4 letters: Anti-smoking law case; Governor’s high-speed rail nonsense; GOP against health reform – guess why; Republican president? Not this time

The Golden Quill is awarded occasionally for a well-penned letter.

Making the case for a new tobacco license fee and smoke-free parks law in Gilroy

Dear Editor,
We often hear the argument that a ban on smoking in public places, such as parks, is an infringement on the rights of smokers. Not so! Smokers do not have the right to pollute the air in public places exposing others to over 50 chemicals that are known to cause cancer.
Tobacco smoke is not only a nuisance, but there is no safe level of exposure. Policies like smoke-free parks protect residents, especially children from secondhand smoke and improve the overall health of the community.
Tobacco retail licensing is a vital tool to prevent youth access to tobacco. The majority of smokers begin prior to age 17 and two out of three youth that smoke in our county report that it is easy to make a purchase on their own. I, a former physician, have seen the devastating impact that tobacco addiction has on the individual and their family over the lifespan.
The tobacco retail license is a tool that holds tobacco retailers accountable at a minimal cost to the retailer. There have been improvements in the health of other cities that have implemented proposals, such as smoke-free parks and tobacco retail license.
I hope that Gilroy will be next to make this commitment to the health of its residents. If two kids a week were getting killed at a railroad crossing, would we debate putting up a barrier? Let’s put up a barrier and protect our children from tobacco.

Roger P. Kennedy, co-chair Tobacco Free Coalition SC County


Gov. Brown has ‘gone around the bend’ – high-speed rail more important than …??????
Dear Editor,

Oh, sure, let’s kill defenseless lost or abandoned animals, and certainly let’s cut funds to educating our future leaders! High Speed Rail is ultimately important. Am I the only person who thinks this is just nuts?
I’m sorry, but I am really beginning to believe that Gov. Jerry Brown has gone around the bend. No, I’m not sorry.
Somehow I can’t understand how a transportation system which hasn’t even broken ground and has no logical plan, funding or firm budget can possibly be more important than educating the people who will make decisions affecting our lives in our old age, or rescinding a law to give six days of life to lost or abandoned animals!
I understand that the Attorney General has approved a re-vote on High Speed Rail in November, if 800,000 signatures are submitted by June 21, 2012. Let’s find out how to do that and stop this madness!

Elaine Jelsema, Gilroy

The Golden Quill is awarded occasionally for a well-written letter.

Cutting the profits for the big insurance companies, no
wonder GOP is fighting mad

Dear Editor,
Republicans oppose the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
Requiring insurers to spend 80 percent on real medical expenses, banning discrimination against pre-existing conditions, no lifetime limits, no dropping coverage when you get sick, restricted use of annual limits, no different rates based on medical history or gender, right to appeal coverage decisions, same insurance choices as members of Congress, cuts in Medicare payments to insurance companies that are overcharging for level of service provided have made Republicans fighting mad.
This law leaves 23 million Americans uninsured instead of the 54 million Republicans want. Patient protection is given precedence over the right of insurance companies to make maximum profit. No wonder Republicans are outraged.

Frank Crosby, Morgan Hill

Republicans in presidential disarray and destined to lose
Dear Editor,

A lot of columnists have been comparing the Romney vs. Gingrich primary battle to the 2008 primary battle between Obama and Clinton. I don’t think they are similar.
In 2008, the Democrats had two strong candidates that they liked. People who wanted Hillary to win liked Obama, too. People who liked Obama also liked Hillary. Both candidates were very popular.
In contrast, Republicans dislike both leading candidates. It’s a battle between those who can’t stand Romney more vs. those who can’t stand Newt more. Republicans have to choose between the guy who lost to the guy who lost to Obama vs. the guy who is going to make the third lady into the first lady.
I don’t see the Republicans coming together behind any candidate this year.

Marc Perkel, Gilroy



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