Spinning and Spiraling
In his article, Bill Bradley states that Governor Schwarzenegger’s
popularity is spiraling down
. Yes, I’m sure he is spiraling down with the
pro illegal alien cabal. No doubt about it. Bradley tips his political agenda’s
hand when he calls the volunteers for the Minuteman Project, vigilantes.
While Schwarzenegger is losing the liberals (did he ever have them?), he is
gaining popularity with those Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Green Party
and Libertarians who are concerned about the impact of illegal immigration.
Go ahead, Mr. Bradley, spin all you want. Ah-nold is gaining ground from my
side of the spectrum. Moreover, Mrs. Schwarzenegger is not running this state.
Her husband is. By the way, I’m a Republican Hispanic! How about that?

—Haydee Pavia
Laguna Woods

Poison Penmanship
This is in reference to Paul Birchall’s review of North

I have been successfully employed in the entertainment industry for over 15
years, as the owner of a Bi-Coastal Talent Agency and for the last few years
as a Producer. I am not related to the writers or producers of North Beach,
but I was in the audience the evening that Mr. Birchall viewed the play. It
was a full house and there was an abundance of laughter and tears. Perhaps Mr.
Birchall was too busy copiously penning his venom to notice. He refers to the
cast and storyline as ‘20 something brat packers. In the very first act the
cast discusses the fact that they are now in their mid 30’s. One would think
that Mr. Birchall could come up with a more recent analogy-albeit negative.
Perhaps those years were hard for him and he still holds strong memories of
being tormented that he subconciously transferred to his thoughts on North Beach.
A good review might help a production, but a bad one can kill it. To attack
a new theatre company, non profit at that with such vitriol is absurd, uneccesary
and unwarranted. As a Producer, one who is known for being hard on actors and
writers, I applaud North Beach as a play that the average person can relate
to and care for-performances, especially by the younger actors, that belies
thier age and experience. Perhaps it is not the pseudointellectual claptrap
that critics like to foster to make themselves seem profound, but it is a joy
to watch.
Mr. Birchall should be ashamed of himself, as should you for allowing him to
spew his venom arbitrarily. Everyone has an opinion, but this review was not
an opinion, rather an attack. Having been asked many times to write theatre
reviews while I was in New York, and again, I am not an easy audience, I am
appalled that a thoughtless, factually incorrect review would appear in a paper
as highly respected as yours. I don’t know what Mr. Birchall’s credentials are,
but it appears that he received most of his education from the back of a matchbook.

—Bonni Allen
Director of Film/Entertainment Investments
Conunndrum Partners

Heads Above
Re: “Beheading
on Mount Baldy
”: In 1992, when Basic Instinct,” a film penned by
Joe Eszterhas, was released, there were protests staged in San Francisco that
the film unfairly portrayed lesbians as murderers or worse. I’ve always thought
protests against films or novels are pointless because if a person can imagine
it, then it follows that another person could do it if within the realm of possibility.
I heard your recent piece on skid row stunk (I didn’t read it), but this story
was well told and should be a warning to our older citizens.

—Frederick Cleveland

What an amazing story, and what an excellent piece of writing by Paul Ciotti.
I didn’t want it to end! This little old man, physically falling apart, befriends
two parasitical and rather hapless women, and one of them cuts off his head,
plunders his sizable estate, and then tries to get out of it by concocting the
most implausible — and vicious — lies about him. What is truly chilling is that
all of us are vulnerable to sociopaths like Marcia Ann Johnson. It all comes
down to being trusting, gullible, and in the wrong place at the wrong time.

—Ron Hardcastle
Los Angeles

Remember Enron
If your article on efforts to build liquefied-natural-gas terminals in California
[“Enron Forgotten,
May 6–12] had the complete picture, it could make a compelling case for regulation
of natural-gas markets in California.
But unfortunately, readers only get half the picture when the writer states
that “LNG importers will become ‘pivotal suppliers,’ similar to the power generators
that caused the state’s energy crisis.”
If we do nothing in California to build capacity to import natural gas, there
will be one supplier — Sempra Energy — which will turn around and sell its natural
gas and LNG to its own subsidiary, the Southern California Gas Co. Whether we
like it or not, Sempra has somehow gotten the Mexican government to buy off
on letting them build an LNG terminal in Baja California — which gives them
even greater power over market prices in California.
The only way to keep Sempra from getting us into a natural-gas mess like they
got us into an electricity mess in 2000 is to allow for competition on the wholesale
natural-gas markets — i.e., build facilities so someone else can import natural
Luckily for people in Ventura County, they will continue to have a say in what
happens with LNG terminal projects like the Cabrillo Port, regardless of what
happens with the federal energy bill. Their comments have made that project
much better for the community, and in turn, its neighbors are beginning to support

—Denise Crew
Los Angeles

LA Weekly