Letters: Add New Salem, Ill., to Abraham Lincoln's stops

It's incredible that the story "They're All Players in Lincoln's Story" [April 12], a collection of places associated with Abraham Lincoln, managed to omit Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site in Illinois, 22 miles northwest of Springfield and re-created on the site of the original New Salem, where Lincoln lived from 1831 to 1837.

During his time living in that frontier village, he was a general store owner, a soldier in the Black Hawk War, a postmaster and a surveyor. It was there that he was first elected to the Illinois state assembly.


As a bachelor who didn't own a home, he boarded for a time with my great-great-great-grandparents, Isaac and Susan Burner. Even then he was highly regarded by his fellow villagers.

During the summer of 2006 our family was delighted to attend the first-ever Descendants Reunion at New Salem. Before that the eyes of my sons would too often glaze over when I mentioned family history. They were so taken with their visit to the village and to the Burner cabin that they returned to visit a second day.

Pamela Jameson Boehr


I must respectfully disagree with the conclusions contained in Catharine Hamm's "On the Spot" article ["Making Noise Over a Hotel's Omission," April 12] that there is little a guest can do when a hotel or travel provider fails in advance to advise a guest of material changes or differences in the accommodation or facility.

As an attorney, I can, with certainty, state that the failure to relate a material fact is as much a misrepresentation as if a blatant lie had been told. A traveler has the right to expect that a hotel will not be under construction. There is a duty to speak on the part of the agent for the facility and, if they fail to do so, it is actionable.

I sued and recovered a judgment against a cruise line for not indicating in advance that over 60% of the ship was part of a rock band celebration and the resulting inconveniences that stemmed from that clientele.

Also, I traveled to a hotel and, upon entering the lobby, saw a sign that read "construction in progress." It was too late to cancel the reservation and fly back home. The hotel accepted the responsibility it owed me for not telling me in advance of this circumstance. I do agree, however, that whatever complaint the traveler might have should be made before payment is required, for that is where the real leverage lies. In short, "buyer beware" can only apply when all of the facts are disclosed to him or her.

Barry S. Rubin

Beverly Hills

The use of the term "adventure travel" in the L.A. Times Travel section cruise column of April 5 is the broadest I have ever encountered ["The Big Business of Adventure" by Rosemary McClure]. In my opinion, a couple of shore excursions to walk a trail or swim with sharks or fly over a glacier does not constitute adventure travel.

Taking an expedition ship to Antarctica, the Arctic, remote Alaska (not the overrun tourist towns of southeast Alaska in summer), the Galapagos or the Gulf of California qualifies, but it is not just the destination that warrants the label of adventure travel any more than riding the jungle ride at Disneyland qualifies.

Bob Callahan

Newport Beach


The emphasis of the April 12 "More for Your Money" article by Eric Rosen ["Parents' Lap Isn't a Free Seat"] was on cost. What is your child's life worth? That is the true cost. Would you drive in a car with your child on your lap?

Although air travel is many times safer than auto travel, when there is an incident, be it turbulence or an accident, it can happen in an instant, without time to safely secure your child. And it is almost impossible to safely hold on to a child when faced with a high-velocity emergency.

Many car seats can be used onboard planes, which also provides the advantage of having it with you at your destination.

For more information on this issue, please go to, which provides all the information on why airlines don't endorse child safety seats legislation, but why it is so critical when planning travel with a child younger than 2 years of age.

Mary K. Dana

Manhattan Beach