Last Modified: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 9:32 PM
Why does the Calcasieu Parish school bus drop off and pick up on Beglis Parkway at Renoir Acres and not pull through the subdivision? I am concerned about the safety of 30 children who enter and exit a school bus on a 55 mph stretch of road in Sulphur each day.
Many of these children are very young elementary school students, and I applaud the older children who help the younger students and guard their safety. This bus could easily enter this subdivision, make a circle through the small neighborhood and pick up these children rather than put them at risk on a busy stretch of highway.
In addition to the children at risk, there is also concern for other vehicles that are stopped on a 55 mph section of highway for a rather lengthy period of time while the 30 or more children enter or exit the bus.
“While we do agree with the individual’s concern, we were originally denied pickup and drop-off access by the owners of the property and the management company of the subdivision when it was built,” school system Transportation Director Andy Ardoin said in a statement forwarded to The Informer.
“Renoir Acres property owners continue to refuse to allow the Calcasieu Parish school buses to travel through the subdivision.”
A reader called The Informer recently to ask about an unsolicited prescription drug discount card she got in the mail.
“It says you can get up to 75 percent off of your prescription by just turning in this card — no fees, no registrations,” the reader said in a voicemail. “It doesn’t have your name on it. What is it about? Are they going to bill you later or what? I don’t understand how they can offer prescriptions for up to 75 percent off?”
The Informer contacted the reader, who said the card listed the names “United States Prescription Discounts” and “Catamaran” and the phone number 888-607-3001.
United States Prescription Discounts is a free program run by ScriptRelief, which sends out drug discount cards under several names, including the National Prescription Savings Network and RxRelief.
ScriptRelief in turn is owned jointly by the marketing firm Loeb Enterprises and Catamaran, which, Los Angeles Times writer David Lazarus reported in July, “specializes in negotiating drug prices with pharmacies.”
Lazarus spoke with Ed McCabe, a ScriptRelief spokesman and former executive with Loeb Enterprises.
“ScriptRelief makes its money by receiving ‘a few dollars’ from drugstores for every transaction involving its cards, McCabe said. Pharmacies apparently are betting that they’ll still come out ahead by getting new customers through the door,” Lazarus writes in his story.
“McCabe insisted that even though ScriptRelief is co-owned by a marketing company, it doesn’t sell or share card users’ personal information. ‘That’s absolutely not how we make money,’ he said.”
ScriptRelief’s various unsolicited discount cards have over the last year or so been the subject of several news reports, most of which point to the discrepancies between the toll-free numbers’ recorded claims of privacy and the company’s online disclosure that it may sell information on card users to third parties.
The online policy has since been changed.
By all accounts, the cards are legitimate coupons, offering some savings on some drugs. But keep in mind that the savings available to users of any discount card depend on several factors, including the card issuer, the drug, the customer and the time of year.
A final note: Drug discount cards can’t be used to buy medicine covered by insurance.
The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email firstname.lastname@example.org