I got a very strange piece of mail from some group complaining about the best Councilmember we have, Kevin McKeown. Like most residents he preferred our friendly blue police cars over the ugly black and white ones LA uses. Then they said McKeown was against downtown parking. I watched that Council meeting, he was all for parking that residents and existing merchants need. What McKeown did was refuse to agree to half a million square feet of additional commercial development that would have required twice as much parking and made the traffic even worse. Good for him.
Who are the Santa Monicans for Sensible Priorities, and what do they want? A black and white world chuck-a-block with high-rises? I am very thankful that Kevin McKeown is on our City Council voting in the interest of us people who live here.
Marcia S. Carter
* * * *
I had the privilege of attending the Nomadic Museum with four highly productive and successful artists, ranging in age from l8 to 54. Even the 18 year olds have received multiple art scholarships, exhibited and sold their work. On the same day we lunched and stayed ‘til closing at the Getty Museum. As much as we enjoyed the landscapes of Courbet, the illuminated manuscripts and architecture at the Getty, we were most deeply affected and inspired by the “Ashes and Snow” experience. We are now looking at our own work and the available exhibition venues with new eyes.
As most artists and philosophers have recognized “Art, in all its multiplicity of forms, is food for the soul.” We are profoundly grateful for our “epicurean feast” at the Nomadic Museum. (I also enjoyed the “Moody Blues” in the ‘70s and I wasn’t stoned.)
It’s always easier to criticize than create. No one remembers the critics, but the often pilloried creators are appreciated forever.
* * * *
Since the 11 million undocumented immigrants represent less than 4 percent of our total population, why all the sudden consternation? The current immigration controversy should be viewed in its historical perspective. Every so often, especially in times of economic, social or political turmoil, narrow-minded, xenophobic bigots emerge. Politicians with limited agendas often join this element and use immigration control as a wedge issue.
Except for the patently racist exclusionary laws directed at the Chinese and other Asian people, the United States opened its portals wide for tens of millions of people from Italy, Greece, Rumania, Hungary, Russia, Poland and Croatia, etc. They labored in steel mills, auto plants, coal mines, garment shops and on farms. They enriched our economy, our education, our science and our culture. Then in 1924 the influx of people was abruptly halted. Immigration was now effectively limited to people from Northern Europe; those from anywhere else were barred from entry. From time to time, when the need arose for workers on our farms or sweatshops, workers were invited for limited periods.
We are a nation of immigrants. Just as our parents and grandparents came to this country to seek a better life, so these newer immigrants find employment in all areas of the economy. The only difference is that our parents and grandparents were welcomed by permissive and inviting laws; the newer immigrants are faced with legal barriers erected by racist politicians desiring to keep out what they consider undesirables.
These people are not taking away our jobs; they are doing useful and necessary services. Let us grant them the same treatment that was afforded our own parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
* * * *
I was reading your paper and I seen that you only listed three of the five candidates running for the 41st Assembly seat.
You should have noted that there are five candidates not just three as you wrote. The two you did not mention are Jonathan Levey and Shawn O’Brien.
I am guessing that you have not made it out to any of the nine or so debates the democrats have held over the past few months or you would have most likely mentioned Mr. Shawn Casey O’Brien. Mr. O’Brien has been knocking it out of the park on all the issues and in my opinion he by far is the smartest candidate on the ballot and you didn’t mention him?
I suppose you only listed the candidates that have raised large sums of money and not a true grassroots candidate like Mr. O’Brien.
I truly believe you owe it to your readers to tell them the truth, the whole truth.
A voter in the 41st District
Editor’s Note: We feel it is necessary to point out that Mr. Matthews is the younger brother of Mr. O’Brien.
* * * *
Re: School District Outshines Rest of State
Why is it that people who know better get away with simply false statements regarding education financing in California? Your recent article states that “School Board President Julia Brownley then answered the questioned ‘Why is the story so different in our community than the rest of the state?’ Her response noted that the Carroll’s research found ‘a clear correlation between a steady decline in real dollars going to public education as a result of Proposition 13 and a steady decrease in student achievement.’”
The fact is, on a per pupil, inflation adjusted basis, California now spends 30 percent more on education than it did just prior to Proposition 13. “Educrats” who pine for the halcyon days of the 60’s and 70’s when California’s education system was the envy of the nation had better look to something besides money as the reason for the decline. It is strange to think that, if we were to return to a level of funding that we had at that time, we would all get a tax cut, not calls for higher taxes to pay for a broken system.
Howard Coupal, President
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association