PUBLIC FORUM : REMOVAL OF TABLOIDS A `HYPOCRITICAL GESTURE'.
So the supermarkets are pulling the tabloids. What a lovely hypocritical gesture.
I don't see them rushing to pull liquor or cigarettes - both high-profit items, but potentially deadly - off their shelves. And it didn't bother them to carry the tabloids when it was uncovered that both royals were committing adultery.
I don't recall giving some supermarket executive the right to censure what reading materials I'm allowed to purchase. As my father was fond of saying, who died and left you in charge?
- Dolores Long
Hernandez and drugs
The Association of Latin American Gardeners is deeply saddened by the unfortunate news of Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Hernandez's arrest.
Our first concern during this rough moment in Councilman Hernandez's life is his health. We feel that irrespective of the unfortunate circumstances under which Hernandez's illness was made public, it is ultimately for the better; Hernandez can now seek the proper medical assistance to cure himself from this devastating social illness called drug addiction.
We wish to express our moral support to Hernandez as he faces, perhaps, the greatest battle of his life. We are confident that Hernandez will overcome this problem.
This experience most certainly will serve to sensitize not only the councilman, but society as a whole, to the fact that drug addiction is an illness with many dimensions and, as such, the imprisonment of its victims is not the solution to the problem.
Lastly, we wish to express our sentiment that Mr. Hernandez's arrest and the discovery of his illness does not taint his record of giving voice to the voiceless, fighting for the disenfranchised and to his commitment to just causes.
- Adrian Alvarez
Some say that they feel sorry for Hernandez. Let me suggest that those individuals first look at the anguish of despair on the face of a young mother in her drug-ridden neighborhood, where children are gunned down simply because they want to go out and play. Or look into the eyes of a young child who foolishly thought that here at last was a reliable role model.
And finally, don't forget to feel sorry for us. Yes, you and me and all those who value our way of life. For by his action, Hernandez has betrayed and severely damaged the intangible, yet vital social contract of trust and respect that must exist between citizens and their elected representatives and without which democracy cannot survive.
- Jim Brady
The purpose of this letter is to voice my concern and disgust with the Los Angeles City Council members who have expressed excuses for Hernandez's drug dependency problem.
For the last few years, this City Council has sat in judgment over many individuals, pointing fingers, micromanaging city departments that have responsible managers and methodically undermining strong and ethical leadership in departments such as the Los Angeles Police Department.
I would like to see this council show the same treatment to a fellow councilman that it would accord other city employees.
Better yet, if and when Hernandez returns to the council chambers, treat him the way they treat the citizens addressing the council. Good lord, that would surely send him back to rehab.
It is my opinion that Hernandez should resign his council seat immediately. This city has enough governmental loose baggage that requires clear-headed solutions, not drug-induced contemplation.
- Stephen P. Pitts
There must thousands of people in four-wheel vehicles snorting a little cocaine every day in L.A. Why is it that the media and police zero in on the public figures? It seems that in today's world if you are in public service, doing a good job for those you represent, the media, police and prosecutors will go out of their way to destroy you.
It's too bad that Hernandez is not in entertainment; this whole affair would have been swept under the rug, or at best he would get a little slap on the wrist.
The way law enforcement and special prosecutors spend money - like $6 million to indict a former agriculture secretary on charges of accepting allegedly $65,000 in so-called illegal gifts - is what I call spending good money after bad.
The media hype today is dig up garbage and recycle, recycle, recycle.
- Philip W. Wilt
If we call enough of our personal decisions diseases, then no matter what stupid options we might select in our life - it's completely out of control to do anything about it, so we are off the personal responsibility hook.
- C. Robert Triggs
I am appalled at Hernandez's drug addiction. The public does not want Hernandez to continue in office (phone survey and Public Forum, Aug. 28), anymore than it would want the doctor on cocaine to operate on them.
We the people have the right to recall the council member because it is obvious he is not a representative of his constituents in the north-east area.
- Sandy Jakl
Regarding Jean Fleming's letter (``Treat drug abuse as an illness, not a crime'') in Public Forum Sept. 1:
In my opinion, Fleming has missed the significance of Hernandez's arrest for alleged drug offenses. Whether drug use is an illness has little bearing on the real issue, as do her views that drug possession and use should not be illegal.
For her to excuse the illegal actions of an elected official in this way is just another example of the increasing trend of ``exonerism,'' something we are seeing far too often. It also reinforces the concept that elected officials are exempt from the laws and may do as they please.
This is supposed to be a nation of laws. If Fleming feels that the repeal of laws making drugs illegal would be in the public's best interests, she has the right to work toward that end.
The people who are our representatives in government take an oath to obey and enforce the laws and should be held to a higher standard. When these people commit acts that violate these laws, they also betray a public trust and should be dealt with accordingly.
- John R. Schlank
Under normal circumstances, I would say who am I to criticize Hernandez for playing with his own health and body? After all, it doesn't hurt me, does it?
But I can't take that attitude about a man who would enact laws that would put you, or me, or our children in jail for life if we got caught doing the same things he is being charged with.
He will keep his job, and most likely, if Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry is any indication, even be voted back into office. The charges will be reduced to misdemeanors, as is always the case with celebrity types who commit felonies, and the drug war will continue to take lives in our streets while people like Hernandez cheer it on from the sidelines.
- Ron Badger
Comments on commentary
I am writing to you to bring to your attention to what I believe is poor taste and judgment in publishing.
On the front page of the Viewpoint section dated Aug. 31, you printed a map of the Valley with an article by Jane Robison.
While everything she printed may have been true, do you really think it is in good taste to publish a neighborhood location with boxing gloves and a celebrity's name just because he defended his family's right to privacy? What does that say about Woodland Hills or the Valley? Is there nothing more interesting here to warrant a visit from a tourist?
I really believe there is so much more to the Valley that is positive, interesting and in good taste. Robison and the Daily News could have made a better attempt at capturing ``the tourist trade.''
- Donnamarie C. Watson
What a great array of commentary met my eye when I opened the editorial page to Public Forum, Sept. 1: ``More on jury duty'' (William O. Felsman); ``Misplaced priorities'' (Craig Hawley); and ``Power abuse'' (Ron Yorke).
All three of these letters said so much and reflect what's really wrong with the subjects they addressed. Our local baseball teams should hit so many homers.
- Milton D. Nelson
Overlooked school problems
This letter may not be considered politically correct, but it needs saying in the interest of our city's schools, and from what I have read, schools in many other cities.
We have skirted what may be at least a part of the problem - selective reverse discrimination under the guise of affirmative action. This has weakened our school system by choosing teaching and administrative personnel largely on the basis of race rather than the best qualified to do the job.
Who suffers? Everyone.
The quality of the students' education is affected most directly, but this has a far-reaching effect and follows them right on into their careers and can drastically affect the quality of their lives.
Secondarily, we all suffer from their lack of training. It shows itself in many ways: from the simple mistakes of employees where we do business to the unethical and dishonest behavior found in all walks and all levels of our society.
Another important factor is lost in our unrealistic quest for equal higher education for everyone. First, not everyone is mentally, physically, emotionally and motivationally equipped to succeed in the institutions of higher learning. To attempt to prepare all for higher learning, we place an unfair and unnecessary burden on our secondary educational schools.
The failure and dropout rates would be reduced and each pupil could be pointed toward a trade or occupation determined by aptitude and interest.
- James F. Tatom