I noticed your column called \”The Count\” in which you eagerly count up dead American servicemen who have been killed fighting the war on terror. It is obviously done with an anti-war intention.

Perhaps you would care to provide some balance to the count of the dead by including: the almost 4,000 Americans killed on 9-11; the 1,000,000-plus dead Iraqi\’s killed by Saddam Hussein during his 30-year reign of terror on the Iraqi people; the dead Iraqi men, women and children civilians killed by foreign insurgent suicide bombers over the last 5-6 years; the number of dead Afghan women beheaded and shot in the head in soccer stadiums simply for wearing lipstick before Al Qaeda was thrown from power in that country; the number of dead Spanish and British people killed by suicide bombers in trains and busses and the number of dead Americans and others killed by terrorists acts prior to 9-11 (including the first World Trade Center bombing).

If you wish to \”count\” the dead killed in the war on terrorism, at least make it a complete count.

Jerry H. Dohn

Something for nothing

In your editorial (“Health Policies Can Break Your Bank Account,” 1/11/07), you indicate that Governor Schwarzenegger is covered by \”his government healthcare plan.\” That is not correct. Schwarzenegger has his own private healthcare plan that doesn\’t cost the taxpayers. Also, he does not take any salary for serving as Governor. If only some of our other multi-millionaire politicians did the same. (Politicians like Barbara, Dianne, Nancy, etc.)

Robert S. Kennedy, Jr.

The state of health care

As a health insurance agent, I recognize that the state of health care in California is in crisis. Increases in the cost and number of uninsured and underinsured people have put a strain on the system. Thankfully, the governor and legislature have signaled that 2007 will be a year of health care reform in California.

I am confident that our current system can provide for every Californian. Massachusetts adopted a plan this past spring to guarantee health insurance for all residents without resorting to a radical shift to a single-payer model. While it is unreasonable to expect that this model could be shoehorned to fit California\’s diverse needs, it should inspire hope that effective mainstream solutions are within reach.

Several key aspects of the Massachusetts plan can teach our state some important lessons on how to proceed. The plan relies on the values of private-public partnership and shared responsibility by acknowledging the complementary roles of government and health insurers in providing coverage. The shared responsibility plan reveals a truth that is not always apparent: nothing occurs in a vacuum. One person\’s choice not to protect his or her health can have significant impacts on society at large.

California can achieve remarkable results if the governor crafts a system that builds on the best of what we currently have.

Ken Doyle
Thousand Oaks

Keep “Troy horse” out of Ojai

The Becker plans that are back in the Ojai Planning Department would demolish Mallory Way. In my opinion, [the Ojai Planning Commission] should not pass this project.

The Becker project violates Ojai\’s general plan (which mandates a \”small town character\”) and it violates state mandates to preserve historic resources. The plan violates city responsibility to protect low cost housing stock and it violates the conscience of any reasonable person.

Mallory used to be called Troy Lodge and The Outpost. Mallory is Ojai\’s last stand against unsustainable overdevelopment and out of place money speculation. Fort Becker, deceptively called Bungalows, is another Los Arboles, only ten times worse, because the Becker project will destroy an historic resource and low cost housing.

Jeff Becker, brother to planning commissioner Troy Becker, brings a Troy horse to the gates of the former Troy Lodge, in the form of \”mitigations.\” Mitigating in itself admits Mallory is an historic resource but tries to slip the mitigation horse through the Ojai gates anyway by fooling the public and giving them a phony excuse to pass it. Integrity is one requirement for an historic resource, and Mallory\’s integrity should be preserved in its entirety.

Look this gift horse in the mouth. State guidelines provide for mitigation only when destruction of a resource cannot be avoided. The destruction of Mallory can easily be avoided by admitting it is a landmark and canceling the project on that basis.

If you want to know what Mallory is about, follow the money. It\’s time to stop passing the buck to the same deep pockets. It\’s time to make love for people, not money, the jewel of Ojai.

Dennis Leary