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A LOAD OF CROP
Re: "Summer of Sam," (Matt Coker's A Clockwork Orange, Sept. 24): Kudos to Virginia Strom-Martin for introducing the industrial-hemp resolution. But I was confused by the nature of the vote, which was "split along party lines." Why would one major political party unanimously oppose the rights of farmers to grow profitable crops?
—Danny Terwey, Santa Cruz Matt Coker responds: Because they inhaled. FANTASY ISLAND
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I disagree with Joel Beers' review of the fantasy musical Violet (Theater, Sept. 24). I found it energetic and delightful—a genuine theatrical experience that reminded me of the Rock Cantatas that I used to see at Columbia College in Chicago. Theater that is too slick or too competent just turns me off. I need the communion between Actor and Audience. I need to strive with the actors to arrive at that magical place that is theater.
For example, a few months ago, I saw a performance at the Rude Guerrilla Theater that was incomprehensible, yet something about the performers—their spirit—made it a performance I will never forget. I feel somewhat the same about Violet. The music was superb, the performances inspired, the story a fantasy.
What more can we ask for?
—Arnold Klugman, Irvine Joel Beers responds: What more can we ask for? Language that doesn't sound trite and redundant? Songs that add to a story rather than detract? Thoughtful execution that brings a pretty good idea to fruition rather than undermines it? In short, we can hope for nothing less than absolute theatrical brilliance. By the way, Arnold, the next time you see an incompetent, incomprehensible theater production, let me know. That's the type of stuff I pay good money to see. THINGS HAD BEST CHANGE
Re: Bob Emmers' "The Kid Is Innocent" (Feature, Sept. 17): This story left me feeling surprised and deeply concerned. Surprised because it always shocks me when a blatant injustice gets the necessary attention it deserves by the media. We should be thankful that a candid, courageous reporter like Mr. Emmers was given the latitude to write such an important article.
The foundation for my concern over this issue is obvious. So many times during an event when young people lash out aggressively and violently toward other people or themselves, the same ignorant and insensitive questions are asked, such as, "How could such a thing happen?" or, "This is an outrage—what can we do?"
My response to these predictable aftershock questions is, "If you would only listen to what young people have to say, then maybe these things can be avoided."
What happened to Arthur Carmona is a shame, a gross understatement, tantamount to the fact that racism still affects everyone in our society. Violence, apathy and fear permeate our youth's culture. Carmona is a kid trying to do the right thing with not only his life but also the lives of those around him. What is his reward? A 12-year sentence in jail.
Our judicial system needs to recognize that if our society wants to avoid more Littletons (at worst) or children who have no hope for the future (at best), we'd better stop bullying and denying the rights of the really good kids out there, kids like Arthur Carmona.
—Terrence Winston, GlendaleDANA'S POINT
Re: Letters, Oct. 1: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher wrote of Huntington Beach's recent beach closures, "One can cloud the waters or cloud the issue, as the OC Weekly and the Surfrider Foundation did by implying otherwise, but no one recommended opening unsafe beaches."
Is he kidding? The headline in Aug. 31's Orange County Register read, "Baugh Questions Beach Closure" and was followed by this lead and first quote: "Assemblyman Scott Baugh said Monday that he will seek emergency action to force Orange County health officials to change their interpretation of a new state law that's led to the closure of parts of Huntington Beach for more than two months."
"The closings may have been premature or broader than necessary," said the Huntington Beach Republican.
I know the congressman is sayingthat no one is advocating the opening of unsafe beaches, and I hear him. Maybe he didn't see the Register clip? By his comments, clearly Mr. Baugh thinks otherwise and knows better than the county health officer. As for the Surfrider Foundation, we continue to support the health and safety laws that provide for the posting and closing of dirty beaches through science rather than politics, and we will watch to see that our elected servants do the same.
I stand ready, willing and able to use my gun, to kill if necessary, to protect the freedom of the press as reserved to the people in the First Amendment to the Constitution, even though I do not own a newspaper. Why are you unwilling to use your newspaper to halt and repulse the headlong rush to discredit, demonize and destroy the Second Amendment, which stands with the First as an equally "unalienable right" (Nick Schou's "Not Ready for Prime Time: Does a new California law spell the end for the state's junk-gun makers?" Sept. 10)?
When only the government has guns, there will be no one out here with the means to protect your First Amendment rights when the politicians decide your dissent with their policies is inappropriate or inconvenient. In destroying the Second Amendment, they will have already established that there are no "unalienable rights."
Think on it.
—Gary Sweeney, Cincinnati, Ohio The editors respond: We could debate about the true meaning of the Second Amendment, but that's irrelevant because Schou's article made no reference to undermining the Second Amendment. The article was about how a proposed California law (which also makes no reference to obliterating the Second Amendment) could doom manufacturers of cheaply made products that have malfunctioned, fallen apart and even maimed their users.
While I appreciated the opportunity to have my views printed concerning your coverage of the recent Saturday night special ban, I did not appreciate that more than 50 percent of the letter was cut before it went to print (Letters, Sept. 24). In my opinion, these changes altered the message of the letter—from focusing on media misrepresentation of the bill to simply harping about more guns being banned than I agree with.
As I stated in the original letter, handgun banning was not the issue I wished to raise, as I know that many OC Weekly readers couldn't care less. The cartoon that pointed fun at people who compare deaths resulting from cars and guns certainly didn't help me make my point, but since we are on that subject, allow me to restate the issue in similar terms: Senate Bill 15 is the equivalent of a bill banning sports cars, but it could potentially ban any car capable of traveling faster than 65 mph. My point remains that this distinction would be irrelevant to most people when discussing firearms, but that the Weekly and other media outlets chose to cover the subject in ways that ignored or hid such a fact is—or should be—unacceptable.
—Bill Field, Huntington Beach The editors respond again: You're absolutely right—we did cut more than 50 percent of your original letter. As noted at the top of this page, "Letters may be edited for clarity and length." That means we can cut your letter. If we hadn't cut yours, we would have had an All Bill Field Letters page, and how fun is that? So we cut out everything that did not directly address the Weekly story that spurred you to write. By the way, the reason our story focused on one effect of the bill was not to deceive readers, but rather to highlight something that would have severe consequences for one controversial Orange County company, gunmaker Bryco Arms. SPIN
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify several errors in your Crystal Cove story (R. Scott Moxley's "Beach Reach," Sept. 10):
1. The Irvine Co. has no "deal" to take back part of the beach we sold the state park in 1979. No such mechanism exists for us to do so even if we wanted to.
2. The beach was sold to the park with several existing leaseholders already in place, including those people who live in the trailer park and the beach cottages. The state park can do with them what they choose. The Irvine Co. has no involvement in what happens with those leaseholders any longer. Whoever led you to believe this did not understand the facts.
3. You did not understand that "fine print" when you concluded that the Irvine Co. was "effectively given the right to control all of the park's concessions contracts." The one and only concession right we maintained was if the park ever decided to do commercial development on the property (which they are now contemplating with this resort), they give us the right to build it for them at fair market value. In the case of the resort you are writing about, we did not exercise this right.
Thus, we are out of it. If your paper ever wishes to check the facts before it publishes allegations involving us in the future, I hope you won't hesitate to call first.
—Paul Kranhold, vice president, Corporate Communications, The Irvine Co., Newport Beach R. Scott Moxley responds: I apologize for using the words "take back." Your letter indicates that you think I should have said the company reserves the right to "develop" the beach should the state decide to build there. That's a distinction with little difference, and one that gives small comfort. That takes care of Nos. 1 and 3; the concession you refer to in No. 3 is the mechanism you say doesn't exist in No. 1.
With regard to point No. 2, search me: my article was perfectly silent on "people who live in the trailer park and the beach cottages."
Though it's not enumerated, I'd note that there's a point No. 4: "Thus, we are out of it." Not quite. As my original story indicated, a former Irvine Co. executive heads Crystal Cove Preservation Partners, the ironically named developer on the state beach project. Further, park preservationists might reasonably have expected the company to do for the Crystal Cove State Beach what it did to protect rich homebuyers in its Newport Coast development: write into the agreement with government officials an absolute ban on future development. Notably, it did not.
• According to a Laguna Beach Film Festival spokeswoman, her event did not cancel last year, as was reported in This Week in Lagunapaloozas (Calendar, Oct. 1). A different Laguna Beach film festival pulled the plug, she said.
• The same Rockie Horoscope appeared Sept. 24 and Oct. 1. We apologize to anyone who lives his or her life by these things.
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