Letters

ONCE UPON A TIME

Re: "California Misadventure," June 9: This Jim Hill guy gets around! He's been in meetings between Walt Disney and Jack Wrather, obviously, since he knew that "Disney was near tears." He must have direct knowledge of conversations between Michael Eisner and Gary Wilson as well as being privy to specific details of business negotiations between Disney and Wrather Corp. Conversations between Michael Eisner and Paul Pressler? Hill was there! An Aspen meeting? Hill was there! He knows all kinds of closed-door information on Disney and just wants to tell the true, untold story.

Mr. Hill, what a great job you have! You can sit down and write whatever you want with whatever spin you care to create using lines like "Several veteran Imagineers have reportedly warned Disney management that DCA, as it is currently designed, is a seriously flawed theme park." Who are these cloaked veteran Imagineers? Is there any credence to a statement like "reportedly warned"? Reportedly? By whom? "Seriously flawed"? That's a pretty strong statement in an entertainment business that has hundreds of people who are experts in the field to keep track.

Disney's a great story, isn't it? Put Mickey on the cover with a cigarette, and you've got readers! Sprinkle your "creative-writing project" with statements concerning Disney's, Eisner's and even Whoopi Goldberg's thoughts, feelings and statements, for which you have no knowledge or basis, and you have an attention grabber. Then add pure fiction, misstatements and "reliable sources," and you have yourself the true, untold story, don't you?

Julie Carlson
Laguna Niguel Jim Hill responds: Sometimes the truth hurts, Julie. Or is it just that, as a dedicated Disney dweeb, you have trouble accepting any tale that doesn't begin with "once upon a time"? I'm sorry you have a hard time with anonymous sources, but the Mouse has this habit of punishing employees who speak out against the company's plans and policies. As important as I felt it was to get out the real story about Disney's California Adventure (DCA), I certainly wasn't willing to jeopardize anyone's job at Disneyland and Walt Disney Imagineering to do it. This, by the way, is standard practice for articles dealing with sensitive information; does the name "Watergate" mean anything to you? As for the story about Disney and Wrather, that's what we call "research." You go to the Disney Archives, you interview veteran Imagineers-Walt's contemporaries in 1955-and get their take on what happened. Same with the Wilson and Wrather Corp. negotiations. By the way, you seem to think I'm the only writer expressing concerns with Disney's Anaheim expansion plans. Wrong. Both
The Wall Street Journal andThe Motley Fool have recently taken issue with Disney's new "the bottom line is our top priority" corporate philosophy. Once DCA opens in early 2001, you can anticipate a slew of similar stories in the media about this botched project. I imagine you'll be very busy this time next year, writing irate letters defending Mickey's honor.IRONY OR CRAP?

I would like to begin by pointing out the factual error in Alison M. Rosen's story "Don't Believe the Hype" (Music, June 9). Psychopathia Sexualis, the Makers' previous CD, was released on Estrus Records and not Sub Pop. I'd be interested to find out why she thought anything different, since neither the CD nor the bio listed Sub Pop as the label that released Psychopathia Sexualis. The second error is, yes, Estrus is known as being a cool, indie label. Which of course makes it all the more a target for disgruntled bands and critics to dis. I'm not sure what world Rosen is living in where everybody kisses their ass-unless she's speaking from personal experience and has done some quality brownnosing on behalf of herself or her sorry excuse for a band, the Angoras.

Rosen has the opportunity to waste 500 to 750 words on a useless rant about what is in her opinion wrong with music critics. The irony here-and we know she knows irony-is that she has done essentially what she is ranting about: talking endlessly about nothing at all.

E. Arteaga
via e-mail Alison M. Rosen responds: Do you have an opinion about the Makers or do you just have your panties in a bunch because I expressed mine in a fashion that didn't please you? The real irony is that you (lone long-winded buttmunch) have done exactly what YOU accuse me of: you've rambled on about nothing. I, on the other hand, neither rambled about nothing nor accused critics of doing so. I accused critics of being afraid to admit to disliking an album they're "supposed" to like and therefore saying the album is ironic instead of just shitty. Oh, by the way, you dropped something. [
Rosen reaches down and picks something up off the floor. It's her middle finger.]LOVES THE REG

Your story on some journalists within The Orange County Register complaining about too much coverage of Latinos and Asians ("Too Nice to Minorities," June 9) hit the crux of the problem: newspapers too often define "general audience" as white.

In the early years, general audience was defined by "newspapermen" as stories that appealed to men. Stories of primary interest to women were relegated to the back pages or not covered at all.

Now it's communities of color. For too long and for too many newspapers across the country, the coverage of communities of color is approached as "them" rather than "us." Meanwhile, the population of people of color has continued to grow and soon will be the majority in many counties.

Change is a frightening thing for many people, especially in newspapers. I applaud the Register for realizing the composition of its general audience in Orange County is changing and its effort to cover Orange County for what it is: a multicultural community full of compelling stories about human beings.

Julio Moran
executive director
California Chicano News Media Association
USC Annenberg School for Communication
Los Angeles
KISS ASS

Re: Matt Coker . . . Court Decision in Favor of Leisure World (A_Clockwork Orange, June 9): Real cheap attempt at humor, Matt. Interesting how perspective is sometimes skewed through ignorance. I am a resident of Leisure World; I am 56 and hardly reflect what you so proudly pronounce the archetypal resident-"people who can't hear and who breathe through masks attached to mobile oxygen tanks." My wife, who is 47, says the OC Weekly can kiss her yet-to-be wrinkled ass.

Paul L. Hutchins
Laguna Woods Matt Coker responds: Mmmm, yet-to-be-wrinkled ass . . .
PRAY FOR RAIN

Thank you to Michael Collins and the OC Weekly for reporting on the Aerojet controversy ("Russians, Rockets and the Santa Ana River," May 19). This is important information, but the article offers few remedies in terms of dealing with the situation in Chino Hills.

The Reverend John P. McAndrew
St. Angela Merici Church
Brea Michael Collins responds: Residents have a lawyer in their fight to find out more-attorney Michael Bidart at Shernoff Bidart Darras & Dillon (600 S. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711-5498; phone: 909-621-4935; fax: 909-625-6915; or e-mail: shernofflaw@cyberg8t.com). You might also contact the Orange County Water District and urge officials there to begin testing regularly for chemicals the state has identified at the Aerojet site (P.O. Box 8300, Fountain Valley, CA 92728-8300, or visit the district's website at www.ocwd.com).
SUMMER RESEARCH

I would hope that your writers are educated enough to do the proper research when writing an article. In regard to an informational article listed as "Best Place to Watch Gay Volleyball" ("Summer-Rama," May 26), which described Laguna Beach as a gay volleyball beach, it is completely untrue. I have played volleyball on the beaches of Laguna for more than 10 years, and there are so very few gay players that might play there. Ninety-nine percent of the players are straight. Put it this way: in the 10 years I have played there, I have yet to meet a gay volleyball player who plays at the Laguna Beach courts. Sure, Laguna Beach may be known to have a large amount of gays in the community. This does not, however, coincide with the members of the local beach community who play this sport. If there are gay players, they must still be in the closet because we know of none. I know most of the 40 to 50 regulars that play religiously on the weekends and a lot of time during the week as well. You are a local paper that is viewed by many Orange County residents, and I would think that as editor, you can understand my hostility about this article. We are not an anti-gay-volleyball beach, but at the same time, we do not care to be recognized as a gay beach to play this sport.

We would like for your magazine to print a reprise, stating that the author of this article was either misinformed or used poor judgment. Either way, we were offended and would like a correction made.

Robert E. Downs
via e-mail A straight guy who ought to be sorting the mail rather than reading it responds: How is this guy so certain that those volleyball players AREN'T gay? And why does it seem to matter so much to him that they might be? And just how does he propose to carry out research on this subject? And I don't know about Rebecca Schoenkopf-who's far smarter than I-but, no, I CAN'T understand his "hostility" to the article. And I want to know who the hell "we" is.
AS AMERICAN AS APFEL STRÜDEL

Bert Jakobs doesn't know how Carl got into this country (Jory Farr's "Horror, Hiding and the Holocaust,"_June 16)?! Get with it, man! Our inept intelligence community sanitized the Nazi backgrounds of thousands of Waffen SS soldiers. Today, more than 3,000 of them live in the United States and receive military pensions from the German government!

Val Rodriguez
Signal Hill
NOT THAT YOU'D CARE

At this year's annual gathering of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, two Weeklings were honored for their contributions to the science of putting together these sorts of papers. Art director Heather Swaim grabbed a first place for cover design; the judges singled out her colorized photo of Ho Chi Minh ("Who You Callin' Ho?" Feb. 19, 1999). Music editor Rich Kane received honorable mention in music criticism for what judges called his "sharpshooter's eye for the damning detail. He plays his self-described role of 'annoying journalist' with conviction, bratty pride and just the right amount of self-deprecation-carrying on a long-standing tradition of alternative weeklies gleefully into the future."

We're also pleased to congratulate OC Weekly columnist Daniel C. Tsang, who was recognized by the American Library Association for his outstanding achievement in promoting the acquisition and use of alternative materials in the library of the University of California, Irvine, where he works full time. We're honored by his achievement.

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