The LookOut Letters to the Editor
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Junk email, Waging Battle and a 650-year-old Ordinance

July 27, 2001

Dear City Council,

Last Sunday's New York Times ran an astonishing story. It reported that the Hooters restaurant chain had filed for bankruptcy protection after being slammed with a $12 million fine. Its crime: Sending unsolicited junk faxes.

Whatever you think of the Hooters gimmick (waitresses wearing "skimpy outfits," as The Times tactfully put it), you've got to admit that it's about time someone started enforcing the 1991 federal law that sets an expensive penalty for junk faxes. The best part of the story was the quote from Robert M. Horne, owner of a company called American Blast Fax. He said that he was closing down his business: "If you were facing in excess of $1 billion against you and your company, you would be rethinking what you were going to do for a living, too."

I can only hope that other junk faxers, whom I place somewhere between con artists and single-celled organisms, react the same way. I get junk faxes constantly; just contemplating the waste, expense and environmental damage drives me wiggy. When a phone number is provided, I always call up the senders and remind them of the no-junk-fax law; they usually just laugh in my face. It's high time the people who use this sleazy, illegal advertising tactic be run out of business or, preferably, be forced to eat a roll of fax paper before a crowd.

What's very strange, however, is that, after all these years, our elected officials seem unable to pass a similar law banning junk e-mail. We now have protection against junk phone calls and junk faxes; what's the holdup in putting an end to the most annoying scheme of all?

Paul Rosenstein
Santa Monica

Cc Editor,

(Rosenstein is a former Santa Monica mayor)

July 26, 2001

Dear Editor,

(Re: "Takin' it to the Streets: Both Sides of Living Wage Battle for Voters' Souls," July 26)

Mr. Larmore has absolutely no idea who was at the press conference on the beach square. I was there and I would say that at least 79 percent of the attendees were Santa Monica residents.

I also believe that the living wage issue is not ONLY a Santa Monica's issue. It is a national issue, and anyone who participates in support of the living wage, more power to them.

The level of manipulation by the big hotels and the opposition to the living wage smells real bad. They would spend millions to oppose the living wage rather then pay a decent living wage.

Lets face it, $10.50 an hour is about $22,000 a year. Can Mr. Larmore live on that amount?


Bruria Finkel
Santa Monica

July 18, 2001

Dear Editor,

(Re: What I Say, "To Review or not to Review," Feb. 2, 2001)

Thanks for the 1346 quote from the Sienna City Council. I found your column while doing an internet search in Sienna a few blocks from the Piazza del Campo. As I watched the crowds enjoying themselves last night, I wonder what the Council of Nine debate must have been like as they discussed the construction of the Piazza del Campo.

Your quote confirms what I believe to be true: the debates that were held hundreds of years ago in these places that we love were much more profound and meaningful than almost any discussion occurring in today's urban growth discussions. We have lost a sense of the profound and important in our discussion of place.

I am now a real estate developer in Charleston, South Carolina -- the name of my firm is Civitas. I was formerly Executive Assistant to Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., who taught me many important lessons of good urban design.

I read your column that began with the Siena quote and very much agreed with your closing thoughts. I wanted you to know that your work was very helpful to an American in Sienna. Keep up the good fight!

David Agnew
Charleston, South Carolina

July 13, 2001

Dear Editor,

(Re: Sports column "Former Outlook Sportswriter Dies," July 9)

I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of Terry's death. I was fortunate to make his acquaintance during his coverage of the athletic programs at St. Monica.

I will truly miss him as a professional and as a person.

Michele Rice
St. Monica High School

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