Big Pharma again shows true colors

This is regarding Big Pharma's suit against Alameda County over the drug take-back program.

We as consumers make it too convenient for manufacturers to sell us products that they are not responsible for, despite the effect on the environment.

Unfortunately, pharmaceuticals are a necessity. Pharmaceutical companies had a chance to chime in on the drug take-back program when it was first brought to the Alameda County counsel.

Instead of working together, taxpayer time and money was spent on planning the program and then more public money wasted by suing the county.

Had the companies acted like stewards, a win-win program could have been created. Instead they lawyer up, arguing that the program will cost us money and hurt the environment.

How -- one wonders -- is a program that removes thousands of pounds of hazardous waste from waterways detrimental to the environment? Without programs like this, taxpaying consumers all over the U.S. will be paying for upgrades and repairs to wastewater treatment plants, costly cleanup of waterways, and exposing themselves to potential illnesses.

Thank you, Big Pharma, for once again looking out for our best interest and putting your customers first.

Krystal Phaneuf

San Ramon


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One more call to clean up Oakland's streets

One recent Saturday night, while my niece took her husband out for his birthday dinner, someone broke into their car just a block away from Ozumo's.

I am guessing the punks who did this probably don't read the newspaper, but per chance they do -- or maybe their mother or father does, and they can pass this message:

Those punks broke a 6-year-old's heart when her mother had to tell her that someone stole her school backpack out of their car. My little great niece wept inconsolably -- not because her parent's couldn't afford to replace the shattered window, the backpack, her winter coat, or replace her change-of school clothes; she wept because that punk stole her school's library book that was also in her backpack.

She is so desperately learning how to read, and through her tears she sobbed that now she can't "be like everyone else in her class" because she won't be able to learn how to read without that library book.

She was sobbing that her teacher would never forgive her.

While her mother and I know this is not true, that person or persons -- with that single act -- blew a huge hole in this precious 6-year-old's self-esteem.

Shame. I hope this person or persons think again before breaking into a car. I hope he or she thinks again before stealing a kid's backpack and realizes what he may truly be stealing from a child.

You can always forgive the person and not the deed -- as I told my little great niece. But in my heart, this time, I cannot.

Just another call from an Oakland resident for Oakland to clean up its streets.

Rae Ann Sines

Oakland

Distraction from real problems

Our executive and legislative branches are arguing for the agendas of their constituents as to whether to raise tax rates and/or cut services or other budget items.

This is a distraction from the real set of problems we are suffering. I think it may be clear to all what would serve the common good of many. The following should be the main agenda.

We need to amend our current policies regarding commerce, finances, taxes, environmental concerns, energy, labor, etc., in ways that will strongly encourage the offering of services and manufacturing of products locally by smaller private and public organizations.

These services and products should be safe (not poisoning, polluting), lasting (repairable, inexpensively upgradable), and with a primary focus on what is more necessary.

I understand that this would be a major and complex task and not so much a matter of tinkering. The current policies in place are the exact opposite.

Ron Greenstein

El Cerrito