How sad that your investigative paper needed to savagely attack a fellow candidate for cityhood, instead of being forthright and just saying the L.A. Weekly opposes our right to self-determination.

Gene La Pietra — “The
Man Who Would Be Hollywood’s King
” [October 11–17] — is indeed a titular
leader of the Independence for Hollywood movement. The Weekly article
was scurrilous and vicious against a citizen who wants, like all 20 of the council
candidates, to improve and revitalize our neighborhoods.

Most likely, Mr. La Pietra can withstand your journalism. Most front-runners

Our disappointment with the Weekly article was its utter failure to
address the decades of deterioration of Hollywood. What is missing from your
report is the graffiti that permeates the commercial and residential sections
of Hollywood. Your magazine’s tainted report does not speak of the crumbling
streets all along our famed Sunset Boulevard. Or the systematic increasing violent
crimes against our visitors and neighbors. Cityhood will add up to 96 additional
police officers to do this job, without the new city having to raise taxes.

The Weekly should have interviewed the real experts on this issue.
Larry Calamine, the staff executive director of the Local Agency Formation Commission
(LAFCO), which studied the fiscal viability of a new Hollywood with an affirming
result, has publicly commended Mr. La Pietra on his leadership in this movement.
“Hollywood Cityhood would not be on the ballot if it weren’t for the leadership,
passion and brilliant attention to detail Gene La Pietra brought to the process,”
according to Calamine.

We would appreciate the Weekly’s attention to the problems and issues
which are driving Hollywood to independence, rather than an attack on the leader
who has made it possible for voters to decide if they want a new government.

—Paul Merritt, Garry Sinanian, Richard Eastman, Michael Ackerman,
Pashree Sripipat, Rosa Martinez

Hollywood Independence Committee


Shame on your publication for printing J. Victor Abalos’ lopsided diatribe.
Gene La Pietra is a philanthropist who really cares about Hollywood and wants
to make it a better place to live. By focusing, negatively, on one of the 21
potential candidates for Hollywood City Council, in an undisguised effort to
ruin the secession effort, you have proven that there is no unbiased and balanced
reporting left in the media today.

The vitriolic and unsubstantiated comments made by Mr. La Pietra’s detractors
overlook the fact that he has silently donated over $2 million to youth programs,
that he is planning an innovative after-school program called the Center of
the Universe, and that his dance clubs have gainfully provided employment for
several years now to many individuals. No one else has brought more attention
to the problem of urban blight seen in Hollywood than Mr. La Pietra. If anyone
feels they can do a better job at taking care of Hollywood’s needs, then why
don’t they step up to the plate and take a crack at it? Batter up!

—Patrick Swift



Re: Marc Cooper’s “Case
of Spinelessness
” [October 11–17]. Cooper deftly emphasized the overwhelming
bipartisan support the president asked for and received to pass his war resolution.
“I don’t want to see so much as a single Democrat out there whining that this
is ‘George W. Bush’s War,’” Cooper sternly warned. “It’s also Dick Gephardt’s
war. And Joe Biden’s. And every other Democrat who is voting . . . to authorize
the use of force.” Yet in the very next issue [October 18–24], one needed to
look no farther than the table of contents to see the words “Bush’s war” whined
once more. And not just by some other unrelated columnist but by the editor
whose job it was to come up with a catchy and clever description of Cooper’s
latest column. If Cooper was to be taken seriously the week before, and he indeed
sounded as if he meant to be, he should probably start writing his own summaries
on Page 3 rather than leaving the task to someone who doesn’t read his articles.
As is, it looks like the staff of the Weekly is as divided and contradictory
as the rest of the left right now.

—Pat Young



In response to the October 11–17 edition of the
Weekly: I compared Rico Gagliano’s “Busted
piece with Matt Duersten’s “Hungry Hearts” piece and wondered
if Weekly editors mind having a writer near the tail end of the bell-shaped
curve who represents writerly sense share space with one near the top.

Gagliano reports on a confused anti-war protest, led by Ron Kovic and his
busted megaphone, a “scene [that] begged to be read cynically.” But the writer
used his compassion, nay judgment, to let the reader interpret the protest without
forcing his perspective on us.

Which was a far more persuasive approach than Duersten’s juvenile musings
on a scene that didn’t seem nearly as significant as the failings of the protest,
a solstice celebration. Duersten pasted all kinds of sardonic messages and hyped
up all kinds of event flaws to show how superior his judgment is.

I’m all about black humor (Punch-Drunk Love was awesome), but exploiting
the butt cleavage of solstice attendees to make much ado about nothing is the
mark of an unremarkable, petty writer with an arrogant agenda (to make irrelevant
jokes at other people’s expense).

And by the way, I attended neither the solstice nor the protest.

—Keli Dailey
West Los Angeles



In reference to the October
18–24 Snap
, may I point out that the Chinese character tattooed on the arguably
callipygian Ms. Deekers is not the one for “ice” (“bing”); it’s “yong” and it
means “long-lasting,” “enduring,” “eternal.” So the lady’s message would be
more like “check in and don’t check out.”

—Franco Cossu
South Pasadena



The Lalo Alcaraz “L.A. Cucaracha” cartoon called
“Never Forget” [October 11–17] was really great, as great as a Conrad cartoon.
It really smacked me in the head. It’s a classic, really. Could print it on
a T-shirt. It should be seen indefinitely. Big ups to that guy.

—Dion Sorrell



Thank you for publishing Ellen Forney’s helpful
illustrated how-to guide “How
To Fuck a Woman With Your Hands” [October 18–24]
. While the rest of the
country is studying how to make war, those of us in Los Angeles can study how
to make love.

—William Slattery
Los Angeles


I cannot believe what is on the second-to-last page of this week’s paper.
Teaching people how to finger-fuck a woman. How disrespectful. No wonder Islamic
militants say that America has no culture. F%$# you, L.A. Weekly.
I am no longer reading your paper.

—Monica Burnett
Los Angeles


In the listing for the Day of the Dead event at Hollywood
Forever Cemetery in last week’s Halloween roundup (Good Times, Oct. 25-31),
it should have been mentioned that the theater company Fofo was the producing
entity and is not affiliated with any of the performing groups that were mentioned.

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