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FEEL THE URN
I love Jim Washburn's poetry ("Your Rainy Day Reader," March 9). Does he have a chapbook out? Does he perform in any of the coffeehouses around Orange County?
THE MEDDLING ELITIST
I was not surprised to see Dr. Ken Williams at the center of the controversy regarding privatizing the preschool program for low-income children with the Orange County Department of Education (Nick Schou's "Out in the Cold," March 9). In fact, he would like to see that the same thing happens to our schools here in the Orange Unified School District. He is a major player here, a behind-the-scenes supporter of three school board members that we have successfully targeted for recall. Keeping in mind that the current board majority in Orange Unified has set about a course that has seen the exodus to neighboring school districts of close to 1,000 experienced, competent and highly qualified teachers, administrators and others in a competitive job market is very unnerving to parents like myself who cannot afford to send our children to private schools as Dr. Williams has done.
I find it disturbing that the meddling and elitist Williams has such a position of authority in the Orange County Department of Education. If his children had ever spent one day in a public school, we might look at his policies more seriously. Until then, we will continue to view him as an enemy of public education.
Anthony Pignataro and R. Scott Moxley's story about the county grand jury was a nasty bit of vituperation that had a lot of bile wrapped around a few nuggets ("Ministry of Propaganda," March 2). With one shot, the authors blat about the composition of the grand jury being a (barely) white majority. Is there a racial quota the county should subscribe to? Do the authors have their own formula? Another shot taken is at the grand jury in general when the authors blast away with, "The Orange County grand jury has always been a rubber stamp for the local establishment." That's baloney. The authors should read some other past reports. For instance, the 1998-2000 grand jury took the OCTA to task on the Centerline light rail fiasco. That same jury took issue with the Harbor, Beaches and Parks mishandling of the free and easy way the contractor had with the cash being collected at the Dana Point Harbor boat launching and bait sales. The grand jury also took a shot at the Sheriff's Department for unsafe conditions in the Emergency Operations Center.
Unhappily, I have to agree that the love letter that passed for a report on the 1994 bankruptcy should have been round-filed. But then again, even the OC Weekly doesn't bat very high on some issues, and you each get paid more than 25 bucks per day . . . or do you?
Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. The grand jury is the only citizen agency licensed to dig into civil business under provisions of the penal code. I would think the Weekly would root for more civilian participation— better qualified possibly, but certainly more, rather than less, civilian oversight.
FILTHY JONNY LANGUAGE
Whoever penned the Jonny Lang article is the most obnoxious, one-sided, opinionated, crass and imbecilic "writer" (and I use the term loosely—very loosely) I have ever read (Buddy Seigal's "Grrrrrrrr," Feb. 16). Don't get me wrong: I am not a teenaged fan in love with Jonny Lang. I am, however, a fan and think that no person, celebrity, whatever, deserves the kind of putdowns that this "writer" was allowed to get away with. What I want to know is how did the editor allow such bullshit to get printed?
via e-mail Editor Will Swaim responds: Buddy threatened to tie me to a chair and force me to listen to Jonny Lang CDs if I didn't run the story. Surely you understand.
MEDIEVALIST ON OUR ASS
Re: Matt Coker's mention of Nancy Reagan in his column A Clockwork Orange, (March 2): I don't believe Mrs. Reagan was the first to call George W. "the village idiot." As far back as 1555, Nostradamus predicted, "Come the millennium, month 12, in the home of the greatest power, the village idiot will come forth to be acclaimed the leader."
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March 2001 marks the second annual National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Will you be reporting on colon cancer this March?
Colorectal Cancer Network OC
The editor responds: Yes, but we call that "politics."
"DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
Anaheim's City Council will act more expeditiously on a stupid law than our stupid editing error would suggest. In Daniel C. Tsang's story "Show Us Your Scars!" (March 9), we should have said council members will vote on March 20 on the repeal of an ordinance that requires restaurant and bar employees who handle alcohol to register with city police. We blame the media. In Nick Schou's "Bad Rap" (March 2), a caption for a photo depicting an ATM robbery misidentified the bandit as Charles Gilbert. It should have read Dron Botts. Gilbert was present at the robbery, but he was not charged in the incident. The Weekly apologizes for the error.