"If Urell really were a shepherd for his flock, they—and not himself—would have been his main concern."

Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to, or mail 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.

The following letters are in response to Gustavo Arellano's Sept. 28 feature story, "Bad Moves," about the sex-abuse scandal involving the Diocese of Orange.

via e-mail

Well, once again, you have been able to shed some light on the truth of some of what happened in Bishop [Tod D.] Brown's diocese. I feel some sympathy for [Monsignor John] Urell. He had a direct hand in some of the sexual crimes committed against young people in the diocese, and although it seems he tried to put an end to some of it, the desire to protect his position in the hierarchy of the church won out over his conscience. That is unfortunate and sad, but he, too, has to be held accountable for his part.

In spite of the fact that he pushed for some of the priestly predators to be kept away from children and young people, he did not push hard enough. Would it have meant consequences for him? Certainly. However, if Urell really were a shepherd for his flock, they—and not himself—would have been his main concern. It seems very obvious that both he and Brown are ultimately interested in protecting their privileged positions and their own reputations. If I knew that about myself, and I had a part in ruining the lives of so many innocent people, I guess I would break, too. In spite of the sympathy I feel for him, as a survivor, I also feel repugnance and disgust that both he and Brown knowingly allowed this to continue.

I would also ask Bishop Brown if he thinks his "embarrassment" is worse than the lives of deep depression, panic attacks, addictions, and suicidal thoughts and/or actions that each of us survivors has to live with.
Gabrielle Azzaro
via e-mail

Your work is deserving of an award. You are one of the best investigative reporters.
Richard Rosenbaum
via email

This letter responds to "Faster Format," Hobey Echlin's profile of the band VHS or Beta from the Sept. 14 issue.

These guys might as well be a Cure tribute band. There is nothing original about them or their music. Their claim to be forerunners of the "disco punk dance" movement is a laugh. They put out their first EP in 2000; the Rapture had put out an LP in 1999. Credit is given where credit is due: That's why they don't get any. And telling people that you deserve it in an interview is pathetic. It's quite audacious they would even think of comparing themselves to The Rapture or !!!
via e-mail

The hits keep on coming in response to our 2007 Best of OC issue, published Sept. 21.

I originally pulled up your website to make a comment on your naming Wiliam R. Mason Regional Park as Best Park in Orange County and stumbled onto the Fire Hunk Bachelor Auction dated Sept. 27.

I will get back to the park in a moment. First, let me say I was embarrassed for the fire service, as I am a full-time firefighter/paramedic for a city in this county. I was appalled to see one individual so-called Fire Hunk stating that his hobby was "jackhammering." This reflects poorly on the fire service in general, and I feel that it is in poor taste to have placed that factoid on your webpage.

Back to my original reason for sending you feedback, and that is the topic of Best Park according to your weekly publication. I agree that William R. Mason is a fine park, but I wonder if whoever wrote the piece actually went out and looked at it. The part about the gorgeous shimmering lake could not be further from the truth. The lake has been in such a sad state of disrepair for years. It is virtually a mini Salton Sea in the middle of Irvine. Nothing lives in it, and it emits a horrid odor. It is a disgusting lime green with no filtration of any kind. It wasn't always that way—in fact, they used to stock it some years back with DFG catfish—but these critters have also perished from the dismal conditions. Just thought you ought to know.

Knucka, please! OC Weekly, you trippin'. Why half yo list in the LBC? Last I checked, the county line was the 605. Stop frontin' on me, or I'ma bust a drive-by from Seal Beach to Mission Viejo, recognize! You ain't a real place, and you never will be. You can't front culture, or, in yo case, just jack it. To quote the homey, Leche: "You want the coolness of a real city but not its trappings (crime, gangs, graffiti, black people, etc.)." THAT IS CALLED FRONTIN' IN MY HOOD, HOMEY! Watch yo back.

Editor's Note: Perhaps, at this very moment, the gentle reader is perusing a copy of this paper obtained from one of our numerous Long Beach distribution locations . . .

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