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Letters: Of Humane Bondage

Of Humane Bondage

The article “Monkey Madness at UCLA” in the L.A. Weekly [August 10–16], although on the whole fair and balanced, was marred by a paragraph completely mischaracterizing the use of laboratory animals in research carried out at UCLA. The research protocol employed by Dr. Arthur Rosenbaum does not involve “shooting Botox in the eyes of fully conscious rhesus monkeys.”

Rather, to simulate sixth nerve palsy, the lateral rectus muscle is temporarily paralyzed using Botox while the animal is under anesthesia. The aim of this study is to understand if such a condition, here artificially induced, can be ameliorated by the use of a specially designed integrated circuit device.

In addition, the article leaves the false impression that Dr. Rosenbaum’s research involves vervet monkeys. In fact, the research involves only rhesus monkeys.

Unfortunately, these kinds of gross errors and inflammatory rhetoric serve as fodder for animal activists.

Research involving laboratory animals at UCLA is conducted in strict compliance with federal laws and university guidelines intended to ensure humane care.

Roberto Peccei

Vice Chancellor for Research, UCLA

Take Off, SMO!

Regarding “Tarmac Rage” by Jorge Casuso [Sept. 14–20]: This is an excellent article that covers many of the problematic issues surrounding Santa Monica Airport (SMO). It should be mentioned as well that the key document, the “Santa Monica Airport Agreement” — signed contractually by both the city of Santa Monica and the FAA in 1984 to mitigate the community noise complaints — has failed to do so. How could anyone say, with jet operations comprising about 15 percent of the total operations and accounting for about 90 percent of all noise violations, that the attempt to address the communities’ concerns about noise was anything other than a complete failure? Added to almost all the noise violations, jets have brought the stink of raw jet kerosene into the neighborhoods, homes and lungs of SMO’s neighbors. All this, along with the threat of a catastrophic accident, so that the well heeled can have a wonderful flying experience.

Martin Rubin

Director, Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution

Regarding “Tarmac Rage”: This article is about jet pollution. But what about the extreme persistent jet contrails that spread out and become the very (fake) clouds that cover the city, as they have been for seven-plus years? Why not one article about this phenomenon, yet more than 700,000 Google hits (keyword: chemtrails)?

Bernice Carlson

Los Angeles

Vengeance Is Hers

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Judith Lewis’ interview with Jodie Foster [“Chaos Control,” Sept. 7–13]. In these times when so many so-called journalists have difficulty correctly constructing a sentence, it is very refreshing to read a piece by someone who is not only literate but is also literary.

A. Harden

Los Angeles

Let’s see, the life of Jodie Foster’s perfect lover is cut short by street hoodlums, and she proceeds to enact vigilante justice against other street hoodlums, as well as a white-collar criminal. A cop helps her track down those who killed her lover. Jodie Foster is white. Her lover is played by Naveen Andrews, who is Indian. The hoodlums she kills in the trailer I’ve seen are white. The good-guy cop, played by Terrence Howard, is black. How much more left/liberal racism can it hold? It even has that old hoary movie myth, the white street hoodlum — in New York City, where this takes place, the vast majority of street crooks are black or Hispanic/Latino. (I’m sure they went for more realism with the white-collar criminal.) Regardless of the artistic merits of the film, I refuse to subsidize or poison my mind with this sort of racist trash.

Richard Sol

Los Angeles

Music Writers Wanted

The L.A. Weekly has immediate opportunities for experienced freelance writers interested in covering the Los Angeles music business. Candidates should be well versed in the machinations of the industry, have reporting experience and be willing to stare unafraid into the belly of the beast. Please send links to writing samples to music editor Randall Roberts at rroberts@laweekly.com. No phone calls, please.


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