Suggestion to Vons

The letter [in the Nov. 29 issue] about the interaction between a customer and Vons corporate loss prevention folks highlights two problems: 1) there is an big theft issue at that store, so prices are increased for all of us to compensate for the losses and 2) most shoppers are honest, pay for what they take out of the store, and should never be unjustly harassed.

I have been told that Vons’ primary policy is to use friendly customer service to be the eyes and ears against “shrinkage” and that works quite well. But when loss prevention people observe someone or something out of the ordinary, their procedure is to ask for a receipt to be shown. They do not know whether the person they confront will pull a knife or a gun. Many of us now take our own bags when we shop. Since we don’t use the Vons plastic bags, it’s not immediately evident that we have been through check-out.

There are always different perspectives in situations like this. A solution might be to do what is done at Costco: station an employee at each door so that customers can easily show their receipt as they leave.

Whatever happened, it is unfortunate, but provides an opportunity for Vons to revisit its loss prevention procedures.

Anne McNeill
La Crescenta

Can We Learn From Hurricane Sandy? The answer is No, Not Authorized

Warning: Possible nightmares; not bedtime reading.

It appears the emergency coordinator for the city of Margate, NJ has more authority to negotiate emergency power solutions than our officials.

After reading about Sandy’s gas shortage horror stories, I sought out but could not find any of our local gas stations with back up generators. The following was sent to our county supervisor, whose office sent me to the Southern Region Office California Emergency Management. The following is what I sent both and their response:

Recently we had fire, flood, and windstorms. Perhaps the last big windstorm with its extensive long term loss of power was a wake up call. Our community sits between two major earthquake faults. One is known to be active, and the other overdue. Ten years ago it was predicted that we could expect a major earthquake in next 30 years. The clock is ticking.

It is probable that critical emergency response personnel may not respond due to lack of fuel should they be needed to go back and forth to their homes to take care of their families. In addition, some hospital back up generators or their fuel might be compromised.

An increasing number of county residents are senior citizens, some of who are dependent on home care attendants and life sustaining electrical medical devices. With the new health care regulations, we can expect less in hospital care, and more home critical care electric devices to be in use.

Upon calling SCE and speaking with an operator, I inquired as to what those of us who depend on these new electric life sustaining medical devices should do during an extensive electrical failure.

Her response was, “Buy a generator.” It appears that we are in a Catch 22.

It is requested that the county of Los Angeles take action to require that the electric company, in the case of their inability to provide electricity to the county’s gas stations within 24 hours of a loss of power event, provide and install portable emergency generators and hook ups to those gas stations that have pre-registered as Emergency Energy Stations   and have survived the catastrophe.

Emergency Energy Stations are those whose management gave permission for temporary pumping generators to be installed and operated at their facility during a major electrical failure disaster.

The answer was, “CalEMA does not have the authority to achieve what you are seeking. Legislation would be required.”

For those of you who have visions of using the gas from your car for your generators, beware that most cars have anti-siphoning gas tanks.

Jerome Berkman
La Cañada