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What’s Up, Switzerland?

If Ashley Gardner was referring to the United States when she stated it has been 100 years since women were allowed to vote, she is incorrect (“Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History,” Cover Story, February 3). It didn’t happen until 1920 with the passing of the 19th Amendment. What is more shocking is that women didn’t get the right to vote in Italy until 1944, France until 1945, Greece until 1952, and Switzerland until 1971!

Bill Neece
via email

They Pay and They Tow

In February of 1987, my wife’s car died on a freeway a short distance from our home. The CHP saw the car, called A to Z Towing, and the car was towed to our residence.

We didn’t have enough cash to pay the large towing bill, and I persuaded the towing company manager by phone to accept my check. I then told him the charges were exorbitant. At this point, he refused to accept a check and said his driver would tow our car to their lot.

Fortunately, a neighbor saw this and loaned me money to pay the bill. In this fashion, we were able to keep our car and avoid an even bigger impound fee.

The next day, I called the CHP to complain about A to Z Towing — in the hope that the California Highway Patrol might stop using them. The officer I spoke with dissuaded me from filing a complaint, and I realized it would probably be a waste of time.

It is interesting to note in your “Under the Radar” column of February 3 that A to Z Towing is one of the companies that give money for the benefit of the cops.

Wade Cline

Consider Stupid Chick’s Life

The title to this week’s column, “Stupid Chick’s Lucky” (“Diary of a Diva,” February 3), is more apt than the writer of the column thought.

When we first get in an accident, it’s human nature to focus upon whether the driver was at fault and then arrange your argument so that you appear blameless. The problem is that the fault system is a really stupid tool to rely upon for an important moment in one’s life.

At the end of the day, it’s not really about fault when the front of our 1500-pound car comes in contact with another human. If this happens and we don’t consider how we will ultimately feel if even innocently we change another’s life for the worse, then this experience will have taught us nothing.

James Kennedy
via email

When the Truth’s Not the Truth

Re “Stupid Chick’s Lucky” (“Diary of a Diva,” February 3).

Being deemed “not at fault” does not necessarily mean that there will not be later consequences for you. It all depends on how good her insurance company’s attorneys are. They are going to pull out all the stops to get someone else to pay.

In the mid-1970s in San Diego, my brother had recently gotten his driver’s license when an elderly woman on a bicycle, traveling with a group of cyclists, pulled out into traffic, moving diagonally in front of him to reach a bicycle route across the street. He was moving at or just below the posted speed limit of 50 miles per hour. Fortunately for her, he was able to move sideways in his lane, allowing her to slip down the side of the car instead of hitting her straight on. She hit the ground and did end up with a head injury and a broken elbow, if I recall.

Police at the scene, and later, the accident report, stated that she was at fault. Her insurance company sued my parents’ insurance company, which ended up paying out a sum of money for damages, hospital bills, etc. My brother was then charged with an “at fault” accident, even though it wasn’t his fault. He had to pay higher insurance rates for the next three years because of it. Since it was an older car and didn’t have comprehensive on it, he had to pay for damages to the car out of his own pocket. And of course there’s the inconvenience of not having a car to drive while it’s in the shop being repaired.

The funny thing is, the woman was well known in the bike-riding community (such as it was back then), so of course everyone assumed that she could do no wrong and it wasn’t her fault. I even heard later through someone that knew her that she said she had been hit by a truck, when actually it was a small car.

Good luck to you, Barb. I hope something like this does not happen to you. You are not your insurance company’s priority; the bottom line is. If it’s cheaper for them to pay out than to fight it, you lose.

J. Bradley
via email

Why So Angry, Don?

Bauder continuously bashes Bridgepoint (“Bridgepoint: Bad for Students, Good for Gamblers?” “City Lights,” February 3). Yes, they are changing the methods for “recruitment,” but the graduation rates are from the government and not Tom Harkin’s statistics. I am not exactly sure why Bauder is after Bridgepoint, but he is motivated. Despite the HR and DOE growing pains the company is going through, it is a growing company and they are improving. Bridgepoint is one of the largest employers in San Diego despite the bitterness from Bauder and former employees. Yes, the methods need to change but no, is the company out to screw the students over. By law, no institution can collect interest on financial aid, and by law, unearned funds have to be sent back to lenders. There are many students that are going online because they want to better themselves and there are others that want to collect their excess funds and do not care about the future repercussions. Lighten up, Bauder, go after the mirror.

via email

Good Cop, Good Cop

Good article (“A Double Helix Fifteen Hundred Miles Long,” “City Lights,” February 3). Good police work. When people talk about things falling between the cracks, this story should come to mind. Note that there was an opportunity to acquire the subject’s DNA prior to his being accepted into the Prop 36 release program. A warrant had to be served after he failed to appear. Unfortunately, this would not have saved either of the victims, but it may have saved a little time and effort elsewhere.

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