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Mailbag: Time to put a lid on online commenters

April 21, 2011

As I'm sure you are aware, the current situation in Costa Mesa has brought people out of the woodwork to comment on articles. That could be a good thing — getting people in the community to speak out and read the opinions of others. But the problem is that there are several people who are filling the forums with hundreds of disrespectful and insulting posts every day, ruining it for everyone. For example, I was just looking at the article called, "The debate goes on," (April 19) and I see that the last three posts are all from the same user (coach11), all five minutes apart, and this guy has posted 16 times on this one article today alone!

And he isn't alone. There are several others like him. I would like to make a suggestion that will help the forums be more valuable to your readers. Limit the number of times per day any given user can post on a given article. If this coach11 guy knew he had a maximum of two posts on this article on a given day for example, believe me he would try to make his words count for a little more. As it stands now, he and others feel free to bombard the forums with random attacks, and it is making the forums unpleasant to read. That's too bad, because it would really be great to read relevant, well-thought-out comments from various points of view, and right now with the current unlimited bombardment of comments I don't think that is going to be possible.

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Robert Pelletier

Costa Mesa

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'Travels with Charley' contains truisms

I read your piece today and was touched (Letters From The Editor: Somewhat let down by a boyhood hero, John Canalis, April 17). I understand and agree with your feelings. If it's represented as the straight skinny, that's what it should be, ideally. At the same time, I'm a big Steinbeck fan, though I've not read any of his work for a long time. I did read "Travels with Charley" and remember that my impression was strongly positive.

I also agree with your exposition on the rationalizations commonly used to mix fiction and journalism, which you attribute to that era more than to the present. However, I think that "true" has a wider meaning in some contexts, and I hope that you can extend the definition to include the text in question, if only to dispel your disappointment.

Ed Van den Bossche

Newport Beach

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KelpFest this year was a real treat

I am 12 years old, and I helped out with the KelpFest in Laguna Beach. I would like to share my opinion with you in hope that you will write something about it. The rest of the other Kelpers (people who helped out with KelpFest) feel the same way about this, and I am not alone.

It was an experience to remember! I thought I knew a lot about kelp, but I was wrong. This wasn't just fun, it was educational! I worked there and even the people that work there learned at least one thing! There was so much to do, from swimming in our kelp forest to getting sunburned. I loved it, and I told Nancy Caruso to sign me up for next year!

Lilli Cook

Via e-mail

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