The economy continues to flounder with sky-high fuel and food prices. The consumer price index does not include the two most mandatory costs to each family.
Americans have less money left over to spend. After mortgage or rent, utilities, taxes (state and federal), insurance, food and transportation, what is left? Credit card usage is climbing again. Just ask any retail business owners what percentage of their sales are cash versus credit card use. The only solution to this drag on our economy is for private business to grow by lowering corporate taxes and individual capital gains taxes.
In 1961 President Kennedy said a “rising tide lifts all boats.” He was the first of four presidents to lower the taxes on capital gains. Each time this rate was reduced, revenues to state and federal governments increased.
With an aging population, billions of dollars owned by people over 60 could be freed up to spur consumption. When capital flows, economic activity would increase. Sales taxes to the states would increase, demand for manufactured goods may increase. Everything is on sale today. Look at the ads in our newspapers. People will spend but carefully.
California has some of the highest taxes in the nation. Look at Texas; its economy is growing due to lower tax rates and government regulation. I suggest the citizens of La Cañada Flintridge get involved. Call your representatives. They listen!
Richard A. Batista
La Cañada Flintridge
’Open carry’ is a public safety hazard
Banning the open display of firearms (“open carry”) as our Assemblyman Anthony Portantino has introduced legislation to do, is an excellent idea.
No matter how law-abiding those citizens are who want to appear in public armed, they appear to many other community members as a dangerous and unpredictable hazard to public safety.
Open carry harks to the “Wild West” days of street duels and vigilante justice. Those who love their guns because they make them feel safer can have them — at home — with the rest of their arsenals.
We have professional, deputized law enforcement personnel to protect us in public. They are well trained and use deadly force only when absolutely necessary. How do you know that the open carry advocate packing heat with you on the street is stable and not temporarily deranged because he lost his job and/or house, his wife left him, he didn’t take his medications or is just too riled up by media demagogues about “liberal enemies” and out to intimidate or worse?
Any adult can protect his “castle” with a rifle or shotgun at home (you’re more likely to hit a target with those) instead of a pistol or assault rifle. But please, let’s keep our families and children safe by leaving our guns at home.
The crime level keeps dropping. The community is safe enough without armed fear mongers parading among us. We need to be protected from them!
La Canada Flintridge
Let’s talk about 210 sound wall options today
Finally, the Angeles Crest Highway opened again after more than a year of extensive repairs. Believe it or not, it was almost like music to my ears to hear the motorcycles tear up the Crest over the last weekend. If for no other reason, it meant that many enjoyable hiking paths are again open and readily accessible.
The noise from the 210 Freeway is another matter. Sound walls of whatever design, desirable or undesirable, are most likely years away. However, it has been pointed out in the past that 60% to 70% of the freeway noise comes from tires, something that the Parsons Corporation failed to address in its study.
Tire noise can be cured by resurfacing the 210 with a composite material. Somebody said this would be way too expensive. I question that, if you compare apples with apples. For one thing, the surface of the 210 through our city is in terrible shape, and resurfacing the freeway will be imperative within the next couple of years. Secondly, resurfacing the freeway does not require a design study or soil sampling to determine the footing required to carry the heavy weight of sound walls. Lastly, the work specifications can be very simple.
So, let us see some verifiable cost estimates of the three alternatives:
1. High sound-reflective walls; soil sampling along the freeway to determine the load-carrying capacity; an environmental impact study; design of the walls; and construction of the walls.
2. Lower sound-absorbing walls, but with the balance the same as item 1 above.
3. Resurfacing the 210 Freeway through the city with sound-absorbing material, above what a standard resurfacing would cost.(No environmental impact study or design study required).
I realize that the scope of this task is well beyond what our current representatives in Sacramento are capable of handling, so we must rely on our City Council and staff to make the proper contacts with Caltrans.
Erik B. Fiske
La Cañada Flintridge
Forest Service workers should exercise on the job
On a number of occasions the past couple of weeks there have been several U. S. Forest Service fire trucks with their firefighters parked on Osborne at the Hansen Dam in Pacoima. The top of the dam is a popular place for walkers and runners to exercise, which is what the Forest Service fire crew was doing. When I was a Forest Service firefighter, back in the 1960s, we got our exercise by building and maintaining the forest trails and cleaning and maintaining campgrounds and picnic areas.
The Forest Service officials claim they don't have the money to maintain the trails and campgrounds. Yet they have the time and money to go walking across the Hansen Dam miles from the forest boundary. Go figure!
La Cañada Flintridge