We as tenants of 8220 W. Norton Ave. wish to protest (the) article by Barbara Baird. We were never interviewed by your reporter and believe this shows some prejudice on her side. West Hollywood is very open to people with special needs but not at the expense of forcing other people out of their homes--especially the elderly.
Independence Center neglected to mention the severe harassment they subjected the tenants to. They put in a manager who promptly gave a pool party with about 40 people who went swimming fully clothed, threw food and drinks into the pool and then proceeded to get drunk. They laid in the doorways of tenants' apartments, so they could not get in or out of their apartment. The center's answer to complaints was that they wouldn't think of preventing anyone from having a good time. The older tenants were so frightened that the police had to be called three times to the building to subdue the party participants.
Next they installed a public telephone in an area of the building where the clients could most disturb the tenants at all hours of the day or night, and believe us, they did.
Gordon also claimed the tenants felt it was a good program. This is quite a distortion of fact. To date there is still no viable program for these clients. They have been dumped into these apartments to sink or swim. If they had been interviewed you would have discovered for yourself how bored and unhappy they are. They complain bitterly of having nothing to do and resent the fact that they have no specific programs to occupy them. The center receives $20,000 per year per client and . . . the clients are not getting their money's worth. An organization with no programs is not what West Hollywood needs.
MR. AND MRS. SAL GUARRIELLO
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Times attempted to reach Sal Guarriello for comment before publication of the story.