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Huntington Beach acted in haste by removing Shayna Lathus from city board for exercising her right to assemble

Huntington Beach acted in haste by removing Shayna Lathus from city board for exercising her right to assemble
Shayna Lathus, left, was removed from her appointed position on the Huntington Beach Citizens Participation Advisory Board by Councilwoman Kim Carr, right. (File photos)

Something about the recent condemnations of Shayna Lathus, a former member of the Citizens Participation Advisory Board, just don’t add up. These are confusing times and unfortunately the Daily Pilot’s May 2 article “Huntington Beach woman removed from city advisory board” did little to clear things up.

Was Lathus being accused of being member or supporter of Antifa? If so, it seems odd she wasn’t dressed in the traditional black clothing and masks worn by Antifa members, nor does she appear to be posing with group members.

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Was Lathus being accused of inciting violence or expressing hateful rhetoric typically associated with various extremist groups? If so, I didn’t see any pictures or hear any accounts of those actions either.

This would all seem so odd if it wasn’t happening in Huntington Beach, but since it did happen in Huntington Beach, there’s a pretty simple explanation. Someone opposed to Lathus’ views targeted her for a political smear. This wasn’t about exposing a secret political extremist but rather just an opportunity to baselessly attack a political rival. What a perfect illustration of the political environment in Huntington Beach.

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Although I strongly agree that elected officials and their appointees should be held to the highest of standards with regard to both their actions and rhetoric, I reject what appears to have been little more than a fake gotcha moment contrived by Huntington Beach’s Facebook paparazzi. And while I find the actions of these Judicial Watch wannabes disingenuous and sad, it is hardly surprising.

For years, Huntington Beach has been besieged by loud, angry voices far too obsessed by ideology and completely dismissive of anything passing for constructive local discourse. Unfortunately, this would appear to be the latest episode of the H.B. internet mob targeting someone simply because they disagree. Railing against a fellow resident peacefully exercising her right to assemble hardly seems to violate any ethics or standards we should expect from those in our local government.

Sadly, the hasty action of Councilwoman Kim Carr, and the ongoing bellows of those seeking to do nothing more than settle political scores, have robbed Huntington Beach of a resident willing to serve her community for the greater good. H.B. residents now are left to wonder if anyone will ever be willing to volunteer their time to serve our community in the face of the inevitable shenanigans of the city’s mob of political hucksters and malcontents.

Steve Shepherd

Huntington Beach

Pilot was wrong to cover removal of board member

Selling papers means job security, and apparently the Daily Pilot has found that pandering to the right-wing, hate mongers of Huntington Beach is a successful strategy. Why else would they give front-page coverage with photographic evidence of two city residents expressing their 1st Amendment protected right to free speech? Shayna Lathus and Victor Valladares are left-leaning, politically active residents who were trying to let the public know on a busy Saturday afternoon that Huntington Beach is not the hateful place that the What You Can Do Now group protesting Senate Bill SB54, were portraying it to be. I should know since I was there with them.

By calling them out for their actions, resident Craig Frampton, who apparently was among the protesters, is not heeding his own advice to tone it down. Neither is the Daily Pilot by covering the protests after the fact and only when it results in Lathus losing her appointed position.

Where were the reporters on Saturday when persons with the WYCDN mob crossed PCH twice to incite trouble, requiring police on horseback to intervene and close southbound PCH at Main Street for 15 minutes? Or to provide details about the five people who were arrested and of the charges against them? Or why the mounted officers were called in from Orange and Anaheim in the first place? Perhaps interviewing multiple sources, including HBPD, instead of just echoing the political agenda of one individual would serve all the residents of Huntington Beach more fully.

Jeff Rokos

Huntington Beach

Council wouldn’t mind if protestor was on the right

Did I miss something in the article concerning the removal of Shayna Lathus from her position on a city advisory board? I fail to see what all the fuss is about. Are City Council members supposed to disavow any previous political convictions when they take office? If so, I can think of more than a few former council members who didn’t get the memo.

While I don't agree with the tactics the Antifa movement uses, and I don’t support all of its beliefs, I’d rather be considered anti-fascist than pro-fascist. People of all belief systems show up at political rallies and express their opinions in various manners. I’d be willing to bet there are plenty of people who might be considered extremist among the What You Can Do Now supporters as well. I’d also wager no one would have objected if Lathus were clapping and chanting their slogans.

Lathus attended what she thought would be a peaceful rally. It isn’t her responsibility to monitor the attendees. Standing up for the rights of immigrants, even if it is unpopular in these parts, does not compromise her ability to perform her duties as a board member. I commend her self control. I would have happily held up the Dump Trump banner.

Mary Franklin

Huntington Beach

Steel has no chance against Rouda

The unsurprising announcement that dogmatically conservative Michelle Steel, a county supervisor, will seek to challenge Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach) for his seat in Congress was received by many constituents as either a cruel hoax or a sick joke. Her quote in the article, “I'm running to bring common-sense leadership to Congress and hold our leaders accountable so that we can get our country back on track,” is possibly the most hypocritical pronouncement of the year. It is the party of her and her husband, Republican National Committee member Shawn Steel, that is responsible for the lack of common-sense leadership in Washington, D.C., and the broken political system to which she alludes.

As a Huntington Beach resident, I am represented by both Rouda and Steel. The difference is night and day in their approach to governance. Rouda is approachable, inclusive, caring and genuinely interested in the concerns and issues of his constituents. Steel is pretty much the opposite.

Tim Geddes

Huntington Beach

How to get published: Email us at dailypilot@latimes.com. All correspondence must include full name, hometown and phone number (for verification purposes). The Pilot reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity and length.

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