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Mailbag: Hospital has poor record with concerns

In reference to Barbara Diamond’s column on the lack of interest in hospital plans (Our Laguna, “Few have answered hospital’s call for input," Feb. 26):

As a close neighbor of the hospital for 35 years, I have used its services, stared at its edifice and endured its noise. When Mission first took over, representatives were sent to meet the neighbors, followed by questionnaires seeking our concerns. Letters were sent assuring us of their dedication to making changes necessary to be good neighbors.

In spite of their promises to stop noisy deliveries between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., the sounds of trucks goes on all night. The banging, thrashing and shouting that goes on all day is yet another matter. The blatant disregard for those close by, plus the snail’s pace of their efforts to deal with the mobile MRI issue, implies little concern for anyone else’s comfort.

Their soliciting of our financial contributions adds further insult to the bells, whistles and dings. Perhaps it is not surprising that the response to Mission Hospital’s question-and-answer sessions is apathetic. It smacks of Adventist Hospital behavior. Been there.

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TODD MUFFATTI

Laguna Beach

Business survey doesn’t tell story

While I concur with many of Billy Fried’s opinions and conclusions (“Few surprises in business survey," Feb. 26), I do take issue with his dismissal of the data’s validity because of the low input from the 25-to-34 crowd in the survey, and that we must have surveyed residents of Leisure World.

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To repeat the disclosure in the report, we surveyed 25% of the registered voters in the 92651 ZIP code.

If anything it supports the general knowledge that the younger crowd have a very poor record for voting for anything other than the sale of marijuana.

In fact, the four largest segments of resident respondents (73.6%) and the published age demographics for Laguna Beach (72.9%) compare very favorably adding even more creditability to the data in the survey.

Finally, and I tire very quickly arguing about statistics, if you look at the U.S. Labor statistics for average annual expenditures you will find that the 25-to-34 age bracket spends less in total than the more senior brackets by as much as $12,000 per year. The real spenders are well represented in the Resident Survey "” end of discussion. But I ask, so what?

I do agree with Fried’s surprise that there are not more storefronts empty. But it is not because of high rents. Our current city witch-hunts, regulations and ordinances are stacked to assure those businesses that get conditional-use permits will fail, or at best underperform.

Why is that, you ask? First, if you have a proven successful business model and know how to be successful, you are likely selling name brand products that are sold regionally or nationally (the uninformed call this a “chain store"). Rarely will this get you approved.

If that doesn’t stop an applicant, then parking restrictions will. If you need too many employees to service your customers, or worse if you will attract too many customers, then a conditional-use permit is not in your future.

Finally, if some way the approval system of city staff, Planning Commission, City Council, and opposing citizens that show up for the review meetings can come up with some sort of rationale to overlook those criteria, then the micromanaging starts on product offerings, hours of operation, square footage for the store, signage, acceptable location selection, and the famous consultant studies.

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Only the foolish who are incapable of managing a business survive, unknowingly set up to fail when there are no customers and the rent becomes overdue.

The lucky ones are those that don’t get approved, or walk away early in the process only to be successful somewhere else.

Of course I have also defined in my example Coast Hardware, who came out highly regarded in the survey. Somehow they have avoided getting tagged as a “chain" even though Ace Hardware is their franchiser; they haven’t enough parking spaces to cover their large staff, yet alone customers; and they have a product offering that goes way past the definition of hardware! Go figure!

When it comes to doing business in Laguna you really enter the twilight zone, and twilight precedes lights out.

DENNIS MYERS

Laguna Beach

Cameras could be everywhere in city

Laguna Beach Police Chief Paul Workman says we need cameras at the three entrance/exits to the city: Coast Highway, Laguna Canyon Road and at Heisler Park.

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One City Council member said when you start putting in cameras, it’s a slippery slope.

Really, chief, we should put four more cameras on Park Avenue and Temple Hills Drive, because these are the only roads to Top of the World, and what about Summit Drive and Nyes Place, the only roads to Arch Beach Heights?

“They" have tried to steal the wonderful, brass chairs and table (“A Tranquil Moment") at tiny Brown’s park near Legion Street, so a camera there would be good. Certainly the Susi Q and Community Center need cameras and what about the crosswalks at Pearl Street, Mountain Avenue and Oak Street, where numerous pedestrians have been killed and injured, and think of the money the city could make catching hundreds of drivers going through intersections like Wesley Drive going 80 miles an hour.

Cameras could be installed downtown to catch skateboarders. One nice, local skateboarder has been given four tickets downtown. Like the parking money machine at Lang Park, these new cameras would make the city richer. Workman should concentrate on other things beside cameras, including the unmarked, casually dressed beach patrol officers.

ROGER CARTER

Laguna Beach

Police were justified in shooting driver

“Did they really need to pull the trigger?"

A Los Angeles attorney is questioning the action of Laguna’s police in protecting innocent citizens from receiving even more injury and destruction than already had been caused by a young man seemingly intent on self-annihilation and the infliction of terrible pain to others, including his parents.

For some yet unknown reason, a previously normal young man acted like a wild bull this fateful day. Should Laguna’s police officers responding to this incident have stood by flashing red capes and shouting “olé" while allowing the perpetrator of mayhem to continue with his terribly violent spree? I think not.

Any shooting is a terrible thing.

Based on the accounts of witnesses and the facts as published in our newspapers, I have to believe that our police were doing their duty to protect innocent citizens from the further destructive and injurious acts of this person, even as traumatic as the consequences of their action was.

DON KNAPP

Laguna Beach

How To Get Published

Mail to the Coastline Pilot, P.O. Box 248, Laguna Beach, CA 92652 or e-mail us at coastlinepilot@latimes.com. All correspondence must include full name, hometown and phone number (for verification purposes). The Pilot reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity and length.



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