Letters

Dave Wielenga's "The Starbucks Solution" (Feature, June 11), which was quite interesting and well-done, is about a coffee-shop David who, challenged by a corporate-coffeehouse Goliath, accepts the challenge and does so successfully. So why is it that the Goliath (poor dear) gets the big headline and the big picture? Is it to garner sympathy for the unsuccessful Goliath? Would not responsible editing have headlined the intended victim and shown a picture of the aggrieved intended victim coffee shop, not that of the attacker? After all, the article is not really about Starbucks; it's about Polly's Gourmet Coffee. But it's the Goliath who gets the prominence.

If you carried foreign news, would you write an article sympathetic to the Kosovo Albanians but headline the Serbs, complete with their pictures? Is this a new brand of journalism? Is this sloppy editing? Or is there some weird psychological angle that I missed?

Harry Y. Snyder, Seal Beach The editors respond: There is some weird psychological angle that you missed. But you wouldn't understand it were we to explain it to you. ANOTHER SATISFIED CUSTOMER

Your pathetic stab at the residents of Newport Beach was as much a waste of paper as your magazine (Nathan Callahan's Suburban Manners, June 11). Let's consider the fact that Newport residents living on the harbor have dealt with the minute inconvenience of noise pollution from the airport for years, with minimal complaining. Why on earth would you find it journalistically relevant to rent a boat and harass George Argyros over a plan that has enormous potential benefits for Orange County?

Does Argyros' wealth make him a reasonable target for the Coastline Community College District dropouts you call journalists? If wealth makes someone a reasonable target for your magazine, perhaps you should take a brief look at the big picture when choosing potential targets. For this purpose, you could do a comparative analysis of one of your targets and, let's say, your magazine. Has this person earned his living ethically, like Argyros? Maybe you could also look at the positive things the person has done for the county, such as the countless contributions Argyros has made to local schools and causes. I guess in that arena, it wouldn't be fair to compare you any longer because your magazine hasn't made a single positive contribution to Orange County, except for providing movie and concert information.

Frankly, I am sick of the hypocritical angle of your magazine. If these noise tests were being used to shut down the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, you would be up in arms. However, you are all for it if it keeps you from occasionally hearing a commercial jet, which, by the way, is considerably quieter than the military jets that have been flying in and out of that airfield for years.

How about, for a change, recognizing people such as Argyros for their positive contributions and saving the attacks on the rich for the day when you walk the moral high ground and don't have to advertise hookers to make some extra cash. I look forward to the day that your magazine has some value beyond checking show times and lining my bird's cage. I know you won't bother printing this because it doesn't support your magazine's increasingly whacked-out liberal agenda, but maybe it will give you something to think about.

Dave Slavik, Newport Beach Nobody in particular responds: It's conceivable that Mr. Slavik can't hear the noise emanating from John Wayne Airport—or hear the common-sense arguments of airport opponents—because his ears are squeezed tightly between George Argyros' butt cheeks. So pull your head out and listen, Mr. Slavik. First, we didn't take a pathetic stab at Newport Beach residents; we took a pathetic stab at people who say John Wayne Airport is noisy and polluting—and then want to foist a bigger airport on their neighbors. Second, it would be wonderful if your neighbors didn't complain about airport noise—that would lead to the logical conclusion that expanding John Wayne Airport is the best response to the county's (mythical) rising airline-passenger demand. But the fact is your neighbors do complain—and frequently. On average, the county's Noise-Abatement Office receives 100 calls per month from residents near John Wayne Airport; in the summer, that number rises about 20 percent. We don't blame the callers—airports don't make good neighbors—but we'd point out that the complaints roll in despite severe restrictions on John Wayne Airport's operations. Those same restrictions—the ban on night flights, for example—would be illegal at the proposed El Toro International Airport, which is one reason residents throughout Orange County don't like the idea of building the nation's fifth-largest airport there. Finally, we don't dislike Argyros because of his wealth—we don't dislike him at all. We just dislike the fact that he wants to bankroll construction of a noxious airport among residents who don't want it. And call us crazy, but his incredible wealth doesn't make Argyros immune to criticism, and it certainly doesn't make him king of Orange County, although with you around, he's clearly got a fool.

P.S. Don't wait for the day you find the Weekly worth your time; that's what Veronica's Closet is for today.

WORD UP
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