Letters to the editor

Stadium needs cats and a clean sweep

Re "Take them out of the ballgame, city says," Aug. 7

I see a perfect confluence of events here -- the city shelters are full of unwanted cats. Anaheim has rats. Get the picture? Farmers and ship captains used cats for this purpose for most of man's known history.

All Angel Stadium needs to do is import a handful of cats, let them loose to live there and voila! No more rats! No strong chemicals, no traps, no fuss, no muss.

Cats like to retreat to quiet corners during parties and chaos -- they would just hide when patrons were in the stadium and chase rats at night. Why can't we learn from our own history, or have we completely lost our sense of humor about our predicaments?

Carol VogelmanLos Angeles

The story about rats at Angel Stadium contained the interesting observation that half-eaten food and discarded wrappers are "a byproduct of any large gathering of people." You should have added "in the U.S." During the 2002 World Cup, I went to several games in and around Tokyo and was astounded to watch the Japanese families and individuals in my section pick up every scrap of trash around them as they got up to leave -- even that of other (no doubt visiting) spectators -- leaving the stadium after the game as clean as it was when we arrived.

I'm sure there are other places in the world where citizens are proud of their public buildings and spaces and would never think to do as we Americans do: drop our garbage at our feet and walk away, assuming someone else will clean up after us. Something to think about the next time you're at a game or a movie or, for heaven's sake, the beach.

Mark RyanSunland

Great cinema still popular, available

Re "Death of a cinema culture," Opinion, Aug. 5

As I am in my 50s, I qualify as being at an impressionable age during the 1970s boom in art house European cinema. Although I agree that Western European cinema has often devolved into simpering cigarette-imbued gabfests, Richard Schickel has missed the key shift in movies: The action for my generation is in the home theater and not in the multiplex.

In the 1970s, nontheatrical presentations occurred mostly on small, fuzzy screens, with programming determined by a few networks. Now, with the easy, on-demand availability of almost anything ever filmed, older viewers can easily enjoy offerings from South Korea, South Africa and Ireland, to name a few contributors that continue to make superb, genre-bending offerings that emphasize writing, acting and storytelling rather than celebrity and effects. I am disappointed that Schickel has not credited Kim Ki-Duk, Im Kwon-taek and Gavin Hood with continuing the tradition of Antonioni, Fellini and Godard.

Jonathan KaunitzLos Angeles

Yes, it was a wonderful life, and I suppose those of us who lived in New York in the '60s -- and rarely thought of going to a "Hollywood" movie -- were privileged indeed. But a cult? What a revelation, when all this time I thought the whole world was watching Bergman, Antonioni and the rest along with us.

Madeline PorterCosta Mesa

Alaska criticism leaves them cold

Re "Alaska's addiction," editorial, Aug. 3

Your editorial refers to Alaskans as being "addicted to oil." I would suggest that you have it backward. Are drug pushers addicted to drugs? I thought it was the buyers who are. Alaskans are not the buyers of oil, they are the producers.

You disparage the citizens of Alaska for utilizing the natural resources with which they are blessed. We have done the same in the Lower 48 and, in fact, the world over. It enhances the standard of living for mankind, so why not do so?

Daniel D. BergerSouth Pasadena

Your editorial accuses Alaskans of being eager to trash their environment by drilling in a wildlife refuge. So what's the difference between that and California trashing its environment with unchecked, runaway development? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Frank Dayton Apple Valley, Calif.

Are the fans buying Bonds?

Re "Bonds slugs home run No. 756 to pass Aaron," Aug. 8

It's a sad day in baseball history as No. 756 flies over the outfield fence. Hank Aaron, who suffered through racism as he daily put forth tremendous effort to break the Babe's historic record, has seen his record broken by someone who allegedly cheated his way to the top.

Aaron cannot grant him respect or shake his hand; he can only feel great anger inside and sadness at the travesty that took place in San Francisco.

David BoothbyLos Angeles

Congratulations to Barry Bonds! Steroid use or not, breaking Aaron's record is commendable considering the number of fair pitches thrown to him.

Joyce McGrath LiebermanCamarillo

I'll acknowledge Bonds' accomplishment despite the allegations and the character flaws, but as a Dodgers fan I'll never cheer for him.

J.M. SchwartzSanta Clarita

So Bonds has broken the home run record. May baseball rest in peace.

Isaac RosenthalLos Angeles

Fishman's legacy

Re "Durable anchor fought TV fluff," obituary, Aug. 8

Hal Fishman was a mensch's mensch. He embodied the telling of the news itself, sooth-telling perhaps, over his 47 years as a broadcaster. Today his story is news. For tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, he is irreplaceable. All our yesterdays have seen many lighted fools and our present has seen more still. Fishman was none of those; he offered his own light and was no fool.

Fishman signified something resonant and real, an ethic of truth told from both heart and mind. The news of his death marks a sad day for L.A. and for all news media practitioners with integrity and a sense of duty to the public, the few who are left. Thanks for your legacy, Mr. Fishman. Fly free.

Eric Andrew PressLos Feliz

As a young reporter for the Belmont High School Sentinel in the early '70s, a fellow reporter and I spoke with Fishman as an assignment to interview an important Angeleno.

From his exuberant greeting to his career advice before we left his office, he treated us as colleagues -- answering and asking questions, both professional and personal, for nearly an hour. That wonderful afternoon has stayed with me these last 30-plus years and has become an often-told story within my family and to friends.

Claudia ParrasLakewood

Tin ears at the GOP debate

Re "In battle of words, GOP hopefuls keep gloves on," Aug. 6

What a grand day. With the exception of one minor candidate, all the Republican candidates for president wish us to stay in Iraq. This of course suggests that when these folks proclaim they are "pro-life," they are really saying the infants we conceive today will be available in 18 years to fight their wars of choice tomorrow.

Ah, the smell of "empire" and "emperor" -- what a combination. Something to think about on election day in 2008 .

Frank FerroneEl Cajon

I was disappointed that global poverty continues to be an issue that is not addressed -- neither by the debate prompts nor by any of the candidates. A presidential contender must step out in favor of acting against worldwide hunger and fulfilling the promises made by the United States in agreeing to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The American people are looking for a candidate who promises to take action.

Each candidate must take a closer look at America's current commitment to and potential for fighting starvation around the world and vocalize the importance of helping lift up the 1.2 billion people who live on less than $1 a day.

Catherine BantonLos Angeles

Sounding off about sonar

Re "Judge curbs Navy sonar," Aug. 7

If we can send men into space using simulators to prepare for the problems that may be encountered, why does the Navy need to risk the lives of our most precious ocean creatures doing actual real-time sonar exercises?

With the new wonders of computer technology, surely someone should be able to create programs to practice "crucial" sonar listening without sending dozens of ships, men and materials from several countries out to sea.

Nancy SmithLa Canada Flintridge

As someone with several friends and relatives in the Navy, I must take the opposite view of the federal judge who ruled against the use of active sonar. With adversaries such as Iran and North Korea using quiet diesel subs, every tool in the submarine hunter's arsenal must be employed.

One wonders if the environmental groups suing the Navy are more concerned with a few whales than with the lives of the sailors protecting the environmental groups' right to sue.

If a ship is sunk as a result of the Navy not being able to use this sonar, then the environmentalists are just as much to blame as the enemy sub's skipper.

Matt WiserAuberry, Calif.

What a gift

Re "Muslim's gift of a kidney gives new lease on life to Christian," Aug. 8

Finally we have a story that aggrandizes the shared values of Christian and Muslim communities. Both the Koran and the Bible emphasize giving to the less fortunate. Hooshang Torabi has given an ultimate gift. He is a true "Good Samaritan." The Times did both communities a great service with this story. God-Allah bless Hooshang Torabi and Gaston Gonzalez.

C.M. MagallanesPasadena

Good for a laugh

Re "Aliens Kill Weekly World News!" Opinion, Aug. 5

I just wanted to add my favorite Weekly World News headline to the list: "Adolf Hitler Is Back, and This Time It's No More Mr. Nice Guy."

Richard HarrisLos Angeles

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