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Should know better

Re ``Mudslide survivors sought; six dead'' (Jan. 12):

When is the government going to step in? Every time it rains for an extended time, the inevitable occurs: mudslides and rockslides. Houses are not meant to be built on or under cliffs or near rivers and washes. The owners of these properties aren't smart enough to figure it out.

The city or county government needs to stop this building from occurring by not issuing permits. Also, the same intersections - for example, San Fernando Road and Tuxford Street - flood up to 5 feet deep every time it rains. Why isn't something done to remedy this before it happens? Local government officials know or should know the problem areas as they have existed for at least the last 40 years.

- Hank Petroski

Granada Hills

Government failed

Re ``La Conchita again'' (Editorial, Jan. 12):

Most people aren't experts in geology, so they trust government experts to know what they are doing. But, once again, government has failed the people. After the 1995 landslide, Ventura County authorities put slide indicators in the ground. They may have given folks a false sense of security. The slide started way above the indicators, so there was zero warning.

I lost a good friend, Tony Alvis, in the 2005 slide. Tony's death could have been avoided if government officials had stayed on top of the problem. Why weren't county officials watching the area when the rains hit? Surely they had to know the risk.

- Jerry England


Build anyway

Here in California, we are blessed/cursed with a multitude of interfaces; beachfront versus ocean, Pacific plate versus North American plate, Santa Ana winds versus onshore flow, urban versus wild lands and hillsides versus everything.

We have the finest engineering and ecology schools in the world. We pay millions in taxes to educate specialists who tell us where not to build; then we build there anyway. We get people who say they want to get away from things, so they build up narrow, winding canyon roads and then get trapped. They build on cliffs or beachfront property for the view, then wonder why the ocean rolls into their living room or their house falls down a hill. I propose that all who get government (my) money or insurance (my) money be forbidden to rebuild unless they build a home that matches the environmental conditions, not just their desires.

- Woodrow J. Hughes

Mission Hills

How much longer?

I have lived now in the community of Sylmar for just over four years, and I am near Roxford Street. This street, between San Fernando Road and Interstate 5, has never been resurfaced. All city workers do for a pothole is fill it with whatever they use that doesn't last for long.

Now that we are done with the rain, I think that city officials should think of resurfacing this stretch before you can't drive on it because of the serious potholes. I need to drive on this portion of San Fernando Road to get on the freeway, and I don't know how much our car can take every time we hit those potholes.

- Carl Copelof


Same tired excuse

Re ``Costly station needs repair'' (Jan. 11):

The relatively new 77th Street police station has major problems due to shoddy construction that will take at least $2 million to fix. City officials, refusing to get the people responsible to fix the problems, use the same tired excuse that suing would cost more than the cost of the repairs.

In Los Angeles ``cityspeak,'' that means it's easier to spend tax dollars than to try to hold the contractors responsible. Holding the contractors responsible, regardless of the legal costs, is the only way to make them realize that the city will not accept shoddy work. In the meantime, it's business as usual with the 77th Street station, Van Nuys FlyAway and about every other construction project in the city.

- John R. Schlank

Granada Hills

Local to Sacramento

Re ``Prop. 13 hurt schools through power shift, not the imagined cutbacks'' (Viewpoint, Jan. 9):

The local property taxes did not provide all school funds before 1978. The state provided a significant part of the money, enough to make it possible to implement a court decision that predated Proposition 13 by several years.

Second, that decision, Serrano v. Priest, held that equal educational opportunity meant equal expenditures per pupil in all state school districts. That, not Proposition 13, handed budget control to Sacramento. It prevents wealthy districts from raising taxes to provide more money for annual operation of the schools. Increased taxes to repay facilities bond issues are OK under that decision and Proposition 13. The California Legislature has set school budgets ever since.

- Walt Meares


Our noisy skies

Re ``Alarming copters'' (Your Opinions, Jan. 5):

You're not alone, Ellen Bagelman. Living in Woodland Hills provides no sanctuary from the noisy helicopters. Here in Carlton Terrace, we have to contend with the shuttling of executives to and from perches atop Warner Center high-rises starting at 5:30 a.m. These frequent flights are directly overhead at low altitude. They rattle windows and nerves, and they make sleep and conversation impossible - not to mention the safety issue of flying over densely populated neighborhoods.

I've contacted our local assemblymen and councilmen, and their aides said that the flights are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, so we have to live with it. That's bunk! We earthbound residents should make some noise and demand action from our elected representatives and the FAA.

-Tom Wendell

Woodland Hills

Everybody secure

I for one don't like President George W. Bush's plan for Social Security. I think the answer is to get all the government employees out of their current plans - paid for by tax dollars - and put them all into Social Security. From President Bush on down.

If our lawmakers had no other federally funded pension plan, I am sure they would make sure that no one pulls anything out of the plan, and they would make sure it stays well-funded. I'm not that up on the history of the plan, but what were the ideas of not having everyone in the plan?

- Suzie Thompson


Reviewing the facts

Re ``Winning in Vietnam'' (Your Opinions, Jan. 9):

OK, let's review the facts for Dennis Buckley: Ninety-eight percent of the citizens of Vietnam voted for Ho Chi Minh as their leader. South Vietnam was a U.S.-sponsored puppet regime.

Every death in that country has our government's fingerprints all over it. I actually fought in a battle against General Giap in June of 1966. The Vietnamese hated and used China and the Soviet Union. Vietnam was not anyone's client state. And, finally, the Cold War had nothing to do with why we went there. Rather it was America's cold ``heart of darkness.''

- Dick Denne

Toluca Lake

Arnold's fair share

I loved our courageous ``Guvernator's'' remark: ``This budget doesn't have much in it I want.'' How about that? If he were a real man, rather than a Hollywood imitation, he would tell the rich and greedy that they'll need to pay higher income taxes until more Californians get ``fahbulous'' jobs that will generate more revenue.

Why doesn't he tell the Chamber of Commerce that we need to realign our wildly inequitable property taxes, perhaps leveling the playing field for businesses whose commercial property predates Proposition 13 with businesses whose property does not? Why must the same people always make more sacrifices - namely, the poor, the elderly, the caregivers of the disabled, children, the sick, public schools and college students from impoverished families? Why can't the folks who bankrolled Schwarzenegger's election pay their fair share? Why do they expect a free ride?

- William Joseph Miller

Los Angeles
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jan 13, 2005

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