Newport Beach should learn from Costa Mesa by cutting its budget for police helicopters known as Airborne Law Enforcement (ABLE) ("Police helicopter faces budget chopping block," July 6). These machines fly everywhere when they feel like it, buzzing, flapping, snooping, chopping the air at unregulated altitudes and unspecified times and places.
It was as if all our efforts to control John Wayne Airport were for naught, 40 years ago, when these things were foisted onto our citizens.
Of course the police departments loved them. They were sold to them (not us) to cut crime and multiply the power of patrol. I believe law enforcement should be on the ground, not whirling around in the sky, where mistakes can be made.
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Reader makes valid point on meters
This is Phil Chipman, who was mentioned in the Daily Pilot's Forum on July 7 (Mailbag: "New meters have too much control"). My response is I sympathize with Carol Wade about her concerns about the smart meter and her being charged for peak-hour usage of electricity at dinner time.
Energy usage is a major issue — at home and around the globe. This is why I built an electric vehicle. It uses 1/30 the energy an SUV uses to get groceries. I charge during off-peak hours — from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. — 2 kWatt hours or 20 cents. As we see the oil spilling into the Gulf and learn of similar spills around the world, the urgency to get off oil and use alternative forms of energy is even greater.
On the down side, the smart meter made Carole aware of peak hour usage.
Conservation and how to achieve it is going to be a struggle around the world.
As for burning fossil fuel to create electricity, Southern California Edison has one of the lowest carbon emissions of any utility in the nation. It obtains 16% of its energy from renewable sources (2008) and has plans to increase that amount.
I am glad that articles and letters to the editor are being published about energy. Our thinking about where it comes from and how we use it are positive steps toward a sustainable future.