Readers React
Letters to the editor and readers' opinions.
What's LAUSD doing with ex-military weapons?

To the editor: Los Angeles Unified school police will return three grenade launchers provided by the federal government but will keep the 61 semiautomatic M-16 rifles and a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle. ("L.A. schools police will return grenade launchers but keep rifles, armored vehicle," Sept. 16)

Am I the only one who questions why the school district needs any of this? An emergency 911 call will bring L.A. city police officers or county sheriff's deputies to the scene; these people are better equipped than school police to handle shootings or hostage situations.

The "breakfast in the classroom" program that wastes so much food, the glitchy multimillion-dollar computer payroll system, the iPad program that has had legal, ethical and financial issues from the beginning, and now military-grade weapons: It's enough to make one wonder if anyone is really in charge.

Perhaps the LAUSD is too big to manage.

Edward Schaack, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I would really like...

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A minimum-wage boost for L.A.: pro and con

To the editor: The Times' desire that a minimum wage job be a steppingstone is laudable but echoes a perspective that is out of touch with reality and has helped keep the minimum wage from rising for far too long. ("A higher minimum wage makes sense for L.A., but it's no cure-all," Editorial, Sept. 14)

Fortunately, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti is more firmly grounded in reality, a reality where the average minimum wage earner is older than 30 and earns half his family's income. The mayor probably understands that there are no cure-alls to be found, so instead he realistically has a job-creating agenda of improving energy efficiency, providing job training and improving educational opportunities, along with much of the laundry list of non-cure-all items that The Times listed.

Yes, the mayor's plan to raise the minimum wage does make sense.

David Greene, San Pedro

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To the editor: The call for a minimum wage hike by Garcetti and others in the formerly Golden State is perfectly predictable....

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'Rescue' groups take a homeless man's dogs

To the editor: Gerrick Miller, a homeless man in Los Angeles with a dog he cherishes, finds himself with 11 puppies, problem enough for any dog owner for sure. ("Hounding a homeless man into giving up his dogs," Sept. 15)

But in thunders the cavalry of busybodies from the "rescue" groups. Without proper investigation, they sling phrases like "puppy mill" and "serious problems," even though these have nothing to do with Miller's situation.

Rescue groups make a huge contribution to animal welfare, no doubt, but so often they are hijacked by self-appointed scolds like the ones after Miller who set out to berate people they don't like, regardless of the actual circumstances.

I know many homeless people with dogs, and every one of them takes perfectly wonderful care of their wards, whom they love unconditionally. But they haven't the clout to combat the fact-challenged do-gooders on the march.

Bob Burket, Santa Monica

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To the editor: I'm sorry Miller has been dealt so many bad hands by...

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The school board is the boss, like it or not

To the editor: Over several decades in the Los Angeles Unified School District — serving as a teacher, principal and in several administrative assignments — I learned to appreciate the difficulty of the superintendent's job. ("Bickering between L.A. Unified leaders won't make schools better," Editorial, Sept. 15)

I was fortunate to have worked closely with a number of superintendents. Some were superior, some were good and some not so much. But there was one thing all these individuals had in common: They understood that their boss was the seven-member Board of Education that hired them.

Board members can be fickle, vague, driven by external political and financial forces, uninformed in their understanding of critical issues, micromanagers, egotistical and at times even dishonest in dealing with their key employee, the superintendent.

But the one thing that all the superintendents I knew and worked for realized was that they had to work with all the board members to be successful....

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Soldiers are real people, not 'boots on the ground'

To the editor: I don't know how many times we hear "boots on the ground" from our "leaders" and now from the media. This is a term they use to numb us or dumb us down as to the risks of war and loss of life. A few boots here and there, who cares? ("Caveats to Obama's rule against 'combat mission' in Iraq, Syria," Sept. 17)

Do we ever hear, "We are going to put some of our young men and women in harm's way"?

These are soldiers, some of whom will be maimed and killed. These are young people with families and futures. Let's say it like it is.

Gary Philips, Costa Mesa

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion

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Cyclists get more rights. What about their responsibilities?

To the editor: As a law-abiding driver and former cyclist, I will give bike riders their newly state-mandated three-foot buffer zone. ("3-foot buffer zones for cyclists to take effect across California," Sept. 15)

But in return, I want the cyclist to follow these rules, several of which are in fact laws:

Ride with the flow of auto traffic and not against it. (I cannot tell you how many times I almost hit a cyclist when I was looking to the left at oncoming traffic and they were coming from the right.)

Ride in single file and not as a pair or as a pack of riders.

Ride close to the curb and not in the middle of the traffic lane.

Stop for stop signs and obey all traffic signals.

And finally, do not ride on the sidewalks.

Jan Book, Marina del Rey

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To the editor: I'm all for safer cycling, as I used to bike commute to UCLA and just had a friend on a bicycle injured when a driver pulled out in front of him.

But as a driver in L.A.'s traffic, I hope that the police are equally as vigilant...

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Rationalizing Israeli injustice against Palestinians

To the editor: Yossi Klein Halevi acknowledges that "Israel's long-term survival depends on ending the occupation" and that "the Jews didn't come home to deny another people its sense of home." ("How do Israelis cope?," Op-Ed, Sept. 12)

Indeed, Halevi's self-righteous reflections on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Israel portrayed as the innocent, well-intentioned victim besieged by pathological Palestinian jihadists, serves as a rationalization for the apartheid-like policies of the Israeli government.

Apparently, Israel has no choice but to continue to occupy the West Bank, blockade the Gaza Strip and deny the right of return to the thousands of dispossessed Palestinians whose lands have been expropriated by the illegal settlers' movement currently endorsed by the Israeli government.

While Halevi agonizes over an inconvenient sense of discomfort at the prospect of Palestinian statehood, he finds no cause to despair over the Israeli military's well-documented human rights...

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America's state of permanent war

To the editor: I always read Andrew J. Bacevich's columns with the expectation that his insights and intellectual courage will be vividly on display. I have no argument with his "whack-a-mole" metaphor concerning the Middle East or his doubts about the efficacy of President Obama's "comprehensive policy" on fighting Islamic State. ("Obama's strategy against Islamic State? Whack-a-mole," Op-Ed, Sept. 15)

But I wonder if his conclusion, that that we are on the verge of "accepting permanent war as inevitable," isn't a ship that's already sailed. This nation has been at war for the past half-century.

The policy against Islamic State is not designed to succeed; it is designed as a demonstration of American power projection. I learned that, ironically, from reading Professor Bacevich's many astute and provocative books.

David DiLeo, San Clemente

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To the editor: Just as European peace has grown out of a detente between Christian religious sects, a healing of the rift between Shiite and...

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Chiropractors who sell 'cures' for diabetes

To the editor: I think David Lazarus shows some intestinal fortitude in writing this column, given that his employer (The Times) is deriving advertising revenue from one of the very advertisements Lazarus cites. ("A cure for diabetes? Don't look to chiropractors, state says," Column, Sept. 15)

I direct readers' attention to an ad in the front section of the same edition as Lazarus' column that offers a "free gourmet dinner" to those who attend a chiropractor's pitch for treating diabetes.

Lazarus is doing the right thing in exposing these scams, even if it means biting the hand that feeds him. Is The Times doing likewise by accepting this ad for publication? Not so much.

Jon Rowe, Costa Mesa

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To the editor: I am a doctor of chiropractic and have been for more than 20 years. I provide personalized, one-on-one care to my patients.

When I see the ads Lazarus is referring to in your newspaper placed by other chiropractors, it makes me grieve for my profession.

Chris A. Johnson, Santa...

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What do Rod Wright's constituents think?

To the editor: I served with state Sen. Roderick D. Wright (D-Inglewood) for three years in the Legislature and found him to be the kind of thoughtful, bipartisan gentleman that Sacramento sorely needs. He served the Legislature with distinction, treated his colleagues with respect and served his constituents well. ("Sen. Wright to resign Sept. 22, start sentence Oct. 31," Sept. 15)

Despite what's happend with Wright, his constituents would likely reelect him overwhelmingly if given the chance. 

Chris Norby, Fullerton

The writer, a Republican, was a member of the Assembly from 2010 to 2012.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion

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Daniele Watts got what she deserved from police

To the editor: The police have such an incredibly hard job. Every day, they put their lives on the line, something that most of us aren't willing to do. ("LAPD investigates officers' conduct in detention of actress," Sept. 14)

When officers responded to a call of indecent conduct, they were not picking on actress Daniele Watts or her boyfriend; they were simply responding to a complaint. When police asked for her identification — which they have the right to do — had Watts been respectful and just shown it to the officer, the situation never would have escalated as it did.

But Watts chose to be confrontational and, I believe, deserved the treatment she got.

Judy Winick, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I would like the police to cite the code section under which a citizen is required to produce a government-issued photo identification upon police demand. I am unaware of this requirement except in certain situations like driving a motor vehicle.

When walking, I do not carry a...

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How drought-friendly are swimming pools?

To the editor: This article told two important stories: First, pools consume somewhat less water than a traditional lawn of the same size, and second, covered pools cut water evaporation by nearly half.

Had the headline read "Use of pool covers reduces water use by close to half," pool owners might have been motivated to make the investment and effort necessary to produce this badly needed water savings.

Instead, The Times focused on the first story and declared that "pools aren't a big problem." Thus this paper of mass circulation missed an important opportunity to contribute to the cause of water conservation, one of the pivotal issues of our time. ("Water agencies are learning pools aren't a big factor during drought," Sept. 12)

Roger Schwarz, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I walk the two-mile path around the Brentwood Country Club daily. It's a beautiful walk, the path ringed with eucalyptus trees and surrounded by impressive homes with large, lush frontyards and with refreshing...

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