Letters to the editor

Brentwood or Mar Vista?Re "D.A. looks into Burke's residency," July 31

My hat's off to The Times for bringing Yvonne B. Burke's alleged residency charade to light. It is astonishing to discover the lengths to which the L.A. County supervisor has gone to maintain the pretense of residing in her district by leaving her Brentwood home and driving the five miles to meet her chauffeur at the Mar Vista townhouse in the morning, and then getting dropped back in the evening, so she can continue five miles back to her Brentwood home. It is my hope that Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley will press the case that she has not lived up to one of the primary requirements of her position. But if this matter goes beyond his purview, or he finds it too much of a conflict of interest, then what entity has jurisdiction? Should we, the electorate, find comfort at the state level, or will we need to go on to the paragon of judicial rectitude that we know as the U.S. Department of Justice led by Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales?

Regine WoodMar Vista

Burke pays taxes to L.A. County on both her townhouse in Mar Vista, which is in her district, and her other residence in Brentwood, which is not. So, the question is, has she spent more time in Brentwood, Zev Yaroslavsky's district, than she has spent in her own district? Perhaps, but what is so unusual about Burke occasionally sleeping in the Brentwood home with her husband? And whose business is it anyway where Burke sleeps? Is she required to represent her district when she is asleep?

Angie PapadakisRancho Palos Verdes

Re "Burke handles her business," Opinion, July 31

I cannot send my children to a particular school because we live outside that school's district boundaries. Nonetheless, Burke lives outside her district, but, according to Earl Ofari Hutchinson, it's OK because she's in touch with her constituents. Sorry, Mr. Hutchinson, Burke has engaged in situational ethics while the rest of us have to play by the rules, and there's no getting past it.

Robert LevinAgoura Hills

I am frankly stunned that such an esteemed and respected citizen as Hutchinson would apparently let his personal friendship with Burke disrupt his objectivity. Despite what he tries to claim -- that the issue of her effectiveness is the "crucial" question -- this issue is very simple. If Burke doesn't live in her district, then she shouldn't be allowed to act as that district's representative. Plain and simple. Her effectiveness or her love of the constituents doesn't really matter. Hutchinson, of all people, should know better.

Steve CarusoElk Grove, Calif.

Gay athletes paid price in past

Re "Young gay athletes find a place out on the field," July 28

In the 1980s, I was a gay athlete who knew that no one wanted to know. I was captain of Fullerton's Sunny Hills High School swim team in 1980 and the captain of the Carleton College swim team in 1984. It's bruising to always have to lie to your closest friends. My heart is just bursting with pride for the athletes mentioned in this article. What integrity, what sense of fair play, what guts. And now, let the games begin.

Tom HallSanta Ana

As a gay man reading your article, I was reminded of my own humiliating experiences in public school physical education classes. I was ostracized, ridiculed and constantly reminded of the perception among my classmates that my athletic abilities were nonexistent. Your article also touched on a troubling misconception often found within homophobic factions of the straight community: that gay people, especially guys, are unable to control their sexual urges and are presumed to be sexually interested in almost anyone of the same sex. If we turn the tables on this notion, we see how absurd it really is. Straight men are not attracted to every woman they see, nor are straight women attracted to all men. Do most straight people fear they can't participate in coed sports or activities because they'll be propositioned or flooded with their own sexual urges and won't be able to control them? Of course not. Neither do most gays.

Richard FrenchStudio City

Murdoch at the helm

Re "Murdoch's bid to buy Dow Jones accepted," Aug. 1

So media mogul Rupert Murdoch finally was able to buy the Wall Street Journal to spread more of his political agenda around the globe. This Australian, who gave up his own citizenship to acquire foreign business interests, wants to compete with the "liberal" New York Times. Aside from owning Fox "Noise" and destroying the integrity of every newspaper he buys, it's a fact that the publishing business is not only a financial risk but actually, to a man like Murdoch, a bad business decision. Could he be trying to sell his own political agenda and to influence a sleeping population that watch and read his news, I mean, propaganda machine? Wake up, America.

Steve BinderOxnard

I am saddened by the news of the approval by the Bancroft family to let Murdoch buy Dow Jones. While I disagreed with its editorial positions, the Wall Street Journal is one of America's great, independent newspapers. Given Murdoch's history of eventually interfering with the independence of the papers he buys, it's only a matter of time until he does this with the Journal. This is a sad day for American journalism.

Steven M. ClaytonOcean, N.J.

Murdoch in control of the Wall Street Journal? The motives of American business have always been under suspicion. Now those suspicions are confirmed.

Tom OngSanta Monica

I would feel worse about Murdoch's takeover of the Wall Street Journal if it weren't for the fact that we here in L.A. have been experiencing our own gutting and ripping apart of the Los Angeles Times. High-quality journalism and important investigative reporting have seemingly become the proverbial lambs to the slaughter as newspapers become slaves to shareholders and moneymakers. What is most disturbing is that Murdoch will not just own the newspaper, he seems to almost literally own the world. Someone tell me, have we hit rock bottom yet -- because this dark free-fall at the hands of greed, power and all their accompanying attributes feels like a bottomless pit.

Lori MorseLos Angeles

Bergman's films

Re the Stahler editorial cartoon, Opinion, July 31

I am deeply offended by the inference of this cartoon in which the cartoonist is attempting to portray average Americans as shallow because they are oblivious to the cinematic contributions of film director Ingmar Bergman.

Too bad he is not perceptive enough to understand that there is more important political, social and human commentary in one season of "The Simpsons" than Bergman offered in his entire career.

Joe Colin Jr.Long Beach

Med student earns a big A

Re "Big C in the course work," Column One, July 28

In September 2005, I had just returned to USC to begin a doctorate in gerontology.

As a 35-year-old mother of two young children and a former geriatric social worker, I was eager to begin my advocacy and academic career to impact policies and to help older adults.

But I found a strange lump in my neck. The next thing I knew, I was walking into USC Norris Cancer Center for some tests. The irony of going back to school to study aging, and ending up in the cancer hospital with "all those old people" just a few weeks later, was quite palpable.

However, cancer is not just for old people, and I now know firsthand the horrors of experiencing six brutal rounds of chemotherapy, being poked and prodded and left to wait for hours, and ultimately being treated differently by some staff because I was wearing a hospital gown.

I endured. The doctors and chemo nurses at USC Norris saved my life, and I am thankful.

I am back in school, finishing my second year of classes in gerontology. I can only hope that I can use my experiences to assist other patients, old or young, and to influence physicians and healthcare policymakers. I know Joshua Lilienstein can do the same.

Caroline CiceroLos Angeles

If the bright, committed medical student who had cancer and whose dedicated physical therapist mother who took a leave from her job to monitor his medical care almost dies of medical mismanagement, what hope is there for the rest of us, who, although insured, come from nonmedical backgrounds? Scary.

Andrew P. CraneLos Angeles

God bless and keep in his hands this incredible young man and soon to be wonderful physician.

Vincent J. Carollo MDUpland

Rethinking lanes

Re "Easy access to carpool lanes would promote efficiency, drivers say," July 24

As a native Northern Californian, I have always been baffled by the reasoning for the limited-access carpool lanes in Los Angeles.

It traps people behind slow-moving vehicles or when the carpool lane stops and other lanes continue (something I've experienced far too often), and more important, causes unsafe lane changes when you are only allowed to leave the carpool lane a few hundred feet before your exit.

A study should be done for Los Angeles County as well, hopefully with the result of removing these lane entry restrictions.

Barbara AlforsSanta Monica

Restricting carpool lanes to peak traffic periods only -- which is common in other parts of California -- makes much more sense than the current scheme with full-time lane restrictions.

Orange County is wise to consider such action, as it would facilitate traffic flow and safety. Los Angeles County would be wise to follow suit.

Currently during off-peak times, traffic often moves slower in the carpool lanes than the other lanes.

Rather than allowing slower drivers to move across all lanes to get to the carpool lanes, the left lanes should be for faster traffic only, especially during off-peak hours.

This measure must include re-posting the signs taken down by Caltrans years ago when the carpool lanes were created, which stated: Slower traffic keep right.

David J. AbdoLos Angeles

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