LETTERS : Warnings on Alcohol Deserve Equal Time

"Should Beer, Wine Ads Be Banned on Airwaves?" (March 10) is only half of the issue raised by the nearly one million signers of the Project SMART (Stop Marketing Alcohol on Radio and Television) petition directed at Congress and the President. Requiring broadcasters on the public's airwaves to provide equal or balanced time for alcohol-related health and safety messages (real, informative and educative alcohol-problems "commercials") was the other half of the equation absent from your discussion.

So self-serving is the "freedom" that the dynamic duo (on the yea side) prat about that they shudder (all the way to the bank) at not only ingredient, alcohol-content-by-volume and warning labeling but also at full disclosure on the public's airwaves of the potentially grave risks of using booze.

But isn't it revealing that the booze merchants and their related pushers have now undertaken a major public service (propaganda) campaign to prove the value of advertising by getting Americans to learn to say no to drugs, to use and not abuse, as if habits didn't first begin with use--and continued use--especially of easily available mind-altering ethyl alcohol.

It is ironic that the Distilled Spirits Council president should have responded and not his beer and wine counterparts. His industry, after all, felt compelled to voluntarily not advertise in the broadcast media as a result of the federal cigarette ad ban enacted during the first Nixon term.

So, what concerned parents and taxpayers who don't want America to be consumed by alcohol-ization are finally saying to policy-makers, over a half century since the repeal, is: "Booze merchants, you have oversold your product everywhere, you have polluted our life styles and our youth, and enough is enough!"


Board Member

State Advisory Board

on Alcohol-Related Problems


Not What It Seems to Be

"Group to Buy Downtown May Building" (Feb. 22) was refreshing as it shows the resurgence of the downtown area. But your article implied that the Eberhardt-Tally and the Page lease, buildings and parcels are in escrow. Those are the two most southerly 60-foot parcels on Hill Street and south of the original building. They are shown as part of the complex in three of your photos. They are not in escrow.

A bit of history will explain:

In 1906, the Hamburger family built the five-story building at Eighth Street between Hill and Broadway, in a move to the south. By reputation, it was then the biggest store in town. In 1912, T. L. Tally built Tally's Broadway Theatre just south of the Hamburger building on Broadway and leased the land to the west.

The Hamburger Store was a success, and in 1916 the May Co. bought the store. Success crowned their efforts. By 1924, they needed more space and built a new nine-story concrete and steel building on the south and opened it up to be used as one building with the original Hamburger building.

Prosperity followed, and in 1929 the May Co. expanded again by constructing another nine-story concrete and steel building to the south between Hill and Broadway, to constitute another enlarged building in use with the May Co. Your article showed the Hill Street facade, which included all three buildings and showed them as one building (which is presently true).

The later buildings were built on long-term leases, which are still in effect. Both Eberhardt and the Tally family are still "on title" from a lease signed in 1917.

The proposed new use appears to recognize the vitality of this area of downtown Los Angeles.


Los Angeles

Social Security's Spirit

I commend The Times for printing "Freezing Social Security Hikes Wouldn't Cut Budget Deficits" (Feb. 10), wherein fact is distinguished from fiction regarding the Social Security Trust Fund as a separate entity. It should be mandatory reading for all senators and congressmen.

I recall that when the Social Security Reform Commission's report was approved by Congress, it was predicated upon the declaration that the solvency of the Trust Fund would be ensured for 75 years. How can they have forgotten and telescoped 75 years into two?

The problem is not actuarial--it is political and part of the same repressive package that the Reagan Administration is pursuing to emasculate and decimate all the social programs of the past 50 years. To justify a reduction in the budget deficit, the cost of living allowance is being used as a patsy. This maneuver is immoral and reprehensible; in fact it is the very antithesis of the Social Security Act of 1935.

Because many of those in Congress were very young, or may not yet have been born, in 1935 when the act was passed, they may not be aware of the spirit and intent of the Social Security Act as defined by the architect, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In presenting the report of the Committee on Economic Security to Congress on Jan. 17, 1935, he said, "A program of economic security, as we envision it, must have as its primary aim the assurance of an adequate income to each human being in childhood, youth, middle or old age, in sickness or in health.

It must provide safeguards against all hazards leading to destitution and dependency. A piecemeal approach is dictated by practical considerations but the broad objectives should never be forgotten."

And when he signed the Social Security Act on Aug. 14, 1935, he called it, "The cornerstone of a structure that is far from complete."


Los Angeles

Letters to the Business Editor should be as brief as possible and are subject to condensation.

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