Firefighter replies

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! As an L.A. city firefighter who spent a few days at the Topanga Fire, I would like to thank all the people who brought us food, cookies and drinks and the people who opened their homes to us for showers and a place to sleep or to make a quick call home are amazing in my eyes. Wal-Mart also gets a well-deserved thanks for all the pallets of snacks and goods; also thanks to Union Ice Co. and more. Sorry I don’t have all the names of companies that donated but rest assured it does not go unnoticed by the firefighters. A heartfelt thanks goes out to you all. Mike McCrea Northridge Visiting heroes Re “Firefighters control giant Topanga Fire”” (Oct. 1): Perhaps the “Governator” needs to “step away from the movie” and stop reminding us of his movie parts. I think the firefighters would prefer action on maintaining or increasing benefits rather than empty platitudes about being “action heroes.” The veterans of Chatsworth Fire 2005 worked tirelessly in their attack on the flames, saving lives and property throughout the West Valley. Perhaps we should be happy that we had real-life firefighters on the lines rather than an actor who just played one. Leigh Datzker Chatsworth Are you kidding? Re “Consumers speak their minds” (Oct. 2): Sunday’s paper has left me shaking my head in disbelief. The comment by an Oak Park resident that gas prices have kept him from washing his newer SUV but twice a month cracked me up. Please! Anyone who knows the housing market in Oak Park, knows the cost of one of those SUVs and knows a contractor’s salary was laughing with me. Sir, you can indeed wash your car as often as you like. Go into your front yard, turn on the hose and get out the sponge. And the guy who owns a 2004 Harley that suddenly can’t afford to drive to the “bars” anymore isn’t all bad. Drinking and driving is against the law anyhow. Are these really necessities? Cristy McNay Newbury Park Longer, costlier Re “Test ride on the busway offers riders a new view of the Valley” (Oct. 1): I was extremely troubled to learn what Supervisor Yaroslavsky had conceived for the Valley on the back of a napkin: A $330 million busway, which would take passengers a distance of 14 miles in 40 minutes along a pre-existing train track, and all for $1.25 one way. How much saving in time and money is it for the average commuter? A commute by car from Woodland Hills to Pasadena during rush hour (a trip I make daily) is about 45 minutes. A car that gets an average 20 miles per gallon will make the 14-mile trip from Woodland Hills to North Hollywood for about the same (probably less) time, for $2.10 at $3 per gallon. A saving of a whopping 85 cents per trip, not accounting for the drive to the bus stop. Sharon Kedar West Hills Teacher probation Re “Teachers rebelling” (Your Opinions, Oct. 3): As a newly retired teacher from LAUSD, who was first hired in 1956, I wish to correct errors stated in Don Nigherbon’s letter. The probationary period was three years, not 10. Eventually, it was changed to the two years. The requirements to advance on the pay scale are the same as before: You advance by years and by having to take educational courses. The unions have sought not only better pay and working conditions for teachers, but to ensure that the district puts more money into the local schools and classrooms rather than into administrative bureaucracy. Barbara Ultan Northridge Doesn’t cover costs Re “Illegal aliens” (Your Opinions, Oct. 3): The fact is that not all illegal aliens come here to work. Up to one-third of our prison population are illegal aliens who cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year to house. It costs about $10,000 a year to educate one illegal alien’s child. Many of these children are born in county hospitals on the taxpayers’ back. These “anchor babies” are then eligible for all sorts of welfare benefits. Those of us who don’t have nannies or gardeners are paying for others to get that “cut-rate” employee. Taxes on “meager salaries” are hardly enough to cover the costs. James T. Streeter North Hollywood If it’s important Re “Newdow ought to thank God” (Viewpoint, Oct. 2): So, Chris Weinkopf, if religious freedom is nonexistent in Communist China why is a religious and free democratic USA heavily (very heavily) financially wheeling and dealing with an intolerant communist entity like China? Shouldn’t Communist China be treated like Communist Cuba? Dante F. Rochetti West Hills Pledge background Neither Chris Weinkopf nor Dick Meister (Viewpoint, Oct. 2) directly addressed whether the 1954 insertion of “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance was constitutional. That year the Knights of Columbus conducted an intensive campaign to make the pledge “more religious” by adding those words, arguing that it answered the Soviet Union’s “godless communism.” President Dwight Eisenhower, and Congress, knew that state and local education codes required recitation of the pledge on a daily basis. They knew that the revised pledge would be a proclamation of dedication to “God” imposed on our schoolchildren, that teachers would be required to teach it and not to question it. What they did was to establish a religious practice, contrary to the First Amendment’s establishment clause. That, Weinkopf, is how “the pledge would fit the bill.” Kenneth H. Bonnell Eagle Rock Keep it simple Re “Atheists’ rights trampled” and “Newdow ought to thank God” (Viewpoint, Oct. 2): Why all this fuss about the Pledge of Allegiance? Keep it as it is, and tell anyone who does not want to say the words “Under God” to not say them and let those who do, say them. Simple. Free speech. Costs nothing. Lila Orme Chatsworth No harm Re “O’Connell: No change in science” (Sept. 29): What is to fear in the teaching of “Intelligent Design” in California’s public schools? It would only add academic honesty to the theory of evolution. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and others, relax, there is no viable threat to students in science classrooms. Teaching Intelligent Design would give students the opportunity to intellectually decipher the theories of the origin of the universe and its inhabitants. Martha Akin Reseda Salt on wounds My gas bill for heating my home went up 20 percent in September. The city of Los Angeles charges 10 percent of the total bill so the tax went up 20 percent. Natural gas is expected to increase 71 percent during the coming months and maybe even higher, giving the city an extra windfall of revenue. If the city would tax the per-therm amount instead of the total amount, it might be fairer. Mayor Villaraigosa and the City Council should look into this and change the way they tax us, the ratepayers. John Bunte Sunland Stop him As a former member of the Join Arnold team, I am asking you to stop Arnold. Props. 74 and 75 are both misleading. Teachers can already be fired, even tenured teachers. Prop. 74 takes away teachers’ rights to a hearing. Imagine your child’s favorite teacher fired because the new principal has a personal problem. You would have no opportunity to voice support for that teacher if 74 passes. Additionally, Prop. 75 claims teacher-union dues are used without permission for political action. This is also a lie. Union workers are automatically given the chance to pull union dues away from political arenas and give them to charities instead. Ted Murcray Riversidelast_img

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