Letters

BREN GAME

I guess I feel baited and switched on the Don Bren article (Steve Lowery's "Don Juan Bren," May 30). After your cover promised titillation and sexy scandal, all we got was the typical anti-growth, anti-Irvine preachy rant you have stored on your computer! (A hit piece on the Ferris wheel? Get real, folks!) How about a story on The Donald that reflects some actual reporting? (And I note the non-effort lacks a byline—I wonder why?)

Chuck
Corona del Mar

I am trying to understand why you give senior editor status to a man who is basically complaining about how nice and clean the Irvine area is. Tell you what: I'll write an article and I'll be just as contriving and petty as Lowery. What position would that get me at OC Weekly?

Todd Hansen
Laguna Hills

After reading Steve Lowery's awesome piece on Bren I have just two wishes. One, that Lowery never stops writing for the Weekly. Two, that he never, ever gets pissed at me.

D. Jean
Via email

The editor responds: Yeah, Chuck, the story was by Steve Lowery. You may have missed that since it was hidden on the BYLINE—as in "By Steve Lowery"—at the top of the page in big black letters. Thanks for the incisive comments based on a close reading of the story. Todd Hansen, I don't know from positions, but itwould get you mad tail, capiche? D.— if that is your real initial—you're cool.

BETTER/BITTER DAYS

I grew up in Corona del Mar, left decades ago, and picked up your May 23 issue on a recent return. In Anthony Pignataro's profile of fellow expatriate David Weddle, Weddle notes of Newport Beach/Corona del Mar, "Each year, it's a little less wonderful." I'm glad it's not just me who feels sad about that.

It's painful for me to revisit my once-beloved homeland. I grew up with the same open fields, frogs and lack of pretentiousness Weddle did. I wouldn't trade where and when I grew up for anything, but I can't stand what greed has done to it. Each year I think they can't do any more harm to the place—I recall promises to that effect—and each year it becomes more appalling. This year, the last of many last straws was to see a Starbuck's and mini-mall right over my old home beach between CdM and Laguna.

I always wonder how local people—savvy and resourceful as they must be—keep letting this happen. Overdevelopment benefits only a small number of rapacious developers and should have been stopped at least a decade ago. The tacky nouveau riche architecture erected along the coast is a blight. The traffic that results is awful, even with ugly new roads. The only good view left is looking out at the ocean.

As the surfers say, "You shoulda been here yesterday."

Steve Heilig
Via email

NURSE RACHETED

Tenet Healthcare's backroom deal with SEIU and AFSCME/UNAC hardly fits the glossy portrait presented by UNAC's Kathy Sackman (Letters, May 30).

The "unprecedented voice" for RNs she cites is a contract that could force RNs to work in increasingly unsafe conditions where management retains the sole and exclusive right to determine quality of patient services. It runs counter to patient protections won by the California Nurses Association (CNA) for RNs at scores of other hospitals, a chilling prospect for patients with a profit-focused outfit like Tenet.

Sackman claims the Tenet deal is "similar" to an agreement by CNA with Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) hospitals. Hardly. Our CHW agreement did not handpick a union for CHW employees, did not condition pay raises on their voting for CNA, did not force them to accept a substandard agreement without their voice or participation, and did not require CNA to lobby for CHW.

Tenet boasts they'll now get help from SEIU and AFSCME "in dealing with regulatory issues" (San Diego Union Tribune,May 30)—in other words, pushing legislators to back off the multiple investigations under way against Tenet for alleged price gouging and patient-care abuses. No wonder RNs at every Tenet hospital in Orange County are demanding a real choice—and signing cards to join CNA.

Kay McVay, RN
President, California Nurses Association

DAMN INTERNET

I just read a June 18, 1999, column in OC Weekly by Steve Lowery called "The Shaq Trap."

Talk about famous last words, a bad case of foot-in-mouth, or whatever metaphor or exclamatory Homerism you want to throw at it. The Los Angeles Lakers won't win championships with O'Neal? I am sure Steve's prophetic utterances included the caveat that we were to ignore the next one, two, three in a row, but it was edited out because it was too fantastic a prediction even for a prophet. I'll also bet Steve has already caught jovial hell for this old news.

I hope he has been a good sport and made amends as well.

Robert
Via email

Steve Lowery responds: Bastard! See, this is why I never read the paper and encourage all of you to do likewise. Reading what people write only leads to regret and humiliation for everyone involved.

Yes, I wrote that the Lakers would never win with Shaq, but in my defense, I said that they wouldn't become a champion unless Shaq rebounded, played defense, drew defenders and passed and, overall, just got meaner. He did all those things and we are three titles richer for it. . . . All right, that's lame. It was a stupid thing to write. I wish I could claim that it had been edited to read like that, but the fact is many writers and editors here tried to talk me out of the column and I slapped them all down, telling them in the most strenuous terms that they didn't know basketball. I made Anthony Pignataro cry. He's "sensitive."
 
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