Emergency in the E.R.

Emergency in the E.R.

I just read Luke Thompson’s article [“Pain, Add Nauseam,” July 8–14], and it really does hit home. I’m an emergency-room doctor at California Hospital Medical Center, and I believe every single word of his article. I don’t think he’s exaggerating a bit, which is horrible. I hate that this happens to so many people, I hate that patients have to wait for everything, including the 10–20 minutes I spend with them. I hate that so many of us who work in the hospital are past the point of frustration and it now appears to simply be a lack of concern, and I hate that the decision makers generally are located so far away from the screaming, bleeding and other bodily fluids that they can not sense or comprehend the gravity of the situation, except when regulatory and accrediting agencies have their scheduled visits — which is another story.

What I don’t hate is that articles like Thompson’s are exposing experiences people have and may lead to more accountability and change. We, like many of the patients who have terrible experiences, leave the hospital without the energy or drive to demand changes and improvements. When we do try, it is met with resistance, empty promises and, often, the implication that being outspoken may jeopardize one’s career.

—Name withheld
Los Angeles

Feathered Friends

In the L.A. Weekly article about birds being killed by wind turbines [“Ruffled Feathers,” July 1–7], mention is made of “new machines being different” and how older, horizontal lattice-mounted turbines caused the bird kills in the past. The article states, “A lot has been done in the last two decades to design bird-friendly turbines.” In your article, Dale Strickland, a consultant to the wind industry, related that turbines mounted on tubular towers were now “bird-friendly,” implying that the bird-kill issue was therefore greatly reduced (solved?). Nothing could be further from the truth. We recently completed a five-year study funded by the California Energy Commission and National Renewable Energy Laboratory on birds being killed by wind turbines in the Altamont Pass region. Strickland’s claim that the wind industry converted to tubular towers as a solution to the bird- (and bat-) kill issue is untrue and a gross oversimplification. Our results showed, among other things, that turbines mounted on tubular towers are associated with more bird kills than are associated with turbines mounted on lattice towers. Also, industry is requesting up to 13 years to phase in replacing older turbines with newer ones, and it is unknown if this “repowering” will reduce bird kills. These issues are being sorted out in a contentious appeals process involving renewing conditional-use permits from Alameda County and are likely to wind up in court. Unfortunately, there is no end in sight to the continued killing of birds by wind turbines in the Altamont Pass region.

—Carl G. Thelander

Crystal Clear

Oh dear. You had to publish that article about gay men and crystal meth, and now I’m so depressed I’ve missed something fabulous I want to, well, take crystal meth. I’m referring to “The Crystal Conundrum” [June 10–16] and I’m still a crystal virgin. So meth is the “drug of the moment for gay men who thought they’d die young.” Huh? I’m 54. I’m HIV-positive and was probably supposed to die when I was about 36. This article falls squarely within a genre of articles written by gay men that I would call the Drug Drama genre, in which the writer inevitably recounts horror after horror caused by drug use, but usually ends up concluding drugs are really, actually, the Bomb.

I have no doubt the writer of this article is well-intended, and wants to “keep it real.” Unfortunately, the effect is actually to add to the allure. Ever since I first came out gay in my 20s, it seems to me drugs, and alcohol, for that matter, have been romanticized. The men I have been with on this drug simply appear dazed, sweaty, and can’t get it up very good. That’s cool?

It’s all crystal clear to me: Tina’s a stinker.

—Steven Kerry
Los Angeles

Don’t Hate the Player

Thank you for including Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter’s photo in this week’s edition. Now I can envision the person responsible for wasting space in your paper with poorly composed photos of his vacuous, pompous hipster cronies. I’ve always wanted to complain about this worthless public disservice the Weekly performed, but until I saw his ironic Bjorn Borg headband, I didn’t care enough to take the five minutes.

—Michan Connor
Los Angeles

Mistaken Identity

In last week’s Considerable Town story “Ole! Allah!” [July 1-7] the subject of the photo on page 24 was misidentified as Saleem. Her name is Manoush. We regret the error.


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