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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Pursuing the News Racket on Public Streets

August 28, 2003

Re "Action Sought as Sidewalks Overflow With News Racks," Aug. 25: Why should there be any news racks allowed on public sidewalks in Los Angeles? Why do publishers get the right to hawk their products on public sidewalks when those of us in the other 99.9% of businesses don't get the same privileges? If publishers want to promote and sell their products, let them do what all other businesses do: Sell via various retailers (like grocery stores or coffee shops), through commissioned salespeople (newsstands); promote via the Internet and/or deliver through the mail. The 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee them sidewalk space any more than it guarantees me the right to get my letter published.

Steven Coker

Los Angeles

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