Mailbag: Where does Line in the Sand draw the line?

The future of the proposed condo development in Fashion Island is going to be determined by the zoning, or re-zoning, by the city of Newport Beach. The anti-development crowd is still at the mercy of the Planning Department for zoning rights to the development of the residential high-rise or a commercial development of the property. Barring a lawsuit, the anti-development crowd still has to contend with the city and its decision for the property.

The anti-development crowd, also known as Line in the Sand, is fighting an uphill battle. The media isn't clear in its information about the intentions of Line. Is the anti-development crowd only against residential use of the property? Or is it opposed to any development, including commercial office activity? I can't imagine Line in the Sand would be opposed to the construction of another office building. Fashion Island is already home to high-rise office towers. Surely there is room for one more.

And the big question remains: If Line in the Sand is opposed to any and all development, is it willing to compensate the property owner for loss of income on his real estate investment? Perhaps Line in the Sand could purchase the property and build a nice neighborhood park.

Rob Macfarlane

Newport Beach


Indivisible did not sponsor demonstration

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher's office, in commenting about a demonstration at Rohrabacher's home on Feb. 23, once again invoked the name of the Indivisible movement. For the record, the Indivisible movement (including Indivisible OC 48) did not participate in or condone that action in any way.

To the contrary, we went on record as saying we did not support this form of protest, and notified our members that, if they chose to participate, they could not do so as representatives of, or on behalf of, IOC48.

For the record, we do not believe harassment, hate, violence or illegal acts are justified to achieve our aims, as they are inherently contrary to our values. Any individuals who engage in such acts do so without the consent or support of this organization.

Statements made by Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) or his spokespeople suggesting that IOC48 is not civil, peaceful and respectful, are willful misrepresentations of our group of concerned constituents from Congressional District 48.

While Representative Rohrabacher continues to ignore constituents who have have come together to be heard, the gathering outside his home last week is clear evidence that the number of people displeased with his disdain for his constituents has grown beyond the IOC48 group.

Aaron McCall Craddolph

Costa Mesa

Chairman, Indivisible IOC 48

Chairman, Indivisible IOC 48


I am a veteran who attended protest

I was one of the demonstrators at Rohrabacher's house. With characteristic hubris, his spokesman, Ken Grubbs, called us "Alinskyite disrupt[ors]" and "Not Norman Rockwell 'town halls,' but with guidelines to disrupt rather than engage in dialogue."

I'm not sure I would meet Rockwell's description, but I'm a 14-year U.S. Air Force pilot, a veteran and a 40-year Huntington Beach resident. During the Cold War, I sat on airborne nuclear alert for five years, ready to respond instantaneously to Soviet nuclear provocation.

John Kowolski

Huntington Beach


Remain vigilant on water conservation

The recent rains and snow pack bring much-needed relief to our state, but that doesn't mean we can go back to our water-squandering ways. Recently, the California State Water Resource Control Board decided to continue the conservation regulations, which prohibit the wasteful water practices. This was the right decision because California will never be far from drought, and Orange County knows it.

When the need to conserve water arose, Orange County stepped up. Our residents recognize that drought is a part of life in California and that global warming won't be making things any wetter.

Planning with sustainability in mind, the Orange County Sanitation District and Orange County Water District invested millions in the largest and most advanced water-recycling facilities in the world: the Ground Water Replenishment System. Our plant turns wastewater, often dumped into the ocean, into 100 million gallons of nearly distilled water every day. Soon, the number will grow to 130 million gallons daily.

Because Orange County invested early, we are now poised to become one of the most drought-independent counties in the United States. Our work is far from over, but if we stick to the strategies that brought us to the top in the first place, we can lead our state and the world in sustainable water supply strategies that strengthen our economy and our environment.

Here's how:

Continue our transition to drought-tolerant landscapes: You've heard this before, but the power of drought-tolerant landscaping can't be underestimated. Orange County made huge strides in 2015 toward drought-tolerant landscaping. It's a big part of the reason we were able to cut our water use by 25 percent in less than a year. Still, nearly 60 percent of residential water use occurs outside the home, there is more that can be done. A one-time investment in a drought-tolerant landscape saves water and money every day, year after year.

Orange County Coastkeeper's SmartScape program offers free resources that make it easy for residents to transform and maintain their yards and be smarter with their outdoor water use and save money.

Embrace innovation: Orange County's groundwater replenishment system already is the world's largest water purification system for indirect potable reuse. This process produces high-quality water that meets or exceeds all state and federal drinking water standards. This past December a final report on direct potable reuse was submitted to the California Legislature, moving our state closer to being the first to adopt policies making the drought-resilient water supply available for the entire state. As long as we continue our leadership on the frontier of indirect and direct potable reuse technology, we will continue to lead the world in water technology innovation.

Invest in local water: Orange County sits on top of a natural underground aquifer the approximate size of Lake Mead. This water supply is one of our most powerful weapons against the drought. Because the aquifer is so large, it makes Orange County the perfect place for the world's largest purified recycled water facility. Every day, 100 million gallons of water are purified by the Groundwater Replenishment System and advanced purified water is injected into the aquifer.


Reduce reliance on imported water even further: Groundwater is 30% cheaper than imported water, and it's much more sustainable. Currently, our groundwater and recycled water from the aquifer meets 75% of water demand in the Orange County communities north of Irvine. With the recently approved expansion of our Groundwater Replenishment System, it will soon meet 80% of the demand; further lowering north and central Orange County's reliance on expensive, unreliable imported sources of water.

Because of Orange County's investments in treating recycled water, we have significantly decreased our reliance on imported water, which is expensive and energy-intensive. Our goal is to use distant watersheds like the Colorado River and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta as secondary water sources for replenishing storage. Coastkeeper is working with California's legislative and environmental leaders to find better ways to source, route and deliver water throughout the state.

If we continue to make meaningful progress in these four aspects of our water supply, Orange County can re-establish our position as a world leader in water supply management, even during severe drought. We can turn our region's crisis into a seized opportunity that brings our economy more prosperity and our environment more sustainability. We will win this drought and future droughts or with climate change, more extreme weather.

Garry Brown

Costa Mesa

Executive Director, Orange County Coastkeeper

Executive Director, Orange County Coastkeeper


Going round and round over roundabouts

Interesting letter in response to my letter voicing my displeasure of a purposed traffic Roundabout for Newport Beach (``Roundabouts work well in Europe," March 8). In my original letter, I gave a brief history lesson of roundabouts in Newport Beach. Thirty-plus years ago, the city built a European-style roundabout at the intersection of Cliff Drive and Irvine Avenue. I'm sure I wasn't the only driver who was befuddled with the proper method of negotiating a left turn by using the new roundabout, which came with no instructions. I need to correct the letter writer in his claim I had tried for "10 years, five years, one year" to figure out how best to properly follow the unmentioned "rules" of the roundabout. Having spent no time in Europe, where roundabouts are as common as pigeons, I was troubled in negotiating our local traffic nightmare. I did not spend multiple years, as the letter-writer asserts. I did, however, spend 10 to 15 seconds trying to decide whether to go around or cut across to make my left turn. If I were in the guessing business, I would be very successful in predicting local drivers will not be happy with the "Europeanization" of Newport Beach roadways and any instillation of roundabouts.

Rob Macfarlane

Newport Beach


Spring ahead without falling back

Do you find yourself counting sheep late at night, trying to fall asleep, but the sheep just keep coming? If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffers from insomnia and other sleep disorders, getting to bed at a decent hour is a nightly struggle.

Most people need eight hours of sleep. Some of us need a little more or a little less, but the important thing is to aim for the right amount of sleep for you so you wake up feeling rested.

As we prepare to set the clocks ahead an hour on March 12 for Daylight-Saving Time, losing even an hour of sleep can disrupt your circadian rhythm. The brain needs a little prep time to get used to this new schedule.

Get ahead of the change and use this time to prioritize your sleep and adjust your routine to find sleep success.

Schedule: Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps your body regulate its sleep pattern and get the most out of the hours you sleep.

Sleep Aids: Relying on sleeping pills or medications can interfere with our sleep cycles and prevent us from reaching the natural stages of sleep.

Power Down: Limit electronics in the bedroom. Light from phones, TVs and computers can suppress melatonin and affect the quality of your sleep.

Comfort: Investing in a comfortable mattress, pillow and bedding will help you get a good night's rest. Keeping your bedroom cool and dark will also help induce sleep.

Kick Caffeine: Sipping your morning cup of coffee to help get your day going is fine, but avoid any caffeine after lunchtime. The effects of caffeine can linger for many hours after being consumed and can hinder you from sleep.

Meditation: Stress can be a factor keeping you up at night as well. Take time to intentionally calm and center yourself through deep-breathing exercises to help you relax.

Exercise: Thirty minutes or more of moderate exercise three times a week can help you sleep better. So celebrate that extra hour of sunshine with a brisk walk. Just try to avoid exercising too close to bedtime.

These are some very simple things you can do at home to get you back to into the rhythm of natural sleep, but if you are still staring at the ceiling way past your bedtime it may be time to seek professional help. At the Judy & Richard Voltmer Sleep Center, we use cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback and relaxation techniques to re-train people to do what used to come naturally.

Disorders like sleep apnea, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome can be harmful, both physically and psychologically. With the proper medical attention, they can also be detected and treated.

Sleep is a vital part of your health regimen and skimping on sleep should be seen as the equivalent of breaking your diet or skipping your workout — not something you can do often without seeing real repercussions.

This year for Daylight Saving Time, look forward to that extra glorious hour of sunshine, but make sure you don't pay for it on your pillow. Sweet dreams.

Dr. Jay Puangco


Service Chief of the Judy & Richard Voltmer Sleep Center at Hoag Hospital.

Service Chief of the Judy & Richard Voltmer Sleep Center at Hoag Hospital.