Fire chief is not to blame for club's slow birth
I read with disgust the Daily Pilot article on code issues over
the approvals for Club Vegas nightclub ("Wheels still spinning on
Club Vegas," Thursday).
I can only say that it sounds as though the club owner and Bill
Perkins "would have the idiots running the asylum!"
As it did during similar code violations at the Piecemaker's
warehouse a couple of years ago, the Daily Pilot has chosen to paint
Fire Marshal Tom MacDuff as the bad guy in this issue. Not since the
days of the Roman Empire have we chosen to kill the messenger who
bears the bad news.
MacDuff did not write the code. The fire code was written by
intelligent people with years of lifesaving experience who set out to
write a code that's designed to prevent the types of tragedies like
those in Chicago and Rhode Island. MacDuff is charged with the
weighty burden of enforcing our codes.
If your son or daughter gets home safe on any given day, be it
from the supermarket, the nail salon or a nightclub, you may owe the
experience to hard-working individuals like MacDuff. For an example
of what happens to fire marshals and inspectors who don't uphold the
codes, please stay tuned to the lawsuits that are popping up in
Chicago and Rhode Island.
Exiting requirements are at the very core of life safety issues.
They must not be overlooked, or swept under the carpet in any way,
just so a group of people can listen to some music and down a
martini. You won't read about it in the paper if 200 people get home
safe tonight, but you will if they all die a needless fiery death
because they couldn't get out of a blazing inferno.
I haven't met Perkins, but I feel as though I now know all I need
to about him. The same can be said of James Raven and Gary Monahan. I
am inclined to suggest to these people the old adage: It is better to
keep your mouth shut and avoid being suspected an idiot, than to open
it and remove all doubt.
No trouble balancing Catholicism, patriotism
I must admit I have been rather surprised with all the rhetoric
about the alleged schism among Catholicism, the pope and Iraq. There
are no inconsistencies here: As an Irish Catholic, I recognize the
pope as the spiritual head of the Catholic Church. He is the
religious leader for the world's Catholics.
I also recognize that President Bush is the commander in chief of
the nation's armed forces and the leader of the United States. He is
directly responsible for the safety and well being of this nations
Who, in this post-9/11 world, could dispute the legitimacy of the
president's decisions to root out terrorism and threats to our
security by any means necessary?
Who can seriously and credibly dispute that Saddam Hussein is not
a military/terrorist threat, to both world peace and U.S. interests
at home and abroad?
Generalizations about one's political, religious and social
affiliations are meaningless and trite when dealing with such core
tenets as love of and defense of one's country.
As a Democrat, I did not vote for President Bush, but support and
stand behind him 100% as my leader and commander in chief. As a
former Army reservist and serviceman, I recognize his authority and
respect his courage to act in our best interests; as a Catholic I
pray that he be given divine guidance to lead and protect this nation
at this critical time.
A time far too crucial for simple generalizations.
Kona Lanes could have been saved already
Thank you Chris Kerins for being the lone voice of reason in the
battle of Kohl's versus Kona Lanes (Readers Respond on Tuesday).
Some of the letters I read regarding this issue are frustrating to
me by their lack of simple logic. If Kona Lanes, Ice Chalet and
Edwards were successful, there wouldn't be this argument. Instead,
they sit vacant (or nearly vacant, in Kona's case), creating an
eyesore and not producing any revenue for the landowners or the city.
If Kona Lanes is so important for kids, why aren't they there now?
Will things change if Kona stays? This is coming from someone who has
actually bowled there twice in the last year (I was the one drinking
beer and cursing a bit too loudly for the kids in the lane next to
ours -- remember, bowling is good for kids).
Actually the few kids I saw there were in the arcade, not on the
lanes. If it's the arcade that is so important, that could easily be
taken care of in a storefront that takes one-tenth of the space that
And regarding the complaint about parking getting bad with a new
Kohl's store, I sure hope so. That means it's successful and
generating taxes for your city. Taxes that pay for things like police
I enjoy Kona Lanes and will miss it, but even without the Kohl's,
it is destined to fail soon. The city should take advantage of this
opportunity now, instead of having another building sit vacant for
years to come.
Here's an idea: Maybe a bowling alley would fit into the former
Ralph's/Whole Foods location underground at Triangle Square. There
may be some used (very used) bowling equipment available soon. The
rent has to be cheap, since nothing has survived down there. It would
have the companion of a movie theater above it, or you could go for
dinner or a beer within walking distance of Triangle Square after
Ah, but then there's the people who can't figure their way into or
out of the parking there. Never mind.
Commission bowls a turkey with this decision
I think the Costa Mesa Planning Commission has made a very bad
decision. I recently had a birthday and I invited 40 to 50 people at
Kona Lanes, and we absolutely had a blast. It is one of the great
family entertainment venues in Costa Mesa and it definitely needs
renovation, but I don't think another chain department store is what
Look how many places we have to shop. You've got Fashion Island,
South Coast Plaza. All over the place, wherever you look, there are
mini-malls, and it is just too much, and I think that once again,
bottom line, money wins out.
Family entertainment is hard to come by, especially something like
bowling, and it is in a central location and it is used by numerous
families, they've got the bumper things so kids can bowl, and they
have a karaoke, which is a blast, and the arcade in there.
I think renovation is the key and I'd say take a poll and see what
kind of responses you get and see the percentage of people that say
they should renovate the ice skating rink, too, and keep the bowling
But as I said, the all-mighty dollar takes precedence in our
society, unfortunately, and once again it looks like that's going to
happen, so unfortunately, that's the way things seem to work.
It is a shame and a pity, and I hope I can get in a few more
rounds at the old Kona Lanes before it all comes tumbling down.
And as far as I am concerned, the commission -- after three
strikes in bowling is called a turkey -- well, I think they are all
bunch of turkeys for making this big mistake.
KEVIN "MEL" THOMAN
Corona del Mar