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Monorail Plan to Connect L.A. and the Westside

July 15, 1993

While I was stationed at March Field during World War II, it was the Hollywood trolley that brought me to the Westside for weekend visits at my cousin's home in Westwood.

Those in Beverly Hills who oppose a monorail along Santa Monica Boulevard as a subway connection from downtown to the Westside and the beach area (Times, July 8) are as shortsighted as those who did away with the Hollywood trolley that terminated at the Beverly Hills City Hall. That was the pickup place for my visits.

And the same Santa Monica Boulevard served as the route for the Red Car line that brought people to the beach area.

The "fear crime may be brought to their doorstep" is asinine. Crime demands a fast getaway. It won't be where one waits for the monorail connection.

One would also think such a service would be better than the current auto and bus traffic and health hazards.

What's best for the greater community should prevail. County authorities should press for its accomplishment.


Pacific Palisades

Free Dental Care for the Homeless, Needy

I was delighted to read about Brentwood dentist Jay Grossman and his volunteer efforts to provide dental care to the homeless (Times, July 8). I applaud his commitment and generosity, and his willingness to look around him to see who needs help.

The Los Angeles Free Clinic has been relying on the volunteer help of dentists like Dr. Grossman for more than 20 years. Using volunteer dentists from all across the city, we treat as many as 20 poor or indigent patients a day for dental problems that range from uncomfortable to debilitating.

We have a special dental care program for homeless adolescents, many of whom have never seen a dentist in their lives. Dr. Grossman is right when he says that such care has benefits beyond simple oral health. Repairing their teeth helps repair these adolescents' self-confidence and self-respect, and makes them more attractive to potential employers.

We are able to provide primary and urgent care at our Beverly Boulevard clinic, but we would dearly love to expand our services to include bridges, dentures and other complex procedures. I want to encourage Dr. Grossman and any like-minded colleagues to contact the Los Angeles Free Clinic and be part of our 20-year effort to provide quality dental care to those who need it most.


Los Angeles

Rainwater is executive director of the Los Angeles Free Clinic

Herzl School Said to Be in Safe Area

Sonia Berman, director of Herzl School, is to be commended for her work in education and her efforts to keep the school running. I can attest to the high quality of education, as I have had two of my own children at Herzl.

However, one statement in the article (Times, June 27) is misleading and self-defeating: Herzl School is not in a "declining neighborhood." It is housed at Hollywood Temple Beth El at Crescent Heights and Fountain. This is just down the street from the new shopping center containing the Virgin Megastore and the Laemmle-Sunset 5 theater, in the midst of a high-rent apartment area, upgraded single-family housing and adjacent to upscale housing above Sunset. Furthermore, it is within a short drive of North Hollywood, Studio City, Beverly Hills, and the Hollywood Hills.

Most important, this is a safe neighborhood, away from the influence of gangs, and that makes this a plus factor for good and healthy schooling today.


Los Angeles

Anti-Panhandling Drive in Santa Monica

Initially, I was a big advocate of the Anti-Panhandling Campaign in Santa Monica, both that of Barbara Tenzer and the Bayside District's Dolphin approach (Times, July 11).

The problem in Santa Monica is the overwhelming--and ever growing--number of homeless people. I realized that while we might discourage some panhandlers, as long as enormous numbers of homeless are encouraged to locate in the city, the problem will still grow.

By promoting still more funding of the city's social service agencies as an alternative, we only encourage the growth of the homeless in a community saturated with them. The fastest-growing industry in Santa Monica is the poverty industry. In funding them, we simply spend money to employ more middle-class social workers to dole out scraps and advice to people whose lives often revolve around the next drink or drug ingestion. We get nowhere, except to permit further power grabs by social service agency "leaders" who seek status, rub elbows with the Hollywood Crowd, and rule the back rooms of the Santa Monica "Animal Farm" political experiment as orchestrated by Santa Monicans for Renters Rights.

A city can only provide so much to transients and homeless before the related economic and social problems implode on permanent residents. The social service providers do not care about this--the "housed" population are not their agenda. They live off the indigent. Consequently, they are driven to reach out for ever increasing numbers of customers.

We just may be better off handing the money to the homeless rather than the industry they have created. It is arguable that homeless growth in Santa Monica will slow down. Better yet, the city should reduce future funding of social service providers in amounts equal to what the public contributes through the Anti-Panhandler Campaigns. That would bring me back into the fold.


Santa Monica

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