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Mailbag: Museum project would not eliminate Fun Zone

November 04, 2011

After reading Friday's article, "Kids to 'occupy' Fun Zone," I must say, it's great to see young people get involved in their community and we welcome Courtney Brown and her friends to our open house this weekend. After reading their comments, their enthusiasm is inspiring, and honestly, it appears we are all on the same page:

Let's put the fun back in the Fun Zone!

The whole objective for the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum renovation is to be more relevant and more inspiring, and to relate better to a new generation. We are not doing that very well with our current facility. We need an innovative new center to achieve what Courtney, her friends and indeed the community is demanding — entertainment, education and a welcoming, fun place to socialize.

Which brings me to another point. Where exactly is the Fun Zone? Some of the people we have heard from are under the mistaken impression that the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum will be replacing or somehow demolishing the area people have come to regard as the Fun Zone.

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That couldn't be further from the truth. The Fun Zone stretches about three blocks and includes boating, water sports, the Catalina and Balboa Island ferries, candy stores, arcades, restaurants and shops and the Balboa Pavilion. All of that stays.

The Ferris wheel stays. The Pavilion, boats, candy stores, arcades and other shops — all stay. The museum will change.

Again, I believe we are all talking about a common goal — putting the fun back in the Fun Zone.

Rita Redaelli Stenlund

Newport Beach

The writer is president of ExplorOcean/Newport Harbor Nautical Museum.

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Charter would 'Free Costa Mesa!'

Recently, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer brought up the idea that Costa Mesa should switch from being a general law city to a charter city ("Charter city request proposed," Nov. 3).

What Righeimer has suggested is akin to the Declaration of Independence that gave birth to this nation, but on a city level.

He has said, in effect, let's be free of far-away legislators, and let's govern ourselves with our own constitution, which is called a charter.

The major advantage to being a charter city is that the charter gives the city home rule over its municipal affairs.

Notwithstanding the above, this isn't as revolutionary as it may seem. In fact, all of the cities that surround Costa Mesa, with the exception of Fountain Valley, are already charter cities.

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