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R. Scott Moxley's article on the Irvine Co.'s donations to the Irvine Unified School District contained significant errors ("The 'Gift' That Keeps on Giving," May 12). Here are the facts.
In 1991, the Irvine Co. pledged a $3 million donation to the Irvine Unified School District, to be paid in installments. The final installment of this $3 million gift was made in August 1998.
In 1998, the Irvine Co. pledged an additional $3 million to Irvine schools, also to be paid in installments, with a final payment date of August 2002. The company has so far contributed $1.125 million of that pledge. In April, the Irvine Co. announced that it would accelerate the remaining amount of the pledge ($1.875 million) so that the Irvine School District would have funds needed for the short term to avoid teacher layoffs and program cuts.
Contrary to the allegations made in your article, the Irvine Co. has in fact made two separate pledges of $3 million each to Irvine schools since 1991, to date has given $4.125 million of those pledges, and will contribute the remaining $1.875 million for use by the school district.
As president of the community group leading all fund-raising efforts in support of the Irvine Unified School District, I and hundreds of other concerned residents applaud the Irvine Co.'s philanthropic efforts on behalf of education.
Irvine Public Schools Foundation R. Scott Moxley responds: During my month-long investigation of the Times andRegister's reports on Irvine Co. giving, I asked each of the players—the school district, the foundation and the Irvine Co. itself—for documents proving the company had acutally given to the district the money it pledged. My goal was to compare that record of pledging with the several stories published in theTimes andRegister throughout the 1990s. No one could provide such documentation—though, within just a few hours of the story's publication, McInerney was able to find numbers that had eluded her organization's executive director and fire off this letter. I eagerly await the supporting documentation. Though she asserts that I made "significant errors" in my story, McInerney's information in no way contradicts the article. In fact, if they're even close to being correct, these numbers support my argument: two Irvine Co. pledges have garnered a whopping 20 different articles in the Times OC and The Orange County Register. Either the Irvine Co. has magicians running its public-relations department or too many daily reporters are transcribing press releases.
Re: Steve Lowery's "What the Hell Happened? Inside the collapse of the Mossimo empire" (June 2): I talked to an old college schoolmate of Mossimo Giannulli's when Mossimo was on the Forbes 400 list. The schoolmate mentioned the Forbes 400 listing and then said, "You know Gore Vidal's line: 'When a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies'? I hate to say it, but Vidal was right." I'm sure this schoolmate is feeling better these days.
Re: Daniel C. Tsang's "The Few, the Proud, the Spies" (Civil Unliberties, July 9, 1999). Mr. Tsang has no idea what he is talking about. I have been in the Marine Corps for almost 20 years and am intimately familiar with Marine counterintelligence. Marine Corps counterintelligence was not designed to identify Soviet infiltrators, nor was it designed to identify Marines who were possible Soviet spies. The role of Marine Corps counterintelligence is to locate and identify potential intelligence threats in support of the tactical commander on the battlefield. While in garrison, their role is to train for combat. As far as a legal mandate to conduct these activities, at the time the activities were being conducted, there were no legal mandates prohibiting the types of activities the Marines were engaged in. However, since the Vietnam War, there are new guidelines and legal directives such as Executive Order 12333, which prohibits the collection of information on U.S. persons by members of the Department of Defense.
Mr. Tsang's article is extremely biased, and he makes too many assumptions without the knowledge and facts to back them up. I would suggest that in the future you not publish an article simply because it appears to be sexy to the public; ensure that the facts are accurately stated and the necessary research has been done, which was obviously not done in this case.
G.A. Smith, USMC
Daniel C. Tsang responds: It's Smith who needs to check his facts. Catching Soviet spies was, during the Cold War, the raison d'tre for counterintelligence operations. But even if it wasn't, how were UC Irvine's first batch of students and professors threats to Marine battlefield readiness when they marched to El Toro Marine Base to protest the Vietnam War? That makes spying on them okay? True, a federal Privacy Act was enacted in the wake of abuses of the type I documented, when Marine counterintelligence and other government spy agencies went after Americans legitimately protesting an immoral war.
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
Last issue's photo of Mossimo Giannulli was a Rose Apodaca Jones creation.
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