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Nuclear safety in California; anti-tax talk radio hosts John and Ken; and pop stars and dictators

March 17, 2011

California dreaming

Re "California reactors less vulnerable," March 15

Ignoring the recent spate of news coverage on earthquakes, I am not satisfied with the conclusions of this article.

The U.S. Geological Survey states that the San Francisco earthquake in 1906 was between 7.7 and 8.3 in magnitude. That, along with the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake, appears to have been the biggest earthquakes ever recorded in California.

Estimates of the size or scope of "the big one" vary. Considering our lack of knowledge, it seems foolish that anyone would reassure us that the two nuclear plants in California are sufficiently designed to withstand a major contamination situation.

Don Evans

Canoga Park

As we seek to reassure ourselves that the events in Japan could never happen in the same way here, we need to also remind ourselves that the crisis at Fukushima occurred because of a loss of power, which can occur for any number of reasons, not just tsunamis and earthquakes.

Pamela Nagler


Insurance and impounding

Re "LAPD modifies policy on impounding cars," March 12

Every unlicensed driver, illegal immigrant or not, is also driving an uninsured car that potentially endangers others and costs licensed insured drivers millions in increased insurance costs. Every vehicle insurance policy states that if at the time of a collision the driver of a vehicle is unlicensed, the insurance will not cover the damage.

So impounding an unlicensed driver's car has nothing to do with immigration status and everything to do with costing the general public a huge amount of money in increased insurance rates and removing an uninsurable car from the streets.

The Los Angeles Police Department's revised policy is purely political and not based on sound judgment.

Alan V. Weinberg

Woodland Hills

An illegal immigrant has neither a driver's license nor insurance. He never passed a state driving test, and if he has an accident and causes damage or injury, he's not financially responsible.

But please, don't impound his car, that wouldn't be fair.

James Stewart

Santa Monica

Anti-tax rants on the radio

Re "Anti-tax activists flex insider clout," March 13

I find it truly frightening that two radio talk show hosts, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, can so powerfully affect California politics. Neither of these individuals were elected by the people, yet they seemingly have more influence than the voters or any other group.

What's truly disturbing is that these two have created a "shtick" to increase their ratings whereby they pillory GOP members who don't hew to the extreme anti-tax gospel of John and Ken. Their actions could negatively affect every California resident.

John and Ken don't have to worry about being voted out of office if their rants contribute to statewide disaster. How will they be held accountable when these consequences become apparent?

Matthew Singerman

Newbury Park

How much does California's anti-tax policy cost? We can measure the cost of our cuts to disaster preparedness efforts. In every disaster, it can be said that some die from the event while others die because of lack of preparedness.

We can measure these variables after California's next big quake and tsunami. Japan is arguably the most prepared country in the world for such things. Casualties there were caused by the disaster itself, not a lack of preparedness.

When the big one hits California, it is unlikely that we will be as prepared as the Japanese were. I am certain that John and Ken will whine the loudest about what should have been done.

Peter Laurence

La Mesa

The truth can be hard

Re "Quest for the truth," Column One, March 10

Lynn Johnston was wise to tell his daughter about the extreme tragedy he experienced as a child. My father's bother was killed in a similar accident when they were both children. Unfortunately, relatives persuaded him never to talk about the accident or his deceased brother.

By the time my sister and I unearthed the truth, my father had passed away. If we had known about the tragedy earlier, it would have helped us to empathize and cope with the deep pain, frequent depression and withdrawal that both our father and our grandmother exhibited.

It is my hope that parents of all ages read this article and are inspired to share their significant life events with their children while they still have the chance.

Denise Sheehy

Los Angeles

Fifty-two years ago this man's twin brother was killed as a result of an action that he precipitated. He wants to hold the driver of the vehicle — now 83 years old, a woman who has lived all these years with the burden of having killed an 8-year-old child — accountable.

In an ideal world, she might have anticipated that this boy might unexpectedly step into her lane and she should be especially alert. But we live in a real world. It is time for Johnston to forgive and move on.

Donald L. Hager

Los Angeles

Some bad gigs

Re "Public consequences of pop stars' private gigs," March 11

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