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Thank you very much for years of wonderful, useful information on every subject imaginable! And now to the contrary: Did Victor Infante even see Girl, Interrupted, or does he practice Cliffs Notes-style reviews? Lucky for him there are periodicals that apparently don't require reviews that contain the points delivered by the feature, just the reviewer's saccharine opinions. So here's a quick review of the film: a woman looks from the window of her car forlorn and in tears. She has set the new Samsonite bag in the back seat of an arriving cab. She knows her daughter is about to be remanded into the care of the neighboring mental-health facility. They see each other through misty car windows. She almost waves goodbye. Her daughter is gone. The martini parties are now safe. . . .
David Paskowitz San Clemente
My compliments on your interview with Douglas Keene on depression, happiness, relativity and time! ("Time Crawls When You're Miserable," Jan. 21). It's definitely one of the best articles that I've read on the subject. I found it on the Web, and I'm sending it to my patients and friends!
Dr. Joseph Dziados Redmond, Washington
DEATH TOLL ROAD
R. Scott Moxley and Matt Coker's articles on the toll roads were right on target ("Highway Robbery," Jan. 14). The proposed toll road over the Santa Ana River is a misguided project that would benefit a few but cost most of us in terms of air and water pollution, as well as be a detriment to the continued existence of numerous species. The California least tern uses the river for feeding, and the mouth of the river is one of its last nesting sites. The effect of the toll road on the current bike trail is another concern. In addition, the noise and visual impact upon the local community will be tremendous.
In Los Angeles County, state and local agencies are working to beautify and enhance the riparian habitat of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers. Here in Orange County, it seems, rivers, foothills and other open places are given away by politicians to their developer friends.
Dave Hall Huntington Beach
Thank you for your commitment to covering the toll-road issue. Your articles never fail to show the inanity of the Transportation Corridor Agencies. The most recent articles successfully spotlighted why toll roads are not the solution to our transportation problems. Those of us who don't want to see the last open spaces in Orange County swallowed up by urban sprawl greatly appreciate your coverage of this important issue.
Julia Dewees San Clemente
Your articles about the proposed Santa Ana River toll road were well-meaning but never got to the heart of the economics. Why not ask these questions: If private tollway operators can't make a profit on a $160 million tollway paralleling the congested 91 freeway, how will we ever recoup money on a $950 million elevated tollway above the Santa Ana River? The 10-mile 91 tollway parallels one of the busiest freeways in the world, with no alternate routes. The six-mile Santa Ana River tollway will take drivers from Harbor Boulevard, Warner Avenue or Garfield to the 57 freeway, with multiple free parallel routes available. Yet developer American Transportation Development projects that there will be 96,500 weekday transactions of $1.50 to $2 to use this toll route when the road opens. No wonder the developers want to foist this project off on a nonprofit corporation that will issue bonds and assume all responsibility for operation and repaying the bonds.
This scam needs a stake driven through its heart. If Orange County Transportation Authority directors vote any more subsidies for this project, they are fools giving money to scoundrels.
P.S. The Orange County Register doesn't seem to want to print letters about this topic and instead champions more public-private partnerships. Never let common sense get in the way of that libertarian ideology.
Gus Ayer Fountain Valley
I certainly appreciate the value of humor in and out of the context of social and political commentary, but I was troubled by R. Scott Moxley's "Hitler's Lisp" piece in the OC Weekly(Calendar, Jan. 28). I am afraid I do not share your confidence that everyone in your readership will realize that you are sarcastically taking a shot at Senator Pete Knight and the backers of Proposition 22. Frankly, since those of us who have been working openly against the Knight Initiative have been subject to vicious group and personal attacks, I had to read the article twice to confirm your intent.
I cannot help but question the wisdom of informing people about what will hopefully be a significant forum on the danger of this initiative by leading into it with statements that may be misinterpreted as facts. And since, for some reason, the actual event is not mentioned till the very end of your piece, there may be some readers who don't even make it to the end because as they scan the column, they are too put-off to finish it.
Further, the context of Hitler and Nazism that you choose to highlight reeks to me of anti-Semitism and is highly offensive. Let's not call Knight and his ilk Nazis. Rather, let's make use of these weeks before the March 7 election as an opportunity to educate the public about the dangers and threat to the civil liberties of all Californians. Prop 22 isn't about protecting marriage; rather, it limits marriage. It is anti-family and could undo recently hard-won equal rights for gays and lesbians.
I understand that you are seeking to expose a certain faction for their ignorance and the absurdity of their view. However, I honestly believe your piece, especially with the photo, was a dangerous misfire and may be damaging in a way that you did not intend.
Rabbi Denise L. Eger Congregation Kol Ami West Hollywood R. Scott Moxley responds: Unlike Rabbi Eger, we believe our readers are smart enough to know that the bizarre claims (among them: that World War II was actually a secret attempt by homosexuals and something called the "black occult" to take over the world) made in the piece by an OC-based Christian ministry are obviously preposterous. Equally preposterous—if not hysterical—is the rabbi's twisted, unsupported claim that merely reporting the group's activities "reeks of anti-Semitism." Furthermore, if a photo of two women hugging offends the bigots, then so be it. We're rather fond of the shot.
The year after you stopped missing the Rams, I ran across Dave Wielenga's article on your Web site—and got a big kick out of it ("The Year We Stopped Missing the Rams," Jan. 1, 1999). I'm sure you don't miss them at all now that they're competing in the Super Bowl, do ya? Well, perhaps St. Louis has its fair share of problems, but the people here don't cry in their empty stadiums as you do there. We love sports here and are not just proud of our Rams, but the St. Louis Blues are leading the hockey world, too. So, Dave, keep on crying, man—whine, whimper and carry on. The people of St. Louis know how to treat their teams, and their teams know how to win.
Vince Selders St. Louis Dear Vince: You don't know how glad we are that you're glad you have the Rams. But we don't whine about our empty stadiums; we use them to store all the cash we've saved by not having to field pro sports teams run by inept millionaires. We also don't have reserve linebackers who get good and liquored-up and go out and plow their trucks into cars, killing young women. Or judges who let those linebackers off with a suspended sentence—as long as they promise to "go easy on the moonshine and put a hat on someone real good come Sunday." How proud it must make all of you, as you sit down to vittles. Thanks for your interest, and give our regards to Boss Hawg.
Matt Coker's disgusting vegetarian rant against beef made me want to puke—and not for reasons he might think ("This Week in Mad Cowboys," Jan. 28). In describing the process of producing cattle feed (grinding up cow parts, diseased farm animals, road kill, and euthanized dogs and cats and then feeding the resulting "protein concentrate" to cattle), Coker clearly hoped to put me off meat. He didn't. Here's a question for smart-ass Coker: When was the last time you ate a mushroom? Like your left-wing vegetarian politics, mushrooms grow in shit.
Pete Caulfield Orange Matt Coker responds: Mmmmm, mushrooms grown in shit.
The OC Weekly has been doing a superb job of educating people about the present fact of unwanted pets. But Irvine's new plan for lost/found pets is not the way to do it. Under a proposal by the city's animal-control officials, Irvine Animal "Care" Center would spay or neuter your lost dog after seven days without your permission. To claim your dog, you must pay certain fees, including the charges for the alteration of your dog's sexual organs. The reason: after seven days, your pet is put up for adoption by the city's Animal Care Center. The center adopts out only neutered pets.
This plan would bring the city into compliance with a new state law requiring the spaying/neutering of all dogs adopted out by local shelters.
Those of us who love dogs and cats recognize the problem: unwanted animals in shelters are being killed to make room for others. How do we discourage overpopulation of dogs and cats? By educating people, of course.
The new law begins the slide down the slippery slope that takes away the pet owners' choice to spay or neuter their pets. If we give this decision over to government, this year it is your dog or cat. In 100 years or less, humans are next. For now, just don't lose your pet in the state of California.
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Linda Lee Grau Irvine
I am so glad to see Jim Washburn contributing to my favorite weekly again. As a loyal reader, I have missed his amazing insight and on-the-mark commentary. Regarding his most recent column ("How About a Future That Doesn't Blow," Lost in OC, Jan. 7): I used to be a field person for a major utility. As part of my regular rounds, I would make my way to the top of Signal Peak once a month. I looked forward to this day because there was an amazing view from there. On some days, it was wildflowers as far as the eye could see. The passing of a deer or coyote or hawks soaring above was commonplace. Now, instead of a one-lane, barely paved road leading to the peak, there is a major street (Vista Ridge and Ridgepark). The view now is of the biggest blight to hit OC in years. Cookie-cutter condos and mega-mansions as far as the eye can see. What a shame. I was witness to the raping of the most beautiful wilderness, slowly, painfully. Will builders and developers ever be vanquished? Doubtful. Next stop, Bolsa Chica wetlands.
D. Jesseph via e-mail