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Mailbag: Lift the Orange Curtain, find maturity

July 02, 2013

It seems like yesterday that those outside of Orange County hardly knew we existed. Working primarily in Los Angeles County, I would receive puzzled expressions when asked why I (or anyone) would want to live behind The Orange Curtain.

Quite proudly, I described some of the benefits available, if one bothered to peek beneath this imaginary curtain. Many desirability factors extended beyond Disneyland and various secret destinations and opportunities.

Further enlightenment included my describing fresh, new communities popping up, relatively low crime rates, property values going through the roof and slightly more palatable costs of living.

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Over the decades, news eventually drew the Orange Curtain open, revealing maturation and regional business growth, that now populated our once agriculturally oriented towns.

Even in current times, news items include noise level conflicts, beach fire rings, arguable nuisance laws, local hospital policy changes, boat docking and park usage fees, etc.

Seemingly catastrophic happenings, such as local teens getting temporarily lost a short distance from home while perhaps celebrating a bit much, or irresponsibly driving, are examples of major events.

Despite growth, cities such as Costa Mesa, currently celebrating 60 years of incorporation, are actively dealing with anticipated growing pains.

Issues with homelessness, land use, holiday protocol, budget decisions and the like are being worked out, along with sharing of resources with neighboring communities. Leveraging the small-town attitude is still somewhat of a baffling concept to neighboring governments.

Every region has its pluses and minuses. I admit being sheltered and spoiled behind our small Orange Curtain. It's not for everybody. Rightfully so, not everyone prefers small oranges to bigger apples. Fortunately, this may be food for thought for all of us.

James H. Bridges

Costa Mesa

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Abortion policy change

We are shocked and extremely disappointed by the decision of the board of Hoag Hospital to buckle under the heavy hand of Catholic doctrine and ban elective abortions as part of its long practice of providing full services for women's reproductive health.

This is a stunning betrayal of its staff and the community that has supported it for so many years, an unnecessary sacrifice of its values and principles and an incomprehensible failure of leadership.

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