I read the letter by Maurice Mandel (Dec. 4) and would like to respond. Maurice, give me a break. Since when is the purpose for operating a business not to make a profit? Bicycle pumps are inexpensive--and most of the rest of the county has to drive to a "garage" other than the nearest gas station for auto repairs. And why in the world should I and all the other Unocal customers have to subsidize the Balboa station so that you don't have the inconvenience of having to drive a mile to find the nearest Unocal station.
Certainly if Unocal continues to operate the Balboa Island station it would be at a loss. After all, why would they abandon a profitable location? I suppose they could increase the price of their product, which would result in people using only the station's free services, while driving "a little over a mile" for the cheaper gas prices (still a "losing" proposition).
Meanwhile, other Unocal stations will have to charge higher prices, which all the rest of us will have to pay, for your convenience. An alternative would be for Unocal to sell the current location and lease back enough space to install a "for pay" air and water station (the kind you find at other Orange County stations that still offer water and air), for the convenience of the locals.
I'm sorry I'm not too sympathetic, but the nearest Unocal station to me is "just over a mile away" and it's no big deal.