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A controversial commuting of a prison sentence; the Rose Parade's carbon footprint; new laws for 2011

January 05, 2011

It's all in who you know

Re "Nuñez move sparks anger," Jan. 4

What was Arnold Schwarzenegger thinking when he commuted the 16-year prison sentence of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez's son to seven years?

That son, Esteban Nuñez, was heavily involved in the crimes of that tragic night — he stabbed two people — and the cover-up, which included trying to get as far away from the crime scene as possible and getting rid of the weapons used.

How would Schwarzenegger feel if he had been the father of victim Luis Santos?

My hope is that neither Schwarzenegger nor Fabian Nuñez is ever again given the honor of serving Californians in any capacity.

Priscilla Lazzara

La Puente

From what I know of the incident involving Esteban Nuñez, Schwarzenegger's action could well have been appropriate.

But I wonder how many of the roughly 170,000 other prisoners in this state who may have similar circumstances were never considered by the former governor. Justice is different for the well-connected.

David R. Gillespie

Bonita

Schwarzenegger, who ran to represent all the people of California, has one-upped every pure politician who uttered that platitude before him by commuting the sentence of the son of a fellow pure politician who pleaded guilty to involvement in the killing of another Californian's son.

I wonder what Maria Shriver would have said if Schwarzenegger had commuted the sentence of Sirhan Sirhan.

Jeffrey C. Briggs

Hollywood

I'm incensed over the shortened prison term for Fabian Nuñez's son. I guess it really helps to know people in high places.

Unfortunately, young Esteban will never learn personal responsibility because Daddy and his friends will always look out for him.

Janet Minami

Woodland Hills

A Guard guy

Re "Will his failures save the state?" Opinion, Jan. 2

Joe Mathews does not mention Arnold Schwarzenegger's tireless appreciation and support for the military, particularly the California National Guard.

It wasn't political whitewash. He truly cared for us and demonstrated it at every opportunity, even if that meant simply showing up to speak and to meet the troops.

As a member of the California National Guard, I'm saddened that Schwarzenegger's tenure has come to an end. He will be missed.

Stephen W. Gretchko

Agoura Hills

Many ways to raise revenue

Re " 'Crash taxes' gain favor," Business, Dec. 31

I believe that a "crash tax" is a superb way for revenue-strapped cities and counties to increase their cash inflow. Never mind the fact that we pay taxes that fund these services in the first place.

But let's not stop there. Let's charge airline pilots for requesting emergency equipment to stand by should they experience an engine failure while on approach to LAX. Cha-ching!

And let's hope that the Queen Mary 2 manages to damage the pier in San Pedro the next time it is in port. Who cares if the crew was fighting a sudden crosswind?

In fact, when our lawmakers really think the crash tax through, the possibilities are truly endless.

So be careful when driving, walking, biking, flying or taking the train. In fact, unless you have the balance sheet of Meg Whitman, you're probably better off staying home.

Kevin Berry

Yorba Linda

I believe that so-called crash taxes should begin with the careless, obsessive individuals who insist on undertaking life-threatening "adventures," such as climbing a mountain in a blizzard or hiking on the hottest day ever recorded.

These thrill-seekers should be required to pay the outrageous fees to bail them out.

Then, some enterprising insurers can sell policies to these folks, a win-win: "You want to ski under avalanche conditions? Pay us, sign here and off you go."

Liz White

Los Angeles

Greening of the Rose Parade

Re "Moving at a crawl toward being green," Dec. 31

Eight hundred gallons of gasoline used to fuel Rose Parade floats is a drop in the bucket compared to the huge amount of fuel used by spectators' cars in their drives to the parade, and this is dwarfed by the fuel consumed by planes flying spectators to sporting events, including bowl games.

OK, so it's more fun to stay in denial about wasting energy.

Maybe the problem gets solved when a country such as China corners the fossil fuel market, driving prices to levels higher than Americans are able to pay. This at least would place a cap on consumption.

Roger Newell

San Diego

It is disappointing that The Times did not mention, in its article on the Rose Parade's carbon footprint, Southern California Edison's pioneering float entry in 1992.

It was the year of the first zero-emissions float powered by electricity. Named "Creative Energy — Transporting the Ages," it was built by Fiesta Parade Floats and Edison volunteers and won the trophy for "exceptional merit in multiple classifications."

The propulsion system using batteries and electric motors was designed and provided by Southern California Edison. It performed flawlessly and was used in several subsequent Rose Parades.

Michel Wehrey

Hacienda Heights

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