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Mailbag: Lovely Newport could use more dog parks

January 23, 2014

As rather recent Newport Beach-ites, my husband and I are trying very hard to fit in. I take a tranquilizer when attending homeowners association meetings or reading letters to the editor, amazed that residents of one of the loveliest locations in the country seem to have one complaint after another.

But letters like "City Hall's concrete bunnies are fun" indicate that there are those of us who appreciate serendipitous surprises, such as the bunnies, and offer kudos to the designers and supporters of the new Newport Beach Civic Center campus.

However, I do have one question, surely not a complaint. In such a dog-friendly town, why hasn't more park space been allotted as off-leash friendly? Dogs are welcome in shopping centers — think Fashion Island. Many restaurants provide outside seating for customers with dogs. Dogs are even allowed on some of our beaches at certain hours of the day.

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Now, circling back to the Civic Center campus, we were delighted to see that an off-leash dog park was included in the plans and have used it often since it was opened. One puzzle, though: It is very small for a population that loves its dogs.

Am I alone in thinking that one small off-leash park isn't enough for this lovely city? Perhaps this park could be enlarged by incorporating some of the parkland at the far end. Perhaps another park area in the city could be fenced and designated as off-leash, large dogs on one side and smaller dogs on the other.

This is just an observation. I remain sincerely not a curmudgeon.

Beverly Reilly Pinsky

Newport Beach

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Great Pilot photography

I really enjoyed Kevin Chang's photos of the Talbert Park fire. In particular, the photo of the firefighter and his bucking chain saw, is dynamic.

The out-of-focus foliage on the left made me feel that I was right there, peering through the branches, hopefully far enough away from danger, yet close enough to see the struggling firefighter's face.

Tom Egan

Costa Mesa

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Who is your favorite teacher?

The Costa Mesa Library Foundation would like to honor the teachers in our local schools. Teachers are dedicated individuals who keep the welfare of students in mind every day. We need to let them know how much we appreciate what they do.

The foundation's 2013-14 Favorite Teacher Contest runs through March 15. Nomination forms are available at http://www.costamesalibraryfoundation.com or at the three Costa Mesa libraries.

Teachers may be nominated by any member of the community they serve. There is no limit to the number of nominations a teacher may receive so long as each form is completed by a different person. A special awards dinner and foundation fundraiser will be held May 17.

Barbara Steck

Costa Mesa

The writer is president of the Costa Mesa Library Foundation.

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