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Re: Bob Emmers' "Slumlord Sweepstakes!" (Feature, Sept. 10): Congratulations to Eve Mitchell for providing affordable housing to many people despite many government regulations against it. Shame on the county for kicking these people out of their homes, especially since this place has existed for years without any complaints. For those who think these residents are exploited, I challenge you to provide housing that these people would prefer to their current homes at a price they can afford.
—Paul Studier, Lake Forest
I am still at a loss as to whether allowing people to live in the canyon is right or wrong, though my gut tells me that the Mitchells are not listening to the sounds of hungry bellies as they try to sleep at night. The poor always get it up the ass, and the rich play with codes like wannabe hackers playing with programs at a PC convention. On the other hand, were there not very similar conditions during the '60s that we dubbed communes?
—Brett M. Stark, Costa Mesa
Nick Schou's "Not Ready for Prime Time: Does a new California law spell the end for the state's junk-gun makers?" (The County, Sept. 10) did mention the implementation of drop and misfire tests, but he omitted that this bill may have the effect of banning all used handguns in California—and not just ones that are dangerous to the shooter—depending upon how the language of the bill is interpreted. How? First, the tests mandated by the bill are required on not only new firearms but also used ones, including models no longer in production or made by companies that no longer exist. In either case, three examples of each model will never be available for "safety" testing as per the bill, effectively banning their sales. Some collectable or rare firearms that do not fit the definition of curio or relic (which are exempt) have values in the thousands of dollars, making for some very high-priced "Saturday night specials." And while the bill indicates that private sales between individuals are not prohibited unless federal requirements change (not likely), the transfer must still be handled by a dealer, which is prohibited. Will this contradiction be enforced? Associates in the industry believe it could, and let me ask you: Who would stop Governor Gray Davis from doing it?
—Bill Field, Huntington Beach
REVENGE OF THE SKATE PUNKS
Paul Mardsen says cities should not build skateboard parks because that would represent a subsidy for a limited group of people (Letters, Sept. 3). In fact, everything a city builds is at everyone's expense and not for everyone's use. Most cities build basketball courts, for example, but not everybody plays. Most cities build handicapped-access ramps, but not everyone is handicapped. What about streets for people who don't even drive?
—Jeff Greenwood, Editor,Concrete Disciples Skateboard Magazine
Re: Steve Lowery's "Orange County's Radical Cultural Czars" (Feature, Aug. 20):
I just wanted to let you all know that some people hate being referred to as the "kids" in every article that has to do with surfing/skating/ snowboarding/etc. Any person who has even the slightest amount of credibility should know that the whole industry is not run by or for children. At this point, hasn't it become obvious that the skate and surf industries are run by adults who create the look/ attitude that all the little kids then pick up on? Do people still believe that all skaters and surfers are 12 and under?
—A. Geddes, Long Beach
FUZZY WUZZY WAS A FERRET
I read David Young's article on "Small, Fuzzy Justice" (The County, Sept. 10). I was very disappointed about the article. I have personally owned a wonderful ferret named Penny for more than a year. Penny is always a sweet, wonderful and kind pet. It is very unfair to condemn all ferrets. Ferrets are individuals just like people. Each ferret is unique. I also disagree with most of the article; for example, he says, "Ferrets failed to survive in the wild." I totally disagree. Have you ever heard of the blackfooted ferret? Well, all I want to say is you should be ashamed of yourself!
—Virginia (not her real name), Age 12 Steve Lowery, for no apparent reason, responds: Yes, Virginia, we are ashamed of ourselves. Apparently, our article left you with the impression that we are anti-ferret. Nothing could be further from the truth. You see, Virginia, we believe in ferrets. We believe in ferrets as certainly as we believe in sunshine and children's laughter. We believe ferrets are our future; we believe that ferrets are all that is good and wonderful. We believe ferrets run Hollywood. We believe Almighty God created ferrets to be our friends, to comfort us when we are low and act as intergalactic sentinels in our never-ending battle against the giant hermaphrodite spore mutants of Planet Blync. Alas, dear Virginia, what a dreary world it would be without ferrets. Calvin Coolidge was a ferret. Douglas MacArthur was a ferret. Former President George Bush is a ferret, and so is Jenny Jones—as compelling an argument to spay and neuter your ferret if ever there were one. Not believe in ferrets? We'd sooner not believe in our robot friend Mitch who flies high in the sky and writes messages to us in the clouds, messages only we can see, messages that tell us to do things, sometimes bad things. Yes, Virginia, we believe in ferrets, and we thank heaven ferrets live and will live forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia—nay, 10 times 10,000 years from now—they will continue to make glad the heart of childhood. Besides, they're delicious. Merry Christmas!
I was happy to see my letter in the Weekly on my proposed Nazi Boy column to complement Rebecca Schoenkopf's Commie Girl column (Letters, Aug. 27). But I thought the old dudes in the black coats were Amish. Whatever they are, Rebecca is absolutely right: they've got zero sex appeal.
Anyway, did I ever tell you about how I went to a Christmas party in Hollywood and drank a six-pack of 8-ball tallboys in 15 minutes? Then I went out and puked all over the parking lot of a strip club, and these strippers getting off work begged me to share whatever hard drugs I'd obviously been indulging in. I thought I had a date until they found out it was only 8-ball, and then they got all huffy and went away.
—Pete Moss, Signal Hill
I enjoy Rebecca Schoenkopf's Commie Girl column very much, although the name dropping sometimes leaves my head spinning just a bit. I don't want to lavish her with too much praise for fear of sounding disingenuous, so I'll keep it short. I appreciate her work and look forward to reading more of her columns in the future.
—Ted Mendez, Newport Beach
I was pretty amused to read Rich Kane's article about the U.S. Bombs show mess at Kona Lanes and the controversy that the flier apparently started ("Police on My Back," Aug. 20). Perhaps the following will help to clarify any of this silliness: I made that flier, and I chose the picture that went with it. Neither the band, Kona Lanes nor promoter Scott Tucker had anything to do with the graphics used for that flier. The photo was not of a skinhead or a Nazi; it was one of those run-of-the-mill, old-fashioned punk-rock kids from the old days—you remember, back when it was all fun?
It never even occurred to me that anyone would be foolish enough to associate the picture on that band flier with Nazi ideas. I guess I forgot for a minute what kinds of morons are running around out there with—evidently —too much time on their hands. I feel bad for any misunderstanding that a simple picture may have caused for the band or the club. But I won't apologize for the ignorant twist that was put on a fun and harmless photograph.
—April Obey, Sonic Graphics, Huntington Beach
PRICED TO MOVE
While pondering the cataclysmic effects of ocean pollution on our beaches and marine life, I wondered if anyone purchasing real estate on the coast knew of the California Real Estate Disclosure Act. California Civil Code 1102, in effect since January 1987, states that anything that involves the desirability and/or value of real property must be disclosed before a transfer of ownership takes place. Real-estate brokers, agents and sellers must disclose the above or face charges of fraud.
I checked with several brokers in Laguna Beach and was told that no one discloses the sad state of our local beaches. I was also told to back off because disclosure would mean thousands of Laguna property owners would suffer, and only a small percentage actually go into the water.
Will the developers of Treasure Island disclose the beach and ocean conditions in regards to their adjacent Aliso Creek Beach? As Matt Coker's articles in the Weekly have pointed out, this toxic ocean area makes Huntington Beach look like a "piker" in comparison. We have bacterial counts hundreds of times of those monitored in the northern beaches, yet I'll wager that only when one person files a lawsuit addressing this undesirable issue will anything happen.
Is there one ethical real-estate person out there? Certainly not here in Orange County, where the almighty dollar comes before ethics, fiduciary responsibility or environmental concern. Where's the Orange County district attorney when you really need him?
—Roger Butow, Founder, Clean Aliso Creek Association, Laguna Beach
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Bob Emmers, for your heart-wrenching but informative series of articles on the shameful Orange County Animal Shelter. It's time people have a look into what really goes on there and how their tax dollars are being spent. I would encourage residents of the 20 cities that currently contract with the shelter to ask their respective city councils not to sign any long-term contracts with the shelter. It is the only leverage that the cities have to force changes and improvements at the shelter.
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—Karen Chepeka, Huntington Beach
WHO'LL SAVE THE WEE CHICKENS?
Re: The ad for World's Famous Spanky's on Page 87 of the Sept. 10 OC Weekly: I don't know if you all are familiar with the recent publicity about the cruelty —actually, it's the killing of animals for some sexual videos. Evidently, there's a movement such as this. The display ad for Spanky's has the guy standing there with his hands seemingly around the neck of a chicken or whatever. And I found it really alarming, as it seems to perpetrate this type of activity.
—Mary Ray, Garden Grove Someone under 40 responds: The man in the Spanky's ad is, well . . . he's choking the chicken, Ms. Ray. That's an expression, see, for, well, spanking the monkey? Corralling the tadpole? Charming the one-eyed snake? Waxing the dolphin? Milking the lizard?