Mailbag: If he builds it, let him continue

I have lived in Newport Beach since getting off active duty from the Army in 1958. I must admit I'm getting kind of old and have seen a lot of changes around here.

I first met Dennis Holland ("Boat adds character to the neighborhood," Feb. 8) when he was building his schooner on Santa Ana Avenue. First there was just him and Betty in a little house, then the kids began to arrive, so they moved into the boat. As he built more staterooms more kids arrived, or vice-versa.

When he was ready to launch it, my best friend, Don Koll (the developer), stepped in and paid to have it moved to be launched. I have always been fascinated by his projects and am an old car collector myself.

Dennis and I have been close friends for many years. He is a wonderful old soul, full of talent, innovation and fabulous dreams. Taking a trip around his house and barn is a visit into the past.

Like you, I consider it a privilege to just drive by his neighborhood and admire the progress on his many projects.

What a shame to take a talent like Dennis and shackle him with costly bureaucracy when he should be considered a local treasure. There are just not many, if any, like him.

Byron Tarnutzer

Newport Beach


I completely agree with William Lobdell's column ("Boat adds character to the neighborhood," Feb. 8). The Shawnee should be admired, not vilified, by the Holland's neighbors. Please keep us updated on the citations and legal battle which will probably ensue. I am sure Dennis and his family will have lots of support from people who admire his spirit.

Patti Torrey

Newport Beach

Sending shockwaves from Egypt

They did it. They actually did it. The yuppie college kids at the American University in Cairo, the cab drivers, the lawyers, the elites and the falaheen (farmers) sent a shockwave across the Middle East.

They said we're tired of living without dignity and risking having our family members assaulted in the back room of a police station because we sent out a Twitter joke about a politician.

There are those who worry that this revolution will pave the way for extremists to grab power. In actuality, this movement only gained legitimacy and a following because it was a cross-section of society against a regime that was so inept and corrupt that, in recent parliamentary elections, some Egyptian Copts voted for Muslim candidates.

It was a regime that was supposedly secular but was less successful at controlling its rapid birthrate than a theocracy like Iran's.

I don't support the Muslim Brotherhood. I support the growth of civil society, something we've failed to do when we supported dictators and strongmen in the past in the pursuit of "stability."

Omar Masry

Newport Beach

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