Mailbag: Continue to allow cars on Back Bay Drive

We don't understand the concern about allowing autos on Back Bay Drive along the eastside of Upper Newport Bay.

We've bicycled on that stretch of roadway for years without problems caused by the occasional motorist.

We believe two types of users of the road present more-serious problems.

First are the large groups of cyclists, usually male, who ply the route at high rates of speed and suddenly appear around corners without warning. Maybe there should be an enforced speed limit for these guys, as there is for motorists.

Second are the groups of high school runners (male and female) training without sufficient supervision by their coaches. They tend to spread out across the road and often seem unaware of the standard "on your left" warning used by cyclists preparing to pass.

Not everybody can walk, run or ride bikes on Back Bay Drive. Why take that privilege away from motorists, especially the bus drivers who bring kids to the Back Bay to be schooled in the wonders of area wildlife?

On the eastside of the bay is a parking lot. We assume it was put there for school buses, would-be wildlife photographers and those who just want to drive to a place where they can get a little rest from the chaos of urban life.

Chuck and Phoebe Loos

Newport Beach


Parker, Boyd are good for Education Board

Orange County has great schools and some of the best teachers, administrators and educational leaders anywhere in the country. We have the highest graduation rate in the state, and our test scores continue to rise for every demographic and for all school districts.

I'm aware of the view that Orange County does not have enough charter schools. I disagree. Orange County has 14 of the finest charter schools anywhere in the state. These charters are well planned and they meet California's high standards.

As the Orange County superintendent of schools from 2001-12, I was involved in charter appeals brought before the Orange County Board of Education. During those 11 years, board members approved charters that they felt were good for children as well as taxpayers. They also denied charters that were deemed not good for children and the taxpaying public because they were poorly written and not well organized.

This is why it is important to have county board members like Liz Parker and David Boyd represent the children, parents and taxpayers of Orange County. They have dealt with many charter school applications and appeals by being thoughtful and responsible in their decisions. They have the experience to handle these types of issues and others.

As county superintendent, I worked hand in hand with the board to make sound recommendations regarding the approval or denial of a charter school. Parker and Boyd have the experience to do what is best for Orange County education. They deserve reelection to the Orange County Board of Education this June.

Bill Habermehl

Newport Beach

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