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Mailbag: Tracking postal boxes and supporting freedom of speech

Post office boxes
A Huntington Beach couple write that the removal of U.S. Postal mailboxes and theft of election signs threaten democracy.
(File Photo)

Last August, we began documenting a number of blue U.S. Postal mailboxes being removed from Huntington Beach’s most traveled streets near where we live like Brookhurst and Bushard streets, Talbert Avenue and our main drag of Beach Boulevard.

Timewise, this was in keeping with the allegations that Trump and his embattled, sycophantic Postmaster General Louis DeJoy were pulling this stunt in many other U.S. cities.

Our H.B. head postal manager first claimed when we called him that “we were told to remove those mailboxes that aren’t that busy.” When we retorted that most all the time all of these mailboxes were in vital, busy areas and often so full no one could put in any more letters or parcels, he said it was “national and out of our hands even if we disagree with having the few remaining blue letter boxes removed. There really aren’t that many standalone mailboxes in town anymore, except at our main stations like mine.”

Orange County, whether red or blue, deserves better and to not have anyone attempt to shunt, delay or steal anyone’s mail.

It’s bad enough we’ve also documented the many citizens here who had their pro-Biden or pro-Trump home lawn signs stolen. No matter who one supported, the right to free speech on either side of the aisle should be fully allowed at all times.

Mike and Marlene Lano
Huntington Beach

Regretting a ballot choice

Tim Geddes’s letter hit me where it hurts. While I was mourning the loss of a very competent Rep. Harley Rouda to uninformed voters and cheering the demise of President Trump, this while marveling that over 70 million could vote for such an unmitigated criminal, I discover that I’m one of the uninformed voters in local elections.

I admit my misguided vote for Tito Ortiz based on a voter-guide bio that hid his blemishes. I failed to do the proper research that would have unveiled his Trump-like qualities. Let that be a lesson to all. It certainly is one for me.

Jim Hoover
Huntington Beach

Thanks for the election support

It is an honor of a lifetime to have been elected as the incoming Newport-Mesa Unified School District trustee for Area 3. A community is as strong as its engaged stakeholders, and Area 3, with an astonishing 90% voter turnout rate, has resoundingly proven to be a community that is engaged and prides itself on civic involvement.

My campaign was inspired and guided by an African proverb that goes as follows, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” This is why for months, I met with parents, teachers, elected officials, candidates, coaches, leaders of bargaining units, district officials, community activists, homeowners association leaders, mental health professionals and school board trustees. I reconnected with former PTA colleagues and met new and upcoming leaders in the education industry.

After listening to all of the stakeholders and hearing the needs of our schools, neighborhoods and district staff, I was energized at the possibilities of working together to provide our two cities the best education possible for our kids.

I am extremely thankful to my family, friends, supporters and volunteers who helped me along the way. Their encouragement and energy provided me with the confidence and the stamina to carry my campaign across the finish line.

As a trustee, I pledge to work tirelessly and to advocate for Newport-Mesa’s students, teachers, staff and families. The campaign season was just the start. Now the real work begins.

Carol Crane
Trustee-elect NMUSD School Board Area 3

Thoughts on Newsom and the pandemic

Sorry, but I won’t be modeling my behavior this Thanksgiving after Gov. Hypocrite and the legislators who traveled to Hawaii on a political junket.

Apparently while I am limited in Orange County to three households, to the outside (except for visits indoors, frequently sanitized restrooms), to eating from single-server disposable dishes, for no more than two hours, and to collecting the names and addresses of those attending, it’s OK for Mr. Newsom to eat, drink and be merry with a dozen pals at Yountville’s French Laundry; and it’s fine for boondoggling politicos to eat, drink, and be merry at a Maui resort while lobbying with the Independent Voter Project.

Do as I say, not as I do — that’s the message from the privileged and powerful. Role models they ain’t, hypocrites they are.

Shame on you, Mr. Newsom and shame on those elected officials in the midst of a pandemic surge.

Paul Watkins
Newport Beach

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President Trump has flaunted his indifference to the coronavirus since the beginning. He encouraged and actually dared people to come to his rallies where most were maskless and avoided social distancing just to prove their fidelity to him. He totally mismanaged the pandemic responsible for hundreds of thousands of lives while Gov. Newsom attended one dinner at a world-famous restaurant to celebrate a friend’s birthday, sat outdoors with a rather large group, breaking no state or public health rules at the time, and you would think from the public reaction that he has just murdered someone.

To have Orange County be one of the counties to make the most political noise out of it is the height of hypocrisy considering the way the coastal area has just elected three public servants, two by considerable margins who have openly flaunted disdain for the coronavirus and public health rules. Other elected officials in the coastal cities have also fought against the public health guidelines, leaving their constituencies vulnerable to the virus. This cavalier attitude toward COVID-19 guidelines has no doubt been partially responsible for the 67,000 cases and more than 1,500 deaths in Orange County.

Upon perusing the campaign donation forms that all candidates have to file, it becomes clear that many received money from out-of-town donors, a practice that, although not illegal, might be considered by some as questionable. Would it be naive to think that those donors, some of whom are developers, will encourage local and county officials to provide leadership that includes concern for public safety and in so doing, help protect their investments?

Hopefully, the local and county officials have learned enough from their mistakes this last year to guide their constituencies to safe and healthful practices, acting as leaders rather than political opportunists.

Lynn Lorenz
Newport Beach

Steel campaigning

The Michelle Steel campaign has exceeded the post-election 10-day time limit to remove all of its temporary signs. On Nov. 14, just a cursory drive-by count revealed there were at least 35 of them on the median of Beach Boulevard between Warner and Indianapolis avenues, as well as in numerous other locations throughout the city of Huntington Beach. As of Nov. 19, at least 20 signs remain on the Beach Boulevard median, and more are still posted or standing in other areas.

Details matter. If candidate Michelle Steel can’t understand and comply with simplistic city regulations regarding removal of campaign signs, then how can she be expected to comprehend the complex minutiae in Congressional bills, resolutions and amendments? And how can she even be entrusted with the best interests of District 48 when she doesn’t even clean up her own messes?

Rules matter too. Oh wait — righhht. Michelle Steel.

Mark Scott
Huntington Beach

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