PROBE: Jan. 21, 2002

January 21, 2002

QUESTION: I was returning from my daily exercise Sunday when I saw a family riding bicycles. The two children were out front, approaching the intersection of Dogwood and Hawk roads.

The father yelled at the kids to stop but not soon enough. A vehicle bearing down at a high speed braked at the last minute. I thought the kids were going to be hit.

When will Heber get a stop sign at the intersection?

Does Heber need a fatal accident like the one on Highway 98 in Calexico before something is done? Heber politicians, don't tell me you "will look into this." Install a stop sign before there is a catastrophe. If you don't, you may see dead children. — Worried, Heber

Heber will put in stop signs when it's easier to do it than not do it. But remember, a stop sign won't help if the kids ignore it, as the two you mentioned ignored the upcoming intersection.


If you want a stop sign, say so to people who can make it happen.

Start with a letter to your county supervisor, Hank Kuiper, who promised to raise the subject with other county officials. Write to George Aguilar, general manager of the Heber Utility District.

Aguilar said he will write a letter to Kuiper, to Tim Jones, county public works director, and, if necessary, help Heber residents circulate a petition for the stop sign.

The utility district often serves as a general government agency, although its true function is to provide water to Heber residents.

QUESTION: Although my heart still aches for the survivors who lost family in the attack on the World Trade Center, I think the attitude of some is disgusting. We wanted to help. None of us thought money could replace a lost loved one. What do you think? — Disappointed, Calexico

We think the next time there is a tragedy, Americans will be digging in their pockets again to help. That's the way we are.

You hit it on the head when you said nobody expected money could replace a lost loved one. Nor did a $15,000-a-year wage earner expect to "make whole" a family who lost a salaried worker pulling down a six-figure annual income.

When egregious tragedy hits, it's only realistic to expect to be less affluent. Most victims will get $1.65 million each. That's more money than most of us will ever see. It's not enough money to buy out Microsoft but it's enough to keep one out of a homeless shelter.

QUESTION: There are so many unmarried and unattached women around. I want to know what happened to all the men. Were they kidnapped, or did some deadly unreported diseases quietly kill them, or were pregnant women fed hormones to turn their fetuses into females? — Attached Male, El Centro

This imbalance will work out as soon as everybody understands that men are delicate creatures who can't sustain the strenuous task of pretending to be strong, brave and macho. It's killing them.

Nature provided for the frailty of men by making more of them, roughly 106 men for every 100 women. Unfortunately, men are not only frail but foolhardy. By the time they reach 18, the numbers are equal.

Men continue to jump from airplanes, dive into deep oceans, drive fast cars, practice unsafe sex and die in increasing numbers. That's why there are so many unattached women.

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