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Letters: Called Out

Called Out

Your reporter, Patrick Range McDonald, wrote in “Delgadillo’s War” [Sept. 7–13]: “Delgadillo’s bustling press office — quick to promote softball stories about Delgadillo — ignored four phone calls.” This statement is false.

The reporter contacted me and Deputy City Attorney Edward Young. Though I was out of the country at the time, my office voicemail message informed callers that they should contact my colleague Frank Mateljan if I was unavailable. In addition, following Mr. McDonald’s call, Mr. Young promptly informed Mr. Mateljan that Mr. McDonald had called seeking comment on this matter.

Mr. Mateljan thereafter called Mr. McDonald, leaving a voicemail message for him and urging him to contact the CRA. Mr. McDonald and Mr. Mateljan then played one round of telephone tag and, with the ball ultimately in Mr. McDonald’s court, this office did not hear back again from Mr. McDonald prior to publication of the article in question.

In sum, Mr. McDonald’s statement that this office “ignored four phone calls” is simply false. We did, in fact, get back to him.

The City Attorney’s Office believes, in the interest of fairness, the Weekly should run a correction.

Nick Velasquez

Director of Communications

Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office

The Weekly responds: Velasquez is correct on one issue. The phrase “ignored four phone calls” is technically incorrect, caused by an editing error. That paragraph should have read:

“Delgadillo’s bustling press office — quick to promote softball stories about Delgadillo — ignored two phone calls from the Weekly and was non-responsive to a third call, deflecting questions to another city agency that cannot speak for the city attorney. The Weekly received no response to its final call. E-mails from the Weekly to a deputy city attorney assigned to redevelopment issues affecting Hollywood also received no response — not even a ‘no comment.’ After a week of seeking comment from somebody willing to speak for Delgadillo, the Weekly left the ball in his court: To date, Delgadillo has not responded to accusations that he is pursuing a secret policy, without public discussion or debate by the Los Angeles City Council, that allows developers to get around local historic preservation rules in order to tear down buildings.”

Driven to Change

Regarding Patrick Range McDonald’s article “MTA’s $1 Billion Development Scheme” [Oct. 12–18]: Whether or not one agrees with the decision to approve the Lowe development, there needs to be an honest discussion with Angelenos about the future of their city. Millions more will relocate to Southern California over the next several decades, and there is no way to stop millions from coming. The choice to allow sprawl to continue is economically and environmentally unsustainable in the long term. Decades of non-planning and social-engineering in favor of the “car culture” have enabled many people to live suburban, low-density, single-occupancy, vehicle-based lifestyles in a metropolitan, urban environment. What is now happening is that Los Angeles is evolving to become more like every other major metropolis. While we cannot stop the future from coming, we can responsibly plan for it. NoHo has two transit lines intersecting there and is close to the Burbank Airport. Whether or not it is the Lowe project that is built, development must responsibly be placed near the intersection of the Red and Orange lines, and the NIMBYs must not be allowed to stop all high-density development in North Hollywood. The golden age of motoring is now behind us. There is nothing wrong with wanting and preferring a suburban lifestyle. However, that choice will need to take place in the actual suburbs, not in the increasingly urban areas in downtown, Hollywood or in the southeast San Fernando Valley. Los Angeles is changing, and we need elected and civic officials to state the inconvenient truth that Los Angeles will no longer be able to guarantee a suburban lifestyle throughout the entire city.

Dan Wentzel

Santa Monica

Corrections

The “Worse and Worser” article [July 6–12], regarding settlements paid to Los Angeles firefighters, misstated the jury award to Lewis Bressler as $1.75 million awarded in March, instead of the correct amount of $1.73 million awarded in April. In closing arguments in the case of firefighter Brenda Lee, her attorney did not refer to Lee’s entire 12 years as a firefighter, but to just some of those years. One firefighter, rather than multiple firefighters, testified that Lee harbored plans to file a lawsuit against the Fire Department as far back as 2003.


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