Move Your Money
This morning I opened my email to find several petitions.
The petitions included one aimed at Bank of America. B of A is instituting a $5 per month fee for using a debit card. A customer was outraged, and many people signed a petition. ABC News tracked down the CEO and he was very embarrassed. By the time you read this, perhaps B of A will have rescinded this fee, and will use their action to demonstrate how they listen to their customers and how responsive they are.
It certainly can be more convenient to bank at an institution that has a branch or ATM on every corner and in every state. But, of course, there is a price one pays for that convenience—and the $5 per month debit card fee is the least of these payments. We know what these banks have done to our economy, and how much of our money has gone to bail them out. Even more than this, they are the financial underpinning of a system that, ultimately, does not embody the values we need to foster in the world today.
So I ask my fellow Americans, if you cannot or will not risk imprisonment or death for the sake of social change, would you consider moving your money out of these big banks and into community-based institutions? You may find that it is no inconvenience at all, or that the personal service you receive more than makes up for whatever inconvenience does result. This is one way we, as ordinary Americans, can move from being "consumers," concerned principally with our own ease and satisfaction, to "citizens," who take into consideration the effects of our actions on our community, our country and our planet. If we cannot do at least this much, it is difficult to see how an American Spring will happen.
What Do Writers Know?
I am a fan of your "Best Of" issue every year. It's great to find out (in yet another way) how spoiled I am to live in such a cool and educated county.
All I ask is that you please do not run another "Best of Writers' Picks" section. Your motives are as transparent as scotch tape, and even as educated as the population in this county is, the last issue was laid out in such a way that it had most everyone (especially the "winners") believing that they were special beyond the nepotistic scope of a single writer, whose taste in quality hinged on a free drink or two.
Hi Marc, thanks for writing. You've got your wish! Please enjoy our Best Of handbook contained in this issue, which is free of any pesky insights by writers.
To clarify, though, our writers picks in the Best Of issue are in fact specifically laid out to differentiate from the readers' picks, taking up a completely separate side of the fold and marked by "Writers Picks" at the top of every page.
We include the writers' picks precisely to represent those lesser-known, out-of-the-way spots that might not garner a blip on the readers' poll, thus helping to make the county even more "cool and educated." As for being bribed? Prove to me that we've accepted a free drink in exchange for positive coverage, and I'll personally eat my hat.—The Ed.
Who Killed Halloween?
For over 50 years now, I have hated Halloween, but my house manager just thinks it's great. She has even decorated the house early for Halloween, and it seems OK, but I do know that Halloween is evil and goes against the Bible, and my feelings on J.F.K. and how great a man he was.
The only real peace I have is going to Peet's Coffee & Tea and admiring the Bohemian in the newspaper stand. Because of J.F.K., I have always wanted Halloween abolished, as I think it's not sane and could be a humanitarian holiday, but I don't think it is.
Bikes on the Road
Lisa Bollman is frustrated that for one day in October, the bikes in Levi's GranFondo ride inconvenience drivers on certain roads (Letters, Oct. 5). But now she knows how it feels for cyclists the other 364 days of the year.