Trashing someone must come easy to a writer on the outside trying to look in. I found Anthony Pignataro's "Trailer Trash" article [June 13] a prime example of bad, libelous and misinformed journalism, making a friend of mine seem rotten. I personally do not find anything rewarding about the El Morro trailer park getting renewed leases, and I do believe that it is in the best interests of Laguna Beach to keep the beach area open to all as a campground. But I do not condemn anyone delivering another opinion or point of view. It's just another opinion. It is for me as an individual to make choices. Your view of Paul Freeman and his message is truly ugly and totally lacks journalistic integrity. Through his hard work and dedication he made it possible to bring a world-class resort to a community with open space and park area. I have lived in Laguna for 27 years and this is the first project that has changed an area of Laguna that was thought of as "why bother," and now it's a magnetic icon for everyone with tax rewards for the community forever. My relationship/friendship with Paul started two and half years ago when he was mayor. I brought him an idea to increase the bed tax in Laguna an extra 2 percent to be given to the arts and visitor's bureau. Laguna has always endorsed the arts but not in a major financial way. Paul thought about my idea and said, "Let's go." With his insight, time, energy and knowledge we achieved our goals. There is only one council person who still thinks this initiative is giving the arts and visitors bureau too much money as we celebrate our second year of funding, and the arts and hotels have never had so much hope for the future. Your slanderous review of Paul Freeman is without merit. Just concentrate on the issues. Paul Freeman is not the issue. If you do, someday you might become a journalist.
Anthony Pignataro responds: Lobbying Laguna Beach city council members and Laguna Beach residents with totally misleading advertisements and information is simply "delivering another opinion or point of view"? Wow, what kind of 1984 world do you live in? Freeman and his cronies are being paid very good money to demonize campers and manipulate people's sympathies with completely false hopes of bringing low-income housing to Laguna Beach, all to keep El Morro from becoming a state park. It's too bad you don't consider that "an issue." By the way, Sam, what the hell is a magnetic icon? Does it have something to do with Iron Man? Iron Man is so cool.
You're forgiven for your "MTBE lies" [Will Swaim's "MTBE Lies I Told You," June 13]. For years, concerned, responsible folks have lamented the political and environmental mess wrought by MTBE and other fuel additives. The task of identifying conspirators has been a tenuous affair, as governments and corporations have played hot potato from the first day of controversy. An objective reporter would need years to understand the truth behind the steel-mesh curtain of disinformation. Pete Wilson's administration insisted federal law prevented California from waiving the fuel oxygen (MTBE, ethanol) requirements—that California was obliged to obey the feds to the letter of the law. Never mind that California's rules define the future environmental law everywhere else. During the administration's last moments, Mrs. Pete Wilson was elected to ARCO's board. Suddenly MTBE's protagonists were easy to see, as ARCO was perhaps the world's largest producer of isobutylene and/or MTBE. The chicanery and distortions continue to baffle those of us who've followed this issue. It's now clear that the federal fuel oxygen mandate is completely unnecessary for pursuing our clean-air goals. Yet our "leaders" continue to bolster the myth that fuel oxygen provides immense environmental benefits. The only way to get off this runaway train is to demand a federal fuel oxygen waiver. Thanks for your continued dedication to this issue.
HOPE AND GOEHRING
My thanks to the OC Weekly for pointing out what a rotten man President Bush's grandfather was [Dave Wielenga's "Hope Springs Infernal," June 6].The guy disliked Bob Hope! What a bastard! And he supported the Nazis in the 1930s. Well! He should have had the good sense to come out in favor of Stalin's Soviet Union, like Charles Lindbergh and the editors of The New York Times did. By comparison, Edward Kennedy's gangster-father and the rapist who helped conceive Bill Clinton seem downright saintly. Keep up the good work, guys.
The editor responds:Not to put too fine a point on it, Joe, but Bush's grandfather LIKED Bob Hope, was in fact a good friend of Bob Hope, whom Dave Wielenga not only wishes was dead but sometimes fantasizes about killing. So, summing up: Bush's grandfather? Liked Hope and Hitler. Wielenga? Not so much.
A whole paragraph on the FCC ruling [Steve Lowery's "Diary of a Mad County," June 13]. Way to go. I mean, a whole paragraph! Are you sure that didn't take away space from more important porn ads being placed in the Weekly?
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TO EVERYONE WHO WRITES US A LETTER AND USES "QUOTES": Here's the deal: some punctuation (colons and semicolons, for example) go OUTSIDE the quote marks; other punctuation (commas and periods, for example) goes INSIDE the quote marks. So it's not: It's been said that Anthony Pignataro is "a prime example of a bad, libelous and misinformed journalist". It's: It's been said that Anthony Pignataro is "a prime example of a guy who never offers to drive anybody to lunch." Got it? "Good!"
TO EA OF SANTA ANA: You know, we don't run into a lot of people like you—so obsessed with the naked ladies that they read the Weekly from back to front—and when we do, we find they rarely make it all the way to Lowery's "Diary of a Mad County." That's a lot of pages to turn with one hand!