Most of us old-timers appreciate the lengthy cris de coeur you publish in the letters section about the state of Santa Monica. We feel angry and helpless at the policies, led by the City Council “Gang of Four,” that have transformed our beloved little city into development hell.

Recently you published a contrarian view from a letter writer (“The bad old days,” Letters to the Editor, April 5) whose cri must have emanated from a part of his body other than his coeur as he contrasts the horrors of the bad old days with our present “happy state.” In my half-century in this town I don’t remember things being that awful. Well, OK, I do vaguely remember the Pussycat Theatre, but my morals remain intact. And I remember the bad stuff on the beach, which led to Fourth of July fireworks being moved to the dawn’s early light and then discontinued.

Guess I was running with a different crowd than the letter writer; I just don’t remember the slum he describes.

As for his “gleaming city by the sea,” these days it mostly gleams with the taillights of cars stalled in traffic while frustrated motorists burn gas and time trying to navigate development hell.

The letter writer concludes his jeremiad with a petty attack on Robert Redford’s single paragraph (out of a lengthy, unrelated article in Esquire), that mirrors the sentiments of most Santa Monica residents, old and new. To retaliate against Redford’s actually mild criticism of our current dilemma, the letter writer orders us to boycott his film work and urge media to do the same.

Sorry, but your vicious ad hominem attack is directed against the wrong celebrity. Redford has for decades been in the forefront of environmental concern, local and national. For just one example, he leads the fight against the Pebble Partnership’s horrendous proposal for a gigantic open-pit mine that would devastate pristine Bristol Bay, the nation’s most important salmon fishing habitat, and throw the entire local population out of work.

Trashing people who hold differing opinions from your own doesn’t exactly demonstrate intellectual rigor.


Sara Meric

Santa Monica

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