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PUBLIC FORUM : COMMUNITY COLLEGES ARE BARGAINS FOR STUDENTS.

``Focus on Education'' in the Jan. 23 edition of the Daily News contained a piece titled ``Getting the edge on college admissions.'' It brought up a series of issues to be addressed in order for a high school student to maximize the chances of getting into that student's college of choice.

Since the article did not have cost of schooling as an issue, it did not go into the extremely high cost, up to $40,000 for two years, of just doing general education courses needed to get a degree in just about any field. Importantly, these courses, with extraordinary exception, can be taken at Pierce College - or any other accredited public community college - for a fraction of the cost of tuition at any public or private university.

Pierce College has an excellent academic reputation in department after department for the courses that meet the general education requirement at virtually any university on the planet.

For example, the cost of taking symbolic logic at Pierce is only $13 per unit. Now this is a course that meets a computer science and/or critical thinking requirement at many universities.

But, at $13 per unit at Pierce, it is about one-tenth of the cost as for a California State University, about one-twelfth of the cost at a University of California campus and about one-fiftieth of the cost at many private schools.

Furthermore, we offer this course at convenient day and evening times, without having classes of several hundred where the undergraduate may get lost in the audience and even be instructed by an inexperienced graduate student-teaching assistant.

It would be better to invest those tens of thousands of dollars that would be saved by attending Pierce College and put that money in a good mutual fund that would grow along with that seriously motivated college student.

- Nicholas Habib, Ph.D.

Chair/Professor of Philosophy

Pierce College

Airport was there first

Contrary to the wishful thinking of Gerald Silver and his supporting organizations, Van Nuys Airport never was a small, general aviation airport. It was built as a military field, and even after being sold to the city, the Air National Guard maintained a large presence here until the mid-1980s.

Van Nuys Airport always has been one of the busiest airports in the nation, and those who purchased homes in the path of arriving and departing aircraft knew full well there was a major airport nearby.

Major concessions have been made to these homeowners who are unwilling to shoulder the responsibilities for their actions.

The Air National Guard area - which could have been used for space to tie down hundreds of light planes and lower tie-down fees - has been designated ``non-airport development.'' Curfews have been put into effect.

Sure, people bend the rules here and there, but overall, the curfew is adhered to far more than just about any other law.

The message is simple: To those who bought homes under the flight path, grow up and take responsibility. Stop making the rest of the San Fernando Valley pay for your decisions.

- Steven Levin

Van Nuys

Reseda has `potential'

I'm writing in response to Carl Percival's Letter from Feb. 3 titled ``Improving Reseda.''

I am 100 percent behind any action residents and merchant groups in Reseda are willing to take to bring back the downtown Reseda area, including boycotts, public demonstrations and flier distribution against uncooperative businesses.

As a 21-year resident of the Valley, I have seen many areas come and go, and come back again. But Reseda seems to have the most potential and the least luck.

There is a vacant movie theater and blocks of pedestrian-friendly storefronts. With enough support and letters to major retailers, restaurants and theater chains, we can do the same as the formerly run-down Old Town Pasadena area, which was a seedy collection of thrift shops and fabric stores no more than five years ago.

Unfortunately, as was the case with Old Town, 95 percent of the current Reseda businesses will have to be redone or eliminated to achieve any type of revitalization, but with the right backing it can be done.

Reseda is not dead. Take the new Vanowen Marketplace with Ralphs and Petsmart and the new Burger King being built on Reseda Boulevard. With the right support and enough letters we can get a lot more major retailers and restaurants along Sherman Way and create an Old Town Reseda with theaters and restaurants and great shops.

Create the environment and people will come. It's all up to us.

- Louis Schillace

Northridge

Freedom of speech

As one who put in many hours and walked many miles in two unsuccessful initiative campaigns for a civilian police review board for the city of Los Angeles, let me express my support for the decision by the Los Angeles Police Department board of rights not to stretch department rules governing on-duty speech and behavior to cover such sexist jokes as told by Capt. Paul Marks, acting as master of ceremonies, at a private retirement party for Officer Mike Weiss (Daily News, Feb. 3).

The tribunal showed both common sense and understanding of the First Amendment.

Let me advise those who are offended by such behavior, as I am, to rest easier. America's sexist, macho culture is, in fact, on the run, through increasing public awareness of the inherent violence and immaturity underlying all sexist behavior.

Meanwhile, it is best to keep the First Amendment strong.

- Bill Becker

Woodland Hills

Paying for children

Re Joan Beck's column of Feb. 3, 1997, ``Realizing value of child rearing pays off for society'':

What she is actually saying is that the government should confiscate money - taxes - from people who accept their responsibilities and give it to others so they can make more money. She feels that somehow this philosophy will ``pay off for society.'' Why would kids who don't a have full-time mother to care for and guide them be of greater value to society than properly raised kids?

If women want to have children, they should pick a mate who has sufficient capabilities to adequately support a wife and children and pay for their education.

Women who expect their neighbors to pick up the tab for their lack of integrity and good judgment are simply engaging in a form of theft.

Society is not suffering from the lack of government subsidies. It is suffering from universal irresponsibility and greed. It is too bad that it is not possible to give some of these columnists a big dose of the antibiotic ``common sense.''

- Jay Kilman

Lancaster

Banks and foreclosures

The lead story in Business Feb. 1, ``County home foreclosures up,'' missed the boat, at least in explaining the increase in condominium foreclosures.

My 30-unit condominium building was badly damaged in the quake and we only finished rebuilding it in August 1996 after 2-1/2 years of fighting with insurance companies, building inspectors and contractors. While the building was uninhabitable, there were two foreclosures in two years.

As soon as the rebuilding was completed, the vultures moved in; there have been six foreclosures and quick resales since August.

That's why foreclosures are up in the San Fernando Valley: not because of tight money or a glutted market, but because banks won't foreclose on worthless property. They wait till you've suffered through the stress and difficulty of rebuilding and then they take it away from you.

- Jon K. Evans

Woodland Hills

Greenspan rebutted

There's an old Amish saying, ``We grow too soon old, and too late smart.''

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan should listen before the economy goes to rock bottom (``Federal benefits targeted; Greenspan proposes revised price index,'' Business, Jan. 31.)

Why? By trying to get Congress to buy his 2-year-old notion to cut Social Security cost-of-living increases.

When you mess with our Social Security, you will notice a slump in business. And let's not forget our votes - we will remember how he clipped our wings.

- Nina Baird

Cypress Park

Military traditions have purpose

Military traditions are sometimes abusive, but most were originally generated to establish esprit de corps within a closed group. No one joins the Marines - they are all volunteers - expecting to wear long hair. They expect to be hazed by instructors during training and by their peers when they goof up. It is part of the learning curve for that particular profession.

Within these military professions are elite groups, such as paratroopers, Navy Seals and Rangers, to name a few. Each has some sort of special ceremony identifying the group as unique. Some are more dangerous than others, but each is unique to that group and the participants are aware of the ceremony long before graduation day.

I am concerned that so many people have questioned this particular activity - pressing metal insignia into the chests of Marines who have completed a specific course of training - without knowing what was felt by the recipient of the action. Each of the members of this special group know that at any time they could be undergoing the most obscene torture by enemies of this country.

I would have to assume that each would tell you of the pride of accomplishment of completion of the training and proudly display the scars of that completion.

- Norm Kholos

Lancaster
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Feb 11, 1997
Words:1541
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