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Mailbag

September 26, 2006

Rupert is getting far too much attention

I have been appalled at the attention Rupert the swan has received. And now a "grand funeral"? Judging from the letters the Daily Pilot has received, he was friendly, would eat out of people's hands and was nice to everyone.

Not so! I have seen Rupert both on Balboa Island and on the peninsula since he first arrived. It was not unusual to see him chasing children on the beach — my children and grandchildren included. My children, grandchildren and nephews and nieces were all afraid of him. He would chase people in kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and peddle boats. Sometimes he would catch them and bite them. A swan's bite can leave a nasty scar!

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In defense of the Harbor Patrol: They were doing their job the way they have been trained. They are a source of comfort and safety to boaters and others. I sincerely hope they will continue to function as efficiently as they have been.

Let us put our priorities where they belong! The woman who was killed received a smaller article than Rupert. How must her family and friends feel?

BEVERLY PURDUM

Newport Beach

Triangle Square needs to reach potential

I live a couple of blocks from Triangle Square. I do a lot of shopping on foot in this area but rarely go to Triangle Square because the pedestrian interface is not user-friendly. The streetscape is hard, monolithic, wind-swept and barraged with traffic noise and visuals from the uncomfortably close arterial streets. It needs to be softened somehow to create some ambience (landscaping? awnings? railings?). And if you drive there — or even try to walk into some of the ground-level stores — you must go into a very dark, dismal gray concrete garage. This needs to be brightened up — install better lighting, paint the interior a light-reflective color and maybe use decorative paving for pedestrian walkways.

This complex is in a pivotal location, and I am a great fan of urban villages. Triangle Square stepped outside (ahead?) of the more open, suburban norm here of strip malls and shopping malls. Something needs to be done to make it more inviting so it can realize its potential.

COURTNEY CALDWELL

Costa Mesa

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