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Bravo to Gallegly on FDA Curbs

July 05, 1993

One of your letter writers ("Let the FDA Perform Its Job," June 27) takes our congressman to task for trying to free us from the clutches of the FDA. I don't always agree with Elton Gallegly (for example, when he supported the superconducting supercollider boondoggle). But when he tries to rein in the FDA, he is on the side of the angels.

Your letter writer cites the tragic case of contaminated L-tryptophan. He seems to claim that stronger FDA labeling rules would have prevented this product, contaminated during the manufacturing process, from being distributed. I fail to see the logic of that. The label certainly wouldn't have warned of contamination. No one knew the contamination existed.

What should the FDA have done? Should they exhaustively test every product before it is marketed? That's what keeps potential AIDS cures off the market for years.

Each of us responsible adults should have the option of deciding what products we wish to buy without an anachronistic nanny like the FDA standing in our way. I believe I'm best able to judge how much risk I will take with my life. That's why Mr. Gallegly is finally on the side of the angels. Let's get the FDA out of our vitamin bottles!

BOB BINSLEY, Santa Paula

Gallegly Should Focus on His Job

It's too bad that Rep. Elton Gallegly has nothing better to do than gripe about lobbyist Roger Honberger ("Looking Out for County Is His Job," June 28).

I voted for Gallegly because he promised to introduce and fight for laws that would stem illegal immigration. He hasn't succeeded. Has he decided the problem is solved, now that he's been reelected?

If Gallegly is sore about counties depending on lobbyist Honberger for assistance, he might ask himself just exactly what he has done to earn the trust and respect of his 23rd Congressional District. He might find his constituents viewing him in a different light if he did his job.


Principal Offers Parents an Apology

The Times recently ran an article about Oak Hills Elementary School's new school service program. The program has students working on various projects during their recess time such as window washing, lunch-area cleanup, landscape cleanup and beautification, re-shelving library books, etc.

The article offered explanations as to why a few parents have elected not to have their children participate in the activities. I was quoted as saying: "Maybe these are parents who have people clean the house and don't have to lift a finger."

Upon further examination of records related to this issue, we actually only had two letters from parents who expressly denied permission for their child to participate. Both of the letters indicated concerns over health issues. One of the letters also expressed objection to the project as a whole and expressed a hope that Oak Hills would be able to come up with a more constructive way to teach our children to take pride in their school, which led to my speculation.

In a conversation with the parent who wrote the letter that led me to speculate on the reasoning, I found out that the objection was based mainly on the health issue. I offered my apology for inferring that they would want to excuse their child because they were not used to doing work for themselves at home. I extend the same apology to any other parent who is considering excusing their child from the program.

Additionally, due to the success of the program, we will be giving parents the option of not allowing their children to participate next fall. We feel that the goals of the program would be lost if children were compelled to participate, as was the original idea.

ANTHONY W. KNIGHT, Agoura. Knight is principal of Oak Hills Elementary School

County Should Control Spending

Two million tax dollars to be given in bonuses. That's right, the county of Ventura will distribute in July about $2 million to employees who have been with the county for more than five years. They refer to this as a "longevity incentive" bonus. One individual will receive about $10,000. Is this where taxpayers wants their taxes used, or do we want our tax money to go for needed services?

Why should employees be given a bonus because they have stayed with the county? Why should employees be given six weeks annual leave (vacation/sick leave) in their first year on the job? Should we provide employees with a $4,000-a-year car allowance in addition to 28 cents a mile?

For several months we have been bombarded with stories of budget cuts, reduced services from fire, sheriff, libraries, etc. There have been statements about layoffs and early retirements to stay within the budget. The sheriff has been on the radio with commercials asking for support to keep his department whole. Meanwhile, our county officials lay all the blame for the budget shortfall on our legislators, but the county must control its spending.

H. JERE ROBINGS, President, Ventura County Alliance of Taxpayers, Ventura

Wal-Mart Would Benefit Simi

Simi Valley residents want a shopping center that offers them the things that they now must go over the hill to buy. We don't want more corner mini-marts that cannot even get filled with business, let alone keep them there.

As for Wal-Mart, we need that. It would give us a place to shop without having to drive to every corner looking for a store that most of the time has gone out of business.


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