* Recently in the mail, I received my renewal membership materials form the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.

I began taking my now 11-year-old son to the museum when he was 4. We have been official members since 1989. For the last two years, I have held a patron-level membership. As a single mother on a tight budget, this is a major expenditure; however, considering the educational benefits my son and I have reaped from the museum, I have always seen it as a wise investment.

When the media has reported fiscal troubles and possible county cutbacks that would threaten my beloved museum, I have written letters to the supervisors, appealing for their mercy on the museum's behalf. For every time my son and I visit the museum, we truly feel at home, like we "own the place," at least in a small way.

So now, we hear that Marcus Rodriguez and two assistants are accused of embezzling over $2 million of our money--and possibly some artifacts (July 13)!

I'm continuing my support of the museum in any way possible, and increasing it if I can do so. The crooks in this matter cannot be allowed to feel any sort of victory.



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