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BACK TO THE RANCH

Greg Goldin’s
story “Giving Up
the Ranch” [June 6–12]
missed some important aspects of the Newhall Ranch
project. Similar to Valencia and the city of Irvine, Newhall is a smart-growth,
master-planned community. This cutting-edge approach to development prevents
the patchwork quilt of unplanned sprawl. New development will occur only when
infrastructure and amenities are in place to accommodate this development.


Additionally, the project was scrutinized to a higher standard of environmental
analysis than any development in the county’s history. (The term sprawl
is hardly appropriate for a project that is located between existing developments
to the east in the Santa Clarita and the Antelope valleys, and to the west in
Kern and Ventura counties.) Homes will be built close to job centers and existing
developments. The project also includes construction of seven public schools,
three fire stations, a Sheriff’s station, roads and a public library. To protect
the environment, 50 percent of the entire project — 6,000 acres — is permanent
open space. There is a regional park approximately the size of Griffith Park,
three community parks, 10 local parks, a 15-acre lake and 50 miles of trails.
It includes two dedicated preserve areas for an endangered species, the San
Fernando Valley Spine Flower, as well as dedication of a 1,500-acre parcel in
adjoining Ventura County (this area is not even within the boundaries of the
Newhall Ranch project).

Traffic projections identified by qualified traffic engineers licensed by
the state of California, based upon Institute of Traffic Engineers (ITE) standards
and independently reviewed by traffic engineers in the county Department of
Public Works, affirmed the conclusion by two sets of traffic engineers that
90 percent of traffic will not commute into Los Angeles. Proposed development
in the greater Santa Clarita region includes not only the proposed new 19,000
jobs in Newhall Ranch itself, but also the 24 million square feet (18 million
constructed) in Valencia Gateway, and the proposed 20 million square feet (2
million constructed) in the Kern County Tejon Industrial Complex. Other industrial
and commercial job centers are located in the Antelope Valley and adjacent Ventura
and Kern counties. Along with the increasing availability of jobs in and near
the Santa Clarita Valley, the 20-year build-out of Newhall Ranch will reduce,
not increase, the number of commuters who travel to Los Angeles for employment
opportunities.

Your article failed to mention that additional public hearings, [environmental-impact
reports], and traffic and water analyses must still be conducted before even
one home can be built.

—Michael D. Antonovich
Los Angeles County Supervisor

 

SHOCKED AND DISMAYED

Re: Judith Lewis’ “Killing
the Angel in the House” [June 20–26]
. I was shocked and dismayed to read
my name in your publication alongside hurtful and defamatory statements about
“the people” who ran Rock ’n’ Roll High School, the music school Brody
Armstrong attended in Melbourne, Australia. I am the one and only person who
ran RnRHS, and I cannot believe the L.A. Weekly could allow such terms
as “psychotic feminists” and “Nazi sow” to be printed about me or anyone else.
I know this is the post-P.C. era, but such terms are inexcusable. Brody Armstrong
attended RnRHS for four years until two of her band members quit her band Sourpuss.
At no stage was there an argument with me, and I cannot understand why Brody
has made such nasty, slanderous statements. RnRHS afforded Brody her first shows,
recording experience and record deals.

To say the girl bands at RnRHS were not taken seriously is ridiculous. The
bands received national airplay and many high-profile shows. Brody fails to
mention that it is through RnRHS that Brody’s band Sourpuss made it on to the
same show as Rancid, where she met Tim Armstrong, who subsequently took her
to the U.S. and signed her to his label. There never was a “girl-school banner”
nor any feminist doctrine thrust on anyone at RnRHS.

Brody seems desperate to create a hard-done-by history for some rock cred.
Her statements about Courtney Love are extremely ironic, given the fact that
Love’s band was originally called Hole. Brody was a Courtney clone, covered
Hole songs and emulated her every move. It’s a bad joke that this young woman,
so “concerned” with injustice, is so mean about the women who have played a
large role in her development: Courtney, who inspired her, and the community
at RnRHS, who facilitated her career.

—Stephanie Bourke
Administrator,

Rock ’n’ Roll High School
Melbourne, Australia

 

cooper vs. carroll

Re: “The
Right Times” [Dissonance, June 6–12]
. John Carroll of the Los
Angeles Times
is one of ‰ America’s best editors and needs no defense from
the likes of me, but I thought your readers deserved a view of his memo that
differs from the one expressed in Marc Cooper’s column, which ignored the basis
of Carroll’s anti-bias admonition to his subordinates. John Carroll was simply
trying to do what any good editor of a mainstream newspaper should do, keep
bias out of the news pages and show respect for the views of all readers. This
is an essential value of a mass-circulation paper in a fragmented media world
where there is a growing market for opinion, especially that with which readers,
viewers and listeners agree; and a declining market for facts, especially those
which media consumers may find uncomfortable.

—Al Cross
Louisville, Kentucky

 

The Times has taken the kindergarten approach that if you chew gum
you should give everyone in the class a piece — a kind of phony fairness. But
hey, it sounds liberal. See how confusing it gets when you play it safe.
Worse, truth flies out the window. That is the tragedy for a newspaper of a
major city the likes of Los Angeles.

—Lorraine Carpinelli
Huntington Beach

 

ALL RIGHT THEN:

THANK YOU, JOE

Re: “Still Rockin’
in the Almost Free World” [June 13–19]
. I just want to say thank you to
Joe Donnelly for writing such a beautiful piece about Pearl Jam. As one of the
fans who have stuck by them since the beginning, it was wonderful to read a
review that didn’t bash Ed for his political views or demean the band for poor
record sales, etc.

We true fans feel the same way as Joe (yep, first name used . . . we consider
him a part of our “Jamily”). Going to their concerts is like church for me,
all of us singing together, hugging, sometimes crying — we are one with the
music, with the band, with each other.

Again, please thank Joe for me.

—Natasha Barrett
Cathedral City

 

As a longtime Pearl Jam fan, I was heartened to see Joe Donnelly’s championing
of the group and their recent live shows. I saw them in Las Vegas shortly after
the Irvine show, and they put on one of their best performances ever, with more
emotion and energy than I had witnessed in a long time. People need to know
how important this band and their music is, and I thank you for not only doing
the show review but for illuminating the amazing and evolving work they have
produced on the last few albums.

—Noah Moskin
Bainbridge Island, Washington

 

CORRECTION

In a photo caption for the Rodney Bingenheimer cover
story in our June 13–19 issue, we misidentified the fellow with the beer bottle
in his mouth: That was Liam Gallagher, not Chris Carter. Sorry.


LA Weekly