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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IN THE BEGINNING, THERE WAS PORK
Thanks to Howard Blume and David Perera for “Rocky’s Road” [May 25–31], which contains the first mention I’ve seen in the press about the realities underlying Mayor Riordan and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo’s “Genesis L.A.” project. I live in an area that is directly affected by one Genesis brainchild, the proposed “Pico Plaza.” Thanks to Genesis L.A., private, out-of-state corporations such as Home Depot and Costco are benefiting from HUD funds and public grants (i.e., taxes) to force their 450,000-square-foot, 68-foot-tall big-box commercial facility into our historical residential neighborhood. Furthermore, they’ve maneuvered around National Environmental Policy Act requirements to avoid an updated environmental-impact report, despite the fact that a 1992 EIR, commissioned by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, for this site found dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide, methane and hydrocarbons.
What is laughable about this is that Genesis L.A. is meant to aid “distressed neighborhoods” with high levels of unemployment, whereas the areas surrounding Pico Plaza contain primarily middle- and working-class homeowners from diverse backgrounds, and have low levels of unemployment. Residential-property values for this area, which have been recovering from the riots and phenomenal crime rates without city intervention, are expected to decline due to traffic increases associated with the project. A few hundred low-paying jobs at nonunion establishments are thereby being traded for economic stability and quality of life in a charming, historic and diverse neighborhood in the heart of Los Angeles.
—Maggie Parr Rimpau Neighborhood Alliance Los Angeles
As a longtime contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine, it’s a dilemma I know well: Let the begrudging hacks of the local media misrepresent your work, or dignify third-raters by replying to them. I can let the inane ravings of the New Times’ Rick Barrs pass (although not without observing that, given the magnitude of his abilities, Barrs really ought to think about renaming his column “The Pinkie”). I feel compelled, however, to respond at least in some measure to Charles Rappleye’s longer article in the L.A. Weekly[“Rampart East,” June 8–14].
I did not “extrapolate” that Kevin Gaines was a “gangsta.” Several (that’s more than three, Charles) police informants have described his criminal activities on behalf of Suge Knight and Death Row Records, and his involvement with the Bloods gang has been established by an array of evidence. The allegation that drugs were being trafficked through Death Row Records also comes from multiple sources, one of them a police officer who infiltrated Death Row as part of the federal task force Rappleye mentions.
Rappleye’s assertion that Richard McCauley was the only LAPD officer employed by Death Row Records does nothing more than demonstrate his incompetence as a journalist. It’s true that McCauley was the only LAPD officer either honest or stupid enough to apply for a permit to work for Death Row, but he certainly was not the only LAPD officer employed by the record label. I could cite numerous sources for this claim, but I’ll mention just one: Reggie Wright, president of Wrightway Investigative Services, director of security for Death Row and Suge Knight’s right-hand man. When he was questioned (at Death Row’s Tarzana studio) in connection with the McCauley investigation, Wright refused at first to identify any other LAPD officers who worked for Death Row. Finally, though, under threat of subpoena, he “reluctantly” provided the names of three other LAPD officers who had “performed security work” for Death Row, but “was vague in explaining their actual roles,” according to the LAPD Internal Affairs investigator who interviewed him. The employment of these three LAPD officers (whose names I’ll save for later), and a number of others, was “addressed in a separate investigation,” as the I.A. investigator so prudently phrased it.
All of this information is in LAPD Internal Affairs Report No. 96-1408, a document Charles Rappleye probably will never see, even though it’s been under his nose for months. In that same document, he would discover (if he had it) that the source he used to debunk me — again, Richard McCauley — chose to resign “in lieu of dismissal” from the LAPD shortly before a trial-board hearing where he faced six potentially criminal charges, each one related to the lies he told about his work for Death Row Records. The LAPD didn’t want to risk a public airing of any of this, and gave McCauley a chance to save himself from public disgrace by informing him in advance that his lies had been exposed by the sworn statements of nearly a dozen witnesses.
As to Rappleye’s laughable assertion that my article left the local press looking “all the stronger by contrast,” what can I say, except “How do you think you look now, Charles?”