My cousin, a Los Angeles city fireman, just e-mailed me Christine Pelisek’s article about the Tennie Pierce incident [“What Really Happened at Fire Station 5?” March 16–22]. When he and I first spoke about this after it became public, he was shocked to find me outraged about it, and not on Pierce’s behalf. He assumed the public would feel sorry for Pierce and not hear the whole story — but he was wrong. I, like many others, heard the story first on KFI. I was disappointed at the weakness of the City Council — toss the race card in and they cower like puppies.
Thanks for doing the legwork to get the real story. My cousin says it is the most accurate — by far — that he has seen.
Your article on Fire Station 5 is outstanding! I worked at LAFD for more than 20 years (civilian), and you really did your research. It’s a shame that the City Attorney’s Office didn’t put as much effort in defending the taxpayers as you did in your article. I’m sure many of the firefighters will thank you — even if anonymously!
As a retired Los Angeles County fireman, I want to say thank you for taking the time to learn a little of the fire-station culture. We have a workplace unlike most others. We need to work closely and as a unit. Peer pressure is vital in creating the cement that allows us to function.
I retired in 1992. I would not like to work under today’s conditions. Too many lawyers!
Your article was by far the best accounting of the situation to date. Your overall theme that it was not racial was true. I am a black fireman with 29 years with the LAFD. My father was a black fireman here from 1947 until 1968. I have seen and lived much of this. I have seen racism, and I have participated in hazing myself. I have had it both ways. It is not easy to cover the life of a fireman in so short an article. Pierce gave as good as he got. It was not race. It’s greed.
Los Angeles Fire Department
Congratulations on a well-written article. I’ve been following this story since it surfaced, and I can’t believe the amount of information you’ve discovered compared to the Fire Department’s own investigation and articles in the L.A. Times and the Daily News. (You’ve put them all to shame.) Taxpayers rely on what they read in the papers, and this information would not have surfaced without your investigation. Keep up the good work!
I just read your article about Tennie Pierce and Firehouse Station No. 5. GREAT JOB! This has to be the most accurate and brutally honest article regarding this incident and the fallout. Please keep up the good work.
Your work is some of the best journalism I have come across. It’s too bad that the Los Angeles Times does not try to meet the standards established by the L.A. Weekly.
Thank you for doing your homework and telling it like it is. Perhaps you should run for city council or get elected to the fire commission. I am still punch drunk in trying to understand how ANYONE who has participated in the years of firehouse pranks can suddenly turn 180 and cry foul. Only for the almighty dollar, only in America. To think that the big-name black (so-called) leaders came to stand behind Tennie Pierce without knowing his history — what a joke.
The article on Jack Weiss [“Targeting a Weiss Guy,” March 16–22] clearly missed the mark. He and his office have always been attentive and responsive. All politicians certainly have the right to seek higher offfice.
Nonsense and Sensibility
I am amazed! Ms. Ella “Know-It-All” Taylor has done it again. She dares to call Notes on a Scandal a “disreputable piece of nonsense.” This superior, brilliant thriller is surely one of the very best films of 2006, and to watch two outstanding actresses deliver such award-caliber performances is a real treat for any intelligent moviegoer. Ms. Taylor consistently puts down films that only deserve praise and loves others that are less than mediocre. She never stops surprising me with her grandiloquent reviews!
Fox You, Weekly
Wow . . . when Faux News is favorably compared to The New York Times, you know the dumbing-down of America is complete [Bill Bradley’s article “Robert Greenwald’s Modest Proposal,” March 23–29]. No wonder I started looking up the movie listings on AOL’s site instead of contributing to the waste of precious timber resources the L.A. Weekly has become. I’m happy to be able to read Harold Meyerson in the Washington Post and to bid the new “fair and balanced” Weekly buh-bye.
Heaven’s Gate Reopened
Due to a production error, two pages of last week’s cover story, “The Gospel According to Rio,” were printed out of sequence. The story can be read in the correct order on the Weekly’s website, but for readers who want to read the piece in print, a copy can be mailed. To request a copy, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to L.A. Weekly, 6715 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90028, Attention: Pandora Young.
Send letters to L.A. Weekly, P.O. Box 4315, L.A., CA 90078. Or fax us at (323) 465-3220. Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letters, which must be typewritten and include a daytime telephone
number for verification, may be edited for purposes of space or clarity.