End of the road?
So Caltrans wants to abandon California Highway 39 in the San Gabriel Mountains to save $1.5 million a year in repair costs. I have a suggestion that will save even more money: Abandon the sections of the Pacific Coast Highway that are prone to landslides.
Caltrans seems to work quickly to reopen PCH when numerous landslides occur during the rainy season. Abandoning the sections of PCH that continue to have a high landslide risk would surely save more money than the paltry amount spent on Highway 39.
Of course, in some areas this would cause the loss of convenient beach access, and some coastal businesses would probably close. But that’s no different than cutting what little recreational mountain access remains for San Gabriel Valley residents by abandoning Highway 39.
All the fuss about Highway 39 could be solved by charging a toll of $1 a car.
If there are 3 million visitors a year and it costs $1.5 million to maintain the road, that should pay for the maintenance. Drivers would save money on gas if they are going to Mt. Waterman to ski or to some of the hiking areas.
I’m sure the U.S. Forest Service would appreciate having the road kept open.
California’s cars of the future
The California Air Resources Board’s admirable auto emissions standards, which are intended to reduce by one-third the state’s global warming emissions by 2025, could be nearly met now if motorists would drive near the speed limit, avoid constant acceleration and slow well ahead of traffic signals.
This is a form of progress that is within the ability of every driver. It is a challenge for our culture’s vaunted ideal of personal responsibility — something I see little evidence of on our roads.
It’s astonishing that very little effort or publicity is devoted to reducing the amount of driving done by individuals. Even clean vehicles (whatever source of energy they may use) are going to require the use of energy to power them.
More should be done to publicize the benefits of carpooling. Just think: If each person who could do so would carpool one day a week, traffic congestion would be reduced significantly. Everyone would get where they wanted to go faster, and the pollution caused by the wasted fuel in standing traffic or extra traffic would be saved.
I was disappointed that not a single super-clean car driver was quoted in this article about his or her experiences.
As an owner of a Toyota RAV4 electric vehicle since 2001, I have not only saved on “fuel” (the sunshine that falls on my solar array) but also on maintenance costs. Because electric vehicles have far fewer components than internal combustion engines, they rarely need repairs.
Besides saving the environment, zero-emission electric vehicles save consumers money.
Who doesn’t like to save cash?
In a chilling example of heavy-handed government, Air Resources Board member Ken Yeager says, “We are going to change what consumers can buy.” In other words, the government is going to eliminate consumers’ ability to choose their own cars.
Imagine a world where the government controls which cars consumers can buy. The Soviet Union? No, California in 2018.
Adult education pays off for L.A.
Thanks to Sandy Banks for writing about the pending elimination of the L.A. Unified School District’s adult education division. As an adult education instructor, I know how integral the programs are to Los Angeles.
We teach English, citizenship and trades. We help people attain high school diplomas. We teach mothers and fathers to help their children with homework. We teach reading to people who can’t read. We help older adults continue to experience the joy of learning.
The cost of running the adult division accounts for about 2% of the district’s budget. Is a 2% savings worth devastating the lives of thousands of adults?
If 350,000 adults are denied education in English and job skills, what kind of a city will Los Angeles become in the near future?
The scenario of living in a city filled with non-skilled, non-English-speaking people fills me with sadness and dread. Americans are already aggravated having to press “1" for English; how many more language choices will we be forced to make in the future?
Educating immigrants and dropouts is not something to be frivolously cut from a budget.
Two sides of the pension debate
Let me get this straight: You can work for the state of California and earn a six-figure salary (paid for by the taxpayer), cash out all of your unused vacation and sick days (at your current pay, not the money you were making when you earned the days), retire at 53 and collect 90% of your salary — and then take another job with the state and start the whole thing over again?
And Gov. Jerry Brown wants to raise my taxes? It would seem that I am paying plenty.
I retired in 1988 after teaching for 32 years in California’s public schools. It hasn’t been easy, but I have been able to be financially independent because of the retirement security I receive through the teachers’ pension system.
However, this retirement security does not provide medical insurance. Also, I am penalized by the federal windfall elimination provision and the government pension offset, even though I was married 49 years.
I suggest that The Times interview retired educators of all ages.
Section 8 woes
It appears that because the L.A. County Board of Supervisors cut off funding for housing investigators in the Antelope Valley, the charges that Section 8 residents in the Antelope Valley were being unfairly targeted must be true.
But according to Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, 91% of Section 8 terminations have been upheld. It seems there may be some fire here.
Now that the Antelope Valley will share the three inspectors for the entire county, I predict there will be fewer Section 8 violations. Of course, if you remove California Highway Patrol officers from the Antelope Valley, there will be many fewer traffic violations on state Highway 14.
What The Times is advocating is more fraud on taxpayers.
Re “Home loan aid program extended,” Business, Jan. 28
I support efforts to assist homeowners who are current on their loans to refinance. I just as strongly oppose any efforts to assist investors purchasing rentals.
Why should we expend national resources to assist them if the private market won’t? Is the next step to help investors who lose money in the stock market?
Two questions must be asked: Who is going to pay for this? And is it worth it?
I don’t think helping real estate investors answers either question satisfactorily.
Brian J. Sheppard