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Mailbag: City Hall sail looks more like a diaper

March 10, 2011

The Newport Beach City Council has been criticized for a lack of transparency, biased appointments, railroading, partisan politics and unfairness to residents for special-interest gains. The manner of approval of the privately funded Reagan statue in Castaways Park is just another example of abuse of power.

Among several flaws in the new Civic Center design, there is another controversial artwork that has not been reviewed by the Arts Commission. I am referring to the design of a purported "sail" at the north end of the proposed City Hall. The design of this object, without functional significance, makes the City Hall resemble a yacht club or sail maker's loft.

Imagine other buildings with large gewgaws decorating their entrances or roofs. Concurrently, the designers, with majority of the council approval, have minimized the location of the noblest and most propitious government icons, namely the flags of our political jurisdictions, and appear to have ignored the city seal.

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The "sail," a large, convex, white, rectangular, architectural joke, bears no relationship to any sail with which I am familiar and is irrelevant to the identity or purpose of the building. In the context of the council's abusive exercise of powers, it is ironic that the proposed "sail," partly wrapped around the Council Chambers, really looks more like a diaper, and will continue to do so for the better part of the next 100 years.

George Jeffries

Newport Beach

Editor's note: Jeffries is a former member of the Arts Commission.

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Roeder was tops at his job

I have lived in Costa Mesa for nearly 48 years and first met Allan Roeder when he was an intern with the city manager's office. Roeder has provided exceptional leadership to Costa Mesa throughout his career. His outstanding leadership has set the tone for excellence exhibited throughout the city's departments. Our children, now grown, have thanked Jan and me for choosing to live in Costa Mesa. A lot of their appreciation is due to Roeder's efforts to maintain Costa Mesa as a great place to live and raise a family. He will be missed.

Jim Garmon

Costa Mesa

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Remember the Azerbaijani Genocide

March 31 is known as the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis, referring to the tragic events that happened March 31 to April 1, 1918. The governor of Nevada issued a proclamation in 2009 and 2010 recognizing March 31 as the day of remembrance of the victims of the genocide.

We are asking to join the Azerbaijani American and other communities, and the U.S. Azeris Network, in commemorating the Azerbaijani Genocide by making a statement for the record in your committees, legislature, Congressional record or newspaper column, or by issuing a proclamation.

Narmina Mamed

Irvine

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