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Opinion

Building the I-710 tunnel under South Pasadena; politics and the debt ceiling; a slain gay teen and his shooter

Transit and the 710

Re “Finish the 710 Freeway,” Opinion, July 29

James E. Moore II is looking backward to the 1950s plans for freeways crisscrossing Los Angeles County. We cannot build our way out of our traffic congestion. Some engineers project that the 710 tunnel will be gridlocked the day it opens and will cost up to $14 billion.

Our challenge today is the increasing truck traffic coming from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. These huge trucks bring additional congestion, serious health problems from the increased pollution, noise and heavy costs.

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California’s transportation planners need to start looking forward and design rail to transport trucks and goods and to develop a variety of public transit opportunities for commuters. Only then will we find relief.

Claire Bogaard

Pasadena

Moore is to be applauded for his diagnosis and recommendations to get the job done on the 710. I worry that up to three more years for another expensive report is too long a time and another reason to stall. There must be a mile of reports by now.

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My environmental graduate students explored the routes several times, and one completed a thesis on the subject. A tunnel answers many questions, but even the viaduct with an overlying park makes some sense. All the other routes have proven unacceptable.

Perhaps The Times will publish more photos and maps so the public will have an opportunity to comprehend the geography of the 710 stub.

Imre Sutton

Fullerton

The writer is professor emeritus of geography at Cal State Fullerton.

Looking ahead, what does a healthy Los Angeles in 20 years look like? More freeways, congestion, pollution and disruption? Or more social interaction, recreation, working at home, parks and a richer quality of life?

New freeways soon get clogged and lead to more freeways. So congratulations to South Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge for saying enough is enough. Engineers should be asking how we can best use these abandoned, concrete megaliths when they are obsolete. Let’s stop building freeways and start looking to the future.

Mark Williams

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South Pasadena

I presume from reading Moore’s article advocating a tunnel the length of South Pasadena that he does not live here. Tell me his address so that I can lobby for a tunnel under his house.

Michael Montgomery

South Pasadena

Politics and the public debt

Re “Leaders hammer out debt deal,” Aug. 1

I do believe the compromise on raising the debt ceiling was a necessary evil. I’ll never understand how we can keep spending money we don’t have. It’s time to put an end to all this nonsense. If the money is not there then we have to stop and look at the alternatives.

While the deal struck Sunday would spare the president from having to wage another protracted debt-ceiling battle as he campaigns for reelection in 2012, liberal Democrats are livid at him for giving in to Republicans on most other counts. This is like a school kid on the playground saying if I can’t have it my way, I’m not going to play.

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Daniel Delp

Torrance

With the latest political debacle in Washington coming to a chaotic conclusion, it should be evident that we can no longer do business (or a lack thereof) in the same old politically predictive ways. Those of us who have our retirement income tied to stock-related IRAs or a monthly Social Security check must be threatened with disaster for the last time by partisan politics.

It is time to clean house with the only effective broom available: our vote. The next time I step into the voting booth, I resolve to replace every incumbent, regardless of party, with someone who will hopefully better reflect and meet the needs of the

people.

David L. Ruggeri

Anaheim

I think Ronald Reagan and both Bushes collectively wrote bad checks off the Bank of Future America, primarily to the wealthiest and the military, then handed President Obama a checkbook with a zero balance.

As the middle class slips into the lower class, you’re going to see the ranks of the wealthiest dwindle and the fortunes of America decline.

Douglas L. Hall

Los Angeles

I’d love to buy a car from Obama. He’d ask $50,000, you’d offer $30,000, and he’d insist you take it for $20,000.

Mark Donnelly

Sherman Oaks

The tragedy of Larry King

Re “Trial of teen grows heated,” July 30

This case is heartbreaking for both slain gay student Larry King and his shooter, Brandon McInerney. It was the critical timing of the events — the age of the boys — that brought about the tragic outcome. It is at precisely the age of 14 that boys are most vulnerable and confused about their sexuality and self-image. Sadly, King’s conduct brought humiliation and shame to McInerney, who feared his classmates would doubt his own manhood.

We grieve for King and must grieve equally for McInerney. He is in desperate need of help and support, not condemnation as a coldblooded killer possibly facing life in prison.

Johanna Dordick

Los Angeles

I am horrified that Dawn Boldrin, a formerly tenured teacher, is now a barista. Her crime? She offered extra attention and mentored King, a child in need. I remember best and learned most from my teachers who took an interest in me as an individual. I hope my children have teachers like Boldrin.

As an educator, do I need to withdraw my support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students to keep my job and avoid “gay panic” in

others?

Ellen Bates

Signal Hill

Apple’s core jobs

Re “Guess who has more cash on hand than Uncle Sam,” Business, July 30

Apple’s $76-billion pile of cash demonstrates our economy’s interesting dilemma. Apple is one of the most innovative and profitable companies in the world, and it is innovation that is supposed to boost our economy.

Yet Apple’s profits would be smaller if it manufactured its products in the United States. Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury would have more cash. It would have revenue from the taxes paid by thousands of manufacturing workers and would probably be paying out less in safety net expenditures.

It’s going to take a little more than innovation and debt ceilings to fix our economy.

Oren Grossi

Long Beach

Stop the noise

Re “Bill targets noise from helicopters in county,” July 29

I live in Hollywood just north of Melrose Avenue. The helicopters that hovered on Wednesday at Hollywood and Highland, I could forgive. The movie screening turned into a potential riot. But the night after, I noticed several helicopters hovering in the air until after 10 p.m.

Matt Zuccaro, president of Helicopter Assn. International, claims his group is “extremely sensitive” to the impact helicopters have on the community. I support wholeheartedly Rep. Howard L. Berman’s (D-Valley Village) legislation. Something must be done to reduce the “impact.”

Barri Clark

Los Angeles

A cinemess

Re “Now it’s the ladies’ turn to act like slobs,” July 31

The movie industry, which once inspired sophistication, is now inspiring gross behavior. I miss Audrey Hepburn. The graceless Cameron Diaz cannot fill her shoes.

Stephen Snow

Reseda


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