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Mailbag: We need the public's input on the harbor

May 24, 2012

It's time we put parties to one side and elect effective representatives who can solve problems, address issues and deal with concerns on a local level. It's time we refuse to elect partisan puppets who are doctrinaire in their ideology and inflexible in their approach to governing. It's time we elect representatives who care more about their constituents than monied special interests and party bosses. Shouldn't that be the case?

Tim Geddes

Huntington Beach

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When teens become adults

In just a few short months, graduating seniors will be heading off to college and living on their own. As a parent who has spent years keeping your child safe from trouble and danger, you may feel relieved to know your job as Supermom or -dad is almost done.

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What many parents don't realize, however, is that protecting graduating seniors is just as important as protecting the child for whom you once bought car seats, cabinet locks and kneepads.

That's because in the eyes of the law, your baby is now a legal adult.

That means that if your teen is involved in a serious accident, strict HIPAA laws may prevent doctors and hospitals from communicating with you. Dealing with financial institutions is almost impossible and something as simple as changing flight plans over spring break can be a nightmare without permission.

So how can you legally stay involved in your teen's life and continue to maintain control? The first step is becoming your child's financial and medical power of attorney. This will ensure you are able to make decisions and call the shots for your child in an emergency. The second step is to have your teen pre-sign a HIPAA form so that you can access medical records and communicate with doctors on his or her behalf.

These three simple documents are easy to create and will make a world of difference for your family in a crisis. Talk to your trusted legal advisor and make sure your teen is protected before school starts next year.

Darlynn Morgan

Newport Beach

The writer is an attorney with the Morgan Law Group.

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Let's drink to this legal victory

Despite serious constitutional and legal questions, the Board of Equalization in 2007 approved a 1,550% tax increase on flavored malt beverages, such as Mike's Hard Lemonade and Smirnoff Ice.

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