Brentwood or Mar Vista?Re "D.A. looks into Burke's residency," July 31
My hat's off to The Times for bringing Yvonne B. Burke's alleged residency charade to light. It is astonishing to discover the lengths to which the L.A. County supervisor has gone to maintain the pretense of residing in her district by leaving her Brentwood home and driving the five miles to meet her chauffeur at the Mar Vista townhouse in the morning, and then getting dropped back in the evening, so she can continue five miles back to her Brentwood home. It is my hope that Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley will press the case that she has not lived up to one of the primary requirements of her position. But if this matter goes beyond his purview, or he finds it too much of a conflict of interest, then what entity has jurisdiction? Should we, the electorate, find comfort at the state level, or will we need to go on to the paragon of judicial rectitude that we know as the U.S. Department of Justice led by Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales?
Burke pays taxes to L.A. County on both her townhouse in Mar Vista, which is in her district, and her other residence in Brentwood, which is not. So, the question is, has she spent more time in Brentwood, Zev Yaroslavsky's district, than she has spent in her own district? Perhaps, but what is so unusual about Burke occasionally sleeping in the Brentwood home with her husband? And whose business is it anyway where Burke sleeps? Is she required to represent her district when she is asleep?
Angie Papadakis Rancho Palos Verdes
Re "Burke handles her business," Opinion, July 31
I cannot send my children to a particular school because we live outside that school's district boundaries. Nonetheless, Burke lives outside her district, but, according to Earl Ofari Hutchinson, it's OK because she's in touch with her constituents. Sorry, Mr. Hutchinson, Burke has engaged in situational ethics while the rest of us have to play by the rules, and there's no getting past it.
Robert Levin Agoura Hills
I am frankly stunned that such an esteemed and respected citizen as Hutchinson would apparently let his personal friendship with Burke disrupt his objectivity. Despite what he tries to claim -- that the issue of her effectiveness is the "crucial" question -- this issue is very simple. If Burke doesn't live in her district, then she shouldn't be allowed to act as that district's representative. Plain and simple. Her effectiveness or her love of the constituents doesn't really matter. Hutchinson, of all people, should know better.
Steve Caruso Elk Grove, Calif.
Gay athletes paid price in past
Re "Young gay athletes find a place out on the field," July 28
In the 1980s, I was a gay athlete who knew that no one wanted to know. I was captain of Fullerton's Sunny Hills High School swim team in 1980 and the captain of the Carleton College swim team in 1984. It's bruising to always have to lie to your closest friends. My heart is just bursting with pride for the athletes mentioned in this article. What integrity, what sense of fair play, what guts. And now, let the games begin.
Tom Hall Santa Ana
As a gay man reading your article, I was reminded of my own humiliating experiences in public school physical education classes. I was ostracized, ridiculed and constantly reminded of the perception among my classmates that my athletic abilities were nonexistent. Your article also touched on a troubling misconception often found within homophobic factions of the straight community: that gay people, especially guys, are unable to control their sexual urges and are presumed to be sexually interested in almost anyone of the same sex. If we turn the tables on this notion, we see how absurd it really is. Straight men are not attracted to every woman they see, nor are straight women attracted to all men. Do most straight people fear they can't participate in coed sports or activities because they'll be propositioned or flooded with their own sexual urges and won't be able to control them? Of course not. Neither do most gays.
Richard French Studio City
Murdoch at the helm
Re "Murdoch's bid to buy Dow Jones accepted," Aug. 1
So media mogul Rupert Murdoch finally was able to buy the Wall Street Journal to spread more of his political agenda around the globe. This Australian, who gave up his own citizenship to acquire foreign business interests, wants to compete with the "liberal" New York Times. Aside from owning Fox "Noise" and destroying the integrity of every newspaper he buys, it's a fact that the publishing business is not only a financial risk but actually, to a man like Murdoch, a bad business decision. Could he be trying to sell his own political agenda and to influence a sleeping population that watch and read his news, I mean, propaganda machine? Wake up, America.