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I just finished the letter from Newport Beach reader Dave Slavik and the superb response from "nobody in particular" (Letters, July 2). Thanks are in order:
Thank you for being grounded. Thank you for what Slavik called your "pathetic stabs." Thank you for having a voice. Thank you for having a mind capable of insight. Thank you for attending the Coastline Community College District. Thank you for your sense of humor. Thank you for being free.
—R. Starr, via e-mail
Nobody is trying to "foist" (your word) El Toro International Airport on anyone. "Foist" means "to impose by fraud or deception." Recall that the airport was approved by the voters of Orange County in 1994 and again in 1996—hardly "fraud or deception." Anything El Toro Airport's opponents or your editors did not like about it should have been brought to the fore then, not today.
You may "dislike the fact that George Argyros wants to bankroll construction [sure he does, sure] of a noxious airport," but the alternative is even more noxiousness in the form of a lengthy, polluting commute to LAX or its equivalent. My friend, a county employee, flies to Sacramento regularly from John Wayne Airport at a cost of $447 round trip—on your tax dollars.
It is an imperfect world, people. To put all the things you don't want around your lovely homes far out in the desert is prohibitively expensive and profoundly impractical for many reasons. But people do like to squeal. Many call themselves "activists."
—John Jaeger, "deactivist," Irvine
Everyone knows the movie It's a Wonderful Life and how George Bailey (James Stewart) learned how terrible life would be without him in the community of Bedford Falls. Today, Orange County residents are facing a similar opportunity to make a difference in their community. We are currently being confronted with the possible construction of a 28-million-passengers-per-year international airport at El Toro.
While many voted for the airport initially for the promise of jobs and convenience, it's becoming clear that this airport will have a horrendous impact on the quality of life for everyone in Orange County. The county was designed, built and sold to homeowners as a bedroom community where they could raise their families, not an urban center. Building an international airport in the middle of this environment will bring unbearable noise to families and retirees living near the airport, and its flight paths and will bring to all residents the familiar airport scenario of traffic gridlock, pollution, high-rise hotels, "adult" entertainment, etc.—the overall deterioration of the county (in other words, Pottersville).
They say it will bring business, but what kind? What innovative high-tech or biotech firm would move to an Irvine Spectrum or other Orange County business park surrounded by urban blight? The attraction of Orange County is its quality of life, not its proximity to an airport. The jobs created will be low-paying ones in the service sector. As for convenience, I'm willing to travel an hour for my once-per-year use of LAX to keep urban blight out of Orange County. As someone once asked, "Y B LA?"
The El Toro Airport is the brainchild of an elite group of wealthy men who stand to make a lot of money from its construction. Like George Bailey, we can choose to fight Mr. Potter (Argyros) and ensure our community is a place where our children and children's children can continue to have a wonderful life. Will Orange County make the right choice?
—Mike and Angie Kilroy, Aliso Viejo BIZKITS AND RICE
Re: Rich Kane's review of Limp Bizkit's Significant Other (CD Reviews, July 2):
I agree. However, they just knocked the Backstreet Boys off the No. 1 position in the pop charts, the first time a rock group has hit No. 1 in a very long time.
Translation: "Pompous, talentless, awkward, pathetic and impotent rock musicians are what people seem to really, really like." Again, sort of the "How can you tell a billion Chinese that rice doesn't taste very good?" problem.
Me, I just hate rice.
—Todd Ebert, via e-mail KATASTROPHIC PROPORTIONS
I was deeply saddened, as I'm sure everyone who read Bob Emmers' "Kat Killers" was, by this reminder of the serious problem of animal overpopulation and how we're trying to deal with it (The County, June 25). I want to impress upon your readers that there is a way that we, as responsible adults, can do far more to help alleviate this problem than just feeling guilty and sickened when it's brought to our attention. You can help bring the number of euthanized cats (as well as other animals) down by spaying and neutering your pets. It seems so simple, and yet, in my upscale Belmont Shore neighborhood, outdoor domestic cats are everywhere! Many of them are not strays, mind you, but rather outdoor pets that seem to be mostly unneutered and without collars. Which brings me to another point: If you have an outdoor pet, why doesn't it have a collar so Animal Control won't pick it up?
I implore my neighbors and animal owners everywhere to start acting more responsibly. If everyone did, we might actually see an end to sad stories like "Kat Killers." It's a goal worth striving for.
—Lisa Grant, Long Beach
Re: Bob Emmers' "Pet Hell!" (Feature, May 14):
I am so stunned by what I just read. I am baffled how an economy I remember as lucrative as Southern California's, with lots of experienced people to hire, has sunk to this level and decided cats and dogs don't get a choice as to how they will end their life. My first reaction is to put some of the [Animal Control] board members inside the dead-animal box for a day, just so they could feel what it is like to be doomed without a chance.
I cannot even read the entire article, for it embarrasses me that I once called Orange County my home. My husband and I now live in Oregon, where we rescue abused and abandoned animals. From the sound of it, we need to pack up the motor home, go visit our friends and save about 100 animals that have the misfortune of being in this shelter!
Pissed? You bet! Concerned? Oh, yes, and mad—damn right! If I can write to someone to stop these atrocities from happening, then I will. It sounds like a holocaust, and these unfortunate victims have no voice except mine.
—Mary Anne Miller, Sweet Home, Oregon
I find it difficult to comprehend how even one animal can live in such horrid conditions in today's society. We boast about being the most civilized and advanced country in the world, yet this type of cruelty goes on every day in this shelter and nothing is done. I read about meetings and plans to build a new shelter. All I see is red tape and bureaucratic hypocrisy.
I agree that, in part, they are just cleaning up society's mess. But it can be done more humanely. The euthanasia of the cats and how these animals are watered down is cruel. I can only guess at what else goes on there that was not mentioned in the article. I guess animal cruelty is not an offense in Orange County.
If taxpayer money is being so ill-used in this shelter, I question how it's being used by some of the other county agencies as well. There must be someone looking over what these people are doing.
Should one of my pets become lost for some reason, I would certainly hope they wouldn't fall victim to such a place.
—Debbie Siemering, via e-mailGOOD VIBRATIONS
I want to send my appreciation for Buddy Seigal's fantastic reviews on roots-reggae music and musicians. I really get the feeling that Seigal appreciates roots-reggae music as I do, and he has done a great job educating OC Weekly readers in the past year.
I've been a professional musician since I was 16, playing in various bands, churches, gospel groups, reggae bands, etc. I've freelanced with many of the artists Seigal has reviewed in the past year (King Arthur & Royal Posse, Black & White, etc.). My spiritual beliefs are very similar to my friend Carlos Chin's of Black & White (a.k.a. Rascalin & the Roots Rockers), and it's great to see a well-circulated article expose the "Christian/Rasta" merge of philosophy (Seigal's "A Nine Piece Bliss Machine," Music, May 8, 1998). There are a lot of Christians who love reggae music and are heavily submerged in the culture and have been for many years.
The article about Jimmy Cliff opening for Dave Matthews is another fantastic example of Seigal's great journalism ("Shout for Freedom," Music, July 9). Cliff is definitely one of the pioneers and godfathers of Jamaican music. Seigal is so RIGHT ON when he says that Cliff is way underappreciated in the U.S. (it's amazing that he is opening for Dave Matthews).
I know that my fellow musicians in California appreciate all of the positive vibes that Seigal gives to the roots-reggae genre. Keep up the good work. I've been reading the LA Weekly for about 13 years . . . and reading the OC Weekly since it has been in existence. I really appreciate all of the club listings, the jazz listings and, of course, the world music listings.
Re: Steve Lowery's "Vedaland! We finally discover the price of peace: It's about a billion dollars" (First Person, June 18):
Thanks for the kind article. I have been associated with this group [transcendental meditationists] for decades now, and it has always struck me that the people are intelligent, thoughtful and genuinely interested in world peace. Did you enjoy the ambiance, Mr. Lowery?
The data on [a positive-thought field influencing human behavior] are hard to prove or disprove. And if they're wrong, we would still have had a wonderful time fairly cheaply. But what if they're right? One billion dollars would be a small price to pay to take the air out of Slobo, Saddam and Co.
—Nat Adam, via e-mail
I met the Maharishi years ago and can assure you that his vibes were not unlike those of a narc having a bad night. He was as cold as ice. I offer that what he originally tried to sell was good; there's nothing wrong with meditation. All too soon, though, the money became the mantra. I bailed.
—Brett M. Stark, Costa Mesa WHOM CARES?
You should have used the word "whom" instead of "who" on the cover of the July 9 issue. I know this sounds nitpicky, but I think it's important for a newspaper not to fall prey to the language laziness that plagues our country.
—Adam Villani, Los Angeles
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