Harsh views of L.A. streetlight competition winner

The winning entry in L.A.'s streetlight competition provides one light over the street and a second over the sidewalk.
A rendering of Project Room’s winning entry in L.A.’s streetlight competition, a design that provides one light over the street and a second over the sidewalk.
(Project Room)

Regarding “This Design Really Clicks” by Jessica Gelt [Sept. 4]: The winner of the L.A. Lights the Way streetlight design competition is a bulbous emitter that sends light sideways, blinding oncoming traffic, and upward, illuminating the undersides of birds and airplanes.

Full-cutoff designs that send light downward, where it is needed, are commercially available, but why buy an efficient and inexpensive product when you can waste money, increase global warming and reduce the public’s view of the night sky by adding more light pollution?

This is just another example of clueless officials wasting taxpayers’ money.

Steven Morris


The new streetlight pictured is one of the most unappealing, plain and ugly lamps I’ve ever seen. Why couldn’t they have re-created the elegant ‘20s and ‘30s designs that have beauty and class?

What I see is not much different to the cobra heads we’re saddled with now. What a shame.


John Lynch
West Hollywood


I live on a block in Los Angeles without streetlights. In researching the issue I discovered that the city did not require streetlights to be installed by housing developers until the mid-1950s.

Installing streetlights requires circulating a petition to homeowners to which a majority representing at least 60% of the benefiting frontage must sign. Once a majority of homeowners approve, they are all assessed a one-time charge of between $3,000 to $8,000 and a modest annual maintenance fee thereafter once the streetlights are installed.

Not surprisingly, many homeowners do not have money like this lying around and are not interested in paying this assessment. Because of this “all-or-nothing” approach to installing streetlights, our block and many others remain dark at night with a hodgepodge of porch spotlights and solar lamps meekly illuminating the dark.

The new Superbloom design looks beautiful, but it may not mean as much as we would like if the city is unable to reform the way in which residents can get this most basic urban infrastructure on their streets.

Andy Sywak
Los Angeles


Are all the candidates for the new street lights available for viewing online? Or will there be an “also ran” story. We want to see the light.

David Reid

Editor’s note: Images of the finalists and runners-up in the streetlight design competition can be found here.

Politics and ‘Mulan’

Regarding “It’s Heavy on Swords, Lacking in Magic” by Justin Chang [Sept. 4]: As a person of Chinese descent, I understand the cultural significance of the “Mulan” story, albeit highly appropriated for a Western audience.

As a huge admirer of director Niki Caro’s past work, I was excited for this live-action adaptation until August 2019, when Yifei Liu, the actress who portrayed Mulan, openly supported the Hong Kong police.

It seems to me that Liu, who holds U.S. citizenship, should not be allowed to have it both ways: a successful film career in Hollywood and being the poster child for China’s brand of mindless patriotism.

The Hong Kong protests have seen blatant acts of police brutality.

I believe anyone who supports freedom and democracy, especially after the BLM movement this past summer, have the imperative to at least educate themselves on Hong Kong’s ongoing resistance to the might of the CCP.

Cherry Ng
Hong Kong

Don’t let history repeat itself

Regarding: “Explaining Trump’s Top ‘Hatemonger’” by Molly O’Toole [Sept. 6]: Stephen Miller’s views are not sad, they’re dangerous.

Have we come so far from World War II that the current generation doesn’t know what happened that precipitated that war? Dehumanizing a group of people is right out of Hitler’s playbook, “Mein Kampf.” Do they no longer teach history in school?

Dehumanizing Jews led to their extermination. I don’t see the difference between dehumanizing Jews in the 1930s and dehumanizing Hispanics attempting to escape the horrors of violence in their own countries.

What makes such ideas acceptable to Miller? Even members of his own family have disowned his views. Does Miller not know his own history and culture?

Are these questions asked and answered in Jean Guerrero’s book?

Miller is dangerous, and what he has seemingly awakened in this country is dangerous.

Michael Solomon
Canoga Park

‘Transplant’ rejected

Regarding “A Muslim Doctor Updates the Script” by Ashley Lee [Sept. 1]: The hype for the new Canadian show “Transplant” turned out to be unwarranted.

I was disappointed to find that the quality of the writing and acting was significantly below the level viewers are accustomed to from American network shows.

At least we’ll appreciate “New Amsterdam” and “The Good Doctor” even more if they ever return to the airwaves.

Kirk Norenberg
Redondo Beach

With a whimper not a bang

I really enjoyed reading Mary McNamara’s column [“Is This the Year of the Apocalypse?” Sept. 3]. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one ruminating over an “end of days” scenario due to the volatility of 2020.

And it sure doesn’t help when just the other day, upon checking the expiration date on a can of corned beef hash, I read the following : “Use by June 2021 ... if there is a June 2021.”

Joe Kevany
Mount Washington

Comic relief from the pandemic

Regarding “For Families Isolating Together, ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Is the Perfect Pandemic Sitcom” [Sept. 1]: Like Mary McNamara, I found “Schitt’s Creek” at the start of the pandemic, and it has been a lifeline. Funny, touching and filled with humanity, it is heartwarming without being sappy.

The subtext of acceptance for characters who are gay, black, Jewish and East Indian is joyous. I’ve binged twice and am now aiming for “thrice,” one of Moira’s favorite words.

I hope it wins all the Emmys.

Linda Deutsch
Los Angeles

An uncomfortable comic strip

The “Chickweed Lane” comic strip is out of sync among the other quality strips in The Times. It is offensive to me that children are reading the funnies and have to deal with this particular comic — it is not funny; it is always sexual — and I don’t see the point. It makes me uncomfortable as an adult; I can only imagine what it does for kids.

Rosemary Spira