The LookOut Letters to the Editor
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Don't Underestimate the Passion, Capturing the Spirit, Granny Flats and Shame

September 17, 2001

Dear Editor,

(Re: Frank Gruber's column "Looking Over the Horizon," WHAT I SAY September 14.)

I too wonder, whether understanding is possible with the Taliban regime that places no value on the lives of civilians, outlaws free thought and speech and treats women like chattel. In order to reach an understanding our cultures must share values.

While some deride or attempt to deny our nation's Judeo Christian foundations, it remains the cornerstone of our freedom and unrivaled prosperity. At the heart of our radical experiment is the precept that God created all people equal and that government should protect and champion that law. We have shone brightest when we focus on that truth and sunk to painful depths when we turn from it.

Former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain perpetually sought to find common ground with Hitler. He willingly watched, as innocent people were consumed/murdered under the expanding shadow of the Nazi regime. Chamberlain thought his negotiations were saving lives yet we now know Hitler used that time to improve his armaments and expand his military ranks. Sending troops to Austria would have caused the Third Reich to crumble. "The road to destruction is paved with good intentions."

Let us hold fast to our founding values. Let's not assume that these terrorists legitimately represent all of Islam. If the Taliban continues to oppress women, outlaw freedom of religion and speech while projecting its oppressive regime beyond its borders through the use of terror, then we must respond with more than words. It is frightening that it comes to this. Yet, with each passing month these terrorists improve their tactics and may soon acquire more destructive weapons.

Ours is a nation of people who believe passionately in freedom for ALL. Hitler, Sadam, McVeigh and Bin Laden underestimated that passion.

Craig Johnson
Santa Monica

September 17, 2001

Dear Editor

Thank you very much for your coverage of the Westside Shelter and Hunger Coalition's annual event, "Celebrating Success: From Homelessness to Self-sufficiency and Healthy Lives."

In these most difficult times, I hope that the event and your article provided pleasure and gratitude as we all appreciate and need "good news." Good news is not normally a media priority -- The Lookout is an exception to the rule.

Along with many business associates and clients, I appreciate your dedication to fairness in reporting and building a community rather than attacking and tearing at it. Thank you.

Take care and peace,

Donna Gentry
Santa Monica

September 17, 2001

Dear Editor,

Thank you very much for the detailed and positive article about the Celebrating Success breakfast event on September 14. As one of the event organizers, I think your piece well captured the spirit of the day as well as the hard work on the part of the honorees.

I greatly appreciate your taking the time to attend and inform the public about the good stories that do exist about people who once were, but no longer are nor will be, homeless.

Thank you very much.

Christie Coho
Breakfast Event Committee Co-Chair

September 14, 2001

Dear Editor,

I'd like to respond to a couple of your past articles. First to Frank Gruber's column ("Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them," September 7).

I remember when Frank was on Planning Commission. Even though I think Kelly Olsen is one of the most arrogant individuals in the city, I agree with this current planning commission that the previous planning commission never listened to the surrounding neighbors and was a rubber stamp.

I also heard Mr. Gruber refer to the Santa Monica Bay article on several occasions. I too was appalled at this story. Writer Ari Noonan used Kelly's name 28 times in one small story. I really love the arrogance of Kelly Olsen using the community's continuous complaints on numerous issues, even going back to when he was on council. All of a sudden, Kelly is a champion of the people on these issues, like they're his brilliant ideas.

The only thing you did not mention in your story was the outright arrogance and "I'll do as I please, I am the chair of the planning commission, Kelly Olsen." It's like he was trying to run for council again. I will agree there are some hypocrites on the planning commission, but I'll take this one even with Mr. Arrogance as the chair over the previous planning commission.

In regards to Bruria Finkel's August 20 letter stating that the residents of Sunset Park want their granny flats. I've heard a lot of people in the Sunset Park area who do not. As a liberal Republican, I believe people have a right to build a granny flat. But in no way does anybody feel that these granny flats should be used as a form of low income housing, as Bruria stated.

Remember, this is R1- single family homes. If you have it Bruria's way, you will have effectively changed it to R2, and that is not what people want.

Chuck Allord
Santa Monica

September 10, 2001

Dear Editor,

My eyes nearly dropped out of my head when I read Bruria Finkel's letter to the editor. Could someone please explain to me who Bruria thinks she is to say that Sunset Park residents support second units?

It's all well and good said if she, as a individual, believes that second units are a good thing, but she does not speak for the residents of Sunset Park. Second units (in my opinion) clog up neighborhoods that are already too dense to begin with. More people will mean more traffic and parking problems.

Another issue I take with Bruria is her belief that "Housing in Santa Monica is a number one issue." Once again, Bruria, that is only your opinion, and not of the whole. I believe that parks and open space is the number one issue in S.M. After all, we get housing every year. When was the last time we got a new park?

John Estes
Sunset Park (Santa Monica)

September 11, 2001

Dear Editor,

Santa Monica Mourns... and our caring, compassionate City Council holds its Tuesday night meeting as usual. Maybe they don't care about being home with their families in a time of crisis, but the rest of us who would normally participate in the process do. They have no heart or conscience. Shame.

Bill Bauer
Santa Monica

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