Letters: December 5, 2008

FYI, no smoking at Carlsbad beaches, parks and trails
A big “Thank you!” goes out to the city of Carlsbad for providing smoke-free beaches, parks and trails. The Carlsbad City Council voted to ban smoking at these areas and it went into effect on Aug. 21. That was over three months ago and most residents may not have realized it, for there was no public announcement made by the city. It’s as if it is nonexistent.
Currently there is not a single “No Smoking” sign posted in any of these city areas. The city is in the middle of a park sign inventory process, and new signs will be posted in the beginning of 2009. Granted it is difficult to enforce an ordinance when there is no signage. Chapter 11 of the Carlsbad Municipal Code was amended to read as follows: 11.32.110 Smoking in public parks and beaches — Prohibited.
It took three years for the city of Carlsbad to pass this ordinance, so waiting another three months for new signage is something we Carlsbad citizens can do. Hopefully, the city will let us all know when the signs are posted. But in the meantime, if you are down wind of a smoker in a public park or beach, you can smile nicely as you quote the new Carlsbad Municipal Code 11.32.110 and they just might voluntarily comply. Keep an eye out for the new “No Smoking” signs in 2009.

Michael Caraglio
Youth Advocate
Carlsbad

Enough is enough
We are killing and wounding our soldiers twice: once in Iraq and Afghanistan and again by denying physical and emotional care when they return. Of course the United States government enthusiastically states the fact that they offer program after program of care and counseling for their active duty and veteran population. The truth is that these programs have systemic roadblocks so that a soldier/veteran needs an advocate or family member to accompany and assist them every step of the way through the process. Even then, most of the truly needy cannot adjust. This results in daily news reports of veteran suicides, domestic violence, crime and increasing homelessness.
The United States government will spend whatever it takes to recruit our young people. In battle, and often with multiple deployments, soldiers participate in and witness the incredible horrors of war. After their enlistments they return home to their families forever altered. Most survive but many cannot adjust to their wounds and fall through the cracks of society. They cannot work, they cannot relate to their families, they strike out with self-medicating drugs and alcohol and violence. The United States government must spend whatever it takes to help these veterans just as they do to recruit them.
The answer to this problem is to recognize that our system is severely wounded. Just as a physical wound must be opened in order to cleanse it, our veteran system must be opened and re-examined in order to make it work.
A welcoming system without stigma must be instituted within the active duty years. As problems develop they must be recognized and dealt with quickly and fairly. Most problems can be resolved if caught soon enough. Acute cases must receive the care they rate. The United States government must spend whatever it takes to fund the care for the active duty and veteran populations. It can cost less than the present system. And it will save our sons and daughters … and our humanity.

Jim Brown, Purple Heart Recipient, USMC officer
Vietnam Service 69-70
Past President Veterans For Peace San Diego
Encinitas

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