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Sustain Life and Hope in L.A. and Beyond

October 26, 2003

Re "Can L.A. Survive?" Opinion, Oct. 19: When speaking of making Los Angeles "sustainable" or connecting "the region's remaining nature with the home we've made," please don't forget that Los Angeles is the absentee landlord of more than 200,000 acres in the Owens Valley -- a de facto water and land colony. Sustainability and connection with nature must exist in our valley for the sake of environmental justice.

In the Owens Valley we suffer the death of a thousand cuts as the L.A. Department of Water and Power continues to steamroll our weak rural county. We still wait for our lower Owens River project that did not see flows begin last June, as was promised in 1997. This project is for environmental devastation starting in 1970. The DWP has unilaterally ended its cooperative drought-recovery policy with Inyo County and continued to damage or destroy native vegetation with groundwater pumping for export to Los Angeles. Please remember the Owens Valley. A green L.A., but a brown Owens Valley, is not just.

Michael Prather

Owens Valley Committee

Lone Pine

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I agree that sustainable designs and energy-efficient initiatives are integral to the future of Los Angeles. The L.A. Community College District has embarked on one of the nation's most extensive "green building" programs for the district's nine colleges. Funded through voter-supported Propositions A (2001) and AA (2003), the massive rebuilding of our colleges over the next decade will be based on the U.S. Green Building Council's high standards for sustainability and energy efficiency. The LACCD was the first community college district in the country to adopt such a far-reaching policy, one that will save public dollars for decades to come, as the buildings rely on solar power, recycled materials, drought-tolerant landscaping and other methods to save resources.

Our reduced demand for fossil fuels and the subsequent reduction in air pollution will benefit the entire region, as will our reduced need for scarce water supplies. As L.A. community colleges transform into state-of-the-art campuses, the LACCD is demonstrating to the nation that sustainable design and renewable energy features are viable.

Mona Field

Board President, L.A.

Community College District

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"Can L.A. Survive?" does not even contain the word "population." The problem with L.A., and California as a whole, is its malignantly growing population. Politically correct attempts to ignore the real problem is only shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

Craig Pryor

Santa Barbara

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