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After reading the article "Hell is Forever" [The County, March 26], I was shocked at the inaccuracy of Gustavo Arellano's reporting. In his story, Arellano implied that Lynne Kramer was responsible for a bigoted phone call, "jacking up" the counselors' workload, and perceived threats against the "Valley 3." It is obvious he didn't do his research.
Contrary to what he wrote, Lynne Kramer is not a counselor or the head counselor. The phone call was made in the morning, before the regular school day. Mrs. Kramer was teaching a first- (or "zero-") period freshmen English class at that time. The phone call wasn't made from a phone on campus. Mrs. Kramer gave the investigators her cell-phone records. She also turned over the cell-phone records of her family. Investigators determined the cell phones used by the Kramer family didn't make the phone call. They interviewed Mrs. Kramer's zero-period class, and the students confirmed that she was teaching and wasn't using the phone. That didn't satisfy the "Valley 3." Mrs. Kramer was asked to take a lie-detector test. Her friends and colleagues urged her not to because she had done enough to clear her name. Mrs. Kramer took the test anyway and passed it with flying colors! Charges weren't pressed against Lynne Kramer because she didn't commit this horrible act. I have also spoken with people who have heard the tape; they have said it sounds nothing like Lynne Kramer, and they let the people who were investigating this matter know that. The red-balloon incident was a misunderstanding that involved a substitute counselor.
Your failure to investigate this matter is disappointing. That your only source would be an "anonymous" teacher who appears to have a personal vendetta against Lynne Kramer is frightening. Mrs. Kramer has been an educator for more than 20 years. She is an asset to Valley High School and the Santa Ana Unified School District. Her commitment to the students at Valley High School is unsurpassed by any other. You owe Mrs. Kramer an apology as well as a retraction of your article. Lynne Kramer is the only victim in this matter, and the fact that the OC Weekly would print such an irresponsible article makes me question the professionalism of the journalist who wrote it.
Co-chairperson, Social Science
Valley High School
Gustavo Arellano responds: A March 5, 2003, Santa Ana Police Department report lists Kramer's occupation as "H.S. Counselor." Citing the police report, I noted that many teachers believed Kramer made the call and that she denied it. I went farther than that, pointing out that district officials dismissed the call as a prank and that the district attorney's office refused to file charges.
I really enjoyed Gustavo Arellano's exceptionally brilliant response to Ambassador John R. Malot [Letters, April 2]. Nazi Ambassador Joachim Von Ribbentrop also showed diplomatic skills when he negotiated a nonaggression pact with Stalin. His accomplishments, like George Argyros', eventually produced a few negative results.
I'm gay, and I'm also especially grateful for Gustavo's "Notes From the Banana Republic" [The County, April 2] piece. He did an exceptionally fine job of summarizing the bullshit of these Jesus freaks who sound like a bunch of psychotics in bad need of a sustained regimen of Thorazine. Keep up the good work, Gustavo. I always enjoy reading your stuff!
Harleigh Kyson Jr.
Hey, Gustavo: you sound like you have a chip on your shoulder. No, man, make that a rock!!! You also sound like you are a bit intimidated by the head pastor, Chuck Smith, and people from his church. I thought you liberals were calling for "tolerance." You seemed to have lost yours.
Thanks for the interesting piece about Chuck Smith and Orange County. Two days ago, I went to the Mission Viejo Mall to pick up my dear friend who works there. While waiting at Wetzel's for a cheese dog, I was treated to three snot-nosed little whip-dicks who sounded, talked and acted like serious Nells from the Castro. I am certain these foul-mouthed little pricks were hetero; however, they acted like fuckin' queens! Calling one another "bitch," these three would scare the shit out of any old queen who appreciates a nice sweater. I listened to these three petit homme alternately whine, swish and talk like my niece. Actually, my niece has a lot more class. It's about time people realize that anyone can be a queen—even some bilious little straight dears.
Regarding Gustavo Arellano's article "Our Civic Shame, Their Filmic Pride" [March 12]: I would like to point out that the Film and Video Center at UC Irvine has hosted a Latin American film festival annually, with a large number of feature films from around the country and directors, producers and actors as guests. We are in the final stages of preparing our largest ever, which will be held from late April throughout May. We would like to invite Mr. Arellano as our guest to the entire festival, and we hope that the festival will correct some of the shame he rightly underscores.
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Akira Mizuta Lippit
Associate Professor, Film and Visual Studies
I found Gustavo Arellano's article on trying to find sea-turtle soup absolutely distasteful, not to say unforgivable ["Turtle Tryst," March 26]. Sea tortoise is an endangered species, and I'm not saying so just because I'm a turtle and tortoise fan—he freely says so in the article: "Killing the nearly extinct giants for consumption is illegal in the U.S. and Mexico" and "break(s) international law."
Knowing that these magnificent prehistoric creatures are nearly extinct, why in the world would your magazine publicize where to locate soup featuring sea turtle as the star ingredient, as well as inform us how delicious your misguided reviewer found the dish, going so far as telling us he believes it has "aphrodisiacal qualities"? Like I said, unforgivable.