The story of Nancy Salas is a very sad and strange one.

I am surprised that the possibility of mental illness was not mentioned. For more than a year she deceived her family and said that she was a student at UCLA, while all the while she was a dropout.

Then faced with the fact that her lies would be discovered, she just disappears. It's so totally without logic, typical of a chaotic mind.

Salas should have a psychiatric evaluation, and based on that report she should be sentenced with either a jail term of a year or be admitted to a mental hospital for treatment and rehab.

Even in the 21st century, mental illness is ignored and denied. Like any other illness, if untreated it ends with tragic results.

I wish Nancy and her family strength, and hope sincerely for the best outcome.

ELSE GRANT

Glendale



Thanks to those who fight for us

Sometime last Monday an anguished cry must have broken the stillness in El Dorado, Ark.

An Army wife received the news that her husband was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb. Maj. Ronald Culver left a widow and two teenage children. They are now bereft of the warm embrace of a husband and a father. This family's consolation will be our American flag, and, hopefully, the recognition of grateful Americans everywhere.

Culver's death is the 4,718th American casualty of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Culver will be missed by members of the 2nd Squadron, 108th Calvalry Regiment. His was an Army Reserve unit based out of Shreveport, La. He died for America. He died for an ideal that all military men carry with them. That ours is a just system, based on freedom and democracy, that we must uphold and preserve to the highest standards and for which we gladly give up our lives.

As a Vietnam veteran myself, may the meaning of that sacrifice linger in our minds as we try to restore our country to the ideals for which he and his family have sacrificed so much.

HERBERT MOLANO

Tujunga

Settlers landed before immigration

This is in reply to Joe Zuazua's letter stating that 90% of the Mayflower's descendants are "illegals" ("This country has an 'illegal' history," May 20).

Actually, the Mayflower arrived at Plymouth Colony in 1620. This was more than 150 years before the adoption of our Declaration of Independence, in 1776. It wasn't until 1891 that the federal government "assumed the task of inspecting, admitting, rejecting, and processing all immigrants seeking admission to the U.S."

It is a bit of a stretch to categorize the colonial settlers as illegal immigrants.

EDITH NOBLE

Glendale



Candidate's claims are debatable

I read with interest your article ("Ramani: Gatto is aloof," May 20), in which Sunder Ramani suggests that Mike Gatto has not debated him.

As someone active in my neighborhood, I am on all the e-mail lists. By my count, Gatto has debated Ramani several times in the last two months.

Two of these I watched on television — the League of Women Voters' debate in late March, and the candidates' appearance on "The Larry Zarian Show" in April.

Just two weeks ago, I personally attended a debate between the two candidates, sponsored by the Northwest Glendale Homeowners Assn.

If Ramani can't count, how can we trust him to solve our budget crisis? If Ramani lies about something so silly, how can we trust him at all?

VERGINIA MANOUKIAN

Burbank