The dispute between the Hollywood Farmers Market and the L.A. Film School (“Hollywood Farmers Market Fate Up in the Air,” by Beth Barrett and Simone Wilson, Dec. 24) irked many readers this week, with defenders of the market taking the harshest position. There was one voice of moderation, however:

“What really irritates me about this is the knee-jerk 'good guy vs. bad guy' narrative that much of the media (to its credit, not the Weekly) and mainstream community activists are hawking,” writes LKitsch. “This is a land-use dispute between two legitimate parties, both of whom have perfectly good reasons to take the positions they take. Both contribute to the community and to the city at large, both enrich and enhance Los Angeles, both have done good deeds, both have made mistakes, and both want the same piece of dirt.

Please, spare me the 'corporate America vs. the people' crap, because that's all that is. This thing is nothing more than a legitimate difference of opinion on how to proceed, and hopefully the city's mediators, in their infinite wisdom, will come up with an amicable solution.”

LKitsch posted the comment in response to thoughts like these:

“Screw the L.A. Film School,” writes Eric S. “I am a film guy and I have to say, few things annoy me more than the self-importance that film wannabes perpetrate upon myself. They all think of themselves as potential Fellinis and Scorseses, yet more often than not prove themselves to be insipidly uncreative and with very little talent to boast about. The market was there first, and regardless of the immense importance of the film industry in regards to maintaining our media empire, the students of film are of very little importance in the entertainment community.”

Martha has this to say: “The L.A. Film School must be run by relics of corporations past, because no modern-day corporation would dare consider itself better and more important than its community. And certainly no responsible and sustainable corporation these days would ever consider making a farmers market suffer. You chose to be part of Hollywood and you knew that the Hollywood Farmers Market was there before you moved in.”

From Aaron Kuehn comes this argument in the name of living green: “Trampling the cornucopia of benefits of this wildly successful public market with private car parking does not conform to current urban land-use policy. For 20 years, the market has provided critical affordable access to fresh food, precious public space in an area bereft, a community building hub with massive diversity, and irreplaceable income opportunities for local vendors. Fresh food access is one of the biggest social issues of our time, and none of the other farmers markets nearby, nor any grocery stores, offer the diversity and quantity of fresh produce that Hollywood does. Walking end to end at the market provides more fresh air and exercise opportunity than is available anywhere in Hollywood for thousands of locals. Contrast that with car parking, which has been proven to have a cancerous effect on community, connectivity, street life and local business.”


Readers were not amused by news that a Venice church pastor has pushed aside a group of skateboarding parishioners (“Youths Versus Venice United Methodist Church,” by Tibby Rothman, Dec. 24). The Weekly reported that Venice United Methodist Church's new pastor has barred kids from adult-led planning meetings and wants to remove a skateboard ramp on the premises. Because of that and other clashes, the teens now are worshipping in the parking lot.

The story drew this response from Jgracelewis: “You pinpoint the Christian hypocrisy on so many levels (same with the GLBT). But it is not about us or me. You shine the light on the real stuff happening in Venice, your beloved neighborhood.”

A reader identified as “Preacher” writes: “There's even more to it. The parish had shrunk to 20 or so active members, and so the new pastor surely sees his mission as rebuilding the institution. Besides kicking out the kids, he has also locked out Peggy Lee Kennedy, who was church treasurer, a trustee, the Peace With Justice coordinator, and the Peace With Justice pantry administrator. She and her volunteers saw their mission as feeding the homeless.

“The new pastor apparently begs to differ. Let's face it. There's no future in po' folks and troubled teens. But if you're an ambitious man of the cloth, there's an opportunity here to build a better class of parishioners who will need all the help their pastor can give them to squeeze all their camels through the eye of a needle.”

Finally, Ari writes: “This program has been running for years with high enrollment rates, increased GPAs and a major decrease in criminal activity due to its positive influence and the general good influences around physical activity to release your inner frustrations. I am the executive director of the Doogood Conservatory and we have provided free-to-use skateboards for the youth at this church for over 7 years and held many holiday card-making events for the homeless with the kids making cards to earn their presents, not just handouts. This seems like a case of a pastor having too much judgment of what skateboarding is, does and keeps kids out of. Truly ignorant and a great way to shun this type of religion from the very youth you are ordained to minister. I applaud the journalist who shined the light on this dark situation.”


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