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Mailbag: Why not identify 'hate crimes' as just 'crimes'

April 27, 2011

I never miss reading Judge Jim Gray's Sunday column, and week after week, he gets it ("Regulate marijuana like wine, It's A Gray Area," April 9)!

For years he's been a proponent for legalizing marijuana, which makes so much sense. This will take the bad guys out of the mix, save lives and save taxpayer money, incarcerating fewer prisoners. Marijuana is taxed, money flows into government coffers! What a concept!

Last week, another issue that I found intriguing is that Judge Gray suggested abolishing hate crimes. After I pondered this, he pointed out that assaults and murders are vicious crimes, no matter who the victims are! Why does a crime involving gay or gender-challenged individuals have to be called anything but a heinous crime, and identified as such? Definitely food for thought.

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Pete Rabbitt

Newport Beach

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Airport noise continues to rattle

Why was I woken up at 4:50 a.m. by the noise from a jet, apparently taking off out of John Wayne Airport on a recent morning? This is outrageous. I was assured that the runways are closed until 7 a.m.

J. Michael Hope

Newport Beach

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Save Newport lifeguard jobs

In the realm of no-brainer decisions, this one takes not a synapse. The heart and soul of Newport Beach is the beach — a conclusion so clear it begs recognition from the department of redundancy department.

The crucial imperative that follows is it must be a safe Newport Beach. That means an adequately "lifeguarded" beach.

That means the continued presence of some of the world's most dedicated and best-trained lifeguards. That means proper staffing levels of lifeguards at all times. Anything less will be a cruel distortion, a mockery, a smear of the City Council, the residents and the millions of visitors who visit this beach.

Anything less will be a subversion of the brave and exemplary accomplishments of the Newport Beach Lifeguards.

Eric Sandy

Del Mar

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Presence of lifeguards still needed

The fundamental truth about lifeguards, as well as firefighters, law enforcement and the medical profession, is that little care is given to their presence until their presence is needed. And when it is needed, no taxpayer cares about the cost. They care that help is on its way. They care that they will live to see another day. They care that they will have a chance at having children, traveling the world, or feeling the warm sand under their toes day after day. And should at some point Councilwoman Leslie Daigle find herself among those post-season 9% in desperate need of a lifeguard, I suspect she will care that her proposal was ignored.

Dave Carpenter

Marina del Ray

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