Readers React
Letters to the editor and readers' opinions.
To address big traffic problems, think small

To the editor: Several articles over the last week have made clear that sometimes smaller, practical approaches to the ever-present traffic issues in Los Angeles work better than costly bureaucratic solutions. ("Lack of parking drives many away from mass transit," Oct. 21)

The article on Metro rail stations not having enough parking spaces for all the people who want to commute via train, and the adjacent graphic on a proposed

$5.4-billion tunnel to close the five-mile 710 Freeway gap, were astounding. By contrast, Wednesday's front-page piece on the city of Glendale working with local businesses to provide van pools as a business perk was inspiring.

Finding ways to reduce traffic and pollution instead of creating more freeways is the direction we should all be heading, and the state should get on board.

Kathryn Jaeger, South Pasadena

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To the editor: The article notes the lack of free parking at transit stations that keeps many commuters on the freeways. The "obvious solution" is...

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Real democracies don't discourage voting

To the editor: Americans like to brag about our democracy and the right of our citizens to vote. However, from the beginning of our country, voting rights were restricted. Initially, only white men who were property owners could vote. ("High court action on Texas ID law shows mixed record on voting rights," Oct. 18)

Over the next 200 years, voting rights were expanded to all men, plus women, blacks and other minorities. Historically, there have always been groups who have fought this expansion, using devices such as poll taxes. We are currently experiencing new ways to restrict voting, such as photo ID laws, which unfairly target minorities, and cutting back on early voter periods.

I have yet to see a study that shows there is widespread voter fraud, yet laws targeting this "abuse" continue to be passed. There can be only one reason: to make it more difficult for certain segments of society to vote.

If our country is truly a democracy with the right for all to vote that we love to talk...

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Nearly all mass shooters are men. Why is that?

To the editor: Articles on mass shooters rarely explore why they are almost always men. I have a doctorate in psychology and two published books on the subject, including a study of the difference between patrilineal and matrilineal societies and their different personality outcomes. ("America's mass-shootings epidemic," Op-Ed, Oct. 19)

Patriarchy, or "machismo," permits and even promotes violent behavior. Boys are "cast out" of the nest at an early age for fear of their being feminized. A boy is taught to not cry, to be a "little man."

Compare that with girls, who can wear jeans, climb trees and even learn to be engineers. There's no pressure to be a "little lady" anymore.

There's great freedom for girls but repressive pressure on boys. Many males do not handle this pressure well and feel isolated and rejected and have a need to "get even."

June Stephenson, Rancho Mirage

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To the editor: Mark Follman is technically correct, but he still misleads us when he writes that gun violence...

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Deal with mansionization in L.A. -- now

To the editor: One homeowner is quoted as saying, "It's not that anybody wants to purposely rob people of light and air and sun." True, but there is an apparent callous indifference by those who build oversized mansions. As long as they end up the beneficiaries of someone else's light, air and privacy, who cares, right? ("Neighborhood frustration grows as mansionization continues in L.A.," Oct. 22)

There seems to be a complete disregard for anyone else as they live out their "bigger is better" lifestyle regardless of the consequences to their neighbors. It basically is legalized theft by those who have no understanding of community and don't care as long as they get what they want.

You cannot legislate civility and polite consideration. However, the rules can be amended to prevent oversized home construction. Closing loopholes and tightening rules, as proposed by L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz, would be a good start.

Unfortunately, city politicians drag their feet while this issue...

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Daniele Watts charged with lewd conduct: Revenge or reasonable?

Race or retaliation: What motivated both the initial police stop of and the ensuing misdemeanor charges against actress Daniele Watts?

These questions have dominated the comments surrounding Tuesday's story about misdemeanor lewd-conduct charges being filed against Watts and her boyfriend, Brian Lucas.

If you recall, there was quite a response across social media and traditional media after Watts wrote on her Facebook page about last month's encounter, casting it as having been motivated by racial prejudice -- she is black and her boyfriend is white. However, as the story progressed, with the release of an audio recording of the exchange with officers, public support began to shift somewhat and community leaders who spoke publicly on her behalf transitioned to reprimanding her for crying racial-profiling wolf. 

The response from latimes.com readers continues to be passionately mixed now that the city attorney's office has filed charges against the couple, with some continuing to...

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How to encourage drivers to get out of their cars

To the editor: While I agree we don't need a "war on motorists," we do need to prod drivers into abandoning their cars. Otherwise, they just won't do it. ("Sharing the roads in L.A.," Editorial, Oct. 19)

Lowering our dependence on foreign oil or stopping global warming just won't motivate most motorists. We need to hit people in the areas that matter most: time and money. This is accomplished by making driving less attractive and making alternative forms more cost-effective, time-saving and convenient.

Bus lanes, bikeways, gas taxes, higher parking costs, one-way streets and other measures make driving less attractive. Buses that move, bikeways that are safe and public transportation that goes where you need it for a reasonable fee are all ways to tip the scale.

Yes, the majority of citizens are still drivers. And if we go with the majority instead of leading, we will never get people out of their cars.

Andrew Tilles, Studio City

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To the editor: I found your editorial on San...

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