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Belmont Debacle Still (En)rages

February 04, 2001

Ralph Frammolino's excellent article painted a thorough, detailed picture of the cesspool of lies, corruption and incompetence surrounding the Belmont Learning Center ("The Bolshevik Who Beat Belmont," Jan. 7). The message was correct, whether one is a Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative: Building gigantic, two- story warehouse-like structures, with retail outlets on the first floor and classrooms on the upper level for 5,000 students, is wrong for students and taxpayers. What students need are small neighborhood schools. The school board must not yield to reckless political agendas nor be bullied by downtown law firms and high-powered lobbyists into reversing its wise decision to stop Belmont for other locations. Its environmental hazards and inferior learning environment are too big a price for our students and taxpayers to pay.

Michael D. Antonovich

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

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David Koff is obviously a brilliant man, intent on living out his convictions. Regarding his pursuit to keep the Belmont Learning Center closed, however, he appears willing to dismiss the hopes and dreams of students, parents and alumni for this much-needed high school. Koff's middle-class childhood home and education prepared him to make significant changes in his lifestyle and political thought process. Yet his only-I-know- what's-best-for-those-folks protest has taken this same opportunity away from students who live in the Belmont High neighborhood. Will Koff (and others who want to abandon the Belmont complex) volunteer to mentor students? Provide tutoring after school? Assist an instructor in an enrichment activity? Or is Koff's concern merely limited to putting forth his sneering bias-- "You mean the Belmont Gas Chamber?"--at the expense of children and families in a neighborhood to which he has no significant connection?

Claudia Parras

Lakewood

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