In his article "Sport of Supes" [City Limits, January 2127], Marc B. Haefele's statement that three Los Angeles County supervisors running unopposed is "non-democratic and anti-democratic" is absurd. Unlike in Cuba, where Castro remains in office without free elections, anyone can challenge an incumbent officeholder in the United States. The political charade of expanding the Board of Supervisors does not add one more Sheriff's Department deputy, firefighter, child-abuse worker, library or park to L.A. County. It only adds more politicians. The 10 million residents of our 88 cities and 137 unincorporated communities already have more than 1,000 elected representatives. The problem is not a shortage of politicians. It is the dysfunctional financing of local government. Since 1993, Sacramento has hijacked over 15 billion property-tax dollars from California's 58 counties to balance the state's budget. Los Angeles County's share is $1 billion each year. Adding more supervisors empowers the government at the expense of vital services. Getting more for less is the old shell game of big-government advocates. The bigger the government, the more taxes it takes to fund the bureaucracy. Unlike the five members of the Board of Supervisors, the city of Los Angeles has three times the number of council members plus a mayor, and still has serious problems in making decisions and providing vital services. Downtown continues to be an eyesore, with dirty streets that are cleaned only when it rains! It costs taxpayers $6.97 per resident to operate Los Angeles city's bloated 15-member council and Mayor's Office. County taxpayers pay $1.70 per resident each year for their five-member Board of Supervisors.
--Michael D. Antonovich
Supervisor, 5th District
Re: "Wanted: Backbone" [February 410]. Marc B. Haefele may want to reconsider his statement regarding the abandonment of Belmont High School: "Symbolism is powerful, but need is far more so." Actually, symbols have always ruled public policy and social psychology, and they always will.
Re: Howard Blume's "TV Guy Axed" [January 28February 3]. So Tony Burke's résumé was imaginative. Is this something new in promotions and the entertainment field? What's really weird, but typical of school bureaucracies, is the thought that such a job could fit a civil-service profile. The reality is that, now, KLCS is alive. But evidently not for long. KOCE should hire Burke to shake up its dusty programming. Thanks for the article.
--John K. Ehretz
Re: "In the Doghouse" [February 410]. Bravo to Bobbi Murray and the Weekly for raising awareness of the new dog-and-cat-breeding ordinance. As a rescue worker and member of Kitten Rescue, I find cautious hope in the whole thing. Supporters of the ordinance are far from nutty, wacky "humaniacs." We're knee-deep in reality and dare to have a vision for the future of L.A. as a no-kill city. It's going to take everyone's cooperation and commitment, and I hope the Weekly continues to cover the issue as it evolves.
Bobbi Murray's "In the Doghouse" is an excellent analysis of the furor over the L.A. Department of Animal Services' updated mandatory spay-and-neuter ordinance. The ordinance is a long time coming and will help curb a burgeoning problem. I hope people will contact their council member and demand that he or she pass this ordinance.
Thank you for your article on the problem of pet overpopulation and Dan Knapp's proposal on how to combat it. I applaud Dan and the board for sticking to their proposal despite all the criticism it has received from the breeders.
I am writing in regard to the proposed breeding-restriction ordinance. Professional breeders operate the rescue clubs, place puppies in good homes with spay-and-neuter contracts, take the dogs back if they don't work out, and breed only limited and carefully planned litters intended to improve the breed itself. These people show their dogs in competition. It is not in their best interest to overrun the breed or to produce inferior puppies. Do you think they were happy about the deluge of Dalmatians after 101 Dalmatians came out? â Or the Saint Bernards that flooded the market after Beethoven? Hardly. Professional breeders are not the problem.
The backyard breeders, on the other hand, who have litter after litter of unplanned potential genetic disasters, purebred or not, most of which end up in shelters and euthanized -- these people are the problem.
The proposed onerous new requirements will penalize only the most responsible animal owners and breeders. Irresponsible owners will ignore these new policies, just as they now ignore existing laws. There is no way, given the existing budgets and manpower, to police the irresponsible dog owners, the ones who avoid detection by not registering their animals in the first place.
In a worst-case scenario, professional breeders will obey the law and curtail or stop breeding. The backyard breeders will continue, and all the individually beautiful and unique breeds, the result of centuries of careful planning, will disappear. I view that as a tragedy, and this ordinance is a disaster.
Breeding bans historically don't work. The very fact, raised in your article, that the complaining breeders don't live under the jurisdiction of the ordinance should be sufficient proof that the law won't work. The idea that you can go into each and every home to check for puppies is absurd. Also, I thought it was amusing that having a litter of puppies was compared to armed robbery.
Educate, don't legislate.
Riverdale Park, Maryland
I recently moved to L.A. from New York City and was hankering for some quality Peking duck. Now, anyone who's ever had Peking duck knows that if you want the real deal, you have to go to a restaurant that specializes in just that dish. Sure, almost every Chinese restaurant has it on the menu, but that doesn't mean that they really want to make it. Real Peking duck is a real pain to make, and an even bigger pain to serve correctly. Who has the time? With all this said, on the strength of Jonathan Gold's extremely positive comments, I visited Quanjude in Rosemead. There are no words to describe how disappointed I was (but I'll try). The duck was carved out of sight -- I have to take their word that it was fresh. It was dry and greasy at the same time, a unique trick. The crepes were thick and rubbery, much closer to tortillas than the wafer-thin steamed pancakes I am used to. The hoisin sauce seemed to be served straight from a can: It was a nasty, bitter, thick goop that bore little resemblance to the silky, tangy-sweet condiment I was expecting. I can forgive the poor service, since it was the food I really cared about; what I can't forgive is the fact that the servers offered food that was neither appealing nor appetizing -- and they had the nerve to claim it as their specialty! I'd hate to see the food that wasn't their specialty. Yuck! Care to try again, Mr. Gold? Your recommendations are usually right on.
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In last week's restaurant issue the name Locanda Del Lago was misspelled.