Canoga Park Teacher raise The headline, “Teachers deal has high price,” should have had a subheadline: “Teacher raise has huge bonus to taxpayers: District acknowledges need to cut cost of bureaucracy.” – Ed Kaz Oak Park Re “Monkeying with feng shui” (Feb. 13): It’s heartening to know three rare golden monkeys, slated to make their L.A. debut next year, will not be cast into downscale Skid Row-type digs – i.e., for a simian that means a few trees on a plot of land – but instead will enjoy the ambience of a $7.4 million feng shui-designed enclosure about which L.A. Councilman Tom LaBonge desperately hopes the simian trio will not say, “Tom, you messed up; we’re going to San Francisco or San Diego.” Oh, goodness gracious, that would certainly be a formidable rebuff from the “blue-faced monkeys with flowing California blond hair.” Kerry Cavanaugh, writer of the news article, offers a definition of feng shui as “yin-yang theory: Everything in the universe consists of two opposing, deeply interconnected forces” – like wisdom and foolishness, or clever and downright inane, or sane and gone totally bananas. – Stephen Pettine Hazy phase Re “Antonio’s gang plan: Phase one” (Feb. 8): The Gang Enforcement Initiative alone will have the gangs on the run. In Phase One, we are going to designate, implement, launch, publicize, target, collaborate, hold meetings and issue bulletins. Wow! What an action plan. What phase is it, and when will it begin, where we round up, prosecute, convict, incarcerate, deport and execute the criminals? – James F. Cole Sherman Oaks Showing our support Re “Valley gang feeling the heat” (Feb. 12): When I read “the goal was to take the sidewalks and streets away from the gangsters … and to return them to the community,” I was reminded of another time, but the same goal. People volunteered to give the disenfranchised their civil rights by marching through the segregated South in the 1960s and ’70s. The people who live, work and play in any community where their civil rights are denied them by the presence of intimidating gang presence are living in an unfair and unjust environment. It is immoral that we allow this. Maybe we could march through these communities from one end of the communities in Los Angeles to the other – almost like the states of the South – showing our support for their emancipation from gang suppression and exploitation. – Steve Carrizosa Los Angeles Dollar coin Re “Maybe George can help $1 coins” (Feb. 12): I do not understand: Why this obsession with a dollar coin? Why is it that no one ever thinks about a half-dollar coin in circulation? A half-dollar coin about the size of a nickel but with a square shape – or round with a hole in the middle – would be much more useful than a dollar coin, and the dollar bill would be left intact. – Aprim K. Abraham North Hill Reform redux Re “Money politics” (Our Opinions, Feb. 13): Your editorial glides over an important point. If less than 10 years ago, as you state, Mayor Richard Riordan was able to elect a reform-minded L.A. school board and now we are again in need of reform, what is this saying? My husband and I are retired from teaching more than 30 years. We have always marveled that, regardless of the campaign promises, once elected, very, very few members – such as David Tokofsky – go against the flow. – Doris Hood West Hills A phone call away In Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” Dogberry, a bumbling parish constable, often gives advice that seems to be the opposite of what would be sensible. His actions remind one of many members of our House of Representatives who are engaged in a heated exchange of words over a nonbinding resolution to control the possible future history of the world. In the meantime, my grandson, a 12-year Navy veteran, left for Iraq yesterday. He’s the father of my two great-grandchildren – one 7 months old, the other age 2. In a farewell phone conversation, his last words were, “Grandpa, please take care of my family.” Perhaps more members of our government in Washington should receive such a phone call. – Hal Geer Major, USAF Ret. Simi Valley L.A. River plan I lived in the Valley when the Tujunga Wash flooded in 1938 and washed away cars, houses and personal belongings, and the only way to get across the wash was the bridge on Chandler Boulevard in North Hollywood. The cemented Los Angeles River is called a flood-control channel because it controls the rainwater runoff all the way to the ocean. There are record years of rainfall when the channel is filled with rushing water. The flood-control channel was built to prevent flooding. If the concrete channel is removed for a park, what is proposed to warn the people of the sudden rising of the water? The flood control is necessary. – Joan Litsinger Reseda It’s about music Re “Dixie Chicks” (Your Opinions, Feb. 13): “It’s a shame (the Dixie Chicks) don’t know how to keep their mouths shut?” What is this, Scott Yollis, the United States of America or the Mafia? The Dixie Chicks didn’t earn five Grammy awards for their knitting. It’s about the music. The fact that they aren’t allowed to have their music aired on half the AM stations in the U.S. is nothing but a despicable right-wing political practice called “censorship.” I saw a Dixie Chicks concert on PBS recently, and they obviously have dedicated fans. I’m not one of the fans because I honestly don’t like their style of music. I can understand how they would be embarrassed to come from the same state as George Walker Bush, though. – William O. West Reseda Supply and demand? Re “City Council dictates” (Your Opinions, Feb. 12): In regard to a “living wage” for hotel workers, Charles Robinson (as well as several other writers) describes it as “simply matter of supply and demand,” as several other writers also do. Absolutely right. So when apartment owners want to convert their units into condos, the demand must be there. Oh, but wait, that’s when the government is supposed to step in and protect upper-middle-class residents from wealthier ones. I’m never going to understand exactly who is going to be protected by those in the government. (Maybe themselves, with contributions from any of the above.) – Mark Shea North Hills Speaking of surges President George W. Bush can get his surge of troops, but Chief William Bratton can’t get his surge of police officers despite the fact it cuts down the murder rate. There should be a ballot measure to cut the salaries of City Council members unless the city gets that surge of more police officers. I’m so disgusted that you can quote me on that. – Rikio Matsunami Los Angeles Attaboy So on Jan. 18 I had a water pipe burst under my street in Canoga Park. I had Lake Wyandotte instantly. I called the Department of Water and Power. Workers arrived in no time with trucks, jackhammers and lots of equipment, and they fixed the pipe. All went well. Good job. Thanks, DWP. – Ron Nevius Canoga Park160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
0Shares0000Arturo Vidal, Carles Perez and Antoine Griezmann celebrate © AFP / Josep LAGOMADRID, Spain, Aug 25 – Antoine Griezmann copied Lionel Messi for the goal and LeBron James for the celebration but it was his night for Barcelona on Sunday after he scored twice in a 5-2 win over Real Betis.Griezmann imitated the basketball superstar by tossing confetti into the air to celebrate his second at Camp Nou, a curling effort into the corner that he said was inspired by watching Messi. “I saw Leo do this in training, so I tried to copy him,” said Griezmann. “And for the celebration, I like the ritual that LeBron did so we tried to do it as well.”Yet Griezmann was the star, if only for the night with Messi in the stands, the Argentinian still short of fitness following a calf injury.A brilliant Barcelona performance also delivered a resounding response to the doubts arising from their defeat by Athletic Bilbao last weekend, among them a reliance on Messi, the need for Neymar and the future of Ernesto Valverde as coach.But as Carles Perez, Jordi Alba and Arturo Vidal made it three, four and five, the gloom was forgotten, along with Nabil Fekir’s opener in the 15th minute, that had Betis level at half-time.“After a defeat, there is always a big reaction,” Griezmann said. “We really wanted to play another game and when so many players are missing, the team steps up.”Loren Moron slammed a late strike into the top corner for Betis but by then the game was up as Barca ensured no further ground was lost on Atletico Madrid, who beat Leganes 1-0 earlier on Sunday, or Real Madrid, who were held to a 1-1 draw on Saturday by Real Valladolid.– Timely display –Barcelona will hope to have Messi back for the trip to Osasuna next weekend but with Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele both out for longer, Griezmann’s statement display was timely.Whether it also affects the club’s attempts to prise Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain remains to be seen.“I have to admit today was an important day for Antoine,” said Valverde.The crowd also enjoyed a goal from the 21-year-old Perez, making his first Barca start, and a substitute appearance from Anssumane Fati, who at 16 became the second youngest player ever to play for the club in La Liga.Sergio Busquets was at fault for Betis’ opener as he gave the ball away, allowing Fekir to drive in his debut goal since he moved from Lyon in July.But Barca were undeterred and after Rafinha missed an excellent chance to equalise, Griezmann took over, volleying in on the stretch four minutes before half-time, past the weak hand of Dani Martin.If Griezmann’s first owed something to the goalkeeper, his second was unstoppable. He collected the ball 25 yards out and used Sidnei as a marker to bend his shot around the defender and inside the far post.Griezmann ran to the corner where confetti was poured into his hands. He threw it into the air above his head.Barca were relentless as Perez steered a third into the bottom corner and Alba made it four, latching onto a superb Busquets pass inside the full-back.There was still time for two scintillating strikes, the first from Vidal, who was slid in by Griezmann, and the second by Loren, who was given too much space. It was no more than a consolation.Vitolo scored Atletico’s winner at Leganes © AFP / BENJAMIN CREMELBarcelona stay behind Atletico, who maintained their perfect start with another 1-0 victory, this time over Leganes as Vitolo came off the bench to score a second-half winner at Butarque.Joao Felix, Atletico’s 126 million-euro ($140 million) buy from Benfica and much-hailed replacement for Griezmann, was again quiet but again delivered the match’s most memorable moment.The 19-year-old’s perfectly-timed pass provided set Vitolo free while Felix had been picked out by Kieran Trippier, who was faultless on his second Atletico start.0Shares0000(Visited 30 times, 1 visits today)