When labeled means disabled

Re: “Back from the Brink,” cover story, Oct. 16

Thrilling indeed to see how times have changed for those of us on the wrong side of mental illness. Sarah Jakle seems to have a remarkable, intrinsic understanding of bipolar illness, as do I.

However, the stigma remains, no matter what I do. Although I have taken medication faithfully for well over 34 years, own property near the beach, held long-term jobs and have been in a relationship almost

18 years, my mother still tells me I’m getting sick again any time a normal dispute arises.

It’s basically a no-win situation when labeled means disabled.

Kerry Kimbrell

Playa del Rey


Vote for the workhorse

In the race to succeed state Sen. Ted Lieu (likely moving on to Congress) we have two political newcomers who offer varied and contrasting paths to Sacramento.

In political “celebrity” Sandra Fluke we have this “red carpet politico” of sorts who has leveraged her feud with Rush Limbaugh to the national stage.

While articulate and polished in presentation and politics, Fluke is not the homegrown candidate we have in Ben Allen, a graduate of Harvard and Cal with long roots in Santa Monica as a school board member noted for being a true advocate for public education.

Allen’s impressive educational resume and record also includes a stint as an aide to Rep. Jose Serrano of New York, where he served the constituent needs of one of the poorest districts in all of the United States. Ben Allen has secured endorsements from elected officials such as Rep. Henry Waxman, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Assemblyman Richard Bloom, Assemblyman Steve Bradford, Assembly candidate Autumn Burke as well as several unions that represent firefighters, police officers and the LAPD.

This race can be best described as Sandra Fluke the “show” horse versus Ben Allen, the definitive “work” horse in this contest.

In Ben Allen you have a genuine authenticity, a “likeability” factor that draws voters to his ideas and notions on how to make government accountable, productive and transparent. He is humble in his service and quiet in his approach to making sure things get done.

The choice to succeed Senator Lieu is difficult, but Ben Allen’s character, candidacy and commitment to public service has made it easier for all voters here in the 26th California Senate District.

Nick Antonicello

Venice Beach


Fight Big Money

The Citizens United decision unleashed unlimited anonymous spending on campaigns, making it easier for Big Money to unfairly influence our political system in ways that are not healthy for the citizens of our country.

We need a more transparent and regulated system. One possible solution is the Government By the People Act (H.R. 20). Co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of more than 150 members of Congress, it would combat the influence of big money in politics, raise civic engagement and amplify the voice of average Americans.

We are all paying the price of our current campaign finance system. We need awareness of the issue and that there are other options that could bring the democratic process back in check.

David Helme



There ought to be a law

California’s Three Feet for Safety Act law requires motorists to give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing. That’s a good thing.

But you must explain to me, an elderly man with disability, and all the folks who used to look forward to enjoying a calms stroll in Marina del Rey, why we are constantly under threat by the very people who were threatened themselves until the Three Feet for Safety Act.

Mothers Beach has a sign at the entrance to its walkway that reads “No Bicycle Riding.” But these bike-riding hooligans speed through a forest of infants, children, walkers, the elderly, the disabled, birthday parties, children on tricycles and never slow down, never show any courtesy, and don’t even stop if they hit someone, as happened to me. There are folks who will not go out there for walks because they are concerned for their safety.

When you add the dog walkers to the mix, using elongated leashes and concentrating on their cell phones, we now have the ingredients for life altering injuries.

The chaos continues at the promenade adjacent to Killer Café and becomes more hazardous from Dock E2800 to Dock F500. At Dock E1000 is a large, clear sign that reads “Pedestrians Only. No Bicycle Riding. Code Will Be Enforced.”

I have gone to the Sheriff’s station and was told they do no find this a priority (my words). The eyes of officers parked in their automobiles on patrol in Marina del Rey seem to glaze over.

I want a Three Feet for Safety Act protecting pedestrians.

J. Daniels

Marina del Rey


Stop the polluters

I’m an environmental educator and am very concerned about the pollution that fracking, big agriculture, and oil drilling are depositing into our water systems. Please stop the polluters. Enough already!

Melodie Meyer