March 1, 2011
Letters to the Editor: Metro, Jewish Activists, Hollywood, Bill Link
Mass Transit Conundrums
John Mirisch’s critique of L.A.’s current transit plans (“Just What Is Jewish Mass Transit?” Feb. 25) is contradictory and uninformed. On the one hand, he faults Metro’s failure to provide sufficient park-and-ride lots for the Westside subway extension. On the other hand, he decries “big brother’s stick of eminent domain.” Mirisch can’t have it both ways: If you want more parking you may have to encroach on somebody’s property, which of course is perfectly permissible under the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment if the taking is compensated. As a city councilman, he should be aware of the takings clause, a long tradition in American constitutional law and urban planning. Mirisch seems to be looking for any excuse to put the brakes on transportation reform in a region that badly needs it.
Peter L. Reich
Professor of Law
Whittier Law School
Joel Epstein’s article (“All Aboard: The case for an all-pervasive Metro,” Feb. 25) misstates critical information, while attempting to slander Beverly Hills residents as NIMBYs.
He ignores, as John Mirisch points out, that Beverly Hills supported the subway from the beginning and will have two stations within its borders. But when Metro — after years promoting one alignment — switched to go beneath Beverly Hills High School, Metro awakened an entire city including every single member of the City Council and Board of Education (not just “a handful of Beverly Hills opponents,” as Epstein would have his readers believe). Is there a real risk to a school with 2,500 students and teachers that Epstein chooses to ignore? There have been four subway construction accidents in various countries using up-to-date technology during the past few years, each one of them causing buildings to collapse and people to die. When there is a completely viable alternative at Santa Monica Boulevard, which would not require tunneling under a city’s only high school and only disaster center, why not take it, especially when it would save $60 million in cost (Metro’s numbers, not mine)? And all to move the station one block from Santa Monica Boulevard to Constellation Avenue!
Arab Countries, Not Israel, Victimize Muslims
Rachel Roberts in her article (“Muslim Criminals, Jewish Activists?,” Feb. 18) decries that she has been called “naïve, self-hating and a traitor” — perhaps so because it is true.
Brigitte Gabriel, the Lebanese American activist who promotes understanding of the Islamist threat to the world, who, as a youth, had witnessed the horrors of Islamist radicals in her homeland, cautions parents, especially Jewish parents, to educate their children about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict before sending them off to college. If they fail to do so, they may be surprised when they return home, after a thorough indoctrination by their leftist Palestinian sympathizing professors, condemning Israel, supporting boycotts of its products, and worse. If Ms. Roberts’ parents were not negligent in this responsibility, their daughter certainly ignored their counsel.
Let’s Hear About Jewish Accomplishments Beyond Hollywood
As a longtime reader of The Jewish Journal, I feel that you give far too much coverage to Jews in the entertainment industry. Where are the stories about Jewish artists, writers, academics, scientists, doctors and musicians, just to name a few areas, in Los Angeles? The Los Angeles Philharmonic has dozens of Jewish principal players, but your readers would never know this.
Why cannot your publication give similar coverage to, for example, Jewish doctors and scientists at UCLA, USC, Caltech or the City of Hope who are working on cures and treatments for diseases such as cancer or Alzeimer’s?
We really deserve a more balanced coverage of the interests and accomplishments of members of the Jewish community in Southern California.
Michael B. Farber
Bill Link Story Fascinates
Thank you so very much for the fascinating article about Bill Link — we enjoyed every word (“‘Colombo’ Creator Solves His Own Family Mystery,” Feb. 25).
Bill is a true American entertainment treasure.
We have been fortunate to know Bill and Margery for years and it was such a pleasant surprise to see Bill’s picture in The Jewish Journal.
Thanks for covering something cheerful and upbeat.
Fran Morris Rosman
Great piece (“ ‘The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,’ ” Feb. 25)! I will take a look at your Journal for more gems.