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I have just read Bob Emmers' article on the Orange County Animal Shelter ("Pet Hell," May 14). It is difficult to believe that such an educated, prosperous community could harbor such inhumanity in its midst. The perceived need for catchpoles for cats left me stupefied. Obviously, people who think they need those inhumane devices are not animal people and should not be employed in a situation in which they come into contact with innocent, unwanted animals.

Many shelters all over the country try to find homes for their animals—and if they can't, they give them a gentle and peaceful end. "Good death" is the definition of euthanasia; the killing methods for cats described in the article are anything but that.

Let us hope the animal lovers of Orange County will come forward and clean up this cruel mess at their animal "shelter."

—Bonnie Kalmbach, via e-mail

The Orange County Animal Shelter has good and bad employees. I can see why some might be insensitive because they have to clean up everybody else's mess. They serve—what?—20 cities? That's a lot of dogs and cats. And with that comes a lot of irresponsible pet owners.

The shelter is definitely not state-of-the-art. This is all about money. We need a new people- and animal-friendly shelter that is equipped for winter weather. Programs need to be implemented to make it an "adoption center," not an animal shelter. Hours need to be extended in summer months, and the shelter needs to be open on Sundays. We need to address this issue in a positive way to make the Orange County Animal Shelter user-friendly.

—Therese M. Galvan, Santa Ana IT DOESN'T REGISTER

How refreshing it is to know that one Orange County paper (the Weekly) and one writer (R. Scott Moxley) haven't been bought off by the real-estate developers ("Sympathy for the Devil: The Register's upside-down campaign for sprawl," May 14). Like its stance on most issues, the Register and [its editorial writer] Steve Greenhut are nothing if inconsistent. They love to slam the high costs of government one day and praise developers who demand and get absurd taxpayer subsidies the next. Thanks for cutting through the bullshit.

—J. Matthews, Newport Beach

Moxley correctly condemned the Mission Viejo City Council's $41.6 million tax subsidy to the private owner of the Mission Viejo Mall. However, in the next sentence, he stated Greenhut was "not troubled by nauseatingly cozy relationships between developers and government officials."

In a scathing editorial, Greenhut blasted Mission Viejo officials and the Simon Property Group regarding that mall subsidy. He is an ardent foe of developers seeking corporate welfare in the form of taxpayer-funded redevelopment subsidies. Furthermore, Greenhut has editorially supported grassroots groups against arrogant officials, condemning Mission Viejo City Councilman Bill Craycraft for attempting to interfere with access to public documents when Craycraft sought to publicize the names of individual requesters.

—Brad Morton, Mission Viejo Committee for Integrity in Government R. Scott Moxley responds:The Register preaches that our local governments have been captured by wild-eyed environmentalists who do nothing but hinder defenseless real-estate developers. In fact, it is the developers who—through massive campaign contributions—dominate many of our city councils. Evidence? Plans for as many as 60,000 new houses throughout the county are near completion. TheReg deserves praise when it slams corporate welfare, but far too often, the paper argues from a businessman's fantasyland. Their April 19 editorial, for example, demanded that city councils "step out of the way" of developers. DOWN ON TOWN

Rich Kane's "My Kind of Town" regarding fabulous, glamorous La Habra was right-on (First Person, May 7). Sometimes the truth hurts. Don't La Habra's civic leaders go to livable places on vacation? They have to know about their poor community image. The local government acts as if we should be grateful for paved roads and indoor plumbing! Improving the town's semirural community identity will require state-of-the-art, small-town revitalization.

They could start by televising City Council meetings and creating a pedestrian-oriented downtown in a park-like setting. There's no reason why we have to look like Beirut; plant a tree.

As the town approaches its 75th anniversary in the year 2000 (it was incorporated on Jan. 20, 1925), we can only hope for visionary leadership and some comparative city planning. Thanks for the article; I'm mailing it to every council member.

—Robert Dale, member, La Habra 2000

I am mystified by Kane's piece. Having lived there for most of my life, I am most grateful to have never seen the La Habra he painted for your readers. How unfortunate that his experiences as a "proud resident" of 19 years left him with such a bitter taste in his mouth. How deeply unfortunate, too, that La Habra is left with an equally bitter impression of Kane and his talent.

—Connie Michaud, Hull, Massachusetts A CRYSTAL BALL

We were at the Crystal Palace the same night as Commie Girl and totally agree with her about the trash music that Buck Owens regularly performs between his classic music (Rebecca Schoenkopf's "All You Got to Do Is Act Naturally: A trip to country's real home: Bakersfield," May 7). Buck does this trash as requested because of his desire to please the audience. Most of those present are music-ignorant locals who are there because of Buck's reputation, not because they like his music. On a normal Friday and Saturday night, he performs more of his classics in the second set, when all of the birthday, anniversary, graduation and divorce parties are gone.

—Carl Hunter, Lake Forest

Having spent some time in Bakersfield, I agree entirely with Schoenkopf; there is nothing much left of the town these days. It has indeed been swallowed whole. Yep, all that's left of "country's real home" is Buck Owens' Crystal Palace, the Econolodge on Oak Street, and Denny's, along with plenty of Franklin Mint-collectible-plate-loving, welfare-line "Dust Bowl Okies," whom visitors can alternately patronize and ridicule.

Yes, sir, that about sums up Bakersfield. Nothing to see up there, folks, just keep on driving. . . .

—Greg Gardner, Irvine SOULLESS SURVIVORS

Re: the letters by Christopher Quilter (April 30) and Laguna Beach City Councilman Paul Freeman (May 7) criticizing R. Scott Moxley and Victor D. Infante's story "Merrill Lynch Mob: The firm's Laguna Beach project backers are paving a little piece of paradise" (The County, April 23):

I genuinely feel sorry for people such as Quilter, who actually believe they are separate from their environs. Unlike my Indian forefathers, these individuals are alienated from their habitat, and with a bought-and-paid-for City Council, most voted "yes" on Measures A and B, the local referendum allowing a resort development at Treasure Island. It's obvious that those of us opposed to the development didn't mobilize enough ecologically sensitive voters to counter the ignorance and influence peddling.

Meanwhile, Paul "I Never Met a Developer I Didn't Like" Freeman's letter completely ignores the very reason thousands of residents voted against the measures: we actually value quality of life. In this case, less is more; less development and density result in an environment that is more desirable to those of us who've lived here for 25 years or more. Talking financial benefits as Freeman does is a way politicians sell things to the unknowing or unsuspecting. When offered a nickel or a dime while still a child, I'll bet Freeman took the nickel because it looked bigger.

—Roger Butow, Laguna Beach WELCOME TO CAMP PATSSI

While enjoying a delicious doughnut in a mall shop the other day, I happened to read Rebecca Schoenkopf's article "Little Patssi, Happy at Last" (Art, April 30). I understood the Mexican words huevos grandes, but from then on, I was baffled. Assuming that Schoenkopf's education went beyond the sixth grade, I can't understand why she used the filthy vernacular of the streets, such as "piss" (in the present and past tense) and "fundie mom," or why she dropped in the names of people such as Gloria Matta Tuchman, who lost the battle politically but won the war against the decadent educational system.

When Schoenkopf stated her atheistic mantra in a separate paragraph, she threw herself into Patssi Valdez's camp. Could the Weeklydo a favor for me, por favor? Give a copy of this letter to Valdez. Tell her she could have saved thousands of dollars in therapy if instead of denigrating the Catholic Church for ruining her life, she had turned to Jesus Christ for help in overcoming her disappointment in birthright, color, gender and religion. Tell Valdez she may have made her peace with society, but she still has time to make peace with God, her Christian savior. Kyrie eleison!

—Ida M. Wood, Laguna Woods SOMEONE'S FULLA BEANS

As a coffee professional in northern California, I found Matt Coker's May 14 A Clockwork Orange misinformed, superficial and unsupported by facts. Unfortunately, certain individuals in the coffee industry have an ax to grind (or perhaps it's "organic beans" to grind) by raising alarmist opinions about everything not politically correct about the coffee growers of the world. Whether it's issues of fair trade or workers' rights or overspraying of chemicals on workers or shaded vs. unshaded, the old adage of "follow the money trail" applies here. Who benefits, who sells more "bird-friendly" coffee, or who gives more of a shit for the rights of the suffering coffee workers?

If there is a sales advantage to be gained by filling Mr. Coker full of half-truths and hyperbole, then expect that there are those who will exploit him. His trouble is in making assumptions, and his lack of first-hand experience gives away his naivet!

—John Hall, via e-mail Matt Coker responds:It's always people who use words like "misinformed," "superficial" and "unsupported by facts" who write letters that are misinformed, superficial and unsupported by facts. Iwish there was something here to respond to.TOOTING OUR OWN HORN

The OCWeekly congratulates the following reporters for the awards bestowed upon them by the Orange County Press Club for stories written in 1998: Kristina Rebelo Anderson, David Bacon, Joel Beers, Nathan Callahan, Matt Coker, Bob Emmers, Rich Kane, Steve Lowery, R. Scott Moxley, Rebecca Schoenkopf, Nick Schou, Greg Stacy, Will Swaim and Dave Wielenga.


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