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I take exception to No. 11 on your list of the 31 Scariest People in Orange County (Oct. 26). "The Arab who lives down the street" is not funny. In your effort to lampoon, you reiterate a variety of the fears that have precipitated an unprecedented level of hate crimes and incidents targeting people perceived to be Muslim or Arab. Since Sept. 11, we have documented 37 instances of taunting, profanity, epithets and violence directed at our neighbors simply because of their perceived Middle Eastern religion or ethnicity. Your insensitive attempt at humor may be designed to make fun of people who think such horrible things, but with many, it may be misunderstood.
Humor is one of the most effective ways in which bigotry is passed on; after all, we can always say, "Hey, I didn't mean it, it was just a joke." But your attempt at humor cuts deep and contributes to a climate of hostility that can only result in more violence.
OC Human Relations Commission The editor responds: For more on this story, see Steve Lowery's "No Casual Readers, Please."
Thanks for including me as one of the "31 Scariest People in Orange County." My "SIR" program evolved into a complete curriculum of manners and etiquette, which was oversubscribed at Katella High School last year and will be offered to all of our schools and the students who wish to avail themselves. Regardless of what you think, civility is catching on.
Katherine H. Smith
GOD BLESS MOXLEY!
I am 74 years old, a lifelong Republican and a devout Catholic, and I reside in Avon, Ohio. I am writing to applaud R. Scott Moxley for having the courage and moral integrity to expose the truth about Eddie and Jo Ellen Allen ("Patriot Games," Oct. 26). Moxley thoroughly investigated and researched his subjects. Subsequently, the real facts emerged in a series of three exceptionally written articles. Moxley has shown he cannot be intimidated by the Allens' Republican political affiliations, their all-too-common threats of lawsuits, or their accusations that everyone else but themselves is not honest and forthright. My family's nightmare began in 1992 when my daughter, Lucinda Herdman, introduced my family and myself to her boyfriend, Eddie Allen. Together, they conspired to financially defraud and alienate our family. They almost succeeded. I attended Eddie Allen's trial for more than two years, not as a witness, but to show my support for all the plaintiffs in their quest for justice. I observed Eddie Allen commit perjury and manipulate and defraud our federal court system. Most appalling is how the Allens have somehow turned the tables and now call themselves the victims (Letters, Oct. 12). Victims of what? The Allens should be apologizing and making restitution to all the real victims (all the creditors since 1977) for investing their hard-earned dollars with Eddie and Jo Ellen, who are living an opulent life on everyone's money but their own. GOD BLESS SCOTT MOXLEY!
Avon, Ohio The editors respond: For more on the Allens, please see Moxley's latest update, "With Friends Like These."
BENEATH EVERY STRIP MALL
Thanks to Matt Coker for his acknowledgment of living on sacred Indian burial grounds ("This Is Where We Pray," Nov. 2). The article will go a long way toward helping non-Indians understand the continuing struggle of American Indian people in the Southland.
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
IN PRAISE OF THE 'PIPER
I felt it was my duty to offer a more in-depth view of the Sandpiper in Laguna Beach, covered in your Best of OC issue (Oct. 19). It's true, there are cover bands and extremely drunk young people. The bands, however, are not all bad. Tuesday night, Stone Jonez really get the funk on; Marcus Damien, who plays guitar and does vocals, is perhaps the only person I've seen besides Prince who can do Prince. Thursday is reggae night with World Anthem, who deliver a groovy bounce. And there's the Heat Band on Sunday night, extremely talented soldiers of blues and rock—no better time or place to nurse a whiskey or a beer and contemplate why someone's done you wrong and/or why you're going back to work in the morning. It's quiet—sometimes there are more people in the horn section than the bar—and the candles glint in their hive of red waffle glass.
But the thing I like best about the 'Piper is the mix of patrons. I've seen (and had interesting conversations with) a local homeless guy, a Newport blonde, a surfer slacker with a well-stocked wallet, a very cool and sexy chick who got naked in the bathroom to show me her new tattoo, a 50-plus couple in matching cowboy boots and very much in love, a celebrity who shall remain nameless, a handsome Filipino man with nice dreads, a rockabilly girl, an Irish guy crewing his way up from Mexico on sailboats, off-duty law enforcement, a successful real-estate woman, a starry-eyed East Coast fella on his first business trip to SoCal, a dude from Ralphs down the street, and a very tall and chic transvestite. I won't say which of them left with me for a little smooch on the beach. Please don't dismiss the 'Piper as only seven minutes of fun: the drinks are cheap!
This is to the anonymous writer of the story about the little girl getting beat up in the car by someone, perhaps her mother (Hey You's "Mommie Fiercest," Oct. 5). There is something a person can do after witnessing a little kid getting the hell beaten out of her. First, write down the license number of the vehicle. Second, call the confidential hot line for Child Abuse Orange County at (714) 938-0505.
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