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PUBLIC FORUM : WHITE HOUSE `GLOATING' OVER STARR SETBACK.

I don't know if it's intended as another insult to our collective intelligence, or just incredible arrogance, but I remain amazed at the gloating by the Clinton administration's mouthpiece, Mike McCurry, over the Supreme Court's denial of the ``fast track'' Kenneth Starr sought regarding grand jury hearings (``Starr gets cold shoulder from high court,'' Daily News, June 5).

One side of McCurry's mouth claims great victory at the success in delaying Starr, while in the very same press conference he berates Starr for wasting the taxpayers' money in ``dragging out these proceedings.''

Will the media and pundits ever, ever declare a credibility gap and challenge such brazen pronouncements?

- Barry Cook

Newhall

Editorial rebuttal

Your June 5 editorial ``Evil empire'' is inaccurate and vicious in its attempt to portray the Los Angeles Unified School District as duplicitous.

Our open-enrollment guidelines are clearly based on state law, which states that ``school districts shall retain the authority to maintain appropriate racial and ethnic balances among their respective schools . . . as specified in applicable court-ordered or voluntary desegregation plans,'' and are published and distributed to all schools annually.

In fact, the principal of Haynes Street Elementary School was specifically directed by the district staff to hold a lottery following the guidelines that, based on the number presented, would have meant some minority and nonminority students would have been accepted and others in each group placed on the waiting list.

We are gratified that so many families are eager to have their children attend our soon-to-be-reopened school, and we look forward to providing the integrated, well-balanced environment for our students that the community wants.

- Dale Braun

Director

School Management Services

LAUSD

In reference to the dual enrollment lottery:

It brings me to the realization that every time I think LAUSD officials have done the lowest of the low, they outdo themselves. Then they wonder why the San Fernando Valley doesn't want any part of them.

Just the day before, I was reading about the ``Gang of Six'' - Tony Cardenas, Robert Hertzberg, Sheila Kuehl, Wally Knox, Jack Scott and Scott Wildman - and their stall with AB 2751.

I thought Cardenas was going to be one of the new rising stars and really help his people. I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt. I think he just got caught up with ``pros'' who owe their bodies and souls to the teachers union.

The teachers union couldn't care less if kids come out of school being able to read and write. Its main concern is to keep as many as possible paying dues into the union.

If the ``Gang of Six'' can't see what is happening with the LAUSD and our children, then I don't think they are qualified to make any major decisions.

- Ken Bowen

Tarzana

Since my daughter has one white parent and one African-American parent, would her name have been in both boxes? That makes about as much sense as the boneheaded actions of the LAUSD.

- John Sims

Granada Hills

Diet and health

This week, the American people received two powerful wakeup calls about how their diet affects their health and well-being.

After a three-year review of 49,000 medical reports, the National Institutes of Health determined that 97 million Americans are overweight or obese. Two days earlier, the American Heart Association elevated obesity from a ``contributing factor'' in heart disease to a ``major risk factor,'' along with smoking, high blood cholesterol and lack of exercise.

The only effective long-term solution to this national tragedy is to act on the recommendations of leading health authorities by replacing meat, dairy and other fatty foods with wholesome grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.

Parents must insist that their children's schools introduce wholesome meals and nutrition education curricula available from the American Cancer Society and other health-advocacy organizations. The Department of Agriculture must stop using the national school lunch program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities.

We now know the secret of a long, healthy life. All we need is the will to act on it.

- Lanny L. Davies

Woodland Hills

Stopping for school buses

The new law that requires traffic in both directions to stop when the school buses stop to let kids on and off is knucklehead politics.

If the state is so concerned about what is best for the children, then it should require the bus drivers to get out of their seats and make sure the kids are safe, or have the buses enter school property out of harm's way.

I have never had a school bus stop for my kids when I drop them off. I guess kids not bused don't matter. It's typical for the state of California to make everyone suffer for something that is the state's responsibility. Is this a good law? Obviously not.

School buses should not be allowed to pick up or drop off on a main street with traffic moving at 35-50 mph. That would truly be for the children.

I believe this law was passed as a means to extract more money out of our pockets. At $400 per ticket, it's fairly obvious. This law should be repealed immediately.

- Richard Ward

Van Nuys

Sowell and ideologues

Thomas Sowell had it half right (Opinions, May 29) when he claimed that left-wing ideologues find safe havens by working in fields where results do not matter.

However, the same can be said about right-wing ideologues. Ideology, left or right, has little to do with success in engineering, athletics or business. Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner are poles apart ideologically, but that had little to do with the success each has enjoyed in building a media/entertainment empire.

When Sowell laments liberal domination of the media, he seems to forget that talk radio is dominated by right-wing ideology, which has as much disregard for facts or truth as any other ideology.

I have been reading Sowell's columns for more than 10 years, and on environmental issues in particular, where he seems to have determined that there is no such thing as an environmental problem, he simply ignores any facts that run counter to this view.

Now if I am not mistaken, Sowell is based at Stanford University and writes a syndicated column - academia and media, the same places left-wing ideologues shelter themselves from the real world.

- Ron Kilcoyne

Santa Clarita

Jesus and homosexuals

I was flabbergasted when I read the article (Daily News, May 29) about the Manhattan Theater Club's decision to stage a play about a gay Jesus who has sex with his apostles.

This is not merely offensive, it's ludicrous. True, the Jesus in the Bible called for mercy to sinners and outcasts; yet he also advocated strict adherence to the Old Testament moral laws, which, by the way, condemned homosexuals along with adulterers and murderers.

The ``art'' community has dropped to new depths.

- Julie Lares

Burbank

Crime and guns

``Factors combine in L.A. crime decline'' (Daily News, June 6) predictably failed to mention one key factor in the reduction of violent crime: The increased ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens.

Since the riots of 1992, citizens have made a point of arming themselves for self-defense. One suspects that there is a connection between the number of armed citizens and the reduction in crime. But the media never seem to desire to investigate this connection.

Interestingly, the table on Page 11, which summarizes violent crimes in schools (``High schools' safety defended''), demonstrates that knives are a greater threat to students than are guns.

For example, in 1996-97, there were 179 gun-related crimes in schools and 390 knife-related crimes. This is a ratio of over 2:1. Strangely, however, individuals such as normally strident City Councilman Mike Feuer have remained silent on the need for knife control.

- James F. Glass

Chatsworth

I would like to respond to ``Guns, moral decay are taking deadly toll'' in Public Forum on June 3.

I agree that moral decay is responsible for the recent killings in our schools. We have allowed the glorification of violence to permeate nearly every form of entertainment, and we allow our kids to watch. The latest action movie with a body count will be attended by children of all ages. There are video games in which you can mutilate and dismember your opponent, in realistic detail, and these games are accessible to any child who has 50 cents.

Such moral corruption also could be a product of teaching ``survival-of-the-fittest'' Darwinism in our schools. This should not be. I'm not advocating censorship, but I am suggesting that we should take more responsibility for what our children, still developing emotionally, see and that we should become more proactively involved in helping to shape the ideals and morals of our kids.

The writer also said that we should outlaw guns, as though that would solve the problem. The violence cannot be blamed on any inanimate object.

Banning guns would not prevent the increasing violence in our youths. It would unfairly punish the vast majority of law-abiding citizens who properly keep their guns and who would only use them in self-defense.

The writer also calls the right to bear arms poppycock. Are the rights of free speech, religion and association also poppycock? The freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights are what makes this country great.

- Ed Stone

Simi Valley
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jun 9, 1998
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