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The wrong kind of leaders

July 04, 2007

Re "Resolutions," editorial, June 30

Let's face it: From schools to the Los Angeles Police Department, from gangs to prisons, we have some really tough problems that need to be solved. All of The Times' suggestions are worth pursuing. But we can only solve these if we face up to the fact that we need people in office who are better able to deal with tough problems.

Unfortunately, we have little choice. All those running for office mean well; they just don't have the right kind of expertise.

Lawyers and politicians and power-seekers generally are not -- as much as they may think they are -- capable of resolving our problems. It requires people who are able to identify basic cause, separate it from effect, examine the options, consider paradigm shifts when appropriate, select the optimum course of action and then implement a success-oriented plan of action.

GEORGE EPSTEIN

Los Angeles

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Regarding the youth gang problem, I couldn't agree with you more. Youth opportunity and youth services have been decimated over the last 25 years and are desperately needed.

Being a third-generation Angeleno, I know that gangs have always been a factor in Los Angeles society, but they have grown so horribly since the early '80s, when President Reagan eliminated the Comprehensive Education and Training Act.

As I see it, it was then that the now-idle youths were attracted to the lure of quick money and violence of the drug trade as practiced by the local gangs. I had never heard of crack or Uzis before then. Please reinstate those programs -- as well as vocational training in the high schools.

ARNIE MOORE

Sherman Oaks

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