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Letters to the editor

Patt Morrison on the joys of reading actual books; a secret clique within the L.A. Sheriff's Department; healthcare options from Mitt Romney

April 25, 2012
(Daniel Zender / For The Times )

The future of books

Re "Reading, no batteries required," Opinion, April 22

Patt Morrison's otherwise intelligent contributions to this newspaper trip up on the romantic notion that some technologies have spiritual value and others do not.

Would Johannes Gutenberg's colleagues have pined away for the calligraphic works done by generations of monks?

Electronic devices make reading, for some people at least, easier, in addition to offering it in a sleek package that can also claim to be accessible, tactile and beautiful.

How nice to be able to let the tablet rest on your lap, giving your arms and neck a break from the fatigue generated after hours of simply holding up a book. Yes, there's a battery to recharge, but these things also hold hundreds of books.

As for the trauma of waiting for the aircraft to take off before flipping the screen on, it's odd that someone so taken with such a "slow" technology is so impatient.

Darryl Rehr

Los Angeles

In addition to books, I have rediscovered mimeographed newsletters from my grammar school days written some 60 years ago. Sure, they're faded and the paper is an interesting shade of brown; however, they are printed treasures nonetheless.

Karla H. Edwards

Santa ClaritaRegarding Morrison's Op-Ed article on the unparalleled value of books, I have but one comment: Amen!

Shelley Martin

San Pedro

Problems at the Sheriff's Dept.

Re "Secret clique in Sheriff's unit probed," April 20

How many scandals, how many secret cliques and gangs, how many allegations of abuse, how many investigations, how many cases of undue donor influence, how many legal decisions requiring payoffs of taxpayer money — how much of this do we have to endure to finally be rid of L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca?

Oh, right, we actually have to vote him out. Where is impeachment when you actually need it?

Mitch Paradise

Los Angeles

Is it no wonder so many people distrust law enforcement, and is it no wonder so many people don't believe Baca and spokesman Steve Whitmore when comments are made such as this: "The last thing anybody wants to do in law enforcement is shoot a weapon"?

Here's an open letter to Whitmore: How many excuses can you continue to make without being embarrassed? We have enough gangs already.

Charles P. Martin

Los Angeles

Historic stadium

Re "Chavez Ravine's wealth of land in play," April 17

The Los Angeles Conservancy does indeed have a position on the future of Dodger Stadium: It should continue to play a vital role in the community.

Its significance is obvious. The third-oldest baseball park in Major League Baseball has hosted not only the Dodgers (and briefly, the Angels) but also the Beatles and the pope. It exemplifies L.A.'s postwar coming of age as a major metropolis. The Times' late columnist, Jim Murray, described it as "the Taj Mahal, the Parthenon and Westminster Abbey of baseball."

Every building requires maintenance and upgrades over time; Dodger Stadium is no exception. Yet it can be modernized to meet changing needs while retaining its historic character.

We've worked with the last two owners of the Dodgers when they proposed changes to the stadium. We look forward to working with the new owners to revitalize this beloved icon.

Linda Dishman

Los Angeles

The writer is executive director of the Los Angeles Conservancy.

Healthcare risks and rewards

Re "Romney health plan has its risks," April 23

A voucher system: That's not going to cut it.

My brother, who just turned 60, researched healthcare to get the best rate. The best option for him (he has no preexisting conditions and seldom uses his insurance) was nearly $1,000 a month with a $5,000 deductible. This is unacceptable.

Mitt Romney isn't forthcoming with specifics, but I'm confident that he's not going to give every American $1,000 a month to work with. Where are the American people who should be up in arms over this proposal?

Romney is coming after Medicare too, and as a Medicare recipient (this includes my husband), I can tell you that our present out-of-pocket expenses exceed $5,000 a year. How much more would they go up with a voucher system?

Patricia Wyatt

Simi Valley

Risk and reward are related. Our country is based on individuals taking risks. Today, we seem to expect government to do away with our risks. To do so, our freedom of choice is taken away as well.

When our own money is at risk, we act more responsibly. Costs have skyrocketed because the true costs of healthcare are hidden. Money is wasted on regulation compliance rather than being utilized to develop new products and procedures.

How about giving doctors the resources to innovate and the individual an opportunity to shop? When there are many choices, competition takes care of prices. Patients shopping and doctors providing options are the answer, not government control.

Rich Case

Thousand Oaks

Republicans insist it would be beneficial to force people to "shop around" for less expensive health options and that a free market will control cost.

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