VANS ARE NOT ALWAYS SNEAKERS
Last week's cover story on people living in their vehicles ("Living off the Grid: When life takes you out of your house and into your car," by Linda Immediato, January 27) elicited a refreshingly humane level of commentary. "I'm a victim of the economy," writes Orbicularis from Venice. "I lost my job of 13 years, and cannot find another job in my career. I work at two wage-slave jobs and cannot pay the money for rent. I've considered living in my van. It's hard to get over the stigma. Our society needs a tune-up. Humanity needs to get its act together. We're all we've got, we need to help each other, and brother, I'm needing some help right now. So hear this, homeowners, and I've seen you look at me with derision when I park my van ... we are all brothers and sisters in this world. Be compassionate, be understanding. Lend a hand. Be cool and don't freak out. Peace, OT."
Peace, brother Orbicularis, and good luck.
Then again, Suezin O. from Boyle Heights knows a van person, and it sounds like she wishes she didn't: "Yes, I've seen one of them, in my house in fact. Not above living off the paychecks that others must earn. I allowed this van person to stay in my humble abode for a number of months. It would have been nice if she/he could have helped around the house. ..."
Maybe if she/he had figured out her/his gender, Suezin O., the vacuuming would have come more readily.
Finally, a couple of smarty-pants readers, including Pat Weaver of Hollywood, pointed out an error: "I enjoyed Linda Immediato's article until I got to her incorrect literary reference. It was NOT Scarlett O'Hara who 'depended on the kindness of strangers.' This specific trait was the entire crux of Stella's downfall in Tennessee Williams' Streetcar Named Desire. I would think, even if Linda was not aware of this gaffe, that literate proofreaders would have caught the misdirect. Shame on you, L.A. Weekly. I was so disappointed by the sloppy journalism, I didn't even finish the article. At a time when many intelligent, dedicated people are out of a job, maybe you should consider some restaffing."
Thanks for pointing that out, Pat. For the record, it's "A" Streetcar Named Desire. And it's Blanche, not Stella.
USE A CONDOM, DON'T GO TO JAIL
In response to Patrick Range McDonald's story, "Rubbers Revolutionary: AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Michael Weinstein wants to save porn actors from STDs" (January 27), Eric from Los Angeles has a compelling suggestion: "To solve the problem of regulating the use of condoms in the [porn] world, the state of California should enact a law banning the sale and downloading of films produced after the effective date of the law in which a condom is not used. That way, even if porn producers 'flee' to Florida, the porn producers would lose the lucrative California market. By focusing on the point of sale (brick-and-mortar store or Internet Web site), the sale can be traced back to the seller and distributors of such films. This would be a huge disincentive to continued production of condomless adult films — straight and gay."HOLY CRA[P]!
Tibby Rothman's story on the CRA spending $46,000 each to lure garment-worker jobs paying just $16,000 a year ("Is L.A. Creating Phantom Jobs?," January 27) brought this withering response from Noel D from West Hills: "More and more every day, the mayor and City Council impress me with their brilliant ways to make money for our broken city. I'm so proud of you clowns."
There's no sarcasm evident in this comment from someone going by the pseudonym NC Council Watch, who is no fan of a certain City Councilwoman: "Make no mistake, this is mostly the work of Jan Perry, the Corporate Welfare Queen. Perry and her staff have spent years sinking money into the former Goodyear plant land where this project is located. Even though dozens of people from the community opposed the CRA's action to subsidize this one little garment factory, Perry IGNORED the community again and urged CRA approval.
"In the same tract, Perry and the CRA used eminent domain to take land at Slauson and Central avenues away from the owners and give it to Perry's favorite political lackeys: Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles and an out-of-town real estate developer, Regency Realty. Instead of letting the original owners, one of whom is an experienced shopping-center developer, construct a shopping center without CRA involvement, Perry's political hacks got her to swoop in and condemn the land, spend millions of dollars to take the land into the CRA, only to turn around and sell it to Regency Realty for just a fraction of what CRA spent.
"Last year, as the economy fell apart, the greedy developers returned to the CRA and told it that they would not finish the project unless the CRA agreed to jack up the developers' GUARANTEED profit margin from 9 percent to 18 percent. Where else in this economy is anyone getting an 18 percent return on investment? Is it no surprise that Regency Realty is quietly pressuring Perry to take the final approvals of this project through City Council in the coming weeks?
"And in a mind-numbing display of favoritism, Perry is supporting Regency Realty and CVS drugstore to get not one but two permits to sell a full line of alcohol in the middle of a neighborhood wracked with too many alcohol-sales outlets. Even though the permits for Regency and CVS would exceed the number allowed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Department of the state, Perry is on record putting MORE alcohol sales into our neighborhood.
"It is time for community people to rise up and end Perry's political career of showering her incompetent hacks and greedy out-of-town developers with public subsidies that the taxpayers of this city CAN NO LONGER AFFORD!"
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