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Regarding R. Scott Moxley's “Larry Agran's Power Trip” [Aug. 6]: anyone around King Larry eventually gets burned. It sure took a long time for Chris Mears to wake up and smell the stench!
Former Irvine official via e-mail
I ran for a seat on the Irvine City Council in 2002 against Larry Agran's Democrat slate. I lost by 0.2 percent after being outspent two to one. That Agran, a Democrat, was able to outraise a slate of Republicans in a Republican city surprised many but not those of us challenging him. We knew full well of his amazing ability to “convince” certain property owners with plans before the City Council to “donate” $10,000, $20,000, even $40,000 to certain groups (where, coincidentally, Mr. Agran was a director) who, in turn, would send the money to an OC group who, in turn, would send the money to Irvine's Hometown Voter Guide, controlled by none other than Mr. Ed Dornan, a longtime friend and ally of Agran's. Using a series of cutouts, Dornan's slate was able to mail about 20 slick four-color brochures in a campaign of political annihilation in service of Agran. Using this ingenious political method, Agran's team was able to skirt Irvine's modest—then $340—donation limit and generously fund candidates. In OC Weekly's gut-wrenching article, we see Irvine Councilman Chris Mears bearing his soul—and bailing out of a public-service career that has gotten too much for this honest liberal to handle. The OC Weekly is hardly part of the vast right-wing conspiracy, and R. Scott Moxley is a liberal journalist and, to his great credit, a skeptic of unbridled power. It's time for open, ethical and honest government in Irvine. It's time for the Larry Agran regime to end.
Chuck DeVore Republican nominee, 70th Assembly District Irvine
Thank you for exposing Larry and his cronies.
JW via e-mail HIP-OOPS
I gotta tell you I lost a lot of respect for your journalistic abilities after the Aug. 6 feature on Method Man that was clearly not edited or reviewed by anyone with any knowledge of hip-hop [Andrew Lentz's “Methodology”]. You wonder why Method Man was so apathetic in getting back to you for your interview, yet you mangle your facts and show a clear lack of knowledge in the hip-hop/music industry. First of all, you mistakenly give him the nickname (Bobby Digital, a.k.a. the RZA) of another member of the Wu-tang clan, which for you may not mean much, but for hip-hop fans, it's like confusing Ziggy with Bob Marley. Then you place him in a movie he was not in, again confusing him with yet another Wu-tang member, in this case GZA. Yes, these are BLATANT and pathetic errors for a feature piece that I have to believe multiple people edited prior to sending to print.
Ken via e-mail Chris Ziegler responds:You're right, Ken, and we have an opening for a writer who knows hip-hop. Interested? BUILDING
I read Gustavo's latest misguided article on Mike Harrah and his One Broadway Plaza (OBP) project [“The Wild One,” July 30]. There is a myth that OBP will somehow cause a job boon in Santa Ana. Not so. Any company that relocates here will import their existing employees. Aside from the minimum-wage janitors who will work here, there are no guarantees of jobs for any Santa Ana residents. While some locals may jump ship from other Harrah buildings to this new one, those aren't new jobs, are they? Maybe someday someone in the press will write a well-informed and responsible article focusing on how this project could potentially damage the community. Then people from other cities will know what Santa Ana residents came out in force and told the deaf ears of our City Council: this project is unnecessary and has no tangible benefits to our city. The residents around the project and their neighbors are not willing to accept the negative consequences of this project and the destruction of quaint historical neighborhoods and their quality of life.
DJ Santa Ana Gustavo Arellano responds:Hey, DJ, my article wasn't about whether One Broadway Plaza is good or bad for the city—it examined the peculiar development of NIMBY homeowners such as yourself battling against Latino-led labor unions over a construction project's fate. Although your concerns have legitimacy, my sympathies lie first with people who want jobs, not those who live in neighborhoods that proudly isolate themselves from 75 percent of Santa Ana residents and obsess over monthly home tours. PICTURE THIS
I came across Gustavo Arellano's article featuring the artists of the Reventn Super Estrella from 2002 [“Five-Year Flop,” July 18, 2002]. My main concern is how a music critic like him can mention wonderful aspects about an artist yet resort to such petty and demeaning comments about his physical attributes?! He mentioned Aleks Syntek as “a mating experiment between Billy Bob Thorton and Buddy Holly gone horribly awry.” I can understand his displeasure in Reventn being a showcase for the kings and queens of Spanish pop rather than Spanish rock, but there is no need to insult such a talented artist as Syntek. What credibility do you have as a music critic if you succumb to using insolent remarks about physical features that one cannot help?
Daniela Bianchi Miami Beach Gustavo Arellano responds:Please see photo of Aleks Syntek at right. Thank you.