I enjoyed Christopher Reynolds' article on Orange County ["A Swell Time," May 29]. He covered it well, in an entertaining way, but failed to mention Newport's Back Bay. I guess he thought there was nothing of interest there for travelers. Or maybe he had to cut it to save space. Too bad either way. It's a central part ofOrange County.
Why did Reynolds sully an otherwise fine survey of coastal sights and doings by referring to "plutocrats" frequenting the Ritz-Carlton and the Montage? Or the "moneyed" environs of Balboa Island? Or using a superlative adjective in calling the Pageant of the Masters the "weirdest"? Compared to what? The guy in Huntington Beach who hammers a nail into his nasal septum?
Plutocrats is a pejorative describing those who rule or control society because of their wealth. If that was really true in our country and state, the plutocrats wouldn't allow themselves to be taxed so heavily or tolerate their votes being diluted by the half of us who pay little or no income taxes.
What does he have against the wealthy, except that he is apparently not among them? They pay most of our taxes, and by their sometimes excessive consumption support the creation of jobs for the rest of us. And they no doubt comprise an overrepresentation of folks still willing to pay for your paper.
Wilburn Smith III
I just read "Hollywood Takes Issue With Sign" [Need to Know, May 29]. How absurd that Hollywood has nothing better to be concerned about. Although we are now a global community, how dare the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce think it can dictate what New Zealand chooses to do. America does not dictate the world. The darn Hollywood sign may be important to native-born, but as you must know the majority of Los Angeles' residents are not native. Did you not just save this sign from removal? Be happy and mind your own country's business.
I was surprised to see Susan Spano's article on her visit to Cambodia ["After the Killing Fields," May 15]. I have just read Paul Theroux's 2008 book "Ghost Train to the Eastern Star," a book heavy on politics. He traveled by train from London across Europe to the Balkan states, the "three Stans," through India, Singapore to Cambodia. Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria were sad, depressed countries, the three Stans were sadder and more depressed. But I learned that Cambodia, after the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot, was the saddest and most pathetic country he visited. I am glad to hear that things are looking up little by little for Cambodia and the Cambodians.
I was interested in the proposed new dining options at LAX [Need to Know, May 22]. At Portland, Ore., International Airport, local restaurants and national chains cannot, by law, charge more than they do in the city of Portland. Eating at LAX is another story — usurious pricing for even the worst fast food. The traveler is trapped unless one packs a picnic. I hope a policy like that at Portland will become the norm at LAX and really put the 'L.A.' back in LAX.