Peter Douglas, head of the California Coastal Commission for more than… (Los Angeles Times )
Siding with the coast
Re "California Coastal Commission chief," Obituary, April 4
Peter Douglas, executive director of the California Coastal Commission for a quarter-century, passed away. California lost one of its true environmental heroes.
I am so proud of his fight against the moneyed developers and powers that be to keep beach access for the public. His foes tried several times to oust him, and with his true friends standing with him, he fought them off.
Bravo, Peter. You will be missed.
Hopefully, the public will heed his warning: "The coast is never saved. It's always being saved."
Defecting from the GOP
Re "A telling GOP defection," Column, April 2
George Skelton's story of the honest, straight-shooter state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher's departure from the GOP reveals the very dangerous game the Republicans are playing. Fletcher's story confirms what I think most people suspect about the Republican Party.
Fletcher says he and Gov. Jerry Brown worked out a bill to eliminate a corporate tax break that rewarded companies for not building facilities and creating jobs in California. His Republican colleagues who blocked the bill told him that "it may be the right thing to do, but we can't let Jerry Brown get a win."
Something similar is happening in Washington; simply replace Brown's name with Barack Obama's.
Thanks to Skelton for his column regarding Fletcher's and wife Mindy Tucker's defection from the GOP. Sensible people not just saying we've become too divided but moving personally to stop that division, even when it's costly to their political careers, will help us find our way back to being Americans first, not foolish partisans.
As another former Marine officer and a liberal Democrat, I'm very proud of my brother in the corps. Semper fi.
Richard J. Follett
State health law
Re "State to keep health reform alive," April 2
In support of the state's plan to keep portions of Obamacare if the federal law is ruled unconstitutional, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones intends to force all California residents to buy health insurance. He scoffs at the "far right" by pointing out, "We require everyone to have auto insurance in California, and the world hasn't stopped spinning on its axis."
Jones' disconnect from reality is clear. There's no meaningful enforcement of mandatory auto insurance, with predictable consequences, which causes disdain for the political leadership.
We can expect the same for this plan.
Medicare for all
Re "Not what the doctor ordered," Opinion, March 30
Dr. Daniel Stone says the free market isn't able to provide the kind of care his patient Joyce and many others desperately need. Fortunately, Joyce is 65 and can now receive Medicare coverage.
Stone correctly wonders "why so many of those younger than 65, living in one of the world's richest nations, must avoid care or risk financial ruin."
Stone thinks subsidies funded by employers and taxpayers, plus President Obama's healthcare plan, are the answer. But not even with Obamacare will the system provide coverage for all people.
There's another solution: single payer. And if our Supreme Court throws out Obamacare, it will ironically help pave the way to Medicare for all.
Re "Breakfast club," March 30
I was dumbfounded by the article describing the Los Angeles Unified School District's in-classroom breakfast program, especially by the quote from the student who enjoyed her federally funded breakfast after having eggs and toast at home. I'm sure she's not alone.
Plenty of low-income parents make sure their children eat a nutritious breakfast, just as many higher-income parents do not.
If "Food for Thought" is determined to achieve its goals, breakfast should be offered to all students — and not discriminate against the 20% who don't make the income cutoff. Have parents from this group contribute to the cost, if necessary, but offer breakfast to every child. That way, no hungry child will ever be ignored.
Lives of violence
Re "7 shot dead in Oakland campus rampage," April 3
Americans start wars, enjoy playing video games full of destruction, pay to watch bloody "mixed martial arts" events and fill theaters to view profane, murderous and perverted movies.
Yet are outraged when a female politician is shot in the head, a U.S. soldier allegedly murders sleeping Afghans, and seven innocent people are gunned down at an Oakland school.
As we sow, so shall we reap?
Re "Some sanity on asylum," Editorial, April 2
The Times rightly criticizes the Obama administration's position that arriving asylum seekers cannot have their detention reviewed by a judge. Nevertheless, the paper misses an important point: It's not only bad policy; it violates U.S. commitments under international law.