Sins of the Past, Stories of the Present

Re: “Westsiders Join the Fight to Keep Immigrant Families Together,” Cover Story, June 28

“Well, but is it true that they have been passing a law forbidding people to give meat and drink to those poor colored folks that come along? I heard they were talking of some such law, but I didn’t think any Christian legislature would pass it!”

“Why, Mary, you are getting to be a politician, all at once.”

“No, nonsense! I wouldn’t give a fig for all your politics, generally, but I think this is something downright cruel and unchristian. I hope, my dear, no such law has been passed.”

“There has been a law passed forbidding people to help off the slaves that come over from Kentucky, my dear; so much of that thing has been done by these reckless Abolitionists, that our brethren in Kentucky are very strongly excited, and it seems necessary, and no more than Christian and kind, that something should be done by our state to quiet the excitement.”

What you just read was taken from page 91 of my copy of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” written 167 years ago. This conversation between a senator and his wife could easily play out almost verbatim in Washington D.C. today when applied to illegal immigration problems we now face.

We are enforcing laws and detaining people who are not runaway slaves but runaway refugees escaping war, crime, violence, drought, famine, climate change and much, much more.

What this seems to tell me is that as social change surges forward all around us, America never seems to learn from its own mistakes. We do the same things over and over again.

J. R. Ball

Westchester Is Being Overdeveloped

Re: “More Trouble in Paradise,” News, July 5

Legado represents yet another five-story apartment complex appearing with little to no concern for the surrounding area. This time it’s Playa del Rey instead of Westchester, where at least four or five similar complexes are going up on whatever commercial corners that developers can get their sticky little hands on. It appears there’s no stopping these monstrosities that block the daylight from the single-family dwellings they border.

It’s always the same excuse: This helps satisfy our need for more affordable housing. That’s B.S. The Planning Commission rubber-stamps these projects without stepping back to determine if the project actually fits into the affected community. Legado doesn’t fit, nor do many of the projects in Westchester. But count on the L.A. City Council to blindly approve them. I’m not sure how much real effort Councilman Bonin has put into stopping these projects, but from the look of it he’s failed to stop any of them.

Glen Kacena, Westchester

Unnecessary Market Manipulation

Re: “County Eyes Rent Control for Marina del Rey,” News, July 19

The L.A. City Council had the brilliant idea to redirect trash pickups to just one company in each neighborhood. The result has been higher costs and, in some cases, poorer service. Now the L.A. County Board of Supervisors wants to impose confiscatory rent controls that will benefit a few people (some of them wealthy) while discouraging housing construction to serve our growing population. No one will move, and that will make it very difficult to find an apartment.

Frank McGinity



Re: “Mr. Hospitality: Mo Krant,” Westsiders Special Issue, July 26

The accolades for Mo are well-deserved. He is one of a kind.


He acts like a “Rotarian at Heart” and lives the motto of “service above self.” Well done.

Peter Smyth

Mo is an awesome host. As one of a large group of Kiwis who make a pilgrimage to Mo’s every time we are in the States, Mo welcomes us with open arms and provides great food, a place with a great vibe, friendly staff and lots of laughs. A well-deserved accolade.

John Reid