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Letters to the editor

L.A.'s business taxes; Rick Perry's 'oops' moment; Penn State's troubles

November 14, 2011
  • Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa calls for an end to the city's business tax on new car dealerships in announcing that Beverly Hills Porsche will be moving to L.A. next year, becoming only the second dealer in 25 years to open in the city. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa calls for an end to the city's… (Gary Friedman, Los Angeles…)

Tax idea is a clunker

Re "Warning issued on business tax," Nov. 9

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is advocating for an end to city business taxes on new-car dealerships. I have a fundraising consulting business here and pay my business taxes every year at the highest rate.

The city picks winners and losers when it decides that one kind of business deserves a break and another does not. Why do new-car dealerships deserve to pay no business taxes?

I have raised more than $116 million for nonprofit organizations. I help bring federal and state funds into local organizations.Yet in the mayor's eyes, I should be taxed when new-car dealerships pay nothing.

I am happy to pay my fair share of taxes, but when I see a system as unfair as this one, it makes me angry.

Sarah Hurst

Los Angeles

What the Rosies built

Re "Saluting the Rosies," Opinion, Nov. 11

My mother was a Rosie the Riveter. A child of the Depression and fresh out of high school, she was the only one on her crew skinny enough to snake herself into a bomber's tail assembly to check the integrity of the rivets.

Her story was quintessential Rosie. She worked with men, some of whom were not qualified for military service but still wanted to contribute to the war effort. She lost a brother at Normandy and later married my father, a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge.

Their generation had their own standards for judging a war's worth. It had to be worth rationing and watching your mother put a Gold Star in the window.

Meanwhile, we stand by and allow this country to be run into a disgraceful hole, and we get upset when the Wi-Fi is out at Starbucks. We pale in comparison.

Tim Sunderland

Rancho Cucamonga

My oldest brother was deferred from the draft because he had an essential job at Lockheed in Burbank. I remember going to an "open house" affair (I was 10 or so) and seeing women working huge metal presses with their wrists attached to devices that would automatically pull them out of harm's way.

Thank you for the acknowledgment of what all those strong and capable women did then, and what we can and continue to do now.

Carol Marshall


The right to go to the beach

Re "A fight for the curbs of Malibu," Column One, Nov. 10

Surely the various municipalities in the county have their own official street maps indicating which "no parking" signs are legitimate or not.

I find it hard to believe that in an era when nearly everyone uses a cellphone to get driving directions that L.A. County has not created its own "app" advising drivers on parking restrictions on each and every street.

Robert Saslow

Van Nuys

This is another example of the 1% (Malibu residents) versus the 99%, who also pay taxes to have access to the beach.

The Pacific Ocean does not belong to Malibu residents exclusively. If they truly wanted privacy, they should have moved to less desirable oceanfront property.

Maggie Otawka


Inside Perry's 'brain freeze'

Re "Perry struggles to keep campaign alive after flub," Nov. 11, and "Oops!," Editorial, Nov. 11

It is time to stop making excuses for Texas Gov. Rick Perry's "brain freeze."

Yes, we all have had such an episode, but we are all not trying to become president. In addition, it is unlikely that one would suffer such a lapse while discussing ideas that one has thought about at length and in depth.

The categorical statement, "The notion that he doesn't know what the [Department of Energy] is or does is absurd," is itself absurd. Has Perry ever discussed his knowledge of the role of the department in protecting our nuclear weapons and nuclear waste from loss or attack? Where would he place this function after abolishing this department?

The real problem is that Perry's campaign is based on slogans that he apparently has trouble remembering.

Alfred Sils

Woodland Hills

It isn't just the style, my friends; it's the substance.

At a time of economic and intellectual decline in the United States, the last thing we need is to eliminate the departments of Education, Commerce and Energy, as Perry says he would do as president.

We need vigorous development throughout our country in these three areas, with federal leadership.

Lynne Shapiro

Marina del Rey

Questions about Penn State

Re "Penn State's moral lapses," Editorial, Nov. 11

The Times rightfully echoes the feeling of the nation that officials at Penn State did not do the right thing and report abuse to law enforcement.

What has been missing in the dialogue, however, is why no one seemed to lift a finger to save the victim at the time of the alleged sexual assault that was witnessed. Has it become OK to let the rape of a child continue as long as you eventually report it?

Kitty Genovese's ghost must be howling in despair at the lack of courage and humanity displayed by these witnesses. Failure to intervene in situations like this may not be a crime, but it should be.

Mike Post


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