Arson Cover-Up 

Thursday, Jul 14 2011

Our cover story on an Alhambra fire inspection specialist, Ken Toh, who blew the whistle on a botched arson investigation ("Alhambra Arson Foul Play?" by Chris Vogel, July 8), drew many responses from readers, most of whom are unhappy with the way their city government operates.

As Alan writes: "Mr. Toh should run for office in Alhambra and change things from the inside. He obviously has the support of the Asian community and they make up over 50%. What more could he want?"

Fauxmoi writes: "As an Alhambra resident, I'm appalled at the corruption at City Hall. We need to take back our city and vote out these corrupt officials and clean up our city. I wish Mr. Toh good luck in his lawsuit. I agree with another comment, you should run for office and I will definitely vote for you."

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Jack writes: "The city leaders are the losers for not standing up to the injustice. With all my years dealing with fire prevention inspectors, there are only a handful I respect for their dedication and integrity — and I have great respect for Ken now and when he was the fire prevention inspector."

A reader named Will writes: "This was a terrific article. I mostly grew up in Alhambra and in my naivete thought it would be the last place there'd be racism against Asians. Sadly, according to no less an authority as my mom, many of the immigrant Chinese in the city don't vote. They're aware of the corruption, but are too afraid to speak up. I hope the Chinese-language media pick up this story and help light a fire under the community."

Pensash writes: "Alhambra reminds me of a small Southern city with all its favoritism, corruption, protection of friends, 'know-nothing city council,' etc. — another City of Bell in the making. I hope all the 'players' end up where they belong, but unfortunately most Alhambra residents are easily manipulated and rarely raise the voice and strength of anger."

Senseless Murder

Michael Krikorian's story on the tragic drive-by killing of two innocent Latino teenagers by members of a black gang ("Double Murder on Grape Street," July 8) also sent readers to their keyboards.

Alan writes: "Dogs and other animals fight over turf. If they want to act like animals, let's treat them like animals. Humanely pick them up from the street and put them in shelters. If no one claims them in a week or two, humanely euthanize them. Society will be a better place."

Drops1 writes: "Totally blows, but I grew up in South Central and it is racial violence. No matter what, the Latinos and the African-Americans in these bad neighborhoods fight each other all the time. Just so happens they are fighting over turf, but it's easier to fight the Latinos than the other African-Americans in the area for the same problems."

Mike C. writes: "Horrible story. Sadly, if it's not a photogenic white girl or a beloved eastsider that gets slain, no one gives a shit. People don't want to hear about brown people getting shot. Hey, it happens. 'After all, this is Watts,' indeed."

Mike C. also offers us a suggestion: "And not to be a buzzkill or anything, the pages for stories like this could do without the slideshow widget featuring hipsters in bikinis. I get enough of that on the back cover of the print version. How about a 'Fucked up shit of the week' slideshow?

"Bitterness notwithstanding, thanks for the story and taking on this beat, Michael."

Pointless 'Carmageddon'

Readers weren't too pleased with the facts in our story about the likely failure of a new car pool lane to ease congestion on the 405 freeway ("Why 'Carmageddon' Is a Waste," by Gene Maddaus, July 8).

"Twenty-five years ago (and still), carpool lanes were a fad," writes VenturaCapitalist. "Now the fad is toll lanes. What evidence is there that this will not be a failure too?"

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