Sharpening both sides of the ax

It intrigues and puzzles me that those who have axes to grind never sharpen both sides of the ax.

This is particularly true for those who vehemently oppose any sort of gun control. Their arguments are so emotionally driven that thoughtful and balanced discussion is driven from the scene. I was reminded of this by Philip Crispi's letter, “Guns help to make people safer,” on June 11.

He argues that visible unloaded firearms (open carry) will deter miscreants and make us all safer. I would argue that rarely, if ever, would this be the case because “hardcore criminals, lunatics and crazies” would happily open-carry loaded firearms, making their nefarious use of deadly guns much easier for them. The crux of the matter is that “law abiding” individuals openly carrying unloaded guns would be at a deadly disadvantage in any sort of showdown with violent armed criminals and other psychopaths.

Advocates of open carry apparently wish to return to the archaic and dangerous days when guns ruled the Old West. Guns do have their place in our modern world, but not boorishly displayed anywhere, loaded or unloaded.

Robert Morrison


Who knows how condo case will end?

With the focus on inspections and permits surrounding former Councilman John Drayman's condominium (“Drayman's condo permits understated work done,” June 23), our experience with contractors comes to mind.

While the homeowner is ultimately responsible for the permits, it is the contractor who normally obtains them. That is one of the reasons to hire a contractor — it takes a contractor's license and special expertise to have the architectural plans drawn, submitted and approved, followed by the issuance of the applicable permit(s). All of this is usually built into the contractor's fee via the contract, unless it is specifically excluded.

It is my understanding that only an individual, company or other entity with a properly issued state license can pull a permit for such a project as Drayman's. To perform work without the proper license is subject to discipline by the California Contractors State License Board. I believe it is also a reasonable expectation for a customer to rely on the contractor's representations, both verbal and written, especially if that contractor was referred to you by someone you trust.

We have never asked to see a copy of a contractor's license. It is sufficient that the applicable city requires it in order to issue the permit(s).

I'm sure Drayman is, as we are, a layman in the construction field, not privy to the “features” requiring permits. That's part of a contractor's scope of work, unless, as I noted above, it is specifically excluded.

Now city inspectors are to open walls, ceilings, etc. and check for structural changes in Drayman’s condo, which brings to mind another aspect of this situation. What happened to the homeowners association’s responsibility? Condos are usually governed by a homeowners association and it is the association that is normally responsible for the repair and maintenance of wiring, pipes and ducts in the walls between, above and below other units.

In addition, the individual homeowner is certainly not responsible for structural components. Structural changes would likely not be allowed by the association, so that endeavor on the part of the city is probably a dead end.

Who knows how this whole, sad debacle will play out? Only time will tell.

Sherry Stubbs



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