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Sidewalks and streets

Re ``Sidewalks of shame'' (Jan. 29):

Congratulations to Wendy Greuel for getting so many dumb taxpayers to pay for sidewalks that were paid for many, many times and are still paying through their tax dollars. Let us look back a little: 1972 earthquake, Sylmar - it had to be the worst. What happened to FEMA, state, etc. money that was given to this area for repairs? The city spent it.

Sylmar is a forgotten town. Since I wrote the last time, Glenoaks Boulevard has not even had pot holes fixed. Street maintenance says three more years before it will be paved. We might get a chance to see Alex Padilla now that he is running against Cindy Montaez for state senator. Last time we saw him was a few years ago when the new Sylmar library was dedicated. What fools we all are; can't do anything about it.

- Harold Constantine

Sylmar

Where's the mayor?

Re ``Sidewalks of shame'' (Jan. 29):

Come to Eagle Rock if you want to see broken, buckled and cracked concrete sidewalks. This would be a perfect photo op for Antonio Villaraigosa. For years I have called and written to our city officials about our broken sidewalk caused by the disgusting liquidambar trees that uprooted the sidewalks and caused our water pipes to be in jeopardy.

All they (city officials) have done is put a black patch on our sidewalk. Besides uprooting sidewalks and driveways, the trees also shed seed burrs that are dangerous to people walking. I have seen children and elders slipping and sliding on them. These conditions are not only on my street but everywhere in Eagle Rock.

- Dorothy Ahrens

Eagle Rock

Fissure in Gaza

Re ``Election reveals fissure in Gaza'' (Jan. 28):

While we are denouncing Hamas' intention to destroy Israel, let's not forget that Fatah is an arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which wrote the same thing in its Palestinian National Covenant.

By the way: That organization was founded in 1959. That was 11 years after the last Jew had been ``ethnically cleansed'' from Judea and Samaria, and eight years before the IDF returned there. Gaza had been similarly ``cleansed'' in 1948, and Jews had returned only briefly in 1956-57. So what territory did they intend to ``liberate''? They said it clearly in that founding document: All of what had been the British mandate of Palestine, which included all Israel.

- Louis Richter

Encino

Flouncing home in a huff

Re ``U.S.: Aid to Palestinians may be halted'' (Jan. 27):

Since the Bush administration pushes - at gunpoint - democratic elections to the Middle East, including the Palestinians, it ought to gracefully accept the results of the Palestinian election it insisted on, not pick up its foreign aid and flounce home in a huff.

I myself don't much care for the results of the 2004 U.S. election, and strongly feel that our current president is a serious threat to world peace. Is it OK for me to withhold my tax money from our government because of an election result of which I disapprove? I hope the Bush administration lets me know before April 15.

- Myrna Hill

Sylmar

Biased study

Re ``Public schools triumph'' (Jan. 28):

This article is a ludicrous example of passing opinion off as scientific study. The author accurately reports some of the study methods, deep in the article. The study actually found that math scores at the fourth-grade level were higher in private schools. However, the investigators made ``adjustments,'' which reversed the scores. At the tail end of the article, these adjustments were described as ``socioeconomic factors such as income, ethnicity, and access to books and computers at home.''

The flaw in this ``study'' is that any adjustment was made at all. I fail to understand how income, ethnicity, or even books or computers make a difference in math scores. This study is a poor excuse for observer bias.

- Stephen A. Borowsky

Northridge

Psychobabble claptrap

Re ``Public schools triumph'' (Jan. 28):

Only when one gets to the second page of the article is the truth revealed. ``Raw scores of fourth-graders in Catholic schools, for example, were 14.3 points higher than those in public schools'' gave the accurate data. The article went on to point out that the only way to justify the headlines was to make adjustments in the scores based on ``student backgrounds.''

Psychobabble (defined by Webster as talk or writing that employs the language and concepts of psychology and psychiatry in a trite and superficial way,) claptrap (defined by Webster as showy, insincere, empty talk or writing, intended only to get applause or notice,) is the best description of this attempt to prove that private schools are actually no better or worse than public schools.

- Jeff Griffin

Canoga Park

Latinos in L.A.

Troy Anderson writes in your Jan. 26 front-page article ``County so-so for Latinos'' that ``despite a burgeoning Latino population that accounts for nearly half of the county's population, the (United Way) scorecard showed little improvement since the first one was issued three years ago.'' Despite? That's like writing: Despite Kobe scoring 81 points, the Lakers won the game. Anderson either doesn't realize that the right phrase to use is ``because of'' or he is intentionally ignoring the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

- Ron Guilbert

Tarzana

Contractor woes

Did you know that you can hire a contractor and that the contractor can either not complete the job or simply not respond to problems that may occur and get off scot-free? I thought the Contractors State License Board was there to protect the consumer, but that is not the case. Apparently, if problems arise or work is not completed, it's perfectly OK for the contractor to ignore your requests for assistance. They can also ignore the state licensing board's requests for information and nothing will happen to the contractor. No indication on the license that the contractor has a history of ignoring complaints, no fines, no penalties - nothing.

This recently happened to me. Therefore, I just wanted to make the public aware that the consumers are definitely on their own when hiring a contractor.

- Martha Evans

West Hills

Dark blot

I recently saw a TV program on John Adams, our second president. I was struck that the darkest blot on his career was his sponsorship of the Alien and Sedition Acts, which undermined civil liberties in the name of protecting the new republic.

Today we have another president who has abused his power by spying on Americans without authority or limitation, and many are willing to let him carry on with it. To allow that will be a dark blot on us all as citizens.

- Galen Van Rensselaer

Los Angeles

Oppose anti-Semitism

God made the Jews his ``chosen people'' to be a ``light unto the Nations.'' The Jewish law and prophets have modeled God's truth and ways, and molded society's standards and successes. Jewish doctors, scientists and statesmen have contributed to the good in our world throughout civilized history.

Yet Iran's Islamic president says the Holocaust is a ``myth'' and Israel ``must be wiped off the map.'' Venezuela's president states that ``descendants of those who crucified Christ ... have grabbed all the world's riches for themselves.''

History has shown that when anti-Semitism is allowed to spread beyond the cesspool of the mind that contains it, slaughter of innocents and the destruction of entire nations seem inevitably to follow. We must detect and actively oppose anti-Semitism wherever it rears its ugly head.

- Gary Curtis

Van Nuys

Logical extension

Re ``Saga of royromer.com'' (Jan., 22):

So David Grant, a student at an LAUSD vocational center, was legally considered an employee when he was maimed in an accident. I wonder how long it will be before the unlicensed, questionably skilled and potentially illegal ``workers'' found at these day-laborer centers figure out the city might be on the hook for any injuries they sustain.

Perhaps the City Council members who voted for these centers should volunteer to pay any judgments personally.

- Chuck Fowler

Van Nuys
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Jan 31, 2006
Words:1337
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