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Readers React Letters to the editor and readers' opinions.
L.A. Unified's ill-advised axing of successful preschool program

To the editor: Although The Times published nice photos of children in a School Readiness Language Development Program at Dorris Place Elementary School, the message about the dim future of this quality Los Angeles Unified School District program was buried in the middle of the article. ("Programs aim to boost preschool educations for low-income children," May 26)

Despite the fact that good preschool programs are few in California (especially in neighborhoods with lower-income families) and that our president has called for additional money to be spent on preschool education, L.A. Unified can't find the dollars to continue this program that has guided parents and children for more than 30 years. The district has been chipping away at this program for years; now it proposes to dismantle it altogether.

Your article says 8,000 letters in support of the program have been written. Too bad your article did not lead with that fact and stress the poor choice district leaders are making when research...

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NFL teams get assist from Goldman Sachs in dodging taxes

To the editor: The article quotes a sports economist who says the way investment bank Goldman Sachs structures deals to build stadiums like the one proposed for the NFL in Carson — by creating a public authority — saves the teams perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars by avoiding property and sales taxes. ("In stadium financing game, Goldman Sachs dominates," May 23)

Why is this business scheme allowed when California cities and the state need this tax money to repair infrastructure and so much more? These teams certainly depend upon this infrastructure for the people to get to the stadium.

Regularly we read reports of broken sidewalks resulting in huge payouts to people who get injured falling. These sport teams provide mostly minimum-wage jobs while all the athletes and their owners make millions.

As a taxpayer who loves this state, I am tired of reading about all these business ventures that avoid taxes. To paraphrase Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., taxes are the price we pay to live in...

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College feminists deserve praise, not scorn

To the editor: Why is Meghan Daum so skeptical of feminists who are trying to shed light on chronic sexual harassment and rape on college campuses? Young women who share their painful stories of rape and trauma should be praised for their courage; their supporters should not be seen as "ignorant of the big picture." ("Time for young feminists to look beyond the mattress and campus rape," op-ed, May 26)

I believe that Emma Sulkowicz (Columbia University's "Mattress Girl") profoundly understands the big picture. Her performance art is generating so much attention because the image of a young woman carrying a mattress on her back is a universal symbol of oppression, reflecting all victims of sexual violence and trauma, including the victims of Boko Haram.

I have an answer to Daum's question, "Why, when there is so much serious work to be done, does this new generation of feminists only look inward instead of out at the big world?" Looking inward allows one to have clarity and strength, qualities...

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As long as he stays in Russia, Snowden's a traitor

To the editor: Lest anyone think based upon one letter writer's opinion that Edward Snowden "should be invited to return to his home and receive the recognition and acclaim he has earned" is a notion shared by all, I for one strongly disagree with the tenor of his letter.

However, I do believe the part of the letter that suggests Snowden return to the homeland he betrayed is valid.

I recognize there is a fine line between being a whistle-blower and a traitor. A whistle-blower states his case and faces the consequences; a person who releases classified information that he swore to protect and then hides in an enemy country is a coward and a traitor.

I am willing to wait until Snowden returns and has his day in court before it is decided whether he is a hero or a traitor. But as long as he hides in a foreign country, I will judge him to be a traitor, not a hero.

Jim Higgins, Huntington Beach

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For these parents, 'what if your kid is transgender?' isn't hypothetical

Last week, UCLA geneticist and pediatrician Eric Vilain and Northwestern University psychologist Michael Bailey took to The Times' Op-Ed page to discuss the development of transgender and gender dysphoric youths. As the headline suggests, their piece was novel in that it was directed at the parents of children who express discomfort with the gender assigned to them at birth; it read, "What should you do if your son says he's a girl?"

Most of the roughly two dozen people who responded were experts in the field -- clinicians, researchers and professors -- who disagreed sharply with Vilain's and Bailey's conclusion that more research needs to be done on transgender and gender dysphoric children before someone like President Obama condemns (as he has) so-called conversion therapy for not just lesbian and gay youths, but also for young people who identify as transgender. Two letters -- one from a UC San Francisco psychiatry professor who sits on the board of the World Professional Assn. for...

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Immigration and the drought: How many newcomers can California tolerate?

To the editor: Apparently Stanford academic Victor Davis Hanson and his fellow travelers at Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) have stumbled onto the root cause of our drought: foreign-born immigrants. How foolish of the rest of us to think it was a lack of rain and snow. ("Group says California immigration policies contributed to drought," May 24)

If indeed foreign-born immigrants are the cause, I'd like to start the ball rolling to get these water-using moochers out of our state, starting with a few of the possibly most brazen.

First, Elon Musk: Finish packing that U-Haul, Sparky, you're out of here. Next, Gustavo Dudamel: Hey, Gus, is that a real baton or a cleverly disguised divining rod? And how about Ozzy Osbourne? Sorry Oz, even your wife Sharon can't get you out of this one.

Wait a minute. What's that? Hanson and CAPS don't mean these immigrants but those immigrants? As if we didn't know.

Robert Hight, Visalia


To the editor: "Blaming the drought on immigration...

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