Farewell to a Big Brother
Re “Roy E. Disney, 1930-2009,” Obituary, Dec. 17
As past president of Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles and as a big brother to a fatherless kid since 1968, I can tell you that Roy E. Disney took his family's role in the agency very seriously. ( Walt Disney founded Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles in 1955.)
Roy was always involved -- in many ways beyond the financial -- in helping this great agency.
We will miss him.
Clearing the air
Re “Let’s not go it alone,” Opinion, Dec. 17
Wrong. The U.S. should act first and lead the world in reducing carbon emissions.
The U.S. was right to lead the way in reducing ozone-depleting substances during the 1980s. The world's air conditioners and deodorants followed.
It is imperative to set the same example again.
I have read that developing countries at the climate summit in Copenhagen want others to pay for their green development.
I find it hard to believe that any country with a space program -- such as China and Russia -- could claim to be a "developing" country. Maybe if they put the money spent on their space programs into development, they wouldn't need outside help.
Re “Impure science,” Opinion, Dec. 16
Of course scientists are human and capable of error and bias. But the scientific method is designed to weed out those twin defects. Can the same be said of our business and political practices?
The time for questioning the strength of the arguments in favor of global warming was decades ago. Now that we have corroboration of some of the most dire predictions before our eyes, there is no excuse for dithering over the pursuit of meaningful countermeasures.
Is there any question that glaciers are vanishing all over the Earth? Is there any question that the disappearance of glaciers in the Himalayas will affect millions of people who depend on them for water? The only question remaining seems to be: Do we care?
The safety of our food
Re “Watching what we eat,” Editorial, Dec. 14
The Times points out the need for the U.S. government to take a more active role in helping to secure our food supply. To the extent that the proposed FDA Food Modernization Act would force food companies to step up their game and take reasonable steps to protect the consumer, I agree.
However, the notion that increasing the number of inspections will have a meaningful impact on food safety is unrealistic. Unless there is a complete overhaul of the system, doing more inspections will not prevent the large multi-state food-poisoning outbreaks that have become commonplace.
As a food safety industry professional, I believe this is a private sector issue. Companies must have better visibility of food safety and quality around the world; more robust processes in place to prevent problems; improved protocols for testing and verification; and better management of product withdrawal to ensure food safety.
Then, and only then, can we expect to see the number of outbreaks decrease.
The writer is chief executive officer of Steritech Group Inc.
When Americans cheat Americans
Re “Victims of fraud scheme tell of lost life savings,” Dec. 17
Yet another Ponzi scheme story? Newspapers across Southern California all too frequently carry stories about seniors and others ripped off by devious con men, proving that Wall Street is not solely to blame for the damage done to Americans by Americans.
Obviously, a lack of regulation and oversight are to blame, otherwise these shysters wouldn't attempt such thievery against society's most vulnerable.
Just because someone doesn't lose money to Bernie Madoff doesn't mean there are not people exactly like Madoff preying unfettered.
It appalls me that we think our enemy is overseas when he is right here among us.
A rail-line solution is coming
Re "Another Metro line that ends a mile short of the airport!" Cartoon, Dec. 17
Though I enjoy Ted Rall's cartoons, he got it wrong when he criticized the Expo Line's lack of proximity to Los Angeles International Airport.
The Expo Line goes nowhere near LAX because it parallels the 10 Freeway corridor. However, the Green Line and the planned Crenshaw Line will both go to the Aviation Station, where a future LAX People Mover train will connect to Century Boulevard and other airport-related destinations as well as the individual LAX terminals.
This indirect LAX connection at Aviation was chosen to avoid the need for all Metro lines passing by LAX to stop at all of the airport's terminals -- not every commuter wants to go to LAX -- and because legal and security issues make it difficult (if not impossible) to have trains connect directly to each individual LAX terminal.
The writer is co-chairman of the Council District 11 Transportation Advisory Committee.