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Where is the love?
Where is the love for our veterans these days?         
I learned today, when having a routine check of my “pacemaker,” about far too many indications that could lead to a stroke. 
Well, I cleaned out closets and my cedar chest and put a large box of very good clothing out on my driveway for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Within five minutes of placing the box on the driveway (apparently I should have waited until dawn) a thief had picked up the box, probably to make a few dollars from a “yard sale,” actually stealing from the Veterans from Foreign Wars and  the veterans that served and are serving our country.
This was upsetting enough to me to cause a stroke, and I hope the thief reads this letter.  He has not only stolen from our veterans; he could have stolen my life. 
Thanks Mister Whomever you are for letting down our veterans and members of a community of wonderful people.  


Wrong image
To Ted Rall:   
I am writing to you with regard to your cartoon printed in the Sept. 26 edition of the Pasadena Weekly.
Your cartoon unjustly portrayed the Pasadena Unified School District as being concerned with “rounding up” students so that they could recover funds from the state, and added a secondary comment implying that the district would use the word “caring” as purely a public relations ploy.
I volunteer as a math tutor in the district’s San Rafael Elementary School and I experience daily just how much the teachers and staff at the school care about the education of the students entrusted to them. I know that some of the teachers there volunteered to be part of the teams visiting the homes of absent students. If you were in the classrooms daily you would recognize how difficult it is to impart an education and socialization to many of these students and just how passionate the teachers feel about accomplishing this goal. Can you imagine what the results for our society would be if many of these students did not even show up to school?
It is the duty and the passion of the school district to educate the future citizens of our society and that can not be done if they are not in school. It is a credit to the district that they are reaching out to the parents to return their children to school and it is a disservice to our community to imply that they are doing it only out of a desire to recoup financial inputs from the state. 
Yes, they DO care about the students. Their caring is absolutely not a public relations ploy. Rather, it is a deeply held concern. You owe the teachers and administrators of the district an apology for the cynicism shown in your cartoon. 


Peace and justice
Letter writer “Ricardisimo” (Sept. 26) is egregiously ill-informed about the activities and policies of All Saints Church in Pasadena. His assertion, “It appears that party affiliation trumps all else, including faith-based calls to action, so popular when the party in power is Republican,” displays an abysmal ignorance about our church.   
Case in point: When the Obama administration started indicating in early September that it might take military action against Syria, our church immediately sprang into action to oppose any such military strikes. On Sunday, Sept. 8, All Saints generated nearly 600 letters to our elected representatives in Congress that expressed our strong opposition to any military strikes against Syria. The next Sunday we followed up that action by raising approximately $1,000 for Episcopal Relief & Development’s humanitarian work in Syria.
Furthermore, two All Saints parishioners, Maddie Gavel-Briggs and Patrick Briggs, recently organized and led a large demonstration in opposition to any US military strikes against Syria. This demonstration took place during the evening of Sept. 9. It started across the street from All Saints and ended on Colorado Boulevard in downtown Pasadena. Many of our parishioners, including this writer, participated. This well-attended and highly visible event received prominent coverage the next day in the Pasadena Star-News.
The news story also mentions the work and participation of one of the leaders of our Middle East Ministry, Randy Heyn-Lamb.
With respect to “Ricardisimo’s” snide remark that All Saints “may have richly merited their much-publicized IRS investigation for political intervention,” suffice it to say that the IRS dropped its investigation of our church in 2007 and never explained why the single sermon in question violated the ban on political intervention.
All Saints is a peace and justice church. We actively oppose war and violence no matter who occupies the White House or which political party controls the Congress.

(Grula is a regular columnist for this newspaper.)

from the web:
Re: “I’m out,” Oct. 3
It should be noted that the district loses funding even for “excused” absences. It’s possible to miss very little school time (often less than one’s teacher) and still be labeled truant. The difference between truant and not is simply the question of whether the absence was “excused.” And the failure can be a result of reporting rather than anything the parent or student does, but of course there is no way to know that. 
Regardless, it still amazes me that the district does not proactively explain these numbers to even board members. Having board members go from taking things from the media to the district asking for an explanation does not seem like a very efficient or productive relationship. 


Re: “A breed part,” Oct. 10
This ordinance indeed smacks of big brother. Pasadena has become akin to the police state of China — trying to regulate dog populations, demanding proof of dog licensure at doors and even trying to get Neighborhood Associations to drink the city’s Kool-Aid (which by the way no one is falling for). This proposed ordinance is a mess. Steve Madison should be ashamed and kiss those mayoral aspirations aside. Get out there and do something constructive — like stopping the 710 Freeway! 


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. n

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