Re: “Growth Is Great” [City Limits, January 14­20]. Marc Haefele has finally hit bottom. He whines about Playa Vista opponents' “unproven assertions of on-site methane-gas pollution” when, in fact, it is the city of L.A.'s Building and Safety Department, in a report dated January 19, 1999, that reveals that explosive methane levels reaching 84 percent of the air in soil samples were found at the site of the “affordable” housing and a proposed elementary school.

Haefele next relies on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the claim that only a third of this property is worth preserving as open space and wetlands. Unfortunately, the Army's only duty, under the law, is to avoid development of “wetlands,” not the uplands which make up the rest of the Playa Vista property, and which provide nesting sites and hunting grounds for the rest of the native wildlife on the land. Haefele then boldly equates former farmland with currently developed land to make the ridiculous claim that “In fact, roughly half the land” is developed in some way already. No. Only 10 percent of this property was used for aircraft hangars by previous owners, which Haefele could have learned if he had actually read the project's environmental-impact report, instead of just the developer's trumped-up press releases.

Haefele even manufactures a lie to attack us. Our assertion that Playa Vista's traffic of 200,000 cars a day would be equal to or greater than that of L.A. International Airport is proven by the Airport Department's traffic reports. Haefele states that “Current LAX traffic was 160 million people per year, close to a half-million a day.”

Unfortunately for Haefele's credibility, the airport's current traffic is 62 million people per year. Using the correct figures, LAX traffic is actually 169,863 cars per, and our claims are correct.

The question journalists should be asking is why does a so-called progressive journalist like Haefele attack people who want rational planning in Los Angeles? What's wrong with rebuilding what we've got rather than paving over what open spaces we have left? Why does Haefele support the plans of the superrich out-of-town developers? What is Haefele's hidden agenda?

–Rex Frankel

President, Save All of Ballona

Los Angeles



Thanks to Marc Haefele for adding a dose of reality to the debate over Playa Vista. But as to the accompanying photo, caption and headline . . . Sabotaging an opinion piece with snide editorial comment isn't very professional.

One small correction: The Corps of Engineers does not delineate the wetlands at 300 acres, but at 188 acres. Despite the fact that only those acres are legally protected, the Friends, in their settlement agreement with the landowner, have managed to save 300 acres for restoration as wetland (which is probably where Haefele got his number), plus an additional 40 acres of other habitat, all to be restored at the developer's expense.

–Ruth Lansford

President, Friends of
Ballona Wetlands

Playa del Rey



In Marc B. Haefele's “Down Boy” [January 14­20], the caption reports that Mayor Richard Riordan is “riled by anti-biz report.” But where in the piece does Riordan get riled? As I tell my seventh-graders: Show me, don't tell me.

–Aubrey Scarbrough

Silver Lake




Re: “Good Cop, Bad Cop” [January 14­20]. I'm not amazed by the brutality, disrespect and dishonesty shown by officers Hewitt and Cohan. I am amazed that it has taken so long for their superiors to do anything about it. Further, Charles Rappleye's insistence on portraying Officer Cohan in an innocent light is unexcusable.

–Nino Peza




I see Gale Holland, in her OffBeat column [January 14­20], is accusing the Church of Scientology of “relentless self-promotion” as if that were some obvious sort of evil.

When you've got something that has improved the lives of many, many people, the right thing to do is to make it broadly known so that it can help many, many more people.

–Steve Wagner

Los Angeles



Just a note regarding your OffBeat article referring to us Scientologists as practicing “self-promotion.” Thank you so much for noticing! Please continue writing about us.

–Carole A. Goin

Los Angeles




Thanks for the photo issue [January 7­13]. I'm from San Francisco, but I'm living abroad. I â patiently viewed the entire collection of photos on the Internet. They were energizing.

–R. Pestana

Kagoshima, Japan



As an overseas reader of the Weekly, I look forward to the days when I can march down to the newsstand and fork over 525 yen ($5 U.S.) for a week-old copy. But you can imagine my chagrin when I pulled the shrink-wrap off the January 7­13 issue to find it's the issue where all the writers take a break and you let the photographers take over. I had to console myself with ads for movies I can't see yet and the frothy adult come-ons. Now, there was Life in Hell.

–Sven Serrano

Osaka, Japan




Thank you for your review of our show, Chorus of Disapproval, in the New Theater Review section of your January 14­20 issue. I'm the music director for the show, and while I'm glad that you said the show was “ably accompanied by musical director Steven Dilorio,” I'm sad because my name is David, not Steven, and now I'm gonna hafta change my first name. Do you think a correction with my picture on the cover would be appropriate?

–David (not Steven) Dilorio

Huntington Beach



Brendan Mullen's 10 Musical Things [December 31­January 6] was perplexing. He admits the WTO riots in Seattle were idiotic, but still “music to my ears.” Whatever. What he meant under the title “Columbine,” I don't know. It was a run-on sentence that didn't make any sense. Moreover, what went on at Columbine High School was a massacre and in no way musical. At number 10, he lists “Woodstock '99: The Payback.” He goes on to write a bunch of fragments and ends with “the sound of crackling flames and the carping squeal of overturned RVs.” Music, indeed. I wonder if he found the sound of girls getting raped just as enjoyable.

–Rose Selevy

Los Angeles




Um . . . call me crazy, but shouldn't “Millennium Funnies” [December 31­January 6] actually have been, oh, I don't know . . . funny?

–R. Hernandez




So that's the new “humor.” There were here and there some pungent social points among the spaghetti mush but, sad to say, little drawing talent. And where talent did show a bit, almost total lack of content. Furthermore, can any of these “artists” even understand the old saying “Brevity is the soul of wit”?

–Rummond Riddell


Send letters to the editor to: L.A. Weekly, P.O. Box 4315, L.A., CA 90078. Or fax us at (323) 465-3220. Or e-mail us at Letters, which must be typewritten and include a daytime telephone number for verification, may be edited for purposes of space or clarity.

LA Weekly