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Letters to the editor

Abuse of the elderly

Re “Brutal mistreatment at retirement home alleged,” March 31

Baby boomers should be worried for themselves as well as their parents about nursing-home abuse.

With the cuts to education, the disintegrating economy and the lack of respect for elders in our crumbling society, how can we expect to face our “golden years” with any hope of dignity?

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Even a “high-end” facility is not above cutting corners; perhaps the healthcare bill should have covered regulating and monitoring these facilities a lot better, because so many baby boomers are headed there over the next few decades.

Linda Navroth

Culver City

Saving jobs with a shorter year

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Re “When less means more,” Editorial, March 31

The agreement between United Teachers Los Angeles and L.A. Unified to shorten the school year to save teacher jobs and stop class-size increases did not come out of thin air. In reality, it took months of hard work at the negotiation table.

This agreement negotiated by UTLA will bring stability to our schools. It’s what’s best for the students, and that is what UTLA is about. Next week, our 45,000 teachers and health and human services professionals will vote. They deserve recognition for the financial sacrifice they are about to consider.

We also must acknowledge that a shortened school year is not a long-term fix. Our schools have endured a heartbreaking series of cuts, and teachers should not be called on to help pay for a public education system that the state refuses to adequately fund.

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UTLA will keep fighting to ensure that L.A. Unified continues to reduce non-school expenses to minimize the impact cuts have on the classroom.

A.J. Duffy

Los Angeles

The writer is the president of UTLA.

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Rep. Harman on immigration

Re “Latino groups to release voting score card on immigration issues,” March 31

This article inaccurately characterized my record on immigration. I support comprehensive immigration reform and providing the 11 million undocumented immigrants already in our country a path toward earned legalization.

The article specifically cited two of seven immigration-related votes I cast in 2007 and 2009.

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One increased funding to combat benefits fraud and barred the federal government from hiring undocumented workers. The second required those living in federally funded public housing to establish their legal residency. Both reinforced existing laws. Many members of both parties voted the same way, and Democrats unanimously supported both underlying bills.

I am the daughter of immigrants. I know firsthand the struggles of the immigrant communities of the South Bay. And I will continue to work on overhauling our immigration policy to recognize the value and contributions of hardworking immigrants.

Jane Harman

Venice

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The writer is the Democratic congresswoman for the 36th District.

And the census count begins

Re “Census picture adds to the job picture when it counts,” April 2

When the Census 2010 form arrived at our home on March 30, we were very surprised, to say the least.

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We had already filled out and mailed the first form that had come earlier.

Had we decided to submit the second form, would our government even have known that it was a duplicate -- and therefore will the census results be accurate?

How much money is being wasted?

Beverly Adair

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Palm Springs

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In late March, the Census Bureau urged the public to report “today” who “lived” at their residence on April 1.

Isn’t it impossible to know in late March who “lived” at your house on April 1?

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Michael McNally

Walnut

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I don’t know that I want the Census Bureau to spend a lot of time and energy persuading people to register.

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If someone is so ill-informed that they do not understand the purpose of a census, or if someone is so paranoid about “big government” that they think this is some sort of communist conspiracy, then I am of the opinion they should not be encouraged to register.

It’s sort of my personal social Darwinist view that such people should not play a part in the democratic process.

Jerome Stoll

Irvine

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Rates, raises and the DWP

Re “L.A. Council votes to hike DWP rates,” March 31, and “We’ll pay now or pay later,” Opinion, March 29

Years ago, I thought “Chinatown” was just a good movie. Now I know it’s way more than that.

The DWP runs this city. In this horrible economic time, its workers get raises and we get to pay for them with rate increases. Nice work.

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Where’s the outrage? Where’s the City Council’s backbone?

Joyce Griffin

San Pedro

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Though the article by Greg Goldin may contain a few facts, he conveniently leaves out major reasons for the discontent among ratepayers.

First, the irresponsible raises approved by the City Council to DWP workers during a time of financial crisis for the city of Los Angeles; second, the surplus portion of the DWP budget that is returned to the city’s general budget -- money that should be used to either reduce rates or be spent on green energy. And finally, the reserve the DWP has in its bank account for a rainy day. That rainy day is here, and it’s pouring.

Carlos Ferreyra

Valley Glen

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As a city of Los Angeles employee outside of DWP and on mandatory furloughs, it is especially irksome that I and other city residents and personnel who are losing income as we struggle with the economic downturn will be forced to pay more for DWP rates.

You didn’t mention that the City Council recently authorized pay raises for DWP personnel. DWP employees were already earning higher salaries than other city workers and now earn even more. In view of that, bleeding city residents and workers for more money becomes truly appalling.

Richard French

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Studio City

Going where the oil is

Re “Drilling proposal a peace offering,” April 1

I must have missed the part of the announcement of new offshore oil drilling where it was explained how an additional 1% or 2% in supply 10 to 15 years from now will make one whit of difference in what we pay for gasoline or how less dependent we’ll be on foreign oil.

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We’ve seen in the last months how gasoline prices can go up even though supplies have been at some of the highest levels in years. Is adding to our supply going to accomplish anything? Remember when OPEC said that if we pumped more, it would pump less to keep oil prices high?

This new drilling is not a silver bullet. We need to work at known sources of power while developing and encouraging the emerging industries that will provide power when the oil runs out or becomes too expensive to use, because it is going to run out.

Richard Green

San Clemente

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President Obama, with his liberal Senate voting record, has proposed opening new areas to oil exploration off Alaska, the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico.

Perhaps all the screaming ideologues on the left and right should shut their mouths and look at the big picture. Apparently, Obama sees it.

Perry DiMassa

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San Pedro


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