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The universe and its purpose; the Supreme Court and the healthcare law; the death penalty as a deterrent

April 08, 2012

Woodland Hills

Subway project hits museums

Re "Razing the arts," Opinion, April 3

There are good reasons why you can't stage construction for the Purple Line subway extension two blocks away from the Wilshire/Fairfax station to prevent the demolition of three art establishments.

Construction must be staged immediately adjacent to the station so crews can dig down and feed equipment into the station box. This allows most of the construction to be performed off-street, sparing the public from even bigger traffic nightmares on Wilshire Boulevard.

The L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is required by law to provide just compensation for properties it must acquire for construction. Building the subway in this incredibly dense urban environment is certainly not easy. Doing so without incurring any impacts to existing properties is simply unrealistic.

This critically needed subway line will have tremendous benefits for Museum Row, the Wilshire corridor and the entire L.A. region.

Art Leahy

Los Angeles

The writer is chief executive of the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Thanks to Greg Goldin for his assessment of Metro's muscle move on the small arts organizations.

With all the talk of the film "Bully" these days, it's interesting to see this behavior play out on a grander scale, with the larger institutions not coming to the aid of "the weakest kids on the block."

Julie D. Taylor

Los Angeles

Revisiting evolution

Re " 'Monkey' business, again," Editorial, April 1

Thank you for a well reasoned editorial on the teaching of evolution. The only thing wrong with describing evolution as just a theory is the word "just." It should be, "What a theory!"

A theory is never proven; it is either viable or not. A viable theory leads to scientific progress. It often happens that a theory leads to new experiments and information that demonstrate the theory's limitations.

Even if limitations of evolution are discovered in the future, the theory still will have been one of the most productive in the history of science. This stimulation of scientific progress is the real problem for its critics. They are in love with stasis—they don't want change.

Critics have a simple refutation: Use intelligent design to develop experiments to advance science, then get back to us.

Henry Abrash

Los Angeles

The writer is a professor emeritus of chemistry at Cal State Northridge.

Evolution with its corollary studies is a bedrock of science; it changes as discoveries come to light. Science comes as a package — you shouldn't be able to pick and choose.

In my opinion, if you don't at least teach evolution properly, you should have all electrical devices removed from your school. If you don't accept Darwin, you shouldn't be allowed to have Maxwell's equations either.

Chuck Wagner

Culver City

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