The Mayor's Slow Start

What has Eric Garcetti been up to? Gene Maddaus suggests the answer is “not much” (“The Beta-Mode Mayor,” Feb. 7). Maddaus' story had readers buzzing last week.

Emma quotes Maddaus on Garcetti, writing, “ 'His agenda also is surprisingly hard to pin down': That's because his agendas have all so far been thrown back at him and rejected. The Hollywood Community Plan, his higher-density push for Hollywood — and then higher density for all of L.A. — was huge, and probably meant to be his legacy. The judge threw it out. And his biggest development, the Millennium, is on hold thanks to an active fault line. Those were the building blocks of his 'agenda.' They now have become stumbling blocks. Anyone wonder why he stays away from the cameras?

Sean writes, “There is something very wrong with Garcetti's character. A recent budget town hall meeting was a perfect example. He shows up after his people make the presentations and speeches. Some B.S. 'working groups' are formed to discuss some B.S. questions about what makes a great city, and answer the B.S. questions put forth by all his very young, handsome, catalog-model male staff members. And as it comes to an end, he shows up to have his pictures taken with attendees, and then he speaks. When we made reservations, we were told questions would be allowed — we were just never told not of him.”

JW_Calderon thinks Maddaus was too hard on the mayor. He writes, “I have to disagree in general, since I am a city employee who is seeing changes in how we do business internally. There are many changes that the public won't see right away, and this article doesn't really bring that balance to this 'issue.' ”

Defender of the Orcas

Samantha Bonar's profile of Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite was a big hit with readers (“The Accidental Activist,” Feb. 7). Pupsalina writes, “I was deeply disturbed by the documentary. Cowperthwaite took us to the moment the orca pod was 'run down' by speedboats and the baby Tilikum was cornered and stolen from his family. It was horrifying to watch.

“And it's no wonder Tilikum fights back later against his trainers. He misses his pod. He misses his freedom. He misses his right to choose a mate and a family of his own. Shame on humans. It is not about Sea World to me. It is about the exploitation of all wild creatures that humans feel they have the right to seize and do with as they wish.

Gentianmac agrees. “It is a brilliant film, and one that raises the questions we must learn to answer honestly, if we are to remain human. For every animal we take into our guardianship, we owe that animal the very best environment, food and ecology possible. This requirement is impossible for the orca. A tank can never replace an ocean — it is laughable to even consider. I hope millions more will see this film. Maybe peek into their own souls and find the compassion that's been diminished, even demeaned, in this society.”

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