Mailbag: ‘Undergrounding’ in Newport has caused havoc

Construction materials and safety ramp encroach on the pedestrian walkway along Balboa Island's South Bayfront.
Construction materials and safety ramp encroach on the pedestrian walkway along Balboa Island’s South Bayfront during the underground utility process.
(Susan Hoffman)

The Jan 8 article by Susan Hoffman in the Daily Pilot (Underground utilities project on west end of Balboa Island progresses) is nothing but a PR job on behalf of the city of Newport Beach and Balboa Island Improvement Assn. The state of Journalism in our nation is a pathetic shell of what used to be called “investigative reporting.” But that would require a rigorous shoe-leather effort. A lazily assembled collage of previous news reports along with not even a pretense of balance in reporting does a grave disservice to your readers. Instead of being a cheerleader for power brokers (no pun intended) I would encourage the Daily Pilot to do some real in-depth reporting on the frequent power outages on Balboa Peninsula brought on by “undergrounding” in water-logged neighborhoods and the attendant havoc they play with businesses and residents.

Jamshed Dastur
Balboa Island

A look ahead at 2022 elections

The year 2022 will likely bring profound changes to the way my hometown of Huntington Beach will be represented at all levels. At the Congressional level, it appears that neither Rep. Michelle Steel nor her former opponent Harley Rouda will be representing us in the new 47th Congressional District. The Democrat challenger will likely be Rep. Katie Porter. Steel may opt not to take on a formidable high profile powerhouse in Congress like Katie Porter in CD-47 but switch to greener pastures in CD-45.

For those Democrats, independents and moderates lamenting the loss of Rouda from the political scene in 2022, the wait for his return may not be long. It is almost a foregone conclusion that Katie Porter will run for the U.S. Senate in 2024 when Dianne Feinstein will likely retire at age 91. Porter would win the election in a walk. Rouda would win the 2024 primary in a walk. Two years of Porter’s representation would set him up nicely. The Republican candidate for CD-47 may be Scott Baugh, the protégé and former primary challenger to former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher from 2018. Baugh is also a former state Assemblyman and Orange County GOP chairman.

We will continue to ably served in Sacramento by state Sen. Dave Min in my district (37th). State Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris will move to a new district (AD-73), and we will miss her in Huntington Beach. Hopefully someone just as good runs in our district (AD-72). I hope someone good takes on Janet Nguyen in new state Senate District 36. Hopefully, my favorite local politician, H.B. Councilwoman Kim Carr, will step up.

We would likely lose the community-minded vitality of Katrina Foley at the Supervisorial level as she switches to the newly drawn District 5. We would be stuck in District 1 with Supervisor Andrew Do. I don’t know who will wind up eventually opposing him.

Still to be determined is the make-up of the Huntington Beach City Council with three new seats opening up after Council members Barbara Delgleize, Mike Posey and Erik Peterson are termed out. I predict that the recall effort against Council members Natalie Moser and Dan Kalmick will peter out and Rhonda Bolton will come into her own. I fear that the negativism and nihilism expressed by former supporters of council dropout Tito Ortiz and the partisan “Save Surf City” group will lead to dissension and disruption in the November election. It won’t be pretty.

Will the changes following the 2022 election be better or worse for the city of Huntington Beach? Hard to say. As for 2022, to paraphrase the famous line in the 1950 film “All About Eve,” “Fasten your seatbelts — it’s going to be a bumpy year.”

Tim Geddes
Huntington Beach

Trail-seekers welcome to visit Costa Mesa

Re: Huntington seeks public input for possible Trails to the Sea project, Daily Pilot, Jan. 5. I’m so glad I don’t live in Huntington Beach. First you had the QAnon lie-deniers. Now you have extreme NIMBYs objecting to the public (horrors!) having trails to enjoy walking and biking. And on paths over existing public property so there is no “taking” involved — just a repurposing of public space for better use, which is what elected officials are supposed to do. Here in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, walkers and bikers (and birds) are welcome. Come and enjoy the Back Bay.

Richard Alexander
Costa Mesa

Looking back on Jan. 6

Since rioters stormed the steps of the U.S. Capitol a year ago, more than a dozen so-called patriots from Orange County have been arrested and charged. I don’t know about you, but in some ways it feels to me like the Jan. 6 insurrection happened yesterday. I guess that’s because, try as I might, I can’t “unsee” what I witnessed that fateful day.

When I first saw all those people clashing with police, I was shocked. Next, as I watched the marauders running down the halls of Congress — the same halls I used to walk through when I worked on Capitol Hill 50 years ago — I felt sick to my stomach.

Today, I feel both angry and hopeful. Angry because the rioters tried to destroy our democracy; and hopeful, because I believe the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6 will uncover the truth about what really happened a year ago.

Pundits from both sides of the political aisle have written extensively about the impact Jan. 6 had, and continues to have, on America. Call me old fashioned, but I was raised to believe in the rule of law and what it means to be a patriot. In the case of the O.C. insurrectionists, they neither acted lawfully or patriotically.

Denny Freidenrich
Laguna Beach

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