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Re: Bob Emmers' "Slumlord Sweepstakes!" (Feature, Sept. 10): Congratulations to Eve Mitchell for providing affordable housing to many people despite many government regulations against it. Shame on the county for kicking these people out of their homes, especially since this place has existed for years without any complaints. For those who think these residents are exploited, I challenge you to provide housing that these people would prefer to their current homes at a price they can afford.

—Paul Studier, Lake Forest

I am still at a loss as to whether allowing people to live in the canyon is right or wrong, though my gut tells me that the Mitchells are not listening to the sounds of hungry bellies as they try to sleep at night. The poor always get it up the ass, and the rich play with codes like wannabe hackers playing with programs at a PC convention. On the other hand, were there not very similar conditions during the '60s that we dubbed communes?

—Brett M. Stark, Costa Mesa


Nick Schou's "Not Ready for Prime Time: Does a new California law spell the end for the state's junk-gun makers?" (The County, Sept. 10) did mention the implementation of drop and misfire tests, but he omitted that this bill may have the effect of banning all used handguns in California—and not just ones that are dangerous to the shooter—depending upon how the language of the bill is interpreted. How? First, the tests mandated by the bill are required on not only new firearms but also used ones, including models no longer in production or made by companies that no longer exist. In either case, three examples of each model will never be available for "safety" testing as per the bill, effectively banning their sales. Some collectable or rare firearms that do not fit the definition of curio or relic (which are exempt) have values in the thousands of dollars, making for some very high-priced "Saturday night specials." And while the bill indicates that private sales between individuals are not prohibited unless federal requirements change (not likely), the transfer must still be handled by a dealer, which is prohibited. Will this contradiction be enforced? Associates in the industry believe it could, and let me ask you: Who would stop Governor Gray Davis from doing it?

—Bill Field, Huntington Beach


Paul Mardsen says cities should not build skateboard parks because that would represent a subsidy for a limited group of people (Letters, Sept. 3). In fact, everything a city builds is at everyone's expense and not for everyone's use. Most cities build basketball courts, for example, but not everybody plays. Most cities build handicapped-access ramps, but not everyone is handicapped. What about streets for people who don't even drive?

—Jeff Greenwood, Editor,Concrete Disciples Skateboard Magazine

Re: Steve Lowery's "Orange County's Radical Cultural Czars" (Feature, Aug. 20):

I just wanted to let you all know that some people hate being referred to as the "kids" in every article that has to do with surfing/skating/ snowboarding/etc. Any person who has even the slightest amount of credibility should know that the whole industry is not run by or for children. At this point, hasn't it become obvious that the skate and surf industries are run by adults who create the look/ attitude that all the little kids then pick up on? Do people still believe that all skaters and surfers are 12 and under?

—A. Geddes, Long Beach


I read David Young's article on "Small, Fuzzy Justice" (The County, Sept. 10). I was very disappointed about the article. I have personally owned a wonderful ferret named Penny for more than a year. Penny is always a sweet, wonderful and kind pet. It is very unfair to condemn all ferrets. Ferrets are individuals just like people. Each ferret is unique. I also disagree with most of the article; for example, he says, "Ferrets failed to survive in the wild." I totally disagree. Have you ever heard of the blackfooted ferret? Well, all I want to say is you should be ashamed of yourself!

—Virginia (not her real name), Age 12 Steve Lowery, for no apparent reason, responds: Yes, Virginia, we are ashamed of ourselves. Apparently, our article left you with the impression that we are anti-ferret. Nothing could be further from the truth. You see, Virginia, we believe in ferrets. We believe in ferrets as certainly as we believe in sunshine and children's laughter. We believe ferrets are our future; we believe that ferrets are all that is good and wonderful. We believe ferrets run Hollywood. We believe Almighty God created ferrets to be our friends, to comfort us when we are low and act as intergalactic sentinels in our never-ending battle against the giant hermaphrodite spore mutants of Planet Blync. Alas, dear Virginia, what a dreary world it would be without ferrets. Calvin Coolidge was a ferret. Douglas MacArthur was a ferret. Former President George Bush is a ferret, and so is Jenny Jones—as compelling an argument to spay and neuter your ferret if ever there were one. Not believe in ferrets? We'd sooner not believe in our robot friend Mitch who flies high in the sky and writes messages to us in the clouds, messages only we can see, messages that tell us to do things, sometimes bad things. Yes, Virginia, we believe in ferrets, and we thank heaven ferrets live and will live forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia—nay, 10 times 10,000 years from now—they will continue to make glad the heart of childhood. Besides, they're delicious. Merry Christmas!
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