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A proposed megamansion in L.A.'s Benedict Canyon; rethinking nuclear safety; cutbacks in Costa Mesa

March 24, 2011

Bigger isn't better

Re " 'Megamansion' upsets the mansion," March 22

Funny that people with houses that are 7,800 square feet find themselves in such a tizzy over the proposed construction of an 85,000-square-foot family compound. How appalling that they were ever allowed to start the trend in the first place.

Where will all the water, electricity, lumber, concrete and gas continue to come from? I am advised to limit electrical use in my 1,400-square-foot home during peak hours. As I struggle to do so for the good of the planet, what I save gets swallowed up by a megamansion. People continue to drain our resources with their monuments to excess.

Some advice to those in Benedict Canyon opposed to this construction: Look at your own excesses. Oh, and don't forget to turn off the lights when you leave the room.

Anne Fenn

Montecito Heights

Residents of the coveted Zip Code 90210 are protesting against the possible construction of an 85,000-square-foot compound in their neighborhood.

One resident states that he finds it incomprehensible that anyone would need such a large residence. Of course, this resident lives in a 7,800-square-foot home, which most people would find monstrous.

To each his own.

Wayne Muramatsu


Needed — more imagination

Re "Options few in nuclear crisis," March 19

" 'The most imaginative engineers in the world couldn't have dreamed up a situation like this,' said Najmedin Meshkati, a USC professor and nuclear power expert."

How much imagination does it take? A subduction zone off the coast of Japan produces a large underwater earthquake followed by a tsunami. The water wipes out electrical circuits and electric motors stop. Which part of this requires imagination?

If engineers and a "nuclear expert" are really surprised by this, then we need new engineer training and certainly new experts.

Pieter Vandenberg

El Cajon

I have a simple solution to deciding who should approach the reactors in an attempt to provide water and power. Send in any CEO, politician or public relations employee who has uttered any of these phrases (or a close facsimile): "We have prepared for every scenario"; "Nuclear energy is safe, clean and green"; or "Our geologists assure us … "

To be fair, we should provide them with the best state-of-the-art protective suits available.

Bob Marquardt

Morro Bay

Government cuts hit home

Re "Costa Mesa takes an ax to pension problems," March 18

The layoff notice, most likely, was just the straw that broke the camel's back for the Costa Mesa city maintenance worker who committed suicide. But his tragic story is a bitter pill I have trouble swallowing.

Governments on all levels are cutting back. There are two sides to every balance sheet: money in and money out. Hard decisions need to be made on both sides.

Costa Mesa is an affluent city. I wonder how much its millionaires saved with the "temporary" tax cuts enacted by President Bush? And I wonder what kind of revolution would have followed if Bush had made them, and everyone else for that matter, actually pay for the $700-billion bailout instead of piling up "unsustainable" debt levels?

This country's wealth has been transferred from middle-class workers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber rich. Tax the rich.

Edward Walcek


As a school district employee, I am personally a target of the new demonization of public workers. I came home from Vietnam and was looked down on; it's 40 years later and now I'm looked down on because I'm a public employee. I've gone from "baby killer" to "budget killer."

Thanks again, America; I know I can always count on you for understanding.

Martin Wauson


A man, his art and his city

Re "Steady diplomat of tenacity, decorum," Obituary, March 20, and "Strength through subtlety" Editorial, March 21

Of all Warren Christopher's accomplishments that were mentioned in his obituary and in the editorial, there wasn't anything about his being an art collector.

He and his wife, Marie, had a great love of art and accomplished eyes. Both of his homes reflected this appreciation.

He was indeed a man for all seasons.

Marcia Roberts

Atascadero, Calif.

One statement in your obituary — that Christopher "excelled on the debate team at Hollywood High School" — reminded me that he was a graduate of that institution, as am I (1948). He truly lived the school's motto, "Achieve the honorable."

Christopher was one of many graduates who have contributed to society in the fields of medicine, science, public service and the arts.

Gerald Baruch

Los Angeles

Some solution

Re "L.A. needs a partisan kick-start," Opinion, March 19

I find it almost impossible to believe what I'm reading. Now we need partisan politics? I was under the impression it was what had stalled our state and federal governments' budgets and stifled any meaningful debate on the issues.

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