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Saving the the Salton Sea; health insurance mandate; history in the schools

November 25, 2011
  • Sandpipers search for food on Mullet Island. Today, the only fish in the Salton Sea are inch-long desert pupfish and perch-like tilapia, a species that has managed to adjust to salinity levels that should be lethal. (Arkasha Stevenson / Los Angeles Times)
Sandpipers search for food on Mullet Island. Today, the only fish in the… (Arkasha Stevenson, Los…)

Salton Sea sense

Re "Salton Sea battle," Nov. 20

I'm really getting tired of the "Salton Sea battle," especially in light of the billions in tax dollars needed to preserve the lake. It's time to do one of two things, both drastic.

In heavy snow years, like last year and perhaps this year, find a way to flood the sea with freshwater from the Colorado River. That's how the sea was created almost 100 years ago.

That, or stop trying to defeat nature and let it dry up, retuning it to the original ancient lake bed it was before its flooding. Either way, the taxpayer wins.

Ken Harrison

Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.

The Salton Sea lies below sea level, and the Sea of Cortez off Baja California is a short distance to the south. Why not build a pipeline from the Sea of Cortez to the New River, which flows into the Salton Sea?

The lake level could be managed, birds and fish restored and air quality improved. Mexico's government might welcome the money and jobs created from building and managing the pipeline. The new recreation industry created by a healthy Salton Sea could be taxed to maintain the effort.

Bernard Newcomer


Health insurance in the real world

Re "The right case for healthcare reform," Opinion, Nov. 20

Walter Zelman casually asserts that any "responsible" adult gets health insurance.

The problem is that there seems to be a large number of "irresponsible" adults. That, or a lot of responsible adults can do the math and know that health insurance is a bad deal for them, particularly until they approach their senior years.

Government-mandated health insurance is simply another boondoggle that costs us far more than the problem it is alleged to fix.

David Argall

La Puente

Zelman assumes that the modern-day Republican Party is still a conservative party. Past Republican heavyweights such as Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole embraced a conservative philosophy that believed that government had a role in prodding the free market to benefit society as a whole.

This current crop of GOP politicians has morphed from traditional conservatism to an ideology best summed up by "of the corporation, for the corporation, by the corporation."

Bob Teigan

Santa Susana, Calif.

History of the Americas

Re "Do Latino studies incite or inspire?," Nov. 20

If you are an Anglo American child, you know of the Pilgrims' escape to freedom in the Western Hemisphere. You have probably acted out the Pilgrim saga.

If you are a Latino child in the United States, you may not identify with that. That is why it is necessary and just to empower Latino children here by exposing them to their ethnic roots.

The greatness of these children's ancestors seeps out through the work of scientists. MIT anthropologists found proof that 3,600 years ago, the Maya ran a large rubber production industry. But ask a person on the street who was the first to vulcanize rubber and chances are they will mention Charles Goodyear.

Latino children need to know of the Maya and the cultures known as the Anahuac, the probable ancestors of 30 million Mexican Americans.

Jenny Cardenas


I am originally from Greece. Where are the Greek studies for my children?

When I came from Greece, all I wanted to be was an American.

If culture and history are important to Latino parents, they should teach them at home or in church. If these students feel that learning about their parents' history and culture is important enough, there are libraries where they can teach themselves.

Why should tax dollars be used for studies for one group? Ethnic studies polarize young people at a time when the country needs to be united.

What happened to the "melting pot"? Sadly, we are becoming a "salad bowl."

Lea Osborne

Woodland Hills

Wow, Paulo Freire and "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" on the front page — what is the world coming to?

The difficulty involved in understanding "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" is obviously lost on Arizona schools Supt. John Huppenthal. Perhaps he might take a crack at the book and then sit down in conversation, or as Freire might say, in dialogue with the students.

Additionally, one would hope that he has a working knowledge of Tucson's Paulo Freire Freedom School, a high-performing charter with a long waiting list.

Tom Wilson

Laguna Beach

The writer is director of Chapman University's Paulo Freire Democratic Project.

An inspiration behind bars

Re "Care and atonement," two-part series, Nov. 20-21

I normally gloss over stories about prisoners because I tend to see serious lawbreakers as getting what they deserve.

Then I read Kurt Streeter's articles about chaplain Keith Knauf and inmate John Paul Madrona and their work with terminally ill prisoners.

Madrona's evolution as a man of character and conscience moved me and shows that redemption is possible, something that murder victim Terry Takahashi's brother challenged him to consider years earlier.

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