This shopper has other options

To the city leaders of Walnut Creek, I say go ahead and raise parking rates at meters and in garages all you want. Ten bucks an hour for meters, maybe more for covered garage space? Heck, go for $50 an hour for any space downtown, build 10 new garages, and the affect on my life is exactly the same.

I got a parking ticket for being one minute late to my car while parked in back of I. Magnin, and swore then and there I was done with Walnut Creek. I get a real kick out of seeing reports of restaurants or stores downtown that come and go, and I don't even know for sure where they are. I have a friend who is still cross about the year she needed a ride to Macy's to buy a new turkey roaster and I dropped her at the back door, drove up the hill and waited for her in a nearby neighborhood until she had accomplished her mission.

I recently ordered a new keyboard online and paid the shipping -- never mind I could have a new one that day at the Apple store downtown. The shipping cost was less than the hassle it would have involved. Anyone who insists on frequenting downtown Walnut Creek gets what they deserve with traffic and parking costs.

We have lived in Lafayette since 1985 and supposedly fit the demographic of a Walnut Creek shopper, but with other options available, including the Internet, our time and money is spent elsewhere.

Candace McCorkell

Lafayette

E-cigarettes a 'life saver' for some

As a country, we sent children off to war and gave them all the free cigarettes they wanted. They came back home addicted.

Now in their late 80s and early 90s, these same folks live in places like Rossmoor, where they are told that as of January they can no longer smoke.

For people like us dealing with elder care, e-cigarettes are life savers. None of us want to see young people intentionally introduced to addictive drugs, and yet the debate continues -- just what does it mean to live free? With no apparent consequences beyond the individual's health, e-cigarettes just kicked the debate up a notch.

Brendan J. Schmidt

Walnut Creek

Would it be different?

If Iran's racism, hatred and threats of annihilation and murder were directed at a black African nation, would the president and his court jesters be such willing dupes in the tradition of Neville the Appeaser?

Mike Levine

Moraga