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Erin Aubry Kaplan’s “The King of Compton” [April 6–12] fails to point out one important fact about the mayor of that city: Notwithstanding his considerable eccentricities, Omar Bradley has remained in the community of his birth. While this may seem to be an overly simplistic point to make, it is paramount if one is attempting to give a fair and objective view of the man. At a time when Compton has experienced a tremendous flight of its middle-class population, Omar has chosen to stay and serve his beloved city while most of his contemporaries have fled for the suburbs. Omar is not perfect, but he does connect with his constituents, and he has chosen to stay in Compton and fight when most have turned tail and run.
—Mark S. Dymally
How could the L.A. Weekly in good conscience print a cover photo that makes a black elected official look like a cartoon character, and in no way does justice to the spirit of Ms. Aubry Kaplan’s well and fairly written article? The writer presented all sides and asked the reader to come to his/her own conclusion. It didn’t present Mr. Bradley as a caricature, nor did it demonize him — which is what the photo accomplishes.
West Los Angeles
So, the L.A. Weekly can say “badass,” but just can’t bring itself (still) to call the events of April 1992 “riots”? Gotta hold on to your little “civil unrest/disturbance/uprising” delusion, eh?
THE SPECTER OF REVERSE AGE DISCRIMINATION
Can someone please explain why Howard Blume described school-board President Genethia Hayes as “experienced” and school-board member Caprice Young as a “novice” when they were both elected at the same time [“No Experts, Please,” April 6–12]? Why is a young person necessarily less “experienced” than someone older? Why does a younger person in the same position necessarily have less to offer? I would think that someone in her 20s, 30s or 40s, with a strong likelihood of having school-age children (Young has two preschoolers), would make an excellent school-board member.
I expect a little more thoughtfulness and sensitivity on the issue of age discrimination from the L.A. Weekly.
AKBAR: MIFFED BUT NOT FUMING
We want to inform your readers that it’s not true that “everyone’s smoking” at Akbar, as Sandra Ross reported in “Yuppification Dulls Silver Lake’s Edge” [OffBeat, April 6–12]. For the record, we do not condone smoking by our customers, we do not supply ashtrays, we have seven No Smoking signs, and we repeatedly ask our customers to smoke outside, where we have a bucket for cigarette butts. And even though some may consider us a “hipster” bar and somehow free from harassment, we have constant visits from the fire marshal and are currently involved in a costly lawsuit (along with at least 80 other bars in L.A.) with a greedy law firm trying to cash in on the no-smoking ordinance.
If the Weekly is going to depict our business in a way that could be legally harmful to us, please do so based on more than one unnamed person’s subjective opinion. Especially if he’s got an ax to grind.
—Peter Alexander, Scott Craig
I have a question or two regarding my neighborhood, Silver Lake, and the atmospheric changes Sandra Ross seems to mourn. Let’s go back to the year 1997. Was there anything appealing about the Sunset Junction Street Fair? Did you stand in the gutter on Sunset Boulevard with the rest of us craning our necks to see “headliner” L7 play out of sync through a truly lousy sound system? Did you wade through trash, broken glass and spilled cola to purchase greasy, overcooked satay chicken? Did you ponder buying the shoddy “seconds” clothing or crumbling incense . . . all to support the “people of the community”?
I will continue to think that my hood is beautiful, and I love living here, but I respectfully disagree with Ms. Ross’ romantic illusions about Silver Lake’s bars. They are dumps for the most part, regardless of gender appeal. Starbucks may make it even worse by impersonalizing our area, but the solution is not in classifying the police or yuppies as “enemies of the people.” I don’t agree with the “hot spot” or “this week’s cool place to hang” mentality that picks up and leaves when things get nasty. It’s the economy, smarty, that is not working for many L.A. communities, and it’s completely up to you and me to fix it, politically and otherwise.
—Richi Ray Harris