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Oscar And Paul

June 13, 1993

Oscar De La Hoya is wrong when he criticizes boxer Paul Gonzales, the 1984 Olympic gold medal winner, for claiming to be not a Mexican but an American ("Selling Oscar," by Michael Leahy, May 9). Gonzales was born here, so that makes him American through and through. Having been born and raised in East L.A. and being of Spanish, Mexican, Italian and Polish-Jewish blood, I still consider myself pure American. BOB GRISANTI San Gabriel


Gonzales, East L.A.'s first Golden Boy, has not suffered a "fall from grace," and it is unfair for Oscar, the new kid on the block, to spit on the man who built the block. Gonzales does not stand in the way of Oscar's obsession with achieving fame and wealth, having paved his own road to glory a long time ago. Oscar would be wise to limit the influence of promoter Bob Arum to the scheduling of bouts. Oscar is unleashing a posse of money-grubbing carpetbaggers who care very little about our community and merely want to use him for all he's worth. MANUEL J. DIAZ Los Angeles


Please, regarding Ruth Reichl's description of The Ivy, say it isn't so ("Only the Best," May 2). I don't mean the part about the rudeness of the waiting staff and how one shouldn't expect to be treated very well there. I've been. I know. But, holy smokes, am I dreaming? Can this really be 1993, in America, in Los Angeles, and I'm hearing the words: "There's food for the ladies--pretty salads, delicate pastas with very little sauce--and food for the guys, big chunks of meat cooked on the mesquite grill . . . ."? Reichl makes a point in the introduction about how "diversity" has permeated our tastes. Great! But small-time thinking remains a stronghold if such worn-out stereotypes still make it into print. ELYCE WAKERMAN Sherman Oaks


Am I out of touch? Am I weird? Or is it just that I don't want to eat that lobster-fava bean thing pictured. I don't even want it near me. SHANA RHODES Los Angeles


Jill Stewart wields a journalistic hatchet on the escrow profession in "Getting Unscrewed" (Palm Latitudes, May 2). Joe Marinelli, after much acrimonious debate, manages to save a neat $39.29 in tax-deductible monthly interest over the term of his loan. His wife, Jean, on the other hand, saves $98.50 by typing the grant deed herself. After all the noisy arguments, stealth, lawsuit threats and do-it-yourselfishness, the Marinellis saved themselves a whopping $202.50 in escrow costs. Jill, Joe and Jean don't seem to consider the basic expenses of operating any business: rent, salaries, phone bills, insurance, taxes, advertising, maintenance, etc. And then there's supposed to be a (dare one use the awful "P" word?) profit. JAMES F. STEWART VICE PRESIDENT, BRENTWOOD ESCROW INC.


Columnist Wanda Coleman is correct to be cynical about media exploitation of "gangsta glam" ("Fight the Firepower," Three on the Town, April 18). Unfortunately, she, too, succumbs to the glamorization of unlawful behavior when she describes taggers as "graffiti artists." Tagging is vandalism. To pin such a jocular term on the defacement of another's property hides the dark mood such vandalism inflicts upon a community. JO ANN REBANE Topanga


As a council member in the City of West Hollywood, I was disappointed in the Palm Latitudes piece about the Street Cats ("Superman's Dead but . . ." by Caroline Harding, April 25). Fass says the Street Cats operate in our city "with the approval of local authorities." Not so. This city has had a long and complicated relationship with Fass and the Street Cats. While the City Council does support citizen groups, such as Neighborhood Watch, which assist law enforcement, we have some serious concerns about the methods and tactics used by the Street Cats. We've gotten numerous complaints from local businesses, residents and visitors about the group's activities, including their aggressive solicitation of funds. In fact, the Street Cats have conveyed a less-than-cooperative stance to our community and have repeatedly used various forums such as press releases, letters and flyers to denigrate area merchants, city officials and law enforcement in West Hollywood. BABETTE LANG West Hollywood


I have to compliment the magazine on the quality of your photographs recently. Gabor Ekecs' fractured real estate images ("Unreal Estate," March 31) and Jon Gipe's images of Texas ("A Fistful of Texans," Jan. 31) were particularly good, and Jay Dusard's choice of toned black and white for "Paradise Ranch" (March 21) had me packing to go visit. GARY CAMPBELL Los Angeles


I was the foreign scout who helped sell Kody Scott's book, "Can't Stop, Won't Stop," at the Frankfurt Book Fair last year ("Making Monster Huge," by Amy Wallace, April 4). There might have been some opportunists along the way, but the bottom line is that what Kody Scott wrote was moving, powerful and more interesting than many other books that are published. And it's astounding that so many people wrote blasting Scott's book when it's not even out yet. The young man might have done terrible things in life, but he has a gift and a talent. BARBARA ZITWER New York City

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