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Designing the 'Next L.A.'

March 04, 1994

* In response to The Times' special report "The Next Los Angeles," Feb. 13:

I want to applaud your special section. The Northridge earthquake has indeed challenged our thinking about living in Los Angeles. However, one of the items in the "Idea File" is a lot closer to reality than the article indicates. Specifically, the satellite communications network described on Page T14 as "possible on a limited scale" will actually be available next year when American Mobile Satellite Corp. (AMSC) offers a service by which cellular subscribers can also make calls over a satellite. AMSC is not a "phone company" as indicated in your article, but an independent company licensed by the FCC. Hughes has a 27% interest in AMSC and is building its satellite.

AMSC's service would undoubtedly be invaluable during a disaster. However, its principal use is to extend cellular coverage from a city or region to anywhere in North America. Contrary to the article, no home dish is required. Users of certain models of a cellular phone simply install a satellite booster kit in their cars. Only one satellite, not many, is required for nationwide hookup. The cost of service will only be somewhat higher than cellular "roaming" is today.

CARSON E. AGNEW, Vice President

Hughes Communications, Mobile Satellite

Business Unit, Los Angeles

* As a member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 29 years and a deputy chief, I read with great anticipation your excellent special report. I approached this section with particular intensity because I had just read the extensive front-page story which indicated that crime was not only a significant concern but the most important concern among Americans and Angelenos, even to the point of surpassing the economy. Thus I expected to read in "The Next Los Angeles" considerable discussion, research, idea files, etc., about new ways of looking at this, the most pressing issue of our time. So I was disappointed, not in the quality of the special report--it was great. The tone was upbeat and positive, and we all need large doses of positivity. It was simply to my expectation incomplete.

In finding its way to the next millennium, Los Angeles and all its stake holders need to maintain an open and extensive dialogue on all issues important to the people, especially the most important ones.

MARK A. KROEKER, Deputy Chief

South Bureau, LAPD

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