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More Letters to the Editor: Nothing wrong with luxury

Take a stand for return to lap of luxury

The responsibility for managing Ojai Valley Inn & Spa goes well beyond the thousands of guests that we serve each year.

It also means a critical obligation to our 700 employees, their families and, in fact, the entire town of Ojai, Calif., as we are the largest employer.

Today we face issues unlike any that we have experienced in the past. The economy has softened and, like every other employer in our state, we have taken prudent and practical steps to ensure the viability of our organization for the long term. But it seems, that through some cruel twist of fate, we are being penalized unfairly for our high standards.

We have worked for many years to increase our service levels and product quality to be identified as a “luxury” product. Our resort has been recognized by AAA as worthy of its Five Diamond standard – one of roughly 100 properties out of 12,000 in North America to garner this distinction.

Yet, somehow, our status has a stigma attached to the luxury-lodging category. The sentiment appears to be that American corporations cannot be seen taking advantage of hotels of this type. Rather, companies should somehow eschew high-caliber products for more “sensible” or lesser properties that would, in effect, “lessen the abuse of shareholder money.”

To us, this message is somewhat illogical. Certainly the goal of all American industry should be to strive for the best in everything that we do.

We seek to build the best airplanes, to design the most efficient power plants and to field the finest athletes at world events. Then why would we make an exception in the lodging industry? Wouldn’t we want to promote the best service in the world?

Rejecting quality goes against the grain of our industry and our own principles. We find it unsatisfactory to reduce service quality. We find it embarrassing to the rest of the world that on our home turf, there is a failure to recognize the strides that the American lodging industry has taken over the past decade.

The luxury brands consistently lead in innovations, which have then been carried on throughout all lodging categories. This has resulted in the typical American hotel room and service level being significantly superior to the average in other countries, including the European Union.

We encourage those who are in need of this level of service and quality to speak out positively for the entire lodging industry, including the luxury segment.

While it is true that luxury properties may have higher service levels, it also must be realized that higher service levels translate directly into more jobs per occupied room – not just at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, but also across our entire nation.

Now, more than ever, it is time for Americans to meet, to travel and to recognize that we are all in this together.

Janis Clapoff

managing director

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Ojai, Calif.

Use ‘leftovers’ to feed stem cell research

This letter is in response to the numerous articles covering the controversy surrounding the issue of stem cell research.

As someone who has been pro-life all my life, I believe life begins at the point of conception and that those conceived under the laws of the United States are protected by the Constitution and therefore are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Now has come the day in which science has made it possible to freeze an embryo outside the body of a human female. The embryo’s natural development into a fully functioning human being then is blocked by being frozen until the time arrives when it will eventually be transferred back to a woman who will have a baby.

The natural progression begins again and results in the birth of a child no different than any other human being.

The controversy surrounding stem cell research concerns the idea of using “leftover” embryos as a means of repairing or replacing damaged tissues or organs of those who suffer daily.

It has been said there is no greater sacrifice than to lay down one’s life for the life of another. As much as I am pro-life, I am also pro-quality-of-life and see this as an opportunity for one life that may be discarded as leftover to serve to improve another’s life and hence allow that healed person to not only continue living but live their lives to also help life to continue.

I know that if I was to be discarded as a leftover rather than be given the chance to help my fellow human being, then all would have been in vain.

Many of us are called to perform extraordinary feats as we experience this existence called the human race. I can think of no greater feat than to go from being a leftover to someone who was able to lighten the burden of another person and perhaps extend their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Joe Bialek


Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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