Re “From slime to sublime” (Oct. 10): Here’s another good example of some newspaper staff writer giving her opinion of something she knows nothing about. After disastrous floods in the 1930s, the Army Corps of Engineers built Hanson and Sepulveda dams. The L.A. River, which used to empty out near Santa Monica, was diverted miles to the south. The corps put the river in a cement jacket to keep it from tearing up the countryside, which it used to do all the time. Anybody who has seen the Big Tujunga when it’s really flowing knows what I’m talking about. “Golly gee, wouldn’t it be swell to get rid of all that ugly concrete?” Do that, and ignore the past, but before you do just look at Santa Paula Airport last year: No concrete channel there and they lost of one-third of their runway. Michael Leptuch Pacoima Grandiose plan Re “From slime to sublime” (Oct. 10): Note to Councilman Ed Reyes: Instead of wasting $3 million on a master plan for the Los Angeles River, why not use it to clean up trash in the river, get rid of the graffiti along the river, provide security along the river, run off the gangsters who think they own it and intimidate and run off decent people, move the hundreds of homeless people off the banks of the river, and maintain the bike path and pocket parks that have been built along the river? These are far better ways to revitalize the river than a master plan that will, as the one for Griffith Park shows, be composed of grandiose ideas and drawn up with little public input that will be ignored anyway. Tony Taylor North Hollywood Abolish LAUSD Re “Should the mayor run the schools?” (Oct. 7): What does the mayor of L.A. know about running schools? He has never taught, the Board of Education members have never taught, the governor has never taught. And here they are trying to run schools when they haven’t the vaguest idea of what to do. The real problem is that no one will do what has to be done in order to make the school system work. The Board of Education and all those employees at the downtown offices and at the local areas have to go. The system needs to be cleaned out, broken up, and started all over again. The parents and residents of the L.A. area need to demand that the LAUSD be abolished and redone. It cannot be fixed. Stephanie Schwartz Teacher Granada Hills Charter HS Photogenic pol Everywhere I look or listen, Antonio Villaraigosa appears before my very eyes. He is either out riding a horse, pruning a tree or some other photo-op. The latest being on the front page of the TV Book in our very own Daily News, showing that he is appearing on the “George Lopez Show.” If Villaraigosa is out of his office so much, who is minding the store? The first 100 days are over now and I would like to hear what has been achieved by this mayor, apart from gallivanting from place to place. Pamela Franklin Granada Hills Improve the schools Re “Should the mayor run the schools?” (Oct. 7): Instead of taking over the LAUSD, the mayor should take over the INS and enforce the laws of the land regarding illegal aliens. Then he could solve the low test scores and dropout rates at the LAUSD, the gang problem, the graffiti problem and the closing of all the emergency rooms. He could do all that from one throne. Politicians, don’t you just love ’em? Bob Budworth Woodland Hills We’re talking money Re “Bening makes push for arts in schools” (NewsLite, Oct. 8): Let’s have a reality check here. How many people want their taxes increased? That’s what increased funding for the arts means. That is what Annette Bening means when she stands on the Capitol steps in Sacramento. Let’s think out of the box. We learned a great lesson in Hurricane Katrina. The private sector is more efficient then the state or federal government. Why not provide incentives for private industry to fund arts programs in the schools? Kathy Dudley Northridge Not the problem Re “Special Election 2005: Prop. 74” (Oct. 10: I find neither the pro or con arguments for Prop. 74 regarding teacher tenure at all informative, so I am relying on what my adult children tell me. They are all outstanding teachers with many years of experience. Their concern is that Prop. 74 won’t change anything because the real problem is not the teachers but the inept school administrators who hire them and are themselves unqualified to know good teachers from the bad. While my children are not against increasing the time from two years to three years, they say five years is too much and that the procedures for firing a teacher can be used too easily to shut up teachers who dare criticize administrators. Jack Allen Pacific Palisades Shutting unions Re “Prop. 75, Pro: Union politics stifle some members” (Oct. 11): But most union members know that the true purpose of Proposition 75 is to shut down unions. However, if Republican big business and corporations would totally stop giving money to support Proposition 75, maybe they could strike a deal. Now that’s fair and balanced. Jerold Drucker Tarzana Not that simple Re “Keep it simple” (Your Opinions, Oct. 6): Here is another person saying that if someone doesn’t like the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, they simply don’t have to say them. It’s not that simple. I tried putting myself in others’ shoes and not saying the phrase “under God” while pledging with a group. It’s difficult to time correctly. People also offer the option of just not saying the pledge at all. I wondered how I’d feel if I had to stand respectfully while a group around me pledged something against my beliefs or offensive to me, for example, “under Satan.” I think I’d feel pretty resentful. The alternative I suggest is that people continue using the phrase “under God” when they say the pledge in their church, and omit the phrase whenever they are in a nonreligious or government-sponsored milieu. Wilma Bennett Reseda Political motives Re “Different rules” (Your Opinions, Oct. 9): Gene Cofsky writes that Tom DeLay has been reindicted. Well, yes, he was. But only after it was discovered that the first indictment was for a crime that wasn’t even on the books at the time of the “crime.” After a second grand jury refused to indict, the prosecutor was forced to jury-shop until he found one that would. This prosecutor only has political motives and I predict that all charges will be thrown out once a judge sees the “evidence” against DeLay. Glenn Smith Woodland Hills Training shows We would like to thank the men and women of the many fire services who rushed in and saved our homes during the recent fire. Their years of training showed as they went about their job and saved home after home. It is said that firefighters are the ones that are always rushing in while everyone else is rushing out, they are the true heroes. May God bless them and their families. Also a big thank you to the men and women of the sheriff’s and police departments for their long hours of protection also. And then after the fires, it is amazing how quickly phone and electrical service was restored. These repairmen worked day and night to get us our service back. Dave Harps and Karen Brown West Hills Love and liars With all the natural disasters, fires, floods, tidal waves, earthquakes and war, I don’t believe George Bush when he says he talks to God. If God is listening, he is pretty upset. If you were God, consider a love life where liars say they love you and start wars. Denis F. Cremins Simi Valley AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!