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Mailbag: Keep Newport policies out of neighboring cities

May 01, 2013

I have been a resident of Orange County for 37 years and have frequently enjoyed the beach and the fire rings.

Never have I heard of a problem until this year. It appears that the rich of Newport Beach have convinced themselves that they are being inconvenienced again (special airport regulations) and have discovered that they can use the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) to their advantage.

I urge you to reject any attempts to ban the use of the wood-burning fire rings on Orange County beaches. Let the city of Newport Beach do as it sees fit — within Newport Beach.

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Russell Koelsch

Huntington Beach

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Get the data first

The fire ring issue is the perfect example of how politics often trumps arguments regarding science, technology, public health, community needs and civic interests. We have South Coast Air Quality Management District officials purportedly catering to wealthy and influential residents in Newport Beach, who are seeking to lord it over the rest of us in managing our coastal environment.

Science, technology, public health and civic resources are taking a back seat in the effort to eliminate fire rings, despite compelling reasons to move more slowly and carefully in serving the common good.

This arrogant exercise of power emanating from the AQMD board and its concomitant efforts to either ignore or squelch criticism or opposition is abuse of the regulatory process, pure and simple. Regardless of which side of the fire ring issue citizens take, we should all agree that prejudicial politics should have no place in the decision-making process.

Tim Geddes

Huntington Beach

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Foie gras at restaurants

Sounds like Broadway by Amar's chef Amar Santana has heard the community loud and clear, whereas his conscience was mute.

We in Laguna will be keeping an eye on things to see what can be expected from someone who says, "No one has the right to tell people what to eat or not eat" and other pearls of wisdom such as, "Just because you're vegetarian, vegan or love animals, it doesn't mean your neighbor feels the same way." Indeed.

That over-weaning sense of entitlement fits a residency a bit north of Laguna, but not this village.

Now we can all just wait and see what will show up next on the specials board: shark-fin soup or braised pangolin?

Pat Sommer

Laguna Beach

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