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Readers React
Letters to the editor and readers' opinions.
Immigration inaction shouldn't keep Latinos from voting

To the editor: It took African Americans hundreds of years to gain their freedom. Still, to this day, young blacks are gunned down for walking down the street, playing music too loud or simply for asking for assistance. Legislation does not end the struggle. ("Latinos, angry with Obama, may sit out midterm vote, hurting Democrats," Oct. 20)

I understand the frustration that many Latinos feel with the perceived inaction of this president; his hands are tied. But if Latinos do not turn out in November, immigration reform would be dead on arrival with an anti-immigrant GOP controlling the Senate and the House.

If African Americans can wait, suffer and struggle for centuries, certainly others can do the same for another few weeks or months. Vote — because it is always darkest just before the dawn.

Eugene Sison, San Dimas

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To the editor: What immediately came to mind reading this article was the saying "cut off one's nose to spite one's face." It seems to me that's what the Latinos in...

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Let the market sort out TV winners and losers

To the editor: HBO and CBS recently announced plans to cut out the cable middleman and sell directly to the public. These deals pit them against traditional cable operators, which have bet big that consumers prefer a larger, "aggregated" bundle of programming and other services. ("Moves by HBO, CBS could be tipping point for a la carte pricing," Oct. 16)

But while this content middleman ("aggregator") role is under siege, the very same companies are being accused of being monopolistic "gatekeepers" by industry critics. The Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission are reviewing the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal and asking if there is real competition for consumers' eyeballs.

Well, right on cue, HBO decides to compete with the "aggregators" after decades of symbiosis, proving that competitive programming has many routes from soundstage to screen.

In fact, the most active competition in the digital space today is not for market share but for business models. Do...

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Why can't Metro rail cars be built by a U.S. company?

To the editor: On the same day The Times reported that Cal State Los Angeles was nearing a deal with its faculty union, Jim Newton wrote about Kinkisharyo International deciding to leave town and build rail cars for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority elsewhere because of a labor dispute. ("No winners in this MTA train wreck," Op-Ed, Oct. 19)

For years now, Metro has gone around the world to have someone else make the rail cars that we should be making here.

We have a great workforce that has built satellites and the best military planes in the world, and we have to go to Europe and Asia to find someone who can build rail cars?

Perhaps some of our wealthier folks who can find billions to throw away on overvalued sport teams would like to invest in this growing industry.

Metro should be speaking to private investors here in Southern California and let homegrown workers build the rail cars for our rail system.

Larry Margo, Valley Village

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How unfair was Whittier's at-large voting system?

To the editor: The editorial states that until recently, Whittier voters elected at-large City Council members rather than ones representing individual districts, and that this arrangement resulted in the Latino population being underrepresented. ("Whittier's voting system shift is better for Latinos, but not ideal," Editorial, Oct. 20)

While it makes sense that a district scheme is likely to result in more equitable City Council representation, I question the notion that the Latino population of Whittier has been "victimized" by the at-large system.

If "roughly half of the city's registered voters" are Latino, then by definition Latinos have more voting power than any other ethnic group, since the remaining half of the voters are split between white, black and Asian voters. If, under these circumstances, Latinos are still underrepresented, I suggest that they are not running viable candidates or are not voting in sufficient numbers.

With half the registered voters, Latinos are in the...

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Malibu more like Calabasas? That would be an improvement.

To the editor: My wife and I left Malibu for the same big-time negative stated by Rob Reiner. During the summer months we were prisoners in our home, thanks to Pacific Coast Highway traffic. We settled in Calabasas, where we have lived happily for the last 23 years. ("Malibu's royalty squabbles over growth," Oct. 18)

Considering the unseemly look of the many crowded homes lining PCH in Malibu and the once elaborate, multimillion-dollar city "park" (now sadly overgrown with dead grass and weeds), for proponents of a measure that would restrict development in Malibu to argue that "the most precious place on Earth could end up looking like Calabasas" is more than laughable. Calabasas is where hundreds of Malibu residents come to shop and dine.

Our downside: Too many who once longed for the muddy and polluted shores of Malibu now see the Pacific in their rear-view mirrors as they head "over the hill."

Wink Martindale, Calabasas

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To the editor: Why is there never a mention of the drought...

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Becoming an American: Why citizenship and not residency?

It isn't enough merely to legalize the millions of undocumented residents in this country, The Times' editorial board wrote in the latest installment of its series examining the meaning of citizenship in the U.S. today. Better, it said, would be to set these people on a pathway to citizenship, both for their good and for the good of our democracy. 

Not surprisingly, the reaction wasn't entirely favorable among our readers, many of whom bristle at calls to confer legal status on the undocumented or even to defer deportation for those brought here as children. Precisely because, as The Times wrote, citizenship carries with it the responsibilities of voting, serving on juries and other acts necessary to maintain our democracy, some of these readers say it shouldn't belong to those who arrive or stay in the U.S. by breaking its laws. Others doubt that merely calling people citizens wouldn't address the problems that comprehensive immigration reform sets out to fix.

More interesting (to me,...

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