* Where was Gideon Kanner (Valley Commentary, Dec. 5) living in the '50s? Not in the Valley, or he'd remember that many parents of young couples he's so sorry for couldn't afford to live in convenient locations like Beverly Hills and Hancock Park. We bought small homes in the Valley and spent large sums of money over the years to improve them. We also made "onerous commutes" to work downtown, sans freeways, in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Ventura Boulevard.
We did it for a better way of life for our children. And homeowner associations have helped to maintain that way of life by using their political clout to close down strip joints, clear the streets of prostitutes and limit the height of commercial property on Ventura Boulevard. These are just a few of the ways they defend our neighborhoods.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday December 14, 1993 Valley Edition Metro Part B Page 4 Column 6 Zones Desk 1 inches; 25 words Type of Material: Correction
Letter--An editor's note following a Dec. 12 letter from Marcia Brooks of Woodland Hills misidentified her. She is a director of the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization.
I'd like to hear what Mr. Kanner would say if he lived next to a prison, in a neighborhood with drive-by shootings or surrounded by the homeless scattering his garbage.
The reasons for residents and businesses leaving this state are myriad. Mr. Kanner oversimplifies by putting all the blame on housing prices.
Not True That There Are Too Many Golf Courses
* I could not believe the article by Sandy Wolgemuth (Valley Commentary, Nov. 28) asserting that golf courses are "gobbling up too much space."
There sure as hell are not 200 golf courses available to the general public. Last I saw, the ratio of players to courses in Los Angeles was one of the highest in the nation.
The height of intellectual bankruptcy was the expression of concern for the Topanga residents who were worried about "this menace to their rustic lifestyle." Boy! What a case of "I've got mine so don't bother me"! The rugged defenders should dismantle their homes and return the areas they violate by their presence to a more natural state.
DONALD J. PRADO
Stricter Dress Codes Would Benefit Students
* In response to the Nov. 14 editorial "Schools Have to Take Uniform Approach," I would like to add the following: Banning baggy pants to avoid resemblance to gang outfits in some Burbank schools is not going far enough.
Reforming the school system would require drastic measures, and one of these should be a statewide (even nationwide) use of dress codes in both elementary and high schools.
The reason is obvious. Schools are not there to entertain but to educate students who will acquire discipline and respect their teachers. Strict dress codes enable students to concentrate on learning by eliminating the distraction caused by the scrutiny of each others' fashion statements.
I disagree with the notion that the use of uniforms is counterproductive without the approval of the parents, individual schools and communities. No doubt, parents have the biggest influence in their children's lives, but they also have the responsibility to make sure that order and discipline are achieved through the pressure on schools to use strict dress codes. These measures may seem a bit stern and traditional, but some people don't realize the importance of the end result.
I was educated in Europe, where going to school was a fearful experience until I realized what I was there for. Getting into high school was a privilege, not a requirement, and if I flunked, it wasn't just a bad moment, it was a family disgrace. Individuality and freedom should not exist in elementary and high schools as opposed to colleges and universities, because without strong basic knowledge there is no personal improvement.
Sybert's Move Into District Is Disturbing
* In response to a recent article in The Times on Republican congressional candidate Bob Hammer, I am happy to know that Mr. Hammer and the other two unofficial Republican candidates from the same area, Mark Benhard and Mike Spelane, are running in a district in which they reside.
It disturbs me when I hear that Richard Sybert has decided to take up residency in the 24th Congressional District for the apparent sole purpose of running for office.
I do not believe our nation's founders intended to have citizens hop around from district to district, testing to see which chunk of American soil is fertile for their political ambitions. I am a strong supporter of the Republican Party, and I would like to see more Republican representation in Congress, but I want to see it done genuinely.
Printing Arrested Man's Name Was Irresponsible
* We felt outraged by The Times' irresponsible reporting of the individual arrested by the police in connection with the serial molestations. Printing his name when he had not been charged was not only irresponsible, it was indecent.
JACQUELINE and ALAN DORFMAN
Children's Safety Should Be Everyone's Concern
* There are certain things that I never expected to have to do when I became a father. Attending the funeral of my 7-year-old daughter's softball teammate was one of them.