Don't Believe the Spin Doctors

Westwood residents have attended countless meetings and rallies, been surveyed door to door, by phone and by mail. When asked if they want a movie mall on the Smedra site, the answer is a resounding no. When asked if they support revitalization in the Village, they enthusiastically say yes. (Developer Ira) Smedra's spin doctors intentionally confuse the two questions, and claim that support for revitalization equals support for their fatally flawed movie mall. Wrong!

More significantly, telemarketing does not count in the courtroom. Smedra's movie mall is illegal. All the bogus polls, letters to the editor by Martin Kristal and company, and offers of free food at Smedra rallies cannot make this massive movie mall legal. It is a doomed project. The expensive public relations blitzkrieg amounts to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Events are overtaking Smedra's ill-conceived project, and there is serious doubt that it will ever be built because it still does not have a movie operator, and because it is illegal and will be challenged in the courts by a united Westwood community. New property owners in the Village agree with Friends of Westwood and six other community groups that more movies will not help the Village.

It's time to build with the generous entitlements granted under the visionary Westwood Village Specific Plan as all the other developments, including the Mann Theater project, have pledged to do. Projects that adhere closely to the plan and serve our community deserve strong community support.

Indeed, Smedra's project could be near completion if he built according to the law and did not demand excessive new entitlements. His demands have caused these delays.

When projects stick to the law and serve our community, Friends of Westwood is the first to say yes, and to help. That's why Friends of Westwood is proud to support the new Michael Chow restaurant proposed for the Dome Building. This fine restaurant will bring back neighbors. A movie mall on Glendon Avenue will not.

LAURA LAKE

President

Friends of Westwood

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