Re: “Derailed Dreams” by Charles Rappleye [March 29–April 4]. The Bus Riders Union is not only bad for L.A.’s transit future but an insult to the civil rights movement. And it’s not just about rail. Salaried BRU organizers have opposed busways, the Rapid Bus program, the upcoming Universal Fare Smart Card technology and a study to allow college students to receive subsidized transit passes. Sound hysterical? At a recent MTA meeting, they passed out fliers stating that the East L.A. light-rail project would disturb the dead at nearby Evergreen Cemetery and cause cancer in the living.

The BRU knows that federal dollars earmarked for capital improvements have not one penny to do with bus operating funds but constantly repeat the lie that it is “bus money stolen for rail.” When cornered with the truth, they simply shout the lie louder and scream racism. Do we really have to have our future held hostage to race-baiting liars?

—Roger Christensen Sherman Oaks


In Charles Rappleye’s condemnation of the predilection of the Bus Riders Union for buses over rail, he declares that rail is a “faster, more comfortable alternative to the bus.” Is he not ignoring the obvious fact that buses go everywhere while rail can serve only certain corridors? It would be helpful to see a more substantial analysis.

—Kirby Baker Los Angeles


Marc Cooper’s story about Bush’s military escalation in Colombia [“Mission Creep,” Dissonance, March 29–April 4] posits an irrationality of purpose to the U.S. mission there. Looking at Colombia only, that would be true. However, the real goal is control of Venezuelan oil. Increased U.S. proximity to this huge energy source, in the minds of Oily Bubba and the Corporate Thieves, translates to guaranteed U.S. access. Never mind that the overall practice of oil dependence — no matter what the source — is itself irrational and doomed to war and other conflagration. Is the U.S. public ready to make the switch to renewable and sustainable? I think yes, and we deserve the courage of leadership not only to say so but to do so. Does anyone doubt we need a change of regimes here in order for that to happen?

—Larry A. Piltz Austin, Texas


Re: “It Ain’t Cool” [On, March 29–April 4]. Fine piece by John Powers. I’m very sorry to hear about Henry Sheehan getting let go by the Orange County Register. But I was more amazed that he was even there for that long. Mostly because he’s so good, and the few times I’ve seen that paper (when visiting family in Seal Beach), it’s been, well, if not lame, certainly limping.

—Sally Cragin Fitchburg, Massachusetts


I was put off, to say the least, by John Powers’ article. Undeniably, Harry Knowles is a film geek, and no, he has no life outside of enjoying films, but the man has etched out a symbiotic way of life with the very thing he loves so dearly. If only every human on Earth found such luck.

—Joe Scott Wake Forest, North Carolina


I applaud Judith Lewis’ article “Dealing With Druggies” [March 29–April 4]. Random drug tests are unconstitutional and demeaning. In my experience, treating a child like a criminal is a sure-fire way to ensure that he or she grows up to become one. Instead, let’s try treating children with frankness, honesty and respect.

—Adam Wiggins Pasadena

“‘It’s astonishing to see how what should be sound legal reasoning has been distorted by drug-war rhetoric,’ says Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.” Mr. Nadelmann is being myopic. Surely the distortion in the legal reasoning of the Supreme Court goes much deeper than the drug war.

—Terrence T. Downes South Pasadena


Re: “The Binge” [Ant Farm, March 29–April 4]. Robert Lloyd is correct in his testament to reading’s ability to transport and illuminate. The least hopeful of us are those who cannot or, sadder still, will not read. Their worlds will remain forever narrow and skimpy and drained of color.

—George Radai Tarzana


Last week’s story “The Mission Is on a Mission,” about a religious monthly’s coverage of Cardinal Roger Mahony, repeated information in an Los Angeles Archdiocese e-mail that was incorrect. Father Peter Liuzzi does not, in fact, teach at Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino.


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