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Mailbag: Setting the record straight on my blackball flag position

December 26, 2013

I recently received a letter requesting that I recuse myself from the blackball issue. It was from Equal Beach Access for All. The writers of the letter are concerned that my late father made harsh comments about surfers.

He made some harsh comments about men divorcing their wives. Should I recuse myself from every issue involving divorced men?

They also pointed to a comment of mine. I stated that I had read some of the online comments about The Wedge issue and was embarrassed to say I was a surfer. Yes, when ignorant people make homophobic and other comments, it embarrasses me to be associated with that. I would have answered Equal Beach Access for All directly, except that there was no individual's name and no address included. So to set the record straight:

1.) I'm a bodyboarder. Although I did bodysurf The Wedge, and am proud of the fact, that was in the 1960s. I have been a bodyboarder for the last 30 years or so. In fact, when the initial policy to restrict The Wedge was introduced, I planned to speak in opposition, but something came up — I no longer remember what — and I wasn't there that night.

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2.) I asked for the blackball review. I have long thought there could be an area for all-day board surfing in addition to the River Jetty. I asked for the review with that in mind and I also thought it was a good opportunity to take a fresh look at The Wedge.

3.) No, I will not recuse myself. Once I made my request for the review, the Blackball Working Group took over. I have not met with them, sat in their meetings, tried to influence them. I don't know what they're going to suggest but when I see their proposal, I will review it with one goal — to balance the needs of all water users.

Nancy Gardner

Newport Beach

The writer is a city councilwoman and former mayor.

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Pass fewer federal laws

Recently, the Los Angeles Times ran an article proclaiming our current Congress "A Do-Nothing Congress for the record books," [Dec. 22]. This immediately insinuates that the duty of Congress is to pass as many laws as possible. I'd like to review this a bit more in depth.

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