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TAXPAYERS BUY KIDS' `FREE' LUNCHES.

Re: Simi Valley school lunches (Aug. 8):

While it is exemplary to have a welfare program to provide food for needy, low-income children, it does seem both out-of-place and oxymoronic to instruct people to ``Apply now for free, reduced-cost meals.''

If the meals are free, the cost is zero. If they are reduced-cost, they are definitely not free.

It is insulting to the taxpayers, who are providing the funding for this program, to call it free when, in fact, the meals that it provides are very expensive.

The saying still applies: ``There is no such thing as a free lunch.''

Carl Fisher

Simi Valley

County should fix its own sidewalks

Re: ``Court: Sidewalk fixes up to owner'' (July 26):

I sued Ventura County in Small Claims Court for damages from their liquidambar tree roots (on county parkway) to my personal property. Commissioner John Patti's baseless and unsupported decision reads: ``Defendant(s) County of Ventura Public Works Dept. does not owe plaintiff(s) any money on plaintiff's claim.''

I have filed an appeal with the Judiciary Performance Review Board based on Pattie's actions in court and his biased decision.

I did not sue the court in court for sidewalk repair because a) I can't sue the county or anyone to force them to repair their own property. b) 1911 Improvement Act Streets and Highways Code 5610 requires the government to maintain sidewalks. It does not allow adjacent property owners to fix the public sidewalk, then have the government reimburse them for this repair.

The act is the opposite. The purpose of this act is to provide means of reimbursing municipalities for the cost of repairs of sidewalks, not to transfer primary duty of repair to property owners nor to relieve municipalities from that responsibility.

The statement made in this article by the county - ``However, the case law is on their side'' - does not hold water and is completely false. Assistant County Counsel Dan Murphy goes on and says, ``For maintenance, the duty is on the abutting landowner to maintain the sidewalks in front of their house.'' This statement is again false. This act requires the government to maintain property, then charge the abutting property for that maintenance. This is quite clear.

Barry Gabrielson

Newbury Park
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 16, 2000
Words:374
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