Readers had much to say about Tessa Stuart's cover story last week ("Trailer Park Blues"). Ben Swett writes, "I rent in Santa Monica, and remember when tumbleweeds bounced down the Promenade and permanent homeless camps owned the parks. Now, it's highly desirable. Change requires tradeoffs, which means something is always lost. Compared to any sane place, Santa Monica moves really, really slowly, and expensively, but ultimately they do a good job, especially for the less powerful."
Kittycattiness writes, "As I read this, I couldn't help wondering why these people could not be looked after. Let them live out their lives in peace without threats of eviction and retaliatory neglect from the landowners. Every dispute has two sides, of course, but all I see is cruel behavior against some of society's most vulnerable citizens. I'm not sure anything, progress or profit or anything, justifies that."
Finally, Lawrence Dietz writes, "I got to the sentence in your piece in which you say Santa Monicans for Renters Rights ran the city for many years and stopped cold. Why the past tense? Do you know something the rest of us don't?" Please, Lawrence, keep reading!
The Mean Streets
Jonathan Maseng's story about CrossFit Mean Streets' treatment of its Skid Row neighbors drew more comments than any other last week ("CrossFit L.A. Debases Homeless"). Writes Josef Yuri, "If someone came to squat, and passed out, in front of my place of business, he'd be lucky if all he had done to him was an inopportune photo with a shirt draped on his back. Humiliating? You mean being a hobo passed out on a sidewalk isn't? This article was written by a pussified moron who obviously isn't anchored in the reality of CrossFit's surroundings."
But many CrossFit members condemned gym owner Ronnie Teasdale. Writes Dgarzila, "All of the thousands of people who friended Ronnie on Facebook who enjoyed watching his shenanigans should be ashamed of yourselves, because you egged him on. Exploiting homeless and mentally disabled people is not a cool thing to do."
Maseng's story reported that CrossFit's legal counsel, Dale Saran, stated that CrossFit is not responsible for policing its affiliates. Saran objects to that characterization, and the record shows that, when asked via email whether such policing takes place, Saran failed to respond. Prior to that, however, he'd emailed, "An affiliate who does something wrong is responsible for their own actions." Also, our headline inadvertently cast blame on the wrong CrossFit gym; as stated in the story, the gym posting photos was CrossFit Mean Streets, not CrossFit Los Angeles in Santa Monica. The Santa Monica gym was in no way involved, and we regret any impression to the contrary.
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