Why not use Palmdale?

To the Editor:

Expansion of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is an exercise in futility. No matter how often the airport is expanded, it will never be enough, because the rest of the Los Angeles area is expanding too. Each time more of the surrounding area is taken, local businesses, jobs and homes are lost.

Why not do the sensible thing and stop spending interminable amounts of time and money trying to do something that will not solve a long-term problem anyway, and use those resources to develop the Palmdale facility that was purchased for that purpose so many years ago. It is located in a fast-growing area that holds a future promise of more airline business in a facility that has far more acreage than LAX.

Thomas F. Brands, Los Angeles

Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for more dog parks

To the Editor:

I just read in the January 10th issue of The Argonaut a letter from a reader in Venice who believes, as a dog owner, the government should provide him with off-leash beach and park areas. What nonsense!

It is not the government’s (or

rather the taxpayers’) responsibility to provide for his convenience or his animal’s pleasure and exercise.

While I, too, am an animal lover, I do not expect others to provide for the animal. If I cannot provide a yard for it to romp and play in, then walking the dog on a leash is not out of the question.

I’m not willing to pay for his enjoyment by publicly financing this sort of activity. Talk about nanny state! Get real.

Jo Ann Scholl, Los Angeles

Thanks for support in toy drive

To the Editor:

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Santa Monicans for their generosity during the 15th Annual Spark of Love Toy Drive. In cooperation with Santa Monica Fire Department, Los Angeles City Fire Department and ABC/7 News, this year’s campaign was able to run smoothly, providing underprivileged families with a happy holiday experience when times are not so easy.

This year saw some very trying economic times for all of us. Nevertheless, we collected over 3,000 donated toys from the wonderful people that live and work here. With our own needs just below 1,000 toys (for local families to pick up during the holiday season), we stocked up the upcoming year’s emergency toy supply we keep on hand for children affected by disasters — such as house and apartment fires.

We still had nearly 2,000 toys remaining to send to other communities where their needy children received toys, sporting goods, games and other gifts for the holidays too.

Once again, thank you all for your generosity and compassion this holiday season. Not only were we able to bring smiles to many children here in Santa Monica and a huge relief to many of our needy families, but you also affected the hearts of children around the entire County of Los Angeles.

Our heartfelt thanks from all of us at the Santa Monica Red Cross for your support of the Spark of Love Toy Drives and for making the 2007 campaign such a success.

Cory Russell, Coordinator of Santa Monica Red Cross Chapter Spark of Love Toy Drive