Los Angeles Times

Mailbag: Building a new senior center is the will of the voters

Re: "How can a new senior center be justified," (May 15):

The justification is that the people voted in favor of the new senior center and its location in Huntington Beach Central Park.

Eight years ago, the Huntington Beach City Council voted to put Measure T on the November 2006 ballot. Measure T, authorizing the building of the new senior center in Central Park, was passed by voters in that election.

In regard to renovating the existing senior center, one has to understand that it consists of a pair of World War II-era buildings that have continuously been renovated over the past 60 years.

A consulting firm was hired by the city to study the need for and appropriate location of a new senior center. The current facility was looked at during that study and found to be lacking in several respects.

To enlarge that site to accommodate the ever-increasing senior population in Huntington Beach, the parking area would have suffered. That meant that underground parking would need to be constructed, adding many millions to the cost.

As for wasting money through the continued legal battle, again I cite the decision of the residents. In our democracy, the winning side of an election usually prevails. The opposition caused the city to defend the outcome of the election.

Robert O. Dettloff

Huntington Beach


Seniors have earned a decent center

I read with some dismay the scurrilous attack by some letter writers on the proposed new Huntington Beach Senior Center.

I also notice that some City Council candidates are strongly opposed to the center.

The most powerful argument in favor of a senior center being built in Huntington Beach Central Park is that the people voted for it. The financing of the center is not a difficult issue, since the bonds that will be sold will merely replace other bonds being retired. Thus, I see essentially little or no increase in city debt.

Many of us have viewed the new center as a humanitarian gesture to what has become known as The Greatest Generation. These folks weathered the Great Depression. They fought to victory in World War ll and Korea. Their fathers fought in World War l and their sons in Vietnam.

Many of these people have lost a spouse, so often their needed companionship is found at the senior center. The current facility is a World War ll-era rehabilitated building where the termites are holding hands to maintain it. The height of inhumanity came from a person who equated the need for an animal shelter with that of the senior center.

I view the new senior center as the perfect opportunity to honor those who gave their lives in war for the freedoms we enjoy. It should be named for those people.

On a personal note, as a newlywed I served in Korea for 15 months. Those who died in that conflict never saw their wives, sweethearts, children or parents again. I was lucky I came home. I cannot bring those veterans back but I sure can support a new senior center in their memory.

Ralph Bauer

Huntington Beach


Thanks for helping small-business owners

I want to thank Councilman Jim Katapodis for his opposition to a polystyrene ban. He understands the position of so many small-business owners like me.

In a day and age when costs have increased on pretty much everything, it is difficult for a small business to survive, much less make a decent profit. The ban on polystyrene would have hurt  my business, and I would probably be in a very dire situation. The ban would have forced  many of our local businesses to raise their prices.

As part of Huntington Beach for the past couple of decades, I am very proud to reside in this beautiful city. Katapodis cares about the community and its small businesses, which have helped make this city what it is today.

Lisa Chauv

Owner, Sweet O Donuts,

Huntington Beach


Rohrabacher hasn't gotten it right yet

I've always used Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's (R-Huntington Beach) positions on issues as a barometer: Just take the opposite tack and you'll be judged by history as correct.

Since we were students together at Cal State Long Beach in the late 1960s, Rohrabacher has always been on the wrong side of history. He was a strong supporter of the Vietnam War, although he didn't don the uniform himself. He worked for the election and reelection of Richard Nixon. How many people would be proud to have that on their resume? And he was active in characterizing the present-day Taliban as holy warriors in Afghanistan in the 1980's.

Now we find him on a House science committee, of all things — a reactionary who has total disregard for any and all scientific evidence of climate warming.

Rohrabacher has the advantage of being in a "safe" Republican district, but I call on all voters in the 48th District to vote their minds — anybody but Dana.

James Shoemaker

Seal Beach


Sterling's comments hurt everyone

Re: "Clippers' controversy hits close to home," May 8.

I'm a resident of Orange County, but my family and I are Minnesota natives, so naturally I've been a Timberwolves fan my whole life. However, the Donald Sterling controversy was very shocking to me, despite my not being a fan of the Clippers.

Even with my indifference toward the team, I could only feel sorry for the fans, players and staff of the Clippers organization. It's crazy how someone in control of a team in a league that is predominantly African American can make comments like these and still claim a stake in the team.

What's even more disappointing is the effect this has had on the players' skills. In the game immediately following the release of Sterling's comments, the team suffered a beat-down at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. And then right after Sterling said he would fight to keep a hold on the team, the Clips fell to the Thunder in a crucial game six that ended a great season, record-wise.

The Clippers losing when they hear something distressing from their owner once, one might say it's just a coincidence, but it happening twice? That surely is a sign of Sterling's comments directly affecting the players' quality of basketball playing. It's really a shame. 

I hope this gets sorted out and Sterling is kicked out sooner rather than later.  I also hope the ordeal sends a clear message to team owners in all major sports that racism will not be tolerated and that owners are not above the law when it comes to league rules.

Tyler Kohanek

Huntington Beach

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