Mailbag

Ferryman is an exemplary guy who got caught

I read Steve Smith's columns. Sometimes I think they're very, very

slanted, but that's the way he writes.

I'm questioning the statement (Family Time -- "Here's a pitch for

setting good examples," Jan. 19), "On Oct. 9, Ferryman told us that his

first reaction after his arrest on Sept. 27 was to resign. I believe him.

Subsequently, however, he listened to a little band of followers."

I doubt if he listened to anybody; I think he did what is in his heart

-- "who did not have our children's best interests in mind." How can

Smith say that? What children is he talking about? The children have no

knowledge of these things. It's not that important to children. I've

known Jim Ferryman since high school -- I was a high school teacher at

Costa Mesa High School.

Ferryman has been a straight arrow all of his life, throughout his

high school career. He was a great football player for the level we were

playing at, he was a good player up at San Jose State. He's been doing

nothing, nothing, nothing except positive things for this community all

his life.

He's a great guy; believe me. If this is in his heart -- not to resign

-- I think we should go along with it. He's a great guy; believe me. He's

very, very community-oriented and, on top of that, he's just an exemplary

person.

So he drank a little too much. Are we going to hang all these people

who drink? If you do it, the city of Costa Mesa probably would have 5% of

its population if we hung everybody that got drunk. Now, I don't say they

all got caught, but that got drunk. And that's what you want to do is

hang this man. Please be a little empathetic. He's a great guy, believe

me.

JOE GROTHUS

Newport Beach

'Little band of followers' didn't initiate issue

We have had some big laughs this past week, reading quotes from the

school board member who said he would "not be run out of town by [trustee

Wendy Leece] or your little band of followers." I happen to be a

"follower" and supporter of Leece. What is really funny about this issue

is that when both members were first elected to the school board, records

show that Leece had hundreds of more votes than he did. So, her little

band of followers must be much larger than he thought. This whole school

board issue is a community disgrace and is not of Leece's making.

GEORGE GRUPE

Corona del Mar

Daily Pilot should lay off Ferryman

Do Newport-Mesa Unified School District trustees suddenly fall under

the limits of the 4210 zero-tolerance policies when they get elected? Are

they removed as trustees and sent to some continuation board to serve out

their punishment if they get caught at a meeting with a Midol or a

penknife in their pocket, or even, perish the thought, with a drink under

their belts?

Do they suddenly lose their majority and agree to be treated like a

teenager in exchange for the privilege of serving their community as

elected officials?

I thought not, but the Pilot's editor and many who have written in the

Pilot over the last few months seem to think they have, or at least

fervently wish that they had.

News flash: Board members are not schoolchildren and are not subject

to the same rules. Nor should they be.

I have a suggestion. Print one more really big Sunday editorial

calling for trustee Jim Ferryman's resignation. Go even harder on him

this time, if that's possible. And then have Steve Smith, that paragon

of virtue, add one more opinion piece to his previous three calling for

Ferryman to "do the right thing" and resign. And then print one more

incoherent, rambling letter from Ila Johnson, that school board wannabe,

condemning Ferryman for nearly everything.

Better yet, why not put all three in the same issue? This would add a

suitable exclamation point to this whole sorry, four-month-long, "all

Ferryman all the time" ordeal.

And then do all but a very few out there in Pilotland a favor and

never, ever mention it again. Could you possibly do that?

CHUCK CASSITY

Costa Mesa

Teen columnist boasts a true Newport Harbor High

Bravo to Kellie Brownell for her excellent column (Student Outlook --

"Newport Harbor is more than cheer and flags," Jan. 22) that points out

that the Newport Harbor High student body is not made up entirely of

"Confederate flag-waving cheerleaders."

Thanks and keep up the good work.

DAVID BARTH

Corona del Mar

Columnist's thoughts can help other teens

Thank you, Matt Meredith, for your column on Jan. 15 (Student Outlook

-- "Make the most out of your high school career"). You are right on. I

plan to pass this article on to my granddaughter who is a sophomore at

Newport Harbor High School and other young people who can hopefully

follow your excellent advice. Thank you once again. You're going places.

RACHEL PEREZ-HAMILTON

Costa Mesa

If Hearlson can't say something nice...

Regarding "Back to school," (Thursday): Orange Coast College professor

Ken Hearlson seems to have a curious idea of what academic freedom means

if we received an accurate paraphrase of the letter he received from OCC

President Margaret Gratton.

The letter told him to follow the rules on harassment, don't single

out students because of their religion or ethnicity and don't portray

religious beliefs in a negative way. Hearlson says that these

restrictions "violate academic freedom."

If he yelled at a woman wearing a head scarf telling her to take it

off or get out of his class, I would call that harassment. Does Hearlson

think that's OK in the name of academic freedom?

If he pointed out an Asian student and made reference to the student's

ethnicity, I would call that singling out a student because of ethnicity.

Does Hearlson think that's OK?

If he said that Catholics are nincompoops for believing that birth

control is wrong, I would call that portraying religious beliefs in a

negative way. Does Hearlson think that's OK?

Hearlson said that because of the letter he won't "be able to say

much."

If he can't present his material within the dictates of the letter, he

doesn't have much to say.

It's not what you say; it's the way that you say it.

HENRY WYATT MOORE

Costa Mesa

Call for intelligent design should go unanswered

Trustee Wendy Leece has demonstrated once again the wisdom of her

colleagues in denying her the presidency of the Newport-Mesa board of

trustees ("Leece continues the intelligent design crusade," Jan. 14).

Apparently, she doesn't understand that scientific knowledge is based

on two principles: empirically verifiable evidence and the law of

parsimony. The law of parsimony states that the explanation of phenomena

be no more complex than is necessarily required by the evidence.

There is no empirical evidence that requires a so-called "intelligent

design" explanation. Just because one is predisposed to believe in

intelligent design does not make it necessary and therefore scientific.

We cannot allow blurring the dividing line between science and

religion any more than we can allow the violation of the line that

separates church and state. To do so is to corrupt both our knowledge and

our freedom.

JAMES E. YOUNG

Newport Beach

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