Trafficking needs

to be addressed

At the last Lancaster City Council meeting, the Council approved a new ordinance to handle suspected human trafficking outside the city’s motels and hotels. I spoke to the Council of a survey that I had undertaken the day before.

For three hours, I walked the boundaries of 10th and 20th West bordered by West Avenue J and West Avenue K. I counted 13 massage-style establishments within that boundary and nine nail salons in the same area. Two of the massage businesses where not part of the store-front ones.

The same day as the Council meeting, I went to the L.A. County Assessor’s Office to see if I could determine who owned the buildings that housed the massage parlors. With the assistance of county personnel, we were able to only pull up the names of five of the owners. There were discrepancies with the numbers for the other businesses and we could not pull them up.

Surprise, surprise, four of the five buildings belonged to people who reside outside the city. The owner of the fifth building lived in Palmdale.

I did not do a check of the owners of the nail salons. However, at one time, I observed a van dropping off a woman to work at one establishment, with the van still filled with other women presumably to be dropped off.

The mayor asked city staff to look into my observations. I hope that the city will take legal steps to offer the workers of the massage businesses and nail salons the same protections as the women outside the motels and establishments.

Human trafficking is a serious problem in this country and it is not just sexual trafficking, it is also forced labor trafficking.

Michael P. Rives


Maybe it was anger

In a March third letter. Lynde Williams took up the cause of reparations for blacks today.

The writer requested “someone” educate themselves about history, while the writer made several misstatements.

In the tone of the letter, I suspect the mistakes were due to the writer being very upset about the topic. But U.S slavery ended by law with the 13th Amendment in December 1865, not as the writer suggests 54 years ago.

The writer is also incorrect crediting President Lincoln with coming up with the 40 acres and a mule plan for freed slaves. Forty Acres and a Mule refers to a promise made in the United States for agrarian reform to former enslaved black farmers by Union General William Tecumseh Sherman on January 16, 1865.

The plan was never followed through by politicians. As for the Southern landowners being repaid, it was $300 per landowner.

In 1862, slavery was abolished in Washington, D.C., and in an effort to keep the local slave owners loyal to the Union, Abraham Lincoln’s administration offered to pay $300 each in compensation.

This was paid out to 979 owners for 2,989 slaves, turning Washington into an island of freedom bounded by the slave states of Maryland and Virginia.

Again anger perhaps led to the mistakes so I won’t say “educate yourself.”

John B. Smith


It’s not working

My hat’s off to Jonathan Kennedy for his letter “No Explanation”.  

It seems that Guy Marsh likes to use a lot of fancy words to explain his Socialist views. Those fancy words won’t make his concept work!

Gary Hansen


Pay attention

The March 4 letter about AOC’s GND, like virtually all attacks on it, failed to mention why it exists: If we do not reach net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2030, we’ll cause “catastrophic” global warming, which will result in global economic collapse followed by societal collapse (National Academy of Sciences, IPCC),

Rapid decarbonization will prevent that while creating 15 million good-paying, local, permanent green jobs (Stanford University’s and adding $500 billion to annual US GDP (IPCC). That’s if we act now. Time is running out. We’ve spent far too long listening to the skeptics and deniers. Now reality is starting to set in, costing US taxpayers over $450 billion for climate disasters just from 2016-18.

A clean energy economy will mean solar and wind power, already cheaper then any fossil fuel (Forbes, Lazard, IEA, IRENA) will get much cheaper as it scales up (Scientific America).

Pete Kuntz

Northglenn, Coloardo

Teaching slaves

to read

Prior to the Civil War between the states, black slaves were not allowed to read or write.

In the Southern states, religion is very strong. A church leader asked his elders if he could teach slaves Sunday school from the Bible.

One Sunday at a church service, a pastor told the parishioners he received a letter from this man. They wanted to hear about the battle.

The letter was read and many were astonished. One part of the letter said, “Are the black slaves still having Sunday school?”

The man’s name was General Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson.

It’s bad certain people destroyed a statue of a man who taught black slaves to read, write and give the words from the Bible.

Carl R. Hernandez


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