A football fix
Re "A big score in L.A.'s NFL bid," Feb. 1
Has anyone bothered to ask Los Angeles residents if they desperately want or need a downtown stadium? Traffic through the 10 and 110 interchange is a disaster when there is any activity at Staples Center or L.A. Live.
I have always been a sports fanatic, but the thought of a huge football stadium downtown angers me when there are better locations. Whenever I hear that it will not cost taxpayers anything, I laugh. Remember the 25-year bed tax waiver for the two luxury hotels at L.A. Live, which the average citizen cannot afford to stay in? That money surely would have helped the city during this recession.
Quality of life becomes worse as we make concessions to those who have more than they need. I was so proud of New York City when it refused a stadium in Manhattan.
So, we're getting excited about an NFL team for L.A. I see no mention of my biggest concern: I do not want a team that is not here to stay.
Green Bay does not have to worry about its team leaving town for a better deal elsewhere. Show me a corporate charter that locks the team in as a member of our community and I'll buy shares. Otherwise, a team with no loyalty to this community can just stay out of town.
Here's an idea: Start with an entirely new team instead of taking some team from its fans. It may not be the best in the league to start, but at least we would have the confidence to invest in our future together.
Just wondering: If Farmers Insurance can afford to spend $700 million on naming rights to a stadium, why not instead cut our car and home insurance rates? It seems like a better idea, especially in this economy.
Re "Brown puts pressure on state's GOP," Feb. 1
Gov. Jerry Brown is just another politician ready to pass the buck — literally and figuratively — to California voters. By suggesting that all Californians should have a say in how we treat our deficit, he's relieved himself and the elected legislators of any responsibility.
They will continue to receive their paychecks but without having to shoulder any of the burden for which they are primarily responsible. If voters turn down any tax hike to pay for the Legislature's past transgressions, Brown and the elected elite can blame us for not sucking up to our responsibilities as underwriters.
Will we ever get an elected leader who is willing to stop the buck and start the process of fixing this state?
Though I respect Brown's position of letting Californians decide whether to pay higher taxes, I for one will not be voting to pay more.
Bloated pensions, the pathetically expensive prison system, the fraud and waste in many government agencies and the millions of dollars spent because of unenforced immigration rules came about thanks to policies and deals made by politicians past and present.
It is immoral to continually ask taxpayers to bail out this state because of our leaders' inability to make tough decisions that may not be popular. It is time to make these unpopular decisions rather than pay more taxes.
There was a time when Californians wanted to pay for the best infrastructure and the best schools. Now we all have the Howard Jarvis "no tax is a good tax" mentality.
Brown failed to mention an oil extraction tax. If it is good enough for the red states, it is good for California. Also, why not keep real property owned by taxpaying Californians at Proposition 13 levels but tax second homes owned by out-of-state residents at the actual assessed value?
Because Republicans will not support any sound fiscal policy, start cutting projects in their districts. A new DMV office in Palm Desert should be stopped. When fees skyrocket and the lines get longer, even Republicans will get the picture that you have to pay for services.
Re "Rising up to aid others," Column One, Jan. 29
Jackson Njapit saved my life in Kenya. He came to our tent in the middle of the night to administer two life-restoring IV bags, braving dark trails and dangerous animals.
He is truly dedicated, dynamic, creative and inspiring. Becoming a commercial pilot is a major achievement that will allow him to help hundreds of patients who may walk 20 miles to the clinic.
Angelenos were impressed and welcomed him into their homes and helped, but he still needs more. He is worth supporting.
The Times writes that the clinic treated, among other maladies, "botched female circumcisions."
"Female circumcision" obscures the true horror that female genital mutilation visits upon young girls. It involves the slicing off of the clitoris and labia without anesthesia while the girl is held down screaming in pain. It is barbaric and immoral.
Further, calling something "botched" implies that there is a correct way to do something. There is no correct way to mutilate female genitals.