On a new high school that a Riverside school district can’t afford to open; Dodger fans shunning the team; Jared Lee Loughner being declared mentally unfit for trial

New school, old woe

Re “A new school — with no students,” May 31

Finally, someone has designed the perfect school. The Alvord Unified School District in Riverside should be lauded for a brilliant idea.

The new Hillcrest High School has no discipline or attendance problems. There are no problems with gangs, sex or drugs. There are no fights or hate crimes. The campus is immaculate, with no graffiti or lunch trash. There are enough books, desks and materials for all students enrolled. There is no reason to charge students for extracurricular activities. Teacher complaints and union advocacy are nonexistent.


Every secondary school should aspire to the Hillcrest High model.

Patrick Murphy


I love museums and theater very much. But when I read something like this, I think these young people will have no foundation to enjoy and understand the value of culture. It would be nice if prominent philanthropists and other monied people directed their funds to needs such as opening Hillcrest High School instead of building more monuments to themselves.

Pearl Taylor

Sherman Oaks

Not going out to the old ballgame

Re “Dodgers’ fans are going, going …,” May 31


It is currently uncool to be a Dodger fan.

It’s uncool to support owners Frank and Jamie McCourt’s business and their attached personal ethics by purchasing a ticket. It’s uncool to walk across the Dodger Stadium parking lot with Bryan Stow’s blood on the pavement. It’s uncool to admit to paying attention to a sub-.500 team hanging by a thread.

It would be very cool to have a new team owner who could reinstill the cachet of being a Dodger fan and bring many of us back into the blue fold.

Stuart Weiss


Los Angeles

I went to my first Dodger game as a very young boy with my dad at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum many years ago, and I have seen countless games at Dodger Stadium over the decades.

In recent years, I had looked forward to taking my son and his Little League teammates to a game and giving them a wonderful experience to remember. And they will remember it, no doubt. The “fans” surrounding us were drunk, loud and not interested in the game. My kids were shocked at the foul language, and security was nonexistent.

Is this the new level of civility at Dodger Stadium, or in society as a whole?


John Anderson

Newport Beach

The national decline in television ratings and the league-wide fan exodus cannot be due solely to thug fans or rapacious owners. Sportswriters and hardcore fans can’t fully appreciate what a meandering spectacle baseball is, how precious little time the ball spends “in play” and how the game mostly amounts to two guys playing a very high-speed game of catch. It is for these reasons that baseball is a lot more fun to play than it is to watch.

With the Stanley Cup finals this week, you will see the hardest-working athletes in all of team sports vying for the one of the oldest contested trophies in team sports. They play with an urgency, a poetic flow of action that will astound you.


I almost forgot: When the series is over, they shake hands afterward. With their opponents. What a concept. What a great, great game.

Monty Mickelson

West Hills

The definition of unstable


Re “Loughner ruled unfit for trial,” May 26

In the case of accused murderer Jared Lee Loughner being declared mentally unfit for trial, you’re going to have to explain this one to me.

Here’s what he is accused of doing: He made sure he had the right weapons and ammunition for his attack; his timing was impeccable; and even as a federal judge and others lay dying, he was intent on finishing the job by firing more rounds. His intent, allegedly, was to get away with it.

So someone explain to me how someone so calculating and meticulous in his beliefs, planning and execution (forgive the use) is mentally unfit to stand trial?


Victor Franco Jr.


One has to be utterly astonished at our lax gun laws. Loughner was judged mentally incompetent, and psychologists told the court that for years he’s been troubled by hallucinations and delusions. In interviews he was rambling and had disorganized thinking.

Still, he was able to walk into a gun store and come out with weapons and ammunition sufficient to allegedly kill six people and wound a member of Congress.


Instead of dragging him out screaming from the courthouse, they should have dragged him out screaming from the gun shop.

Jack Rothman

Los Angeles

Proposition 8 and its judge


Re “Many experts side with Prop. 8 judge,” May 29

The backers of Proposition 8 want retired Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s decision thrown out because he didn’t disclose that he might benefit personally if the prohibition of same-sex marriage is overturned.

If these proponents and their logic prevail, it follows that any future court ruling on divorce in California could only be made by someone who could not someday benefit from the ruling — someone who could never possibly divorce. An openly gay jurist, who was denied the right to marry in the first place, would then be in the position of providing justice to straight litigants whose marriages failed.

I hope Walker is rethinking his retirement.


Edward Kania


At the beginning of the Proposition 8 trial, Walker had offered an open court and televised proceedings on the Internet. This was rejected by the group Protect Marriage, which convinced the U.S. Supreme Court that pro-Proposition 8 witnesses faced harassment and asked for a closed court. This was granted.

Perhaps now viewing the trial would help the general public. Protect Marriage appears to be grasping at the proverbial straw.


James E. Behm


Not so obvious

Re “We needed a study to tell us that?,” May 27


As I researcher I was drawn to this story on “duh” research. The story indicates it is obvious that “people who live in safe, well-lit neighborhoods are more likely to walk and get exercise.”

I would expect that too, but in fact, some criminologists believe that whether crime makes people stay inside might depend on how skilled they are in adapting to the threat. So maybe the lack of expected findings can lead us to ways to help people be less affected by crime.

It used to be obvious that after a heart attack, the patient was told to rest completely. Thankfully, someone tested the “non-obvious” idea that exercise soon after a heart attack might help make the heart stronger. Continued research that may keep proving the same point in different ways is often needed to overcome the status quo.

James Sallis


San Diego

The writer is a psychology professor at San Diego State University.

L.A. roots

Re “How to be a true Angeleno,” Column, May 27


I enjoyed and could identify with Hector Tobar’s thoughts on what makes a true Angeleno.

Despite having lived in the same house for more than 30 years and watched the diversity of my own neighborhood grow and flourish, I’ve even “relocated” to a new community without ever having moved. I guess the old Chamber of Commerce obsession with changing the names of various communities will always be a part of Angeleno idiosyncrasies.

Ellie Doud

Sherman Oaks