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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: California has problems. Don’t react defensively when they’re pointed out

Maria fire
A plume of smoke from the Maria fire rises above homes in Somis in Ventura County on Friday.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The temptation to pile on when someone is down is hard to resist, especially for the East Coast media whenever they see California suffering. I applaud columnist Steve Lopez for defending us from these increased attacks.

I just wish there was more to mount a substantive defense instead of, “Well, other states have their problems too.”

Unfortunately there are too many consequences of our ineffectual leadership to ignore: a disappearing middle class, a homelessness epidemic, a lack of affordable housing and an antiquated and vulnerable power grid, to name a few. How long will we keep electing leadership that promotes temporary solutions while ignoring the underlying problems?

Maybe the problem is our single-party domination that suppresses alternative viewpoints, or perhaps it’s our stubborn refusal to take a hard look in the mirror.

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David Grigg, La Quinta

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To the editor: No one wants our state to be bashed, but California does have serious, fundamental problems.

We have more people than Canada, and that puts incredible pressure on housing, water, power, roads and the ability to pay for new projects and maintaining what we have.

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Scrape away the top layer of these “outside” opinions about the Golden State and you’ll see the wheels coming off. We see many Californians nodding their heads in agreement to the East Coast media pieces Lopez criticizes.

Sure, we love our mountains, our beaches and more, but we’re also killing this state with an exploding population. What I hope Lopez produces next is a series on how to sustain the state’s future as we hit 40 million residents.

Denis Wolcott, Long Beach

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To the editor: Lopez’s column reminded me of a conversation my husband and I had with a stranger we met in Washington a few years ago.

Talk eventually turned to the myriad problems our country faces. For the most part, all states experience similar problems, including homelessness, crime, pollution, natural disasters and more.

When our new companion discovered we were from California, she surprised us with the comment that she had found in conversations with other residents back east that they all looked to our state for inspiration and hope in finding solutions.

The haters and fear-mongers decrying our demise are dead wrong. Would they gleefully have us just quit searching for solutions? We can’t quit just because the problems are difficult. Our work is too important for us and for the rest of the country.

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Our struggle is being watched by people in every state, and they are hoping it will eventually make us and them stronger.

E. B. Clark, Bakersfield


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