One-House System

The California Legislature costs $135.7 million annually. A unicameral legislature, such as in Nebraska, could effect a saving of $45 million to $50 million, as a conservative estimate.

Thanks for the excellent story by Charles Hillinger ("The Cornhusker State Put Its House in Order," Feb. 17). As a former Nebraska lobbyist, I can confirm all the values of the one-house legislature, which he describes. After nearly 50 years, Nebraska would not think of returning to the old two-house legislature.

There is one additional value (of the one-house legislature). The late Sen. George W. Norris pointed out that with two houses the final legislation is actually written in secret by a "third house"--the conference committee. It often adjusts, rewrites, changes the bills passed by the Senate and Assembly. In the unicameral legislature the final passage is open, on the floor and represents the will of the body. Senators in a California unicameral, say 99 in number, would hold more responsible, dignified, prestigious positions than the present secondary roles.

Let's revive the proposal. Is it too novel a reform for California?



Women at Claremont

Regarding People in View (March 1): Until very recently Claremont McKenna College was not named Claremont McKenna College at all. It was called Claremont Men's College, and as such could claim few, if any, women students.

For that reason, it would seem that the real news in the story about three CMC students being granted scholarships to attend Oxford is that two of those students are young women.



Memories of the DC-3

After reading Paul Dean's article on the Douglas DC-3 ("Lots of Love Lavished on Low-Tech DC-3," Feb. 24), I recalled the time the British army liberated us from a large prisoner-of-war camp near Fallingbostel, Germany. This was about April, 1945. The American prisoners were loaded aboard a DC-3 and flown to Brussels, Belgium. We sat side by side in bucket seats, looked down on German towns and rivers, and wondered about German fighters (the war was still on). I went over on the Queen Elizabeth, traveled across France on the "Red Ball Express," rode German trains, heard wartime German broadcasts of Bing Crosby singing "Blue Skies," and saw Tiger tanks and V-1 rockets in action--but that DC-3 ride across war-torn Germany was the greatest experience of them all.


Los Angeles

Your article about the DC-3 (or C-47) in Feb. 24 issue of The Times--terrific.

I know space didn't permit you to expand on all the attributes of this marvelous bird or cover enough of the unbelievable stories of its exploits. Having spent many hours in the Gooney Bird in Korea, I wish you had given a few more lines to the C-47's role and the men who flew them during the Korean War. Flare drops on enemy troop concentrations at night, mysterious parachute drops up in North Korea, propaganda leaflets dropped on North Korean and Chinese ground personnel and more. . . .

But that was long ago.

Thanks for the memory.


Woodland Hills

Mediation for All

The article "Divorce Mediation and a Comforting Dose of Religion" (by Elenita Ravicz, March 1) presents an excellent overview of how divorce mediation helps families and children cope with the stresses of divorce.

We would like to clarify that Jewish Family Service's fees for mediation are based on the family's ability to pay, and that the fees quoted in the article are very general, and do not reflect the flexibility with which we approach each family's special circumstances. The agency is dedicated to working with people of all incomes.


Director of Professional Services


Coordinator, Divorce Mediation Program

The article on LAPD Officer Adrienne Doyle ("Survival in the '80s" by Marshall Berges, Feb. 10) was especially interesting to parents like us who have had children in her class. She is a remarkable teacher. Our daughter would come home not with scare stories, but with solid facts about drugs and their use. I can honestly say that the likelihood of my daughter ever using drugs is small indeed. Officer Doyle was like the neighborhood cop-on-the-beat in my childhood--something you just don't see much of these days.

It was sad to hear that she was called a "squint" just because she wanted to learn and know more. It reflects poorly on the entire department when this is the attitude of the officers.


Pacific Palisades

Return of Gold Rush

The story "The Gold Rush May Be On Again" (Dec. 14) by William Murphy has really stuffed my Post Office box with mail. I have received letters from all over the U.S., small towns in Pennsylvania and New York as well as the Midwest. Most of the letters were from people who thought all the gold was gone, said they have wanted to pan for gold since they were kids and they are now coming to California to do it.



Battered-Women Shelters

The article by Anna Nolen Rahman recounting her experiences in a shelter for battered women contains many inaccuracies that we feel impelled to correct ("A Closed Mind Begins Its Reopening," Feb. 24). Rahman gives a false impression of shelters as a whole, which may do disservice to abused women who need help and will be deterred by the false report of shelter staff as "anti-male," suggesting that women are better off without men. Not only do we as professionals disavow, but it has never been our policy, officially or unofficially, to offer such counsel to women.

The director of the shelter never stated that placing a male on the shelter's board of directors would be equivalent to "prostituting ourselves." Not only was this phrase not used, but several arguments were advanced to support the positive aspects of having men on the board.

Our basic shelter philosophy is to rebuild self-esteem in abused women, thus enabling them to make their own decisions, including whether or not to return to a relationship. Regardless of what the woman chooses to do, counseling for the batterer is available.

We do not believe that women are better off without men--only that they have an innate right to a violence-free relationship.



Rao is executive director and Rotbart counseling supervisor of a local shelter for victims of domestic violence.

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