To the editor: My soon-to-be 88-year-old mother grew up in San Bernardino. From time to time we will drive through the city as she recalls cherished memories and the glory days while lamenting what it has become. ("How California towns like San Bernardino get a bad reputation," Opinion, Jan. 31)
As I listen to her chatter about what happened here and what happened there, I think about what can be. From the venerable Mitla Cafe adjacent to a downtown of the future to the gorgeous North Park neighborhood full of mid-century homes; from the Arrowhead Country Club to the In-n-Out on 5th Street near the 215 Freeway; from the numerous streets with majestic trees lining them to, yes, even Base Line Street (which to me is full of character), I see a San Bernardino full of possibility.
This is a city on the cusp of renaissance, the kind that transformed Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Echo Park and downtown L.A. I tell my Los Angeles friends to buy in San Bernardino now, because soon it will no longer be affordable.
Gregory Valencia, Whittier
To the editor: In 1977, San Bernardino was given the All-American City Award by the National Civics League. In 2012, San Bernardino became the largest U.S. municipality to file for bankruptcy.
There are numerous reasons for this; however, the main culprit was inept city managers living in denial of unsustainable financial obligations. San Bernardino is just a microcosm of how California is handling its own unsustainable public pensions.
San Bernardino had a roughly $40-million annual budget shortfall that triggered its bankruptcy. California has about $240 billion in unfunded public pension liabilities that the politicians never address. We are simply whistling past the graveyard at this point.
Bill Toth, Studio City
To the editor: Fox News is obsessed with painting California in a bad light. It reports primarily bizarre or negative stories about the cities in this state. If you Google "Fox News California," the data become clear.
What is the point of creating an antagonistic national attitude toward any part of the country?
America is divided, and how much are news organizations responsible for creating this national climate?
Raul Perez, San Marcos