Re “Life of the Party: Sunset Junction Street Fair Hits Dead End,” by Liz Ohanesian (June 12):

The street fair is not about helping neighborhood youth. There are a lot of other, less invasive ways SJNA could operate to make money for their “programs.” For example, the Tsunami Coffee House could work to serve good coffee and food, instead of the crap they now serve. Instead, they lock us down for two days a year, cover the fences in Heineken banners and treat the people who live and work in the area as their enemies. Whatever community spirit the event once had, they killed.

Comment by Anna Keeper from Silver Lake

What’s hilarious about the journalist who wrote this piece, and most of the coverage of Sunset Junction that I’ve read, is that they always seem so one-sided. She actually interviewed the shop owner from Pull My Daisy but never interviewed anyone from the SJNA or the kids at the meeting. How is two days out of 365 such a burden on what I believe to be a small pocket of shop owners who wouldn’t be there if there were no Sunset Junction? Does anyone remember that strip of Sunset Boulevard 10 years ago? When there was no Pull My Daisy, or Café Stella or any of those shops or boutiques? When a lot of those places were empty? Let’s call it what it is: gentrification on steroids. Of course, as the fair has grown, so has the neighborhood. Why don’t the shop owners create their own festival and close their stores when Sunset Junction is happening? Answer: Because it’s like second Christmas to them.

Comment by NIKO from Silver Lake

As a longtime resident of Silver Lake, I was completely appalled by this story. It is totally one-sided and doesn’t even bother to mention the majority (yes, the majority) of the residents, who do in fact support Sunset Junction. Instead, this piece focuses on the minority who have their own personal issues with McKinley and who are upset about possibly losing two days of foot traffic. It’s a two-day festival, people! And this quote: “I remember getting a little afraid, like there were going to be riots.” Please! Sounds like some Bush-administration scare tactics.

Comment by Joanna from L.A.

The animal hoods pictured are not vinyl (ugh), they are individually handcrafted liquid latex. Real Silver Lake rubber fetishes would never wear vinyl. Also, as a 21-year resident who calls Silver Lake home, I find that the lack of the Sunday gay thing keeps me from attending. I’m not paying 20 bucks to dodge clots of strollers and buy overpriced beer in cups that get smaller every year. When will this “nonprofit” be audited?

Comment by Tommy from L.A.

Re “Beastly: The Elephant Man Rises From the Dead,” by Steven Leigh Morris (May 29):

Pity to say something critical about Steven Leigh Morris’ articulate, thoughtful and erudite review of the revived Elephant Man — but alas, we must. For despite the elegant cross-textual analysis Mr. Morris mounts pitting the David Lynch movie against the Pomerance play, he is wrong in an essential fact: Lynch’s movie is not based on Pomerance’s play, but on an original adaptation by Lynch and co-writers of primary-source materials.

The mistake Mr. Morris makes is a typical one, on display in the work of other writers, but it needs pointing out. For they are very different works — the one refusing to cloak Merrick in makeup, the other reveling in it — and with very different culminations. Pomerance’s Merrick dies struggling for air and dreaming of normalcy, while Lynch’s Merrick stretches out peacefully, choosing death over another moment among such knaves as you and me. These texts are in argument with each other in a profound sense, and represent two different visions of Merrick’s tragic history.

Comment by Ray Greene from Marina del Rey

It was a big night for L.A. Weekly at the Los Angeles Press Club’s 2008 awards gala in Universal City last Sunday. Staff writer Christine Pelisek triple-swept in the Hard News, Investigative and News Feature categories for major newspapers with more than 100,000 circulation. Pelisek won, respectively, for her cover stories “Billboards Gone Wild,” “Grim Sleeper” and “Death of Raven, a Hollywood Beauty.” Meanwhile, staff writer Gendy Alimurung took honors in the Columnist category, longtime Weekly freelancer Nancy Rommelmann won for her Entertainment Feature story on literary hoaxter Laura Albert, “No Exit Plan,” and freelancer Daniel Heimpel was named Political Journalist of the Year.

Pelisek, the judges said, “represents the best of what investigative journalism should be: Dogged determination, skepticism of authority and insatiable curiosity.” She also came in second (to David Evans of Bloomberg News) for Print Journalist of the Year. Alimurung won for her body of work in the popular La Vida columns, and was praised by judges for her flair for language and keen eye for stories. Rommelmann impressed the judges for performing “a skillful autopsy on the JT LeRoy myth.” Heimpel’s stories delving into City Hall and the policies of Antonio Villaraigosa “dare to challenge political correctness and the status quo, making him an essential voice,” the judges said.

The Weekly also won several second-place awards: Art director Darrick Rainey was runner-up for Designer of the Year, and Steven Leigh Morris for Business and Financial Print Journalist of the Year, while second place in Feature writing went to Patrick Range McDonald for “The All-About-Me Mayor.” In Entertainment Feature writing, second place went to Ella Taylor for “Sacreligulous: Bill Maher’s Cross to Bear.” Honorable mentions went to Jonathan Gold for Columnist, Christine Pelisek for Investigative (she also won in that category), and Patrick Range McDonald for Hard News, for his extensive coverage of Proposition 8.

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