Mailbag: Grant for OCMA conjures joy
Visits to the Orange County Museum of Art have been pleasant surprises for my family ever since its opening. The museum offers a bit of artistic urbanity in suburban O.C. So, it was a joy to read Sarah Mosqueda’s article (Daily Pilot & TimesOC, Nov. 19) about state Sen. Dave Min helping to secure a state grant of $250,000. I was particularly impressed that he proactively contacted the museum to apply for the funding. OCMA is perfectly positioned to fulfill the educational goals of the grant. I look forward to seeing more youth among the visitors who have already set attendance records.
As a former student of Corona del Mar High School in the late 1960s, I grieve the decline of free speech rights for students since my era, when the Vietnam war was at its height. In 1969, a few of us CdM high school students, war resistors all (very rare in the Orange County of those days), were able to organize a schoolwide assembly featuring a pro-war Vietnam veteran and an anti-war Quaker writer. We did this with the cooperation of, but almost no input from, any teachers or administrators. I imagine that this would be unthinkable at CdM today, where education and critical thinking take a back seat to the control of the students by fearful parents and administrators.
What are they afraid of, independent thought? Fortunately, that is out of their control. Like sex, opinions are something teenagers will have whether parents or school officials like it or not.
Corona Del Mar
I have given much thought to the recent efforts of unqualified individuals to select and refuse books in school and public libraries. To those of us interested in history, it is hard not to conjure up the mental image of the fascists in 1933 Germany standing around a bonfire of books. While book burning is perhaps too graphic and dramatic of an image to associate with the current movement of book banning in our country, it is a slippery slope. And it is hard to imagine that the recent efforts of unqualified personnel making decisions for parents and librarians are not being done without some dramatically political goals in mind.
This is not the first controversial politically driven act to take place in Huntington Beach this last year. The Daily Pilot’s Mailbag is constantly filled (and rightfully so) with letters of the attention-getting antics of the Huntington Beach City Council. And it is so sad to see that only the vote of one council person is creating a majority that is causing all this turmoil. Certainly the council is bringing attention to Surf City, but it isn’t the type that is going to bring in tourist dollars.
That is not to say that the City Council of Newport Beach in the last several years has not attempted to politicize city politics, especially during the height of the pandemic. To their credit, they are trying to appear more professional while beneath the surface some intensely political decisions are being made — more often local and regional rather than national. They have a keen interest in tourist dollars. But their most objectionable and nonprofessional actions are those that often take place around local election time.
All the latest on Orange County from Orange County.
Get our free TimesOC newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Daily Pilot.