Fire chief is not to blame for...

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.


Costa Mesa

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.


Newport Beach

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

Kona takes.

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

and parks.

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

anybody needs.

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.


Corona del Mar

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