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Letters: Emily Green's stories, recycling and Chris Erskine

August 27, 2011

It was a pleasure to read two articles by Emily Green in the Home section ("A Tree Whose Star Just Keeps Rising," about the palo verde, and "Let These Facts About Soaker Hoses Sink In," Aug. 20). Her articles are consistently informative and enjoyable to garden-loving readers. When I see her byline, I know I am going to learn something new. And I enjoyed the glowing photo of her amid her California sunflowers ("The Seeds of Sunshine," Aug. 13). Good story.

Kay Kanuit Redondo Beach


I read your article about California sunflowers, but I must have missed where you specified the botanical name. Can you tell me specifically which plant you were referring to?

Susan Krzywicki Via email

Editor's note: The botanical name is Helianthus annuus, the same as the large American sunflowers that most people know best. When seeking the smaller sunflower, look for some indication that the Helianthus annuus you are purchasing are wild seed collected in Southern California.

Time to rethink

The Home section asked whether we should throw recycling in the trash, as some cities do ("One Bin Method Works for Some," Aug. 13). In reality, a better way to describe the system: Throw the trash in with the recycling, and let the professionals sort it out. If Los Angeles wants to meet its zero-waste goal, it must stop thinking about "trash" and "recyclables" and recycle everything — send everything collected in the waste stream to be sorted at a recycling center.

Scott Schmidt West Hollywood


Regarding "How Do We Get to Zero Waste?" (Aug. 13): This topic is a perennial at this point in time, with no easy solutions. Nobody talks about the people who are involved in the "segregation" of trash. It is a stretch to imagine that the process is people-less.

Good luck to Los Angeles in organizing apartments for recycling. I have a condo high-rise in San Francisco where the management has used an assortment of segregation methods, which we all follow only to see the collector pick up the colored-top bins and dump them all in the compression truck for haul-away! What happens after that is a mystery.

David A. W. Young Newport Beach

Tsk-tsk, mister

OK, Chris Erskine. Just because you're a man, even the Man of the House, doesn't give you an excuse to act like a moron in the kitchen ("We've Got Plenty on Our Plates," Aug. 13). Come on, most men these days are competent in the kitchen and proud of it.

So here's how you make crepes. Into a blender put two eggs, 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon of sugar. Blend briefly. Then cook crepes in any fry pan. If this basic recipe needs elaboration, just check out a YouTube video.

This society needs competent portrayals of men, not more Archie Bunkers, Homer Simpsons and Peter Griffins.

Kathy Pezdek Claremont

Architectural gems

Thank you for the Lost L.A. column on the pending demolition of Richard Neutra's Kronish House ("Just Another Tear-Down?" Aug. 6). It's about time the Beverly Hillbillies got a good flogging for their prissy provincialism! If only the tide had turned far enough to allow a preservation ordinance to pass. I fear that your last paragraph says it all: Just business as usual in Beverly Hills.

Kay Tornborg Hollywood


I am a recent transplant from far away and have always loved the history of homes and architecture cities have to offer. The one thing I've learned about Los Angeles is developers in the past have torn down jewels of architecture and built the most uninteresting, out-of-scale replacements. I believe we need more people in areas such as Beverly Hills to watch and preserve our architectural history for future generations.

We recently found a property that we needed to save. It's a 1930s true California ranchette in Santa Barbara on four acres that has numerous old oaks and sycamores. When we had inspections, someone hinted that it was a tear down and the worth of the property was in the land alone. I disagree! The worth is also in the home and the history of its origins. Most of the rooms have tall wood-beamed ceilings and original wood floors, so how could we go wrong? To tear it down and replace it with a larger stucco box would be a tragedy.

I'm going to frame your article and hang it on the wall in the home to remind us that there is always a need for more awareness and appreciation of past architecture and the homes they represent.

John Jakowski Via email

Kudos on series

Thank you very much for your article on the Dodge House (part of the Landmark Houses series, July 16). I discovered Irving Gill a few years ago and remember a frustrating afternoon trying to find the Dodge House relying on an old list of buildings that did not show it had been demolished!

I recently returned from a vacation in Coronado, where a very nice lady working in the reading room gave me a tour of Gill's Christian Science church. Throughout the church complex, you can see the features that made Gill so special, down to the coved ceilings in the main sanctuary.

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