Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org , 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 rant addresses Gustavo Arellano's Aug. 2 edition of This Hole-In-the-Wall Life , about finding a little slice of NY pizza in Orange County.
Kneel before the mighty judger of pizza, Gustavo!!! You cannot challenge me!!!! I went to New York's Upper Crust Pizza upon your high recommendation and was completely dissatisfied!! YOU CANNOT CHALLENGE ME!! They offered an absolutely bland caesar salad, followed by an even-worse attempt at pizza that left me running for the toilet!!! C'mon, man! Is this what passes for pizza in the OC? Even back in Texas, we had transplanted Italians who could make a real pie!! REDEEM THYSELF, OH MAKER OF PIZZA LIES!!! THE PIZZA GODS CONDEMN YOU!!! Please find me a real slice of NY pie in the OC, and you will be spared. APPARENTLY, I, AND I ALONE, CAN JUDGE PIZZA! DO NOT TAKE LIGHTLY THIS FOOD OF THE GODS!!! GO AND TRAVEL, IF YOU MUST, TO LEARN WHAT REAL PIE TASTES LIKE, OH PALATE OF A PORCUPINE!! New York's Upper Crust Pizza? TWO PIZZA SHOVELS DOWN!!!
WE NEED ANY MORE INTERNS?
I realize it's my own damn fault for expecting to find news every time I open up a new issue of OC Weekly—hell, maybe I'm just expecting Gustavo Arellano to regurgitate something he inadvertently retained when he fell asleep watching the news on Telemundo—but when is this paper gonna push aside some hooker ads and maybe include some informative information? Pieces about wheelchair philanthropists [Derek Olson's "Roll Player ," Aug. 24] and exiled political refugees that only people with the last name Nguyen even care about [Nick Schou's "Red Scare in Little Saigon ," Aug. 17] are nice once in a while, and maybe for a couple of pages, but the OC Weekly can't report on more important things like the upcoming presidential election or the progress being made in Iraq? What are OC politicians doing in Washington for us? How could a Democrat in the White House affect our lives in the most socially and politically diverse country in America?
Who cares if four Mexicans were deported 50 years ago [Gustavo Arellano's "Whatever Happened to the Santa Ana Four? " July 13]? Why do we want some fat Asian chick's advice on fashion? And when are you gonna come up with some original and funny comics for your "This Modern World" disaster of comedic garbage. Seriously, we get it: You hate Bush. You think he's stupid. Let's move on.
At this time, I'd like to offer my services to the OC Weekly as a freelance political writer. I'm sure you don't have the balls to include a conservative writer's point of view in your paper, as liberals are notorious for only working against and never with differing political views, but it's worth a shot. At least this way, you silence me from writing in all the time to harass Gustavo for being an idiot. Instead, I could come in and tell him he sucks at life over a friendly cup of Jarrito.
SAINTS OR SINNERS?
The following letters are in regard to Daffodil J. Altan's Aug. 16 story, "A Union-Busting Habit ," about the efforts of St. Joseph Health System workers to form a union.
In my opinion, your article regarding how the St. Joseph Health System intimidates employees about forming a union while pretending otherwise details an accurate synopsis of the "real world" at St. Joseph's. I applaud you! Accolades!
My employment at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka as an RN began many years ago. Had you said that I would support a union there, I would have laughed you off the block, as would all of my colleagues. I love our hospital and used to be proud of its accomplishments. I believe in our four core values: justice, dignity, excellence and service. What is at issue is how those four values are interpreted in working conditions for the average employee in any department.
As time marched on, deeply committed nurses (both to the community and the hospital) were unable to participate in solutions or even to be heard on issues of patient care and safety, and it became necessary to initiate contact with the California Nurses Association (CNA) and request assistance in organizing a union.
Our union battle was uphill every single step and every single minute. Our hospital hired the mighty Burke Group, to the tune of $1 million, to coordinate union-busting activity—which was often egregious in nature. My least favorite incident was hearing of a mandatory staff meeting in which a management team member discussed the potential rapes that would occur with union activity. Many staff members experienced episodes of intimidation as described in the article.
And yet, at the end of the road, it was the four core values—justice, dignity, excellence and service—that carried the day. Those values were manifested through 86 percent of the 250 staff members who said we needed union support to help our patients. At that time, it was the highest CNA "win" on record.
Moral of the story: Never underestimate an impassioned nurse. Don't get in our way for patient advocacy!
We signed our first CNA contract on Nov. 10, 2003. CNA is a remarkable union because it is about a social movement, an advocacy campaign for patient care and safety. We can only address the staggering health-care needs as a united group of professionals.
In retrospect, I now realize that helping to form a union was the most important thing I could ever have done for my patients. My California RN license dictates that I be a patient advocate. It doesn't suggest or imply. It mandates. Each time I renew my license, I must recommit to that mandate.
Thank you for your article and the light that it brings to this subject. Thank you for providing the forum for the dialogue that will ensue.
Lavon Divine-Leal, RN, BSN
As a Catholic and longtime employee, I'm appalled that the Sisters of St. Joseph Orange, longtime advocates of fighting for the rights of workers, would let its managers create an environment of intimidation, fear and hostility toward employees who want to exercise their basic human right to self-organization. As caregivers, we are expected to provide quality patient care according to St. Joseph's core values: dignity, excellence, justice and service. But these values seem to be applicable only to patients. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange should not let corporate greed dictate how its mission-driven ministry treats workers and their right to vote for a union.
Diane Beard, LVN
St. Joseph's Renal Center
I liked your article [Nick Schou's "Waiting With Red-Baited Breath ," Aug. 24]. I hate to nitpick, but I do not agree with Garden Grove's Main Street being part of Little Saigon. I admit Little Saigon branches out beyond Bolsa Avenue in Westminster, but it is a stretch to include Main Street, Garden Grove.
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In addition to that bit of geographical imprecision, in Schou's Aug. 24 article, Scott Meier's last name should be Weimer. Also, Trinh Hoi was misidentified as an "event organizer" and "concert promoter" in the story. Hoi was only an MC for the OC Pavilion event. The Weekly regrets the errors.