This letter is in response to the letter blaming Proposition 13 for the bankruptcy of California instead of blaming the politicians who are unable to properly run this great state or even take an interest in trying to do the job they were voted in to do. Perhaps it would be wise to recall why Prop. 13 was passed in the first place. Because of the sudden growth of our population and the influx of the tech industry, property prices started to rise, so the state lawmakers decided it was quite all right to just raise property taxes at their whim. This caused many elders who were retired and on fixed incomes to have to sell their homes because they could not afford these taxes. I knew many who were affected in this way. Obviously, the hideous taxation condition dictated that people would have to take taxation into their own hands and we passed Prop. 13. Now, when you buy a home, you have some sort of certainty as to what the tax bill will be. This helped California to grow and prosper. The state is not lacking in funds; it's just not spending the funds that it does get judiciously. The state began keeping all the property tax money for themselves, and over the years individual counties and districts have had to pass other taxes voted by the people to fund local needs. Everyone should be wise enough to know the state legislators will tax and spend us to death if allowed to do so.
At the end of the Alejandro Adams article ("Independents' Day," Cover Story, July 1), I made a joke about the indie film scene being so overbooked it was hard to get an audience to watch people have sex. I should have talked directly to Tony Comstock, the successful director of seven tender documentaries on the way various types of people make love.
Comstock has written a three-part piece titled "How Film Festivals and Distribution Deals Kill Independent Films" on his ComstockFilms.com blog (NSFW), which is absolutely required reading for indie-film watchers and makers. Via phone, Comstock says that he is deeply frustrated with the film-festival circuit: "It leaves you broke and desperate—the worst possible position to be in when a distributor comes." But he emphasizes that he has made a successful end run around this circuit, through the internet and direct sales. His films go through multiple pressings on DVD. Comstock considers, as "indie production gods we should worship" Bruce Brown and Warren Miller, who hand-made their documentaries about surfing and skiing, respectively, four-walled (rented) theaters and used the profits to make more films.
Comstock is continuing to get recognition and make a living as an indie filmmaker. It wasn't my intention to insult Tony Comstock. My intention was to criticize a scene that's wearing down and bankrupting young talent.
Richard von Busack
FIlm Reviewer Extraordinaire
In our Arcadia issue, Jackie Johansen's article about geocaching ("Hide and Seek," July 22) incorrectly referred to the official geocaching website as Groundspeak. The actual website, as anyone with a rudimentary handle on this crazy newfangled device called Google could tell you, is easily found at www.geocaching.com.
Furthermore, it's been drawn to our attention by a small contingent of Boho Cache participants that certain coordinates printed in our Great Bohemian GPS Stash Hunt just, like, totally have to be wrong, because even after looking and looking and looking, where's the friggin' Boho Cache? Considering the attention drawn by happy and celebratory Boho Cache participants who have come up with the goods, we kindly suggest to take a deep breath, think of whatever calms you (Cary Grant, in our case) and keep looking. All Boho Caches have been placed within 100 yards of the subjects written about, and if you just reach that nutzoid frustrated zone where you can't take it anymore and want to throw your GPS against the wall and curse our names forever, MapQuest has a handy little latitude -longitude map that'll point you to the exact spot. Bingo!
Ass. Ed., emphasis on 'Ass.,' N 38° 26.604´, W 122° 42.600´