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Mailbag: Marina Park is not what you think

August 20, 2011

I am offering a rebuttal to the Community Commentary article written by Dr. Patricia Frostholm ("Action needed on making park public," Aug. 14). She has quite a few misconceptions about Marina Park and its residents.

Frostholm obviously does not observe the three-block section of sand during the day. Monday through Friday, the beach is used extensively by day camps and sailing programs. I know, because I live smack in the middle of the span of beach in one of the "trailers," as she calls them. Sometimes I'm grateful when these many groups of children leave, as they are loud when they frolic, while taking a break from kayaking or sailing. But I'm a crotchety senior citizen on a fixed income, not a rich multi-home resident, as she seems to think we all are.

I am one of many older residents here who are indeed grateful to be living in hard-to-find low income housing, noise and all, even though the city is our landlord and will not fix anything, except exterior issues, such as the watering or electrical systems. Also, there are quite a few families with small children who live here full-time. I suggest she take a walk along the public sidewalk sometime and talk to more than one resident. She will also observe how many bicyclists, joggers, walkers and visitors use the public sidewalk.

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She also must not know that the city-owned beach in front of us is the only stretch of beach not impeded by docks in Newport Bay. But in order for the city to someday generate more revenue (although what they are planning is costing many millions), they plan to dredge back several hundred feet to allow for docks for guests that have large yachts. Of course, they must demolish Marina Park in order to accomplish their goal. The demolition is also costing a lot of money and involves many environmental issues. She is under the misconception that this place will be a park. Forget it, just more docks!

Also she is incorrect in stating that it says "private property" near the sidewalk and beach. Every 30 yards or so along the sidewalk there are signs stating "public access." The only place it says "private property" is the parking lot for the residents. Obviously, it must be private or we would never be able to park near our coaches because the lot would be full of beachgoers.

So she should enjoy this public park while she can because like so many things that seem so nice, it will soon be gone forever.

Karen Whitaker

Newport Beach

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