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READERS REACT: TAKING ISSUE WITH TIMES' STANDS : Note: Many letters writers support our views; many do not. In the spirit of vigorous discussion of the issues, here is a selection of letters that disagrees with us. : Environmental Issues: PROPS. 128, 130, 138

November 04, 1990

The editorial opposing Prop. 128 shows no passion, or even awareness, of the environmental crisis California is in, and a terrible complacency toward doing anything about it.

The Times says our environment is "troubling." The fact is that California has the nation's most polluted air, most toxic ocean floor and the largest amount of pesticides in food and drinking water. Virtually nothing significant has been done about this crisis by the present governor and Legislature. A ballot initiative is clearly needed.

The Times, which opposed Prop. 65 in 1986, now argues that Prop. 65 is so effective against toxics that we do not need Big Green. But Prop. 65 is limited to drinking water and warning signs, while Prop. 128 is about banning 20 specific cancer-causing pesticides in our food.

The Times claims that the proposed office of the environmental advocate "could be effectively abolished by the Legislature after six months." This is absurd. The Legislature would have to vote by two-thirds to do so, and then prove in court that abolishing the advocate's office "furthered the purpose" of Prop. 128. It would be impossible.

What does The Times have to propose as an alternative to Big Green? More "coordination" among government agencies and a new environmental agency in Sacramento. This dull Establishment "solution" would not change the state's ineffectual pollution-fighting policies, but only consolidate the present inert bureaucracies into one big one.

Let's be honest, not sanctimonious. The Times is aligning itself with the Election Day agenda of the chemical and oil companies who are spending more than $16 million to defeat Prop. 128. If siding with the political agenda of the state's worst polluters is not "voting against the environment," then Orwell's doublespeak has prevailed over truthful journalism.

ASSEMBLYMAN TOM HAYDEN

D-West Los Angeles

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