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RADIO JOCKEYING AROUND

I love Paul Cullum’s Phil Hendrie article [“Radio
Provocateur,” June 11–17]
, which I find to be the best description of the
guy and the show I thoroughly enjoy. I just wish you didn’t print the expletives.
I would have liked to send the article to a couple of friends, but it becomes
impractical when there’s language in there that many people don’t like. Great
writing otherwise.

—Bruce Widing
Wilsonville

 

As a straight man and straight journalist, I’m thrilled that Phil Hendrie’s
finally getting some ink — if not his own TV show. Very few people ever get
to do big-time, non-pandering radio on their own terms. Hendrie’s pulled it
off night after night, for the better part of a decade. I’ve stayed in my car
on many occasions, missing countless eyebrow-rejuvenation appointments, because
I couldn’t drag myself away from Phil’s genius. No one will ever do it better,
including Carrot Top.

—Howard Leff
Los Angeles

 

FINAL ACT

Your articles on Ronald Reagan [Deadline Hollywood, “Bye
Bye, Bonzo”
; Dissonance, “Reagan
Without Tears
”; On, “The
Gipper”
; Open City, “Lying
in State”
; Powerlines, “Local
Boy Makes Good,” June 11–17]
reveal a dark shallowness and a cynicism that
perfectly matches the petulant Southern California liberal lockstep mindset.
L.A. Weekly certainly knows its core audience. The sadly predictable
hit pieces are angry, depressing, faux-witty, campus-level tantrums that merely
whine while they should enlighten. To aging hippies and young sophisticates
I say: Socialism lost. Get over it.

—B.H. Fitzpatrick
Redondo Beach

 

During the past week of rewritten history and maudlin retrospectives, the
liberal press has emerged to depict Ronald Reagan’s true (and rather frightening)
legacy. John Powers’ criticisms of the plaintive national press, and the other
writers’ depictions of Reagan’s entropic career, are on target. I read three
papers a day, and in the last week none have demonstrated the same journalistic
integrity and responsibility to its readership regarding Reagan’s life and death
as L.A. Weekly.

—Brigid McManama
Los Angeles

 

LANDMARKING

I agree with Gloria Ohland’s praise for the work of Doug
Suisman, Deborah Murphy and others who are focused on the public-way, pedestrian
orientation and the importance of good mixed-use projects, especially in transit-oriented
districts [“Brave
New Cityscape,” June 11–17]
.

However, I think landmark buildings are equally as important, particularly
those on Grand Avenue, which does have an impact on daily life in that it creates
an important civic and cultural center. While one can of course critique the
urban design qualities of some of these buildings, one has to commend Gehry
and his office in particular for creating a piece of work [the Walt Disney Concert
Hall] that has brought back architecture as an important topic of discussion
for all of the city’s residents.

In addition, I have to strongly disagree with Ohland’s assessment of Morphosis’
Caltrans headquarters. This project creates a well-scaled public space oriented
to the corner across from City Hall, and helps create a dialogue with the neighboring
buildings, as well as provide pedestrian orientation on First and Main. The
way the building meets the ground responds in a different and appropriate way
to each street edge.

I believe we as architects and urban designers should promote both good infill
and important landmarks for our cityscape.

—Stephanie Reich
Urban designer, City of Santa Monica

NEWS TENETS

L.A. Weekly should consider renaming its news
section — I’m looking for the “news” in David Corn’s piece about George Tenet,
“No Fall Guy” [June
11–17]
.

According to Corn, George Tenet has “essentially [said],” “[Implied] — though
not [stated],” “strongly hinted” and delivered extensive “between-the-lines”
indictments regarding the Bush administration’s culpability on the issue of
WMDs. Did George Tenet actually say anything or was he Vulcan mind-melding with
selective reporters? While I applaud Corn’s selfless willingness to read between
the lines for us, he might consider sticking to the facts.

“The Bush camp has tried to make Tenet the fall guy for Bush’s WMD predicament.”
Really? Prove it. But don’t call it news. And while you’re renaming your propaganda
section, don’t forget that the Clinton administration claimed there was a direct
link between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, and that Saddam had WMDs. Also, David
Corn’s leading man, John Kerry, clearly believed that Saddam was a serious enough
threat to mandate war. But maybe I’m being presumptuous about Corn’s allegiance
to the Kerry campaign; it was implied, though not stated.

—Christian Duguay
Los Angeles

 

BIRD’S-EYE VIEW

“Burning
Blades” [June 11–17
] is the poorest piece of journalism L.A. Weekly
has published in a long time. Ben Quiñones was obviously too thrilled by the
idea of riding with buzzards like pilot Mel Stevenson or trying all those high-tech
toys to ask real questions. When he does ask about noise abatement and safety
regulations, he’s satisfied with the most inane pap: a study conducted by NASA
and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the early ’70s, claiming that 89
percent of the population polled was in favor of helicopter patrols. Never mind
asking people living on hills bordering Sunset Boulevard, in Echo Park or Silver
Lake, who are constantly buzzed and shaken by these sky cowboys. Quiñones pays
them lip service with “Ghetto Bird” and some smart shit from Ice Cube.

—Philippe Garnier
Los Angeles