It's just a simple request
As the green movement is slowly raising awareness, even those who understand the problem and are exposed to large posters promoting Earth Hour don't help the cause.

The event was supposed to be a step aimed at helping the environment but barely anybody has followed through.

How hard is it to keep your lights, laptops and televisions off for a single hour every day?
From Ms Hee Jeong Park

Provide options
Recently, we received a letter from our landlord, stating an increase in the house rent from June 1, 2008.

I couldn't believe it, as this was the second time in the same year that the rent had been increased.

With the high cost of commodities and a very minimum remuneration, we are having a hard time making ends meet. I hope something is done by the authorities to alleviate the plight of tenants.

Either an increase in wages or a decrease in rents would salvage the situation.
From Ms Sheryl A. Salvador

Change of plans
The problem and impact of inflation is increasing each day. For the past four years, I have noted a steep hike in rent, fuel, school fees, and now food items as well.

A few people have been hit harder by the falling value of the dirham.

The rising inflation has forced us to change the way we live - many have shifted their residence, job, sent their family home and changed plans to go on vacations.

As an old proverb goes - the darkest hour is just before dawn. I am eagerly waiting for the glimpse of light.
From Mr Maheshwar Agrawal

Dangerous delivery
Many times I have observed that delivery boys on motorcycles, especially those working with courier and fast food companies, take the hard shoulder during peak traffic.

Sometimes, they squeeze their way between two vehicles. This can be very dangerous.
From Ms Clarence S. Lewis

No play areas
Thank you to all those who responded to my letter ("Your Turn", Gulf News, May 6). I strongly oppose children playing on the road and footpaths where one could expect accidents to occur at any given point.

However, what is one to do when there are no playgrounds or parks in the residential area?

Children have no place to play. I urge authorities to make more community parks for children, so that they do not restrict playtime to the confines of an apartment's corridor.
From Mr N. S. Masoud

Give priority
Gulf News's report on Al Ain Zoo was great and made me think about the plight of animals in the zoo in Dubai ("Al Ain to go wild as zoo gears up for revamp", Gulf News, May 6).

Why is the comfort of these animals not given priority?

It's hugely unfair that animals are housed in a restricted space. Just because they can't complain doesn't make their suffering any less!
From Ms Shan Fazelbhoy

Surf more
I would like to ask Keith Alaska just one question ("Cricket is not a sport", Gulf News, May 6). If he finds cricket so monotonous and boring why did he watch it till the end when Indian bowler S. Sreesanth was sobbing?

Maybe he should have surfed the channels till he found one telecasting an interesting baseball match.
From Ms Aruna Rao

Talking sports
The letter from Keith Alaska was so sad. If you don't like cricket, don't watch it. But don't disregard something you know very little about.

Cricket is a noble sport derived and perfected by most of the Commonwealth nations into an international sport embraced by many countries including the US and Canada.

It is sad that Alaska is only capable of understanding a basic game such as baseball. Has Alaska ever watched a proper world cup for football or baseball?

These sports have a "World Series" that is restricted to just the US and Canada - what a small world!
From Mr Malcolm Kemp
Abu Dhabi

Space for all
This is in response to the letter by Keith Alaska on the popularity of cricket. My advice to him would be to ignore cricket and its hype if he does not like watching it.

There is space in this world for different kinds of sports and games to exist. Sports should not be restricted to baseball, soccer or rugby.

The skill levels required in all these sports are different. Any person cannot start playing and excel in cricket. Cricket is not a one-dimensional sport like baseball.

Maybe more people might start enjoying the sport if cricketers start dressing up like gladiators with shoulder pads and painted faces.
From Mr Renjit P. Louis

Plan parking lots
Parking has become a big problem for the residents of Sharjah, mostly due to a surge in construction activities.

There is a need for parking lots in every locality, which could be availed by paying a certain amount on a monthly basis.

Multi-level parking buildings could be a plausible option as well.

If no action is taken to correct this problem, the situation could get worse. Good planning is the need of the hour.
From Mr Mansour Bari

Car seat campaign
Having newly arrived in the UAE, I am appalled and distressed by the large number of young children who are not seated safely in car seats.

I wonder how many are injured or even killed because of their parents' negligence.

When shopping, I asked one mother why her daughter was not buckled into a car seat and she dismissively replied that she would hold her child if the car crashes.

There needs to be a countrywide education campaign about child safety in cars. A few seconds of buckling your child in could save a lifetime of heartache.
From Ms Louise Segedin

Not the solution
It is good to see Dubai police's crackdown on speeding, but are fines for driving 10 kilometres above the speed limit going to solve the problem of poor driving that we see every day on Shaikh Zayed Road?

Other countries have increased the number of radars on the roads but they have succeeded only in hurting drivers' pockets rather than reducing accident rates.

More police patrol cars should be out on the roads involved in actively stopping dangerous drivers; it would surely be more effective.
From A Reader
Name withheld by request

Price controls
Currently, I think traders automatically factor the five per cent customs rate into their pricing and then charge buyers ("UAE could start VAT early next year", Gulf News, May 7).

However, I am afraid some traders may take advantage of this fact; they may include the five per cent customs rate into their calculations and then add the value added tax (VAT) amount as well.

This will ultimately add to the inflation. The only way to avoid this is by having strict price controls in place.
From Mr Rick Advano