Mailbag: Let Newport Beach vote on Museum House

The incredible and luxurious Museum House project, complete with dog spa, according to Related California, is going to be just about the best thing that's happened in Newport Beach since the invention of the frozen banana! We're all going to love it, they insist.

But if it's going to be that wonderful, why is the company so desperately trying to prevent the people of our town from peaceably gathering signatures on a petition and bringing it to a vote?

Andrea Lingle

Newport Beach

Let people sign the petition

Be wary of several petitioners around town who are trying to stop you from signing a local petition. I have lived in Newport Beach for more 18 years, and I have never experienced anything like what I experience on Tuesday night.

While walking into the Ralph's at East Bluff shopping center, I stopped by a table to review a local petition. While trying to engage in a conversation with the two people at the table about the petition, three young men in the background intervened, talking over my conversation, insulting me, making assertive remarks and overtures. This was a very uncomfortable situation, so I confronted them on their tactics.

Immediately afterward I called the Newport Beach Police Department to report the incident, but the police said they cannot do anything, as these tactics are not illegal. Make no mistake, while these tactics may not be illegal, they are tantamount to obstructing my right to exercise my democratic right to vote — and that is wrong. I urge the citizens of Newport Beach to be on guard for these people, but most importantly: do not let them intimidate you if you chose to sign the petition.

Robert Mortensen

Newport Beach

Council ignores residents' wishes

I am indebted to Councilman Scott Peotter for answering a question that has long bothered me ("Commentary: Why I voted in favor of the Museum House proposal," Dec. 1). Given the slow-growth wishes of Newport Beach residents — according to surveys, letters to the Daily Pilot, Greenlight and Measure Y— why is the City Council at war with them? Now we know: He doesn't consider himself a representative of those who voted for him at all. These non-representatives are following the same path to political oblivion.

Tom Moulson

Corona del Mar

Document overkill slows process

The political action committee, Line in the Sand (LITS), let it be known it would circulate a referendum to put the measure to a citywide vote. In an obvious effort to intimidate LITS, the City Council forced the inclusion of 3,781 pages of environmental documents and other materials in the referendum petition.

This unnecessary documentation was denounced by Councilman Keith Curry, who said: "That is nothing more than an effort to subvert the people's right to petition the government."

In spite of the City Council's efforts to prevent the referendum, it is now being circulated and anyone who wishes to bring the Museum House to a citywide vote can go to LineInTheSandPAC.com for dates, locations and times to sign the petition. Accomplishing this goal will not only allow the people to decide whether they want another high-rise building, but will also demonstrate to the council that the people still hold the power in our government, despite their unfair efforts to prevent the people from voting on this issue.

Bill Cool

Corona del Mar

Petition tactics confuse signers

While Newport Beach residents are donating their time and money to work toward allowing a vote on a condominium tower to be built at Fashion Island, the developer has hired men from outside our community with the goal of confusing residents to not sign a petition allowing them to vote on the issue. These actions are not only unjust but show a lack of respect for Newport Beach residents.

Terry Becker

Newport Beach

Few ready solutions to sober-living issues

In response to the recent newspaper commentary declaring that "sober-living houses are really boarding houses" that don't rightfully belong in residential communities, I believe that many Costa Mesa residents agree with that point of view ("Commentary: Residential areas were not built for sober-living facilities," Dec. 10).

But unfortunately, the experts who advise that addicts can be expected to have better rates of recovery in residential settings (as opposed to institutional settings) had their way in the crafting of the American Disabilities Act on federal and state levels. And this appears to have been done without foreseeing that there might be growing concentrations of those homes in a small number of targeted unprotected cities. Sadly, Costa Mesa has become one of those cities.

And there is not much that local politicos and officials can do other than to impose and enforce local ordinances that will hopefully survive frightfully expensive legal challenges. In the long run, those sober-living home operators must be persuaded to spread out to other cities where their profit margins may not be negatively impacted by ongoing legal fees and administrative problems.

And if this does not work, and if there is no relief from the courts or legislators in the next few years, Costa Mesa appears well on its way to becoming branded as the group homes capital of America.

Al Melone

Costa Mesa

Let's not dance around the reason for Christmas

I get it. Those who send cards at this time of year have a difficult choice. Do I buy the "Seasons Greetings" card or the "Happy Holidays" card? What a choice.

I don't remember the genesis of this most important date in history — Dec. 25 — being connected to the joy of getting a few days off — holiday — or that we are overwhelmed by the coming of a new "season," albeit winter.

Those who send these generic cards must have acute paranoia that by using a card with "Christmas" in it they will offend their non-Christian friends. I hope the holiday crowd doesn't think by using a Christmas card they are subconsciously joining a religious cult. I can promise you the buying of Christmas cards is not a conversion scheme by Christians — just ask Hallmark. It would be good to note that "Christmas" is an official national holiday, so the Feds seem to think the word is OK.

It's kind of like the judge in the movie "Miracle on 34th Street," when William Frawley asks him if he really wants to tell all those folks that Santa doesn't exist. It's simply a remembrance of the most-discussed and known person, Jesus, to have ever walked the face of earth.

Bill Dunlap

Newport Beach

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