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More evaluating?

first_imgRe: “City feels real estate price pain” (April 21): The price tag of the Figueroa Plaza five years ago was $92 million and the city officials passed on it. Now they are considering buying it for $219 million. Councilman Tony Cardenas at the time opposed the purchase and is still not convinced. It makes sense to me to purchase the building now since we already pay $8.7 million a year to lease about half of the towers to city employees. As Reginald Jones-Sawyer, director of asset management for the city’s Department of General Services, said, adding private tenants’ leases would cover much of the city’s debt payment. Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose district contains the towers, backed evaluating a possible purchase. Keep evaluating and they will hike the price up again. – Marianne Castro Lawson – Pamela Franklin Granada Hills Still paying the price Re: “LAUSD report card: All F’s” (April 21): After approximately six months and over $350,000 of public funds, I read that the “core mission” is to focus on instruction. Wow! I would have thought that is what education was in the first place? Education, isn’t it all about instruction and learning? Every past analysis of the Los Angeles Unified School District education system tells us it is broke. After many years under Romer, it is still busted. Billions of extra bond dollars and taxes, our kids are still paying the price for LAUSD’s failures. I wonder how many books that $350,000 paid to auditors and consultants would have placed in those failing classrooms? Just one more example of “That massive central bureaucracy (that) is keeping dollars out of the classroom and stopping any real reform effort.” – William Conroy Northridge Thinking big Re: “LAX risks losing its high profile if it can’t get modernization off ground” (April 23): The problem with the Los Angeles International Airport is not LAX but L.A. No one in this city wants to get anything done – how long did it take just to run a bus down Victory Boulevard. If the mayor is serious in fulfilling his airport “vision,” he will scrap all plans to do anything to LAX and he will work to pass a $500 billion bond ASAP to fund a high-speed rail line out to the desert and simultaneously construct an air facility that will be serviceable for the next 100 years. If you doubt this solution, you only need fly in to New Tokyo Narita airport, jump on the NEX and you arrive at Tokyo Station in under 90 minutes. What a pleasure. L.A. have has got to stop thinking small and start thinking big. – Gary Morris Oak Park Reviewing councils Re: “Neighborhood council crisis” (April 23): In the article on public confidence in the neighborhood council system, you quote researcher Fernando Guerra as saying, “(the) survey data provides new evidence for a citywide need to re-examine the neighborhood councils’ roles – and need for being.” It is therefore troubling that that your article fails to note that such an examination is currently under way. The Neighborhood Council Review Commission is a 29-member citizen commission appointed by the mayor and the City Council to undertake a 15-month study of the efficacy of the neighborhood council system and to make recommendations for its future. The creation of the commission was a requirement of the revised city charter adopted by voters in 1999. The NCRC will issue its preliminary recommendations for changes to the neighborhood council system on June 19, after which it will hold a series of seven public hearings all over the city to receive feedback on those recommendations. – Jason Lyon Vice Chair, Neighborhood Council Review Commission Iraq funding bill Re: “Charges traded on Iraq bill” (April 25): President George W. Bush threatens to veto the Iraq funding bill because of Congress’ restrictions. If he does veto it, funding for current operations will begin to run out. If Congress refuses to pass another, unrestricted funding bill, how bad is that? Our military will have to use its remaining funding to secure a safe withdrawal from Iraq. Of course, Bush will blame the Democrats for “losing” Iraq, and the Democrats will take credit for extracting us from a quagmire. Meanwhile, there will be no more killing on account of American occupation. Looks like a win-win situation to me. – Bruce Joffe Piedmont Keep Gonzales Re: “Gonzales must go” (Our Opinions, April 23): I disagree with your editorial. I watched the Senate hearings grilling Gonzales last week. Almost each time Gonzales said “I don’t recall,” he followed by “This is what I do recall” and attempted to be precise. I thought he gave a credible performance before Congress. Then I heard the senators’ remarks and the media reports and thought that I had watched a different hearing. Most people in a very busy business environment know that everyone recalls situations sometimes very differently. When you have a lot on your schedule every day, after time it may be difficult to reconstruct the events and timeline precisely. Yes, loyalty is a virtue, and President Bush should keep Gonzales as AG. – Gloria Simms Winnetka Get serious or get out Fighting Iran one insurgent at a time in Iraq is not going to win this war. We fought China and Russia in Vietnam and look what happened … . Until George Bush and the American public come to terms with this, this war against terror will never end. We need to either get serious or get out. – Laurien DuTremble Northridge Grass-roots democracy Re: “Neighborhood council crisis” (April 23): In 2002, when the neighborhood council whose boundaries I live within was formed, we were idealists. In 2002, those forming these councils worked together for the benefit of the community. Now that the city departments listen to us and our councilman sends developers to us first, we know we have made a difference. To say 43 percent think the councils improve the responsiveness of City Hall when, in 2002, 68 percent hoped for improvement is not the same thing. The survey says approval has dropped from 71 percent to 51 percent. But that does not explain that in September of 2002 there were 43 councils formed and now in 2007 there are 89 councils certified. This shows twice as many people are involved, which indicates strong support for the idea of this form of grass-roots democracy. – Mary Anna Kienholz Granada Hills God-given right I urge Congress to oppose renewal of the assault weapons ban, HR 1022. The Second Amendment states that the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. This means Congress shall make no law that infringes on this God-given right. Congress allowed the 1994 ban to expire in 2004 for multiple reasons, including the fact that federal, state and local law enforcement agency studies showed that guns affected by the ban had been used in only a tiny percentage of crimes, before and after the ban was imposed. – Robert W. Van de Walle Granada Hills 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Granada Hills Comparison shop Re: “City feels real estate price pain” (April 21): How can the City Council considering buying property for the outrageous amount of $219 million when their budget is already maxed to the hilt? Well, they can always put a new bond on the ballot and let those hard-working, tax-paying individuals foot the bill – of course let’s not forget to add that this overpriced property is being purchased “for the good of the children.” Find a different building in a less expensive area. Homebuyers have to do that all the time. last_img

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