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R. Scott Moxley's whining article depicting DA Tony Rackauckas as a mastermind undermining the Public Defenders office is more a tribute to cronyism than any of his accusations (“Cronyism Maximized,” April 4). If, as Moxley states, the current PDadministration is so competent, they would embrace the input of concerned citizens and officials confident they are the best fit for the position. For too many years, corruption has festered and spread through the handing off of positions in return for years of cover-ups and favors. Let this stellar legal community prove itself, take responsibility for its actions and reward the community with the most qualified Public Defender available.

Dr. L. McClellan
Newport Beach

I would like to respond to some of the suggestions Rich Kane makes in his article about the Orange County Music Awards, “Room for Improvement” (April 11).

•We all know the show was too long and have decided on time-saving devices for 2004. One of those, however, will certainly not be to ditch the presenters. Admittedly, not all were Hollywood legends, but that's primarily because this is the Orange County Music Awards. Most of the presenters represented OC in some way. Sure, some of them spent 15 seconds promoting something else, just as they do at other awards show. (Thank you, Michael Moore.)

•Performance times will be cut to one song each next year, with no more than eight of them—and with an earlier start and three awards between each performance, Rich will be able to stay until the end and still have time to rush over to Alex's Bar for some local fare.

•Latin category? We did all we could think of and still received only one submission. Help us!

•Long Beach? Right from the start, we decided that Long Beach would be considered Orange County. If we gave LB its own category, however, we would have to give Garden Grove theirs, too, and surely nobody wants that. At least 25 percent of all nominees were predominantly Long Beach acts.

•Best Out of County does not mean LA. In fact, the winner was from Riverside. (Shocking, I know.) The reason for this category is to raise awareness around the state and, indeed, around the country about the OC music scene, thereby increasing the potential market for OC bands.

•The other new category suggestions will be carefully considered—and then ignored. This is a music awards show: DJs are not musicians; neither are clubs or record stores. That would be the start of a slippery slope, ending in Best Magazine, which, of course, would be won by LIVE every year.

•The reason for alternative, indie, electro and pop/rock categories is simply to honor as many bands as possible. There is obviously a lot of crossover in these genres, and by having more categories, we can recognize more worthy artists. We could combine them into one category, but we believe there is so much good music here that to limit nominees to five instead of 25 would be defeating the purpose of the show.

•The philosophy of having the judges review unmarked CDs was one discussed and approved by the board. The point is obvious: if Rich heard a song he really liked and knew that it was Ashley Bee, he would give it a ridiculously low score just to justify his obsessive hatred for this sweet, talented girl. Of course, secrecy is not perfect, due to the higher profile of certain performers, but it seemed more fair than anything else.

•The $25 entry fee: as explained very adequately by Rich, if someone knows a sponsor who will kick in $5,000 in September, we will immediately cancel the submission fee!

•Answers to other questions: our rules state that if one member lives in OC/LBC, they can be considered an OC band. No, not only music recorded in 2003 will be eligible because many independent bands cannot afford to make a new CD every year. If Scarlet Crush has so much strong material they can keep submitting a new song each year and winning, then all I can say is: Why the hell aren't they signed?

The OCMAs do not set out to be cool. They set out to provide one day each year when all bands and performers can be at the same place at the same time to join hands and sing “We Are the World.” I have a sneaking suspicion that when the show is slick, short and well-produced, we will be accused of losing touch with the grassroots, a pitfall that I sincerely hope never to fall into.

Martin Brown

Rich Kane responds: (1) At the first OCMA meeting I attended, Martin assured me there would be a Latin category, even though one was never listed in any of the ads I saw calling for OCMA entries. Perhaps if one had been, this would have elicited a stronger response. (2) DJs make records; to ignore this is elitist. (3) Re: Ashley Bee. Again, don't assume I'm that narrow-minded—though, for now, she still blows. (4) As long as the entry fee exists, shouldn't the name be changed to the Orange County Music Contest?


Thank you, Matt Coker, for your charming and witty column, A Clockwork Orange (“Thank You, George Bush,” April 4). For speaking the truth to a dishonest leader, thank you, Matt Coker. For saying it as it is, even though the majority still refuse to listen, thank you, Matt Coker. For exercising your First Amendment rights, even though some would go so ridiculously far as to label you a “terrorist” ('cause if you're not in this war with us, then you must be a terrorist), thank you, Matt Coker. For expressing an opinion that doesn't fit their agenda, thank you, Matt Coker. For giving us a breath of fresh air amidst so much polluted news propaganda, thank you, Matt Coker.

Manar Afghani
Director of Operations
Visual Sound

I am in your debt this week (April 4)—what an issue! Not only was there Steve Lowery's “We Are a Legitimate Military Target” analysis and Matt Coker's brilliant thank you to Dubya, as well as lots of other supportive stuff for people like me who believe this war is stupid, unnecessary, and a big lie—but you also had two (!!) food reviews to gladden my vegetarian tummy: Gustavo Arellano's “Temple of Tofu” and Stephen Lemons' “Fromage Fantastic.” Thanks for being there, OC Weekly, now more than ever.

Tina B. Tessina, LMFT, Ph.D.
Long Beach

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