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MAILBAG: Why not sue Newport Beach over homeless?

Thank you very much for your article (From Canyon to Cove, “Homeless Burden Must Be Shared," Feb. 27). Thank you very much for telling it like it is.

It is unbelievable that the ACLU has the audacity to choose a Newport Beach law firm to represent them in this case against Laguna Beach policies. Did they close their eyes to the fact that Newport Beach has no programs for the homeless, nor are the homeless even allowed in Newport Beach?

I have not read that the city of Newport Beach has been targeted by the ACLU for their anti-homeless regulations. Has anyone approached the ACLU, requesting a logical explanation?

MARCY FRENCH

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Laguna Beach

? ACLU lawsuit won’t help homeless issue

I have seldom found a whole lot of topics that spark my irritation point enough to write a letter to the editor over the years.

However, I have to take exception to the more recent legal meddling by the ACLU into the affairs of the homeless “hanging out" in Laguna Beach. Enough so that they felt compelled to take the issue into a legal action against the city of Laguna Beach.

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Too bad. Too bad they have so little to do when there are so many other and more pertinent issues elsewhere in our country and to create such discourse by wasting all the parties valuable time and money to take this city to court for their malfeasance and harsh treatment of the homeless folks here in town. Ha!

Now let me ask you, ACLU, have you offered to financially assist any of the cities/communities with this growing problem?

There are plenty of help programs that you could contribute to such as food banks, Red Cross, Salvation Army, local churches or perhaps expanding or annexing the Friendship Shelter here in town.

Can we anticipate that you will be stepping up to the plate in this capacity in the near future? Will you be coming to the financial and legal rescue of Laguna Beach if there is an accident involving a homeless person when and if someone is injured or perhaps even killed "” like they do to the homeless in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil?

Do you think that you could come up with a more positive solution to this problem/dilemma or are you just charging in because the new dean of the new law school at UCI is trying to make a name for himself and the law school he is going to oversee (per an editorial opinion in the Wall Street Journal)?

I would be sorely saddened if Laguna Beach has to go through the horrendous period of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s that the friendlier and more liberal-oriented cities of Long Beach, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles experienced with a mass migration to those destination cities.

It was hard to even walk down many a sidewalk or street without the smell of human urine, excrement and vomit floating in the air. It was totally disgusting!

Can we anticipate that the ACLU doesn’t really worry about that and the health and well-being of these people after they have won their case in court?

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Easy to come and go in court and then you’re off to another case with an equal imbalance of justice.

Why don’t you step up to the plate and try to make a difference in these communities that you assault with legal action? It seems that you might be part of the problem in today’s society and not part of the solution.

Perhaps if you call the city manager’s office and ask nicely, the city could make reservations for your favorite park bench to bunk on at night, in the event that your law practice goes south financially.

God bless you folks at the ACLU.

MARK MITCHELL

Laguna Beach

?

SUPER project needs more review

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Aliso Creek may be the only remaining wild watercourse in Orange County that flows relatively as freely as nature intended from the mountains to the sea. Almost all others in our county have been “channelized" somewhere along their course, usually as they reach their final run to the ocean.

Aliso Creek is also one of the county’s most polluted streams, picking up pollutants, bacteria and “urban runoff" as it crosses the county, spilling a witches brew of dirty water into the ocean.

While many have advocated cleaning this pollution at the source much farther inland and within nearby cities, county officials admit that this will be a nearly impossible task. Too many roads, too many industrial parks, too many residential units and too many pets all contribute their share of pollutants to the creek.

The county is engaged in an evaluation and planning process with a goal of adopting a U.S. Corps of Engineers proposal to channel Aliso Creek to better control its flow along the canyon floor. They propose building concrete walls and floor along the creek itself and 26 two-foot concrete and boulder structures to control the water while encouraging the growth of riparian habitats.

The project proposes cleaning up the water only near the mouth of the creek where it empties into the ocean. This part of the project envisions siphoning off up to 75% of the flow of the creek at this point and subjecting this water to high ultraviolet light to sterilize the flow before it is either recycled for use, or returned to the creek and flows to the sea.

Finally, as I understand the “SUPER" project concept, the county envisions repairing or replacing and relocating a series of underground pipes designed as sewer/sludge conduits that push untreated sewer uphill toward treatment plants inland.

Before we can make sense of this complex design we should ask the following questions:

?How can the public be assured that both criteria "” a clean creek and a natural one "” are met?

?Why is it critical to turn this wild creek into a concrete channel if there are no buildings threatened by its natural meandering?

?What will be done to assure that inland cities in the Aliso Creek watershed will prevent the urban runoff of metals and chemicals that contaminate the lower reaches of the creek as well as Aliso Beach?

?If cleaning the water flow is important before it reaches the sea, why hasn’t this been completed since this part of the SUPER project is not dependent on the creek’s channelization?

?If we need to replace the sewer pipes in the canyon, why not rethink this project so the sewer flows downstream, not upstream? Or relocate the pipes under a newly engineered access road to protect it from the creek’s natural impacts?

?What happened to the wildlife corridor from the mountain to the sea we were promised?

?If its final design has not yet been determined and required reviews on the science behind the proposal not concluded, why was our City Council in such a rush to vote its support for this project?

Perhaps we should withhold our final judgment on the SUPER project until all alternatives have been fully explored and our questions answered.

ARMANDO BAEZ

Laguna Beach



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