Readers React
Letters to the editor and readers' opinions.
Motorists shouldn't need Waze to drive safely

To the editor: I find it very unsettling to read that the Waze traffic app is beloved by so many because "people may drive better if they know a police officer is around"; "most users drive more carefully when they believe law enforcement is nearby"; "it's a warning to slow down and avoid a speeding ticket"; and because it helps avoid speed traps. ("L.A. police chief goes public with concerns over Google Waze app," Jan. 28)

Frankly, I'm appalled that so many people don't just simply observe the speed limits and drive safely — because it is the safe and legal thing to do. Are all these people routinely bad and unsafe drivers unless they think they will get caught?

Jane Diamond, Sherman Oaks

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To the editor: That Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck calls for a "dialogue" about the popular Waze app because of a single (though horrible) incident in New York that didn't even involve the use of the app prompts all kinds of questions.

What about the hundreds of lives saved when...

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CSU, the easy way to boost graduation rates is the wrong way

To the editor: There are easy ways to attain the California State University system's stated goal of more graduates: increase pass rates in classes, reduce breadth requirements for a degree and make more classes available online. ("Cal State chancellor sets goals for improved graduation rates," Jan. 27)

Then there is the right way, which promotes what the real goal of the CSU system should be: to produce more and better-educated graduates. This can be done by reducing class size, preparing students for college more effectively in high school and upgrading facilities.

The easy ways have the added benefit of reducing costs. The right way costs money in the short term, but in the long run it is the more beneficial option.

Let me hazard a guess: We're going to hear a lot of arguments by politicians and college administrators in favor of easy ways to produce more graduates.

James D. Stein, Redondo Beach

The writer is a lecturer in the mathematics department at Cal State Long Beach.

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To...

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Americans have short memories on gun violence

To the editor: It is interesting that an article about a restaurant in Rifle, Colo., where waitresses carry guns, is featured on a page before an article on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. ("At Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colo., servers carry pistols as they work," Jan. 28)

It is vitally important that we remember what happened to all the victims of the Holocaust, but we in the U.S. can't seem to remember the children and adults we have recently lost to guns. While the proponents of open carry feel protected by their right to bear arms, for the rest of us it is a more dangerous world when more and more people feel they must have a gun to feel safe and when the most popular film locally is "American Sniper."

We don't find it cute that the gun culture is glorified in The Times.

Elaine Mirsky, Santa Monica

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion

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Angels Flight vs. California's bullet train

To the editor: In 1936, I rode the Angels Flight railway from Hill street to the top of Bunker Hill; the fare was 5 cents. ("He's inclined to believe Angels Flight will get back on track," Jan. 27)

Short of funds, one day I decided to save the nickel and walk the steps alongside Angels Flight. What looked like a short walk up some stairs was a long, steep, breath-consuming hike.

At my current age of 101, doing that walk is unthinkable.

Considering the need, my bet on which railway will be up and running first, Angels Flight or the bullet train, is on Angels Flight.

Morrie Markoff, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I think if the European Space Agency can land an object (the Philae probe) on a comet more than 300 million miles away from Earth, traveling at thousands of miles per hour, then we Americans should be able to figure out how to get the funicular at Angels Flight running so it can make its 298-foot journey up Bunker Hill.

Just saying.

Shari O'Connell, Santa Monica

Follow the...

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Foie gras ducks deserve their day in court

To the editor: I'm thankful for Bruce Friedrich's spot-on analysis of the federal court-ordered overturning of California's foie gras ban. ("Foie gras is a product of cruelty," Op-Ed, Jan. 27)

As foie gras gained notoriety for being one of the cruelest yet most expensive foods, it also began to be banned around the globe. To date, Israel, Argentina and many countries in Europe ban the practice of force-feeding ducks to produce foie gras, and we were wise to do it here in California.

The federal judge's reasoning likely won't hold up in a higher court, but to get there we first need California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris to appeal this poor decision. Hopefully, the ducks will have their day in court.

Kimberly Moffatt, Valley Village

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To the editor: Thank you for publishing Friedrich's informative op-ed article.

Our neighborhood paper in Pacific Palisades ran a story announcing, with glee, that foie gras was returning to our local French restaurant. It made me want to put my ocean-view...

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Vaccine skeptics are in denial

To the editor: My child is a student at Waldorf School of Orange County, and it's unbelievable that 41% of kindergartners started the school year unvaccinated. Just recently a Waldorf parent told me that no one is talking about the measles epidemic — not one conversation. ("Once easily recognized, signs of measles now elude young doctors," Jan. 26)

Maybe as a society we value a dog's life more than a human life.

All dogs in California that are 4 months or older are legally required to be vaccinated for rabies. A law enacted in 2011 allows an exemption for the rabies shot if the dog has existing medical conditions that would further deteriorate its health but requires that the animal be confined to the owner's home or be kept on a short leash when away from home.

In contrast, a parent of a human child may sign a paper claiming a belief exemption from all vaccinations. Wow.

Gina Piazza, Costa Mesa

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To the editor: I do not dispute the value of vaccines, and all my children were...

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