Pay to Play

Kate Sullivan’s “Rock & Roll Love Letter” column citing an e-mail exchange with a Dodgers publicist from a couple years ago [“Ma Ma Ma Ma Monkey,” May 12–18] erroneously reports that when it comes to “all the songs they play at Dodger games . . . they don’t pay royalties at all.”

All sports stadiums and arenas are required to pay general-licensing fees to each of America’s performance-rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI and SESAC). These fees go into a general-licensing pool, and each organization allocates the money to its affiliated songwriters and music publishers according to its own methodology.

So while the Dodgers don’t pay royalties directly to the songwriters, they do pay for the music heard at Dodger Stadium. And while the process doesn’t exactly work like radio, where airplay data is sampled and extrapolated to determine a writer’s quarterly checks based upon roughly how many times each song has been played in any given quarter, it’s not accurate to say that the members of Queen or the Ramones or Gary Glitter don’t receive any money for their songs being played at this or any other sports venue.

Don Waller

Los Angeles

Frontier Land

Marc Cooper’s assessment of Bush’s middle-of-the-road immigration speech as “too little, too late” was absolutely on the money [Dissonance, “Bush the Alien,” May 19–25]. But the question is, where have the Democrats been on immigration reform since, as Mr. Cooper so rightly points out, Bush made it “a priority in his 2004 State of the Union speech.” Wasn’t that enough notice for the DNC to get out in front of this debate rather than following without a clear agenda of their own? Since more than 65 percent of Hispanics are registered as Democrats, don’t they deserve to have a party that takes the lead on their central issue rather than being forced to merely respond to Bush’s addled and contradictory plans?

Tony Blass

Winnetka, California

Press Club Nominees

Thirteen L.A. Weekly writers and editors were named as finalists in the L.A. Press Club’s Southern California Journalism Awards. They are Jeffrey Anderson for Journalist of the Year (this is his third time up for the award; he won it once); news editor Alan Mittelstaedt for leading the team that put together last year’s special issue on smog; John Powers in the Columnist category; Ella Taylor for her film reviews, Jonathan Gold for his restaurant reviews and Doug Harvey for his art reviews, all in the Entertainment Reviews/Criticism/Column category; Brendan Bernhard and Robert Jaffee in the Entertainment Feature category; Justin Clark and Michael Krikorian in the News Feature category; and Jeffrey Anderson in the Investigative/Series category. In the Special Section category, three of the five finalists are L.A. Weekly issues: Best of L.A., “The L.A. Apartment” and “What You Can’t See Can Kill You” (the Smog issue).

Winners will be announced June 24.


In “Hell Hath No Fury Like a Watchdog Scorned” [May 5–11], Christine Pelisek states that George Abrahams and Laura Dodson began calling CHP dispatch regularly when cleaning up homeless encampments ever since “another homeless man chased Abrahams and Dodson after they attempted to make off with his belongings.” In this particular instance, which Pelisek didn’t witness, Mr. Abrahams says that he and Dodson were simply pruning foliage and picking up litter when a homeless man appeared from behind a bush, chased Abrahams and Dodson with a knife, and threw a garbage can at Dodson. Pelisek was on hand for the encounter between Abrahams and the homeless man, which was described in the story’s opening and closing scenes. Abrahams also states that the piece inaccurately describes him as wearing steel-toe boots while cleaning up a homeless encampment. He says he was wearing sneakers. We regret these mistakes.

Abrahams also says that the quote attributed to him regarding those who help the homeless (“Anyone who helps them are enablers. They are immoral.”) doesn’t accurately portray his views, which, he says, are: “Anyone who helps the homeless to live a self-destructive lifestyle in a dangerous environment on the street by giving them either clothing, food or bedding, or by giving them recyclables, which they redeem for money with which to buy drugs, is an enabler. That is what I stated was immoral.”

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