August 13, 2004

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

Not understanding the Centro Board.

I read the story about the boycott of the Centro Cultural de la Raza in your June 30 issue. As a Latina owner of an all-ages cafe near San Diego State, I do not understand why the Centro Board does not respect the artists. I have worked with many Save Our Centro members over the past two years, and they have helped me with programming, exhibits and fundraising. The people running the Centro are missing out on a lot of talented people by not respecting this community. We support the boycott and hope the artists get the Centro back.

Alma Felan
San Diego

Less than Three Months to Solidify the Hispanic Vote

Yep, there’s no doubt about it. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen sure knows how to motivate the Hispanic vote. (In response to a commentary written by By Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, August 6, 2004, “Less than Three Months to Solidify the Hispanic Vote”).

Scott Sutherland
Miami, FL

Results Do Matter

Kerry supporters must love that President Bush has selected the phrase "Results Matter" as the latest reelection campaign slogan.

Despite the 1.8 million jobs lost since George Bush took office, and the fact that new jobs being created today are paying thousands less on average than the jobs they replaced, the President has been using a few recent sunny economic reports to suggest that his policies were benefitting Americans.

Now the axe has fallen. The latest employment report not only documented a horrendous showing in July, but revised the jobs data from May and June downward. Results do matter, President Bush, and your results in the Oval Office are unfortunately mirroring the results you had as a failed CEO. Voters in November should act as any responsible shareholder would in such a crisis: hire new leadership.

Nico Pitney
San Diego

There are two kinds of stem cell research

John Kerry and Ron Reagan have garnered cheers and headlines recently for criticizing the Bush administration for its limits on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. Those cheers and headlines, though, have been built on misinformation.

The truth is, not one human being has been treated with embryonic stem cells - not for lack of funding, but because such cells have been known to create malignant tumors in lab animals.

But there is a kind of stem-cell research that could prove revolutionary - a kind John Kerry and Ron Reagan and the media haven’t even bothered to tell us about. It involves so-called “adult” stem cells, those harvested from such sources as umbilical cord blood and bone marrow. They have shown great promise in the treatment of more than 70 diseases and conditions.

What’s more, embryonic stem-cell research requires the loss of life, because the embryo - a tiny human being - must be destroyed for its cells to be extracted. This is not true in the case of research done using stem cells taken from such sources as the pancreas and the brain. And that type of science, adult stem-cell research, has actually shown great promise in the treatment of scores of debilitating conditions.

So why is this “science” being so aggressively pushed? Because the researchers who champion it want to get their hands on federal money - and the media have taken their advocacy at face value. That’s why you haven’t heard much about adult stem-cell research.

So, don’t be fooled the next time you hear that conservatives want to ban stem-cell research. Being unwilling to use taxpayers’ money to kill human embryos in the name of questionable science does not make conservatives anti-stem-cell research. It makes us committed to the type of stem-cell research most likely to yield the results millions hope for.

Leslie Lopez
San Diego

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