Class Warfare: Metro Rides and Homelessness Have Readers Talking 

Thursday, Jan 31 2013
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No Direction Home

Reader Matt Chase was a big fan of Jessica P. Ogilvie's Jan. 25 news story, "Homeless Vets' Tough Winter." He writes, "I just wanted to thank you for writing this article! I've always been interested in vets being treated right, and I think that it's really awesome you wrote this story."

George Vreeland Hill disagrees: "To post the exact location where a homeless man sleeps was unacceptable. It is obvious that you did not learn any lessons from the L.A. Times when they did the same thing, only to have a homeless man murdered because his location was in print for the wrong person to see. Shame on you. I hope the man in question finds another place to sleep at night."

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Reader Ty Allison notes, "What surprised me about your article was what wasn't asked: Why is Russell Sheen living like this? I live on Vernon, right around the corner from where the photo was taken. I see him around all the time hanging out with other homeless doing nothing. What efforts is he making to improve his life on his own?

"Our neighborhood is totally overwhelmed by the number of homeless. There are many times when it doesn't even feel safe to walk out of my house. I'm a lifelong Democrat, but a lot of these people have chosen this lifestyle, and since everyone seems to want to be in Venice, it's having a very dramatic impact on residents."

Slow Train

Reader Olev Jaakson writes that he likes us — in fact, he likes us a lot. He even cites our "insightful articles and excellent journalism." But, Jaakson writes, Paul T. Bradley's recent First Person piece ("I Spent an Entire Day Riding the Metro System," Jan. 25) is "the rare exception to that rule."

He continues: "His article reeks of nothing so much as patronization from start to finish. In discussing the merits of Metro, as far as Mr. Bradley is concerned, 'Why bother when you have a perfectly decent car?' He actually describes the Metro as having a 'bizarre Disney-ride quality,' which belies his treatment of his own subject matter as some novelty to be experienced rather than a fact of life, and a way to get around, the way to get around, that it is for most riders. How noble of Mr. Bradley to go slumming with us regular folk so he can detail that experience in sophomoric fashion. I haven't felt this uncomfortable since watching Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn sing 'Abraham' in black face.

"Furthermore, Mr. Bradley twice underscores — within a few sentences — that riding the Metro is boring. As though the city of Los Angeles owed it to Mr. Bradley to keep him entertained at all times! It's precisely this sense of entitlement and narcissism that gives L.A. drivers their bad reputation. ... L.A. Weekly, I appreciate these 'First Person' pieces; I just wish this one wasn't also a 'Worst Person' account."

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