Your Voice: Safe driving, bicyclists must share the road and Barnes and Noble is a big loss
Nov 29, 2013 | 6893 views | 7 7 comments | 252 252 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Safe holidays are happy holidays


Make the holiday roads safe and merry.

When I was 16, in April of 1992, I was hit head-on by a drunken driver. I was in a coma, had paralysis with multiple broken and dislocated bones, and was a patient in two hospitals for seven months. Therapy in San Jose and Tracy followed for 17 more months.

I can talk and walk, but I cannot drive and have hearing difficulties and a speech impediment that affects me daily.

I have been a proud partner with the California Highway Patrol for more than a decade, educating others to stay sober when driving. Our goal is to keep drunken drivers off the road.

Drunken driving is not a problem just for victims. It is a problem for all.

If hosting a party, regularly check the drinking guests. If one shows signs of intoxication, take action. Take the keys away from that person and call a cab company for them. Asking a sober friend or family member to give a ride is another option.

Starting the New Year with your friend receiving a ticket, getting into a crash or worse after leaving your party would give you the worst feeling. Not the way to start a prosperous 2014.

Don’t let the host do all the work. Check others to make sure they are sober like you if driving. Eat and drink slowly. Only time can sober up a person.

Don’t let a DUI become your holiday memory. Stay sober when driving or a depressing future will follow.

Lori Martin, Tracy

Bicyclists must take responsibility


This letter will probably rankle a few feathers, but I feel it needs to be said.

The bicycle riders in this town — especially the adults — seem to feel that they are car-proof, that they don’t have to abide by the rules of the road, such as stopping at stop signs, riding on the wrong side of the street and numerous other infractions.

Eventually, sadly, someone is going to get killed because of their carelessness, and some motorist is going to have to live with that fact for the rest of their lives, even though it wasn’t their fault.

The worst of it is that our police department sees this happening on a daily basis and does nothing about it.

What kind of an example does this set for the kids? They see the adults doing this and figure it must be OK.

Earl Jess, Tracy

Bookstore is big loss


When Barnes & Noble moves out of the West Valley Mall and Sports Authority moves in, Tracy will quickly start to see the negative effects. After all, let’s look at our past. For years now, Barnes and Noble has done a lot more for Tracy than sell us books, or give teens a place to study. It has also built our community. From 2009 to 2012, the bookstore contributed books and toys to Brighter Christmas, helping our less fortunate residents enjoy the holidays. Earlier this year, B&N held a book drive for the Deuel Vocational Institution’s library, helping educate and entertain prison inmates trying to restart their lives. And in March, on what would’ve been her 12th birthday, B&N partnered with the nonprofit Tracy Celebrates Children to help our city recover from the tragic death of Sandra Cantu, organizing a story and snack time for Tracy’s kids. Events like these happen several times each year, but frequently, Barnes & Noble also holds Teacher Appreciation Weeks (which help our hardworking teachers get supplies for their students) and story times (which instill a love of reading in young children). If our beloved bookstore moves out, all of this community participation will cease. There won’t be any more books for impoverished Tracy residents for the holidays, there won’t be any more discounted school supplies for our teachers, and there won’t be any more story times for our kids. Do you know when was the last time Sports Authority was so powerfully involved in California’s communities? It was a decade ago, with a corporate sponsorship of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America; it was nothing more than a thinly veiled marketing scheme to sell Nikes. However, Tracy doesn’t need any more shoes! It needs school supplies, story times and book drives.

Nathan Tran, Tracy

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November 29, 2013

Maybe I am missing something but I just don't see it as the job of local businesses to do all those things. Sure, such gestures are nice but we should not come to expect every business to do that. Most can barely stay in operation with all the burdens and taxes the city places on them. Apparently B&N couldn't cover those things and donate at the same time. If they had not been overly generous they might still be in business.

With regard to SA and the comment " was nothing more than a thinly veiled marketing scheme to sell Nikes." What exactly do you expect them to do? They are a sporting goods store. I kind of expect them to be trying to do things to sell more stuff. I seriously doubt B&N was not doing pretty much the same thing with their help in the local community. You can be sure it was also the work of the marketing folks.
November 29, 2013
Perhaps negative (?) causes preceded the impending (?) negative effects?

I suppose the bigger questions are these: What do we read? How often do we read?

Is it possible to encourage the act and joy (?) of reading without a Barnes and Noble?

I read for enlightenment and edification, but ...

December 02, 2013
I would just like to say that what nathan said is a great point, yea they didn't have to do that but they did it for the community, and thats what stores today should be doing to help contribute the town. We don't need another sports store, and to say that "Most can barely stay in operation with all the burdens and taxes the city places on them. Apparently B&N couldn't cover those things and donate at the same time." is wrong because they actually could. many people i know are employees there. Plus i'd just like to point out that there is a petition already going on for this because many agree that B&N should stay.
December 02, 2013
You are probably right when you tell us not to “expect every business to do that”, and odds are, that thing about “the work of the marketing folks” is also true. However, your assertion that if B&N “hadn’t been overly generous they might still be in business” is a total contradiction.

Barnes and Noble is obviously a huge corporation, making more than enough NET INCOME (that is, the $13.2 million they made AFTER TAXES the past three months) to maintain what you call “nice gestures”. Even with crushing competition from bigger online retailers, B&N can still keep afloat financially. If they couldn’t, however, would you honestly believe that the first thing they’d cut from their budget would be “the work of [their] marketing folks”? I wouldn’t. After all, you’ve said it yourself. B&N’s help in the local community is just an attempt to “sell more stuff”. However, Barnes and Noble’s connection to our community is not the reason why they’re out of business. As a matter of fact, being “overly generous” might just be one of the reasons why they’re still IN BUSINESS; it’s the only thing setting them apart from the Goliath known as Amazon.
December 06, 2013
I will keep this simple, because it really is. B&N cannot survive economically to run a profitable business in Tracy because of many factors and technological shifts in the market, primarily the online retail industry like Amazon. No different then the brick and mortal video rental industry Blockbuster. Innovation and technology changes industries and sometimes makes them obsolete. It also creates opportunity, like a smaller book store.
December 07, 2013

How can we be sure that it's for economic reasons? B&N is moving out not because it's out of business (unlike Blockbuster, which filed for bankruptcy in 2010) but because either the corporation or West Valley isn't renewing the lease. I agree with you on the Amazon point, but I don't think that it's forcing B&N out of here.
December 13, 2013
Mr Tran,

Yes, I do know for a fact B&N is leaving because of economic reasons. Let me give you lesson in business 101. Yes, B&N as a corporation is not out of business and they want to stay that way and competitive in a global market for the future. The Tracy store was not producing the profit they need to keep that location successful. K-Mart, for example has closed hundreds of stores in the USA but still surviving. Sears and JC Penny may close in Tracy too if they do not reinvent themselves to compete with the market. I can assure you the Mall did everything possible to extend the B&N lease. They want the rent revenue and the City wants the tax revenue. But the store, at that size, the operating cost was too expensive.

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