As most residents will agree, Newport Beach is a great place to live

for its many wonderful amenities. Among them are the beaches -- at least

when they're open.

Last week, the county released data showing that Newport Beach suffers

from most of the county's sewage spills and closures. Of the 51 reported

in 2001, 18 occurred on Newport beaches. Of those, seven were caused by

blockages and other problems with private lines.

On Wednesday, the county reported yet another spill that closed Little

Corona beach.

Clearly, the city needs to shed its title as No. 1 for sewage spills

and beach closures.

Perhaps those responsible for such closures need to be reprimanded

much more, especially if they're repeat offenders. City officials -- now

more than ever -- need to use their political clout to make changes that

will decrease the number of closures.

There can be no ifs, ands or buts about it. Our waterways simply

deserve better.

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