Letters to the Editor

Thoughts on Earthquake Preparedness

I read with interest Mary O’Keefe’s article about earthquake insurance (“Insuring Against the Great Shake Out,” Oct. 28). I am a huge advocate of earthquake preparedness. Along with earthquake insurance, every household should be prepared to not expect help from the government and FEMA for at least 72 hours or longer. Most likely, if it’s a really bad earthquake where there is widespread damage and/or injuries, don’t expect help from anyone for possibly weeks.

Ideally, every household should have food for everyone in their household and one gallon of water per person per day for at least two weeks. ATMs may not work, so have cash in small bills on hand. Cell towers may not work, so have a working old fashion corded telephone landline. If there is no electricity, portable walk-around telephones will not work.  

If you have forced air heating, even if you have natural gas available, the heater will not work. If you keep the refrigerator door closed, the contents are good for about 72 hours. So a generator would be nice to have. Solar panels, unless you have a backup battery, will not work without electricity.

Finally, don’t forget tools, flashlight, extra clothing, shoes and medicine. There is a lot to consider but if it is done slowly and methodically, it is not too overwhelming.  

There is a company in Van Nuys – SOS Survival Products – that specializes in emergency equipment.  

Paul Liu

Portuguese Point of View

While vacationing in Portugal, it was fascinating to witness a very diverse culture with a very long history. The amount of other peoples from throughout the rest of the world that live, work and travel in this small European country is remarkable: Black Africans and Brazilians, Indians, Indonesians, Asians … and Black American travelers.

We met a Portuguese history professor who explained much of this history: many Black Portuguese citizens are descendants of slaves brought in the 15th century; many are from Brazil; but most Black Portuguese are from the African colonies. At the end of the Portuguese empire in the 1960s, Portugal offered colonial peoples citizenship if they so chose. There was a large movement to Portugal for a better life.

It was refreshing to be in a culture that is welcoming, generally happy and free from the constant drumbeat of “slavery guilt” that so consumes us here. The professor was puzzled by the movement in the U.S. to cancel, tear down statues and otherwise twist American history to suit a biased agenda, advocated by a few. He said Portuguese have come to terms with their own history, which does not shy away from the slavery question; they know that was then, this is now – as if to say, “All that happened long ago, and we’ve positively evolved since. What’s your point?”

The 15th century Portuguese explorers began the European voyages of discovery that found new worlds and cultures, changed the intellectual and scientific theories of the time, and generally brought on the evolution of European ideas that have resulted in the modern world we live in, whose immense benefits we all enjoy. This history is worthy of celebration, “warts and all.”

Stuart Byles
La Crescenta

 Time to Take Responsibility

Considering all the propaganda and violations of our laws that are running chaotically throughout our nation today, we must realize these events are destroying our constitutional rights and the history of our country; it’s time we must stand against these atrocities.

Respect, honesty, freedom of religion, freedom from want and a country that was ruled as a true democracy; these were valued that made us a great nation. Term limits and legislation to end lobbing by our representatives must become a thing of the past! President George Washington said it right!

In my lifetime I vividly recall how many of our youth gave their lives for our flag and its principles and now our flags are being removed from our schools and places of honor. Even sculptures are being removed from locations in our nation because they offend a minority. They are part of our history! Subjects are being taught in our schools that are harmful to the minds of our children. Our teachers need to teach history, reading, writing and math, not their political opinions. Immorality is becoming commonplace, which is attributed to the increase of sex crimes and lawlessness. Out of fear of reprisals law enforcement officers can no longer do their jobs properly; that is “protect the innocent.”

Our borders are being overrun by illegal immigrants, criminals and drugs, which are destroying immigration laws and the minds of those who consume said drugs.

Many of us are remiss when it comes to taking a firm stand against these atrocities. If we allow them to continue uncontrollably, we must individually take full responsibility for the failure of our country.

God gave us rights; it is time to use them.

Andy Gero
La Crescenta