By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Thanks so much for the Max Gerber photo essay [“Broken Hearts Club,” August 17–23]. Last summer was my first experience as a counselor at Camp del Corazón. What amazing teachers the campers are: Little bodies who have been through so much know intimately that it’s not about the package we come in, but the content. My first afternoon on Catalina in the cabin with 7-to-9-year-old girls is most illustrative of what camp was about: normalizing, belonging, not having to pretend. K., an effervescent 8-year-old, chirped from her top bunk, “I know. Let’s all show our scars! I’ll go first. See, it’s a ‘T’! And here’s my pacemaker down here.” Each girl in turn showed her battle scars, and they all wanted to know which ones we — three adults and one junior counselor — liked best.
Like kids with cancer, kids with heart problems are first kids, with all the normal childhood dreams and desires. What Camp del Corazón offers the campers is a place to let down the guard, bond, feel “normal” and have an unforgettable summer-camp experience. What it offers the staff is a “functional family” for a week that melts your heart, immediate bonding with some amazing, wise beings, good “camp food” and the biggest group hug you can imagine!
Again, thanks for printing such an important article. Thanks, Max.
As the mom of a post–Fontan repair of 11 years, I enjoyed the stories and pictures, and have printed the stories for my son to read and relate to.
—Judith Nichols,mom to Bo
Palm City, Florida
I just wanted to say thank you for printing such a wonderful article. It made me smile and cry all at the same time. My daughter is a heart patient and has the same scar seen in so many of Max Gerber’s pictures. I am sure this article meant so much to so many. So once again, thank you, for my daughter, a member of the Broken Hearts Club.
Marc B. Haefele is right to laud Marcia Mayeda, the new director of L.A. County Animal Care and Control [“Nature Matters,” August 24–30]. She is a ray of hope for
the rescue community. Her commitment to investigate the case of felony animal cruelty in Compton Creek is refreshing. Cruelty to animals is, in so many cases, a precursor to violence against humans. That’s why the entire community should be concerned about cases like Compton Creek, and be glad that Ms. Mayeda is ordering the department to take it seriously.
Noah’s B’ark Pet Rescue
I agree with Marc Haefele’s enthusiastic assessment of the new head of L.A. County Animal Care and Control. I met with Ms. Mayeda and found her to be a professional with a deep commitment to the welfare of animals. Most important, I found her to be a leader willing to work with the communities her department serves to identify innovative strategies and solutions to provide the higher levels of service that many communities are now demanding. It’s refreshing to see the head of a large bureaucracy so open to finding creative, “out of the box” solutions in order to improve public service. I wish her well.
Member, West Hollywood
I want to thank you for your continued support of bringing animal-cruelty cases to the public’s attention. As a Torrance resident, I always like to hear positive information about L.A. County Animal Care and Control. Torrance is still trying to get our own animal-control officers so we can help the animals in our city. Hopefully, in the process, this will help other animals as well, since it will lighten the burden on L.A. County.
BEACH GO BOOM?
Re: J. William Gibson’s “Buying Time at Playa Vista” [August 17– 23]. While I see Playa Vista’s offer to sell 193 acres of wetland in a generally positive light, I must admit that I am concerned that the developers are more intent on shoring up their eroding financial condition than they are on restoring more of our vanishing wetlands. The 193-acre area that is now being offered for sale by Playa Vista lies above one of the area’s largest underground natural-gas storage fields and should never have been considered a suitable site to build a residential or commercial development. The developer would be better off handing over the title to the Trust for Public Land in order to limit its potential liability for building on such an unsuitable and contaminated parcel.
Please extend my gratitude to Mr. Gibson for his article on the Ballona Wetlands and the fiscal catastrophe Playa Capital is finally facing. The denial of Mello-Roos bond funds temporarily put the wind at the back of the demonstrators and activists who have opposed this waste of our open land. Delve deeper, please. You will discover that the same financing entities are responsible for the sweetheart deal that left Belmont stinking like a corpse in the midday sun. To fatten their portfolios, they are trying to perform the same sleight of hand, this time on the last remaining wetland/flyway/open space. (Pick one, please.) Now it appears that may be stopped — thanks, in no small part, to your coverage.