Mailbag: Honor for Haney’s heroism well-deserved

Meghan Haney, a police officer with the Huntington Beach Police Department.
Meghan Haney, a police officer with the Huntington Beach Police Department, was awarded the medal of lifesaving by the department for her effort in talking a suicidal person out of killing herself.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Thanks for the pride-inducing article on Huntington Beach Police Officer Meghan Haney (Daily Pilot, Nov. 19) and her lifesaving conversation with a woman about to end her life by plunging off a two-story building on Beach Boulevard. It may have been 4 o'clock in the morning, but Officer Haney’s compassion and alertness were not dimmed by the predawn darkness nor by the dire circumstances of a potential suicide. Congratulations to Officer Haney and her lifesaving accomplishment. We residents of Huntington Beach are blessed to have such public servants on duty 24/7.

Ben Miles
Huntington Beach

Reasons to worry and celebrate

I am flattered to have “shared the stage” in the Nov. 19 Daily Pilot Mailbag page with esteemed local writers Tim Geddes, Ben Miles and Mike Aguilar who share the same concerns about Huntington Beach’s new City Council that I have about Newport Beach’s newly elected council. The similarities are their political positions on the right of the political spectrum and their obeisance to big money donors (often developers) rather than to grassroots democracy.

It sounds like the difference between the two councils is as all three writers point out, that in Huntington Beach the four newly elected council members relied on rhetoric to win their races a la Trump and Tito Ortiz rather than tackling current problems such as homelessness, high- density development, affordable housing and crime.

In Newport Beach, some of the newly elected did rely on big money contributions, often from developers, but there is rarely rhetoric bandied about in the elections. What is ever-present, however, that obscures democratic leanings, is the use of extremely distasteful campaign fliers by political PACs.

I have been so caught up in bemoaning our undemocratic Council, that the significance of Katrina Foley’s announced victory almost escaped me. For one thing, the statistics of the race for her seat on the Board of Supervisor’s were so close that the results were only lately announced. So may we rightly share in the celebration of the Democratic victory for the county government: For the first time in 40 years the Board is dominated by the Democratic party. After the embarrassing show of poor leadership during the pandemic, it is encouraging to know that with Katrina’s victory, the state representatives will be able to work more closely with the county, and that funding will be shepherded the correct way, according to Fullerton College professor Jodi Balma. We can get excited over the fact that Katrina Foley will put climate concerns at the top of the list for county projects, unlike previous boards. She will have the opportunity to steer the county’s $8.8-billion budget on a host of key issues.

Lynn Lorenz
Newport Beach

Will the price of gas go up or down?

As I was about to drive 350-plus miles from Laguna Beach to Carmel Valley for Thanksgiving, the following article in the Hill caught my eye.

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Starting Monday, Nov. 21, the price of a gallon of gas at hundreds of Sheetz stations will be $1.99.

The gas station chain said the discount will last through next Monday, Nov. 28. Only the price of Unleaded 88 is being dropped, so the deal is only available at the 368 locations Sheetz sells that type of gasoline.

The $1.99 price falls below the typical price of gas at the moment. According to tracking by AAA, the national average is currently $3.66 per gallon. Even the cheapest state for gas, Texas, still has an average of $2.99.

As it turns out, there is more to this story than meets the eye (or price at the pump). For people who drive older cars (pre-2001), the Sheetz deal isn’t recommended. That’s because Unleaded 88 or E-15 gasoline has a higher amount of ethanol and is not compatible with every vehicle.

Despite these bumps in the road, I wish Big Oil companies like Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and others had the courage to follow Sheetz’s lead. I paid a low of $5 a gallon before leaving Orange County last week, compared to nearly $7 a gallon just a few months ago. Is there a downward trend in sight?

According to Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, the answer is yes. “Everyone will be seeing relief at the pump this week, with even more substantial declines on the way as oil prices plummeted last week to briefly trade under $80 per barrel.”

I wonder what the price of gas will be when Hanukkah and Christmas roll around?

Denny Freidenrich
Laguna Beach

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