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Letters

Don’t Deride the Rails

Regarding “Red Line to Somewhere” [March 4–10], I read with dismay in the introduction to an interview with Henry Waxman the inaccurate fact that “the Red Line ends at Wilshire and Normandie.” The Red Line in fact ends at Wilshire and Western, about a half-mile west of Normandie. However, I applaud the exposé of Henry Waxman as an obstacle to sensible transportation options in SoCal, despite his assertions to the contrary. It is pathetic to claim support for transit while doing nothing to assist it, especially as a congressional representative to the very district that would benefit from a subway extension.

But what is most appalling is Waxman’s flat-out false assertion that the Metro Rail system “is the most expensive subway system in the history of the world.” The Red Line (actually two lines) was built for more or less $4 billion, and the other lines for less than $1 billion each. Compare this to the Second Avenue subway line in New York, with a projected cost of $17 billion. Such assertions perpetuate propaganda that somehow the wool was pulled over the eyes of SoCal voters, when in fact the very people whose responsibility it was to provide oversight on cost overruns are these same officials.

I ride the Red Line between Los Feliz and downtown every day. It is hardly a train to nowhere; on the contrary, it is very heavily used night and day. It would be a fantastic economic boon to Los Angeles to provide this wonderful resource to the rest of the city and county. While Tom LaBonge and Antonio Villaraigosa provide vision and leadership on this issue, Zev Yaroslavsky and Henry Waxman just don’t seem to get it, or even care.

—Bert Green
Los Angeles




A Victim of His Own Mouth

Let’s give the Weekly a hand for once again not giving a fair and accurate assessment of the facts surrounding Eason Jordan resigning for making his unfounded comments about U.S. military targeting journalists in Iraq [Filtered, “Misspeak No Evil,” February 18–24]. What you fail to include (of course) is that Jordan has a bit of a history of making wild accusations with no proof whatsoever to back them up.

Let’s put it into perspective. At the News Exchange conference in Portugal, Jordan told an audience of news executives, “The reality is that at least 10 journalists have been killed by U.S. military, and according to reports I believe to be true, journalists have been arrested and tortured by U.S. forces.”

Now, that’s a nice little piece of information conveniently left out to make it seem that Jordan was an innocent victim of the right-wing bloggers. At least he did the right thing by stepping down. Eason wasn’t so much a victim of the right wing but really a victim of his own mouth, and ultimately he became a liability to CNN.

As someone with family serving in Iraq, I find Jordan’s repeated comments to be the lowest form of partisan contempt and obviously an effort to undermine our military at a time when there is nothing more important than our success. His comments were no accident and only added more reason for anti-U.S. sentiment. Jordan didn’t “misspeak” and was held to task for his false information, and rightly so.

—Shane Van Dyke
Eagle Rock



A Question of Compassion

Erin Aubry Kaplan should declare moral bankruptcy while she still has some morality to lose [“Gun Shy,” February 18–24]. Had Devin Brown been shot while asleep in his bed (more likely, in that case, by a black gang member), he would have looked to all the world what he would have been — a helpless victim. In fact, he was not in his bed, but to Kaplan it is not legitimate to ask the questions that would come first to a responsible adult of any color: How the hell do his parent(s) and his neighborhood allow him to be anywhere but in his room after 10 p.m., let alone in a stolen car at 3 a.m.? To assert that whites do not have compassion for this poor child because they ask these questions is as racist as Kaplan thinks her entire world must be.

—Howard Bregman
Los Angeles




We Stand Corrected

Ella Taylor might be relieved to know there is nothing “chilling” about the neglectful mother in Nobody Knows calling herself “your mother” to her children [“Miles From Nowhere,” February 11–17]. Referring to oneself in the third person, particularly within the family, is standard Japanese.

—Hope Anderson
Los Angeles



Writing Off the Wall

I’ve been an avid fan of your paper since moving to L.A. last year — until this week [February 25–March 3].

As if Seven McDonald’s aimless non-story about her slacker buddy wasn’t enough, you continued the quality nosedive with Kate Sulivan chatting with a pal about the Mars Volta, then Jonathan Gold combining every clichéd comment ever made about that same band into a pompous, self-aware monologue.

What happened? Were these “writers” up against deadlines and all out of ideas?

—Melanie Aleman
Hollywood




Correction

In the cover story on Jared Diamond [February 18–24], the wrong venue was listed for an upcoming exhibit based on Diamond’s work. In May, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County will mount a full-scale exhibit, “Collapse?,” inspired by the book.


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