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Mailbag: Rowland's climate-change work impressive

March 20, 2012

In 2003, I attended a talk at the Newport Beach Public Library on climate change by UC Irvine professor Sherry Rowland. I was amazed to see a full house, with a Nobel Prize winner, Rowland, as the speaker.

Using hand-drawn sketches of chemical reactions on transparencies, he clearly explained the chemical reactions related to chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs. He also told stories of his trip to receive the Nobel Prize, expressing wonder at his good fortune. The audience was captivated.

I later met him at UCI events, and saw that he was still interested in learning everything he could about climate and nature, and striving to inspire students. He will be missed.

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Laura Curran

Newport Beach

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Back Bay cyclist responds

Re "Mailbag: How Back Bay bicyclists ruined my day," March 3:

On behalf of all cyclists routinely using the Back Bay and surrounding trails, I apologize for the collision and lack of appropriate concern, care and apology offered to you during your recent walk around the Back Bay. Collisions are indeed dangerous for all parties and should be avoided at all costs. Cyclists and pedestrians need to be cautious of one another to anticipate sudden changes in direction and remain clear of one another.

One apology (if it happened) to someone disoriented by being knocked to the ground is not sufficient. As a cyclist for more than 20 years, I would have handled it completely differently. Personally, I do slow down through the Back Bay, due to the foot traffic there, but not all cyclists do.

For this reason, many cyclists prefer the roads on the perimeter of the Back Bay, and I ride those often as well. I too have had close calls with other cyclists in this area, and Graham Jones, I apologize for the collision and subpar behavior of my fellow cyclists. I hope you have made a complete recovery.

Wendy Wifler

Irvine

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Pay next superintendent less

When it comes time to formulate a salary and benefits contract for the new superintendent, the more than $300,000 Jeffrey Hubbard was paid to run a relatively small school district should only be used to move the needle down, not up.

Hubbard's salary was $25,000 to $50,000 more per year than each of the superintendents of New York City and Los Angeles, the two largest districts in the country.

The Newport-Mesa school board owes it to the students and the taxpayers to put their money in educational programs, not a superintendent's excessive salary. The new contract should have a morals clause in it, and there should be no annual automatic extensions, ever.

Jane Hilgendorf

Corona del Mar

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