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
There may be a conflict of interest when reviewers criticize works that are marketed by their employers, but the practice is very commonplace. The L.A. Weekly does it when it sells advertisements for films it reviews.
Regarding the article “Turning Up the Heat” by Hope Urban [July 28–August 3]: The issue raised by Mr. John Brunold about the conditions in the currently closed Van de Kamp’s bakery goes to a much bigger issue of worker safety in the movie/video/show-business industry in general. I have heard many stories from friends in that industry of disregard for worker safety, to say nothing of media accounts of the more spectacular instances of accidents on shoots. The industry’s more unscrupulous and desperate elements take advantage of the eagerness of people to work in it and the pressure to “get the shot” at all costs. The general worker-safety issue needs to be addressed, and tearing down historic buildings will have no effect on making safety a bigger priority for some employers.
Mr. Brunold, I am truly sorry you suffered an illness, but tearing down historic buildings will only hurt our city. Enforcing the laws and codes is what is needed. I urge you and everyone else in our city to turn up the heat on the officials, employers, unions and owners responsible for such misdeeds and really help solve these problems. Some of us are working hard at it, and we sure could use some help.
Member, Coalition To Save Van de Kamp’s and the Northeast Los Angeles Community Plan Advisory Committee
Thanks for Miles Marshall Lewis’ good article and review of Pearl Jam’s new album [“Midnight Sun,” July 28–August 3]. Glad to see some in the media talking positively about this important band and the work they have done.
Potter Web Site
Re: your OffBeat item “Hogwarts’ Webmistress” [July 28–August 3]. Thanks so much for the kind write-up. [Harry Potter Web-site creator] Kate Cheney loved it. I thought it was extremely vivid and lively, and captured the whole interview. Kate was especially pleased with “willow-thin 13-year-old with braces on her teeth.”
Re: Sara Catania’s “It’s Not Easy Being Green” [July 28–August 3]. Bravo! I applaud your much-needed exposé of “tree topping.” This information needs to be in the minds of all urban dwellers if we are to see the end of this form of tree mutilation. I am an arborist myself, and find that a great deal of my time involves talking people out of this destructive and unsightly “pruning practice.”
It is encouraging that Sharyn Romano and Sylva Blackstone finally got through to City Hall about the desecration of trees throughout the city. Congratulations to them, and I hope they persevere in their pursuit. Years past, I would call Councilwoman Ruth Galanter’s office to complain about the horrendous shredding of trees in West chester and West L.A. in the name of “tree pruning.” At the best of times, when I called her office, I was met with indifference.
On one’s next approach to the airport along Sepulveda Boulevard in Westchester, take a look at some of the trees, or what’s left of them, particularly in the business district. It’s heart-wrenching.
Thank you for devoting a cover story to the plight of L.A.’s trees. Sara Catania builds a convincing case for concern. She did, however, neglect to mention one factor that surely contributes to the dwindling state of the urban forest: illegal tree-removal by private parties.
Four months ago, with no prior notice and no permit, my landlord removed a decades-old tree from the sidewalk just outside my Hollywood apartment. The environmental, not to mention aesthetic, effect was immediately noticeable. As I write, the indoor temperature in my formerly shaded living room is pushing 90 degrees. The stump still has not been removed, and the jackhammered sidewalk, in addition to being a pedestrian hazard, has become a trash dump.
In spite of the somewhat iffy light in which the L.A. Street Trees division came across in your story, a supervisor from the division, Ralph Schwabe, was on the scene within an hour of my discovering the “murder.” Too late, however, to save yet another L.A. tree.
Re: Ben Ehrenreich’s “Running on Empty” [July 21–27]. All of the George W. Bush quotes in the article are from interviews, not written speeches. It is refreshing to see a politician actually speak off the cuff, as opposed to the last eight years of Clinton and Gore, where every remark is scripted and poll-tested. If Gore ever spoke from within, instead of from a script, it would be refreshing — but I’m afraid an article on the silliness of his words would be longer than your paper could print.