Beer buyers bear blame

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    I was disappointed and angry upon hearing that Ralphs had terminated long time employees, Nancy Cicatelli and Harry McDermott. Both were warm, friendly and conscientious cashiers that we always enjoyed seeing at the grocery store. Clearly, underage drinking is a concern to all of us that live in Malibu, but is it fair that these individuals should lose their livelihoods, without so much as a warning? The current practice of having these cashiers responsible for moving us all quickly through the busy checkout lines and asking them to police false documents with the skill of an INS agent is unfair to say the least. Ultimately, Ralphs is doing precious little to address the problem-simply taking a “zero tolerance” stance that sounds good but ultimately ends up doing nothing but scapegoating these otherwise diligent employees. What about an alcohol only check-out line? Or perhaps a designated manager to provide oversight of alcohol purchases? No, this would just simply slow down the sale of alcohol, which is clearly more of a concern to Ralphs than their long-time loyal employees. And what about Pepperdine University? They are strangely quiet on this issue. Perhaps such a well endowed institution could find employment for Ms. Cicatelli and Mr. McDermott, as their dishonest and irresponsible student body is ultimately at the root of this problem.

    Bill Brown