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On losing a piece of Hollywood history; debating "The Hunger Games" and reading; and controlling Medicare costs

Letters to the editor

April 02, 2012
  • The Pickford Building at The Lot movie studio in West Hollywood is scheduled to be torn down.
The Pickford Building at The Lot movie studio in West Hollywood is scheduled… (Los Angeles Times )

Not a happy ending

Re "Storied studio buildings doomed," March 26

Hollywood history is vital to preserve, if for no other reason than it attracts much-needed tourism dollars to this city and makes this place special, mythic and glamorous to the world.

If officials and activists don't care enough to try to save at least a remnant of this historic movie lot — which preserves the look of old Hollywood studios in the early (and glory) days and contains so many great stories connected to each room there — then at the very least they should hire a good photographer to document every room and angle before it is torn down like all the other historic places here we have lost forever.

Walter Dominguez

Los Angeles

To read — isn't that the point?

Re "Studios devour youth fiction in search of next 'Hunger Games,''' Business, March 27

I taught remedial English for years at a community college. One day I walked into my lowest-skilled reading and writing class to find all of the students excitedly reading about some campus intrigue in the school newspaper. My first impulse was to tell them to put away their papers so we could focus on my prepared plan.

Fortunately, I realized that was a foolish response. Instead, I encouraged them to read until they had finished, then incorporated their enthusiasm into the day's lesson. So it is with "Hunger Games."

Some decry young people's failure to read in favor of electronic entertainment, but when a book comes along that stirs the young to read on their own, it is demonized by some of these same critics.

Certainly the book seems to have dark, disturbing, even frightening, elements. Why do you think they want to read it?

Allen Bundy

Gardena

I was saddened to read that murder is now a popular spectator sport in the United States.

Richard J. McMullen

Woodland Hills

On Medicare, listen to seniors

Re "Keeping a lid on Medicare," Editorial, March 23

We continue to lose sight of how Medicare costs can be better controlled. Leaving it in the hands of lawmakers will only allow these costs to increase.

As a geriatric physician, I am hearing my patients say "no more" — as technology can prolong life but not always the quality of life. The inability of physicians to communicate with their patients creates the greatest end-of-life costs, and this is where our focus should be.

Listening to our seniors and allowing them an educated choice may offer a wiser solution to maintain Medicare's viability.

Gene Dorio

Santa Clarita

It's inevitable that Medicare needs to control costs, particularly in the final stages of life, when most expenses occur.

Who should make those decisions? Should it be insurance companies, whose only motive is greed? Or should it be government officials?

Of the two, I choose the latter because greed is taken out of the equation.

My only hope is that government officials are not dominated by Republicans, who by and large are owned by the insurance companies. If that happens, they'll push for privatizing Medicare and hand over rationing to the greedy insurance companies.

Domenico Maceri

San Luis Obispo

Take care with free speech

Re "Vandalized by speech," Opinion, March 26

One premise underlying the doctrine of freedom of speech is the belief that in the marketplace of ideas, bad ideas and improper speech will be filtered out, contested and rejected in discussions among free people determining their common fate.

I detect a totalitarian impulse underlying attempts to limit free speech as contained in this article.

No matter how the author tries to rationalize and justify his defense of limiting speech by claims of hurt feelings and alienation of minorities, it's still censorship and hides an elitist mistrust of the

people.

Raymond Toal

Mission Viejo

While Gregory Rodriguez discussed hate speech, The Times quoted the pope with a possible answer:

"When addressing the deeper dimension of personal and community life, human strategies will not suffice to save us," Benedict XVI said. Instead, the "faithful must turn to God."

I believe that, indeed, "human strategies will not suffice" to assist our

country in exorcising hate speech because the causes are so deep and irreversible — the anonymity of digital communications, the irritant to WASP male America of their no longer being allowed to indulge in legal discrimination, and the propensity of some religious groups to demonize anyone who doesn't believe what their God tells them.

So, let's publicly ask those congregations to ask God to show them the way to tolerance of and respect for all Americans.

Maggie Blankley

Los Angeles

What characterizes the United States as a great nation is the miraculous ability to coexist peacefully as a vibrant nation of people who have wide-ranging differences of heritage, language, cultures, beliefs and numerous other traits.

To work, our relationships must be based on respect for one another.

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