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Who the hell is Rebecca Schoenkopf, and what idiot wasted space in the mighty OC Weekly for her lame commentary?! Her review of the Lenny Kravitz show at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre was way off (Commie Girl, April 30). What the hell do you care what Kravitz was wearing? Because he changed his look makes him a boring performer? Screw you!
You should be writing for a teenie-bopper magazine (I think you would be underqualified for even that position) because all you wrote about were the people around you and the different artists' clothes. You didn't even touch on what a great show Kravitz and the Black Crowes put on! Why don't you hang out at the mall with your friends and write a story on the clothes people are wearing? Leave the reviews to someone who has half a brain and actually listens to music instead of watching it. DUMB ASS!!!
-Martin Barrios, via e-mail
What's the deal with Smilin' Rick's place (Rebecca Schoenkopf's Shelter, April 2)? I didn't know whether I was trying to be sold on this authentic apartment or if I was supposed to be "wowed" about the fact that he had a swinging bachelor pad. I think you need to get a grip and say what you need to say: Is this article an advertisement for renting a one-bedroom apartment, or is it just some words of unimportance put together to take up space? If you really wanted to take up space, you could have added a few more tasteless nude pictures from the back!
-Reanna Messer, Fullerton
BRING ON THE PAIN
Thank you for Mike Males' story "Down These Mean Equestrian Trails" (The County, April 30). It's a welcome perspective on the recent events in Colorado. I've long been concerned with the media's war on young people (I believe it really is a war). The statistics Males quoted about the real toll of violence by middle-aged people against young people were shocking to me, but a welcome shock.
However, I was shocked, saddened and, yes, troubled by the horrible high-school shooting in Colorado. You can't expect people not to be. Perhaps this can be a wake-up call for all people of conscience to get together and help one another-middle-aged and young alike.
Thank you for what you do (writing painful, truthful stories). I hope we can all do a little more each day to make a difference.
-Leonard Baric, Long Beach
PEACE OF HIS MIND
One of the special powers demonstrated during a Transcendental Meditation (TM) program I attended in Leysin, Switzerland, in the summer and fall of 1977 was yogic flying, which was referred to in Matt Coker's A Clockwork Orange (The County, April 30). Also demonstrated was a technique called "objects hidden from view." I decided to apply my own litmus test to the power yogis claimed they were acquiring. I asked the three of them to describe a blown-up photo on my kitchen wall back home in Santa Ana.
A Dutch yogi described a scene by the ocean that featured a tall object with a seagull alighting on it. He got it right! The tall object was a light standard on the Newport Beach Pier, and I had snapped a seagull coming in for a landing on it. A second Dutch yogi described a man dressed in a white sheet, possibly Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, standing near a reflecting pane of glass, and next to him was a man in dark glasses. The yogi had accurately perceived a second photo in my apartment, this one in my living room near the kitchen. The reflecting pane of glass in his description was the windshield of Maharishi's car. I was the figure in dark glasses. A third yogi described a series of bucolic scenes: meadows, streams, mountain foothills, etc. He had described the successive pages of the calendar on the wall of my room in the Swiss hotel about 100 feet from where he was standing.
Such flashy war stories never fail to impress the uninitiated. What is more generally important is that transcendent powers of the evolved mind can be objectively demonstrated. Peace in Kosovo is possible via more subtle and powerful means than are currently being contemplated in official gridlocked circles.
-Adriano Francesco Autore, Santa Ana
Anthony Pignataro's recent article on electric-utility deregulation "Power Play: Bad news on the first anniversary of energy deregulation-you're still getting screwed" (The County, April 23) is a wonderful piece of countercultural journalism. We all love to hate those bad companies. Tony argues that "the companies are free to pursue unprecedented profitability." Investors would be ill-advised to take Tony's claim too seriously. In this era of unprecedented stock-market appreciation, the public utilities mentioned in your article (San Diego Gas & Electric, Pacific Gas & Electric and our own Southern California Edison) are all suffering on Wall Street. Southern California Edison's parent company, for example, has lost 20 percent of its value over the past two years. Don't quit your day job, Tony.
-Michael J. Russell, via e-mail
"Tony" responds: Mike, I never said California's power companies would be smart enough to earn those profits, just clever enough to get taxpayers to allow them the freedom to try, unencumbered by the debt they accumulated while still on the public dole.
Re: Rich Kane's April 9 Locals Only: I'd like to throw up the white flag in hopes of reconciling whatever differences Kane has with the band Rooster or myself. In a previous Rooster review, Kane wrote: "Really, is there anything more obnoxious than a band of white kids who think they're black? . . . Their singer probably thought he was buggin' and a-wiggin'."
For the record, we have two singers: Sean, who is Hawaiian, and me, of German descent. I know that everyone in the group has a strong affinity for their own heritage with no desire to be anything else.
I'm a 22-year-old white kid who grew up in Huntington Beach. I'm deeply sorry if my band mates or I have done anything to hurt you personally (your ears, heart, etc.), and I'm fully aware that you are not a fan of our music. But there are actually a lot of people who do appreciate us and come to our shows regularly. I guess what I'm really trying to say is, "Can't a brother get some love up in this piece!"
-Chris Franz, Huntington Beach
SENSE OF CLOSURE
Steve Lowery's "How to Snuff a Wild Bikini" (Sports, Feb. 12) unfortunately misuses the trademark VELCRO. We are sure the misuse was unintentional; however, such an oversight can serve to weaken the identity and value of our VELCRO hook-and-loop fastener trademark.
The VELCRO trademark must modify the goods it distinguishes, and because VELCRO is a registered trademark, it needs to be easily distinguished from the rest of the printed text. If you mean to refer to our product, please capitalize the mark followed by the symbol , the word "brand" and the generic term "hook-and-loop fastener," "touch fastener" or "closure," i.e. "VELCRO brand hook-and-loop fastener." However, the product must incorporate genuine VELCRO fasteners in order for the trademark to be used. If you mean to refer to the type of fastener or if you are unsure whether or not the product is or incorporates genuine VELCRO brand fasteners, use the generic term "hook-and-loop fastener" or "touch fastener."
Your assistance in properly using the VELCRO trademark is greatly appreciated by the Velcro family of companies. Such careful attention results in more accurate communication; it is helpful to your audience, and it will help us to preserve the integrity of the VELCRO trademark-which exclusively identifies the brand of hook-and-loop fasteners manufactured by the Velcro companies.
-Pamela J. Carter, legal assistant, Velcro Group Corporation, Manchester, New Hampshire
The editors respond: Thanks for the gracious heads-up, Pamela. We think we figured out what happened: we wrote the VELCRO line after suffering a freak accident. We were strapping our lunchbox (filled with a manwich and cheetos wrapped in cellophane and a thermos full of coke) onto our jeep with nylon when one of the neighbor kids hit us in the face with his frisbee. Blood gushed out of our nose as we searched furiously for kleenex. We found it near the xerox but haven't been the same since.
Having had a previous encounter with the Daily Pilot's unique brand of journalism, I had to laugh when I read R. Scott Moxley's excellent article "Pilot Error, the Sequel" (The County, March 19). In January 1997, I wrote an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times in which I compared and contrasted federal and local bureaucracies. I'd worked for eight years in Costa Mesa City Hall, and based on my experience, I stated that most people had no clue what was happening in city government due to poor coverage by local journalists.
A few days later, I received a call from one of the Pilot's reporters; he said he wanted to write an article about "the controversy." It seemed rather silly, but I agreed to meet with him and proceeded to lay out my argument more fully, providing the reporter with the unedited text of my editorial and filling him in on City Hall stories that had been missed or were blatantly inaccurate. I pointed out several errors the Pilot had made, including grossly and consistently underreporting the amount of money the city was paying consultants for its computer upgrade. One Pilot article stated that the cost of the entire "computer-system overhaul . . . will not exceed $250,000," the amount of a single payment to the consulting firm (the Times reported the number as "up to $100,000," but that's another story). City Hall, of course, made no effort to correct the mistake.
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I also mentioned that the city's "hiring freeze" was nonexistent. Although technically in place since 1991, the freeze had never really been implemented. City officials told the press and public ad nauseum that they were saving taxpayers money by leaving positions vacant as employees quit or retired, and indeed the text of the city's resolution specifically stated that the freeze applied to all "vacant positions except for sworn field positions." But no one had ever bothered to check if it was true! The fact was that not only were vacant positions being filled right and left, but also several new positions had been created during the so-called "freeze." It was a farce, but an easily verifiable one, and I suggested that the Pilot simply look over the rolls of hirees for the past few years to determine if my characterization was accurate.
Needless to say, no story about the city's misdeeds was ever written and none of this information was ever used. But Pilot editor Bill Lobdell's good buddy Peter Buffa, who was then the mayor of Costa Mesa, blasted me in his weekly column in the Pilot, as did John Hedges, a Newport Beach city councilman, in his column in the same paper. So let's see: the Daily Pilot knowingly underreported the amount of taxpayers' money being spent by Costa Mesa on its computer upgrade and refused to verify that the city had been lying to the public about its "hiring freeze," yet it happily signed up as columnists two councilmen from the local governments for which the paper is supposed to act as a watchdog. No problem with journalistic ethics here!
Keep up the good work, Mr. Lobdell. You're an asset to your community.
-Bentley Little, Fullerton