Please keep Laguna Beach clean What has...

Please keep Laguna Beach clean

What has happened to the cleanliness of our beloved town? I am so

saddened to see all the trash on the beaches and sidewalks, in the

bushes, on the roads and lying around here and there. Is that what I

have to look at every day?

Please understand the importance of keeping our waters and our

land free of the trash and pollutants. Think of how it is hurting the

animals of the ocean, the birds, the land animals and us. Can we

please teach our children by example. And children, can you please

understand that this is your land and water too. Please take care of

it.

I ask each and every one of you to pitch in and help clean up our

beautiful and beloved town. And when you see me out gathering up your

garbage, please don't turn the other cheek -- stop and help.

JEAN KOWALSKI

Laguna Beach

Increase taxes to meet slide costs

The city should look at tax measures, not cut city spending for

residential services. Officials should have looked at the big picture

and tax measures months ago. The landslide must be fixed.

MARY FEGRAUS

Laguna Beach

No-bid contract power unwise

The council's recent decision to bestow the city manager with the

exclusive right and responsibility to enter into contracts on a

"no-bid basis" for a total amount not to exceed $7.5 million to

winterize the Blue Bird Canyon slide area is less than prudent. This

action raises many immediate and basic questions.

Without competitive bids, how does the city manager know that he

will be getting the best price for the work to be done? In fact, how

is he to determine that the $7.5 million, which incidentally

significantly exceeds earlier estimates and is considerably less than

the latest estimates, even needs to be spent? What happens if the

scope of work needs to be increased due to unforeseen issues? Without

competitive bids and oversight, how can the residents/taxpayers of

Laguna Beach be confident our tax dollars are being prudently spent?

How can we be confident that contracts will only be awarded for

projects for which the city is legally responsible? How can we be

confident that the city is not exposing itself to future litigation?

To grant complete authority to spend up to $7.5 million to one

individual is less than prudent. The burden of this responsibility is

too great.

Just three years ago, the City Council was forced to deal with the

ballooning price tag resulting from contract changes, cost overruns,

and inadequate oversight with the construction of the city park in

South Laguna. This project, initially budgeted for $1.5 million, soon

escalated to $8.4 million, plus interest! It appears that any

monetary, legal and oversight lessons learned from this project may

have been forgotten or are being ignored.

One council member's request for updates on expenditures,

including check dates, numbers and amounts is too little, too late:

Contracts will have been awarded and monies will have already been

spent. The time to question is not later but now, before the

contracts have been awarded and before the money has been spent.

We need our City Council to remain active in the fiscal and legal

oversight of this issue, just as they should for any large

discretionary project. Otherwise, bad history could repeat itself and

the city could once again be facing a preventable fiscal dilemma.

These issues are of concern to me, and if they are to you also,

please contact the City Council and express your concerns before it

is too late.

ROBIN K. HALL

Laguna Beach

Scout house lot must not be sold

It is logical to sell the city lots that will be vacated to the

Act V location. These lots will soon be no longer useful to the city.

We should not sell the Girl Scout House, and this option should not

be considered further.

It would be a gross mistake to sell a property that is so used. We

would never be able to purchase anything like it to replace it.

Our youth need facilities such as this just as much as our seniors

need their center. But youngsters can't vote, so they can't be heard

at the polls.

DON KNAPP

Laguna Beach

Iraq withdrawal would lead to more bloodshed

Some remember the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam blissfully. Let's

recap the facts (more at o7felderlaguna.blogspot.comf7).

Despite the signing of the1973 Vietnam Peace Accords with the last

U.S. combat troops leaving Vietnam on March 29, 1973, Democratic liberals abandoned our allies in Vietnam, failing to fulfill our

obligations.

It was two years later, in 1975, that Democrats in Congress

"resisted President Gerald Ford's January request for additional

military aid to South Vietnam and Cambodia. This appropriation would

have provided the beleaguered Cambodian and South Vietnamese

militaries with ammunition, spare parts, and tactical weapons needed

to continue their own defense. Despite the fact that the 1973 Paris

Peace Accords called specifically for 'unlimited military replacement

aid' for South Vietnam, by March the House Democratic Caucus voted

overwhelmingly, 189-49, against any additional military assistance to

Vietnam or Cambodia." (By James Webb, former navy secretary

www.taemag.com/issues /articleid.16181/article_detail.asp)

We abandoned our allies not to the Vietnam insurgency but to a

large conventional North Vietnamese army that invaded South Vietnam

in violation of the peace accords. If we now bring the troops home

from Iraq, those Iraqis who have worked with us to foster democracy

will be tortured and killed. We have enough blood on our hands; let's

not abandon another ally.

GENE FELDER

Laguna Beach

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