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Jim Washburn deserves to be nominated for a Pulitzer for his insightful Lost in OC piece “Elian Go Home” (April 21). I suppose I would be showing my age if I told you that it had me saying, “Right on!” The mind-boggling arrogance of those who feel that only the United States has anything worthwhile to offer and that by definition anything related to the United States is better than any other system has been well-stated by Mr. Washburn. The pocketbook morality of the public debate in this country is becoming a danger to our democratic system—fewer and fewer voices can be heard. Our spiritual lives have been diminishing even as we become more engrossed in the lunatic gyrations of the stock market. Martin Luther King Jr. said he looked to a future where his children would be judged by the quality of their character rather than by the color of their skin, but now we are all judged by the size of our bank accounts.

Mr. Washburn's article should be copied and distributed far and wide as a rallying cry to those growing up in today's materialistic morass—and as a reminder to those who gave up their idealism to pursue the “good life” of what they have lost. Thank you, Mr. Washburn!

Mark Mansell
The staff couch potato responds: Yeah, Washburn's great. But did you see the South Park episode in which they used Romanian quintuplets to lampoon the whole Elian thing? No offense to Jim, but that was really, really great. SUBSIDIZE THIS

In R. Scott Moxley's “The Irvine Co.'s Manchurian Supervisor” (The County, April 14), mention is made that “along with the county's other developers, the Irvine Co. relies on local taxpayer subsidies to boost the profitability of their private construction projects.” I would sure appreciate it if Mr. Moxley could expand on how this “local subsidy” works. There's an implication here that the developers are getting special treatment from Orange County political leadership. If such is the case, why hasn't this “special treatment” been more widely publicized and explained by the media? Sure enjoy reading your insightful articles about El Toro; keep up the good work!

Keith Bridwell
Laguna Niguel
The staff couch potato responds: Yeah, Moxley good. How the hell is it that we viewers can wait, like, six months for a new South Park episode and yet they pulled this Elian spoof out of their ass in a couple of days? DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS

In “Helter Shelter” (The County, April 28): the date of Dr. Richard Evans' last day with Animal Control was actually Jan. 4.

The staff couch potato responds: Speaking of last days, that South Park ending with the fed accidentally blowing Kenny away in the closet was priceless. WE'RE GREAT

The OC Weekly captured 21 awards at the Orange County Press Club's Excellence in Journalism awards on April 30. Winners included: Dave Wielenga, first, Best Weekly Feature Story (“Shakin' Like a Leif”); second, Best Weekly Sports Story (“Easy to Be Hardy”); third, Best Weekly News Story (“Is That a Badge in Your Pocket?”); R. Scott Moxley, second, Best Weekly Beat Portfolio (media); second, Best Weekly News Story (“Live Like a God!”); third (with Anthony Pignataro), Best Weekly Business Story (“Cox, Dicks, No Balls”*); Bob Emmers, first, Investigative/ Watchdog Award (“Pet Hell”); first, Best Magazine Story (“Crack's Back”); Steve Lowery, first, Best Weekly Business Story (“Orange County's Radical Culture Czars”); first, Best Weekly Sports Story (“Hot Air Jordan”); Nick Schou, first, Best Weekly Beat Portfolio (government); second, Best Weekly Feature Story (“Little Saigon's Invisible Enemies”); Rich Kane, third, Best Weekly Beat Portfolio (leisure); third, Best Entertainment Review (“Invasion of the Angry White Rappers”); Vu Nguyen& Amy Nielsen, first, Best Weekly News Story (“Custody Battle”); Todd Mathews, first, Marjorie Freeman Award for Best Humorous Story (“Play Harder”); Victor D. Infante, second, Marjorie Freeman Award for Best Humorous Story (“My So-Called Political Life”); Arrissia Owen, second, Best Weekly Business Story (“Chicks Rule”); Greg Stacy, second, Best Profile (“Interview With the Hermaphrodite”); Rebecca Schoenkopf, third, David McQuay Award for Best Column (“The Huckster Cometh”); and Margaret J. Soos, third, Best Magazine Story (“With Friends Like These”).

*Note that unlike the Times Orange County edition, the OC Weekly has the balls to list this story title.

The staff couch potato responds: Yeah, we're bitchen. What got me about that South Park episode is they ran promos of it before Elian was reunited with his father, yet most of the show folded in the federal storm trooping that occurred just a few days before South Park aired. Fucking brilliant.

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