The [Air Quality Management] District openly acknowledges that it doesn’t want an adversarial relationship with industry, and that its rules reflect a consensus forged at the workshops. "The Clean Air Act doesn’t say we should achieve clean air regardless of the cost," says Jeb Stuart, the retired Air Force colonel who heads the regional district. "We want to inhibit industrial growth as little as possible without relinquishing our goals."
Stuart’s hands cut the air as he strives to make his point. "Let’s say it’s possible to achieve this level of control," he says, holding one hand high above the other. "We don’t come in at the bottom. We come in here" — and he indicates a point two-thirds of the way between the two extremes. Stuart repeatedly stresses that there are no easy solutions and that sound air quality is a question of degree and balance. Beyond that, Stuart argues that to be more adamant with industry would only invite lawsuits which would, inevitably, slow down the enforcement process.
Stuart is, in a sense, quite correct; it isimpossible to totally eradicate industrial air pollution without doing mortal damage to the regional economy. But the critics both in and out of the agency argue that the District’s aim should surely be to push industry to the very brink at which smog abatement programs become a truly serious economic threat. The District often yields to industry intimidation short of that point.
In his prophetic "Message to White L.A. From South Central" (March 27, 1981), Isaac Richard alerted readers to black L.A.’s distrust of the LAPD.
I especially don’t trust Daryl Gates, the chief of police. He looks so pious on television talking about the crime wave and how he’s working so hard to stop it. If people only knew how the cops act in my community. In the white community they may protect and serve, but over here they simply subject and observe. They behave as if they are in a war and the entireghetto is their battleground. No matter if you’re a hard-working, tax-paying citizen; if you’re black in South-Central, you can expect bitter treatment from the LAPD. I know of one lady who lives five houses from the 77th Street Division. Some gangbanging types had chosen her driveway as a place to shoot dice; when she told them to move on, they threatened her with violence. She then sent her 12-year-old grandson through the back door to the police station. The boy came back minutes later with the message that the desk sergeant had refused to send any officers and had suggested that the boy learn to fight. L.A.’s finest strike again.
In "Don’t Read This Article" (May 1, 1981), a reporter who went simply by "M" reported on the exhilarating — and terrifying — new freebase cocaine.
With freebase you can have a new orgasmlike swish every five minutes — for hours, days, weeks. Perhaps heroin never became popular in the hip culture because it’s such a hassle to jab a hole in your arm. Freebase is easier. You just smoke it. When you snort a line of coke in your nose, the powder dissolves into several square inchesof mucus membrane. When you smoke base, the smoke hits several square feetof membrane in your lungs. And the rush increases accordingly. You go from zero to 10 in just a couple seconds instead of the slow, steady rise of snorting, and that’s where the most insidious nature of the drug comes into play. The high is wonderful, but it’s that incredible rush from zero to 10 that really gets you off. Oneshort minute later you’re down to nine. Five minutes later you’re down to eight or seven and you feel like another hit. If you take one ä you’ll make it back up to 10, but the rush will only be from seven. You’ll get the high, but you’ll end up vaguely unsatisfied: The hit wasn’t quite as overpowering as the first. Maybe you need one more.
No two people make freebase the same way, and every method of preparation produces a unique high. That’s another excuse for continuing the habit. You may have had it prepared with baking soda, boiling water and ice cubes. But have you tried it with ammonia, distilled water and two rinses? . . .
So you try freebase again and again until it’s all gone. Which means, if you’ve only got half a gram and no more money, you’re going to have to stop until your next paycheck.
Episode number one happened this way. A torrent of kids streamed down the rickety back stairs of Mendiola’s in Huntington Park — something was happening inside. Mary Lou wanted to photograph the exciting punks for her project on L.A. teenage society, but at that moment a number of punks rounded the north corner of the building, running straight at us. We move behind a guardrail, which served to part the crowd and gave us a sense of protection.
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