By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or send to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.
SECOND TIME A CHARM?
[The following letter concerns R. Scott Moxley's March 16 article on the hung jury in the Jeffrey Nielsen molestation case, "Teeny Bop Panty Drop."]
I have been following this closely and think that you and the OC Weekly are doing a great job with this. Hopefully, the next trial with a stronger allowable evidence jury case will have a different result as it appears obvious to outsiders that the man is guilty.
Auckland, New Zealand
COMING STRAIGHT FROM THE UNDERGROUND
[The following letter is in response to Nick Schou's March 8 article on the Andrea Nelson saga, "Girl On Film."]
I just can't understand how these police that are supposed to keep us safe from almost everything could be so blind and stupid at the same time—they are supposed to be the smart ones. These days, I would have to say the law breakers and drug dealers have the brains and the means and the money to do whatever they want, and the police just sit back and get rich for doing absolutely nothing. This is some fucked up bullshit.
TOLD YOU ONCE, I WON'T TELL YOU AGAIN
[The following letter is in regards to R. Scott Moxley's March 8 story, "'I Want the White Girl,'" in which Moxley questions whether a young Vietnamese professional terrorized OC prostitutes.]
While I am glad that there is publicity on this heinous crime against a "prostitute," I am concerned about some of the language you used in your article. The sentence "But perhaps if prostitutes were rational they wouldn't be selling their bodies to strangers" is misleading and offensive.
First, it suggests that a prostituted minor has 100 percent control over her choices. All minors who engage in prostitution are trafficking victims. Whether they crossed the town or state line, a minor is automatically a trafficking victim. This is a relatively new federal law that understands that minors are more easily manipulated, threatened and coerced into sexual slavery.
Second, the majority of "prostitutes" have experienced sexual and/or physical abuse in their childhood or early teen years that makes them highly vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Hanna Montessori is no exception. Having a history of sexual and physical abuse on top of a tumultuous family life, Hanna was the perfect victim for a pimp like "Pepper" to manipulate her.
While Hanna and other minors like her hold some degree of responsibility for their behavior, they are ultimately victims of a misogynistic society in which they are deemed sexual commodities or expendable humans.
News articles like yours are helpful in attracting society's attention to some of the realities of prostitution, but using outdated language that suggests that prostitutes are merely irrational young girls without explaining the complex and deep-rooted emotions that bar them from making healthy decisions that open them up to controlling pimps like "Pepper," is ultimately a disservice to nonprofits across the United States that are struggling to educate society about the dangers and realities of prostitution and human trafficking.
Alexis Taylor, MS
The Barnaba Institute
Kate Carraway, read your review about Ratdog ["This Week in Hybrids Run Amok: Bob Weir and Ratdog," Feb. 9]. You obviously wouldn't know good music if it slapped you in the face. Idiot.
[The following letter is in regards to Gustavo's Arellano's Jan. 5, 2006, "This Hole-in-the-Wall Life" on Laguna Beach's Husky Boy restaurant.]
This acknowledgement is way long overdue. You know very well that in this biz of counting pennies and attending to every minute detail to survive, one cannot afford to lose sight of the ball even for one minute. We can't thank you enough for writing this article. The response by Hole-In-The-Wall fans is overwhelming. Once again, thank you and more power to you and the rest of the OC Weekly staff!
THE REST OF US 'LL JUST GO SIT IN THE CORNER
Scott, Nick & Gustavo: Thank you for your hard work. This week's articles in the OC Weekly are unbelievable. You continue to teach me so much.
EVERYBODY LOVES GUSTAVO
[The following letter concerns Gustavo Arellano's "¡Ask a Mexican!" column.]
I am inspired by your fearless pursuit to educate both the American majority and our Latin minorities. I share similar goals with the intention to raise levels of confidence in our Latin neighbors utilizing our multi-lingual, media-rich environment. Thank you for informatively disclosing our culture, customs, and ideals in a manner that demands attention.
Olicer J. Muñoz
[Meanwhile, letters continue to pour in for Arellano's March 8 "¡Ask a Mexican!" column, in which he asked readers for their opinion on the column's logo/mascot, a clichéd cartoon of a revolutionary Mexican male, complete with mustache, sombrero and gold tooth. Here is a sample:]
You're right. The way to overcome this kind of thinking is to push it right down the throats of those who indulge in it. Look at the efforts of gay groups setting up organizations using the word "queer." I think the most effective way to overcome racism of all types is to simply laugh at it. Humor cleanses better than anger, simply because it makes the other guy think without hitting him in the head.
Ted B. Kissell, world traveler and award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist, is the new editor-in-chief of OC Weekly.
After most recently serving as a senior editor at the Ventura County Star, Kissell is returning to his roots in alternative journalism. Although he's labored at dailies the past few years, Kissell got his start at weeklies, serving as a staff writer at Miami New Times and as associate editor at New Times Broward-Palm Beach. He left New Times in 2003 after receiving a Fulbright Scholarship to work on a research project in Xalapa, Veracruz, concerning the bilingual education of Mexico's indigenous peoples. After completing that project, he moved to LA, where he convinced the Los Angeles Timesto give him a paycheck for running Among Ourselves, its employee publication; in 2006, he headed to Ventura, crappy commute and all.
Kissell will officially start as editor on April 2, the same day that Costa Mesa's own Jose "Joey" Santos takes over as OC Weekly art director. Santos is presently the associate art director at Tu Ciudad in Los Angeles, and has also worked as a designer at the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times community newspaper group. And next Monday, March 26, marks the arrival of new music editor Dave Segal, formerly of Seattle's The Stranger. Segal, a veteran editor who has also written for numerous national magazines, including Alternative Press, will oversee an expansion of the Weekly music section driven by aggressive coverage of local artists.
Finally, staff writer Luke Y. Thompson is officially alive and living (and we assume working) in Santa Ana. Thompson, who joined the paper last week shortly after debunking official government crime stats for the LA Weekly, will cover news, arts and pop-culture.
And, get this: We're not done hiring yet:
ASSUME THE (STAFF) POSITION
OC Weekly is searching for just the right combination of journalistic talent, dogged determination and borderline insanity to fill staff-writer positions. Additionally, we're looking for a freelance writer who is knowledgeable about visual art and can describe it for readers in a way that is understandable, entertaining and above all not like those pretentious fucks who usually write about visual art. Send a cover letter, resume and your five best writing samples for either position to: Ted B. Kissell, OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701.