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NIXON WAS A LIBERAL
The cover and the two articles on Richard Nixon (Joel Beers' "Dick Nixon's Orange County" and Anthony Pignataro's "Even Then, a Son of a Bitch," Aug. 6) implied that the Weekly looked for any and all traces of Nixon in Orange County . . . good or bad. You did a hell of a job on the bad things, but what about the good things? Like every animal in Orange County whose habitat is protected by the Endangered Species Act? Or every creek protected by the Clean Water Act? Or the very air we breathe protected by the Clean Air Act? What about all those good things?
Nobody—not the witches who run the Den at the Lab, apparently not editor Will Swaim at the Weekly, not the dudes at the Surfrider Foundation, not the hoo-hahs in the Bolsa Chica or the Laguna Canyon protection groups—not one person who claims to love the environment has the balls to tell folks that Richard Nixon was the president who signed every one of those Democratic Party-sponsored bills into law. These were Democrats without a large enough majority to override his veto on any of those acts. Nixon signed every one of them anyway.
Nixon was not a saint. Saints don't make good presidents. In his first two years in office, another 18,000 American kids died in Vietnam, four more were shot to death at Kent State while protesting the war, we had our first nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, and a river in Ohio actually caught fire because of all the fuel-oil and gasoline products dumped into it. Something had to be done to save our kids—and our world.
Real history shows in no uncertain terms that Richard Nixon did more than just his part; he made history. If you would open your eyes and your minds, you'd see the evidence in Orange County everywhere you turn.
My family settled here in 1887—before "here" was called Orange County—and all of us who are still here today proudly say, "Thank you, Mr. President."
—Gene Clasen, Orange County
I appreciated Beers' richly detailed article about the vanishing traces of Nixon in our area. However, I was surprised to find no mention of one of the neatest ironies: the Richard M. Nixon Freeway. This pathetic, half-mile stretch of Imperial Highway, just east of the Yorba Linda Boulevard intersection, once had the RMN Freeway sign, but that disappeared awhile ago. I have often wondered if it was removed because it was an embarrassment (for both pro- and anti-Nixon groups) or if some vandal has proudly hung it in his room. I also wonder if that is still the official name for that section of road.
Considering that Nixon was accused of trying to establish an "Imperial Presidency," it is an added touch of irony that a section of the Imperial Highway was chosen to bear his name.
—Robert E. Spenger, Fullerton
I enjoyed Beers' Nixon tour, but I think he needed to spend some more time in San Clemente. The Nixon busts were not "stolen" but taken by the San Clemente Historical Society for display at its museum, which is now located where El Camino Real meets Del Mar in the center of the old downtown (the museum is not to be confused with the Heritage of San Clemente, located a few blocks north).
Other signs of Nixon's San Clemente years are the street named for his living here (Del Presidente, a public street on the way to Cypress Shores and Casa Pacifica), his voting place (Concordia Elementary, on Del Presidente), and a picture of him golfing (now hanging in the lobby of a condominium by the San Clemente municipal golf course, where he used to play, at 2501 S. El Camino Real). I also seem to remember from my childhood another "spontaneous" demonstration for Nixon 25 years ago, when his helicopter landed at the Coast Guard station in San Clemente.
Love him or hate him (more people the latter in scary South County), you've got to think it funny that the notorious redbaiter went to the People's Republic of China and worked for better relations with the Soviet Union, all while dropping millions of tons of bombs on Vietnam. Also, the supposedly conservative president was more liberal than Billy-boy Clinton on domestic matters, trying to push for universal health insurance, a strong Environmental Protection Agency and price controls.
But he sure was a Dick.
—Bill Ashbaugh, San Clemente SOBER MOMENT
Re: Rich Kane's coverage of Coors beer ("Beer Brawl: Gay groups spar over Coors support," Aug. 6):
Many years ago, while I was president of the PTA in our local school, just before graduation, a greeting card came out in the stores. I saw it in a store in which I was shopping. I picked it up because I knew some youngsters who were graduating, and I was looking for some cards.
On the cover it read, "Have a Good Breakfast Before Going to Graduation." I opened the card, and it showed an open refrigerator filled top to bottom with Coors beer. I nearly exploded!
I immediately insisted the cards be removed from the shelf and threatened a boycott if they sold another one of those cards. I proceeded to go to all the stores in our village that sold cards and did the same. I had a few women go around the following day to check and make certain that card was nowhere in sight. But imagine all the stores throughout the county that were selling that card.
To this day, neither I nor the people I tell this to will buy Coors beer. I regret your exposure to Coors.
—Florence J. Paul, Santa Ana The editors respond: Thanks for your unflinching support of gay rights, Flo! HEDY TIMES
Interesting article by Anthony Pignataro on the teen strategy for sneaking into R-rated flicks ("Box-Office Bingo," July 30). In my day, ticket takers were less vigilant. One Saturday afternoon, at age 7, a few of us shoeshine lads were allowed entry at the old Joy in the Lincoln Heights area of Los Angeles for only 10 cents to see Ecstacy featuring Hedy Lamarr. I have always wondered what rating it would have received and what reviews it would have garnered from the likes of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.
Anyway, we saw it four times. We asked for a partial refund since we never saw the second feature announced on the marquee: For Adults Only. Memories!
—Val Rodriguez, Signal Hill Mickey the mailroom employee responds: Shoeshine lads? The old Joy? Taking Ecstacy with this Hedy person? Dude, you're blazing right now! BATHE IN OUR SWAK
Re: the crybaby music editor for the OC Weekly:
It has been made very clear that the OC Weekly has nothing to offer the OC music scene. If I want to know who's hot, I won't ever find out by reading your amateur swak. All I ask is that you hire someone who really knows, like Linda Jemison or Randy Cash. At least they have the knowledge of what's going on.
Who cares about emo, underground, non-rock-star pop? The OC Weekly should take a SERVAY [sic] and see what your readers think. Then get a music editor who likes all forms of popular and alternative music, and the editorial would be on how good the music is, not how some DORK hates Angry White Rap (Rich Kane's "Invasion of the Angry White Rappers!" July 9).
—Devin Torrez, Irvine Rich Kane responds: Deer [sic] Devun [sic], So we should hire club owners and promoters to write about bands they work with? Great idea! Hell, maybe we should let bands write their own articles about themselves! We hereby deem this new policy "pay-to-plug!" If you're in a band, please submit $5,000 (twenties only, please) to Rich Kane, c/oOC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. And what is this "swak"? Is it something you smoked before you wrote this letter? Go away. JARHEADS LOVE OUR HEAD
On behalf of the Marines of Orange and Los Angeles counties, I would like to thank [OC Weekly editor] Will Swaim for the service he provides to the citizens of our communities. The Marines are willing, if needed, to assist Swaim in any way possible.
As you know, today's young people face many important choices concerning education, gangs, drugs and an array of other obstacles. The Marines seek those individuals who strive to be successful and provide them the education, job skills and leadership traits necessary for advancement in today's competitive job market.
Our mission is to identify today's youth for transformation into tomorrow's leaders. We are not asking these young men and women to make the Marine Corps a career but rather four years of their life with which to instill the positive attributes that are associated with the Marine Corps. These youngsters will then return to your communities as productive citizens and positive role models for the next generation.
—Brett W. Beard, Marketing and PR Specialist, United States Marine Corps, Irvine
Congressman Tom Davis has announced that Mr. Will Swaim has been selected to receive the Republican Congressional Medal of Merit presented by the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Mr. Will Swaim received the award for serving as a co-chairman of the Committee's Business Advisory Council. The council was instrumental in passing legislation that has led to the current federal budget surplus.
In making the announcement, Congressman Tom Davis, who serves as the chairman of the Republican Congressional Committee, said, "We are grateful for all of Mr. Will Swaim [sic] support of Republican ideals, particularly for his commitment to federal spending cuts and tax reform."
Mr. Will Swaim and the Business Advisory Council are expected to play a key role as House Republicans try to pass a major tax package into law.
Mr. Swaim will receive the Medal of Merit at a formal presentation ceremony in Washington, D.C., later this year.
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—Tom Davis, Member of Congress, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman, Washington, D.C.
Dear Mr. Swaim,
The preceding fax is incorrect and was sent in error yesterday. We will re-fax corrected copy tomorrow. We made an unfortunate mistake by including your name and apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you.
—Tom Davis, Member of Congress, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman, Washington, D.C.