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
Spinning and Spiraling In his article, Bill Bradley states that Governor Schwarzenegger’s popularity is spiraling down. Yes, I’m sure he is spiraling down with the pro illegal alien cabal. No doubt about it. Bradley tips his political agenda’s hand when he calls the volunteers for the Minuteman Project, vigilantes. While Schwarzenegger is losing the liberals (did he ever have them?), he is gaining popularity with those Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Green Party and Libertarians who are concerned about the impact of illegal immigration. Go ahead, Mr. Bradley, spin all you want. Ah-nold is gaining ground from my side of the spectrum. Moreover, Mrs. Schwarzenegger is not running this state. Her husband is. By the way, I’m a Republican Hispanic! How about that?
Poison Penmanship This is in reference to Paul Birchall’s review of NorthBeach. I have been successfully employed in the entertainment industry for over 15 years, as the owner of a Bi-Coastal Talent Agency and for the last few years as a Producer. I am not related to the writers or producers of North Beach, but I was in the audience the evening that Mr. Birchall viewed the play. It was a full house and there was an abundance of laughter and tears. Perhaps Mr. Birchall was too busy copiously penning his venom to notice. He refers to the cast and storyline as ‘20 something brat packers. In the very first act the cast discusses the fact that they are now in their mid 30’s. One would think that Mr. Birchall could come up with a more recent analogy-albeit negative. Perhaps those years were hard for him and he still holds strong memories of being tormented that he subconciously transferred to his thoughts on North Beach. A good review might help a production, but a bad one can kill it. To attack a new theatre company, non profit at that with such vitriol is absurd, uneccesary and unwarranted. As a Producer, one who is known for being hard on actors and writers, I applaud North Beach as a play that the average person can relate to and care for-performances, especially by the younger actors, that belies thier age and experience. Perhaps it is not the pseudointellectual claptrap that critics like to foster to make themselves seem profound, but it is a joy to watch. Mr. Birchall should be ashamed of himself, as should you for allowing him to spew his venom arbitrarily. Everyone has an opinion, but this review was not an opinion, rather an attack. Having been asked many times to write theatre reviews while I was in New York, and again, I am not an easy audience, I am appalled that a thoughtless, factually incorrect review would appear in a paper as highly respected as yours. I don’t know what Mr. Birchall’s credentials are, but it appears that he received most of his education from the back of a matchbook.
—Bonni Allen Director of Film/Entertainment Investments Conunndrum Partners
Heads Above Re: “Beheading on Mount Baldy”: In 1992, when Basic Instinct,” a film penned by Joe Eszterhas, was released, there were protests staged in San Francisco that the film unfairly portrayed lesbians as murderers or worse. I’ve always thought protests against films or novels are pointless because if a person can imagine it, then it follows that another person could do it if within the realm of possibility. I heard your recent piece on skid row stunk (I didn’t read it), but this story was well told and should be a warning to our older citizens.
What an amazing story, and what an excellent piece of writing by Paul Ciotti. I didn’t want it to end! This little old man, physically falling apart, befriends two parasitical and rather hapless women, and one of them cuts off his head, plunders his sizable estate, and then tries to get out of it by concocting the most implausible — and vicious — lies about him. What is truly chilling is that all of us are vulnerable to sociopaths like Marcia Ann Johnson. It all comes down to being trusting, gullible, and in the wrong place at the wrong time.
—Ron Hardcastle Los Angeles
Remember Enron If your article on efforts to build liquefied-natural-gas terminals in California [“Enron Forgotten,” May 6–12] had the complete picture, it could make a compelling case for regulation of natural-gas markets in California. But unfortunately, readers only get half the picture when the writer states that “LNG importers will become ‘pivotal suppliers,’ similar to the power generators that caused the state’s energy crisis.” If we do nothing in California to build capacity to import natural gas, there will be one supplier — Sempra Energy — which will turn around and sell its natural gas and LNG to its own subsidiary, the Southern California Gas Co. Whether we like it or not, Sempra has somehow gotten the Mexican government to buy off on letting them build an LNG terminal in Baja California — which gives them even greater power over market prices in California. The only way to keep Sempra from getting us into a natural-gas mess like they got us into an electricity mess in 2000 is to allow for competition on the wholesale natural-gas markets — i.e., build facilities so someone else can import natural gas. Luckily for people in Ventura County, they will continue to have a say in what happens with LNG terminal projects like the Cabrillo Port, regardless of what happens with the federal energy bill. Their comments have made that project much better for the community, and in turn, its neighbors are beginning to support it.
—Denise Crew Los Angeles
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