Letters to the Editor 2013-02-21

February 21, 2013

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In certain cases where a letter could stand alone as an op-ed piece, we'll publish it as such.

This Week:

Christopher T. Landavazo, West Hollywood, California

Re: Jane Fonda gets 'rise' out of council candidate

People expect reporters to write with journalistic integrity, free from bias and personal political agendas.

I will continue to be transparent and accessible to creditable reporters and news sources.

[Editor’s note:]  Readers do expect journalists to report with integrity – by providing the news in context, not acting as mouthpieces for so-called newsmakers. That is a public relations or campaign spokesperson’s role. While we understand your disappointment at having to face notions that undercut the validity of your own, as you demanded, we published your manifesto regarding Ms. Fonda as you wrote it, errors and all, which ought to help you adjudicate our integrity.

We readily admit to bias, Mr. Landavazo, against those who would impinge on the right of free speech. The Fourth Estate is just that way.

We have no “personal political agenda,” as you put it, except for a preference for people who speak openly and with integrity about the city’s fundamental values of tolerance, free speech and progressive values.

While we are at it, here are a couple definitions for the word “Creditable”: Deserving acknowledgment and praise but not necessarily successful: a creditable 2–4 defeat.' Also – 'Deserving of often-limited praise or commendation: The student made a creditable effort on the essay.'

Jerry Kaholtz, West Hollywood, California

Re: Duran leads in money race, takes hits

Hello, I am going to be voting in my first West Hollywood election, and have to tell you all at WeHo News how much I appreciate your coverage of the campaign.

There are a few other publications reporting on things, one of which seems like it’s a mouthpiece for the opposition forces – the wehoville site. That publication apparently has already decided that nothing good can come out of City Hall and they are constantly bashing the incumbents with innuendo and character assassination based on guilt by association.

I am a poli-sci student at UCLA and see shades of McCarthy-ism, the Hollywood Reporter and the infamous Hollywood 10 blacklist in their coverage. Just because a campaign accepts money from people you don’t like does not make them corrupt or un-American. Just because developers give to a campaign and not the challengers’ does not mean they hold sway over the council’s decisions.

WeHo News seems to get that. You portray the campaign finance issue as I know it is from having worked on campaigns. A candidate can’t control who gives it money or sets up an independent political action committee. Even if the contributor gives money to the campaign illegally, all the campaign can do is give the money back if it turns out to be illegal.

The other publication is only trying to ramp up public anger against the incumbents. Your publication is doing the responsible thing. It’s a good thing you are in town to provide gravitas.

Manny Rodriguez, West Hollywood, California

Re: Letters to the Editor and Lynn Hoopingarner

I thought your coverage of the forum was the best.

Weston Harris, West Hollywood, California

Re: City Council candidates' forum audio recording

In considering the upcoming City Council elections you are invited to walk Westside Santa Monica Boulevard:  

1)  In front of Rounds restaurant a 4" deep hole in the walkway – constant severe tripping

2)  Between Fiesta Cantina and Revolver 2" deep holes along the walkways – tripping, twisted ankles, falling

3)  In front of Micky's from the club's entrance to the street curb tripping concrete raised up 1 1/2" – serious tripping and falling

4)  In front of Revolver a 1' x 2' piece of unstable wobbling sidewalk (where people stand to get into taxis) – people losing balance and going backwards into the sidewalk of forward into the roadway

5)  Sit at the bus stops in front of CVS, Union Bank, and in the patio in front of Rounds restaurant for a while and watch pedestrian's reactions to the rat-a-tat-tat sound blasting from the crosswalk signals 

6)  In front of Rage a 5" deep sinkhole next to the bike lane 

7) Showcase corner of Santa Monica Boulevard @ Robertson shuttered and very dilapidated (old Java Detour)  

8) At new West Hollywood Park new concrete wall cracked and leaching white lime powder (behind Koontz Hardware)  

9) In front of Video West and next to Eleven Club 3" deep holes in the walkway – tripping, especially at night in the dark

These conditions have long existed, been repeatedly reported, and been ignored by the City Council.

Lisa Miller, West Hollywood, California – on behalf of our group Wehowatchdogs

Re: Apparent misuse of city vehicles

As West Hollywood residents, neighborhood watch participants and active voters in this city, a group of us recently gathered together to have a voice on various issues as they arise in our beautiful city. One such concern we have had is about the apparent misuse of city vehicles. We were under the understanding, as was stated numerous times to several of us in the public by city staff, that city vehicles were for official city business “only.”

If so, then why on numerous occasions have we witnessed city vehicles full of city employees arriving and leaving various lunch destinations throughout our city? Clearly it seems this use is not for “official” city business so there seems to be some sort of misunderstanding going on. We thought that city vehicles and gas, both paid for by West Hollywood city taxpayers, were for official city use only, not to shuttle employees to lunch groups at various locations throughout the city for their own convenience. In light of other city’s reports of misusing city funds, if true, this doesn’t look very good.