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Heating up
These calamitous fires devastating vast real estate, helicopters flying overhead to gather water at various locations to douse the flames, gives one pause to think how the lack of planning has given Pasadena an empty hole devoid of water behind the Devil’s Gate Dam.  
It’s going to be a long hot summer.


Think about recycling
I am a seventh-grader at St. Bede Elementary School in La Cañada Flintridge. I am writing this letter to you in the hopes that you will publish it in your newspaper. I am trying to bring awareness to the benefits of recycling to your readers. The seventh graders at St. Bede School have worked hard this week to recycle $68 worth of cans. Our class wants your readers to know that you can also make a big difference in your community by recycling. You can make the world a better place if you recycle because you will conserve energy and save valuable landfill space that is greatly needed by the city of Pasadena.  

Also, you may sell your cans to a nearby recycling plant and make a lot of money. You can donate this money to a local charity that helps the homeless people in Pasadena. You can have a direct impact on your community while helping others in great need.
Thank you for your consideration and note that every hour Americans throw away 20 million cans that could be recycled. Think of all that wasted energy!

So, before you toss a can or bottle in the trash, think about recycling. 


Lessons not learned

It is so strange how people in this country make themselves feel better by building monuments to situations that we had nothing to do with. Let’s acknowledge the genocide we created against the Native American people. Let’s build a monument to that. That was the first genocide. Let’s get our history straight. 

To clarify … everyone is affected by crimes against humanity. The United States needs to acknowledge their crimes against humanity, and we all have to work harder to treat each other better.

How dare we have homeless people in this First World country.

How dare we have underage kids working in the agricultural fields.

How dare we take jobs away from decent human beings in this country because corporations are so greedy, only to take advantage of people in Third World countries while destroying the foundation of our country.

We have former military veterans who have fought our dirty wars and they can’t even get a job.
Have we learned the lessons of history?

I don’t think so.


Cure for abuse
Recently, the Pasadena Star-News published an editorial claiming that the California Environmental Quality Act, commonly known as CEQA, should be revised or gotten rid of because it harms developers. The newspaper touted this ludicrous position as “reform.” 
In the 30 years that I have acted as a volunteer on numerous environmental battles, I have never seen or heard of a single developer whose project was stopped or thwarted due to a CEQA action. The major problems with CEQA is that it allows developers to pay environmental consultants to prepare an EIR and then allows politicians to decide between the competing claims of those consultants and the public’s consultants, who work for free. The same politicians are taking bribes called campaign donations from the developers and their consultants.

In 30 years I have seen the public catch developer consultants in hundreds of lies, big and small. Yet, none of this has resulted in a single reduction of a unit or increase in mitigations. Even the mitigations promised as part of conditional use permits (CUPs) never seem to arrive. Locally, the best example of this would be the trails through and around the LaVina Project, which were to be constructed and paid for by the developer by the time the 80th housing permit was let. Here it is, 2013, some 16 years after the final phase of La Vina was built, and the county of Los Angeles is negotiating how it will build and pay for trails to go around but not through the La Vina project. That’s right, we are not getting what the public is owed, and we are getting to pay what was promised us at the developer’s cost.

CEQA does need reform. Developers should pay fees to a fund that counties and cities would then use to hire qualified consultants. Developers and consultants should not be allowed to donate bribes in the form of campaign donations for a year before or a year after they apply for any permit in front of any particular body, and developers and homeowner associations (HOAs) who get caught attempting to lie to the public or cheat them of owed mitigations, in essence defrauding the body politic, should very simply lose their land. That is reform that will actually cure the abuses we have now, not as those proposed by the newspaper would do, which would only allow the public to be more abused.


Re: “Running in place,” April 11
One of the notions of districts is that candidates can actually walk the district and that will outweigh money and incumbency. It did with Bill Paparian, who walked the district to defeat Jo Heckman, and it did with Rick Cole, who walked the district to defeat Steven Acker. That cannot be done at the last minute, however.

My prediction: Hampton 52 percent/Hueso 48 percent.

Re: “Not for sale,” April 18
It does not matter that he is black. It does not matter if the rest of the student population is Hispanic. Can he do the job? That is what matters. Time will tell.

Re: “Bad environments,” April 18
The city should not be competing with private businesses. Period. End of story.

Have something on your mind that you’d like to share with the rest of the community? You’re in the right place: Our Letters to the Editor page, one of the most widely read sections of the paper. Send your letters to kevinu@pasadenaweekly.com. Just remember, it usually takes two to three weeks for a
letter to appear in print.

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