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Councilwoman Calls Day-Care Site Safe

September 20, 1993

I read with great interest Clifton and Ginette Burwell's letter (Sept. 12) regarding my support of a day-care center at the corner of Louise Avenue and Keswick Street.

Contrary to their suggestion, this center is not being placed in a "dangerous public alley." All drop-off and pickup activity will take place on the property and not in the adjacent alley.

It is also untrue that I am "backing a day-care center no matter what the consequences." I have listened very carefully to community concerns about the facility's consequences. I have personally visited the site twice and convened a meeting with opponents of the child-care center.

I thereafter sought, with my planning deputy, to address the community's concerns. I asked for a review of traffic and access issues by the city's Department of Transportation, an examination of traffic safety issues by the local LAPD traffic officer and a review of the site's suitability for a day-care center by the city's child-care coordinator. All of these individuals have assured me that the site is suitable and safe.

As a result of their examination, however, I will be asking the applicants to add an additional driveway onto Louise Avenue so that cars leaving the property will not have to exit onto the alley.

This site is on a corner lot abutting only one home. It was termed a "classical site for child care" by the city's Board of Zoning Appeals, which unanimously approved the proposal. The applicant has proposed an impressive child-care program, with a philosophy that maximizes parental involvement.

I will not make land-use decisions by simply holding my finger to the wind or by counting heads. Instead, I will listen hard to all community concerns, actively address all legitimate issues raised and then make my decisions.

In this case, with the concerns about safety, traffic and impacts on the neighbors now addressed, I will be supporting the child-care operation.

LAURA CHICK, Los Angeles. Chick represents the 3rd District on the Los Angeles City Council.

Parents Win With School Vouchers

This is in regard to the letter from Anne C. Pelej (Sept. 9) regarding Proposition 174, which would create school vouchers.

Every person who pays taxes pays a school tax. If and when Proposition 174 passes, those of us who send our children to private school will finally be using the money that we have already paid into this tax for our own children.

Proposition 174 is not a joke. It is the chance for everyone to decide what kind of education our children get with our money. No longer will our tax money go to educating someone else's child in the public school system. It will go to educating our own children in whatever school that we, the parents, decide upon.

WENDY CARRIZOSA, Lancaster

Bernardi Fund Isn't 'Self-Congratulatory'

After reading "Bernardi's Scholarship Fund Cut Almost 75%" (Aug. 25), I feel compelled to set the record straight.

The headline and third paragraph cite anonymous critics who claim that former City Councilman Ernani Bernardi used the Lopez Canyon Amenities Trust Fund to set up a "self-congratulatory monument" to himself through the establishment of the scholarship program. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am the assistant city attorney who is general counsel to the Department of Public Works. I am the lawyer who drafted the ordinances that created the Lopez Canyon Community Amenities Trust Fund and the Ernani Bernardi Scholarship Trust Fund.

When Councilman Bernardi requested that a scholarship be established from the Lopez Canyon trust fund shortly before his tenure with the city ended, he named it the Lopez Canyon Scholarship Trust Fund. It was my suggestion to the office of the chief legislative analyst that a substitute ordinance be prepared that named the scholarship after Councilman Bernardi. The legislative analyst's office reviewed the suggestion with the president of the City Council, who substituted the new ordinance for the original one when it came up for a vote.

At no time did Councilman Bernardi suggest or even know that the scholarship was to be named after him.

It was my belief that after 32 years of dedicated service to the people of the city of Los Angeles and in particular fighting to better the environment surrounding Lopez Canyon, having the scholarship named after him was but a small recognition of Councilman Bernardi's efforts. Obviously, the chief legislative analyst's office and the council agreed.

All Councilman Bernardi wished to do was provide students with the opportunity to further their educations.

Having dealt with unnamed critics throughout my experiences with the Lopez Canyon landfill, I should not be surprised by their baseless personal attack on the character of their former councilman. These attacks should not diminish the longstanding public service career of Councilman Bernardi.

CHRISTOPHER M. WESTHOFF, Los Angeles

Valley Shouldn't Pay for Water 'Lifeline'

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