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Letters to the Editor: Give electric car ride-share programs to L.A.'s polluted port communities

An electric car is plugged into a charging station.
An electric vehicle used by the Green Raiteros program in the San Joaquin Valley town of Huron, Calif., is plugged in at a charging station on Nov. 30.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: All credit to Mayor Rey Leon and the good citizens of Huron, Calif., for leadership and innovation in their Green Raiteros program. It was encouraging to see that a similar initiative giving residents free access to electric cars is being tried in San Pedro.

Your article correctly noted that the Rancho San Pedro neighborhood, which borders the Port of Los Angeles, is one of the most polluted areas in Southern California. Wilmington, west Long Beach and the communities along the 710 Freeway are similarly polluted because of the operations of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. These are so-called environmental justice communities whose residents are majority lower income and people of color.

Perhaps the wealthy ports could offer some small gesture of mitigation for the egregious health impacts of their diesel pollution by funding similar electric vehicle efforts in these suffering communities.

Noel Park, Rancho Palos Verdes

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To the editor: Thank you for the article about the free ride-sharing program in Huron, Calif.

Mayor Leon has chosen to return to the area where he was raised after graduating from UC Berkeley. He is making a significant contribution to this community by applying for and receiving grants to run a free ride-sharing program, hiring locals and providing rides for people to get to medical and other necessary appointments — and with electric cars!

We need more stories like this one to motivate all of us to make a positive difference in our local communities.

Kate Mead, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: The first paragraph of this story mentions “windfalls for big agribusiness.” Thanks for promoting the stereotype that all ranchers are wealthy tycoons. (Sarcasm alert on that one.)

My family owns a 40-acre orange ranch in that area and has yet to see a profit in five years. We are hardly wealthy and are just hanging on.

Not all ranches are owned by “big agribusiness.”

Robert Price, Atascadero, Calif.

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To the editor: Kudos to The Times for this timely article underscoring local action on climate change, and for inaugurating a tantalizing new series, the “United States of California,” which I hope will delve into our state’s cutting-edge thinking and actions aimed at addressing problems often global in scope.

With a large share of America’s people, cars, pollution and brains, Huron’s innovative electric fleet initiative makes sense and should stimulate similar and further actions among other cities.

Tom Osborne, Laguna Beach


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