed for thinking that because he is a food stamp recipient he deserves an exemption from the Pittsburg ordinance that encourages consumers to conserve by bringing their own reusable bags when shopping.

If Brown doesn't want to pay 10 cents for a brown paper bag, he should bring his own -- like the rest of the taxpaying public does.

The brown bags are often given out free at food pantries. I know, as we volunteers continually donate them. Or bring back your brown bag and use it again and again.

Yes, it all takes effort. But that's what we do as responsible citizens, not look for loopholes in the system.

D. D. Jolly

Byron

Charge everyone for bags

Dear Editor:

Eve Mitchell's recent Times article castigates the Pittsburg Walmart for attempting to charge a food stamp patron 10 cents for a carry bag for his purchases.

This customer knew in advance Walmart charged 10 cents for bags. So, what this person expected was that Walmart shouldn't charge him -- since the Pittsburg City Council decided food stamp recipients didn't have to pay the charge.


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Let's revisit the City Council's thinking. To motivate shoppers in Pittsburg to reduce plastic bags littering the area, either shoppers bring their own carry bags or they will be charged 10 cents per bag. They probably referred to this charge as a "motivator" instead of a "penalty."

Why would the council members exempt some from paying? Obviously, it is much simpler for them to consider the "feelings" of food stamp users instead of what would make much more sense: Charge everyone for the bags.

It is amazing how our politicians can miss the obvious, making decisions based on "It makes me feel and/or look good," destroying the central point of their effort.

Christel and Paul Schwartz

Brentwood

Blame greed, not unions

Dear editor:

In a recent letter, Sidney Steinberg encourages us to "do the math" at the end of his equation for a "new BART." However, Steinberg left out the most important part in the equation: the human components.

OK, let's say you now work for the new BART. You've come to work three days with the flu because you have no sick leave or medical coverage; you pass out at your station, so the new BART boss fires you for sleeping on the job. The boss is thinking, "Why pay this old, sick guy when I can hire a 19-year-old for half the wage?"

There's an easy way and a hard way. The easy way's to blame unions; the hard way's to make unions what they're supposed to be, namely the workers' advocate.

Too many blame the unions for our economic woes. But the culprit is greed. Everyone wants it all for nothing: employers, unions, employees. If you don't have an advocate, you'll be swallowed by another's greed.

I don't know how to fix greed, but eliminating unions isn't the way to fix any company in which the little guy -- who makes the company work -- is easily shoved around.

"Where's mine?" is our credo; better get used to it. It will be our undoing, our "aftermath," as it were.

Susan Armstrong

Pittsburg

Debate on birth control coverage

Dear Editor:

In rebuttal to the letter from Pat Teschner in the East County Times, I proffer the following opinion:

While I question Mike Huckabee's choice of phraseology concerning women's ability to control their libido, I absolutely agree the government has no business providing birth control. The government provides nothing without first wresting the funds from taxpayers. Free abortions are not "free" either.

As for as the question posed concerning treatment of erectile dysfunction; insurers do not provide prescriptions, doctors do. Prescriptions are filled by pharmacies, insurers pay for medication.

I do not know of any insurer that pays for ED treatment. Any prescription filled for Viagra or any of the other ED treatments cost the customer between $10 and $20 per tablet and there is no coverage.

No one has a right to expect coverage for health care. One does have the expectation that a health insurance carrier will provide the coverage delineated within the policy purchased by the consumer, at their own expense.

Robin Dunlap

Antioch

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