I will share a thought: the district attorney is supposed to represent the state of California in criminal matters. Arthur and I are part of that group, and so are you. We are trying to let them know they made a big mistake and something needs to get done, but it is up to you to let the district attorney know that you were not represented in this case. Write to: District Attorney Anthony Rackauckas, 700 Civic Center Dr. W., Santa Ana, CA 92701, or call (714) 834-3600.

Hopefully, very soon, they will undo the damage that has been done to my son. He has been robbed of something that can not be replaced: his youth. Arthur would like to graduate from high school with the rest of his classmates, and maybe together, we can accomplish this. Thank you for helping us fight for justice.

—Ronnie Carmona, Costa Mesa

I believe a true cynic would say that Carmona got 12 years in prison not because he lives in Costa Mesa, but rather because he is Latino and the crime was committed in Irvine. After all, it was the Irvine Police Department that investigated the crime and submitted it to the district attorney's office.

Investigators assisting the Carmona family should think about looking into other crimes investigated by the department involving other minorities. In the Sept. 16 Times Orange County, Irvine Mayor Christina Shea states, "The Police Department and how they deal with people is really pathetic," and, "If they lie about this, they'll certainly lie about everybody else over there."

—Jose Ixmay, Irvine RAISING A STINK

Re: R. Scott Moxley's "Money Talks, Feces Disappear" (The County, Sept. 17): Thank you for the admirable article on the staggering pollution situation in Huntington Beach. It is disgraceful that political agendas are put ahead of public health ("After Labor Day, officials reluctantly confessed they had lowered health standards."). Also, in Matt Coker's related A Clockwork Orange article, to read Sanitation Districts spokeswoman Michelle Tuchman say, "Fish are loving it out [by the sewage pipe]"—what a load of lies! Who are we voting for? These people are ignominious!

I am originally from New Zealand and am an avid surfer. I am simply horrified at the water quality here, and I had to have sinus surgery to get rid of an infection caught at River Jetties a couple of years ago. I now would not consider bringing my children up in Orange County, as the ocean is disgusting here and political agendas are worse. I wish more people would join the Surfrider Foundation (it is only $40 for a family) so we can stand up to this situation and control the polluters and their protectors.

—Jason Wallis, via e-mail

The feces in Huntington Beach waters didn't just disappear—it looks like it just resurfaced in the pages of the OC Weekly. R. Scott Moxley's article on our beach-water contamination problem claimed that I "slammed the scientists and health experts who had closed unsafe beaches." What?! As with other posturing that was done on this issue, the OC Weekly neglected to pinpoint the central issue that was causing friction between myself/Assemblyman Scott Baugh on one side and unelected county health officials on the other. No one advocated opening or keeping open "unsafe beaches." The conflict centered on whether the public should be barred from beaches whose waters are found to be safe and healthy according to recognized scientific standards. One can cloud the waters or cloud the issue, as the OC Weekly and the Surfrider Foundation did by implying otherwise, but no one recommended opening unsafe beaches.

Whether it's bacteria levels or needles, taking care of our coastal waters is vitally important. But if the water is clean and healthy, keeping surfers and others in the public out of the water is indefensible. Baugh and I are proud to have fought against the bureaucratic inertia that would have prevented the public from using their coastal waters when it's safe and healthy to do so.

—Dana Rohrabacher, member of Congress, Huntington Beach

Re: Nick Schou's "A Sewer Runs Through It" (The County, Sept. 17): Whether Gordon LaBedz from the Surfrider Foundation feels it is "inappropriate," we all live in river drainages. Everything that falls to the ground and is not picked up eventually makes its way to the ocean, whether it is asbestos fibers from your brakes, oil or coolant that dripped from your engine, fertilizers or herbicides from your lawn, or dog droppings. When the Santa Ana River was in its natural state, the silts and clays could filter out and decompose all of the organic matter left by all of the humans and animals in the drainage.

Today, there are several million people living in the drainage rather than a few thousand. That's a thousand times the waste, not taking into account that we are using resources at a much greater rate than the few natives and Europeans who lived here 200 years ago. If we return the river to its natural state, I guarantee it will more closely resemble a sewer than it does today.

If we want the runoff entering the ocean to be clean, we need to: 1) be more aware of what organic and inorganic chemicals we are dumping in the gutter and 2) treat all storm-drain runoff. The latter will be expensive, but if you want the runoff to be clean, you have to clean the runoff.

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