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CREATIVE FREEDOM

The design of “The Now Garde” [April 2–8] is phenomenal! As a graphic designer who is frequently required to squelch creativeness for the sake of marketability, I adore it when artists are allowed to do what they do best.

—Stacie A. Heyen
Toluca Lake

INFIGHTING AMONG THE GREENS

Susan Zakin’s article [“The Invasion of the Elegant Trogons,” April 2–8] missed the entire story about this year’s Sierra Club Board election. Zakin clearly became an unwitting victim of a highly professional and well-financed spin campaign designed to make people think the board election results will determine the Sierra Club’s policy on immigration. It will not. Only a vote of the entire membership could overturn the Sierra Club’s neutrality policy on immigration.

Only three of 17 candidates running for the Sierra Club Board are supportive of changing Sierra Club policy on immigration, and Zakin, following the hordes of mainstream media who also got the story wrong, identified only one of them. Interesting that she missed mentioning Frank Morris, an African-American who is concerned that unlimited immigration numbers will continue to keep poor citizens in the unemployment category. Still, even if all three candidates who want a new policy on immigration were elected, those candidates agree that only the membership can vote on this issue now that it has been voted on in the initiative process.

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Some of the most progressive people on the Sierra Club Board ballot are being completely ignored in this high-profile media campaign developed to help Carl Pope keep his job. The real story behind this election is whether or not we will continue to have a board majority who rubber-stamps most of the staff’s recommendations without raising a question or whether we will move to a majority of board members who will support the grassroots chapter and local activists whose missions have been thwarted regularly by politicians calling Pope and asking him to back off — and his complying.

—Marcia Hanscom,
Sierra Club Board of Directors
Executive Director,
Wetlands Action Network
Malibu

 

Susan Zakin accurately depicts the forces involved in the Sierra Club’s election. The immigration reductionists are the true old guard, trying to turn the clock back to policies that are no longer suitable for the Sierra Club. The club does not work alone to gain its victories; it fights in alliance with other progressive organizations and politicians. If the club were to be taken over by the immigration reductionists who currently ally with anti-progressives like Virginia Abernethy, liberal organizations would not want us in their coalitions and environmentally aware politicians would not want our endorsements. One of the founders of Support U.S. Population Stabilization, Alan Kuper, has said that most environmental organizations do not have policies on immigration. What makes the Sierra Club unique, Kuper said, is the ease with which policy can be changed with only a few thousand votes. I urge every member in the Angeles Chapter to show the anti-immigration ticket headed by Lamm, Morris and Pimentel that we will not allow our organization to be hijacked by single-issue zealots.

—Will McWhinney,
Sierra Club Life Member
Los Angeles

 

Besides blowing basic facts (John Tanton is founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, not Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), Susan Zakin buys into Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope’s hubris.

Pope and the club’s elected leaders evidently believe that the Sierra Club holds important sway worldwide. The leadership also apparently thinks that they should weigh in on issues that are manifestly non-environmental. For example, I, a Sierra Club member since 1975, was dismayed in 1996 when the club made recommendations on propositions dealing with affirmative action and the minimum wage on California’s ballot.

In truth, the club has been fairly ineffectual over the years, even in the U.S., where it has increasingly become an appendage of the Democratic Party. By refusing to talk about our immigration-driven population growth, it seems determined to speed its decline into irrelevancy.

—Paul Nachman
Redondo Beach

 

Editor’s note: The mistake of describing John Tanton as founder of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting and not the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) was the editor’s, not

the writer’s.

HOME SOUR HOME

I was outraged by the tone of Steven Mikulan’s article [“University of Fear,” April 2–8], which suggests that the Department of Homeland Security’s program to encourage students to consider joining after graduation is a big “boot print on academia.” Nobody is forcing any of these people to apply for these grants. In fact, what Mikulan is advocating is withholding
scholarship money from bright students. Shame on him.

President Bush understands that we must support our
military. He has increased defense spending in all of his budgets to give our servicemen and women the resources and the advanced technology necessary to face today’s threats. This president is providing the strong leadership America needs. Clearly, Mikulan does not understand the gravity of the situation we are in.

—Steve Stillman
Redondo Beach

YOU’RE FIRED

Nikki Finke’s article [Deadline Hollywood: “Hey, Donald, You Should Be Fired,” April 2–8] is terrible. If she wants to criticize President Bush, she should just do so. She doesn’t have to write a long, boring, self-righteous, convoluted article about Donald Trump and The Apprentice and corporate America being evil to justify her critique of Bush. Entertainment is entertainment, and The Apprentice has good ratings.

—Zoila Vega-Marchena
Austin, Texas

 

I thank Finke for being a member of the media who knows the truth about The Donald. And those yuck people on that show — I don’t know who is worse than that thing called Omarosa. The remaining people vying for the job are just as hideous. I’d love to see the winner survive a year in their new position. They’ll be fired as soon as Donald trades in his wig, which should be soon, judging on how badly it’s looking.

As an addendum, Finke could write that if Trump was going to be honest in his book, he’d say the only way to get rich is to have a daddy who gives you your only job, then takes it over and loses it all and has the banks bail his sorry ass out of $900 million of debt, then screws all of his investors again when he becomes a famous host for a reality television show. Frankly, as a New Yorker, I am appalled that this egomaniac is allowed on television, no matter how interesting the show seems.

—Catherine Haig Bonjukian
Washington Heights, New York

DREAMING IN BLACK AND WHITE

Regarding Steven Mikulan’s review of Daisy in the Dreamtime [“Going Native,” April 2–8], it really is a pity that such a magnificent and resonant piece of theater was wasted on someone with such juvenile sensibilities. I can hardly believe that a theater critic actually articulated the desire that “the characters be more black and white.” It makes me wanna cry out, “Then stay home and watch soap operas, movies of the week, and Survivor!” Let the rest of us go to the theater for the opportunity to be moved by the complex rainbow of human nature written by a thought-provoking, passionate writer and portrayed in complex, layered performances by a cast of incomparably brilliant actors. Jeez. Where’d all the grown-up L.A. Weekly critics go?

—Beverly Nero
Northridge

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