In my first column for the Daily Pilot, I proudly stated that I'm a conservative and I'm a Republican, to which someone asked me, what's the difference ("Wu: Meet your new conservative columnist," March 11).
Well, my friends, the council has six Republicans (Mayor Nancy Gardner is a decline-to-state voter) and none are conservative.
After an intimidating 20 people came to the March 13 council meeting to speak out against the fire pits in Corona del Mar, the Magnificent Seven stuck their collective fingers up in the air to feel which way the breeze was blowing, and they unanimously banned the fire pits in Newport Beach.
Populists, all seven of them.
And with that quick vote, with no discussion mind you, our freedom to burn our hands — like we all did when we were children — on glowing hot wire hangers was taken away from us by the 20 speakers and the seven cowards on the dais. (The decision still requires Coastal Commission approval.)
Now why did they do this? The "official" reason first, and then my guess as to the real reason.
Officially, the smoke that comes up from whatever is burning in the fire pits is hazardous to our health, and the people who moved to their beachfront homes after the pits were put in during the early 1960s complained about it. These people claim that times are different than in the early '60s, and therefore things that are burnt in the fire pits are more dangerous.
Now, my guess? Elitists don't want people from out of town to go to "their" beaches anymore.
Let me give you an example.
On Lido Isle, Balboa Island and the Balboa Peninsula, there are many small, private-ish beaches that many of the residents can go to that directly sit on the Newport Harbor.