(Re. Dave Connell's letter "Mailbag: Pay attention to property tax bill," Oct. 21): I know your political party affiliation expects you to make such comments, but do they explain to you how our taxes/fees pay for more than salaries and pensions?
I agree some salaries/pensions are very excessive, which has been shown even in our very own city. But I have yet to hear GE, IBM, other corporate giants, or any multi-billionaire traders on Wall Street raise their hand and say, "I will pay for a new bridge, upgrade our freeways, build new schools and make sure we have enough teachers and supplies, or ensure national safety at airports and train stations."
Nor have they offered to pay for our soldiers who are overseas or are returning to find their homes foreclosed on or without a job. In fact, I have not heard one peep from them except to goad you and others on about excessive government. (By the way, did you know that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has six offices in his home state and one in London? Talk about excessive government.)
Oh yes, how about Social Security and Medicare, of which I am sure you personally benefit from or perhaps have family and friends who do. What these corporate guys actually want is to pay even less taxes and not help to create job opportunities.
I for one am happy to pay my paltry sum in taxes, which when weighed against the things that make my life in America what it is, seem minimal. Perhaps that is why this country is having some financial problems — certain people don't want to pay for anything.
I think that you and your cronies have this notion of entitlement — not the poor and soon-to-disappear middle class.
A big thank you to Pat Bates
Some of us who have worked with those taking advantage of our Alternative Sleeping Location have provided transportation to places that provide access to social services. We have found it takes most of a day to help a person apply for food stamps.
We went to our Fifth District County Supervisor, Pat Bates, to see if she could help. She was gracious in receiving us and promised to see what she could do.
Within weeks, a representative from county services was helping clients get the services they were entitled to on the site of our ASL. And they will continue to assist in the future. Bates deserves thanks from the caring people of Laguna Beach.
Martinez is the unit chairwoman of the League of Women Voters. Krackowizer and Raun are members.
Mental health care needs angels
I appreciate Benjamin J. Hubbard's take on angels and demons, and the goodness of most people, and I respect the turn to religion to process events such as the tragic massacre in Seal Beach (On Faith: "Our angels are stronger than demons," Oct. 20). Scott Dekraai was a severely disturbed individual. The tragedy didn't have to happen. I suggest another practical approach that would tap into concrete responses by the angels.
Many people in our society are suffering from real neurobiological disturbances, ranging from depression and other mental illnesses, including PTSD. Programs to help treat these conditions are routinely underfunded, defunded and stigmatized.
Everyone in society is affected by these illnesses. Mental illnesses take up more hospital beds than heart disease and cancer combined, and many (most?) people with mental illness who should be hospitalized or under treatment aren't receiving any treatment at all.
Sadly for them (and us), many end up homeless, in the penal system, adding to employers' costs due to absenteeism or consuming precious resources of law enforcement, etc. Society could save money and lives by providing better societal support.
It is estimated that one in four people is affected by mental illness! We, individually and as a society, would do all of us a favor by promoting programs and funds to address the problems. Nonprofits are struggling financially to provide services as they work to eliminate the stigma that inhibits so many of the afflicted from seeking help.
May all you angels tap into your energy and apply it to making a difference via funding for programs that address the core issues and programs regarding mental health.
Karen L. Niles
Support Rockledge coastal access
A lot of people in town have been supportive of our efforts to establish a public coastal access way to the beautiful Rockledge shoreline. More than 3,000 petition signatures have been collected in favor of the project and 50 affidavits have been obtained documenting public use of the area.
So if you are interested, please come to the California Coastal Commission meeting on Wednesday and address the commission under Item 15b.
Item 15b is expected to come up sometime in the afternoon. The commission will meet in Oceanside City Hall at 300 N. Coast Hwy., Oceanside.
There is a parking structure adjacent to City Hall and on-street parking in the area. Bring your change for parking meters. The drive takes about 45 minutes from Laguna Beach.