Just read the article by Anthony Pignataro about the reporting of Gordon Dillow ["Burying the Dead" July 4]and the quality of his stories while an embed with the 1st Battalion of the 5th Marine Regiment in Iraq. My grandson was with the 1/5 so I had a personal interest. I followed Dillow's stories regularly. What is Pignataro's problem? Did Dillow scoop him on some stories? This article seems to be nothing but sour grapes on the part of Pignataro. Did he try to get in as an embed or did he just feel safer back home?

Don Michael
Tularosa, New Mexico


I read Julian Smith-Newman's article on Bus Rapid Transit ["They Have a Dream," July 4] and laughed when he stated that "classic suburban anxieties—about trains, the underclass and big cities—moved Irvine voters to kill their city's participation." I live in Irvine, and I don't care about any of that crap. I voted NO because light rail is a G.D. waste of frickin' money! DOESN'T ANYONE GET IT? I know the politicians and the OCTA don't—they're thick as rocks. I would have thought Julian would have, however. So, succinctly and for the record: Few of us have "suburban anxieties." WE CARE ABOUT WHETHER WE GET BANG FOR THE BUCK!

James DeBeau

The editor responds: As you know, Jimbo, our story also said you could venteven IN ALL CAPSat a special meeting on the Center Line light rail and Bus Rapid Transit projects. Sadly, we got our bus routes confused and gave the wrong address. It's at 9 a.m. Monday in Room 154 of the OCTA administrative offices, 600 S. Main St., Orange.


To my surprise, when I turned to page 32 in the new OC Weekly, not only did I find a review on the totally awesome band the Thermals [Chris Ziegler's "Stay Warm," July 4],but I also found a picture of me, in addition to a whole paragraph about my homemade Thermals shirt that I wore to the show. There was only one thing I didn't particularly like: the opening line of the review. "When kids from Orange County ..." I'd just like to clear something up. I'm from Long Beach, not Orange County. So, I'm sorry, but I guess there aren't any kids from OC to give "hope for this place for at least a few more days," only Long Beach.

Nick Coultas
Long Beach

This is how I visualize the asshole that wrote that fucked-up shit on the Righteous boys ["The 129 Greatest OC Bands Ever," June 20]. He's a homely, egotistical little prick who's not well liked by the best of the staff. I also think he's probably got funny hair and has never got any good pussy. Am I right?

B Francis
Via e-mail

The editor responds: Well, everything but the hair. Anthony hardly has any.


I have to take issue with Gustavo Arellano's "Dancing With Myself" [July 11]. Perhaps he should have done a little more research before claiming "That type of dancing is nearly extinct," in regards to dancing with a partner. At Tia Juana's in Irvine, there are over 200 swing dancers, dancing as partners, every Wednesday night. And the age group of these dancers ranges from early 20s to over 80 years old. West Coast Swing has even more dancers at clubs all over the Southland. There's ballroom and Latin dancing. Yes, there are clubs where young kids bump and grind individually. But to say partner dancing is "nearly extinct" is to ignore a large group of dancers.

Geoff Smith
Huntington Beach

Gustavo Arellano responds: Thanks for confirming the thesis of my essay, in which the key word wasnearly. In a dance culture dominated by dancing alone, 200 swing dancers one night a week does not make "a large group of dancers."


. . . the OC "journalist" who didn't like the manner in which Steve Lowery took "shots" at Newport Beach City Councilman Dick Nichols ("Diary of a Mad County," July 4): First, yeah, people at this newspaper kind of think it's important to comment when an elected official slanders a major part of the population in a dismissive, divisive and hateful manner. That's what American news publications are charged to do—comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable; it's why we're given the freedoms we're given. (Seriously, it's in all the journalism books; read one, you'll see.) Second, as far as the "tiny" number of letters in the Daily Pilot defending Nichols, that paper, on June 25, published 10 letters, five—that's half—urging Dick Nichols not to resign. You say they argued in the name of free speech. But where is the First Amendment argument in "It is like they are taking over the whole beach" or "They should be grateful they are in this country"? Anyone with a brain who read the column, especially the part where I said there was no fun in writing about the letters that wanted Nichols to get out, understood that most people find hateful speech such as Nichols' abhorrent. But this is not news. News is extraordinary. A plane landing safely is not news; a plane crashing, killing 200 inside the plane, that's news. Do you see that critical distinction? Yes, most of our citizens are not hateful boobs, which is why we expect they would not elect hateful boobs. When they do, and when those boobs pop off and other hateful boobs defend them, we believe the non-boob population must know about it. IT'S NEWS. Finally, your last bit of fluff: "It's hard to condemn Nichols and his mean-spirited comments when so many others are focused on the wrong issues" is either the most illogical or lamely hidden support of Nichols I've read so far. How is it the least bit difficult to condemn what the man said? Look, I'll do it right now: WHAT DICK NICHOLS SAID WAS HORRIBLE AND HE SHOULD RESIGN! See, and not a scratch on me. I have no problem condemning public officials who insult the public they're paid to serve. Why do you? Suffice it to say, this profession is not for the weak of stomach, faint of heart or lame of sentence construction. It's nice that you've taken an interest in my work, but, please, until you know what you're talking about and are able to articulate it in a manner approaching clear thought, don't waste my time. I have a job to do.

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