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THE WHEEL DEAL
These letters concern Derek Olson's Aug. 23 feature, "Roll Player," about Charles Monson's efforts to help fellow quadriplegics get the high-tech wheelchairs they need.
Very extensive story and thoughtful. I appreciated the opportunity to respond and drive the "self-advocacy" message. It can't be repeated enough. That being said, I have an e-mail in with Charles Monson with the hope we'll speak and begin a dialogue that may lead to some different thinking on an admittedly challenging area of health care.
Ben A. Singer, CalOptima
Well-written review of the life of Charles. I worked with him as the therapist team member during the ATG years. We saw 10 to 15 people per week for mobility evaluations. The visits were done in the home environment, with an eye to addressing nuances a clinic-based evaluation would not reveal (for example, interior doors in many homes built before the 1950s are only 24 inches wide, and a standard power chair measures 25 inches wide from axle cap to axle cap).
I have since gone on to work in various health-care settings, public and private, and have absorbed mountains of information at each site. I now realize that many of the health-care-provider groups that accept MediCal fail to follow the letter of the law in providing service. A precedent, once established, does not evaporate when you get assigned to a new vendor/provider. The provider's contractual agreement with the state usually stipulates that the patient will continue to receive care at the same level as before the switch.
The health groups tout their "value-added" care and catch a bad case of "automatic deny-aflexia." The contracts are meant, I think, to guarantee an estoppal, or terms to remain the same though the owner changes. CalOptima, in an attempt to accrue their value added to their wallets, won't hire trained health-care people as reviewers. The mantra of "Just Say No!!" is owned by CalOptima, not the Reagan White House drug program.
Charles Monson is a WYSIWYG kind of guy. Very good article.
The following letter responds to Gustavo Arellano's Aug. 9 article, "McKnight Shifts," about Mater Dei High School's latest sex-abuse trial and some conflicting accounts from the school's famed basketball coach and its president.
I can only hope when all is said and done that McKnight has to waddle off that campus in shame!!!
SAY IT LOUD AND PROUD
I enjoyed your article [Janine Kahn's "Love's Labor Lost," Aug. 30] about the protest outside the showing of a Vietnamese musical and would like to offer some comments.
I am a U.S. citizen, not of Vietnamese ancestry, and have lived in Vietnam for more than two years. I hesitate to criticize the protesters because I did not experience the concentration camps and immigration by boat and I don't know the hardships they experienced. However, I do know something they do not—what it is like in Vietnam today. I assure you that the Vietnam they protest no longer exists. Yes, it is a communist country, but there are great freedoms emerging and a business climate that promotes entrepreneurs.
I am personal friends with most of the top singers and producers in Ho Chi Minh City, and I can assure you that they are not coming to the United States to promote any kind of communist message. They are here on a sincere mission to simply share and promote their own music. There are also plenty of Vietnamese-American performers back in Vietnam doing quite well. Yes, Vietnam is very different than America—and very different from the country it was 25 years ago—but it is a wonderful country now, and I would urge the protesters to come see for themselves, which they are now freely permitted to do.
The following letter is in regard to R. Scott Moxley's Aug. 30 article, "Dude, There's My Car!"—about a person who stole an SUV from South Coast Plaza only to be spotted in the car hours later by its owner.
I hate Mexicans and that idiot Mexican who stole the car. I would shoot him in the back as he flees. Cops are too soft on them.
Normally, I agree with Vickie Chang [Trendzilla, Aug. 30], but I think she needs a CAT scan. The guy in this week's picture doesn't look hip. He looks like a Japanese tourist who lost his luggage and had his shoes stolen. I'm just sayin'.
The following letters are in regard to R. Scott Moxley's Aug. 30 feature, "Face Off," about an Asian identity-theft and marriage-fraud ring.
But gee whiz, Mr. Moxley! Aren't these just poor folks doing the jobs Americans won't do? Man, they're just trying to feed their families.
As a resident of Westminster, I really enjoyed your piece on the Asian identity-theft-ring bust. I live in a nice neighborhood where Westminster meets H.B. There are two homes here that consistently have very suspicious comings and goings that my neighbors and I have noticed for quite some time. It makes us wonder just what is going on there, and your piece prompted quite a conversation among us regarding the huge influx of Asian immigrants to our area. I know that in Southern California, the focus is on those who cross the border near Mexico, but there is a quiet tsunami of Asian immigrants supported by nail/hair salon owners, restaurant owners, retail shops, etc. These people quietly sponsor more and more immigrants, and once they arrive here, they are completely lost in the system. They are obviously provided with the necessary fake IDs, and off they go to quietly rip off the very structure that is providing a safe place for them to live. Recently, while playing tennis at Park West Park, we have noticed some "meetings" of mostly Asian men that became quite heated and gave off a suspicious vibe. As a citizen, I feel it is difficult to know when it is appropriate to report such things as these.
Little Saigon is unlike any other city in Orange County, and knowing that there are people like Officer Damon Tucker and DA Tony Rackauckas out there doing such a good job of infiltrating these types of rings gives the other residents of this city hope that we will one day be rid of some of the underground criminal activity that runs rampant in Westminster.
Thanks to you and them for jobs well-done!
The following letter is in regard to Edwin Goei's "Mexican Evolution," a glowing review of El Matador Restaurant in our Aug. 30 issue.
El Matador is our favorite restaurant. The new owners did a remarkable job tying the two sides together. The sign that takes up a whole wall is the original sign from 30 years ago. The art behind the bar is from Mexico. They deserve nothing but praise for the effort they have shown. The chef has been there for 25 years. The customers wanted the old side to stay the same, and the new side complements the old side nicely. Everyone I know that has been a longtime customer of El Matador loves it. The only complaint might be that it is too busy now. Your article did not give El Matador the review they deserve.
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I just found Gustavo Arellano's June 9, 2006, article on the topic of the citrus industry ["Gunkist Oranges" about the Citrus War of 1936]. I really enjoyed it, as so little has been written on this, and it's a story that should be told.
Thanks for the article about MC/producer Sol-T [Rex Reason's Aural Reports, July 5]. I've had the opportunity to hang out with Sol on a few occasions, and his creativity and talent always shine through. He's a clever lyricist and an incredibly dedicated artist.