The LookOut Letters to the Editor
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"SMRR-logic," Catholic Bashing" and "Diabolical Treatment"

January 25, 2002

Dear Editor,

Re: Frank Gruber's column (WHAT I SAY -- "When More is Less," January 25, 2002) on improvements for the 405 freeway. Both Frank and Councilman Kevin McKeown seem to be under the misconception that improvements to roads and freeways cause traffic. This is another perfect example of SMRR-logic.

Traffic increases are a result of increases in development. More development means more people, which usually means more development. People have to get from jobs to home to school to shopping and that means driving for most of us. Not improving the roads will make it more difficult for all of us to drive. Gruber seems to think that improving the roads and freeways will make it more difficult to drive. Sorry Frank, I'm not buying it.

Gruber's reasoning reminds me of something that Councilwoman Pam O'Connor said recently: that requiring new retail projects to put in more parking than is presently required by code would only encourage more drivers, more cars and more traffic. If that is the case, why approve the development in the first place?

One of the answers to mitigating traffic increases is restricting development. Playa Vista in the Marina Del Rey area will puts tens of thousands of cars on the 405 and thousands more on Lincoln Boulevard -- whether or not there are any road improvements.

That plus other ongoing projects add more vehicles to the freeways and streets every day. The quicker ex-planning commissioners like Frank Gruber and our SMRR-majority run City Council realize that, then the sooner we will we be on the right road to doing something positive about traffic instead of making it worse.

Bill Bauer
Santa Monica

January 24, 2002

Dear Editor,

In response to Kurt Peterson ("Ashamed to be Catholic, Kissing A-- and Salty Jam," January 21, 2002) and his diatribe against Saint John's Hospital. Let us hope Peterson never is in an accident and is brought to Saint John's for treatment. I am sure he will protest and say, "Oh no… I will not be treated by non-union members."

Seems that Peterson not only wants the employees to be union members but also the patients. Give us a break, pal.

Peterson is showing his "union thug tactics" by name calling and in this case "catholic bashing." In these politically correct times, he seems immune to the political climate.

Saint John's as well as the hotels have every right NOT to unionize. Unions are NOT the savior of the working class, not in 2002. For the most part all they want is to keep the union members under their control and drain them of their hard earned income by using compulsory dues payments in exchange for false security of job comfort and pay increases that may or may not materialize at "contract" time.

If unions were truly in support of their members, they would enroll them in educational/training programs so the workers may obtain skills and education that would truly make them independent and free to obtain employment in a highly skilled area of the economy and not need a union to hold their hand to obtain a "living wage."

What Peterson would really like is for workers to be total slaves to the unions. There is nothing more "amoral and driven by profit" than a group that would rather see people in constant need and never give them any chance of freedom, but promise them that a brighter future is on its way -- as long as their dues payments are current.

Len LaBounty
Santa Monica

January 24, 2002

Dear Editor:

Bravo to Kurt Peterson for his letter citing Saint John's ironically diabolical treatment of its nursing staff. No, there is nothing saintly about Saint John's.

As a patient, I too experienced "un-Christian" treatment and was shown no "compassionate concern and reverence" for my life as their purported mission states.

I was given an epidural without a betadine sterilization. When spinal cord staph infection followed, I was denied pain medication, treatment, and re-admittance -- all because, as they continually reminded me, "less than 1% of epidurals end in complication." Their arrogance reduced me to a statistic so rare I didn't exist, and those who do not exist do not get treatment.

After they sent me home to die, I had to have four major surgeries (two of them life-saving) at Cedar-Sinai where they did recognize my infection. I am completely disabled and have spent years trying to rehabilitate. Their administration, three times informed, has remained non-responsive, expressing no remorse and taking no responsibility for the horrific condition they left me in. And to add insult to injury - LITERALLY-- the anesthesiologist whose error caused my spinal cord infection not only refused a meeting with me, but offered his $10,000 personal check attached to a silencing agreement which if accepted, would have prohibited me from even writing this letter.

St. John's reprehensible behavior toward me has made me, like Kurt, ashamed to be a Catholic -- ashamed even to have been born at Saint John's. And now I can add that I am ashamed of, although not surprised at, the anti-union campaign they waged against their own nurses.

No, there is nothing saintly about this diabolical institution, and I can join Kurt Peterson in proclaiming that I for "two" will never use this hospital again.

Lorraine Shamey
Santa Monica

January 21, 2002

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your continued coverage of the SMMUSD Board of Education meetings. ("School District Shakeup," January 18.)

I had to leave the last meeting at 11:30 p.m., so I especially appreciate your excellent summary of the discussion of the new re-organization plan, which occurred after I gave up and went home!

Zina Josephs
Santa Monica

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