Mailbag: Mooring changes to Newport Harbor would affect boat owners

The War Heroes on Water Boat Parade in Newport Harbor in October 2020.
A large number of boats participated in the War Heroes on Water Boat Parade in Newport Harbor in October 2020.
(File Photo)

The possible mooring changes to Newport Harbor could be interesting if one is fortunate enough to own a boat there.

First off, the article mentions that the harbor is one of the largest small-craft recreational harbors on the West Coast. The sources I’ve read seem to do the harbor a slight injustice. One says Newport Harbor is one of the largest recreational harbors in the U.S. and another source says Newport is definitely the biggest on the West Coast and possibly the biggest in the country. OK, now that that is settled, the mooring project would reconfigure the mooring field to double-row moorings, placing boats closer together, taking up less space while offering the same number of potential moorings. Boats of like sizes would be consolidated into the same rows.

This is all well and good, and I’m sure very interesting for those of us who have boats in the water. I’m curious, however, about the process that would occur when a larger than typical boat comes to the harbor. I’m reminded of an event taking place in September 2013 when the Invictus yacht at 216 feet long owned by billionaire and real estate developer Rick Caruso caused some problems for other boat owners from his oversized ship and the possibility that it would bring with bright lights, noise and harmful fumes while blocking some views. Assuming Caruso comes back in his monster yacht, how would the Invictus fit in with the proposed mooring changes? I guess we just have to wait and see what happens.

In the meantime, we have another ongoing harbor issue with the possibility that the 100-year-old Balboa ferry service may be shut down due to obsolete engines. Which event, I wonder, will garner more interest and action if necessary? Only time will tell.

Bill Spitalnick
Newport Beach


Laguna fentanyl deaths not a surprise

Re: “Laguna Officials warn against erroneous fentanyl death reports,” Daily Pilot, May 24: I am not relieved nor reassured that there were not six fentanyl deaths of Laguna Beach teenagers (who might have been taking drugs) but just two deaths of adult men (who might have been taking their medication).

May I share the following story? My plumber was unable to respond to an emergency call from me on Saturday because he was “on his way to Mexico to pick up insulin for his wife and heart pills for himself.” He explained it would cost him much more for this medication in the U.S. and he saves money by shopping in Mexico. I cautioned him about the fentanyl lacing problem. He didn’t feel there was a choice.

We should not be content that only two people died of fentanyl poisoning in Laguna Beach no matter what their age. Absolutely it should be a community concern about how those deaths could have been avoided.

Carole Urie-Chickering
Laguna Beach

City needs to look at homelessness

I think most would agree that state, county and local elected officials have “kicked the can down the road” for decades regarding the homelessness situation, and we are now faced with this huge problem and working to find solutions to address it.

One solution that I would like to present to the Newport Beach City Council would be to create as quickly as possible a new commission, a Homelessness Commission to address this issue in our city. This new commission, just like the parks, arts, harbor and planning commissions, would work on issues and advise the City Council but especially on homelessness in Newport Beach.

Roy Englebrecht
Newport Beach