Re "Area Code Overlay Is Pushing Buttons," July 11
The Times really dialed a wrong number. Our previous efforts to defeat the overlay were not to protect our "vaunted" area code but to avoid dialing four extra digits each and every time we pick up a phone. It is totally untrue that residents objected to an area code split because of petty prestige issues.
At the time of the earlier, unsuccessful effort at an overlay, the phone companies stated that businesses opposed the extra expense of changed phone numbers. I was never asked how I felt about a new area code. (For the record: It's fine by me.)
We objected to the overlay for the same reasons I oppose it today -- it is an unwarranted hassle and an undue hardship on the young and elderly who have to memorize an extra four digits to dial in case of emergency.
My heart bleeds for the Santa Monica woman who will have to preprogram her phone because of the new 424 overlay -- please! Also on the page was a story about Edris Moore, who mourned the loss of four of her children to drowning. On Monday, a 4-year-old girl in South Los Angeles was seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting, and how many died in Iraq? Let's put life's tragedies in perspective. I wonder how many people wished their biggest problem was programming phone numbers.
Area code overlays -- what cruelty! When will this madness stop? And I trust that there will be funding for those who develop dialing calluses from the agony of having to push four more buttons. This too presents a strong argument for more PE classes in school. Future generations will need the strength for this horrendous task.