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Letters to the Editor

Letters To The Editor
Posted by on Apr 10, 2005 - 6:08:00 PM

TO THE EDITOR:         

People who live in the 902, 903, 904 or 905 zip codes will soon be experiencing a two to three day delay in receiving mail and a two to three day delay in having mail delivered - unless the closure of the Marina Processing and Distribution Center [P&DC] is stopped by April 15th!


The US Postal Service decided in January, without posting any notices or informing the public [which they are required to do under Title 39, Section 3661(b) of the US Code] to close the facility and move it to the downtown LA P&DC.  This would result in having all the mail for over 171 zip codes and over 87 communities [from Malibu to Palos Verdes to Downey to Eagle Rock] pass through one facility before local mail carriers are able to sort and deliver the mail.


The Downtown P&DC loading dock can accommodate only 90 trucks at a time and it cannot be changed or expanded because there is no available space.  After the consolidation, there will be over 1,000 daily deliveries and all those trucks would have to line up on Florence Avenue to wait their turn. 


Currently the Westside Marina postal trucks collect the mail from the above zip codes and drive to the Marina P&DC for processing and distribution, with out-of-town mail going to LAX just 15 minutes away, and local mail going to local mail carriers for sorting and delivery.  After the consolidation, the Marina postal trucks will collect the mail on the Westside and then drive downtown for processing, then drive back to the Westside to either LAX for out-of-town mail or the local mail carriers for sorting and delivery.


Imagine the increased traffic on the freeways!


And what would happen if this Downtown P&DC was to be shut down as a result of fire, earthquake, an anthrax scare, or even worse, a terrorist attack?  And the US Postal Service is planning to consolidate the Long Beach P&DC into the City of Industry P&DC, which will further reduce any possible back up facility.


Dear Editor, please let the public know what is going on and urge them to contact their Representatives and lets see if together we can prevent this closure from happening.




Naomi K. Jacobs

Marina del Rey, CA


California has become the hotbed for companies trying to create markets in "designer pets" - cloned cats and dogs or so-called "hypoallergenic" cats. The companies have seized emerging, yet inefficient, technologies and are already profiting from people who want to preserve their pets' DNA for cloning or are interested in buying genetically-modified cats.  Yet curiously, only a handful of cloned cats have survived, and no cloned dog or "hypoallergenic" cat exists anywhere in the world.

What consumers may not know is that cloning and genetically modifying animals can harm those animals involved. Scientists who specialize in cloning consistently describe the common failures of animal cloning-miscarriage, stillbirth, deformities, diseases and premature death.  Even with supposed "new and improved" techniques, the CEO of one California pet cloning company confessed that up to 45 percent of the cloned kittens born alive will die within one month.  Perhaps this is why it has failed to fulfill the five orders for cloned cats placed last year and has delivered only two cats to paying clients in over one year's time.

There is no guarantee that cloned or genetically modified animals will
live average, healthy life spans or exhibit the desired traits (i.e., not
causing allergic reactions in people).  Animals who are born but do not
have the "right" profile - they are unhealthy, do not look like the original
pet or exhibit unwanted genetic traits - are likely to be considered
nothing more than by-products.  In addition, cloning one animal involves
the invasive use of other animals behind laboratory doors.

People who want to clone their pets probably want animals who look and
behave like the originals.  But cloned animals are not actually
"carbon-copies" of the original animals.  Every animal is unique.

Perhaps the most ironic aspect of this industry is that it targets animal
lovers, it but actually does more harm to animals than good. These potential consumers presumably would want to prevent, not promote, animal suffering. And let us not forget the 600,000 cats and dogs who are euthanized each year just in California, mostly from lack of homes.

State Assemblyman Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) has introduced Assembly Bill 1428 to ban the sale and transfer of cloned and genetically modified household pets in California.  Please urge your legislator to support this bill, which will prevent the welfare of animals from being compromised at the expense of those who love them.

(BYLINE) Crystal Miller-Spiegel is the Senior Policy Analyst of the
American Anti-Vivisection Society, a founding member of Californians
Against Pet Cloning.  For more information, visit


Dear Sir or Madam

I am appalled that a recent article about Herb Ritts and Mario Testino
glossed over the death of Mr. Ritts due to AIDS (Beverly Hills Walk of Style; March 27).I am at a loss to understand how a newspaper that is supposed to print the truth, not shy away from it, would use this euphemism:
died in 2002 at the age of 50 from complications of pneumonia.”


Can it be that you are afraid of offending people? Is a death from AIDS still offensive in this day and age? I had hoped that after 25 years of this dreadful disease we could at least agree that mentioning someone had died from it was not in and of itself so heinous as to require whitewashing.

Shame on you,

Anthony Johnson


 Nobody gets out of here alive.

Here's a big idea: try and step away from the morbid, seemingly urgent Terri  Schiavo details for a minute, and think about this: why is it there's this  overwhelming fear of death? I mean, does anybody think any of us are going  to get out of this thing alive? Of course not. We are on an  inevitable journey toward death, and consider this, it's entirely possible that our lives here are merely preparation for the afterlife.

I've thought about this. I've written about it. And my guess - no, my
belief - is that this life after life, as I like to call it, is the real
deal. (I love the antiquated phrase that comes from the South, perhaps from old Negro lore: when somebody dies, they've "passed." As in passing on to  something else, instead of the finality of death). And while the Jewish  faith places a greater emphasis on this current life, both Christian and Jewish beliefs embrace an afterlife. So do Islams. And Hindus, who believe  it all the way through incarnation.

I love life. I love this life. I'm in no hurry to leave it. But I think, I
hope, that I'm willing to embrace the time, when it comes, to move on. To become part of the primordial, spiritual soup that is out there, up there,  in some kind of state of grace. To join my parents, who both died when I was still a teenager. To hook up with Jimbo, my protagonist, only now at peace.  Jam with Albert King. Run with my three dogs - who we humanely put down when they had passed their ability to live, pain free. And be there, waiting, for the rest of you to join me. And you will.

I cannot fathom anything worse than experiencing the passing of one of your children. Nothing. Parents are meant to raise their children, to give them roots, and then wings, and then precede them into the next life. The abruptness, the illogical horror of watching a child of any age leave this life is simply beyond my comprehension. But - if you confront the inevitability of it, even while you reject the timing - then being able to let go is the ultimate expression of love and faith.

To be so afraid, so resistant to all this, to be unable to let go of a worn
out life, to usurp God in the name of God, is selfish, utterly presumptuous, even blasphemous. And to interfere from the outside, under any pretense, is obscene, self righteous, hypocritical.

And why is it that the very ones who claim the highest moral and religious authority and grounding are the ones resisting this higher calling the most vehemently? Do they believe, or don't they? Does Tom Delay fear the day he'll face his maker and be asked to reconcile his stated beliefs with his actions? He should.

I'm beyond my initial rage over the self-serving political interference in
all this. Its every charlatan action is utterly transparent. This woman's
parents and family are sad pawns, manipulated by long distance, fair weather opportunists, whose own beliefs, to the extent they have any, are inconsistent with their very actions. If it weren't so sad it would be
amusing. I hope one day the Schiavo family can find peace with all this.

For me, and for the record: pull my plug. If I'm ever in a persistent
vegetative state for say, longer than the next World Series, pull the plug. My death is meant for me, not you, not them, not even my family, not anyone else. It's mine to confront, to pass through and get on with. To return to my creator. When I pass it will be as it's meant to be. Whenever that is, like it or not, understand it or not, my number on life's proverbial list will be up. Done. And then, so will yours.

So why not work on accepting it?

And by the way: if there's anything left of me, excavate every usable body part, organ and eyeball and see if you can use it in somebody else. Or for research. And then cremate my remains, stir my ashes into a gigantic vat of Purple Passion and party on.

Tim Arnold
Croton-on-Hudson, NY



Proposal completely ignores other public employees

 Los Angeles, April 4, 2005 - Saying "The Governor has apparently
acknowledged the truth that his pension initiative eliminates death and
disability benefits for all public employees, including police officers and
firefighters," Bob Baker, President of the LAPPL, once again called on
voters to not sign Governor Schwarzenegger's pension scheme.

"The Governor is apparently readying his allies to make a 'million dollar' offer; that will be the amount given to relatives of future officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. This transparent attempt to squelch opposition to his initiative is as poorly thought out as his pension initiative.  It completely ignores the elimination of disability benefits for officers and firefighters injured in the line of duty, and unable to return to work.  This includes officers such as San Diego Evidently, the Governor believes that unless you are dead, you're worthless."


"Furthermore, the proposal completely ignores the many other public
employees who give their lives and limbs in public service, sometimes at rates as high as or even surpassing many law enforcement and public safety agencies.  For example, seventeen Caltrans workers have been killed repairing California roadways since 1993.  In the City of Los Angeles, during the recent storms, Rory Shaw, a city engineer was killed while inspecting a sinkhole as part of his public duties. Under the Governor's scheme, survivors of future employees killed on the job would simply be out of luck."

"The Governor is tripping over his feet in his attempt to scramble backwards to fix the sinkholes in his scheme.  This particular fix only demonstrates how poorly thought out the entire pension initiative is.  The structure is rotten, and attempting to paint over one of the major flaws doesn't change that fact."   

By April 21, Schwarzenegger needs 600,000 signatures to place this plan on the ballot box.  The LAPPL encourages voters to oppose this plan by refusing to sign the signature petition.
police officer Dan Walters, who was paralyzed after being shot several years ago.


Cliffside Malibu




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