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The following letters pertain to Nick Schou's Jan. 19 story "Santa Ana Showdown," which reported on Oscar Gallegos' attempted murder of two Long Beach police officers and the subsequent shoot-out with police in Santa Ana ending in Oscar's death.
Okay, agreed, the crazy right-wing folks touting Oscar Gallegos' shooting of two Long Beach police officers as the reason we should all fear illegal immigration is ridiculous. Our system bears some of the burden for his lousy upbringing, as do his parents for allowing him to be raised under that circumstance, no matter how poor they were, but sympathy and understanding for his specific actions are out of the question. His own brothers are a testament to how another person chose a better path through the same environment. Being harassed by the police is the cost of doing business if you choose to be in a gang. Being fodder for right-wing talk show hosts is the penalty for indiscriminately shooting at the police. He made those choices for himself.
What a powerful and tragic story on Oscar, his family and the police. Thank you for not moralizing or attempting to paint the story and shade what happened. I fear too many of your readers will not resist the temptation to bash immigrants ("So, pal, where you from, eh? Ireland, Germany, Japan?") or the police. Thank you for putting the time in to describe the hell that overtakes folks burdened by being in the wrong place, having the wrong skin, living in the wrong neighborhood, wearing the wrong uniform, being greedy, selfish, or not having enough money, education or common sense.
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If anyone is responsible for the death of Mr. Gallegos, it's his family who "protected" him—a brother/brother-in-law who helped him get out of Long Beach, a mother who wanted to die with her son (the attempted murderer). Do they expect us to think that these are laudable family values?
What kind of leftist liberal horse shit is this? I grew up in the same neighborhood in Long Beach. I had to deal with the same circumstances. Life is all about choices and he chose to be a gangster. That road only leads to death or prison. He was just a piece of shit that society no longer has to spend $60,000 a year on to house him in prison.
I have been reading the Weekly since the beginning and it gets more morbid by the week. Usually I take a few copies to a garage where a bunch of guys hang out, and last night one of the guys said I had brought too many. I told him to throw away what he didn't want because this week's issue isn't worth reading anyway except for the restaurant and movie section. Isn't there any good news that's worth reading about in Orange County?
The editor responds: Thanks for the tip, Roger. Upon reception of your letter we did the only reasonable thing: fired the saturnalian Will Swaim and hired as editor Bush Administration spokesperson Tony Snow. In one swift and decisive move, we've eliminated our fascination with the morbid and secured boundless future happy days. Already, we have a number of "good news" stories on the back burner, including the OC manufacturer of wartime body bags whose business is looking bullish. (Watch out, Orange County Business Journal! We're on the case!) In fact, because of the subsequent change in editorial philosophy, we will no longer publish letters critical of anything, including this super-fine paper. From now on, if you have a problem with something, including this inerrant publication, please keep it to yourself. It just depresses the rest of us.
I DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO USE MY AK
Man, shout to tha LBC for giving a bomb- ass interview [Ky-Phong Tran's "Dangerous Minds," Jan. 19]. History teacher Tony Rogers was off the hook and he inspired me to change the world; he didn't even have to take me to LA to look at the Holocaust Museum. He did help me, a Mexican, by writing a letter of recommendation to Howard University. Big ups to Tony Rogers and the LBC.
I REALLY AM THIS DENSE
If you would enlighten me, what would inspire you to refer to Mr. Andrade as a pedophile [Gustavo Arellano's "McKnight Fall," Jan. 26]? Other than the typical reporter mentality of throwing their mother under the bus just to get a story? If I read the article correctly the girl was 15 at the time, correct? I'm looking forward to hearing a response from the author and contributor.
Gustavo Arellano responds: You're right, J. 15-year-olds aren't children. I meant to call Andrade a "statutory student rapist." My apologies.
ROOM AT THE TOP
Village Voice Media is looking for an editor to lead the award-winning staff at the OC Weekly. We want an editor with news and feature experience, someone who can help staffers generate superior magazine-length stories and guide beginning writers as well as accomplished ones. The ideal candidate will be able to edit and write, leading by example rather than by dictate. The interview process will include an extensive editing test. Village Voice Media offers competitive salaries and benefits. Qualified applicants should send a cover letter, a rsum and clips to: Steve Lowery, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. No phone calls or e-mails, please.
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