Re “L.A.’s costliest school” (Feb. 16): I wonder if Eli Broad’s proposed new tower on his Grand Avenue development, a tower that serves no purpose, is an ego trip that copies the monument tower built to honor George Washington in the nation’s capital? Of course, Washington did not build the monument to himself. And he really deserved it. Broad is spending taxpayers’ money on foolery to aggrandize himself. He will possibly become the “president” of Grand Avenue if our elected officials allow nonsense like this to continue. What’s wrong with building housing for the needy in the area? Now that would be acting like George Washington. Marilyn Minkle Tarzana Sunshine Canyon Landfill Re “Garbage could be diverted for less” (Feb. 17): Los Angeles City Council members should not waste taxpayer money by diverting part of the city’s waste stream to other counties at a cost increase of $20 million to $150 million over the next five years. They should sign a five-year agreement with Sunshine Canyon Landfill, support Greig Smith’s program, which he calls Recovering Energy, National Resources and Economic Benefit from Waste for Los Angeles and which the council recently approved, and invest up to $20 million over the next five years to develop financially viable, long-term solutions. Sunshine Canyon Landfill is going to continue to operate whether or not the city uses it. Utilizing that facility at the lowest possible cost makes $$$ and sense. Whatever tonnage capacity the city relinquishes will simply be used by commercial haulers who will pay more to Sunshine than the city would and, if anything, extend the life of the landfill. Leslie Bittenson Chatsworth Sirens of silence Re “SUV slams into LAPD patrol car” (Feb. 18): On Friday another collision involving an LAPD car occurred, injuring the officers and the other driver. The police car was moving with lights and siren, but was not observed by the other driver as she proceeded on a green light. Evidently she was unable to hear the siren. Since the LAPD and other police agencies began to use electronic tone sirens in the 1980s, these accidents have increased, it seems. I have perfect hearing, and I cannot hear an electronic siren until it is too late to get out of the way in most cases. Law enforcement agencies must reinstall mechanical sirens, such as those on firetrucks and on the 1970s LAPD patrol cars. Those are audible from blocks away and will overpower car radios and road noise. Charles L. Murray Santa Clarita Worth sparing life? Re “Debate over anesthesiologist role” (Feb. 18): Terri Winchell would be 42 years old now, but 25 years ago, a monster named Ricky Ortega lured her away from her home so another monster named Michael Morales could brutally rape her, hit her in the head with a hammer 23 times, stab her in the chest and strangle her with a belt. Ortega led the police to the body, and Morales confessed. Now that his execution is finally at hand, Morales claims his own life is worth sparing because of what he calls his “remorse and redemption” on Death Row. Even more preposterous is the claim by death-penalty foes that lethal injection might cause “undue pain” if the condemned prisoner is not fully unconscious before the paralyzing and heart-stopping drugs are administered. Kimberlee Fletcher Lancaster Vocational courses Re “School should be more than college precursor” (Their Opinions, Feb. 17): Joseph Staub says there should be more high school vocational courses, particularly for those students who do not plan to go on to college. These vocational courses might keep the students interested and prevent them from dropping out of school. During my high school period (1950s), many of us struggled with algebra, a subject most were never to use in real life. I have always advocated that high schools should have an alternate diploma and community colleges an alternate degree with a vocational curriculum. Algebra could be replaced by classes in finance, giving the students math skills in something they could always use in their lifetime. Larry Dale Stone Valley Village Unwatchable Olympics After several attempts during the past week, I’ve come to the conclusion that trying to watch a particular event in the Winter Games is an exercise in futility. You would need a full-time video editor and a bank of TiVo units operating 24/7 to sort out the channels and times. Then there is the incessant yakking. You have one or more talking heads describing the upcoming athletic event and telling you what you are going to see. During the event, they natter on about what you are seeing, and then there’s the inevitable postmortem telling you what you just saw. Combine this with the commercials, and a three-minute event can take up to 15 minutes. Hey, guys, this is not radio. We also have a picture. Put a lid on the gabfest. Dave Hadley West Los Angeles Workers’ benefits Let’s stop dancing around the truth. The money to fund health care and retirement benefits for American workers is still there. What’s changed is corporate America’s decision that all company profits should be hoarded by a few top managers instead of being spread out among the workers who actually earn it. One chief executive officer recently stated that “American workers are just going to have to learn to live on what their foreign counterparts do.” What we are witnessing is the “Third Worlding” of the United States. We will compete with Third World countries by becoming one. Rick McCarter Burbank Car-pooling fantasy There has been a lot of fuss over hybrid cars using car-pool lanes. Letting in the hybrids is the next best thing to eliminating car-pool lanes altogether. Car-pool lanes cost more to build and maintain than ordinary freeway lanes. Yet they are intended to be relatively underutilized. What a waste. Car-pool lane proponents claim this is justified by the offset of cars removed from the road by the incentive of the lane. That is pure fantasy. Car-pool lanes are populated by work crews headed to job sites, sales teams headed to meetings, parents ferrying their children to private schools and the like. Such opportunistic uses don’t justify using car-pool lanes any less intensively than other freeway lanes. John Daly Agoura Hills Odor of acrimony Re “Hunting spin proves who’s the real boss” (Their Opinions, Feb. 17): This morning, as I bent to retrieve the newspaper, I noticed a faint odor – cloying, yet familiar. I do reside near a wash. That must be it. Still, as I walked toward the house and after I removed the protective cover from the paper, the odor became stronger – noxious, and still familiar. As I spread the paper before me and began to unfurl the pages, the stench grew and began to pollute the air in the room. Quickly I turned the pages. for I must know the source of this acrimonious acridity. And there! I thought I recognized it. Beneath the photo of the Evil Witch of the Barren Land of the Liberal Far Left, that Siren of Screed: The Maureen Dowd Column. Yaaahhhhhhhhhh! Daniel F. Taylor Tujunga Odor of sanctity If I accidentally shot my friend while hunting, these events would surely follow: The police would test me for alcohol or drug use. I would have to file a police report. My weapon might be confiscated, and my hunting license might be taken away or revoked. Is Vice President Cheney exempt from these usual procedures in a shooting incident? If so, why? Sol Taylor Sherman Oaks Great pleasure If our supercilious V.P. usually in hiding enjoys hunting (in this instance, killing living creatures for the fun of it) so much – “It’s brought me great pleasure over the years,” he said – why did he request and why was he granted five deferments from obligatory military service? Parker Young North Hollywood AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. 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