Freebies for the mayor
Re "New probe opens into mayor's free tickets," June 23, and "Villaraigosa to release records on events," June 25
Could it be that our photogenic mayor has finally been busted for something besides his marital affairs? Kudos to the district attorney's office for opening up an investigation of his taking advantage of his office and accepting thousands of dollars of free tickets.
These are not tickets to the County Fair, or for that matter a Clippers game. These are A-list freebies that he receives, just because he is the mayor! No matter how he explains it, and how many beautiful plaques and city proclamations he gives out, he is still in the wrong.
If handing out these awards is truly necessary and part of his job description (whatever that might be), he should do it during regular business hours at City Hall. That is, if he is ever there!
Antonio Villaraigosa deserves respect for his ubiquity in L.A.; after all, he is the mayor.
To see 80 events, without lame duck status, skirting ethical boundaries, while burning civic issues get worse — this is imperial fortitude.
Going to an additional event, even after the ticket story breaks and all eyes are upon him, is Neronian.
Red-hot over solar panels
Re "Neighbors glaring at solar panels," June 22
Stephen and Mashid Rizzone's desire to impart "a legacy of environmental responsibility to their children" is wonderful.
They might also think of imparting to their children a legacy of consideration for their neighbors.
The timing of the article was interesting to us. Just the previous day we had been on Balboa Island and had commented on how ugly and annoying the new solar panels are on the hillside overlooking the harbor — the Rizzones' property.
The panels definitely jump out at anyone in the area and do have a glare. As someone that lived on the island for many years, I got used to the people who have "interesting" tastes, but the solar panel farm is ugly and annoying.
With the current silly legislation on "going green," there probably is not much that Balboa Island resident Bob Olson can do about the obnoxious Rizzones, but one possibility is for him and his other neighbors to set up searchlights in their yards, focus them on the solar panels and light them up every evening. But then the Rizzones would probably put up huge windmills.
Keeping best friends close
Re "The latest theft: best friends," Opinion, June 22
This may be the one time that I agree with Jonah Goldberg.
The New York Times article on school administrators' efforts to discourage young students' exclusive friendships to simplify their own jobs was sad and upsetting.
Do such educators think that later in their lives, these children will find "new best friends" that will replace and repair the bonds which were broken earlier? That they'll have the skills to do so?
I started kindergarten in 1954 as a shy, uncoordinated slow learner. My best friend was smart, outgoing and athletic. We're still friends, and no one else shares the same memories and experiences. I can't imagine my life without her and her family, and I am thankful for the unenlightened people, unconcerned for our well-being and adjustment, who allowed this friendship to thrive.
Cathrine Lewis Ida
No one would argue that having "best friends" — whether you are a child or senior citizen — is noble, human and what we do.
However, availing oneself of a broader base of potential friends, confidants and advisors is not only wise but an important part of growing up. The latter help us get along with diverse individuals and become better prepared for a global world.
We as a nation must not blindly and unquestioningly support our "best friends" — for example, big business or Israel — to the exclusion of potential friends and allies such as Cuba or Iran. As a nation, we do have the reliables like England and Canada whose friendships we value, but we must allow for new pals.
We must be smarter than kicking sand, being a bully and backing our "best friends" no matter what.
Stephen S. Anderson
Let's not enable lazy refugees
Re "U.S. wants to make it easier for refugees," June 23
Naturally, I feel sorry for any refugee. However, when we continue handing out support we become enablers to people who have not tried hard enough to learn our language — and the pattern is set possibly for future generations who will expect to be supported all their lives. We have our own people living below the poverty level or disabled, who should be taken care of first.
When my parents arrived in the early 1900s, escaping pogroms, there were rules about having a sponsor and a place to live. The first thing they did was learn English. They worked hard and became productive citizens.