Mailbag: Take any open space we can get

In his Sept. 6 letter, "Study will just waste more tax money," Bob Gregg rails against the Rim of the Valley study. This is the same Bob Gregg who tirelessly promoted Oakmont V a number of years ago, a development that would have ripped (in the fullest sense of the word) the guts out of a large, pristine chunk of the Verdugo Mountains.

He chanted the benefits to the tax base and the supplying of badly needed new homes (for the wealthy). He also strangely claimed an environmental benefit by tearing up near-in lands rather than land out in the hinterlands (Rim of the Valley?).

But he and his partners no doubt profited big time from the government purchase of the Oakmont V property for tens of millions of dollars to provide permanently protected open space. Yet now he objects to the waste of money, the taking of lands off the tax rolls and protecting the Rim of the Valley. Let me take a second and check the spelling of the word "hypocrisy."

In a saturated urban area of 10-plus-million souls, we and future generations, as well as wildlife, will benefit from every bit of park land/open space that can possibly be acquired. Yes, I know it's tough budget times, but does this mean there is nowhere to turn to provide for the acquisition of more protected open space? Certainly there are funds tucked away in various places that could be used for this long-term investment.

And how about nice tax-deductible gifts from those corporate execs who in one year make many, many times what the vast majority of us earn in our entire lifetime?

Robert Morrison


President's speeches aren't new to classrooms

Presidential addresses are living history and, therefore, belong in the classroom no matter what party or president ("Keep Obama speech out of the classroom," Sept. 14).

Indoctrinating? Really, Debi Devens? President Obama talking to schoolchildren, as many presidents before him have done, is indoctrination? How insulting is that comment? "Faux News" and Rush "the drug addict" Limbaugh are at it again, I see. Talk about indoctrination!

I would suggest the real reason some conservative parents do not want their children to watch President Obama's speech is that this articulate, elegant American-born man (yes, Hawaii is part of the U.S.) defies right-wing stereotypes.

When George W. Bush was in office, I welcomed my then-elementary-school-aged child watching his speeches and participating in discussions with her classmates and even me! She knows my political views, but I am never afraid for her to learn about other views. I am secure enough in my arguments in that regard.

Challenging assumptions is how we become better citizens and a better country. If we had not, we would be speaking with a British accent now. If we had not challenged assumptions there would have been no Supreme Court decision guaranteeing one man/one vote.

Devens' diatribe is filled with fear. Of what, I wonder? I know I am my child's parent, and so does she! I also know and honor the office of the presidency and have taught my girl to do the same, even when we disagree with the person holding that office.

Has Devens done the same with her children?

Claudette A. Moody

La Crescenta

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