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Island life in the city

May 18, 2008

RE "Against the Flow" [May 11]: The question Lynell George raises of how public this public space is should be looked at from a viewpoint larger than the invoice received [by Highways Performance Space and Gallery for the removal of six "unlawfully posted" signs] from the city of Santa Monica. The question actually ties into 1st Amendment issues of free speech and public assembly.

Traffic islands in L.A. and other parts of the country have traditionally been used for assembly and may therefore be public forums -- spaces that receive heightened protection under the 1st Amendment for public assembly and free speech. It is in this spirit of democracy that traffic islands -- spaces normally overlooked by urban planning and architecture but large enough to hold groups up to 30 people -- can be used in a safe, engaging and responsible manner to create community, cultural interchange and discussion.

Ari Kletzky

Highland Park

ARI KLETZKY is definitely onto something. A college major in rhetoric? Only in Berkeley. He is perfect for CalArts. God knows how he will develop this public art concept while there and find new avenues (no pun intended) to pursue. Thank you for a fascinating story.

Sandy Maroney

Concord

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