Tree planting plan Re: “Tree plan short on green” (March 9): Kudos to DWP Commissioner Nick Patsaouras for questioning the $100-per-tree cost paid by the Department of Water and Power with our tax dollars. It’s commendable that the Conservation Corps hire inner-city youth to plant trees. Unfortunately, trees are rarely taken care of once planted and the hundred bucks paid. My plan to save the city lots of money is: Money paid after tree has healthily survived a minimum of three years; plant only trees indigenous to our Los Angeles climate; strictly follow “Guidelines for Planting Native Trees” by Burt Wilson, Las Pilitas Nursery. If these guidelines are followed, $100 a tree will be a bargain, and we’ll all benefit from this miracle. – Bob Ginn Re: “Loophole for lobbyists” (March 9): Well, well. Why are we not surprised? Mendacious City Council members shafted us poor, hapless, ignorant sheeple again. Their dishonesty boggles the mind. – John Lynch Studio City Arcadia Take up a collection Re: “Tree plan short on green” (March 9): I understand commissioner Nick Patsaouras of the DWP is wondering where the extra money for the Million Trees initiative will come from. How about a collection from all of his employees who received millions of dollars in questionable payments for overtime hours not exactly spent at work? – Batia Atzmony Northridge Cost, not the value Re: “California’s is one of leanest work forces” (March 9): Ask anyone who has had to stand in line at the DMV or is put on interminable hold while calling a state agency if our state work force is bloated. The answer will be a loud “no!” The fact is that California has one of the nation’s smallest public work forces relative to population. The result is that state services have not been able to keep up with California’s growing population. The reason is that Sen. Tom McClintock and his ideological colleagues care only about shrinking the size of state government, not serving its citizens. As usual, McClintock knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing. – Steve Mehlman California State Employees Association Financial disclosure Re: “Rogue cops” (Our Opinions, March 9): There has been no statement or implication that we will do anything but comply with the consent decree. However, with regards to the financial disclosures, there are serious flaws with the manner in which this information will be stored and even more serious flaws in how they provide for the detection and capture of “rogue” police officers. No LAPD gang officer or detective has offered to ignore this element of the consent decree. It is just the opposite, when the financial disclosures are mandated, the officers and detectives will comply fully by leaving this specialized unit. Our collective years of experience and knowledge will simply be lost as we move to other areas of the police department or other police departments entirely. – Matthew Plugge LAPD Detective I Gang Impact Team, Devonshire Area It’s not a law Re: “Rogue cops” (Our Opinions, March 9): You should have paid attention to “School House Rock’s” “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” The consent decree is not a law; it’s an agreement between the feds and Los Angeles City due to allegations of excessive force, not “cops on the take.” So an officer who chooses not to submit the financial disclosure form will be returned to patrol. Officers who choose to reveal their investments will stay in gang or narcotics assignments. It’s that simple. Personally, I welcome the return of these officers to the patrol ranks as too few officers have carried the burden of responding to calls for service for far too long. That’s the real story. – Maria Acosta Lake Los Angeles Gang programs fix Re: “Hahn on gangs” (Your Opinions, March 9): With the second prominent gang prevention program in as many months being exposed as problematic, giving them more vital taxpayer funds is not the answer. City officials have far too long cried for more funding via taxes and bond measures and shown little results and even less accountability. Time has come for our city controller to show courage and begin a comprehensive audit of all existing programs related to gang prevention. Not one more dollar is to be spent or invested in a failed program. If you fail to be a good steward of what you already have, then you do not deserve more. – David Hernandez Valley Village Throw them out Re: “Old, tired dinosaurs” (Your Opinions, March 8): Jerry Pennington of Van Nuys stated that the low turnout for the local election was due to people not wanting to vote for “the same old dinosaurs” in City Hall, and that they have a worse record than the U.S. Congress in getting things done on behalf of the people. Well, Jerry, your statements point to the reasons why people should vote in these local elections. If you don’t like what your local council person is doing, vote for change – throw the bum out. Nine chances out of 10, you live in District 6, which should have been the hottest City Council race in L.A. Instead, only 5,208 people voted, representing about 8 percent of the 63,000 eligible voters in District 6. Even our incumbent council implied that the turnout was a disgrace. – Jack Golding Van Nuys What they preach Re: “Newt cheated on wife while attacking Clinton” (March 9): Just wanted to thank Newt for again proving that Republicans are the biggest hypocrites – talking the talk but not walking the walk. He joins the proud two-faced crowd of gay-bashing, young-boy-loving Foley, ethics in government but we love the dirty money Cunningham and DeLay, responsible fiscal budget spending unless it’s for our corporate buddies Cheney and, of course, the “Support Our Troops” but cut their medical care crowd, championed by King “Dubya” Bush himself. Nothing better than consistency – except, of course, having leaders who actually do what they preach. – Howard Barr Burbank Make them afraid Re: “Voter turnout is lowest in 24 years” (March 8): Rather than voters staying away from the polls, I challenge them to sign up for permanent absentee ballot privileges and mail in an unvoted ballot. Think about it. We could see 80 percent or more voter turnout but the underlying message to elected officials would be to stop playing around and solve real problems. Right now, the politicians know and count on low voter turnout. My plan, I believe, will keep them off-balance and thus force them to be more accountable to and wary of the electorate. – Ira Bland Tujunga Loopholes Re: “Loophole for lobbyists” (March 9): After reading about Measure R, I was hopeful that the people of Los Angeles would not vote for it. But they believed the League of Women Voters and voted for it. Now it comes out that there is a loophole? Well, who’s to blame? The people should get this proposition off the books and fire all the council members. Now is the time to act, and act in a proactive manner. Show the elected people that you are mad and want elected officials to work for you, and not the lobbyists. – John Archbold Canyon Country 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!