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Two OffBeat articles in the March 3–9 edition, titled “Who’s Counting?” and “Daryl Gates’ Outrage Meter,” are a bit off-track. First, Daryl Gates did indeed pen Special Order 40, a directive intended to prevent police officers from taking U.S. immigration law into their own hands. It was not intended to prevent police officers from notifying the INS when they have received a previously deported alien into custody, or a person who qualifies for deportation because of previous criminal convictions, or from passing on information about the location of such persons. In fact, according to California Penal Code 834b, peace officers are specifically ordered to provide assistance to the INS.

Second, the INS doesn’t make immigration “sweeps.” What you term a sweep is a process where U.S. Immigration criminal investigators investigate an industry notorious for hiring illegal aliens (the hiring of whom is a criminal act). These businesses are targeted and repeatedly warned of an impending inspection. The inspection process is utilized to stop employers from hiring undocumented workers — not, as it is commonly believed, to arrest illegal aliens. The employment and sometimes exploitation of undocumented workers is dangerous, allowing employers to implement practices and conditions onto their workers that normally would be prevented by state and federal labor laws.

In “Who’s Counting?” Sandra Hernandez speaks of cases “in which INS officials routinely assisted the Rampart Division in their deportation efforts.” This is actually backward. The LAPD assisted the INS in deporting criminal aliens who were current or past gang members.

What’s really interesting about the L.A. Weekly and other local newspapers is that only the point of view of the poor criminal or illegal alien is brought to light. It’s such a cheap shot for such a poor cause. I can only hope that the people of Los Angeles won’t become confused by the actions of a few very corrupt LAPD cops. What they did was horrific, beyond words. It’s important, however, for Los Angeles to separate the transgressions of a couple of bad cops in Rampart, from the LAPD assisting the INS in arresting aliens who qualify for criminal prosecution or removal from the U.S. These acts have occurred in the same section of the city, but are separate issues.

—E. Berumen

Los Angeles




Re: “And the Beat Goes On” [March 10–16] and LAPD Officer Jesus Amezcua. Charles Rappleye’s tunnel vision was well-reflected in the article. His journalistic license to editorialize within the article’s context can only represent an intention to inflame the passions of the biased reader, and offers nothing to the educated reader. But then, that’s always been true of your paper.

—Joe DiCo

Middletown, Connecticut




In Sara Catania’s “‘Crimes We Abhor’” [March 10–16], Lance Lindsey doesn’t think there is “anything more cruel than making the family members of the convicted person — people who have done nothing wrong” go through a clemency hearing. How about raping and killing a woman (who has done nothing wrong) by crushing her skull with a rock? Or killing an innocent 11-year-old girl (who has done nothing wrong) by throwing her off a bridge? Or how about killing two other women and sexually assaulting five more — all of whom have done nothing wrong? It’s obvious that Lance Lindsey doesn’t think, period.

—Jone Guzzetti

Los Angeles



Many thanks to theater critic Sandra Ross for her kind words regarding my work, and the work of our wonderful cast in The Meadows [March 10–16]. However, I am proud to clarify that the video-poker-machine fantasy sequence that Ms. Ross deemed “exquisitely realized” was, in fact, entirely choreographed by my invaluable assistant director, Melissa Marie Thomas, precisely as it was originally conceived and scripted by playwright Trey Nichols. Still, we at Moving Arts are delighted that Ms. Ross liked it.

—Julie Briggs

Director, The Meadows

Los Angeles



Thank you for the article about my book, I Was a Teenage Dominatrix, in the OffBeat column [March 10–16]. I thoroughly appreciated the Nirvana reference in the title (“Smells Like Teen Fantasy”). But apparently Lee Condon, cub-reporter-at-large, didn’t believe â my life story, due to the fact that I refused to give my former employer’s name and business number. Obviously, little Lee has never had friends in the sex industry — they have families, friends and lives to lead, and all aren’t quite as open about their jobs as I have been. As a former dominatrix and present journalist myself, I respect privacy.

I’ll take the insinuation as a compliment, however. Yes, I am creative, but I’ll admit that even I couldn’t possibly make shit like that up! Mr. Condon stated that the quote “The worst was my boss who stared at my chest while he yelled at me” was from my PR release. It was in there, quoted directly from the book — he would have known that, had he read it. Also, in his exhaustive research, Jimmy Olson failed to mention that I had a reading/book-signing event that Thursday evening at Borders in Westwood. Alas, I see his skepticism and slights as cries for help — obviously the man is just begging for a good spanking!

—Shawna Kenney





I very much enjoyed Geoff Dyer’s piece on his inability to get caught up in books these days [“Reader’s Block,” March 3–9]. Sam Johnson remarked that a young man ought to get all his reading done by age 40, because after that it would be difficult. Or impossible. A number of friends suffer from Mr. Dyer’s problem. They have turned away from fiction to nonfiction, and find they can again enjoy reading. Since reading has clearly made Mr. Dyer a fine writer, why worry about it? Subscribe to People magazine and look at the nice pictures.

—Fred Lapides

Orange, Connecticut



Re: “Man Bites Dog” [Real Gone, February 25–March 2]. Why don’t you send Rich Garella to some faraway place where they still reportedly practice cannibalism, have him contribute, say, parts of his lower anatomy (so he can still write) into a “big, bubbling pot” and write a piece on what Rich Asshole Stew tastes like? I’ll bet it smells like dogshit.






Just read your letters section and was impressed with “The View From Lot 49” [March 10–16], on the subject of jet-contrail activity. We have certainly seen the same sky trails (sometimes referred to as “chemtrails”), and did some research and found several Web sites on the Internet. The flagship site is www.con, for your readers who may find this bizarre sky activity more interesting for health reasons than just curiosity.

—Jack Petersen and Joe DeLurgio




I thought I was the only one to notice the beautiful crisscross contrails in the sky! They’ve been around for more than a couple of months. Here’s my best guess: An hour before sunset, two jets take off from Edwards Air Force Base, one flying in a southeasterly direction, the other toward the southwest. Weather experts use the contrail drift to determine wind patterns and other conditions . . . Folks want to know, L.A. Weekly. Find out for us!

—Connie Stout

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