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A Narrow View Nurtures Crime

May 27, 1993

I am personally appalled at the expressed idea that crime has come to Sherman Oaks, Encino and other middle-class neighborhoods. Do some people really believe that hills or gates or high incomes or permit parking excludes them from the everyday interaction with people and society.

It is that same narrow view of community and the people who make up our city, our city of communities, that creates separate and unequal and nurtures a criminal environment.

It is also that same narrow view that permeates commentary on airports, development, rail transit and ad nauseam.

Yes, regrettably crime touches everyone. Crime in all its forms is negative and destructive. We all feel the effects of criminal acts directly or indirectly. All efforts should be made to prevent and eliminate crime.

The most blind-vision way to safeguard our communities is to say, "Crime in my neighborhood, I never would believe it, we're middle class, it doesn't belong here, we're not receiving our fair share of police, they only go where they are needed."

One way to obtain more police would be to prepare a ballot initiative that would reduce the two-thirds tax-measure requirement to 60%--less than two-thirds and greater than 50%. All parties get something, and police and schools and other important public needs may obtain the financial support they need.

HOWARD S. RAPHAEL

Sherman Oaks

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