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Letters to the editor

Stop-sign cameras in L.A. parks; getting tough with Syria; a fight over hot-air balloons

August 23, 2011
  • Todd Andrews is reflected in a traffic enforcement camera near a stop sign in Franklin Canyon Park. He received a $175 citation that was later dismissed, but only after an appeal process he called "a kangaroo court." (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Todd Andrews is reflected in a traffic enforcement camera near a stop sign… (Gary Friedman, Los Angeles…)

Caught on camera

Re "Seeing red over stop-sign cameras," Aug. 21

I suggest that the apoplectic drivers caught by cameras rolling through stop signs in Franklin Canyon or Temescal Gateway Park or at the Top of Topanga Overlook take a lesson in reading signs and actually obeying them.

One driver not only received two stop-sign enforcement tickets, she also has gotten them while visiting the park to "feed the ducks," another park violation.

Perhaps such scofflaws will also be picking flowers in the spring, dropping off their unwanted turtles in the pond, walking dogs off leash or smoking while visiting — just a few of the violations seen daily in local parks.

Lisa Ann Carrillo

Woodland Hills

The zonked-out, befogged governance of Los Angeles is stupefying. Take the issue of the red-light and stop-sign runners.

Law-abiding citizens who were cited and paid turned out to be suckers, while the scofflaws got off. Where was the transparency and clearly advised notice to all cited that paying the penalty was "voluntary"?

Under equal treatment for all under the law, those who paid should have open-and-shut cases in having their fines refunded. A voluntary fine is no fine at all.

Larry Press


On the right side in Syria

Re "Getting tough with Syria," Editorial, Aug. 19

When standing up to our enemies, we need courage; yet, when standing up to our friends, we need real courage. I salute President Obama for twice now — first with Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and now this child torturer named Bashar Assad in Syria — having the common sense to stand on the good side of history.

These protesters symbolize the very foundations of our freedoms as a nation, and we must always be clearly on the side of the democratic will of an oppressed people.

We must not let our silence silence those Syrian children, as innocent and worthy of our protection as are the universal rights of every human being.

Bart Villa-McDowell

Long Beach

The obvious question is what took so long? Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton answered the question by stating that the U.S. was powerless and only nations such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia could meaningfully make the call for Syria's president to resign.

Evidently I have labored under the false assumption that we are a world power. We are no longer the leader in foreign policy but only the follower of lesser nations.

Nelson Marans

Silver Spring, Md.

Hot air and legal briefs

Re "Popping their balloons," Column One, Aug. 17

How refreshing indeed to see we have a legal system under which big money cannot always squash little money. I refer to the fight of balloonists in the Coachella Valley against John and Carol Marrelli, who objected because the balloons "invaded" the airspace above a fortress-like structure they built in the middle of a balloon flight path.

Congratulations to attorney Robert Gilliland for successfully handling the balloonists' fight pro bono. I have one question: When the Marrellis were pacing the 80-acre parcel in 1999 with their contractors, why did they not look up and notice balloons flying overhead, as they have been doing for decades?

Colin Dangaard


If it's true that the balloon business has operated in that area for 40 years, then, unless the Marrellis bought their property more than 40 years ago, they have no legitimate complaint about the lawful operation of hot-air balloon companies.

Real estate disclosure laws in California required the sellers of the property to tell the Marrellis about the balloon business, if the sellers were aware of it.

Dale Schatz

Los Angeles

Good grammar in the paper

Re "Did Jerry Brown say that?," Postscript, Aug. 21

In California, we love to talk about varieties of English, and we love to use them. Languages, including English, are in constant motion, with a tendency toward simplification and regularization of the irregularities found, especially in verbs.

Hence in many parts of the country one hears "go," "went" and "have went," rather than "go," "went" and "have gone," similar to "tell," "told" and "have told." Here, as elsewhere in the nation, one hears, "I should've went and told him." Why not, if it's understood as intended?

John Lihani


What is the purpose of having a readers representative or an assistant managing editor if they permit, without use of the term "sic," the debasement of the language in comments made by a public figure such as Gov. Jerry Brown?

Kudos to reader Gene Axelrod of Huntington Beach for pointing out the governor's grammatically incorrect reaction to a child standing near the edge of a precipice in Yosemite National Park: "If they slipped, they would have went right over." Shame on The Times. Sic, sic, sic!

Harold N. Bass

Porter Ranch

It would have been a service to your readers had you pointed out that the proper wording should have been "have gone" in place of "have went."

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