Re: “6,000 troops along border” (May 16): Before President Bush moves forward in putting troops on the border, as well as building a 320-mile security fence between Mexico and the United States, I suggest the following: Send a battalion of troops to the New York harbor and, brick by brick, begin dismantling the Statue of Liberty. Symbolically and philosophically, at least in the U.S. of A. that I love, the Statue of Liberty and troops on the border cannot coexist. Stephen Wagner Valencia Lifting all of us Re: “Heaven help us” (May 18): Heaven help me understand why the indicators suggest the economy is booming. Why then are poverty, hunger, homelessness and repossession of homes on the rise? Why is the stock market tumbling, gas prices rising, home sales dropping and interest rates climbing? Why are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer? Why are the rich getting tax cuts when the national debt is getting bigger? The president tells us that wealth trickles down (trickle is the key word). I would like to see a gusher that starts at the bottom and pushes up. One that lifts everyone, not just Bush’s friends who are already on top. Philip Wilt Van Nuys Prudent spending Re: “Local money wasting away” (May 14): Only in a city as enamored of its bloated bureaucracy as L.A. could elected officials be criticized for spending money prudently. The primary purpose of neighborhood councils is “to promote more citizen participation in local government and make government more responsive to local needs.” Achieving that function often requires no more than the cost of a public meeting space, a few fliers and postage for an advisory letter to the city. The remainder of the small allotment to each neighborhood council is spent on overhead and outreach. If neighborhood councils are wisely allowing their funds to accrue in an effort to make individual expenditures go farther, they should be applauded for their restraint. Jason Lyon Representative at large Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Not a good answer Re: “Smith responds” (Your Opinions, May 18): If I am reading Councilman Smith correctly, he proposes to fund neighborhood councils with more taxpayer money than they can spend, let each council keep the excess and receive full funding the following cycle. Apparently Councilman Smith intends to attack the fiscal integrity of our neighborhood councils and turn them into something more akin to the DWP, Parks and Recreation and all the other taxpayer-funded agencies that pilfer every cent and cry for more. Patrick Weir Chatsworth Commission responds Re: “No consequences” (Editorial, May 11): Most government workers, including those of the county of Los Angeles, are protected from arbitrary employment actions as a safeguard against cronyism or political favoritism. Contrary to the impression left by your reporting, when a county employee is fired, he or she is removed from the workplace immediately. County workers then have the right to appeal disciplinary actions to the County Civil Service Commission. The commission’s responsibility is to make certain that the department imposing discipline has followed civil-service rules, proved the allegations against the employee and has justified the level of discipline before a hearing officer. We don’t have authority to increase discipline. Hundreds of cases are filed with the commission every year. Anyone who has attended our meetings on Wednesday mornings knows how much time each commissioner devotes to reading and understanding the material and the serious and thorough review we give each case. Our meetings and hearings are open to the public. Z. Greg Kahwajian President, Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission Plain English My Grandparents, parents and I were all born in the United States and I have spoken the English language all my life. How can you help me understand the complicated propositions and issues with all their double talk? Each side is written so that it sounds good for their side. Never mind other languages, just use plain English. Celia De La O Arleta The border qualifies Re: “Governor seeks info before he sics Guard” (May 18): Sacramento doesn’t want troops on the border…they want to save them for disasters. Hello? The border is a disaster. Barbara Graham Sherman Oaks AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Andrea Belotti in action for Italy 1 French giants Paris Saint-Germain are aiming to derail Manchester United’s plans of landing Andrea Belotti, by beginning negotiations for the Italy international.United were seemingly in pole position to sign the highly-rated forward, who is also a long-term target of Arsenal, Chelsea and other top European clubs.The 23-year-old seems likely to leave Torino this summer and while United’s interest remains firm, they will face stiff competition from France in the shape of PSG.According to Canal+, the Parisians have placed an initial £53m offer on the table for the prolific striker, falling well short of his £88m release clause.Torino are holding firm for now but will likely come under siege once the summer window really kicks into gear.It remains to be seen whether PSG are successful with their opening offer, or whether they return with a more substantial fee and leave United out in the cold.