Props for Quentin
Re “Quentin Tarantino Serves Up Hitler’s Head in Inglourious Basterds,” by Ella Taylor (August 19):
As a kid, I remember renting movies at Video Archives in Manhattan Beach. I remember some wacky, zany younger guy working the counter. He would always approach us with interest as my brothers and I stared at the horror movies. Too bad my mom would never let us get those. Quentin is a great guy who has always been passionate about film. It’s no surprise to me he continues to be one of the best and most original filmmakers around. Anyone who has reservations about seeing Basterds should forget them and go see it.
—Comment by Stefan, Torrance
Read Between the Signs
Re “Andrew Adelman’s Sick Sex Scandal,” by Eric Leonard (August 20):
The reporter has a gripe about billboards in L.A. and now takes to task Andrew Adelman, the head of Building and Safety, even though his department has no jurisdiction over the enforcement of outdoor signage. It’s almost as if the reporter revels in Mr. Adelman’s problems, just because “rich developers” had their building permits fast-tracked. I don’t know what planet the reporter is from, but I’ve always been taught that you are [presumed] innocent until proven guilty. Also, I don’t know any developers who are “rich” these days. All of them seem to be bankrupt because the Wall Street clowns screwed up the party.
—Comment by CityRat, L.A.
LACC Salary Slash
Re “Slashing L.A. City Council Pay to $90K,” by David Ferrell (August 19):
I’m looking forward to the petition, but it’s only a partial solution. We need to double the number of council members. The ratio of residents per council seat is too large. If we have 30, better 45, council members, they would be forced to accomplish legitimate things. No one could unilaterally make decisions as happens now. Council seats would be more competitive, especially if rules were set that only district residents/stakeholders could make donations to campaigns. Council members would then be forced to be more accessible and more accommodating to residents. Right now, like the L.A. County Supervisors (the five kings), we have a City Council that is like the Roman senate, or 15 fiefdoms. It’s a sham. But cutting pay in half wouldn’t singularly bring any substantial and needed reform.
—Comment by Vic
Yeah, it’s true that we need more council members to dilute the power of council members. But do not add this proposal into the salary cut. The salary cut sends a message. If anything should be added to the salary-cut measure, it ought to be a cut in the number of signatures to put charter-amendment proposals on the ballot in the future. Then, after you cut the salaries and make it easier to gather signatures for further charter-reform measures, bring forward the proposal to increase the number of council members in time for redistricting.
—Comment by Rick, L.A.
Les Paul’s Passing
Re “Les Paul, 1915-2009,” by John Payne (August 19):
1. The Les Pulveriser was not necessarily a real-time recorder–looping device, according to several interviews with Les, most notably a 1977 Keyboard magazine article.
2. W.C. Fields could not have been on Les’ swing in the backyard in the 1950s, as he passed away in 1946.
—Comment by Stephen Goodman, Gittisham, Devon, U.K.
Correction: Les Paul moved to Los Angeles in 1942, and was in residence here at the time the incident with W.C. Fields took place.
—Comment by John Payne
Sadly, Les Paul is truly a dying breed. What he accomplished in his amazing life, this vacuous culture, the A.D.D. generation, will never match. He will be missed. Great article as well.
—Comment by Rich, Toronto
Re “Getting Pinked: Waiting for the LAUSD Layoff Slip,” by Cassandra McGrath (August 20):
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Teachers protest the draconian budget cuts that lead to forced layoffs, but refuse to address the fundamental and politically incorrect reason why California is broke: illegal immigration. According to the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., California taxpayers spend $10 billion a year (or $13 billion if you believe the latest report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform) on education, housing and medical care for illegal immigrants. But tell that to teachers and their unions.
In 1994, California teachers opposed Proposition 187, which would have denied benefits and services to undocumented immigrants. After U.S. District Court Judge Mariana Pfaelzer ruled that the initiative was unconstitutional (on the basis of her misreading of the 1982 case Plyler vs. Doe), Governor Gray Davis refused to defend the measure in federal court. Instead, he killed it in a backroom deal called “arbitration” and wiped out five million votes (including mine). In 2003, state teachers opposed the recall of Gray Davis, who mismanaged the state, tripled the car tax and signed a bill to give drivers’ licenses to illegal immigrants. I was in Lincoln Heights when the governor signed the license bill, surrounded by hired hands and union thugs from United Teachers Los Angeles.
Teachers wail about getting “pinked.” Where were they when we needed them?
—Comment by Les Hammer, Pasadena