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Re: "Summer of Sam," (Matt Coker's A Clockwork Orange, Sept. 24): Kudos to Virginia Strom-Martin for introducing the industrial-hemp resolution. But I was confused by the nature of the vote, which was "split along party lines." Why would one major political party unanimously oppose the rights of farmers to grow profitable crops?

—Danny Terwey, Santa Cruz Matt Coker responds: Because they inhaled. FANTASY ISLAND

I disagree with Joel Beers' review of the fantasy musical Violet (Theater, Sept. 24). I found it energetic and delightful—a genuine theatrical experience that reminded me of the Rock Cantatas that I used to see at Columbia College in Chicago. Theater that is too slick or too competent just turns me off. I need the communion between Actor and Audience. I need to strive with the actors to arrive at that magical place that is theater.

For example, a few months ago, I saw a performance at the Rude Guerrilla Theater that was incomprehensible, yet something about the performers—their spirit—made it a performance I will never forget. I feel somewhat the same about Violet. The music was superb, the performances inspired, the story a fantasy.

What more can we ask for?

—Arnold Klugman, Irvine Joel Beers responds: What more can we ask for? Language that doesn't sound trite and redundant? Songs that add to a story rather than detract? Thoughtful execution that brings a pretty good idea to fruition rather than undermines it? In short, we can hope for nothing less than absolute theatrical brilliance. By the way, Arnold, the next time you see an incompetent, incomprehensible theater production, let me know. That's the type of stuff I pay good money to see. THINGS HAD BEST CHANGE

Re: Bob Emmers' "The Kid Is Innocent" (Feature, Sept. 17): This story left me feeling surprised and deeply concerned. Surprised because it always shocks me when a blatant injustice gets the necessary attention it deserves by the media. We should be thankful that a candid, courageous reporter like Mr. Emmers was given the latitude to write such an important article.

The foundation for my concern over this issue is obvious. So many times during an event when young people lash out aggressively and violently toward other people or themselves, the same ignorant and insensitive questions are asked, such as, "How could such a thing happen?" or, "This is an outrage—what can we do?"

My response to these predictable aftershock questions is, "If you would only listen to what young people have to say, then maybe these things can be avoided."

What happened to Arthur Carmona is a shame, a gross understatement, tantamount to the fact that racism still affects everyone in our society. Violence, apathy and fear permeate our youth's culture. Carmona is a kid trying to do the right thing with not only his life but also the lives of those around him. What is his reward? A 12-year sentence in jail.

Our judicial system needs to recognize that if our society wants to avoid more Littletons (at worst) or children who have no hope for the future (at best), we'd better stop bullying and denying the rights of the really good kids out there, kids like Arthur Carmona.

—Terrence Winston, GlendaleDANA'S POINT

Re: Letters, Oct. 1: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher wrote of Huntington Beach's recent beach closures, "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."

Is he kidding? The headline in Aug. 31's Orange County Register read, "Baugh Questions Beach Closure" and was followed by this lead and first quote: "Assemblyman Scott Baugh said Monday that he will seek emergency action to force Orange County health officials to change their interpretation of a new state law that's led to the closure of parts of Huntington Beach for more than two months."

"The closings may have been premature or broader than necessary," said the Huntington Beach Republican.

I know the congressman is sayingthat no one is advocating the opening of unsafe beaches, and I hear him. Maybe he didn't see the Register clip? By his comments, clearly Mr. Baugh thinks otherwise and knows better than the county health officer. As for the Surfrider Foundation, we continue to support the health and safety laws that provide for the posting and closing of dirty beaches through science rather than politics, and we will watch to see that our elected servants do the same.

—Christopher J. Evans, executive director, Surfrider Foundation, San ClementeFIRING SQUAD

I stand ready, willing and able to use my gun, to kill if necessary, to protect the freedom of the press as reserved to the people in the First Amendment to the Constitution, even though I do not own a newspaper. Why are you unwilling to use your newspaper to halt and repulse the headlong rush to discredit, demonize and destroy the Second Amendment, which stands with the First as an equally "unalienable right" (Nick Schou's "Not Ready for Prime Time: Does a new California law spell the end for the state's junk-gun makers?" Sept. 10)?

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