Valley of Shame
Adultery! Domestic violence! Litigation! As Tessa Stuart's cover story last week made clear, the city of San Fernando has devolved into a terribly dramatic telenovela — with everyone pointing fingers and nobody doing much in the way of good governance ("As San Fernando Turns").
"It would be funny if it wasn't such an outrage," writes evolotus. "In defense of the current councilmembers, San Fernando city government ineptitude is hardly a new phenomenon. For decades, city leaders have either been nasty or dumb as lampposts. This trio seems to be both nasty and dumb, which is why it's newsworthy.
"I grew up in this town in the pre-Aszkenazy days, when it may as well have been an outpost in the Old West. ... The town's chief characteristic is a strange combination of provincialism, NIMBYism and insularity from the rest of Los Angeles. There have been some upgrades in the last decade, chiefly Library Square, and I'm happy to hear that the Sun now does more than publish legal notices and grip-and-grin photos of Chamber of Commerce execs. Perhaps this recall election and JCPenney finally giving up the ghost are golden opportunities to shake off the cobwebs and tumbleweeds collecting around the rest of the city."
Mary from Granada Hills writes: "After reading your very thorough article, it occurred to me that all the sensationalism may be entertaining. However, as someone who was raised in San Fernando and has always had much pride in spite of all the politics, don't you, as a journalist, believe that collusion and corruption is really what is happening there? Did we not learn from the City of Bell? Instead, we read stories that destroy lives. Why don't journalists, including at the San Fernando Sun, focus on how to rebuild and re-energize this community? The residents deserve that much."
Readers had much to say about Whitney Friedlander's news story about a community battling against a developer ("Bitter Battle Over Larchmont," Oct. 12).
Tapper138 writes, "My opinion: The Bungalow owners flagrantly and intentionally violated the local zoning ordinance hoping to circumvent the law. They have used legal stall tactics to stay open. I wish they never purchased real estate on Larchmont and would be so happy if they sold and left our neighborhood alone."
Okinawa01 has a different take. "Screw 'em," he writes. "I've got no sympathy for yuppie-cum-hipster douchebags whining about zoning on their precious 'Larchmont' fake Mayberry. The rest of the city is decaying around us like a relic from the Titanic exposed to the open air, and these whiners are worried that the restaurant didn't have enough parking? Fuck 'em."
JHRoyale is still sorting it out: "Without knowing anything about this issue up to this point, I'd say Mizrahi sounds like a world-class jerk. But it's the age-old battle: money-centric developers vs. communities that want to retain their small, folksy feel. And guess who always wins?"
Communicatrix writes, "I agree that we need to accommodate change — I love having a Rite-Aid and a Peet's as much as the next guy, and I didn't spend enough at the old hardware store to keep it in business. But I spend less overall on the Boulevard now, mostly because (a), it's no fun, overrun as it is with super-high-end ridiculousness, and (b), it's crazy crowded. I suppose the real lesson here is that, rather than griping privately, I ought to get involved. It ain't a community without the participation of the community."
Last week, music writer Katie Bain asked a simple question, conveniently found in her piece's headline: "Where Are the Women of EDM?" We got a very thorough response from Bonnie Johnson, aka Mixmaster B and Original Cupcakes. An excerpt.
"I was glad to see [the] article. But I was very disappointed in the piece, which was just a half-page, and much of that filled with a picture of a costumed lady DJ posing (and not playing music). Worse, the article only looks at one theory — that girls are afraid of computers — and casually accepts that idea.
"Women have always been at the forefront of electronic music, behind the scenes if not in the spotlight," she writes. "Like one of the DJs in the article, I've shown up for classes on music production and sound technology and been an isolated woman in the room. On one occasion I did what that DJ did and dropped the class right away, and I did it because of how the teacher spoke to me (and me alone): as though I couldn't keep up. The Weekly article completely ignores music-world sexism, the elephant in the club. Men are still the vast majority of industry executives, producers, promoters and music-publication chiefs, and plenty of these men still treat women peers as threats or sex objects or often both. Not only do women DJs make less money and get less publicity but they fight a hostile culture every day.
"In posing the question to Dim Mak's Steve Aoki but not BPitch Control's Ellen Allien, the author answers her own question. The women stay hidden from history."
The photo illustrating Bain's story about women in EDM was credited to the wrong photographer. The photo was taken by Rae Threat. Also, our Oct. 5 story about author Joseph Mattson ("In Praise of Empty the Sun") misstated the book's number of printings to date: The third printing has already taken place. We regret both errors.
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