Such a deal

Re “For the Navy, top-deck digs,” Feb. 2

I'm all in favor of providing above-average living accommodations -- such as Pacific Beacon, the high-rise apartments at Naval Base San Diego -- to military personnel. However, I have to question why the rental rates are set below what sailors receive in their housing allowances. By being allowed to keep the difference, the sailors are, in effect, being paid a bonus to live there.

Fitness rooms, a swimming pool, a WiFi- equipped cafe and other amenities should justify a rent equal to the housing allowances of the sailors occupying the apartments.

Gerry Swider

Sherman Oaks

Checks and balances

Re "Consolidating a power base," Feb. 1

The statement from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's spokesman, Matt Szabo, that having three citywide politicians work in tandem would be "unequivocally positive" belies Councilwoman Wendy Greuel's attempt to present herself as independent of the mayor and is, furthermore, exactly the kind of statement used to justify dictatorships from all sides of the political spectrum. And Councilman Jack Weiss' dependence on the mayor is undeniable -- Villaraigosa is chair of Weiss' election campaign.

Los Angeles needs and deserves the checks and balances that only officeholders who are not beholden to each other can provide.

Eduardo Subelman

Los Angeles

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The adage "be careful what you wish for" couldn't be more apt when electing powerful political friends who seek the most influential seats in City Hall.

City attorney candidate Jack Weiss argues that Los Angeles deserves a city attorney and a mayor who keep a "confidential, respectful relationship," and promises that if he is elected, "there will be no competition between the mayor's office and the city attorney's office."

But Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales showed us the dangers of a relationship that is governed more by personal loyalty and friendship than by the principles that are the foundation of public office.

Los Angeles may be protected better by a team of rivals rather than by a circle of friends.

Lucie Bava

Los Angeles