THANK YOU, Carl

For the longest time I’ve been meaning to write to tell you how much I enjoy reading your movie reviews.

For me, it’s a highlight of the Weekly!

I count on your film critic’s perspective as a handy guide for what I should or should not see.

That’s useful given the current price of a theater ticket.

I also appreciate that you are willing to publish an unfavorable review and to clearly give your reason(s) for it. It indicates an ability to distinguish between hype and the film itself, an ability that I value.

All of this is to say a heartfelt thank you, Mr. Kozlowski, for your regular written contributions to the Pasadena Weekly.

EJ HERNANDEZ

VIA EMAIL

(Editor’s Note: Thank you for the kind words, EJ. Carl and everyone else here is appreciative of how you took time out of your day to write. You’ve lifted all of our spirits.)

CHANGE A LIFE

There’s something comforting about the seasonal change that happens at this time of year. The air is cool and crisp, days shorter, and we can look forward to bundling up and enjoying dinners and other gatherings with family and friends.

When children are taken from their homes and placed in foster care, they no longer have the continuity other children enjoy. No longer can they carve Halloween pumpkins and put them on their own front porch, or cozy up in their family room to read books or play games. The possibility for idyllic scenes with their biological family comes to an abrupt end. These children are innocent bystanders in their adult caregivers’ dramatic lives.

CASA volunteers, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, work one-on-one with children and teens in foster care. They advocate on their behalf in court, help secure necessary resources, and provide information to the court that helps them make better-informed decisions about his or her case.

Each of us has the power to improve foster children’s lives, restore their trust and hope, and help them create new, happy memories by becoming a CASA volunteer.

TERESA ROMNEY

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

CASA OF VENTURA COUNTY

(Editor’s Note: CASA of Los Angeles is located in the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court, 201 Centre Plaza Drive, Suite 1100, Monterey Park. Call 323/859.2888 or visit casala.org for more information. Letter courtesy of Ventura County Reporter. Also please see last week’s PW cover story, “Changing Lives: Advocates say rewards outweigh risks in adopting foster children,” by Carl Kozlowski.)

TV VOTING GUIDE

I think I’ve figured out how to vote on the propositions on the November ballot. I came to my conclusions using two distinctly different methods.

First, carefully reading the pros and cons and examining who contributed to which propositions.

Second, watching the political ads on television which can actually tell you what you need to know.

Why TV ads?

Because ever since the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision made corporations people, television political ads have degenerated into the biggest bag of lies you could ever imagine. Watch the ads and study who is behind them: that tenth of a second flash on the screen at the end. (But be careful, as powerful corporations often hide behind disguised, concerned sounding names that suggest they actually care about something other than money.)

Yup! All you have to do is watch those TV ads. Whenever you see the same ads over and over, night after night, on the network TV station — especially vicious attack ads hammering away at something on the ballot — all you need to do is to do exactly the opposite of what they are saying. It is a safe bet you are doing the right thing, especially when you notice they completely change the cast of concerned actors each week saying essentially the same thing.

Those expensive TV ads repeated night after night, hour after hour, call to mind a trick Donald Trump has honed to perfection. You repeat a lie over and over until the lie seems to become the reality.

It’s a sad state of affairs, but that seems to be where Citizen United has bought us all.

J.R. BALL

VIA EMAIL