Voice of Our Commentators

Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Economy Up, but the Needy Still Down

We think the community needs to pull together more than ever to see to it that as many as possible have access to healthy foods, water and shelter. Putting our minds together will bring solutions.

One way The Grain Project has been pushing is for volunteers to help families collect excess backyard fruit and donate it at a centralized place in each neighborhood — a school or community center — for all to share. Once each neighborhood CommUnity Harvest group has collected for each week, neighborhoods can crop-swap with other neighborhoods for the largest variety of local foods and greater positive impact and improved health and well-being in the community as a whole.

We have been doing just this for over two years now in central Santa Ana’s Jerome Park area. It has been amazing! Orange County has quite a large variety of food growers. It’s just a matter of discovering each other and sharing and coordination. We can grow this!

— The Grain Project / April 25

CalOptima’s PR Consultant Bids Farewell

To clarify the Internet record on this item, I am providing the following:

It became my responsibility to explain the difficult situation CalOptima has been subject to due to an ongoing campaign of anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations. I carried out this responsibility with care and discretion and categorically deny the supervisor’s [Janet Nguyen’s] claims about the nature of my comments. It should be noted that the supervisor was not on the phone call in question and did not hear my comments directly.

It is also important to note that CalOptima was one of the finest clients I have ever worked for in my 30 years in public relations. Its executives and its staff are highly professional and ethical. They are dedicated to seeing that Orange County’s poor, sick and frail residents receive the care they need, and their work in this regard is recognized nationally to be excellent.

It was an honor to be able to contribute to their good work.

— Laer Pearce / April 25

What’s Ahead for Santora Arts Building?

So a New Wave-style Christian church wants to buy the Santora and utilize the spaces for a variety of purposes, including ministry and arts promotion and community development.

This can go horribly wrong for the building and community, or it could go remarkably well.

Are they going to gut the interior and erase suite space for the sake of church seating? Maybe they will pump more money into building upkeep and architectural preservation? Maybe they will enhance lobby space decor and remain committed to showcasing a variety of responsible local artists.

— Got your back / April 23

I am encouraged by a couple of things in this update: that the artists are meeting to share their concerns and hopefully approach the prospective owners to discuss their mutual interests and that some who know the buyers believe they have a keen interest in the arts and will be attentive to those concerns.

Let’s face it, the arts and religion have had an uneasy relationship throughout history. Even when religious art was commissioned, as with Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel, it was not accomplished without a lot of “agony and ecstasy.” So as long as the new owners maintain a hands-off attitude as to the content of the work produced by resident artists, it should be fine.

I will be eager to learn more as this story unfolds and appreciate Voice of OC keeping its ear to the ground about what could easily have slipped through the cracks as an issue lacking consequence. It has great consequences for the artists in Santa Ana and for the artistic community of Orange County as a whole.

— Rick Stein / April 26

What’s Wrong With Civilian Jailers?

How could we possibly get any lower quality individuals than what we’ve seen in any number of cases where the taxpayers have had to pay oodles of lawsuit awards and settlements for the actions of your top-dollar [sheriff’s] deputies?

State prison guards have been selling cell phones, dope, you name it to prisoners for years. They’re all highly compensated workers. So it’s got nothing to do with pay.

A crook is a crook. If a guard gets caught doing something illegal,  prosecute him or her. What about that one female deputy who got caught doing the nasty with an inmate? Was she a minimum-wager? Ha.

There have been $15 million to $20 million in lawsuit settlements and awards against Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies that the taxpayers had to foot for deputy misconduct in the last five to seven years. Santa Ana Jail uses civilians. Compare the lawsuit awards. It pales in the face of what we’ve had to pay on account of deputy misconduct.

— Beelzebub / April 23

Online Voter Registration

[From Voice of OC article:] “To prevent voter fraud, the online system will use California driver licenses or state-issued ID cards to verify the identity of individuals registering online.”

Driver licenses and ID cards are not secure.

To cut back on voter fraud, cut back on “vote by mail.” That is the weak link in the system.

— Robincook / April 20