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
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Regarding Judith Lewis’ “404 Host Not Found” [cover story, March 2–8], what the e-commerce suckers have never understood is that the Internet is far more effective in bringing small groups of people together than it is in reaching a mass market. To give an example, for 20 years before the advent of Internet bookselling I had been trying to track down the work of the obscure British novelist Jack Trevor Story, and had succeeded in finding one book; with the help of the Internet, I was able to obtain most of his oeuvre. On the other hand, if I’d wanted to find a Stephen King book, I could have just walked to the drugstore. As far as mass marketing on the Internet goes, it’s as if the travois had been invented after the wheel, then a lot of idiots gave up the wheel because the travois was the latest technology.
—Robert Fiore Los Angeles
In her piece about dot-bomb history and where the Web may turn next, Judith Lewis hit the nail on the head with the novel idea of starting with a brick-and-mortar community, then reaching out over the Web. Internet success comes only with patient nurturing of real-world communities, person by person, brick by brick. The hard way. The old-fashioned way.
—John Sweeney Publisher, The Venice Times Venice
Re: “Pro and Condoms” [March 2–8]. If “it saves one life, it’s worth it” was not remotely like my actual reaction to the controversy surrounding West Hollywood’s Proposition A. I do my best to resist such banal and simplistic responses. Amongst what I did, in fact, say in an e-mail response to writer Doug Sadownick was “We fought for mandatory availability of condoms in schools, yet our own WeHo community businesses, patronized by young working-age folk, have not been held to the same standard up until now. It has disgusted me for years.” I also indicated I was sad that this had not worked on a voluntary basis. Not as sexy as the soundbite cliché incorrectly attributed to me by the Weekly.
Now that AIDS is no longer hip or good business, perhaps it should not surprise us that even in terminally correct West Hollywood, what should have been embraced and supported has been vigorously fought.
Re: “Pacoima Reality Check” [March 2–8]. Marc Haefele is simply wrong when he asserts that industrial pollution is more serious than motor-vehicle-emissions-based “generalized air quality” in poor communities such as Pacoima. Across the L.A. basin and in every other metropolitan area, motor-vehicle emissions are far and away the greatest cause of air pollution. If one measured right at the smokestack, some manufacturers’ emissions might overshadow vehicle emissions, but this would probably not be the case even a few blocks away.
Moreover, motor-vehicle emissions are hardly “generalized”; they are concentrated in poorer communities. Carbon monoxide levels are much higher near major sources of emissions, such as freeways, than they are even a few blocks away. Freeways are more prevalent in low-income neighborhoods — notice, for example, how the Westside has relatively few freeway miles (and that the planned Beverly Hills Freeway never got built).
None of this is to say that industrial pollution should be ignored. Fortunately, and unlike car companies, many manufacturers have recognized that reducing emissions is in their own best interest, since emissions represent waste and cost. Reasonable people can also differ on the relative role of zero-emission vehicles, hybrid-engine vehicles, cleaner gasoline and diesel engines, improved mass transit, and lane-use changes in reducing motor-vehicle emissions. But whatever the strategy, we should keep our eye on the automotive/motor-vehicle ball.
Mr. Haefele is a victim of GM’s and the auto/oil industry’s divide, divert and conquer tactics if he thinks EV-1 enthusiasts are the enemy of clean air in the inner city. The development and utilization of electric-vehicle technology will ultimately greatly improve air quality. This technology can also be employed in trucks, public transportation and government vehicles. Do not be fooled by the automotive industry, which has demonstrated time after time it has no interest in improving safety, health or air quality.
—Constance Chesnut Los Angeles
Much of Marc B. Haefele’s “well-researched” information on electric vehicles is wrong. I would love to give you a ride in my GM EV-1 to prove the point.
—Michael “31,000 miles without visiting a gas station” Reagan Moorpark
Marc B. Haefele’s article is wrong about the demand for electric cars. The waiting lists for these cars are incredibly long. Consider the GM EV-1: One TV commercial about five years ago, some print advertising that you needed a microscope to read, and the resulting demand? People continue to wait years to get the pleasure of driving this automotive marvel.