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Letters to the Editor

All should share the sewer costs

The inequitably distribution of the cost of the sewers should be a big issue for the people in District No. 5. This is not the way cities in America work. Our La Cañada model for funding sewers seems to be those who use it pay for it use it. But no other aspect of this or any other American city works like this.

Let’s extend the La Cañada model for funding sewers. Suppose a tree falls across the entrance to Soliden Lane. This is a small, dead end street high up Palm Drive. So the people on Soliden can’t drive to their house, but does it affect me? No. I could go the rest of my life and never notice. So why should I pay for the tree removal?

The sewer model would have only the people on Soliden pay. But, as a city we deem such removal for the greater good, and the City Council uses our taxes to pay for it.

The same argument applies the for the use of schools. My daughter has graduated from college, and I have no more use for La Cañada public schools. Yet, I along with everyone in La Cañada, pay for these schools, because as a community we decide this is for the greater good.

So, City Council, which way is it? If it’s for the common good, shouldn’t everyone pay? Why are sewers treated differently? — Steve Stedry, La Cañada Flintridge

MACH1 sends thank-you note

The 11th annual Ride-A-Thon to benefit MACH1 (Move a Child Higher) was held Oct. 21, at Rose Bowl Riders in the Hahamongna Watershed Park.

MACH1 thanks the many friends and volunteers who participated, especially Frank and Victoria Hobbs of Los Angeles who sponsored the Ride-A-Thon with a sizeable donation. Forty horseback riders came from Flintridge Riding Club, MACH1, Equestrian Trails, Tom Sawyer Camp, El Monte Police, and San Dimas Grain, plus many other friends.

Three types of trail rides were offered to riders who collected pledges. A one-hour trail ride took place on the adjacent Arroyo Seco trails, led by trail guides KT Ginzton, Sue Lafferty and Ariel Wisch. Two extended trail rides were available for experienced riders. Tom Lockhart guided riders along the Arroyo Seco trails to the Rose Bowl. Tim McGee led the Tom Sawyer Camp kids on their trail ride into the local mountains. Many thanks to the expert trail guides for making all three rides fun and safe.

After the trail rides, the Ride-A-Thon showcased many of the MACH1 children, demonstrating their skills as they rode through the Halloween Pumpkin Patch in the Rose Bowl Riders main arena. A barbecue lunch followed. Thanks to program volunteer Lourinda Bray, who donated all the side dishes, soft drinks and ice, and to Jay Eby for his grilling skills. Special thanks, too, to Fly Manglicmot and the Coffee Gallery in Altadena for donating the morning gourmet coffee.

Raffle ticket sales were a big success, offering a choice of three ride-themed prizes: Disneyland, a Temecula balloon ride and a helicopter ride with the Pasadena Police. A silent auction and sale table added to the fundraising success.

MACH1 is a non-profit, therapeutic horseback-riding program for children with disabilities. It serves children from all over the San Gabriel Valley, including La Cañada. Community members interested in donating, volunteering or participating in the MACH1 program are asked to contact Joy Rittenhouse at (626)798-1222 or joymach1@yahoo.com. — Anthea Hanniball, La Cañada Flintridge, MACH1 volunteer

Darfur — Say ‘Not on My Watch’

Last week I’m not sure I could have located Darfur on a map. I would see articles with the words “Darfur” and “genocide” and avoid reading further for fear of feeling depressed, helpless or both.

So it was from a point of virtual ignorance that I listened to a fascinating and ultimately inspiring presentation last weekend by John Prendergast who wrote “Not on Our Watch” with Don Cheadle and who was involved in making the film “Darfur Now”.

Darfur is a region in the western part of Sudan, Africa. Since 2003 the Sudanese government and the Muslim militia it supports has participated in mass attacks on the non-Arab population of Darfur, burning villages and murdering and raping civilians. More than 450,000 have died and 2.5 million people have been displaced. The Sudanese government has jailed or killed witnesses, tampered with mass graves and arrested journalists to cover up what’s going on. Meanwhile, China has provided weapons and aircraft to the Sudanese government in an effort to ensure oil supplies from Sudan.

What was inspiring about Mr. Prendergast’s presentation was that, in spite of this history of tragedy, he assured his audience that, in 15 minutes, a single individual can make a difference by standing up for peace and saying “Enough”.

What can you and I do to avoid simply being bystanders to the first genocide of the 21st century? We can follow these five easy steps:

• Join the movement and get involved. Sign up online for information from the Save Darfur Network ( www.savedarfur.org) or the Enough Project ( www.enoughproject.org).

• Contact your Senators and Congressman Dave Dreier (1-800-614-2803) and ask what they are doing to end the crimes against humanity in Darfur.

• Call the White House. You can call a toll free number (1-800-GENOCIDE) and leave a message letting President Bush know that you want the U.S. to take action. Or you can email your comments to comments@whitehouse.gov.

• Write to your local media. Let your newspapers and TV stations know that you don’t want more news about Brittany, Brad and Angelina, etc. but that you want them to cover the real news which includes the human tragedies happening every day in Darfur.

•Divestment. If you own stock or mutual funds or are an alumni of a University with an endowment fund urge those companies and funds to stop investing in companies doing business with the regime in Sudan.

For more information on this go to www.sudandivestment.org.

I urge everyone who reads this to take a few minutes today to do something. Stop feeling helpless.

Believe that you can make a difference. Stop turning a blind eye to this tragedy going on every day. Say “Not on my watch”.

You might just save one life. Then encourage everyone you know to do the same. I guaranty you can and will make a difference. — Mary Freeman, La Canada

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