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PUBLIC FORUM.

White elephant hotel

Re ``Why save L.A.'s white elephant?'' (Aug. 28):

Why indeed? If the proposed development would be so profitable, why should the city put forth one dollar for it and exempt it from taxes and the not-mentioned permit fees? Why don't the developers who are pushing for the complex pay the entire bill?

They should be the ones risking their capital for the expected returns, not the city's taxpayers who most likely will not see one penny in return but will take on an additional yearly expense.

- Irving Leemon

Northridge

Arnold's poll

Re ``Arnold's approval rating nears Davis' depths'' (Aug. 25):

Just who did these pollsters call to get a percentage approval rate for Arnold? No one I know received a call. Did they just call union members? LAUSD? Liberals?

Give Arnold a chance. He didn't become a multimillionaire sitting around complaining. I do believe he can turn this state around if all the liberals just leave him alone to do what he came to do. Besides, he is not taking a salary like all the legislators who can't seem to do anything but collect their salaries and ``yak yak yak.''

- Carole Kahui

North Hollywood

Preserving choice

Thomas D. Elias sets the tone of his hit piece by implication, titled ``Some call it corruption - Will conflicts sink Arnold?'' (Sunday Viewpoint, Aug. 28), with an inflammatory fallacy.

He states that two days before he took office, the governor signed a lucrative contract to enhance the business interests of two muscle magazines carrying ads ``for nutritional supplements often laced with steroids.'' As steroids are prescription-only pharmaceuticals, by law they cannot be combined with any over-the-counter nutritional supplement. As far as the governor vetoing a bill limiting the use of nutritional supplements, suggesting special-interest favoritism, a better case can be made for his interest in preserving the right of individuals to choose.

- Stephen A. Downs

Valley Village

Private design freeway

Re ``Time ticking away on 405'' (Aug. 26):

It is an outrageous proposal to ``farm out'' the design and construction of the 405 car-pool lanes to the ``private sector.'' Where is the concern for the judicious use of taxpayer dollars? Historically the vast state freeway system has been designed by state engineers, who have the public interest as their primary goal. Private contractors then construct, but under the watchful eye of state inspectors to ensure the taxpayers get what they are paying for. Unlike many other public projects, there has never been a hint of misuse or scandal in the construction of the state freeway system since it was initiated in the late '40s.

- Charles O'Connell

Deputy director

Caltrans (retired)

Foreign policy?

Re ``Evangelist calls for Chavez assassination'' (Aug. 24):

I didn't realize it until the crazy preacher man blew his stack, but apparently, the wacko right was a key part of Cheney's secret energy task force. ``Kill those who have oil and take it for our own selfish needs.'' Thank you, Pat Robertson, for that honest, forthright expression of the Dubya administration's foreign policy.

- Brian Wilson

Glendale

`Chicken hawks'

Re ``Left loses legitimacy by name calling'' (Their Opinions, Aug. 29):

Rich Lowry's attempt to neutralize those who refer to him and his ilk as ``chicken hawks'' was as weaselly as every other right-wing ``reframe the argument'' dodge. Like other conservatives who never would consider serving in the military themselves, he is all for making those who actually do enlist fight and die in a meaningless, unnecessary and illegal war.

Your critics obviously are not saying that only members of the military (or even mothers of fallen soldiers) should decide these matters. What we are saying is that it is deceitful and shameful for you to be part of the war-is-the-answer crowd when you never have displayed the courage of that particular conviction.

- James Dawson

Woodland Hills

White House logic

Re ``Their only agenda'' (Your Opinions, Aug 25):

Robert Kunz wrote an interesting letter with an obvious conservative slant, trying to discredit Cindy Sheehan's attempt to get straight answers from a public servant. Unfortunately, his use of flawed logic does nothing to support his case. Kunz claims that Sheehan is ``aiding the cause of the very terrorists her son died fighting.'' To make such a claim without proof is irresponsible.

Kunz also claims ``it is a well-known fact that everyone ... thought WMDs were'' in Iraq. Again, a lie. I and many others didn't believe they were there. It seems this is the same type of flawed Republican logic used by the White House to plunge America into this Iraqi mess.

- Ted Calvert

Burbank

Which they lost

Re ``Rebuilding Gaza'' (Your Opinions, Aug. 26):

The reason Israel destroyed the settlements was because the Palestinians requested it. The Palestinians want to rebuild this area which they lost after a sneak attack on the good people of Israel.

- John Flock

North Hollywood

Theology in schools

Re ``Can't hurt'' (Your Opinions, Aug. 28):

While I agree with Ross Yerkes that Christian schools educate their students better than public schools, so also do Hebrew, Muslim, Armenian, and other nonsectarian private schools. All of these students in these schools have one common thread - parents usually pay a hefty fee for their children to obtain this education. Therefore, there are smaller classes, better supplies, clean and maintained facilities, better behavior, more parental interaction and better rewarded teachers, perhaps not monetarily, but certainly psychologically.

Trying to educate students through theology in public school with students representing perhaps 10 different parental religions in one classroom would get the teacher run out of that classroom.

- Jacque Lamishaw

Winnetka

No support

As you stand by the gas pump, staring at unbelievable prices and realize that you'll have to do some belt-tightening and forgo necessities a while longer, you should also consider that state and federal government employees aren't feeling the same pinch. Many are driving government-owned vehicles purchased with our tax dollars, and using government-issued tax-supported gas cards to buy fuel.

Tax money subsidizes vehicles and gasoline purchases for our elected officials and staff members. None of these agencies, officials or employees has offered to give up or reduce any of those fat perks that we're paying for. So don't expect any support from them or President Bush; he's busy trying to live ``a balanced life.''

- L.P. Shaffer

Moorpark

Gasoline gluttons

The current gasoline crisis is atrocious. SUVs and large trucks make up over half of the vehicles on the road today. Many of these vehicles contain single drivers that drive to and from work every day. These vehicles get extremely low gas mileage. These vehicles are consuming our gasoline supply at a faster rate, which increases our cost. This obesity problem is nationwide.

If all wealthy owners of Hummer 2s, Suburbans and the other gasoline gluttons can afford gasoline to drive these monsters, they can afford to buy an economy car to help lower the price of gasoline. This extremely kind and unselfishness act would not only help the financially challenged, but would also help our environment. Let's get past our ego and self-perceived image.

- Lou Cozzolino

Canyon Country

Fine mess

A classic phrase, from a Laurel and Hardy 1930 short film, quoted in connection with a number of various occasions, once again seems perfectly befitting, in regard to the Bush administration and the Iraq war situation:

``Well, here's another fine mess you've gotten us into.''

It's delightful that we will have yet another reason to give thanks on Thanksgiving.

- Robert Albrecht

Palmdale
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Title Annotation:Editorial
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Aug 30, 2005
Words:1245
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