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Mailbag: Disney employee shows capricious complaining

August 23, 2010

I am truly all for religious freedom. I am not at all for a religious organization flexing its power to sue anybody or any company for discrimination where none exists ("Disney host: Could not wear hijab," Aug. 19). A 2.5-year employee of Disneyland, Imane Boudlal, suddenly objects to not being able to wear her Muslim headdress at the Storyteller's Café, where she formerly was content to work, headscarf-free? Disneyland offers her the option to have another job where she can wear her headscarf, and she refuses this compromise?

This clearly smacks of Boudlal being used as a pawn of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, members of which showed up at work with her to protest discrimination. How silly is this! We all know that Disneyland's employees who serve the public wear costumes designated for their characters or roles — every bit as much as Boudial would need to wear a costume in a stage play or a movie, forsaking her head scarf. If Boudial cared about wearing her hijab, she wouldn't have accepted a job as a "character" at Disneyland in the first place.

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Please! If the council really cared about American-Islamic relations, it wouldn't pursue such a capricious lawsuit.

Liz Swiertz Newman

Corona del Mar

What about cutting administrators' perks?

The Costa Mesa City Council and city manager should be ashamed of the budget cuts that were recommended and approved. The after-school program and youth sports programs are essential elements of the Recreation Department and the community of Costa Mesa at large. The deficit cannot be blamed entirely on the current economy. The city manager should have recommended fee and license increases long before it became a crisis — whether we were in an economic emergency or not. He should resign or be relieved of his duties.

With the Recreation Manager resigning for a job in a different city, her salary could have gone far to save these programs for the youth in Costa Mesa.

What happened to the option of the board cuts (salary and perks) for administration — which would include the City Council and city manager's office? In the least, a report should be made public of salaries, raises issued from 2008 to 2010, and pay/perk reductions for the city administration staff, including the council.

I have lived in Costa Mesa for more than 50 years and am sick to my stomach about the direction it is going. Our only hope is that the voters will remember how these programs have been gutted and how our city has changed for the worse. Our only hope is for the voters to remember who was responsible when voting in future elections.

Melissa Lippand

Costa Mesa

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