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PUBLIC FORUM WEAKENING CEQA.

Re ``MTA: Ditching busway would be a disaster'' (Aug. 10):

Assemblyman Lloyd Levine's AB 1798 would bypass the California Environmental Quality Act and exempt the MTA from producing a new environmental impact review for the Orange Line, despite a court order to do so. Passing a bill such as this weakens California's Environmental Quality Act, setting a precedent to circumvent the act in the interest of political favoritism.

As a Valley resident, I have found it difficult to get the MTA to comply with the mandated mitigation solutions put forth in the EIR currently; I can't imagine the repercussions should CEQA be weakened. The MTA and government officials should make up their minds, if the EIR is valid, then all parts are valid and should be enforced.

- Sandra DeVitis

Van Nuys

Hospital closings

Re ``Valley hospital to close its doors'' (Aug. 20):

In the last 12 months, five Los Angeles County hospitals (Granada Hills, Northridge-Sherman Way, Century City, Santa Teresita and Doctors Hospital of East L.A.) have been closed. Over 10 percent of California's hospitals have closed in the past 15 years. Equally important, medical specialists are no longer able to afford to be on call. Increasing costs, decreasing reimbursements from all sources, including commercial insurance, and the growing number of uninsured have created this crisis.

This is a crisis not just for the uninsured, but also for those with the best insurance. How long will Californians allow this trend to continue and allow our emergency care system to erode? Proposition 67 will be on the November ballot and will help fund hospitals, emergency and on-call physicians, community clinics and paramedic training, and augment funding for the 911 system. Most important, this proposition will save lives by stopping additional hospitals from closing their emergency department doors.

- Paul Kivela, M.D.

President, California Chapter, American College of Emergency Physicians

School travesty

Re ``Teachers wish for supply help'' (Aug. 21):

What a travesty for school boards that get $7,000 per student in taxes but refuse to use even 1 percent for school supplies. It's an even greater travesty to burden teachers, parents, PTAs and students with tens of thousands of hours of fund-raising schemes just to buy paper, maps, workbooks and other important instructional supplies.

For the LAUSD with 700,000 students, if each student is burdened with just 10 hours of fund-raising activities, that's seven million wasted hours. Though the students and parents are getting educated in irresponsible school boards who should be replaced.

- Carl Olson

Woodland Hills

Not sole factor

In response to ``A successful school'' (Your Opinions, Aug. 22), socioeconomic demographics is not the only factor that contributes to proficiency in math and language arts. Although Tulsa Street Elementary School's socioeconomic demographics is quite different from Castlebay Lane, we too are truly a success story due to cutting-edge teaching practices and academic programs.

Additionally, the professional educators maintain high academic expectations for all of their students and provide explicit, systematic, rich, challenging, standards-based instruction. Isn't that what learning is all about?

- Linda Mann

Sue Fischer

Simi Valley

Raise skill level

Re ``Schwarzenegger expected to veto minimum wage bill'' (Aug. 24):

We, as a society have periodically raised the minimum wage in an attempt to improve the life of the lowest-paid workers. However, the cost of living has quickly risen to match the forced pay increases, leaving the undereducated worker with no chance of improvement.

Perhaps we should explorer other avenues to improve the lifestyle of the working poor. Require high school completion to qualify for increased minimum wage. At least students might try to get an education. Rather than just throwing money (employers' money) at the problem of unqualified, underpaid workers, perhaps our legislature could converse over solutions that would improve the skills of those in need of a living wage.

- Gary Kalyn

Northridge

Not in Los Angeles

Re ``Smart housing will result in less traffic'' (Their Opinions, Aug. 20):

If Jim Hahn and Steve Soboroff believe that building dense housing on or near transportation corridors and mixed-use housing will result in less traffic, they are naive. Perhaps it would happen in utopia, but not in Los Angeles.

Studies in L.A. have shown that people who live on or near transportation corridors are no more likely to use public transportation than those who do not. Other studies have shown that while people like to live near work, it is a low priority. Affordability, type and size of housing, the neighborhood, and school location and quality have higher priorities. People also frequently change jobs more often than they do residence so unless the employer is the one providing the housing, mixed-use housing is unlikely to be used by employees.

- Jack Allen

Pacific Palisades

Gospel truth

Re ``Wheat-allergic girl's communion nullified'' (Aug. 20):

I telephoned my brother in Indiana. And he said, ``Did you hear about a little girl in New Jersey not receiving Holy Communion?'' Must be a national story. Sad. To think that the nation is so concerned about a little girl who is being refused a rice host vs a wheat host, when there is so much more to emphasize in our society today.

That bishop in Trenton, N.J., is simply looking forward to a promotion for ``following orders,'' than in understanding human beings. He'll probably get a promotion someday for ``fidelity'' to the rules. Too bad he's failed basic 101 in human beings.

- William Child

Chatsworth

What Kerry did

Mike Sacco (Your Opinions, Aug. 22) asks what John Kerry has done for America since Vietnam? In the late '80s, Kerry was the chairman on the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations and it decided to investigate the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, which laundered money for Latin American drug cartels and had clients like Saddam Hussein and early al-Qaida leaders.

That investigation brought to light the way terrorism is funded and brought down a major player in the funding of terrorist groups. True, this effort by Kerry didn't fill potholes or put more stoplights at dangerous Boston intersections, but I suspect many U.S. and worldwide cities were made more safe. I'd say that's a significant achievement.

- Jill Hughart

Burbank

The hard questions

Is it not time to ask real hard questions to John Kerry and George Bush: When are we bringing our men home? Instead our news media are doing a disservice to us by not asking the real hard questions of when are we getting the hell out of Iraq and a waste of human lives and money in a war that we should never been involved in in the first place.

But due to the lack of our news media asking real hard questions, we are now involved in another Vietnam War. What a waste of human lives and money because our news media are not asking the real hard questions.

- John Castillo

Venice

Ugly

Ugly is as ugly does, or so it would seem. John Kerry is going to the Federal Elections Commission to file a complaint against the use of the ads being run by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. If memory serves, the First Amendment applies across the board.

So, if Michael Moore, George Soros, MoveOn.Org, etc., can use their ads to influence the outcome of the election in November, citing First Amendment freedom, so can the swift boat crew. Methinks thou doth protest too loudly, Lt. Kerry, and it does not bear close scrutiny.

- Daniel F. Taylor

Tujunga
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Aug 25, 2004
Words:1247
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