The Coast News Group

Letters: Feb. 19, 2010

Protest water rate increase
Please protest the rate increase in writing by Feb. 22, thereby objecting to Encinitas and San Dieguito Water District’s commingling of funds. Lack of an independent water district led to abuse when ratepayers were forced, without public input until too late, to subsidize the purchase of the Mossy Property for a public works yard.
Before the new library was built, SDWD had its headquarters bought and paid for, along with a public works yard, for which it received at least $10,000 per year rent, from the city. Without meaningful input from ratepayers, the board of directors for SDWD, the exact same five persons who are council members, decided, unilaterally, that we must subsidize a purchase of a new public works yard, for more than $11.5 million, including “retrofitting,” when the Mossy Property was “sold” to the public by Councilman Dan Dalager as “turn key.” Ratepayers paid $3.4 million for rights of use only. We’re not now on title.
The Mossy Property public works yard transaction stealthily took from the reserves of SDWD; not disclosed to voters, because of the nature of the closed door property negotiations, was that if the library were to be located next to City Hall, we ratepayers would be forced to pay significant increases. SDWD grounds and buildings were only valued at $1 million, while the Mossy Property was valued at $9.5 million. Closed door sessions and conflicts between public and private interests have led to abuse of process and violations of public trust, while those involved in the multimillion dollar transactions have profited, handsomely.
Deputy Mayor Houlihan can sugarcoat this all she wants. We are also overcharged on our property tax sanitation fees. Just because other cities are raising rates, is no reason to cover up secretive closed-door decisions that led to SDWD’s reserves being raided.

Lynn Marr

Vitamins meant to supplement not replace

I feel it is important to address the article you published on vitamins, which was written by Consumer Reports (Feb. 5, 2009). There are several issues that this article brings up that are biased and inaccurate, so I’d like to briefly address them.
First, the article points out that the studies on nutritional supplements failed to prevent several diseases and premature death. I was wondering where they got the idea that they were supposed to? Remember that nutritional supplementation is just that: a supplement, not a replacement for a decent diet! Supplements should be taken to assist in preventing nutrient deficiencies. But just swallowing some pills is not going to make up for a poor diet.
Another important issue the article points out is that some nutrients can be “toxic” if taken in high doses. They mention that beta-carotene increased the risk of lung cancer in smokers. Really? I wonder if smoking had anything to do with that? With what we know about smoking, why would anyone think that vitamins would have any effect?
And to make matters more confusing, at the end of the article they point to some studies that showed positive effects of supplements. One of these was the AREDS study that showed a positive effect on the eye disease, macular degeneration (AMD). Did anyone notice that a part of that formula for AMD was beta-carotene? So what is the consumer to do — take beta carotene or not?
Nutritional supplements, along with a well-rounded and rarely followed “balanced” diet can help people maintain a proper level of nutrients to support a healthy lifestyle. There is no “magic bullet” where nutrition is concerned.
Thank you for continuing to publish valuable nutrition information for your readers.
Dr. Jeffrey Anshel, Optometrist
Poinsettia Vision Center, Carlsbad
President, Optometric Nutrition Society