How appropriate that next to the article by Rick Kennedy discussing what happened
to the EV car [“Hijacked
by Hybrids,” May 14–20]
, Joshuah Bearman has an article with the answer
[“Greasel, Not Diesel,”
May 14–20]
. Corporate sharks like Jenna Higgins of the National Biodiesel
Board killed the EV car because they couldn’t figure out how to continue earning
money from an electric car once it left the dealer’s lot, so they did everything
they could to kill the program, including create a hybrid requiring fossil fuels.
This way Higgins and her cronies can still reap after-market profits as shareholders
in Big Oil.

It would have been a simple task for engineers and scientists to create an
engine that runs on water; by separating the two hydrogen atoms from the oxygen
atom, we’d have a hydrogen-powered motor with the cleanest emissions ever, since
its output would be pure oxygen. But no, that wouldn’t work, because instead
of paying around $5 per gallon for hydrogen, every John Doe across the country
would fill up his hydrogen-powered car with a garden hose, which isn’t much
different from what John Lin, Joel Wolf and J.P. Jenkins do with their vege-powered

Higgins even has the audacity to claim that what Lin, Wolf and Jenkins are
doing is illegal because they’re not paying fuel taxes. Well, they’re not paying
fuel taxes because they’re not paying for their fuel. They’re taking a waste
product and making fuel out of it, so no fuel taxes apply. She even has the
gall to claim that the efforts of these alternative-fuel pioneers will tarnish
the industry and somehow hurt the vege-diesel vehicle. The truth is that Lin,
Wolf and Jenkins are actually vege-power’s biggest proponents. It’s Higgins
who’ll bring the vege-vehicles to a grinding halt when they don’t prove profitable.

—John Pattison
El Monte


Greg Goldin writes with passion and humor about his devotion to Alfa-Romeos
[“The Alficionado,”
May 14–20]
, though his description of his reliable ’71 maroon Berlina is
at odds with my ’71 silver Berlina, which is always missing a crucial part to
keep it running. And the part seems always to be on a ship making its way up
the coast of Mexico.

—Lawrence Dietz
Santa Monica


I don’t always agree with Marc Cooper, but his column
on John McCain as VP candidate [Dissonance,
“Let It Be McCain,” May 21–27]
is brilliant. Too many liberals who object
to this idea forget that Bush’s war chest is likely to crush Kerry unless he
does something dramatic. Readers should send this column to their Democratic
representatives and party activists now so that the pragmatic and idealistic
realignment Cooper foresees has a chance.

—Scott Smith
Los Angeles


So Nikki Finke and others suspect Graydon Carter of selling coverage to Hollywood
Hollywood, “Get Carter,” Web exclusive, May 7–13]
? I guess this explains
the Gretchen Mol issue from a few years back.

—Andisheh Nouraee
Atlanta, Georgia


In “Living on the Verge,” Chapter 1 of Celeste Fremon’s
“An American Family” [February
, it states that the Aguilars are the “prototypical American family.”
On what planet? The main character, Luis, has violated his parole on more than
one occasion for associating with gang members. The mother, Frances, is irresponsible
and continues to get pregnant. And one of the boys is a known tagger. If this
family truly wants a better life for themselves and their children, why haven’t
they moved out of the neighborhood? This is nothing more than a sensationalized
story with no backbone.

—Maria Quintero
Los Angeles


I am insulted by
“An American Family: Jail Time” [April 2–8]
. An American family consists
of law-abiding citizens — not what Fremon portrays in her story. It’s despicable
that she glamorizes the Aguilars’ gang life. They are nothing more than criminals.
Fremon could have easily asked the residents of the neighborhood to give her
an accurate picture of these thugs. It’s no secret that they and their gang-member
friends use intimidation tactics to wreak havoc on hard-working immigrants in
the community.

Also, contrary to the depiction of Officer Rudy Chavez, he is the hero of
the story. He has taken guns off the streets, made drug busts and arrested gang
members. The LAPD’s Board of Police Commissioners even awarded him a commendation
for his outstanding work. Having grown up in the community, residents show him
a tremendous amount of support.

—Gloria Garcia
Los Angeles


In last week’s A Considerable Town article “Agent
Paul Alan Smith was incorrectly identified as Alan Smith.
And due to a production error, the band in the photo accompanying last week’s
concert pick was misidentified as Death Cab for Cutie. The pictured band was
in fact Western State Hurricanes.

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