By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters, which must be typewritten and include a daytime telephone number for verification, may be edited for purposes of space or clarity.
Re: “The Hollywood 10-plus” [City Limits, March 9–15]. I eagerly opened last week’s Weekly and turned immediately to “The Hollywood 10-plus,” the article on the District 13 City Council race. After all, the 13th, to quote the article’s author, “may be the most ethnically diverse district in the city,” and “not the . . . district where you win with George W. Bush’s endorsement.” Great, I thought; after the boring stories in the downtown press that make the elections seem like something to avoid, this should reflect some real debate and some real issues.
Boy, was I disappointed. The article carefully selected only five of the candidates, leaving out the one black candidate, both of the women and the only socialist. There was also almost no mention of what the profiled candidates have proposed as concrete solutions to the problems of poverty, joblessness, racism and police abuse in the 13th. You could have reported, for example, that Wendy McPherson — the race’s only socialist/feminist, as well as a 15-year labor and queer activist — garnered some pretty important union endorsements, from AFSCME City Librarians and AFSCME Council 36, the first such actions for an open socialist in my memory anyway.
The Weekly has a journalistic responsibility to be fair and honest in reporting, and it really failed in this case. I urge you to try again.
Despite Marc B. Haefele’s characterization of my statements concerning the Belmont Learning Complex, I stand by my position that much more was known about the extent of the toxic problems on the Belmont site years earlier than has been widely reported. My position is supported by an objective assessment of the thousands of documents that were reviewed as part of my committee’s investigation of the facts surrounding this tragic project. As just one example of the evidence on this point, I submit the following excerpts from a letter to the LAUSD in May 1990, from the district’s retained outside counsel, David Cartwright:
“This is the most troublesome and problematic oil field in the entire county.”
“The Temple/Beaudry site is not fit for any construction.”
“The Division of Oil and Gas cannot imagine a worse site for a school.”
“The threat of a natural-gas-induced explosion is as likely here as in the Fairfax area.”
As for the issue of mitigation, I stand by my belief that there is no mitigation proposal for Belmont that adequately addresses the dangers of hydrogen sulfide. If I am in error, I prefer to err on the side of the scientists and engineers who state that no tested system — of the magnitude required for the size of the site — for neutralizing the potentially fatal properties of hydrogen sulfide exists anywhere in the world. The prospect of the children from the Belmont attendance area being the guinea pigs is unconscionable. They need and deserve the immediate construction of a safe high school.
City Council candidate
THE EDITOR REPLIES:
Scott Wildman’s use of David Cartwright’s letter is misleading. Cartwright was referring not to the half-finished Belmont Learning Complex project, which did not exist in May 1990, but to a middle school then being proposed on 11 acres at the corner of Temple Street and Beaudry Avenue, where heavy oil-drilling activity had occurred. When L.A. Unified later acquired 24 adjacent acres, district planners canceled the middle-school project in favor of the high school, retaining the original 11 acres for playing fields. Cartwright had no qualms about putting buildings on the 24 acres. Moreover, for better or worse, the Division of Oil and Gas supported moving the school buildings to the “cleaner” 24-acre portion.
DON’T LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN HIS BIG CORN-FED MOUTH
Re: “Born Under a Bad Sign” [March 16–22]. Am I the only one thinking that the hugely untalented Lalo Lopez is the one doing the “racial profiling” here? Based on his own admission: a) Mr. Lopez “smell[ed] like beer,” and b) he rear-ended an MTA handicapped-access minibus that had “suddenly” stopped in traffic.
I don’t care if you’re the King of Egypt, if you “smell like beer” (which I think is Lopez’s code for being drunk) and get into an accident, you, my friend, are in deep elephant dung. It’s past time Lopez took some responsibility for his actions and stopped being the “racial victim of circumstance.” He said he extolled the virtues of the CHP to graffiti artists Nuke and Skil, which is kinda hard to believe after he called the cop a “big corn-fed white CHP officer” earlier. I guess if the cop was black or Chicano, it would have been perfectly all right for him to say, “So, who you roll with?” But nooooo . . . he had to be a white bigot.
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