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DUPES IS WILD!
Well, I guess I have finally heard it all. Anthony Pignataro writes, "Larry Agran was, at best, duped into thinking measure W guaranteed the Great Park" ("Measure Why?" March 15). To my knowledge, Agran has never been duped into anything. As mayor of Irvine, Agran knew very well the weaknesses and the downside inherent in his decision to promote the Great Park. Additionally, the divisiveness that Pignataro creates between Agran and Bill Kogerman (and Taxpayers for Responsible Planning) is ridiculous. Kogerman is no more pro-development than Agran. The Weekly continually tries to portray Agran as slow-growth and others as in the back pocket of developers. That is seriously incorrect. Agran has voted for many large development projects; he is presently looking at a proposal by the Irvine Co. to develop our Northern Sphere—a project I do not support—which will create an extraordinary amount of traffic, noise and pollution. Hopefully, in the future, you will investigate the facts.
Former mayor of Irvine
Anthony Pignataro responds: I wrote that "Agran was, at best, duped." Implying that, at least, he was complicit.
After winning the Yes on W fight against all the odds with our sweat and hard work, Pignataro has the gall to blame the Great Park activists [if there is no Great Park, after all]. The reality is Measure W was a gift to the people of Orange County through the hard work of volunteers. It's now up to all county residents to see that the wishes and desires of voters are seen through. Personally, I believe both the Navy and the city of Irvine will honor the will of the voters and implement the Great Park. Pignataro somehow wants to blame the very people who made democracy work. If Pignataro says the Great Park is dead, then he is playing right into the hands of those who want it dead. Please remember one thing: faith is the only bridge to a better future.
Pignataro responds again: Mike, at best, you were duped into thinking Measure W guaranteed the Great Park.
It's preposterous to suggest that Agran was "duped." Love him or not, pretty much everyone in Orange County recognizes that Agran's one of the sharpest political minds around. Agran knew damn well that Measure W didn't guarantee a Great Park. I worked with Agran and his Project '99 during this battle. Agran was and, I'm sure, remains quite well-informed about the Navy's final authority in determining reuse at El Toro.
I suspect that Agran's strategy is to wait until all the hoopla dies down and have the city of Irvine annex the land.
Stephen C. Smith
Irvine NUDE CONSPIRACIES? LYNDON LAROUCHE WAS RIGHT!
I have long suspected that the media have been going easy on George W. Bush. My suspicions were fully confirmed today when reading R. Scott Moxley's article "Survey Says: 'You're Screwed!' (March 15). Former Orange County Register reporter Kate Berry alleges she was fired for her remarks in a "confidential" management survey. Moxley's article reveals the inner goings-on of a newspaper that "ordered her never to write in depth about President George W. Bush's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its role in allowing Texas power companies to gouge Californians on electricity." It makes me wonder what else is being held back from the public?
A man in a trench coat, standing in a parking garage and smoking a cigarette, answers: Held back? Oh, nothing really—just that JFK was actually shot by TV's Festus, Trent Lott is a Venutian eunich addicted to midget wrestling, and Jack Valenti has been controlling the weather in the western United States since 1982. That's about it.
SHUT UP AND MAKE ME A HEMPWICH
Jim Washburn's excellent column "Felony Foods" (Lost in OC, March 15) highlighted the absurdity of a government crackdown on hemp at a time when the country faces the real threat of international terrorism. The Drug Enforcement Administration's decision to get tough on hemp pretzels, snack bars and veggie burgers seems absurd. Like any drug, marijuana can be harmful if abused. Unlike alcohol, pot has never been shown to cause an overdose death, nor does it share the addictive properties of nicotine. Unfortunately, marijuana has come to represent '60s counterculture to misguided reactionaries intent on legislating their version of morality. The reefer-madness myths have long been discredited, forcing the drug war gravy train to spend millions of tax dollars on politicized research, trying to find harm in a relatively benign plant. This country cannot afford to continue subsidizing the prejudices of culture warriors to the tune of $50 billion annually.
Drug Policy Alliance
Washington, D.C. DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
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In James Ridgeway's March 15 Mondo Washington column, a picture of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle ran with an accompanying caption crediting the quote "This is not a dictatorship" to Daschle. In fact, it was Representative Dick "Blinky" Gephardt who coined the phrase. Daschle coined the phrase "Show us your tits!"
Matt Coker reported in the March 15 Hello, Cleveland! that a shrine to late saxman Lee Allen at the recent Blasters show in Santa Ana included an unopened bottle of Johnnie Walker Red. An alcoholic who stood next to Coker during the concert maintains it was Johnnie Walker Black.
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS TO CORRECTIONS
We apologize for intimating that Senator Tom Daschle coined the phrase "Show us your tits!" This is ridiculous and a disservice to Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924), who is traditionally credited with creating the phrase.