By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Oh, I know David Chute's article was in the works before the ax on Phillips actually fell, but the fact remains that Phillips, like all of us lowly mystery authors in L.A., would be up the ol' shit creek if he depended on the Weekly alone to get the word out about what he writes, and how well he writes it. A genre novel? Reviewed in the L.A. Weekly? Fuhgedaboudit!
May I make a suggestion? Try finding some space in your next summer-reading issue for the kinds of books Phillips writes: smart, thought-provoking crime fiction. Nothing mind-expanding, groundbreaking or impenetrably esoteric - just intelligent, socially conscious and, yes, dare I say it, entertaining. You know, the kinds of books people really do read in the summertime.
Granted, such exposure may not make the difference the next time one of Phillips' publishers tries to use his sales figures against him, but it sure as hell can't hurt. And imagine how much better you'll feel for having done your part to keep the brother in print, rather than wailing about the silencing of his brilliant voice after the fact.
-Gar Anthony Haywood
Re: Michael Simmons' "The Cannibus Connection" [August 7-13], the case of Peter McWilliams is a fine example of the insanity of our country's war on drugs. Mr. McWilliams meets all of the criteria for requiring medical marijuana, yet is being made an example by the federal government, in direct violation of California's medical-marijuana laws. It is clearly not constitutional for the DEA to enforce federal laws for which the Constitution does not allocate jurisdiction to the federal government. The Founding Fathers must be turning in their graves.
Thank you for Michael Simmons' report on the arrest and indictment of Peter McWilliams, along with several associates, on charges of conspiracy to sell marijuana. None of your colleagues in the daily Los Angeles press have done a story on McWilliams, apparently reserving their ink for endless speculation over the exact nature of our chief executive's dalliance with a now-infamous White House intern.
I hope you will do a follow-up. Your continued interest in McWilliams' plight might just be enough to keep our government from killing him.
If McWilliams is found to have developed an untreatable form of AIDS due to the deliberate actions of those who are prosecuting him, those prosecutors should be brought up on charges of attempted murder.
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
FORWARD TO THE BRINK!
I am writing in response to a recent article by Jim Crogan ["Back From the Brink," August 21-27] regarding efforts to extend eligibility time limits for General Relief welfare recipients.
Let the record be clear: I support, and have supported, state legislation to extend the time limits in conjunction with increased funding for job training, food stamps and other support services. In fact, this proposal was crafted by Los Angeles County officials and has the county's support.
A recently released report by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corp. offers encouraging preliminary results about Los Angeles County's GAIN program and its success in placing former welfare recipients in paying jobs. I'm very hopeful that we can build on this foundation to expand and improve our job-training and -placement results for growing numbers of recipients in the future.
Supervisor, 3rd District
Criticism can be an essential component of the artistic process, but Steven Leigh Morris' article on The Cider House Rules [July 24-30] was yet another in a long string of "reviews" in the L.A. Weekly in which pretentious references, bizarre use of undefined terms and exposition of plot substitute for an intelligent discussion of a play. A critic should provide insight into the work staged, not simply regurgitate the story as he remembers it and attempt to appear well-read. Such writing is more than annoying and inadequate; it is unfair to potential viewers and to everyone involved in the production.
THE BAY AREA'S GAIN, OUR LOSS
About 13 years ago, I discovered the L.A. Weekly. A fellow high school sophomore brought the paper onto campus to show his friends all the kinky personal ads in the back. After a couple of weeks, I noticed there were articles in the front. I have been hooked ever since.
I could make this a long, drawn-out letter, elaborating on the eye-opening stories, my favorite writers, the coolest features . . . but I just want to say goodbye. I'm moving to the Bay Area this weekend, and while I've heard wonderful things about the Guardian and other papers up there, they will never hold the same place in my heart that the Weekly has.
So thank you, Weekly, for giving me plenty of reasons to love and detest L.A. I will miss this city - and you - terribly.