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Letters

Send letters to the editor to: L.A. Weekly, P.O. Box 4315, L.A., CA 90078. Or fax us at (323) 465-3220. Or e-mail us at letters@laweekly.com. Letters, which must be typewritten and include a daytime telephone number for verification, may be edited for purposes of space or clarity.

POWER GAMES

The purpose of this correspondence is to correct some of the misinformation created by Bill Bradley’s article “Power Crisis II” [July 5–11]. The most important point I would like to make is about the role of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 in the L.A. Department of Water and Power’s overall Green initiative. The local has been a key factor in our environmental programs, including solar power and especially in providing substantial support to a new electric-vehicle-manufacturing initiative for Los Angeles. I personally do not know of another labor group that has been quite as supportive of real and reasoned progress on a broad front of progressive environmental initiatives. Therefore, it is truly unfortunate that your newspaper portrays the role of IBEW Local 18, in the LADWP’s Residential Solar Program, as being in conflict with the overall objectives of our program. It should be clear that Local 18 and Mr. Brian D’Arcy have supported the development of local distributed-generation (DG) resources. Also, the union was never offered a low-cost solar system, and we are sure Local 18 would have accepted it had it been offered.

A DG committee in charge of ensuring safety and operational-procedure updates (consisting of LADWP technical staff and IBEW Local 18 representatives) was created in February 2002 to specifically deal with the large-scale deployment of DG systems in our service territory. The committee did raise certain issues as they related to residential solar systems and other DG resources with respect to the impact on overall safety of LADWP crews. While we are very strong advocates of new environmental technologies, we will only proceed with initiatives that ensure the safety of our employees and the public. To achieve that objective, we needed to enhance certain operational procedures for residential solar installations. As you are aware, about 30 residential customers were temporarily “locked out” in order for the testing to take place. We are confident that all procedures will be in place by August 15, 2002, and that the LADWP Residential Solar Program will resume at an escalated pace.

Placing the blame on IBEW Local 18 for the temporary lockout of the residential systems is unfair. The lockout decision was made by a committee of technical experts with the best long-term interests of the solar and other DG programs in mind.

—Angelina M. Galiteva Executive director Green L.A. Environmental Affairs and New Product Development Organization

 

BLUDGEONED BUT UNBLOODIED

In her piece [“Law and Disorder,” Cakewalk, July 12–18] on the beating of Donovan Jackson by Inglewood Police Officer Jeremy Morse (whose names were inexplicably absent from the article), Erin Aubry Kaplan is typically adept with the English language but careless with her words. This case has little resemblance to that of Rodney King (whose name appears twice in the article), a man who was high on angel dust, a wanted criminal, and unjustifably, wrongly, severely, horribly beaten by several officers over a period of — what? two or three minutes? — as other cops watched and sometimes egged them on. The Inglewood case involves a boy who may be developmentally disabled being slammed against a car and punched once by one enraged officer, who was stopped from continuing by another. The actions of Officer Morse took place in the span of 10 seconds. Though Kaplan refers to “a bloodied black victim,” I have not read any such claim from Jackson’s family or legal counsel, and no blood is apparent in the video. At least one police officer was bloodied, however, according to most reports. If Kaplan disputes this, she should say so explicitly.

What I saw on the video looked bad, wrong, illegal. It saddened and angered me. Cops like Morse have no business dealing with the public. I hope he goes to jail, but I’m not holding my breath. Surprisingly, Kaplan thinks it more likely the cops will be “duly punished” rather than have “their actions . . . found justified.” She doesn’t explain this amazing prediction, which seems to contradict the history of the L.A. County justice system. Cops get off; everyone knows that.

Kaplan seems most concerned with the image of Inglewood, which is a beautiful, diverse, alive city that does have its rough neighborhoods and deserves more acclaim as the jewel it is. But she needn’t worry too much — anyone paying attention knows that while most cops may be great guys, in America way too many bust ass, shake down, lie, steal, kill — and keep their jobs.

—Dan Brezenoff San Pedro

GOT USED TO IT

As a 25-year-old member of the African-American gay, lesbian and transsexual community, I thank you for Doug Sadownik’s article “To Be Gay and Young in L.A.” [cover story, July 12–18]. It is difficult to face a world filled with people, cults, and a federal government that intends to criticize, even criminalize, the human experience of the gay black male. A media story about my friends and community reminds me that I am still (post-Bush) an American, and that some fraction of the country is indeed glad that I am here. That we are here.

I especially enjoyed reading about Mario Duane Gardner [“Wrestling With Demons,” by Ron Athey, July 12–18]. I did not know him personally. I can, however, identify with his commitment to truth and creative expression. I hope he is now cloaked in a crystal film of love and happiness. I recognize I wouldn’t be here — healthy psychologically and physically, and living a full, satisfying life — had it not been for the AIDS reality check, and eight years of a Clinton administration that advanced humanitarian and gay-civil-rights issues. If people like Mario Gardner had not sung, danced, written, talked, protested and, yes, loved each other then, many of us, gay and straight, would not be here now.

—Vince Ponder Los Angeles

RED, WHITE AND BLUE HERRINGS

Martin Amis, in his book Koba the Dread, and Brendan Bernhard, in his review of that book [“Bolshie Ballet,” Box Populi, July 5–11], both missed a great opportunity. Does anybody really fret that a gaggle of chattering teahouse dilettantes bought into the ludicrous Stalinist popular line? Not exactly breaking news. More to the point: During the most horrendous of his many atrocities — i.e., the bloody enslavement of the peasants and workers in the late 1920s and early 1930s — it was the movers and shakers of the West, the international business community, and especially the American corporate power structure, that bankrolled Stalin’s counterrevolution. And even when they saw what he had done, the U.S. government, in 1933, granted Stalin’s slaughterhouse state diplomatic recognition, and the League of Nations, the following year, politely invited him to join their club. Talk about a “gulag-sized blot”!

—Gilbert Dewart Pasadena

 

I don’t understand Brendan Bernhard’s lazy lumping of Lenin (and, by extension, all of Soviet communism) in with Stalin. He accuses Lenin of “setting up a fully functioning police state for Stalin’s later use.” Was striving for a more equitable economic system really so unintelligible, given the nasty examples of exploitation then in force? How many people today know that Auschwitz was created not as a Jewish death camp, but as the labor force (or, rather, forced labor) for an I.G. Farben capitalist venture — and that Farben was far and away the largest contributor to Hitler’s 1933 political campaign?

—Thomas Yotka Santa Monica

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