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Home Again

Downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row does not have to be a “last chance . . . or the last stop” for the elderly [“Dying to Get Off the Row,” Aug. 4–10]. While many elderly residents find themselves on Skid Row because of the economic hardships of living on a fixed income, such as Social Security, General Relief or Disability, with the right support services these elderly residents can maintain an independent, dignified lifestyle and grow old gracefully.

Depression is a huge problem with the elderly, both in and out of the Skid Row area. The elderly often feel isolated and alone, especially if loved ones have passed on and family members live far away. Programs that stimulate and offer socialization opportunities, such as congregate meal sites, art workshops and recreational activities, ease seniors’ transition into new surroundings and help to bring purpose back to their lives. Providing programs such as these gives time for seniors to (re)bond, share memories and get to know and befriend other residents.

Anita Nelson

Executive Director/CEO

SRO Housing Corp.

Los Angeles

Imprisoned Activist

“We should never be against rescuing innocent victims, but any aggressive action on our part is too easily characterized as terrorism.” Rod Coronado’s words [“The Caged Lion,” Aug. 11–17] are worth repeating, as they are relevant to human protection and animal protection alike. Coronado implies he learned that when innocent victims (human and nonhuman) are harmed, to avoid retaliating with aggressive action, one must first learn forgiveness, which stems from compassion for others and ourselves.

Coronado, who appears intelligent and compassionate, made the mistake of using fire to destroy property, which is enough to confuse any normal person. After all, we’ve been paying people to torture animals for centuries, so how did he expect we would understand using fire bombs to protect animals? He appears to have paid for his mistakes and learned to forgive people, as indicated by prison time and his present words. A little forgiveness for him is in order, in my humble view.

Heather Shirley

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Thank you for this honest assessment of our political climate of fear, where the word “terrorism” is used to silence any behavior or opinions that may harm the status quo.

Idealistic views of a better way of life and courageous direct action to accomplish social and political change are what our nation is based upon. Physically harming others for any cause should not be condoned. However, as responsible citizens, we should not only condone but also participate in acts of civil disobedience against political corruption, environmental devastation, and indefensible and immoral cruelty to living creatures.

Monica Ball

Peoria, Illinois

Street Fighting

After I read about the tragic and senseless death of Zelvin Reyes [“Race Divide,” Aug. 11–17], it begged the question, “When is something going to be done about the gang problems in Los Angeles?” How many more decent, innocent children and adults have to die as a result of gang violence before we have had enough?

It is obvious that the LAPD is outmanned and outgunned in terms of the numbers of active gang members within Los Angeles. The LAPD needs reinforcements.

There probably will never be any suspects in the Zelvin Reyes case. All of the people who were in attendance fear for their lives and will never volunteer any information. These communities live in fear behind closed doors, so there will never be any type of action by the local residents to eliminate these terrorists and take back their streets.

The mayor’s plan for adding 1,000 new police officers will take too long and, with attrition, will only net out to a gain of about 500 officers. The mayor and the governor need to declare this problem a “disaster” and “declare war” on these urban terrorists.

David Jetzke

San Pedro

Corrections

Paul Cullum’s cover interview with Oliver Stone [“After the Fall,” Aug. 11–17] reported that Stone had been arrested in 1999 and 2005 for DUI and possession of marijuana. It should be noted that in the first incident, Stone’s blood-alcohol level was found to be below the legal limit, and the charge was dismissed.

Regarding the late original host of Breakfast With the Beatles [“Beatles for Sale,” Aug. 11–17]: The correct spelling of her name is Deirdre O’Donoghue, and she passed away five years ago, not six.

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