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
Send letters to the editor to: L.A. Weekly, P.O. Box 4315, L.A., CA 90078. Or fax us at (323) 465-3220. Or e-mail us at email@example.com. Letters, which must be typewritten and include a daytime telephone number for verification, may be edited for purposes of space or clarity.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
The decision that resulted in Officer Edward Ruiz’s 22-day suspension was not unanimous. Captain John O’Connell, one of the two sworn panel members, gave the dissenting opinion recommend - ing termination. The other sworn member, Captain Paul Marks (now retired), and the civilian member agreed on the 22-day penalty. In addition to the suspension, the LAPD removed Officer Ruiz from all law-enforcement activities involving public contact.
Mr. Victor Tyson should never have gone through the ordeal, and the case should have been dealt with immediately. Although late, justice was served, and the officers suffered the consequences of their wrongdoing. Commendable for his courage and initiative, former Deputy City Attorney Evan Freed, on the other hand, only told supervisors and failed to notify the appropriate channel: the LAPD’s management or its Internal Affairs Division. In this case, the supervisors, whom Mr. Freed notified, failed to act.
I am committed to a complete restoration of the public’s faith in the Los Angeles Police Department. Again, I challenge every entity within the criminal-justice system to perform the same type of critical self-analysis as the department did with its Board of Inquiry. Additionally, I challenge them to release their findings for public review.
—Bernard C. Parks Chief of Police Los Angeles
For the past two years, I have closely followed the L.A. Weekly’s outstanding coverage of the environmental damage and dire health consequences suffered by Simi Valley residents, perpetrated by the suburban neighborhood’s local military-industrial polluter, Rocketdyne. Reporter Michael Collins has produced the most thorough coverage on the Rocketdyne scandal that I have seen. So I was thrilled to see that he is spearheading a new project, exposing the unconscionable chemical and radioactive pollution that Aerojet has inflicted upon the environment and residents of Chino Hills [“Living Next to a War Factory,” May 5–11].
Aerojet is no stranger to my neighborhood. I live above the San Gabriel Valley aquifer, now a Superfund site. (Our ground water is contaminated with nasty cancer-causing chemicals like perchlorate, thanks in great part to operations at Aerojet’s Azusa plant.) Aerojet and other companies were fined $200 million to clean up the aquifer of its “goo,” yet our illustrious right-wing Congressman David Dreier boasts of his efforts to get the federal government to pay for the cleanup; if he has his way, Aerojet won’t pay a penny. Aerojet is stalling and is facing litigation over it. This should be a warning to the Chino Hills residents that challenging this company won’t be easy. But it is absolutely necessary.
In the last two years, Rocketdyne has managed to succeed in litigation against it by using a novel legal approach: arguing that residents sick with cancer, likely from exposure to contaminants from the facility, had no legal recourse because the statute of limitations had run out. Apparently, the residents should have known about its pollution problems, since the media had been on the case since 1989. Yet the only comprehensive coverage began with Mr. Collins’ articles in 1998. Most absurd is that in all of that media exposure, Rocketdyne consistently — and shamelessly — denied that it had anything to do with heightened rates of rare cancers near its offending site.
But Aerojet won’t get off so easy. The clock started ticking when your paper’s hard-hitting article hit the stands. The residents, now suing the company, won’t have the same bogus argument used successfully against them. With any luck, justice will be served and Aerojet will get what it deserves. And I think Michael Collins and the L.A. Weekly should get what they deserve — Southern California’s gratitude for a courageous job well done and, hopefully, a Pulitzer Prize for superb investigative journalism. Thank you.
—Maria E. Hall Arcadia
WHAT FREAKS? WHAT GEEKS?
Having read Robert Lloyd’s article “Too Good and Weird” [May 12–18], I must take exception to the reasons Lloyd gives for the demise of the show Freaks and Geeks. Some blame the network for not providing a “reasonable, permanent time slot” and “meaningful promotion,” while Paul Feig says the show was not given enough of a chance. Such excuses do not fly.
I tuned in because the show was heavily promoted, basking in critical acclaim as the best new show of the season. And blaming a show’s time slot doesn’t hold water when so many tape and time-shift their TV watching anyway.
The first episode was near perfect — beautifully written, acted and directed. I immediately recommended it to my friends. Unfortunately, the episodes that followed gradually went downhill. The writing and direction became sloppy and weren’t true to the vision promised in the premiere. John Francis Daley’s character as seen in the pilot was painstakingly crafted and believable, so awkward and touching that you just had to pull for him. Subsequent episodes saw him at ease with his geekiness, laughing in situations in which his character would have been much more anxious and unsure of himself. The last episode aired was truly awful, and painful to watch.