What’s a left-wing bigot?

Re: “Ad was right to bash Zimmer,” letters, July 24

In last week’s issue of The Argonaut, a gentleman writing a letter used a phrase that confused me. He wrote “typical left-wing bigot.” I am confused because I do not know exactly what this phrase means.

I hope someone can tell me the difference between a “typical left-wing bigot” and an “8th-century right-wing bigot,” for that matter.

Is it possible that maybe there are bigots in both wings? Surely there appears to be many bigots in Washington, D.C., because there is only a small chance that the Middle East receives anything but heartache and many representatives are reluctant to give freedom to all citizens under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

The bigotry appears to be spread among all the areas of our society. Even some of our pastors have joined those who want to keep their prejudice in place.

Perhaps someone can explain to me why the bigotry is not recognized as it exists today in our “United?” States of America.

James R. Buch

Mar Vista

The roads aren’t safe for bikers

Re: “Power to the Pedal,” cover story, July 10

The question on the front page: “Are the roadways ready?” From my perspective the answer is no, not always.

In Santa Monica the streets are generally better than in, let’s say, Mar Vista. In Santa Monica, city workers are also more responsive to input from bikers like me.

I encourage everyone on a bike to be vigilant and look out for trouble. I had a devastating accident in April 2011 on McLaughlin Avenue right by Mar Vista Park that changed my life forever. No other party was involved; the cause was lack of street maintenance by the city of Los Angeles. As a result I suffered a ruptured bladder. The case is still pending in litigation.

The story doesn’t mention the countless number of people who suffer injuries because the city fails to fulfill its obligation to provide safe streets and sidewalks. I hope Councilman Mike Bonin reads this letter — my disaster happened in his district!

Everybody encourages more people getting around on bikes instead of their cars. That’s great, but more accidents and injures will happen.

I’d like to see Councilman Bonin ride his bike over the raised pavement from a tree on the 3600 block of McLaughlin.

How many more people have to get hurt for the city to be responsive?

Have you seen the sidewalks at Centinela Avenue and Charnock? And the people who live in the neighborhood don’t seem to care, but they showed up in force when a pot clinic was discussed for the neighborhood. Where are their priorities?

I invite people to contact me by email so we can make a difference and prevent further accidents. Write to stefantreff@hotmail.com.

Stefan Treff

Santa Monica

The story of the Warsaw Concerto

Re: “Thursdays go symphonic,” this week, July 10

In the description of the programs coming in the Summer Symphony program, there was mention of the Warsaw Concerto from the 1941 British movie “Dangerous Moonlight” (or, in America, “Suicide Squadron”). While researching in the BBC archives some years ago on a writing project, I came across a recording between a BBC interviewer and Desmond Hurst, the director of the movie. The question asked was “Where did the Warsaw Concerto come from?” The music is central to the entire story, not just a background theme or title theme, so, as Hurst explained, time was of the essence.

According to the interview, Hurst asked Sergei Rachmaninoff if he could write a piano concerto for the movie. The composer replied yes, it would require two years. As Rachmaninoff in his reply had made a point of addressing Hurst by his first name, Hurst responded to “Sergei” that he would need the music sooner than that — six weeks actually.

Hurst then took a recording of the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto along with scores for other Rachmaninoff pieces down to Richard Addinsell, who was living outside of London because of the Nazi Blitz then going on. Hurst asked Addinsell for something that would sound like Rachmaninoff, but without taking anything directly from Rachmaninoff. About two weeks later Addinsell met with Hurst in London to play the two themes he had come up with. Hurst immediately dismissed the first theme, but only a few notes into the second, he said, “That’s it!” Addinsell took that theme and delivered the Warsaw Concerto on time, about four weeks later.

The movie is forgotten now, but the Addinsell Concerto has been popular ever since it was first heard some 73 years ago.

Hurst did not mention anything about “Full Moon and Empty Arms” in the interview (which I still have in a box somewhere), but that doesn’t mean that Mr. Fetta is incorrect in his statement that Rachmaninoff wanted too much money for permission to use it.

We are looking forward to the Aug. 7 Marina del Rey Symphony concert at Burton Chace Park.

Barry Wiley

Marina del Rey

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