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PUBLIC FORUM THE RETAIL FAIRY.

Now let me get the story right: Last spring and summer, Kmart was in bankruptcy mode, closing stores and laying off hundreds of workers.

Now it's November, and golly gee, there is a merger of Kmart and Sears. Why would Sears take on a loser store?

What's that you say? Kmart bought out Sears? Where can I reach this magician with such awesome powers? I need a truck, and I would like to pay off my mortgage. I can be reached most any time of the day or evening.

Thank you. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the ``magic fairy'' will come visit me.

- Sal Lonvil

Lancaster

Efficient policing

Rather than taxing homeowners to put more police on the streets, the city could effectively and radically increase the police presence by a better use of existing resources. Currently, the police waste hundreds if not thousands of man hours with ridiculous sting operations that create crime rather than prevent it, and do nothing more than pad police statistics.

For instance, one sting involves leaving a car, with its engine running, doors unlocked and loaded with cartons of cigarettes in a poor neighborhood, staking the car out, and arresting anyone who succumbs to temptation and steals either the car or the cigarettes. The theory is that only those predisposed to steal would bite at the bait. But the reality is that any poor person would be sorely tempted to take the cigarettes. Thousands of dollars in police, judicial, prosecutorial and public defender resources are spent handling these ``crimes.''

Don't ask us for more money for additional police until you productively use the officers you have.

- Lawrence Rivetz

Northridge

Self-cursed

Re ``Curse of the LAPD,'' (Our Opinions, Nov. 24):

I am a criminal defense attorney who testified before the Warren Christopher Commission on the topic of police brutality within the Los Angeles Police Department. The federal consent decree was an agreement between the city and the federal government to make certain reforms. One of those agreed-to reforms was the creation of a computer database to track the actions of those small numbers of officers who repeatedly commit abuse.

This is not a complicated task - unless, of course, one is dragging one's feet with no intention of compliance. Years after this agreement, the computer tracking is still not in effect. Perhaps it is asking too much to have the LAPD monitor and track its own. Or perhaps it is long past the time for more excuses, and instead is time for compliance. The only ``curse of the LAPD'' is the one it has brought upon itself.

- Chris Armen

Glendale

No laughing matter

Re ``Humor impaired'' (Our Opinions, Nov. 21):

The fact that Councilman Tom LaBonge is exploring not just subways but also heavy rail extensions should be applauded, not laughed at.

As a recent college graduate and the future of this once-great city, I see this issue not just as an idea to build boondoggle subways - as your editorial suggests - but to provide alternative mobility options to the automobile.

Options such as bringing the Red Line out of the ground and running it at-grade or on elevated guideways like light rail in certain key areas of the Valley or as a future replacement to the Orange Line busway. This is an option that becomes clearer when L.A. county runs out of abandoned rail rights-of-way and finds trying to build stations in the middle of freeways falling on deaf ears.

- Jerard Wright

Los Angeles

Imprisoning wall

Re ``An unholy union'' (Their Opinions, Nov. 22):

Many believe that the phrase ``separation of church and state'' appears in the Constitution, but it does not.

Thomas Jefferson, in a private letter, expressed that he did not want the government imposing a national religion on the people; thus protecting religious expression by building a wall of separation between the church and the state. Without a shadow of a doubt, the intent of the Founders was not to remove God's word, but to promote it. They were concerned about government controlling religion rather than religion controlling government.

The wall that was designed to protect America's freedoms has now imprisoned her.

- Shane Idleman

Quartz Hill

Beware the lynch mob

Re ``I'm just saying'' (Your Opinions, Nov. 23):

I want to thank Alan N. Toffel for explaining the O.J.-Scott Peterson connection. Let's see if I have it correctly:

A jury of 12 citizens - who sat in the courtroom every day during Simpson's criminal trial, heard and analyzed all the evidence presented and acquitted him of two gruesome murders because the flimsy and tainted evidence presented did not show that he was guilty ``beyond a reasonable doubt'' - were wrong.

So because O.J. was found not guilty, it is then imperative that adulterer-jerk Scott Peterson be found guilty on flimsy circumstantial evidence that certainly is not beyond a reasonable doubt (no witnesses, no motive, no blood, no cement anchors, etc.) to make up for it.

This is a lynch mob mentality.

- Millie Derose

San Fernando

Stop second-guessing

All this nonsense about second-guessing the Marine who shot and killed a wounded (and possibly suicidal) terrorist should be stopped. Unless you can provide each soldier with an instant-replay capability and a frame-by-frame analysis of his surroundings before he shoots, then lay off the criticism. If soldiers must fight and possibly die under the conditions that now seem apparent, then I suggest we bring them home - now!

No American soldier should be sent into battle with a board of critics looking over his shoulder. War is a nasty business and those who talk about ``rules of war'' are bordering on the insane. Our enemies in Iraq follow no rules, heed no authority, believe in no civility. This war must be fought, and our soldiers must be supported and not continually analyzed by their detractors.

- Bob Sharp

Arleta

Airport violations

Re ``Security going too far?'' (Nov. 23):

The intrusive bodily checks on women have been going on long before the Chechen women blew up those Russian planes. In December 2000, I was in a wheelchair due to an accident. Traveling from LAX to Dulles, I was patted down like I was entering prison. After 9-11, the physical checks became more common. One physical inspection at Dulles left me red-faced and furious. When I protested how I was being treated, the female security guard brusquely told me I could ``choose'' not to fly. I have taken to wearing padded bras when I fly so I don't have to feel as violated when I am being felt up by overzealous security agents. There has to be a better option than making women feel this vulnerable and uncomfortable.

- Deirdre Sexton

Los Angeles

Many thanks

Re ``Steiner coming home'' (Sports, Nov. 23)

I was saddened to read about the Dodgers new play-by-play announcer. It's not so much that the McCourts can't hire whom they want, but I think they treated Ross Porter very poorly. Doesn't 28 years with an organization mean anything?

I'm going to miss him, and he deserved a better end to a strong career than this. Perhaps he was hurt by working in the shadow of the great Vin Scully, but he is a man of class. For proof, you need go no further than the report that he was among those who called Steiner on Monday to congratulate him on his new job.

Thanks for the memories, Ross.

- John B. Smith

Santa Clarita
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Nov 30, 2004
Words:1239
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