When I was in law school in the 1980s, antitrust was still a thing. Then we surrendered to the giants. I hope our representatives take action to limit the power of the big four corporations that are monopolizing their markets.
An example of the harm is the Amazon bookstore in the Palisades Village. Our very special independent bookstore, Village Books, could not compete with Amazon’s online sales. After Village Books died, Amazon opened a store on the very same street in the Caruso village.
Jeff Bezos earned $13 billion in just one day, personally. If Amazon can dominate the market, how about creating a fund for independent bookstores to survive?
The Amazon store is not a bookstore. The employees are not readers who can recommend books. There are no readings.
Village Books was magical. The store had midnight book parties for each Harry Potter book as it came out with costumes and poster contests. They made books thrilling for my kids. I made friends with the employees who knew the books and knew what I liked.
I miss having a real bookstore in my community so much. Amazon is generic and soulless. It’s like McDonald’s taking over health food stores.
If you buy books online, please do so through an independent bookstore. There are a few still holding on and they need our support!
Lisa Kaas Boyle
During this uncertain and destabilizing time, I have watched with growing alarm as school districts across LA County propose drastic cuts to arts education programs. While there is no doubt that the economic devastation caused by COVID-19 is forcing leaders to make difficult decisions, I take this opportunity to remind our school board members that California education code legally requires every student to have access to arts education.
Additionally, multiple studies show that arts education increases student engagement, their sense of connection, average daily attendance rates, and thus graduation rates. This cannot be overlooked as distance learning fuels an “engagement crisis” and drop-out rates spike across the state. Evidence shows that students with arts ed are:
- 5x less likely to drop out of school,
- 4x more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, and
- 3x more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree.
This is an issue of basic equity. We know low-income students and students of color face the greatest barriers to the high-quality arts instruction they deserve. And, because the creative sector generates 1 in 10 jobs in the SoCal region, cutting funding for these essential programs will negatively impact an entire generation of students preparing to enter California’s workforce.
If we fail to recognize the importance of arts education, we fail our children. We must invest in the arts programs that will ensure students have the tools they need to thrive. Do not cut arts education funding when our children need it most.
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