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Briefly, Item Was Inaccurate

October 21, 1990

While in recent months I've become a fan of your "faster-format" Los Angeles Times, I must protest when it appears accuracy has been sacrificed to speed. (Times, Oct. 14) Your "Highlights" brief on my concerns about the sale of anti-Semitic books at the city-sponsored African Marketplace says I asked the city's Cultural Affairs Department "to propose ways of banning such books at future publicly sponsored festivals." My letter to Cultural Affairs Department General Manager Adolfo Nodal, a copy of which was sent to your staff writer, said nothing of the kind. My request to Mr. Nodal read as follows:

"The city's festivals program is an attempt to celebrate all the diverse cultures of Los Angeles. . . . I would like to solicit your thoughts on how we can ensure that our Festivals program functions as a venue for celebration, not for denigration; that our diversity as reflected in the Festivals program serves to bring us together, not to drive us apart; that the cosmopolitan nature of our great city leads not only to pride in one's own ethnicity but also tolerance and understanding for the ethnicities of others."

It's obvious that any measures Mr. Nodal might take to achieve this goal must be sensitive to First Amendment and freedom of expression issues. That's why I phrased my letter the way I did, and that's why Mr. Nodal responded--appropriately, in my opinion--with proposals that fall well short of any book "ban."

ZEV YAROSLAVSKY

Councilman, 5th District

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