Re: “Myanmar’s Friend in City Hall?” [OffBeat, March 13–19]. As the City Council did during apartheid, so now it needs to take action to avoid supporting the cruel and corrupt government in Burma. The evidence is clear: The current government uses murder, torture, rape and forced labor against its people, holds elected officials under house arrest and in prison, represses freedom of speech and movement, and then turns a sweet face to the world. It currently is a major source of heroin to this country as well. The City Council needs to take action to prevent the flow of any tax dollars that would help this corrupt government prosper.
—Carole K. Lung
As a native Burman, I would like to thank you for the update on the Free Burma Ordinance. The cries for democracy by my people must be supported. Leaders like Councilman Richard Alarcon must be commended for their actions to support us. My people rely on such leadership for the restoration of human rights in our country. The entire Burmese population will be anticipating the results of the Free Burma Ordinance to determine whether L.A.’s leadership will support democracy and human rights or succumb to the lobbyists for UNOCAL’s interest in exploiting resources and slave labor in Burma.
As a faithful reader, I was delighted to see your piece last week about the Free Burma Ordinance. I only hope that more people will now open their eyes to the horrible situation in that country. Los Angeles now has an opportunity to do for the people of Burma what it did for the people of South Africa: pass a selective contracting ordinance.
As an influential city in the realm of commerce, we have it in our power to make it unprofitable for companies like ARCO and UNOCAL to support the dictatorship in Burma. We have it in our power to help stop the rape, murder and forced labor of thousands. We have it in our power to use a tactic that has been proved successful, for a cause that none — except multinational corporations and regimes like Burma’s SLORC — oppose. Follow the lead of New York, San Francisco and the state of Massachusetts, just to name a few, and support the Free Burma Ordinance in Los Angeles. Call your City Council representative today and voice your concern!
—Brian N. Mackey
Re: “Upgrades on the Gravy Train” [City Limits, March 20–26], Marc Haefele may be interested to know that the state Attorney General’s Office actually issued a formal opinion on March 3, 1993, which stated the following (as described in West’s Annotated California Codes): “Receipt of first-class airline tickets for the price of coach tickets by the mayor of a city with an airport used by the airline which authorized the grant for promotional purposes for ‘high-profile, prominent members of the community’ constituted a ‘discount’ within the meaning of Const. Art. 12 [Sec.] 7.”
Based on this formal opinion — which has not been repudiated by the current attorney general — and if the facts recited by Haefele are true, I would think that the Attorney General’s Office has to initiate a prosecution against the mayor.
—Dilan A. Esper
AN IMMODEST PROPOSAL
Loved “I Am Not From Venus” [First Person, March 20–26]! Judith Lewis captures the essence of searching for passion and independence amid a sea of pedestrian relationships. Our paradox: that the strong, thoughtful, observant, intense and quick-witted — along with the people to whom we are drawn — morph before our eyes into needy infants fearing abandonment of those so special and unique. Some settle for this transformation and marry, hoping that commitment and stability will return the person they once loved. Some get lucky. For others, the prophecy is fulfilled and the relationship ends. I’m holding out. Just one question: Judith, will you marry me?
Judith Lewis’ column about life between the sexes shimmers with unsentimental intelligence and honesty. I walked away from it feeling like I had just watched a neutron bomb get dropped on Valentine’s Day. The idea of romance gets destroyed but the people are left standing.
Now, maybe things are that bad, at least for people like Judith and me. I can’t help but wonder, though, whether her analysis isn’t at least partly in spired by the trendy, take-no-prisoners postmodern ethos that is all the rage among once-hopeful, even political intellectuals. I hope not, but then again, I hope.
Anyway, thanks for publishing such intelligent writing.
While I applaud the accuracy of most of Chris Morris’ “Making Tracks” [March 13–19], I must take issue with your reference to El Paso as a “Panhandle border town.” E.P. is the second-farthest-west city in Texas (Anthony being farthest). It has also been not-so-lovingly considered the lowest-down body orifice of the state. As one who lived through that period, who knew and worked with Bobby Fuller and other local rockers, I still wonder about his strange and untimely death. Many rumors bounced around L.A. at that time about who was responsible. Some of them might shock you. Check it out.
EPHS Class of ’66
Howard Blume’s informative article on the impending fate of the Ambassador Hotel [“Trump’s Ambassador Gambit,” March 13–19] was most welcome, although the news did leave me sick to my stomach. How can Trump get away with tearing down a historic landmark in order to build a shopping complex complete with Taco Bell, Office Depot, U.A. Theaters or whatever?
As for the L.A. school district, building a high school on that property would be disastrous. Traffic is already congested, and the neighborhood has gang problems and a high crime rate. Besides, there are plenty of large abandoned office and warehouse properties all around Los Angeles (even in Koreatown, where the Ambassador sits) that have no historical significance and are ripe for the taking.
Given proper investment and a refocus of vision, reopening the Ambassador — and with it the Cocoanut Grove — would be the ultimate homage to old-Hollywood glamour, as well as a functioning piece of real estate . . . instead of becoming another casualty to a city that devours its own character. Don’t mess with the Ambassador!