Mailbag: Planned bump in mooring costs would equate to eviction for offshore Newport residents

Boats are anchored in the offshore Mooring Field C in the Newport Channel in May 2023.
(File Photo)

Being a retired biomedical engineer who has brought over 100 products to market from surgical clips and clamps to heart valves to radiosurgical robots, I am trying to hang onto my dream of living aboard my boat in Newport Beach. After hearing of the move to raise the already high rental rates by over 300%, I spoke out at the last two City Council meetings on this subject. I keep up on the rates up and down the coast, so I knew the city’s appraisal was an outright lie. We mooring holders own our mooring tackle, and the city provides us no services, yet we were compared to Balboa Yacht Club and Morro Bay, who own the moorings, and their rent is therefore not comparable because they provide services such as dinghy dock, taxi service, trash removal and so on. The disparity is even worse when you compare a homeowner dock tidal space at $400 per year for 40-foot dock which enjoys all the benefits of a home — and even now we pay three times that.

I implore you to research this miscarriage of justice and do so before our city council votes this in. It means hundreds of people will no longer be able to afford to keep a boat in Newport, much less live on one.

James Bentson
Newport Beach


A new proverb for the times

By 2025, the Beek family, who own the famed Balboa Island Ferry that traverses the Newport Bay every day, will need to make some drastic changes that merit doing away with the gasoline engines for all three of their ferries making way to electrification. As it stands right now, the family hasn’t the funds to do that. An $8.3-million grant from the California Air Resources Board will get them closer, but they still have a ways to go.

Not being a religious person, I don’t usually pay attention to items of a church-type nature or sayings or interpretations of a religious nature. But I’m reminded of a long ago saying that goes, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

With a little luck and a more contemporary way of looking at things that saying could be: “Dressed are the Beek, for they will inhabit the bay.”

Hey, you never know, as stranger things have happened.

Bill Spitalnick
Newport Beach

Ignoring public will draw disdain

As the saying goes, “if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” so if Huntington Beach City Councilman Tony Strickland did not want to put up with the crowd shouting “shame” after the vote to start the bid process for privatization of the public library, after hearing 108 speakers and more then 600 emails almost all against it, he should step down.

Strickland and his right-wing colleagues also voted to withdraw from the league of California Cities, with Councilman Casey McKeon stating that the organization advocates for the state’s agenda instead of individual cities, in the same way that the majority right-wing city council members advocate for themselves, instead of the majority of the electorate who voiced their opinion in opposition to privatization.

It is truly a shameful city council majority who refuses to listen to the voice of the people.

Richard C. Armendariz
Huntington Beach

At what point will the Huntington Beach City Council majority quit lying to themselves and the community about challenging greater authorities over issues like Voter ID and housing?! They can’t and won’t win against the county and state no matter how much they delude themselves over their grievances.

These autocratic amateurs are bound to be slapped down once more for their abject failure to adopt a new housing element. It will not only cost us in lawsuits, but it will cost us in decision-making power to plan our own future. The defiance of City Atty. Michael Gates is going to ruin our city, and the fact that his ideological slip is showing impresses nobody but the MAGA base he plays to.

This poor excuse for representative local government has done nothing constructive since taking power. All its members can do is tear down our norms and institutions and leave civic wreckage behind. Already, they are about to trash one of the greatest library systems in the county in a puritanical pique over bogus biblio blasphemy. There is a reason for this. It is that the majority has no clue about governing properly and serving the true best interests of the citizenry. The public is finally waking up to this sad realization.

As Abraham Lincoln is said to have expounded, “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

Tim Geddes
Huntington Beach

Commissioners can learn from disagreement

Re: “Gaza war threatens peace on O.C. Human Relations Commission,” Daily Pilot & Times OC, March 24.

It is appalling that a “Human Relations Commission” would even remotely consider removing a member because he has a dissenting opinion. Human relations is about listening, understanding, learning and then assimilating differences — and suggesting solutions.

The facts are fairly straightforward as long as all the facts are included. 1) Hamas has fired rockets at civilian populations, taken hostages and brutally killed men, women and children. They did this knowing full well that Israel would declare war and hiding behind Palestinian civilians would result in civilian deaths. 2) Hamas has been investing Gaza’s funds into weapons, rockets and tunnels rather than infrastructure. Gaza was an independent Palestinian state, but the Palestinian leadership failed to manage a Palestinian state which could co-exist with Israel. 3) After 75 years of wars, attacks, suicide bombers and terrorist attacks by Arab states and Palestinians, it is understandable that Israel might be skeptical that a Palestinian state can peacefully co-exist with a Jewish one. There was a two-state solution in 1948 until Arab countries declared war. 4) Regretfully, Israeli leadership seems to believe that there can be a long-term peace by taking land from Palestinians and refusing to consider a two-state solution. 5) What is missing from the debate so far is the assurance that two-state solution means peace and security long term for both parties.

Ceasefires have come and ceasefires have gone over 75 years. Long-term peace and security awaits the world leaders of all countries to be willing to stop taking sides and instead guarantee peaceful co-existence of a Palestinian state and a Jewish state.

Maybe the O.C Human Relations Commission can be a spark for a solution. Protest less and problem-solve more. It’s about human relations, not winning and losing.

Marvin J. Gordon
Laguna Beach