Apartment Complexities

Regarding “The
L.A. Dream Revisited: Beyond the House and the Yard, the Apartment as Object
of Desire
” [April 29–May 5], your excellent blowout issue profiling
apartment living and high rents in Los Angeles: It should have been aptly titled
“The Object of AFFORDABILITY.”

I was outraged again at the insane prices of these “loft”
apartments. Being a transplanted East Coaster (N.Y./N.J. metropolitan area),
I recall when a loft apartment was merely basic tenement-style digs in Soho
that only dedicated artists would want to live in. Today, developers have turned
lofts into upscale habitats. It is totally outrageous and out of control. More
so, some developers are now actually building “new” loft apartments
from scratch — which is cheating, if you ask me.

However, what truly concerns me is that living in Los Angeles
has turned into a “class status” thing, as I feared it eventually
would. You either have the upwardly mobile hip young neighbors — the HAVES —
or alcoholic ex-musicians, drug addicts, prostitutes, crack heads and plain
losers — the HAVE-NOTS.

What about secretaries, receptionists, ambulance personnel and
$12-an-hour office clerks? Postal workers, waiters, etc. — the HOPING TO HAVES!
Where do they stand?

Every citizen in this country deserves the right to AFFORDABLE
HOUSING. I defy some “bling bling” developer to step up to the plate
and start building NEW units that yield realistically and affordably priced
housing that your average 40-hour-a-week worker can comfortably rent without
having to work two other jobs on top of the first one! Come on, all you developers
out there — double dog dare ya. There are a hell of a lot more low-income people
than rich ones — even in a city like Los Angeles.

—Linda Simeone

Guy Gone Wild

Poor Scott Nathan [“The
Single Guy
,” April 29–May 5]. Tough break when a “head-down-in-the-elevator”
kind of guy winds up fondling porn stars in the middle of the L.A. Weekly. Try
doing less press. Listen, Scooter, I’m just one of those big, pathetic losers
living east of La Brea — but I’m producing a new DVD titled Really Pretentious
L.A. Guys Gone Wild and I’d love to swing a deal with you.

—Howard Leff
Los Angeles (east of Hillhurst)

Eyes on the Prize

Your article on King/Drew is somewhat off the mark. No way that
the King/Drew Coalition is losing interest or laying low. Our group is focused
on two items that must be addressed:

1. The restoration of the neonatal unit, the trauma unit and other
units that have seen reductions in service.

2. Full-time nurses who are directly employed by the hospital
and not fill-ins sent by the registry.

In short, we want a multiservice, fully functional hospital serving
the Watts-Willowbrook community. We are not going to rest until this is accomplished.

With regard to Drew University, it’s not that we want to sever
ties, but we want a board that truly represents the community. Ms. Lillian Mobley,
Tim Watkins and others who were summarily dismissed should be reinstated and
given the same power that other board members have.

The King/Drew Coalition is like rock & roll — we’re here to

—Pedro Baez
Member, King/Drew Coalition

Award Season

Several L.A. Weekly writers, designers, artists and photographers
were announced as finalists in two journalism contests — one national, the other
local. In the annual Association for Alternative Newspapers contest, the L.A.
y is up for 11 awards, seven more than any other alternative paper
in the country. John Powers and Brendan Bernhard were separately nominated for
Best Arts Criticism; Bruce Eric Kaplan for Best Cartoon; John Curry, Cole Gerst
and Shelley Leopold as a team for Best Editorial Layout; Celeste Fremon and
her “American Family” series for Feature Story; Jonathan Gold for
Best Food Writing; Marc Cooper for Media Reporting/Criticism; Alec Hanley Bemis
for Best Music Criticism; Teun Voeten for Best Photography; and the Weekly staff
as a whole for Best Format Buster (the annual List issue) and Best Special Section
(Best of L.A.). Winners will be announced at the AAN convention in June.

The Weekly is also up for 13 prizes in the Southern California
Journalism Awards; the finalists were announced May 4 by the Los Angeles Press
Club. Reporter Jeffrey Anderson is a finalist for Journalist of the Year; Christine
Pelisek is in the running for Best News Feature; John Powers for Best Columnist;
Doug Harvey and Steven Leigh Morris for Best Entertainment Criticism; Paul Cullum
and Robert Lloyd for Best Entertainment Feature; John Curry and Ryan Ward as
a team for Best Design; Lalo Alcaraz for Best Editorial Cartoon; and Teun Voeten
for Best Photo Essay. In addition, the Weekly received three nominations in
the Special Section category for Best of L.A., the car issue and the Koreatown
restaurant guide.

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