Mailbag: Volunteer sets the right kind of example

Having someone like Karil Drake in our city, who considers volunteering a priority in her life, should make us all proud ("Volunteer gets her work done quietly," June 30).

I really appreciate the work she performs, and we should all take on such responsibilities, especially in such a bad economy that we are currently in. Contributions of this kind can be done only when we volunteer and encourage others to do so.

Arpi Azarian Namagerdi


Ban junk food from public places

To protect ourselves from harmful and deadly epidemic diseases, we should start to act. It is very obvious that as smoking bans spread from the public to the private sector, the consumption of tobacco is decreasing. Therefore, by expanding a junk-food ban to all public places, especially in workplaces, the possibility of decreasing consumption for junk food will be more effective.

Exercise and have an active lifestyle. The consumption of junk food is increasing because most people do not realize its harmful effects.

By advertising healthy food and setting up a schedule for daily exercises will bypass the need for plastic surgery for liposuction or other cosmetic surgeries.

Linet Nersisian


Swipe-fee reform is sorely needed

Last summer, 368,199 7-Eleven customers in California signed petitions asking Congress to stand up for consumers and reform the unfair, hidden swipe fees that credit card companies charge each time someone pays at my store with a debit or credit card.

We brought those petitions to Washington, D.C., and the Senate has gotten us close to real reform that will benefit Main Street merchants and consumers. There's still work to be done though, before my customers and I will see the much-needed decrease in swipe fees.

We need Rep. Brad Sherman to finish the job and make sure his colleagues keep swipe-fee reform in the financial reform bill and pass this Main Street stimulus into law. Without Sherman's support and leadership, Los Angeles small-business owners and consumers can expect the same greedy behavior from the big banks and credit card companies that we've been experiencing for years.

Since 2001, the banks and credit card companies have hiked swipe fees by 30%, and the rates keep going up. Currently, consumers pay an average of $400 each year in these hidden fees — an amount that goes straight into the coffers of credit card companies.

Luckily, the swipe fee amendment as included in the financial reform bill that just cleared the Senate presents a direct benefit to consumers and merchants.

Sherman, this is your chance to stand up for local merchants and consumers. We're looking forward to your support and the resulting swipe-fee reform.

Matt Mattu

Los Angeles

Editor's note: Mattu is a 16-year 7-Eleven franchisee of six stores throughout Los Angeles County and was recently elected president of the Joe Saraceno Franchise Owners Assn.

'Eclipse' is not a children's movie

I am writing in regards to the release of the movie "Eclipse" of the Twilight saga. For those who don't know, the movie is about an 18-year-old girl who must choose between a werewolf and vampire who both love her.

When I saw a late showing on June 30, I was surprised to see children no older than 10 (some as young as 6) attending the movie. I cannot judge every 10-year-old's knowledge of what a virgin is or their knowledge of what Bella, the 18-year-old, could want from Edward, the vampire, when she starts taking off her clothes, but I strongly suggest that this content is too mature for children under the recommended age of 13.

When you add in the brutal fight scenes (which received several horrified shrieks from the audience) between vampires and werewolves, you might even want to think twice about letting your young teen see this movie.

Sean Ruggles


GCC should be cutting expenses

In order to balance the budget, Glendale Community College would have to cut another $1.86 million, according to the latest articles ("GCC faces more cuts," June 23).

I believe the college can still cut thousands of dollars in extra expenses and not have to cut all these classes, which can force students to spend two more years in college. If faced with that, it may lead students to choose other colleges that offer more classes.

Rina Ohanes


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