Our Readers Write

Letters to the Editor

Please fax support for ACH truck ban

Dear Fellow La Cañada Residents: I am a La Cañada Girl Scout working to make sure a new law to permanently ban trucks on Angeles Crest Highway will get passed. The ban will prevent the same accident from continuing to happen in La Cañada — where trucks lose their brakes coming over Angeles Crest and crash into the busy intersection of Foothill Boulevard where Angeles Crest Highway ends.

We presently have only a 90-day ban that will expire in July. Earlier this month, the state Assembly Transportation Committee voted to support the permanent law — AB 1361 — which was proposed by Assembly Member Anthony Portantino and soon the law will go for a vote before the full Assembly.

La Cañada needs everyone’s help to convince them to pass it, so please fax your support to Assembly Member Portantino, who will be able to share it with his fellow Assembly members before they vote.

Please address it to: The Honorable Anthony Portantino, Member, California State Assembly, Fax: (916) 319-2144. All you need do is write a sentence saying that you support AB1361 and why, print your name and address, and sign it. Or you can e-mail me at BugMalia@aol.com, and I will send you a form you can just fill out and fax. Sincerely, Malia Mailes, La Cañada

Water plan shocks and dismays her

I read the letter from Richard Atwater [“Drought alert from FMWD director,” Our Readers Write, April 30], with shock and dismay. He suggests that we all reduce our water usage by 10% this summer. Would you believe, this is the exact same water conservation formula that they used in April 1991?

It was unfair then; it is unfair now. This across-the-board water reduction plan discriminates against those of us who cut back as requested and have conserved water on a regular basis all these years.

One would think after 18 years with all the new, hi-tech computer programs, they could come up with a more fair and equitable method of restricting water usage, such as basing the water usage on lot size, number of people in the household, use of structure, or some other equitable plan.

Hopefully their solution is not an over-all tiered rate increase and/or a hefty fine if not in compliance.

I understand the need for everyone to cut back on water usage; however, it is important that each water company devise a reduction plan that is fair and equitable for all its customers without penalizing those who already conserve. Carolee Kirkeby, La Cañada

Prop 1A is just a smoke screen

Don’t believe all the lies and misinformation in the ads coming from the Sacramento politicians and unions about why you should vote for Prop 1A. Make no mistake, the “spending cap” is only a smoke screen for a two-year extension of the tax increase they’ve already imposed on us. Two additional years of the sales tax increase, the gasoline tax increase, the auto license fee increase and the personal income tax increase!

Every time there’s a “budget crisis” in California it’s always the police, fire, libraries, parks and schools that are supposedly going to be shut down. But never the “perks” and benefits that the political hacks enjoy.

Indeed, just three weeks ago Assembly Speaker Karen Bass awarded pay raises to all of the Legislature’s staff in spite of the “doom and gloom” economic crisis we’re in. Of course as soon as “we” found out she quickly withdrew them with a “golly gee, we didn’t think you’d notice” attitude.

Or how about the report that came out last week about all the “Commissions” and “Boards” whose apparent only purpose is to provide a steady income to termed-out legislators. These people meet once a month on average and many get in excess of $100,000 a year for their minimal effort.

No, first show me some serious effort to live within a budget, a serious effort to get rid of all the waste and fraud in Sacramento. Then, and only then, will I vote for an extension of the tax increase. Giving these Sacramento politicians money is like giving a bottle of whiskey and car keys to a teenager. They have no self control. Starve the beast in Sacramento. Vote no on Prop 1A. Trent D. Sanders, La Cañada

Thoughts on parcel tax exemptions

The La Cañada Unified School District sent out a letter informing residents over 65 years of age that they can vote for the proposed parcel tax but when passed can asked for an exemption. They will have to submit a copy of any one of four official documents, driver’s license, California identification card, passport, or birth certificate, with the most recent property tax bill. Thus, their sad claim of poverty and destitution and/or refusal to participate in the support of our schools will become a public record. This provision of exemption permits, though with some onus and shame, the perverse situation of representation without taxation. Robert Richter, La Cañada

Kudos to LCF’s Assemblyman

Nice to see Assemblyman Anthony Portantino continuing his good work on behalf of the citizens of California (Valley Sun. May 7). In these troubling economic times, it makes common sense to freeze salaries for state workers earning more than $150,000. Assembly Bill 53 has not passed as of yet, but in the meantime ex-La Cañada Flintridge Mayor Portantino has stated he will forgo a pay raise this year.

Portantino continues to be a legislative role model amid questionable California state and Los Angeles county politicos.

Next time you see the ubiquitous Anthony at a local function or activity, tell him you appreciate his efforts on all our parts. Jack Bierman, Flintridge

Higher tax rates kill growth, jobs

Sometimes irony is exquisite. California is past its eyeballs in deficit so our politicians, led by Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom George Will calls “the best governor the states contiguous to California have ever had,” concocted a great con in the form of ballot initiatives that will allow them to raise already high taxes to the sky while pretending to offer “changes” ensuring sound fiscal behavior in the future.

Of course this will never happen because those behind these propositions, the politicians, public employee unions and various “public interest” groups, have no intention of actually ceding power, or their place at the public trough.

In “balancing the budget,” now estimated at $42 billion, some state employees would have to take wage cuts. With unemployment over 11% the state broke their answer: Nope. They didn’t cotton to the idea of, using the president’s term, “sacrifice,” so they complained to the White House. With the government’s Chrysler bailout we’ve learned that although the president believes a smaller economic pie is preferable to a larger “less fair” pie, this doesn’t apply when unions are involved. Their pie has preference, thus the White House informed Arnold that if the wage cuts weren’t rescinded $7 billion in “stimulus” funds wouldn’t be forthcoming.

Think about that: California, which is the first and last place Democrat politicians across the country trek to have their campaign coffers filled by “progressives,” is now being stiffed by their champion. Or as Mr. Will puts it, “California has become Liberalism’s laboratory, in which the case for fiscal conservatism is being confirmed.” That’s California, where the top 1% of wage earners pays 48% of all income taxes, where the cost of doing business is 20% higher than the national average. Where for four consecutive years more businesses have left the state than come in. Where a net out-migration of 1.4 million has taken place over the past decade, many of them our most productive. Mr. Will again, “California is exporting talent while importing Mexican poverty.”

Liberals will often state in a different form what President Obama believes, which is wealth is something that the government can neither create nor destroy, therefore redistribution can take place without any negative impact on production. But even if individuals work just as hard under high tax rates those taxes reduce the amount of capital for growing their businesses and the fact is states with higher tax rates have less growth and higher unemployment. In sum, “Never in the history of the world has there been a situation so bad government can’t make it worse.” Kent Schmidt, La Cañada

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