A Fraud on the Nation

Our April 26 feature about Medicare fraud generated lots of conversation last week (“Thieves' Bazaar,” by Chris Parker). Writes Politicaldiva, “This is an important story. Thank you, L.A. Weekly and Chris Parker.”

Adds Mark Kleiman, “Thank you so much for this very important article. Between this and 'Barbarians in the Ivory Tower' last year, it looks like you've got a deep interest in private-sector frauds looting programs that are supposed to be helping people. A modest proposal: Take a look at the very dismissive approach DOJ is taking with whistle-blowers these days. It is really, really shameful, and is badly hurting fraud prosecutions.

But one reader questioned an aside in the first section. “I'm wondering about the relevancy of including Houston Riverside General Hospital's former name, Houston Negro Hospital? It seems to me that its inclusion only serves to reaffirm the negative correlation between black Americans, Medicare and fraud.”

A Traffic Hellhole

Readers also had much to say about the 17-story development being planned for the already car-clogged intersection of Pico and Sepulveda boulevards in West L.A. (“Bermuda Triangle of L.A. Traffic,” by Brandon Lowery). Writes Nancy Mellen, “Of all the places in the world to live, who would actually choose to live at Pico/Sepulveda, 500 feet from the 405?!?!?

Jipali says, “So we'll get the 405 upgrade and then cancel it out with this project? It's hard not to see this project as a win only for the developer.”

Who You Calling Conservative?

About Eva Recinos' story about Gary Baseman's new show at the Skirball Center (“Beautiful Creatures,” April 26), Msemrad03 writes, “As an Angeleno and as a long-as-I-can-remember reader of the L.A. Weekly, I was excited to see the Baseman retrospective made the cover and to hear it described as a love letter to Los Angeles. But while I agree that it's definitely not your traditional visual arts museum retrospective, I was puzzled by the assertion that one reason it's not traditional is that it's in a traditional/'usually conservative' institution like the Skirball.

“I realize the term could mean 'tradition' as in religious and cultural tradition, versus political or social conservatism. Just in case, I wanted to assert my view that the Skirball is anything but politically or socially conservative and that there could be no better fit for a Baseman retrospective than the Skirball. The Skirball explores the commonality of Jewish values and American democratic values such as social justice, freedom and welcoming the stranger, while seeking to create a space where people of all cultures feel at home. Baseman's exhibit continues in this progressive vein as it explores the importance of truth-speaking and storytelling as a means of living American First Amendment freedoms.

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