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Your account of Jeanne Costales, chairwoman of the Orange County Democratic Party, as one of Orange County's scariest people was filled with untruths and meanness (Feature, Oct. 30). Don't you factcheck your commentaries before you present them to the public?
I have been involved with the Central Committee this past year, and the following are my corrections to the comments contained in your account:
1. Costales is the chairwoman of the party's Central Committee because she won a contested election, not by default because no one else wanted the post. Costales' opponents for the position campaigned hard and lobbied all the members of the Central Committee for their votes; however, the committee members voted for Costales because, I believe, she had shown from her past efforts her experience with fund-raisers and knowledge of the political process.
2. The Democratic Party has contributed to the campaigns of and supported more than ever their candidates in Orange County. The party had raised more than $28,000 through the successes of its convention in April and the Truman dinner in September. Some candidates have received more money than others; however, every Democratic Party candidate has received some money from the county's party. The decisions regarding the distribution of funds were not made by Costales but by the party's Executive Committee.
3. Costales has been the moving force behind the party's county convention and the Truman dinner. The Orange County Democratic Party is the only county central committee to have an election-year convention.
4. Contrary to your account, the Democrats in the county were highly energized this election. Not only did the party work hard to return Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez to office, but we were also campaigning with some of the best candidates we have had this decade, including newly elected state Senator Joe Dunn and Assemblyman Lou Correa. As to your comments regarding the age of these and other candidates, I believe all were born years after Franklin Roosevelt was president, not before Teddy Roosevelt.
The only people who should be scared of Costales are the Republicans. I hope you print this. How can I enjoy and believe your commentary about all of those truly scary Republicans and wheeler-dealers in our county if I know that all your comments regarding Costales are false?
Orange County Democratic Party
Your ratings system is rigged! Why else would you rate Vangie Oberschlake way down in 19th place under Jan Crouch's breasts? The OC Greens and Vangie belong in first place. If you didn't get it this year, you will in 1999. That is, if you're not saving the first slot for one of your pet right-wing squeezes!
Clean up your ratings system, OC Weekly! Get in the trenches with the people. Pay attention. We Greens are the Orange County status quo's worst nightmare!
I want to express my strong disagreement with the low ranking I received from your publication. If you had any idea how destructive I have been to your quaint, antiquated, socialist agenda, I'm sure that you would have ranked me much higher than 28th. It causes one to wonder if there were some problems in the way that the ballots for these rankings were counted. Oh, well, there is always next year.
-Michael J. Schroeder
California Republican Party
A Libertarian responds: There you go again-alleging voter fraud. But don't be too sad, Mike. Though you ranked low on our list, there's reason for hope on another front. As head of the state's Republican Party, you presided over the worst Republican showing in California history. You'll surely make No. 1 on the GOP's Scariest People list!
As the operators of Orange County's largest privately owned towing and emergency road-services companies (MetroPro Road Services Inc., which includes A&P Towing, Santa Ana Towing, Harbor Towing and John's Towing under its umbrella), we thank the OC Weekly for the Patrick Tocher item in your Scariest People feature, which calls attention to the oversight in the 1994 federal legislation that affects local towing laws. This issue is hotly debated in the towing community.
However, we take exception with the article's condemnation of the entire towing industry. Private-property impounding is a legitimate and necessary service designed to protect the rights of property owners and their tenants, allowing access to the property as well as clearing city/county-mandated fire/safety lanes. Unfortunately, the actions of one tow operator can stain the reputations of firms operating within the current municipal laws.
Our company, along with several other towing concerns, continues to support the cities of Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Anaheim, Fullerton, Westminster, Huntington Beach and Orange in their efforts to continue to enforce local laws regulating non-consensual towing. We know, as federal courts are involved, the outcome of this litigation will have repercussions throughout the county. We call upon Mr. Tocher to withdraw his lawsuits for the benefit of our industry and the communities in which we do business.
After reading the article, the average reader might perceive Mr. Tocher's actions are common practice in the towing industry. We are here to take a leadership position to fight that perception in our words and deeds.
MetroPro Road Services Inc.
The Darnel Squad takes serious objection to the OC Weekly's "Scariest People" article characterizing the Darnel Squad as a group of unbalanced, deranged women. The Darnel Squad, which was recently profiled on CNN's Health Watch, is an advocacy group for the defense of women favoring European/natural hygiene and is in no way an underground group focused on terrorizing the cosmetic industry. Although it is true the Darnel Squad has made the decision to take the next step from support group to advocacy and has begun marketing its ideals in a more aggressive fashion, the Darnel Squad does not advocate terrorism. No member of the group has been convicted of a terrorist act involving a commercial business. The Weekly's vicious attack on us is exactly why you were uninvited to attend our members' meeting! It is obvious you are nothing but a shill for your advertisers. You are definitely one of the "Pretty People"!!!
Regarding the OC Weekly's listing of the "underground" Darnel Squad in the "Scariest People": I and other downtown Huntington Beach residents wish they were out of sight and truly underground. Members of the Darnel Squad-or the "Ape Patrol," as they have been dubbed by locals-canvas Main Street on a regular basis. Every Thursday, they can be found aboveground-in front of several beauty salons, shoving their leaflets and taunting women as they enter and leave the establishments. I have no problem with their personal decisions and peculiar philosophy. However, their tactics make Operation Rescue look like a bunch of choirboys. If they are truly seeking converts to their cause, they need to tone down the rhetoric and taunting of other women.
While I sympathize with the family and friends of those who have been killed by any type of violence, police-oriented or otherwise, my understanding of this issue is that the vast majority of people injured or killed by police officers have either committed a crime and are trying to evade consequences or are in the act of committing a crime and do not respond to police instruction ("Stolen Lives: Protesters decry police brutality," Oct. 30).
While the article does not state what transpired in the case of Ted Franks (and let's also not forget that sometimes settlements are made not because of actual wrongdoing but because it is less time-consuming and costly than a lawsuit), Nick Schou does write that Juan Manuel Campos was in an allegedly stolen vehicle. The officers claim that he tried to run them over; his girlfriend (who, we may notice, was a 17-year-old minor dating a 28-year-old man) claims he was merely trying to leave the scene. Either way, he was not complying with police and had allegedly committed a crime.
Obviously, his potential crime did not warrant being killed. But Campos is responsible for his choice to violate the law, and the consequences were clearly much more drastic than he had intended. It is not clear whether the police acted in true self-defense, and if they did, I cannot fault them for shooting him. It seems to me that if Campos had not committed a crime in the first place, he would not have become a target for the police at all.
Rather than protesting police officers reacting to offenders, family and friends would better spend their time encouraging those around them not to commit crimes that will bring them to police attention. The people protesting do not mention all of the innocent bystanders who are killed by burglars, carjackers and other criminals. As someone who has not committed a crime-and, coincidentally enough, has thus not become a victim of police brutality-I see the solution as simple: obey the law.
Oh, Gentle Contents Writer:
Know that I am a dedicated fan of your work and appreciate the long, hard hours you put into each and every issue (Contents, Oct. 23). It's because of you (and only you) that I pick up a copy of an otherwise crappy OC Weekly each week.
I looked over the staff credits and noticed two things: 1) even the interns get mentioned on the staff credits page, and 2) the one person who should be looking out for you, the director of Human Resources (Lynne Foland), had no trouble making sure her name appeared. So with these serious grievances in hand, I suggest you organize a union quickly and watch the OC Weekly crumble when you go on strike!
Power to the workers!
P.S. I would have suggested enlisting Commie Girl for help, but her name also appears in the staff credits, so you know which side of the proletariat/bourgeois line she's on.
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Sure, you can scrawl rhymes onto the backs of napkins you'll never show anybody, but do you have the-what shall we call it?-outrageous sense of self to enter your best "work" in THE FIRST (and probably last) OC WEEKLY POETRY CONTEST?!?!? We want to read your best Orange County-inspired poems. Don't send us a buncha crap about how much you love LA, New York City or San Francisco.
For complete guidelines, e-mail us at email@example.com or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Meister Poet Victor D. Infante, Poet-Friendly OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.