'In My Book, Rod Stewart . . . Kicked the Bucket in 1977'
Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to email@example.com, or send to Letters to the Editor, c/oOC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.
Nick Schou's article in this week's OC Weekly was by far the best and most important thing your paper has ever printed ["Requiem for a Dreamgirl," Dec. 2]. As a person familiar with the seemingly unlimited power that our local police and sheriff's officers have acquired, it gives me some hope to see it brought out to the public. It is only by doing this that these agencies will be forced to crack down on the unchecked power and corruption that are overlooked every day. I can only hope that some good comes out of this tragedy, that this might be the catalyst for some much needed change around here.
Mr. Schou and OC Weekly editors, let me quote you: "'Those people were Lisa Piho and a woman named Andrea Nelson,' [retired Tustin Police Capt. Bob Schoenkopf] says. 'Lisa Piho, um, as much as a lowlife as she is, was the subject of a number of death threats. . . . Lisa was deathly afraid.'" The fact that you felt the need to dig up something that happened five years ago shows what a selfish and desperate journalist you are. One girl, Andrea Nelson, is dead, which you seem to believe is from being a police informant, and yet you print another informant, Lisa Piho's, full name? Why would you do this? Any professional journalist would not have printed a young girl's name when writing a story about being a confidential informant. The key word is confidential. I'm not sure how you are able to sleep at night knowing that you have put this young beautiful girl's life in grave danger.
Shannon K. Stipe
Editor responds: Just like outing a CIA agent—witness the Valerie Plame scandal—printing the name of a police informant is risky business. But Lisa Piho was no Valerie Plame. She was a reckless driver whose negligence killed a man walking his dog and who tried to win a lighter sentence by offering to work as an informant. Both her status as an informant and her reckless driving were crucial elements of our story about the death of Andrea Nelson. We chose to include details about those two aspects of her life for that reason, and included her name because it had already been prominently reported by the Los Angeles Times.
What is the Weekly's fascination with doggin' Donald Bren [Steve Lowery's "I Killed It, and I'd Kill It Again," Nov. 18]? Yeah, he's given us some bland housing and strip malls, but he's been the catalyst for millions of jobs and opportunities. Everyone from the millionaire realtor to the average Joe who was able to make a killing on his house, or the migrant worker who went from working the orange groves to a better-paying job with benefits, has had the chance to reap something off the OC that Bren created.
Does Assemblywoman Mimi Walters ["What Your Mimi Doesn't Know," Nov. 25] work for the people and land of San Clemente, or does she work for the TCA, which is proposing to build the Foothills-South Tollway? Based on her comments in support of the toll road at the Nov. 3 Parks Commission meeting, I'm not sure. Despite what Walters said, anyone who has researched the issue can see that damage will be done to our parks and beaches.
Thanks to Buddy Seigal for his heartfelt farewell to guitar god Link Wray ["Black Leather Rock," Dec. 2]. Buddy was right to point out that Link was much more than the rockabilly tag he got stuck with. In the end, he was a musician, a pioneering one whose prodigious talent not only influenced other rock gods—Pete Townshend, for one—but countless putzes like me who took up the guitar after hearing "Rumble." Guys like me never recorded any albums or even played in any bands, but playing the guitar brought a whole lot of pleasure into my life—and got me a few girls. Thanks, Link.
You gotta love the liberal, groundbreaking, indie, on-the-edge OC Weekly. Between all the breast enlargement ads without which the paper would not exist, you have a "reporter" by the name of Steve Lowery ranting and raving about Talan Torriero's website and Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County ["Diary of a Mad County," Dec. 2]. Steve, without your free plugs Torriero's website would die a slow death. But keep up the great "journalism," because I want all those OC babes to keep spending millions on reconstructive surgery. You have an opportunity to write about important issues ignored by the mainstream press, but you continue to waste paper and ink writing trash about trash.
Steve Lowery was kind to say Rod Stewart died in 1978 when he recorded "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" ["Diary of a Mad County," Dec. 2]. In my book, Rod Stewart—the Rod Stewart who was blessed with one of the greatest rock voices ever and who recorded "Every Picture Tells a Story"—kicked the bucket in 1977 when he stepped to the mic and began to sing "Hot Legs." Rest in peace, Rod.
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