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
This is the best article on the subject I have seen so far [Nick Schou's "Collective Punishment," Feb. 3]. Kudos to the author for doing some good investigation.
One point that deserves clarification: Larry Parks, who was behind the Pack lawsuit, was a winner in the Long Beach lottery process. It was pretty obvious to everyone involved from the beginning that there was something suspicious about the entire process. The whole situation smelled like the FBI would be asking questions one day, so wise people stayed away from anything that might interest the FBI.
But Parks had paid all the fees and spent all the money required on a new location that met all the standards. Most important, he won the lottery for the new location and was waiting on his permit.
The problem was that Long Beach authorities never issued the permit. A year later, Parks was still waiting on the permit. The obvious plan by the Long Beach authorities was to collect a lot of money in fees, then drive everybody out of business with one bureaucratic roadblock or another. But Parks continued to play the game, lay out the money for the lawyers, and do whatever stupid things the rules required.
What Parks got in return was a bunch of late-night, screaming phone calls from Erik Sund, the city's business-relations manager, about how Sund was going to run him out of business. Sund wanted Parks to withdraw the lawsuit. Parks said the lawsuit would not be withdrawn until Long Beach lived up to its own rules.
Long Beach never lived up to its own rules. The whole thing stinks of corruption.
wm97, via ocweekly.com
I live in Long Beach and have for nearly all my life. I operated a collective in my community for people who are legitimately disabled. I paid taxes. I went through the system, and what did I get? Raided without a warrant. But you know what? I still didn't go to jail.
It's time for people to realize there are hundreds of thousands of people who benefit every day from medical marijuana. No one asked that you abandon your highly addictive, opiate-based pills; we just want to be able to choose what medicines we take that are recommended by our doctor. And how about this: The people of California VOTED for medical marijuana to be available to ill Californians. The people have spoken, and in the country that I live in and love, that act is supreme.
QueenLBC, via ocweekly.com
OCCUPY OC IS TOO LEGIT TO QUIT
The Orange County progressive community is not "wimpy," as has been suggested in recent editions of the Weekly [Brandon Ferguson's "Courting Disaster," Jan. 27]. In my more than 50 years in Orange County, I have witnessed and participated in much progressive activism dating back to the Vietnam War, when I marched with anti-war demonstrators in downtown Anaheim. Recently, we have seen a demonstration in Fullerton against the murder of Kelly Thomas by police officers, as well as the occupation in Irvine and now in Fullerton. The recent occupation at the Santa Ana courthouse attracted 200 activists during the day and 150 marchers, according to The Orange County Register. I was there and enjoyed the "street theater" that was derided by a Weekly writer. The four dancers who satirized the obscene profits and tax loopholes of the big corporations were funny and right on point. In short, progressives are alive and kicking in Orange County and deserve our support.
Ruth Shapin, Orange
In that same issue, Nick Schou's "Collective Punishment" misspelled Mike Genara's surname. And the article incorrectly stated that a dispensary location owned by Larry Parks failed to win the city's lottery; the location did win, but as the article correctly stated, Parks refused to pay the city's $15,000 application fee.
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