Mailbag: Our Newport-Mesa community cares about kids

Eight-year-olds join the 32nd annual Newport-Mesa Spirit Run, a fundraiser for participating schools.
Eight-year-olds participate in the 1-mile race of the 32nd annual Newport-Mesa Spirit Run, a fundraiser for participating schools in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District in 2017.
(Photo by Susan Hoffman)

As I walked the District 6 sidewalks in my campaign for Newport-Mesa Unified school board, I learned this firsthand talking to my friends and neighbors. They are concerned for the 300 students in our district currently experiencing homelessness. They are worried our education system is not preparing our youth for 21st-century careers. They see a need for a return to skills-based learning and Career Technical Education pathways that lead to fulfilling jobs. They know the isolation of the nationwide shutdown has impacted the emotional and physical health of our kids. Local charities like Project Hope Alliance and others continue to lift up the housing unstable with Wi-Fi hotspots and access to technology to support distance learning. Mental health providers are working nonstop with full caseloads. High school and club coaches are fighting for the return of youth sports. Everyday acts of kindness from our neighbors remind us how much we have in common and how much love we have for each other.

Thank you to everyone who supported my campaign for NMUSD school board Trustee Area 6. I am truly grateful and touched by your overwhelming dedication to my vision for a brighter future for our students.

I will continue to fight for our kids and know you will too. Our collective future depends on our commitment to each other and the children that depend on us. Please join me in challenging the NMUSD mistakes of the past to make education relevant for our kids and give them hope for the future.

Amy Peters
Newport Beach

Snell’s efforts deserve praise

I am responding to Vikki Snell’s commentary on the Daily Pilot website and published Nov. 1.

In my opinion, Mrs. Snell’s personal sense of commitment and professionalism made her a prime candidate to continue her position on the Newport Mesa School Board. If nothing else, her personal commitments to our community and her family’s stellar reputation, were proof that she would be an exemplary, professional and caring school board member.

I first met Mrs. Snell about 30 years ago, when I was a local boy at Harbor View Elementary School. For years, she and some other talented mothers contributed to the community through top-notch instruction, in this case in artwork. Although her daughter transferred to Lincoln Elementary in the famous splitting of all elementary school students in 1992, Mrs. Snell still taught for our school as a volunteer for years afterward.

While local politics can be as fierce as state or national political races, and we often see conflicts of different people we know become involved, we must remember we are on the same team, the same community. Certainly, in these trying times of COVID-19, we must continue to pour in great amounts of effort, patience, compassion, strength and resources to make sure our community stays strong against external challenges. If I myself continue to support institutions at home, despite spending notable periods of time working and living abroad, I am sure those who are in Newport-Mesa, voluntarily or not, can band together to make sure our institutions remain strong.

I am happy to praise Vikki Snell, and hope to write praise for any other excellent local I have met who will run for local office in the future.

Joseph Klunder
Newport Beach

Thank you to N.B. voters

I am honored to be joining the Newport Beach City Council. The privilege and responsibility is not a task I take lightly. I thank the voters for their support and encouragement as we work to keep our city the jewel that it is.

I appreciate the work and knowledge that Councilman Jeff Herdman has given to the city over these last four years. I look forward to putting the tumultuous nature of the election behind us for the strength and unity of our great city. We are a stronger Newport together.

To my wife and son, thank you for your strength and resilience throughout this contentious election. Politics, I have learned, is a full contact sport where even family and business are thrown into the arena. The support of my family and friends has been the guiding light during this process. Thank you for the love, dedication and work that has defined our campaign. Positivity and hard work have been the backbone of our home and our restaurants, and we will look to lead the city with the same approach. Thank you to all of our staff and patrons for keeping heads high and smiles bright. We build our future together.

We are in a time of external pressure and uncertainty as a city, from the pandemic and homelessness to state housing and forced regulatory agencies, and the list goes on. We must face these challenges with creativity and intelligence if we are to maintain the character and charm of our villages. Our strength will be in tackling our issues together.

My table is always open. I have and will always be open to meeting with anyone. Great discourse creates great ideas. I welcome both criticism and comment, advice and anecdote, as great knowledge comes from reflecting on our own lives and striving to be better.

I love this city and will never stop working to keep Newport great. Thank you again for your support and love.

Noah Blom
Newport Beach

Letter re: Rouda was unfair

It was disappointing the Daily Pilot Mailbag published the recent William Phinizy letter, considering its hyperbolic and misleading content. It was the same inaccurate message Phinizy and his counterpart Russ Neal peddled in several Orange County publications for many weeks.

The Washington Free Beacon Phinizy cited is a publication strongly biased toward conservative causes and has a reputation for mendaciousness and fear-mongering. Typically, it uses descriptive terms like “fanatical” or “radical,” and Phinizy did the same.

There is much to be afraid of with Michelle Steel. How can anyone expect her to be a strong voice in Congress when she can’t even stand up to a few misguided “anti-mask bullies” at a Board of Supervisors meeting? Or support an O.C. health officer who received death threats? Or who in a June board meeting famously uttered some ineffable twaddle about “species discrimination” when comparing mask wearing between dogs and humans?

As Supervisor, Steel downplayed COVID-19 and promoted canceling a mask mandate, exacerbating our crisis. Here’s what fearful and an indication of Michelle Steel’s failed leadership: 61,671 infected, 1,475 dead, and still rising.

Mark Scott
Huntington Beach

Where West’s votes came from

I can only surmise that the 3,641 Orange County residents who voted for Kanye West are dyed in the wool Republicans who could not stomach voting for Trump because among other things telling more then than 20,000 outright lies, and his disastrous handling of the pandemic virus, which has led to the death of more than 230,000 Americans and yet could not bring themselves to vote for a a Democrat.

In the past when finding themselves in such a dilemma, voters would write in Ulysses S. Grant.

The important thing is that in the most important and consequential election in U.S. history, they voted.

Richard C. Armendariz
Huntington Beach

Setting the record straight

I am not a moderate Republican as stated in the Daily Pilot on Nov. 1 (Could Dana Rohrabacher’s old seat flip red in Orange County? Experts say it’s a close call). I would never tell a reporter what political party I am affiliated with. I am, indeed, a moderate voter and was backing Harley Rouda, who is also a moderate, for Congress. I believe that is where the confusion came in. The most important fact mentioned was that I am concerned about climate change, which should worry us all.

Lizanne Witte
Laguna Beach

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