Reporter Scott Collins wrote in your Sunday edition ("Scientologists File Petition to Rename Street," Aug. 28) that the city of Los Angeles will in upcoming weeks be processing a request to rename a small section of Tamarind Avenue to L. Ron Hubbard Way.
The application originated from an individual Church of Scientology member and was filed by the book in May. That included a petition signed by a majority of the neighbors on the immediate section of Tamarind Street south of Franklin who express their support of the change.
Several weeks later the applicant sent a letter to the city to shelve the application because of personal obligations that would not enable him to continue with the procedure at that time. Why the city is going ahead with the application is as much your guess as mine.
An even better question is why the L.A. Times now jumps on this "story" when the opposition--the vital ingredient of the media's controversy formula--happened well over a month ago.
Further, those quoted in opposition to the petition live on Tamarind Avenue north of Franklin Avenue. Their problems were attributed to the expense and inconvenience of changing addresses on personal and business items. Yet, the street name north of Franklin was never included in the application; these neighbors would not be affected.
Should the application go forward, the neighbors who oppose the change will get plenty of chances to have their concerns heard at the correct time and forum, just as in any similar city procedure.
The individual who originated the petition felt that the accomplishments of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard were considerable and should be recognized. His legacy includes numerous social betterment activities which base their effectiveness solely in his philosophic writings--programs such as Narconon, a very successful drug rehabilitation program; Applied Scholastics based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard has brought literacy to millions of people around the world and has begun to make inroads here in the L.A. area through programs such as the Compton Tutoring Project and Hollywood Literacy Program.
The Church of Scientology has for more than a decade been a strong advocate of historic preservation in Hollywood. In fact, in January of this year, the church received the Preservation of the Arts Award from the Hollywood Arts Council for its restoration of the Manor Hotel. The Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in the past year has carried out many, many fund-raisers and special events to help carry out children's art programs, buy equipment to clean the Walk of Fame, and to buy Christmas toys at Christmas and obtain vitally needed supplies for earthquake victims.
None of the above events or programs have ever run in the L.A. Times, although news of them and many other events and programs have been sent to your L.A. Times office on a regular basis.
SHIRLEY YOUNG President, Church of Scientology of Los Angeles *
As a longstanding member of the Flat Earth Society, I feel uniquely positioned to comment on the excellent idea to rename Tamarind Avenue as L. Ron Hubbard Way, by the Church of Scientology.
A novel and cutting-edge idea that would add to the revitalization of Hollywood!
I am amazed that Scientology has not petitioned for Bronson Avenue to become Tom Cruise Crescent, and Franklin Avenue to become Dianetics Drive. Anyway, full marks to the Hubbardists on their exciting plan!
LAWRENCE J. PIPPICK Los Angeles