Contact us via voice mail at (714) 825-8432, or by e-mail: letters@ocweekly.com. Or write to Letters to the Editor, OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. Or fax: (714) 708-8410. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. All correspondence must include your home city or service provider and a daytime phone number.THREE THE HARD WAY
I am curious to know if anyone has information on how Three Strikes is affecting the popularity of private prisons ("Three Strikes Stinks," Aug. 7). According to their stock figures, the companies contracted to build the prisons have been very successful. Interestingly enough, stock fluctuations seem to coincide with the news releases regarding the status of Three Strikes. Isn't it possible for anyone to purchase stock in these companies-judges, cops and prosecutors included? Three Strikes seems to be an incentive for generating business. After all, those convictions guarantee business for 25 years. -Carla Brachais

Regarding "Three Strikes Stinks": Uh, mend it; don't end it.-John Jaeger

You say that "the law is more often than not imprisoning nonviolent offenders" and then go on two paragraphs later to say that nonviolent offenders represent 50 percent of those sentenced and finally 25 percent when you mention that 366 of the 1,477 cases in California were sentenced for nonviolent crimes. Were all 366 sentenced to 25 years in prison, or were many sentences reduced like Robert Andri's to probation for his minor offense? Sounds like the judge in this case used good judgment under the same discretionary provision of the law that you criticize earlier in the article. You accuse the public of being uncaring about criminals and thoughtless because we aren't allowing for rehabilitation of chronic criminals. How about some statistics on successful rehabilitation programs for chronic criminals? How often is drug use associated with violent crime for the chronic criminal? How many people were saved from serious physical harm or death because of the more-often-than-not violent criminals who were locked away? Are 366 cruel punishments worth the life of one Kimber Reynolds, who was killed by a purse snatcher turned murderer? Is purse snatching considered nonviolent petty theft when no one is hurt and violent only when someone is murdered?-Ron Prowell
Aliso Viejo

Steve Lowery responds: Man, how do you get the courage to leave the house each day knowing that out there lurks a check forger anxious to move up in class? For someone with a strong opinion, Mr. Prowell, you certainly have a lot of questions. So, putting the last first: yes, purse snatching is a petty, nonviolent crime; murdering someone while stealing a purse is a serious and violent crime. What you and supporters of Three Strikes seem unable to understand is that not all crimes, or criminals, are the same. My article never suggested that criminals not be held accountable for their crimes, only that the punishment match the offense. Are 366 cruel punishments worth the life of one Kimber Reynolds? No. Imprisoning the Ronnie Villas of the world (25 years to life for stealing five bottles of shampoo) will not save the Kimber Reynolds. Nothing good flows from injustice.EL CENTRO OF HIS UNIVERSE
I was disgusted by Rich Kane's review of El Centro's debut CD, Alto (Locals Only, Aug. 7). It was completely obvious the author has something personal against the band. I wonder what El Centro did to Rich Kane. Show some spine, OC Weekly! Why are you dissin' an Orange County band? How cool does this record reviewer think he is? The OC Weekly should not be a vehicle for this man's personal retaliation against others.Rich would've been better off not writing about the CD. That would've been far more effective than letting the readers know El Centro has a new album out and that a spineless journalist like Rich is employed by the Weekly. -Skip Snead
Newport Beach

Rich Kane responds: I don't have anything personal against El Centro-their only fault was making what I thought was a bad album. If you've read this paper enough, you'd know I've praised far more bands than I've dissed. But I reject the notion that because a band is from OC, I'm somehow supposed to automatically like them. Using that logic, Rebecca Schoenkopf should be going apeshit over every lame Laguna Beach scene-scape painter (which she most certainly does not). Anyway, I'm just a lowly critic. If music critics had as much sway as you seem to think we do, do you think the world would have heard of Sugar Ray? I'd actually love it if El Centro proved me wrong and got huge, and I wish them nothing but luck wherever their career takes them. But I still think their album sucks.PORT IN THE STORM
My thanks to Greg Stacy for being the one to tell me the bad news ("Closing Time: The curtain comes down on the Port Theatre," Aug. 21). I remember a caravan of us ex-employees from an also-closed landmark record store heading to the Port one rainy night. Before the doorman let us in, we strolled around the block a few times sharing a tremendous doobie of my chocolate Thai. The City of Lost Children was a gas. Sitting up in the old balcony, the theater felt familiar and welcome. Never mind that the seats had an effect on one's ass like Novocain; the place was great. It saddens me to no end that, one by one, these little pieces of a righteous time are being wiped out to make way for more of the same old crap.The Port will be missed by many who, I am sure, share my sentiments. There are far too few places where one can go share 52 years of emotions. Any old Port in the storm? Not on your life.-Brett M. Stark
Costa Mesa


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