Our Readers Write

Ramani has done nothing wrong

As the volunteer campaign treasurer for Sunder Ramani for Assembly, I am troubled by the glaring headlines about Sunder's campaign and the Fair Political Practices Commission investigation for alleged procedural reporting violations ("Probe targets Ramani funds," June 23).

While his opponent, Mike Gatto, is also under investigation for alleged campaign finance violations, I am writing to you to set the record straight about Sunder's campaign and my actions as treasurer.

I have known Sunder for many years, and due to his steadfast support for the community, I agreed to serve on a volunteer basis as his campaign treasurer, having experience working as a treasurer for campaigns and charitable organizations in the past.

Designated an enrolled agent by the Internal Revenue Service, I managed my own practice from 1973 until 1993, serving more than 750 clients. Unfortunately, campaign finance rules are constantly changing, and it is quite easy to make an error, which can result in a technical violation. In this respect, it is not unlike the average American taxpayer trying to understand and comply with the federal income tax code — it is easy to make an honest mistake that can land you in hot water.

The entire issue in question here is a particular new provision in the law, which requires campaigns to report all contributions within a 24-hour period during the last months leading up to an election. Unfortunately, being unaware of the new provision, I reported every contribution according to the old standards rather than the new one, and for that reason the Fair Political Practices Commission has decided to investigate my actions.

I am cooperating fully with the commission to ensure that all their questions are answered, but I want to assure the public that these mistakes were honest, procedural in nature, and entirely unintentional.

Sunder is an extraordinary member of our community, and I am grateful he is willing to step up to represent us. This incident should in no way diminish the public's trust in him or reflect negatively on his unblemished record of honest and faithful public service.

Pamela Corradi

Burbank

Editor's note: Corradi is the treasurer for Republican Sunder Ramani's state Assembly campaign.

Old 'friends' who stood at Descanso will be missed

I can't remember a time when they weren't standing there. We have walked by them every day for at least 20 years, through raising three children and walking five dogs. Cut down now, dead, to be quietly removed as La Cañada is away for the Fourth of July.

Through fires, Santa Anas, earthquakes and droughts, they stood tall and steady as we walked by each early morning. They felt loved in this "Tree City," standing at the entrance to Descanso Gardens whose membership brochure boasts of its "strolls through shade forests."

They had watched their neighbors, the "native oaks," be manicured regularly on Descanso Drive. I imagine on their last day they were shocked when the chainsaws were there to cut them down, not as usual to trim the oaks.

They were not a native oak, deodar cedar, Chinese elm or California pepper tree; they were not protected by the municipal code. But shouldn't they be protected by common sense? It's just not logical to cut down a beautiful, healthy tree in the middle of public open space because it offers too much shade. I know there is "a plan" for this area of Descanso Gardens to plant different plants. But it seems wasteful in a time when we are all trying to conserve and recycle.

It is important that my old friends know that I noticed they were gone, and will miss their shade forest every day.

Meredith Reynolds

La Cañada

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