Fern Dell, shown here in a copy of a 1937 postcard, was once a popular feature…
A garden spot again
Re "Restoring a Griffith Park sanctuary," Feb. 19
It was 1949; Fern Dell, that bit of heaven in Griffith Park, was the destination for my first date with my then-future husband. I had packed tuna sandwiches for our picnic, and the sun was shining on our special day. We wandered through the area enjoying the beauty of the ferns and the sound of the water as it streamed over the rocks.
We've been married 58 years and have wanted to return to Fern Dell, but we have been concerned about security. I was gratified to read about the restoration with improved security.
After all the work is finished, two high school sweethearts will return, eat another tuna sandwich and enjoy the surroundings, as we had done so many years ago.
Terrorism and the war against it
Re "Slouching toward persistent war," Opinion, Feb. 19
Andrew J. Bacevich tells us, "The American people [have moved] on to other concerns and entertainments, with legal and moral questions raised by the war left dangling in midair."
Presumably the war against terrorism declared by President Bush after the slaughter of nearly 3,000 innocent civilians on9/11is "vengeance long deferred," as he sophistically puts it.
Nonsense. It is as much a response to a declaration of war by stateless jihadists as wasGermany'storpedoing of the Lusitania in 1915, which killed many Americans on board, and the destruction of our Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Vengeance is scarcely the issue, since we are too busy with "other concerns and entertainments."
Bacevich's thoughtful piece on the new way of war should alert Americans to the possible future consequences of an escalating policy of targeted assassinations or covert actions by special forces.
This issue has not yet entered the public election debates in a serious way. It should now.
West Los Angeles
Oscar voting isn't black and white
Re "Unmasking the Academy," Feb. 19
I would pose the following question to Denzel Washington regarding his remark, "If the country is 12% black, make the [Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] 12% black": Would he be in favor of a similar standard for the Lakers?
Does he believe that the team should be 12% black, 15% Latino and a majority white? Of course, the team might not win as many games, but at least we would have proportional representation by race.
Sports and Hollywood are among the most competitive businesses in the world. Competition, while at times unforgiving, is how those enterprises make sure that the best talent rises to the top.
Washington, as one whose talent has allowed him to reach that pinnacle, should understand this.
Shouldn't the Academy's predominantly white, male and older voter roster make us question the inherent value of the awards bestowed by this petrified organization? With a median age of 62, why should the aging and former players in the game have the power to pick the current all-star lineup?
The way it is today is not the way it was anywhere, except in Hollywood.
The positive side of Scouting
Re "Boy Scouts sued in abuse case," Feb. 19
Once again, The Times runs a negative article on the Boy Scouts of America.
Missing are the millions of positive stories citing the achievements of our multitudes of law-abiding, service-oriented, high-achieving citizens, including many teenagers in our local schools and Boy Scouts in our local troops.
It may be worthwhile for The Times to provide more positive and appealing news.
I am furious at the comment made by Steven Balash, the attorney for sex offender and former Scout leader Al Steven Stein, that his client should be an object of sympathy.
Further, I am astounded that anyone would consider sexual abuse of any nature as a one-time occurrence. The act of sexual abuse may last only minutes, but it is a lifetime sentence for the victim. People who suffer this abuse are never the same; their lives are negatively colored forever.
The criminals only have to serve time and then are freed. The victims are prisoners of this crime for the rest of their lives.
Re "Social Security in peril," Column, Feb. 19
Michael Hiltzik's column on Social Security and the payroll tax holiday should be required reading for every elected official, candidate for public office and voter.
Some of us, believe it or not, were unaware of the long-term effects of the "holiday" on the health of the system. Putting money back into the pockets of those who need it most is a commendable goal, but clearly there are better ways to accomplish it without tampering with Social Security's revenue stream.
We need to think long and hard about the legacy we are leaving to our children and grandchildren.
Apple Valley, Calif.
Re "Credit, debt industries set for oversight," Business, Feb. 17