The failures of the eco-friendly bag
Re: Single Use Bag Ban (“Area municipalities going green,” News, 8/30)
No one likes the sight of litter. Whether it’s on the beach, in the river or on the trail, it’s a direct and visible indicator that our actions as a population have a negative impact on the world we live in.
Is it reasonable to think that eliminating one component of litter would vastly improve our local environment? Our global environment?
I encourage everyone to apply a measure of common sense when considering banning plastic bags. And to help with this, I have a simple exercise; Pick up a “single-use” bag and compare it to a comparably sized “eco” bag. What do you notice? A significant increase in the amount of material, whether it’s fabric or woven plastic strips. Ten to 30 times more plastic goes into a plastic eco bag compared to a single-use bag. If the goal is to reduce plastic consumption, the eco bag fails. Look at the color. The single-use bag is most likely tan, white or light gray, the plastic used to produce the bag is not dyed but in its natural form. Look at the eco bags, they tend to be bright colors. Many of the dyes used to make those colors are toxic. While the toxins in the dye may not leach out, someone still had to handle the dye and the related toxic substances in the manufacturing process of the both the dye and the eco bag.
If the goal was to reduce toxicity in the environment, the eco bag fails. Look at the where it’s made tag on the eco bag. Chances are it is from overseas. Think about how the imported bag got into your hands. From overseas factory to overseas shipper via truck, then into a container, loaded onto a ship and transported across the Pacific and into one of California’s ports. Then by truck from the port to a warehouse and then by truck again to your neighborhood supermarket. Chances are your single-use bag was made in Southern California. Many times more energy goes into producing the eco bag and transporting it to you than the single use bag. Odds are the energy used to manufacture and transport the eco bag or our port is not clean or renewable.
In the end the eco bag has a finite life; some may last for dozens of shopping trips others may last only a few. At the end, it ends up next to the single-use bag, only extracting more natural resources to get there. When it’s all said and done it’s something we have purchased, consumed and discarded, which is not very “green” at all.
Never forgive, never forget
In response to your 8/9 editorial, “Moving on to a better future for Oxnard,” throw some advertising revenue to the Reporter (as the city of Oxnard has done recently with its “Public Notices” contract with the Reporter) and this is what you get: “from this point on, though, we hope city leaders and residents can somehow work together to put the past behind them.” Yet the Reporter, in a 4/26 pre-contract editorial stated, “The overarching problems, from the lack of transparency to conflict-of-interest relationships with developers and an almost literal spending spree for “city”-related events, were a serious blow to trusting public. It goes beyond betrayal. It’s a slap in the face.
Enjoy your hush money, Reporter. Those of us in Oxnard who care will never forgive the unindicted criminals nor forget the shame brought upon our community.
Vote for the devil you know
After much soul searching, I have decided to go ahead and vote in November even if it means attaching a clothes pin to my nose due to the stinking choices provided to the electorate.
Locally we have the Bennett/Roper campaign for County Supervisor smelling things up. Roper managed to spike his pension then get a raise when he QUIT his job and it looks like he is using that extra cash to try to buy his way into a new gig by papering the entire county with his signs. But with so much free money coming to him every year, I have to wonder how much he will really want to work. On the other hand, Bennett was supposed to be watching the Treasury while Roper was looting it so I wonder how much he really works at his job. Yet, I have to vote for the devil I know.
Next up is the sure to be the fetid Brownley/Strickland struggle for the new CA 26th District seat. The Democrats sabotaged the best local candidate, Linda Parks, by telling lies about her and then brought in a carpetbagger from Los Angeles. She isn’t much, but as the Reporter advised, vote for “anybody but Strickland” so she gets the nod. The Republicans didn’t have to look far for a worse candidate than Elton Gallegly; old Tony has been carpet bagging around Ventura County for years while chasing government checks. It is hard to say that anyone is as out of touch as Mitt Romney or more of a Tea Party conservative than Paul Ryan, but Strickland beats them both in these categories. I think the Republicans will be in for a surprise too if he gets in since he is sure to vote as his lobbyists tell him to and not as the party does.
Finally there is the Presidential whine-a-thon. I am disgusted that President Obama has not ended both of Bush’s FAKE WARS as he promised he would do. Continuing these FAKE WARS has cost us billions, thus adding to Bush’s debt as they killed and maimed thousands of our finest young Americans. However, a Romney/Ryan regime is unthinkable. I refuse to live in a Corporatacracy, where rape is disregarded, and have Big Business’s boot in my face for the rest of my life. So Obama it is since he is more in touch with the needs of all Americans.
Try rolling a mile in another person’s chair
Re. Letters, 9/6, “The cost of ADA compliance”
If you published Mr. Rellis Smith’s anti-disabled diatribe to stir controversy, you are a grand success! Mr. Smith seems to believe that the world is fully accessible to all manner of disabilities. Or is it that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) is to remove barriers for wheelchair users alone? I’m not clear on his intent. The fact is, if there were not legitimate reasons to remove barriers for persons with disabilities, this law would never have been signed by President Bush (H.W.).
While Mr. Smith sees a long steep driveway that easily carries a car to the second floor of City Hall, I would like to challenge him to climb that hill in a manual wheelchair. Even with electric power, it is not an easy task. Climbing the hill is complicated by the lack of sidewalks and the speed at which drivers enter and exit the City Hall second-floor parking lot. I know from experience as last Jan. 5 I was on my way off the property after a city meeting, and in the dark, near the bottom of the hill, my wheelchair motors snapped. Wheelchairs are not made to roll on such steep terrain, nor for such distance. In addition to wheelchairs, the ramp is unwieldy for seniors using canes and walkers, ambulatory persons with CP, MS, Parkinson’s, etc., and those with heart conditions. Or would Mr. Smith just have us hide at home, not been seen and not participate in our city programs and facilities?
It is incumbent on the city of Ventura to catch up with the real world in ADA enforcement. Under both federal and state law, Ventura could have been sued for failure to comply in beginning to make City Hall accessible as early as 1995. Failure to do so can cost the loss of all federal funds flowing to Ventura. But our disabled citizens are mostly a patient and supportive bunch and have lobbied and requested and are now being rewarded with access. As for the final cost, if they had ramped City Hall in 1997, they would have saved a bundle.
Did you ever wait 17 years to have a need of yours met by government, Mr. Smith? I suggest you get your head out of the sand and realize that persons with disabilities have as much right to fair and equal treatment as you.
Too young to recall
Re: “A new religious reformation,” Right Persuasion, 8/30
His very first sentence got to me, “For the first time in recent memory, the president of the United States will be decided without a traditional protestant Christian on either major political party on the ticket.” He apparently is confusing the United Church of Christ with the Church of Christ or other similarly named newer denominations.
As how could one get a more “traditional” U.S. Protestant church than that of the Pilgrim Fathers, the original Congregationalists? The United Church of Christ is simply the latest transmutation of the fellowship that spawned the likes of Jonathan Edwards (very conservative) and in the next generation Henry Ward Beecher (very liberal)! The Congregationalists became the Congregational Christian fellowship in 1931, when two small bodies practicing congregational governance became part of the older church. In 1957, a merger with the Evangelical and Reformed Church produced the present United Church of Christ.
Mr. Moomjean does show his youth at times!
Missing so many points
Whenever I read Paul Moomjean’s ludicrous right-wing columns, which are always chock-full of hyperbole, half-truths and outright lies, not only do I usually laugh out loud at his asinine audacity and glaring ignorance, but I’m always left wondering this: Is Mr. Moomjean a complete imbecile, or is he just intentionally distorting the facts to suit his agenda? One of his latest preposterous and completely false claim (“The party that booed God,” 9/13) is that Democrats are “anti-God” and “anti-Israel.” Anti-God? Did he even listen to any of the speakers at the recent Democratic National Convention? If he did, he surely would have heard former Ohio governor Ted Strickland (who happens to have a master of divinity degree in theology) quote from the Book of Matthew (chapter 6, verse 21) in his speech, and he would have heard numerous other speakers also quote from Scripture and mention God in their speeches. He also should be well aware that President Obama himself has referenced God and the Bible in his speeches many times, and always ends them with “God Bless America.” Democrats are “anti-Israel”? Is Mr. Moomjean aware that the majority of Jews in the United States (including myself) are registered Democrats? Is he suggesting that rich white Republican evangelicals are more pro-Israel than actual Jewish people are?
In the eyes of Mr. Moomjean and others of his neo-con hypo-Christian ilk, the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible is anti-abortion, anti-gay and anti-poor people, but pro-war, pro-gun and pro-death penalty. Apparently, these people have never actually read the teachings of Jesus regarding peace, love, forgiveness, non-judgment and charity, or else they conveniently choose to ignore them. Following God and his imperatives is not reflected by how many times you mention God in public or try to hype your religiosity. Following God is reflected by your deeds and actions in everyday life and by how you treat your fellow man. And most Republicans’ greediness, selfishness, lack of compassion and empathy for the poor, sick and needy, and love of war, guns and money is definitely not in line with anything that Jesus preached or taught his disciples. Moreover, you can be pro-God and also believe in the separation of church and state, just as our country’s forefathers intended. Otherwise, we’d end up with an oppressive fascistic theocracy such as they currently have in most Islamic countries, and as they had in witch-burning Europe in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries — I don’t think Mr. Moomjean or many other Americans want that to happen.