Steve Appleford's piece on the 84-year-old Hugh Hefner (“Master of the House of Playboy,” July 29), trapped in the persona of, well, the 54-year-old Hugh Hefner, got two sorts of reaction: thumbs-up, and thumbs-down.

First the thumbs-up, from Jeffry Martini, who identifies himself as a former Playboy college rep at the University of Illinois: “I for one will be saddened when Hef goes to the Great Mansion in the sky. We will have lost a true icon, a man of many beliefs and many good deeds. Yes, he is not perfect, but he has done more to bring attention to meaningful injustices than any other publisher since Henry Luce. He had the guts to put his money where his message was, and as a result he expanded his empire into all areas of social discourse. Like him or not, he will always be one of the most influential people in American history. Like my father before me, I am honored to have met him through the pages of the magazine, studied his published Philosophy and much enjoyed embracing his lifestyle.”

Now the thumbs-down from Anon: “Oh, no, I accidentally swallowed some drain cleaner — if I don't get it out of my system immediately, I'm in trouble. What to do, what to do. … I'm gonna sit down here on the sofa and collect my thoughts. Hmm, here's the new L.A. Weekly, think I'll take a look. Interesting photo of a teenager in her underwear on the back cover. Niiiiice. Lessee, what's the cover story this week … oh my Gawwwddd! Who is that wrinkly old man next to that young woman? What? It's Hugh Hefner's grandfather? No? It's Hef? That woman lets him touch her? That's disgusting! Oh, oh, ackkk, I'm gonna be sick. … [Sounds of gut-wrenching retching and vomiting for two full minutes, followed by 30 seconds of dry heaves.] … Ahhh, thank you, L.A. Weekly, you saved my life!”

More from downtown Bell, Absurd Town, U.S.A., and the subject of J. Patrick Coolican's story (“City of Bell Corruption,” July 29). Says reader Sue, in all caps, “ALL GUILTY PARTIES NEED TO BE STRIPPED OF ALL MONIES AND PENSIONS. Public officials are not entitled to benefits when they knowingly mislead and steal from the public, regardless of their race.”

Rlray thinks Bell is just the beginning: “The city of Compton will be next. While Compton officials don't make as much money up front, they are raking it in on illegal contracts and deals. Complaints have been filed with both state and federal authorities, demanding investigations.”

Our story on the groundbreaking for the new $56 million downtown park linking City Hall to the Music Center (“Los Angeles Civic Park's Stillbirth,” by Paul Teetor, July 29) drew the ire from more than one person and for different reasons. Dakota Smith just hated the headline: “Comparing a park to a stillbirth? Debate the merits of the park, but you have just insulted every woman who has actually delivered a dead fetus. Have you no shame?”

Rich Alossi just hates us: “Wow, the Weekly is such a joke. Let me ask, What would these people from Sherman Oaks and Westchester say if I started throwing my weight around proposals in THEIR neighborhoods? I'd be run out of town with pitchforks and torches behind me. If you don't live downtown, then keep your nose out of our neighborhood's business. I doubt you'd even use the park anyway. Secondly, these park meetings were open to everyone, and the one I attended had a whole lot of public participation. Between and Curbed L.A., meeting dates were publicized almost every time they occurred, plus I got e-mails about them. If there was light participation in the audience, that's not the fault of the park developers.

“Thirdly,” continues Alossi, “how can everyone complain so much about a privately financed park? No one was 'taking money from the Valley' to pay for this. Downtown gets to live with the consequences of increased development (though luckily we are generally pro–smart development), so we get the benefits of the park space. The constant complaining from the provincial suburbanites is sickening!

As for Walter Moore, well, it sounds like he just hates politicians: “The raison d'être of City Hall is to take money from people in the Valley and use it to boost the property values of the downtown billionaire developers. It would no more occur to the Spring Street Gang to invite Valley taxpayers to the groundbreaking than it would occur to Marie Antoinette to invite serfs to a royal ball.”

Dennis is sad to see the British DJ Justin McNulty part with the progressive music scene in L.A. As Jeff Weiss detailed in his story (“DJ Kutmah: the Deported,” July 29), McNulty, known professionally as DJ Kutmah, was arrested by Homeland Security, detained and then sent back to England. Writes Dennis: “All of those guys — FlyLo, Gaslamp, Nobody, Nocando, DStyles, the whole Alpha Pup & Stones Throw camp — they introduced me to so much good music I don't even know how to begin to thank them. Got nothing but love for Kutmah. Hope he'll find his way back and reunite with everybody real soon. In the meantime I guess I should be happy that he lives in Europe now, so I can finally see him DJ live. Big up from”

Due to an editing error, “City of Bell Corruption” (July 29) stated that a meeting of residents protesting the City Council was held Tuesday. It was held Monday, July 26.

The article “Los Angeles Civic Park's Stillbirth,” by Paul Teetor (July 29), overstated the new features added in recent months in response to public dismay over the park's design. A dog park and movable seating were added, but little else has changed.

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