Uninspired choice of Pinnacles photos
Regarding "Vision in Spires," by Rosemary McClure, Nov. 16: Of all the photos taken in Pinnacles National Park the Travel section could have chosen, the one selected shows someone ignoring the experience by being on her cellphone while staring blankly at the ground. Amazing.
The guy seen ducking around the corner is probably trying to get away from the noise of another cellphone conversation.
Travel photos should be chosen to represent what each unique site offers. With the national parks, it's the stillness of nature. This photo is a joke.
More personal tips
Each of the letters in the Nov. 16 Letters column ("Tipping Pays Dividends") deserves comment.
One expounds on the benefits of tipping. Besides giving a tip, it is important to verbally acknowledge the housekeeper with, for example, a "Good morning," when you pass him or her in the hallway. (It is also a great opportunity to make special requests, such as extra coffee in your room.)
One writer questioned whether to leave $1 or $5 per day. That's a personal decision, but where you stay and the length of your stay is important too. If you are throwing your money around in Vegas, for example, $5 is not too much.
The letter that suggests a tip be added to the final bill (as on cruise lines) misses the boat. Tipping is an opportunity to give positive recognition to a person who works hard to provide service. It gives you a chance to interact with a person who doesn't get the greatest pay and who barely gets any recognition that he or she exists.
Rancho Palos Verdes
We do tip housekeepers, but only when they follow their hotel's environmental towel policy; unfortunately, few do. "Go Green" signs have been placed in hotel bathrooms over the last 15 years, encouraging guests to hang up their towels if they'd like to help protect the environment and avoid wasting precious water, detergent and energy. We always leave our towels on the rack, but 85% of the time housekeepers change them. When they don't comply with the towel policy, I leave them a note explaining why I'm not tipping them. I do provide a tip when they help protect the environment. Hotels are wasting tremendous quantities of water with this one practice. Hotel management should step up, better educate their staff and reward those who comply.
Tipping seems to be a hot topic for some. One letter writer suggested adding tips to the final bill as cruise lines do. I think hotels are too busy adding resort fees or increasing fees (as noted in the Need to Know item on Nov. 16 ["Vegas Hotels Boost Resort Fees"] to do this). Those fees are for services many people do not use. How would you feel if a restaurant added a fee of $15 or more for coming in or being seated, on top of the tip? How about fees for takeout orders — say, $5 for every order? Some airlines add a fee if you call to book your reservations with an agent. And have you looked at your cellphone bill lately?
Charles P. Martin