Our Readers Write

Letters to the Editor

Drug dogs at LCHS a waste of money

Principal Damon Dragos’s faith in drug dogs [“Dogs to sniff out drugs at LCHS,” April 24] shows a complete lack of experience with hunting dogs.

The erratic behavior of bloodhounds from day to day, their erroneous signaling and their downright refusal at times to take up a scent puts drug-sniffing dogs in great doubt. In one notorious school search drug dogs were wrong 56 out of 64 times.

The old saying, “That dog won’t hunt,” is especially applicable when a drug hound gets into a mood.

Some of these dogs learn to signal on other cues, such as handler behavior or the race of suspects, or a dog might learn to recognize rental cars.

The real question is why La Cañada High School officials want to waste precious resources on an utterly counterproductive drug crusade when California’s schools desperately need money for teachers, computers and other equipment.

During alcohol prohibition, the United States had the worst epidemic of teen alcoholism before or since. Every high school had its own in-house bootlegger to keep the kiddies’ hip flasks filled with rotgut booze.

Every year during the “noble experiment” thousands of young people suffered permanent brain damage, paralysis, liver damage and death from bootleg liquor. Eventually the mothers of America realized that alcohol prohibition was making victims of their children instead of protecting them and moved to end the fraud.

After repeal, bootleggers disappeared from America’s schoolyards and teen alcohol use dropped substantially because licensed dealers can be held accountable for selling alcohol to kids.

The same mistake is being made with a long failed drug war.

It’s worth remembering that Eliot Ness and his “Untouchables” never put the bootleggers out of business (The TV series was complete Hollywood fiction). Repeal and a regulated market for adult alcohol sales ended bootlegging in short order. — Redford Givens, DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy, San Francisco

Goldwater’s America like today’s

In describing Congressional candidate Sonny Sardo as having a “Barry Goldwateresq mindset,” Paul Biggs [“Season of wishful thinking again,” Our Readers Write, April 17] appears oblivious to what happens to people who forget the lessons of history.

Ask yourself what is so different from Goldwater’s America and the threats we face today from abroad and at home.

In Goldwater’s era, we faced an enemy who threatened to “bury” us because it wanted to replace capitalism and democracy with a repressive dictatorship that would have turned the clock back to the Dark Ages. Today, we face an enemy who wants to do precisely the same thing. Conservatives like Sonny Sardo recognize the similarity.

In Goldwater’s era, America was threatened at home with the ever-increasing size of government and its out-of-control spending in areas that it had no Constitutional right to enter. Today, the same problem is with us and is far worse. Conservatives like Sonny Sardo recognize the similarity.

In Goldwater’s era, Republican liberals like Nelson Rockefeller did everything they could to elect “moderates” and slammed conservatives who dared oppose them. Today, liberal groups like the Republican Main Street Partnership, whose members include David Dreier, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Arlen Specter, are committed to electing “moderate” Republicans who are anything but moderate toward conservatives who dare oppose them.

Conservatives like Sonny Sardo recognize the similarity.

Since Goldwater reluctantly served as the Republican presidential candidate in 1964, Republicans have won 7 of 10 presidential elections, which is directly attributable to Goldwater’s yanking control of the Party from liberals. Prior to 1964, Republicans had lost six of the previous eight presidential elections. Dreier and his supporters appear to be determined to turn the clock back to the pre-1964 era.

Is linking Sardo to Goldwater and bashing both the best Dreier-campaign supporters can do? It’s ironic that they choose this tactic since Dreier told me that one of his proudest moments was when, early in his career, Barry Goldwater’s son said, “Dad would have been proud of your voting record.” I support Sonny Sardo because I won’t engage in wishful thinking by pretending Dreier is the same Congressman he was when that compliment was given. David C. Wilcox, La Cañada

Do Dreier’s supporters get it?

Is it any surprise that the first letter in support of David Dreier comes from a liberal like Paul Biggs?

It’s wishful thinking to think Dreier’s chances of being minority speaker are any better than last time when conservatives voted against him. Does he really think trying again will produce a different result?

And what’s with the anti-Goldwater criticism aimed at Sonny Sardo? Maybe Dreier’s supporters just don’t get it. A “Golderwateresq mindset” has done some very good things for our country.

Goldwater predicted in the 1960s that if we stopped subsidizing and coddling the communists their whole system would collapse on their heads. President Reagan understood that when he ended detente, supported the Afghan rebels, and drew the USSR into an arms race it couldn’t afford.

Goldwater said we should fight wars with everything we have and because we didn’t that’s why we found out he was right when he said, “There’s only one alternative to winning in Vietnam.” As chairman of the senate armed services committee Goldwater helped formulate a new American strategy for fighting wars. President Bush Sr. understood the new strategy in Desert Storm where our troops needed two days on the ground to defeat a million man Iraqi army.

Goldwater talked about how federal deficits rob our children and grandchildren. Newt Gingrich said that in his Contract with America that gave Republicans control of the House and Senate and in the federal surpluses that followed.

I guess having a nonGoldwateresq mindset means bringing home the bacon. That’s what Biggs praises Dreier for, even though great organizations like JPL will get adequate funding no matter who our congressman is. Goldwater told lobbyists not to come to his office and even threw a couple out.

Given a choice I’ll take the Goldwateresq mindset guy every time.

That is why I am supporting and voting for Sonny Sardo. Sonny will stop the pork that David Dreier has failed to even consider. Dreier knows how to become a millionaire at taxpayer’s expense while being on the public dole for 28 years. William Watts, La Cañada

Verdugo Hills’ Capital Campaign

Dear Friends: Creating a good home and having good health are key building blocks for a good life. A community hospital helps to ensure the healthy element to that good life. When we think of Verdugo Hills Hospital, we think of it as a vital part of our neighborhood and how lucky we are to have it five minutes from home. It has been, and will continue to be, a place that has been there for our family and friends.

For us, Verdugo Hills Hospital is:

Where our best friends had their first grandchild and celebrated their joy,

Where my father was treated for a heart attack and regained his strength,

Where I had cataract surgery and my vision was improved,

Where our son made several visits to the emergency room during his youth and was soon ready to play again, and

Where I went for physical therapy to become stronger.

We take pride in our homes and in our neighborhood, and we take care of our resources. We expect to see this landmark, Verdugo Hills Hospital, as we drive by on the freeway or on Verdugo Boulevard. However, the hospital is not just a landmark; it is a community resource, and an important and valuable resource to our community. Therefore, it needs to be cared for to continue to be a resource to all of us.

Please join us in showing your gratitude of having this valuable resource in our community by making an investment in Verdugo Hills Hospital and supporting its annual campaign: Value Your Community- Value Your Hospital.

Your gift is very much appreciated for its recognition of the value of having and continuing a quality-care, community hospital five minutes from your door.

Thank you, Mindy and Gene Stein, 2008 Annual Giving Community Campaign Chairs

Thanks from tax volunteers

On behalf of our AARP District Coordinator Charlotte Carstensen, and the 22 local Tax Aide volunteers, we wish to express our appreciation for helping to promote our free Tax Aide Program in your publication.

This is the 40th anniversary of volunteers serving taxpayers. Nationwide, 32,000 volunteers helped over 2 million people file their federal and state tax returns last year. We know we will exceed that number this year as we have assisted a larger number of taxpayers e-file their returns just here in our valley.

We have our local newspapers, libraries, merchants and churches in the La Cañada, La Crescenta, Montrose, Sunland and Tujunga areas to thank for being willing to help us spread the word about this program.

Thanks to you, and all who have given us support. Arden and Selina Daniels, AARP communications coordinators

Tanabe offers warming solution

As I was sitting under a large pine tree seeking relief from this wretched heat, a pine cone fell and hit me on my head. All of a sudden an idea was born: You know how Al Gore jets all over the world warning us about global warming? You know how he purchases these carbon offsets to counter the pollution of the jet fuel? Well, duh, if we all purchased these carbon offsets we could easily reverse global warming.

After all, Al Gore puts more than 1,000 times the pollutants in the atmosphere than does the average polluter. Therefore, if we all bought just two carbon offsets each we could easily stuff out global warming. Problem solved. Now let’s move on to the next real crisis. Bob Tanabe. La Cañada

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