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Confront MTA Gropers, and Speaking of Pests ...

October 10, 2002

It would have been better to stick with "pests" in "Ridding the MTA of Pests" (Oct. 7) rather than to go on to describe men who grope in buses as "perverts," "molesters" and even "sexual predators." In Italy, half the male population seems to engage in such acts. If it's as rampant here as the article says, does it make sense to label so many men "perverts"? Italian women throw screaming fits over such pests--it stops them in their tracks. Why is it that we prim Americans, according to the article, utter not a peep?

I'd rather women show some spunk than pay tax dollars to support the MTA "perv" patrol. After these guys get convicted of felonies and appear on the Megan's Law list and sex-offender Web maps, are we then supposed to bite our nails when one of them happens to live down the street? Puritanism is alive and well in the U.S.

Elaine Halleck

Vista

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I was disappointed to find, where your article continued on A17, that a picture of the sign posted in an MTA bus had a graffiti tag sticker as the central focus. Was there another sign that did not have graffiti? If not, the photographer could have removed the sticker before taking the photo. Graffiti in L.A. gets enough advertisement on the freeways without having a front-page article lead the reader to more graffiti. I'm sure the sticker artist loved the free publicity.

Heather Cunz

Los Angeles

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