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High gasoline prices; Gov. Brown versus the Republicans; cellphones in prisons

March 29, 2011

Fuel inefficient

Re "Gas tops $4 in L.A. region," Business, March 26

I've been experiencing the shenanigans of gas prices since the gouging started around 1973. My way of life has been affected by how it has increased my cost of living.

It also affects my mind, which runs riot over the fact we have done almost nothing to tackle the problem. We have a politically charged government that goes back and forth after every election, undoing any gains made toward improving our energy use.

Why not lower the speed limit and find alternatives to driving? Oops, President Carter tried that. The next president thought that ridiculous; he even tore down the solar panels Carter had installed on the White House. Broken government indeed.

Ken Johnson

Pinon Hills, Calif.

Where the cuts fall hardest

Re "Billions in cuts, within 90 days," March 25

I had high hopes when Jerry Brown was elected on the promise of being a different kind of governor. But just like in the past, when the state needs money to balance the budget, the first people asked to donate their "fair share" are those with no voice, including the poor, the sick and the elderly.

Noticeably absent from the "donors list" are public employee unions, with their outrageous pension and healthcare costs, and the bloated state bureaucracy, with all of its useless, high-paid commissions and boards.

Sadly, this is business as usual.

Jim Fitzgerald

La Jolla

I'm appalled by elected officials' inability to reach a compromise. Both sides have room for negotiation, and a special election should not be necessary.

California Chamber of Commerce President Allen Zaremberg supported the tax increases when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed them in 2009 because they "were the least harmful to the economy of several options considered." The same holds true today.

Similarly, Brown needs to fix ballooning pension costs. The bipartisan Little Hoover Commission found that many government employees were promised pensions that were not affordable even without the economic crash.

California is a great state. Let's stop the idiocy so it can remain so.

Nora Hazi

Pacific Palisades

Re "Governor balks at new GOP demands as budget talks teeter," March 26

Maybe it's just time to tell the "no party" no. Every time they impede compromise, they place this state further into the red and put people further into jeopardy.

I can only conclude that they don't care about anyone but themselves.

Irving Leemon

Northridge

Cellphones in our prisons

Re "Prison phone measure advances," March 23

Instead of wasting the state's time and money trying to prevent cellphones from reaching inmates, wouldn't it make more sense to disable all the inmates' phones?

In a few other countries, cellphone blockers are used in places such as movie theaters. These jammers work by disrupting communications between cellphones and the nearest tower, rendering them "signalless."

Only the federal government is allowed to use them legally. Maybe the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation could get a dispensation.

Gerald Simmons

Ventura

Let me get this straight: This new measure to cut off cellphones to inmates exempts prison workers, the acknowledged biggest source of these illegal phones, from being screened to detect these phones.

This is yet another example of a powerful union flexing its muscle to the detriment of society. Is there another Ronald Reagan out there?

Bob Guarrera

Laguna Niguel

A lack of common ground

Re "As if they didn't have enough on their plate," March 25

If members of Congress cannot even agree on the kinds of cups and utensils to use in the cafeteria, how can we expect them to fix the major problems our nation is facing?

Maybe our leaders should bring their own utensils and cups from home for lunch, just as many of us in the real

world do. This way, both parties can take credit for saving $475,000. They can also use this to make themselves think they are working for their paychecks from the American taxpayers.

Maybe they will then move on to the next item on their to-do list: what kind of water cooler to use. I can't wait to watch that on C-SPAN.

T.K. Liao

Oceanside

I did not know Republicans would act like sixth-graders fighting on the playground. These House members seem to be jealous children trying to get back at the thinking Democrats who had made some eco-friendly changes in tableware in the congressional cafeteria.

(Here I offer my sincere apologies to all the caring sixth-graders who are helping to save the planet so they and their children can have a decent Earth on which to live.)

It would be better for the two parties to come together in good faith and discuss how best to reduce pollution and make some wise decisions for a healthy future. But with the Republicans' behavior, this is too much to expect.

Holly Ward

San Diego

Ferraro's place

Re "A 'lightning bolt' for women in politics," Obituary, March 27

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