More 911
Regarding “Help Is on the Way: Tales of an Ambulance Driver,” by Courtney Moreno (April 3):

I am sitting in my cubicle with my jaw on the floor, lunch uneaten, absolutely mesmerized by this story. What fantastic writing. I felt as if I were seeing each piece as it unfolded before me. I always had a huge respect for those with seemingly limitless reserves (and nerves!) for rescue work but I got chills at the end when I read about the emotional drain of treating those who don’t really need it. All I can say is, wow. Thank you. I hope to see more from this author. I hope she is compiling a book.

Comment by Holly from Washington, D.C.


Pro or Amateur?
Regarding “Queer Town: L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Holds Amateur Contest to Fend Off Gay-Marriage Foes,” by Patrick Range McDonald (April 14):

As a 30-year-old journalist and activist for marriage equality, I’m offended that Mr. McDonald would suggest that grass-roots political action is “unprofessional.” I also wonder if he’s paid attention to anything that’s been happening in the world lately. Some of the most dramatic shifts in public opinion have been the result of these “unprofessional” grass-roots actions Mr. McDonald is so critical of.

Furthermore, to state that anti-gay-marriage supporters are skilled and organized sounds like this reporter is promoting the National Organization for Marriage’s RIDICULOUS, over-the-top new ad. Storm clouds and dramatic, scary music? Please. Even someone who doesn’t support gay marriage can see that this ad is a joke.

Mr. McDonald, are you gay, or a supporter of gay rights? Instead of attacking our own community by writing articles such as this, perhaps you could use some of your energy to suggest alternatives and do the kind of work that truly helps us take a step forward. Do you really think this kind of writing does anything to promote equality? From my perspective, you seem bitter and on a crusade to damage reputations rather than provide thoughtful commentary.

The irony here is that YOU are the one who seems out of touch, not the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.

Comment by Nicholas James

Would you suggest the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a “professional” ad to counter the “Gathering Storm” video? Perhaps they could add that to the budget despite the $250,000 cut in federal aid this year.

What you label as “amateur hour” is a direct insult to the ingenuity and creativity of the LGBT community. Wasn’t Stonewall an “amateur” protest since there was no well-funded leadership in place? Did Harvey Milk have an “amateur” campaign for the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco? Our civil rights have been won and our visibility has been strengthened by our grass-roots beginnings, though humble they may be.

When the well-funded forces that oppose the gay civil-rights movement can easily write a check for millions of dollars to fund their campaign, I commend the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center for inspiring our own community to take a stand for ourselves and to utilize our own talents to push back against the opposition.

Personally, I can’t wait to see what extraordinary, fresh and ingenious campaigns come from this “amateur” contest.

Comment by Christoph Babka

Regarding “Los Angeles Infrastructure or Bust,” by Beth Barrett (April 8):

Every city in the U.S. that bought AnsaldoBreda cars has had major problems, including Cleveland, San Francisco and Boston (which had to spend millions to rework their systems to accommodate them). The Los Angeles Red/Purple Line cars can also be counted on this list. Now the MTA wants to order another 119 substandard cars. If the order goes to Breda, how many years will the MTA and the train riders of Los Angeles have to live with poor-quality cars? Don’t you think other car manufacturers would locate their plant in Los Angeles for a 119-car order? Siemens had an assembly plant near the Blue Line shops used to assemble the P2000 cars now running on the Green and Gold lines.

Comment by Alan Fishel from Long Beach


Give me a break: Siemens is going to be any better? People forget that Siemens was kicked out of L.A. last time for issues that were pretty severe, way more severe than a simple delay. Their trains have been getting plenty of bad press for serious mechanical issues — including massive brake failures. Not to mention Siemens’ own recent history of political bribery and hush-hush favors ( My point is that both companies probably suck in terms of performance, but one of the two has a real history of bribery.

Comment by Jerry Madden from Burbank


Fabio Ficano, director of government affairs for AnsaldoBreda, will address the May 2 meeting of Southern California Transit Advocates at Angelus Plaza downtown. A good chance for the public to ask questions.

Comment by Dana Gabbard from L.A.


Gold in the Valley?
I have a great idea. Jonathan Gold can continue endlessly reviewing places in the San Gabriel Valley and Koreatown, and the Weekly hires someone else [I suggest me] to review places in the rest of the county. Perhaps the brave soul could venture into the west San Fernando Valley. Brandywine on an expense account, mmmm. Maybe Sol Y Luna for the best Mexican food in L.A. Yeah, right, next week, more of the same.

Comment by Lori from Van Nuys


Editor’s note: Apparently, the judges for the James Beard Foundation Award for newspaper reviews don’t live in the west San Fernando Valley: L.A. Weekly’s Jonathan Gold is a finalist for this year’s award. Gold won the Beard Award in 2005 and 2006.

LA Weekly