September 3, 2000
So now we are to lose the elegantly unpretentious Gilmore Bank ("Final Withdrawal," So SoCal, by Mary Melton, July 16). After living in Los Angeles for more than 20 years, I have witnessed the wholesale erasure of a staggering number of commercial and residential structures. Many were key postwar buildings that typified the L.A. experience of enthusiasm, experimentation, optimism and exuberance. More often than not, these buildings have been replaced with disappointing square-footage-maximizing mini malls, or they've been left vacant for years.
February 9, 1997
Let the Marlboro Man head down Route 66 to a sane place, like the Mojave Desert, where he can light up and take a long, unrestricted drag--and I hope Joe Camel goes with him ("Endangered Man," by Mary Melton, So SoCal, Dec. 15). At least there, in open country, they won't have us inhaling their smoke or listening to their hacking coughs. There they can suffer and die in peace. Then, perhaps, the rest of us, including our children, will have a chance to live our lives more safely. Patricia Batatian San Marino I don't smoke, but the Marlboro Man stays.
May 12, 1996
I had to set aside my cookie dough and respond to "Tattoo Mama: You'll Never Be PTA President in This Town Again" (by Mary Melton, So SoCal, March 31). Why is the PTA the symbol of everything that's dowdy and homespun? Why are we known for our bake sales and not our health clinics, our legislative analysts or our efforts to reform education? The housewives who founded the PTA nearly 100 years ago did not have the right to vote, yet they became powerful advocates for children.
September 19, 1999
During a break in a tied game between the Dodgers and Phillies, I discovered Mary Melton's Cool-a-Coo article ("Cool-a-Coo, Where Are You?" So SoCal, Aug. 15). I took particular note of Leo Politis' comment that Rupert Murdoch "wants to make money from everybody." Have we learned nothing from the Ram, Raider and Dodger fiascos? If any NFL owners are seen in or near Los Angeles, let's have them arrested for attempted robbery. No more public money for these greedy robber barons. John Connolly Long Beach Adieu, Cool-a-Coo, adieu.
January 18, 1998
One considerable boost that mini-malls have given the city and county of Los Angeles has been, and still is, the taxes generated by the businesses these malls contain ("A Brief History of the Mini-Mall," by Mary Melton, Nov. 16). As the article indicates, before the mini-malls arrived, the properties they were built on had been occupied by a one-user type of business, such as a filling station, or by an empty lot. Once La Mancha, Sassony and some of the other mini-mall developers filled their vacancies, the larger tenant base converted a single-user tax base to a multi-user base and provided considerably more revenue to the city, county and state in the form of sales taxes, city business licenses and county health permits as well as payroll taxes for far more employees than service stations ever employed.
January 11, 1998
Marvin Rand's detailed photos of the Watts Towers brought back vivid childhood memories ("View From the Top," by Mary Melton, Nov. 9). In 1949, we lived on 107th Street, a few blocks from Simon Rodia's work-in-progress. The then-quiet, manicured middle-class neighborhood was a postcard for postwar suburbia. Sometimes my parents would take me to watch Rodia work. I remember him hunched over, digging through trash, looking for discarded objects to embed in his amazing skeletal edifice.
October 6, 1996 |
After Pasadena photographer Christopher Grisanti shot his first pier, he felt instantly closer to the memory of his sister, Yvonne, who loved the shore, and who had died a few months before. He was also haunted by the structure's stark beauty. Over two years and thousands of coastal miles, Grisanti snapped these platforms to the Pacific, building what may already be the most comprehensive collection of California pier images.