More committed than ever
I would like to thank you for including Mitrice Richardson’s story in the wonderful article you wrote about the League of Women Voters (“Pasadena’s Justice League,” Jan. 13).
LWV is such a worthy organization and I was honored to be invited. Being amongst such women of courage and dedication was a great model for me as I move forward with my nonprofit named in honor of my daughter, MITRICE, Inc.
 
MITRICE, Inc., formed as a nonprofit organization in December, co-founded with Lauren Sutton and Ronda Hampton. We provide crisis intervention and referral services, education and advocate assistance to individuals and families in crisis, especially those who are mentally and socio-economically disadvantaged, particularly when a loved one has gone missing, through hotline and outreach efforts. We provide education and awareness to organizations, corporate and private businesses and public agencies about the signs of mental health crisis and illness, and how they can assist someone in getting them the proper intervention and medical assistance.
 
Since my eldest baby Mitrice went missing, then was later found dead in August, my passion and purpose in life (outside of being a mommie to my youngest baby) has become assisting other families in this type of crisis, changing how public agencies and private businesses respond to the mentally ill, which includes bringing awareness through educating them of the subtle signs of mental health issues, and changing practices, procedures and policies in public agencies with respect to how they treat the mentally ill. My co-founders are as committed as I am.
 
If we can save lives by what we do, then it honors my baby girl’s memory. I painfully miss my daughter every day, and my love for her and the principles and values she upheld refuels my strength every day to press forward with MITRICE, Inc., to make it a gateway to helping others.
 
Again, thank you, Mr. Uhrich, for keeping Mitrice’s story alive.  If anyone would like to help our organization grow, donations are humbly accepted, made out to MITRICE, Inc., 1407 Foothill Blvd., No. 178, La Verne, Calif., 91750.
Many blessings to you.
~LATICE SUTTON, VIA EMAIL

Positive and prominent
Regarding Justin Chapman’s article about the issue of gay teen suicides, bravo! (“Shelter from the storm,” Nov. 18).
Project 10 is mentioned in that article. Project 10 was part of my daughter’s support network during high school, which helped her through this challenging period to be a thriving, “out” college student.  However, even more central to her support during high school was another organization which I did not see mentioned, and that is Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, PFLAG.
 
Once again, thank you for your prominent and positive coverage of this issue and of efforts by local churches and organizations to support LGBT youth!
~RACHEL WING, PASADENA

Shame on LA County
Flood control dams need maintenance and they need dredging. No sane person would dispute this. Native California oaks are an important historical, cultural and environmental resource, and almost no one disputes this. Native oaks are so important, in fact, to what it is to be a Californian that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed special legislation protecting native oaks with trunks as small as three inches in diameter on all privately owned land, requiring about $10,000 worth of permits, reports and hearings to even trim or prune one.
 
All of the native California oak trees in the county are protected EXCEPT the ones owned by government. This is an obscenity, as almost all of the native California oaks standing in groups large enough to be ecologically significant are in the hands of government. What is an excessive burden to a person with an ill oak tree in their yard is not even a consideration for government, which has exempted itself from the law.
 
Recently, Los Angeles County, claiming necessity and public safety, destroyed 100 rare California native oaks that together formed an important wildlife habitat. They claimed the need to dredge flood control basins outweighed any concern for the oaks. Somehow homeowner concerns that an oak may fall on their house are not considered nearly as valid.
 
Sadly, the county of Los Angeles by taking this action has lost all moral, if not legal authority on the oak tree issue. If oak trees are not so important that government, the servant, must comply, then certainly they are not so important that the people, the masters, must comply.
 
Worse, however, is the fact that the county of Los Angeles has shown a complete lack of creativity on this issue. There are a myriad of things they could have done with the dirt other than pile it on the stumps of 100 now dead California oaks and what was once wildlife habitat.
 
They could have separated out the sand from the clay and silt, used the sand for beach restoration and compacted the clay and silt for various kinds of water feature controlling liners at regional parks.
 
They could have used it to sandbag foothill areas that will have high flood danger for several more years.
 
They could have used it in road projects to fill in sink holes, wash outs and repair trails.
 
Those are just a few ideas. There are dozens of more productive less wasteful uses this soil could have been put to had the county of Los Angeles had the slightest concern for optimizing the public good from every expenditure.
 
Sadly, the county of Los Angeles missed an opportunity here to trumpet its own horn and be a local example of best environmental, fiscal and public stewardship practices. The Board of Supervisors, their department heads and the entire Los Angeles County staff let themselves and the people of California down by the unwarranted destruction of this native oak woodland habitat.
 
No governmental body should be allowed to place any burden upon the public it will not first impose upon itself. 
~STEVEN S. LAMB, ALTADENA