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Mr. Rosenthal:

I wanted to correct a piece of misinformation in your otherwise delightful nostalgic “Food Tour.”

Max Von Sydow, not Jeff Chandler, portrayed Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told. Jeffrey Hunter had the role in King of Kings.

Chandler, born Ira Grossel, once played the Apache Cochise, but I doubt that fact has any bearing.

Fred Hertz

Santa Monica

Editor’s Note: Mr. Rosenthal thinks that in fact it was King of Kings he saw with his grandfather.

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Character Counts

Can Barry Groveman be an effective assemblymember? Consider his character.

Groveman repeatedly told me that Westlake Village isn’t a real city, just an overgrown HOA, and that Agoura Hills has no planning. In contrast, he created a new zone for double-pole signs in a designated scenic corridor, and he proposed that the Malibu Valley Inn be built on the Soka University site owned by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

Groveman prefers to make backroom deals, excluding citizen participation. He had his lawyers send letters threatening lawsuits against citizens who wanted to discuss his past voting record or tenants’ issues.

Behind the slogan of “waste reduction,” Groveman gutted the Calabasas Education Fund, the Calabasas Education Commission, the Calabasas Tree Board, and the Calabasas Emergency Response Program. But he didn’t let out a peep when Calabasas spent $250,000 just to paint two houses it owned.

At council meetings, when Groveman isn’t grandstanding or browbeating, he’s often buried in his computer or talking on his cell phone, while the rest of the council conducts the business of the city. As a councilmember, I sat next to Groveman on the dais as he chatted with friends online and spoke to his family on the phone.

Contrary to his campaign claims, Groveman didn’t bring a new CFO to Calabasas, didn’t raise a penny for the schools, didn’t stand up to Big Tobacco. But he did give personal injury attorneys the right to sue business and property owners for punitive damages and attorneys’ fees if someone is smoking outside in a parking lot.

Can someone who seems so arrogant, so undemocratic, so self-serving and so disingenuous be an effective assemblymember?

Michael Harrison

Former Mayor, City of Calabasas

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Having grown up in Hibbing, I read just about everything I can about Dylan. Although I haven’t lived there since 1972, it is still my hometown. I had never heard that version that “the principal drew down the curtain” while Dylan was performing. I wonder where that came from? Further, Bob Dylan Drive doesn’t have anything to do with the high school, it happens to be the street where Dylan lived. (That street name was changed just a few years ago.) What is Hibbing? Yes, at one time, the Iron Ore Capital of the World. Now, it is just a quiet small town. You forgot to visit “Zimmy’s.” Maybe next time.

Dianne Argir

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To the Editor:

Steve Stajich’s editorial (“History, from the Waist Down”) is as inane as anything I have read recently, filled with cheap shots against those with politically conservative views while failing to make a rational or compelling argument for his own view.

Mr. Stajich writes of his approval of Sheila Kuhl’s [sic] bill to promote the contributions of gays in California state history books, yet a paragraph later poses the correct question to Kuhl’s [sic] ridiculous bill: to what extent should we signify the sexual orientation of people? He says he buys the argument, but fails to make a compelling case for it. His argument is all over the place, here agreeing, there wondering at the logic of it all.

This typifies the thinking of so many on the left, wanting to support ideas that feel good but unable to dissect the value or logic of the ideas, nor to see where they might lead down the road.

In a city with this many writers, you ought to be able to provide more cogent editorials than this.

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Judy Gruen,

Your editorial, “History, from the Waist Down” (May 18, 2006) poses some interesting questions, questions which need to be handled with sensitivity rather than the unequivocal rejection of the conservatives.

Kuehl used James Baldwin as an example of an historical person whose sexuality matters to our understanding of the man. Perhaps a better example is Walt Whitman. How is it possible to read “Leaves of Grass” with any kind of understanding if you don’t know that he was homosexual? Does “The Glass Menagerie,” or “A Streetcar Named Desire” become richer, more interesting works of art if you know that Tennessee Williams was gay?

Nothing in Kuehl’s bill suggests that schools begin offering seminars on homosexuality. What it mandates instead is that we stop denigrating homosexuals and, where appropriate, acknowledge their contributions to society. They may mean mentioning that Whitman was gay in order to allow our students to wonder what impact that may have had on his poetry. And, yes, such a revelation would certainly suggest that homosexuals have had a positive impact on society, precisely the point that conservatives wish to hide from our students.

Tom Lockwood

San Jose, CA

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Dear Mr. Stajich:

I hate to break it to you but Abraham Lincoln was NOT gay. Try reading something besides C.A. Tripp’s The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln. If you do read this book, check the quotes. Tripp takes quotes out of context, totally ignores all the women in Lincoln’s life, and just plain lies to prove his points. Lincoln has been falsely accused of being gay because he slept with men, a very common practice in the 19th Century. John Adams and Ben Franklin slept together during the Revolutionary War, are they gay too?

I am totally against this bill because I do not want anyone “outed” alive or dead. I especially do not want someone like Lincoln “outed” especially since he was not even gay! If you listen to radical gays like C.A. Tripp, history books will be filled with straight people labeled as gay.

Thank you,

Judith Wilson

in Uncategorized
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