Mailbag: Aesthetics important to society

Aesthetics important to society

Cell phone towers may indeed help meet demand of its users but clearly they run afoul of demand for open space and enjoyment of places of natural beauty ("Cell towers get poor reception," July 25).

Even a relatively short 30-foot pole, or a little box attached to an existing utility pole, is subject to scrutiny. The California Coastal Commission has decreed that the view from the water to a bluff is as important as the view from bluff to sea.

Aesthetics are important to society. That's why we have zoning, rules, planning, caps and limited supply. Cell phone companies should consider rationing. Rampant cell phone demand should not be determined by automobiles cruising the neighborhoods.

Donald Nyre

Newport Beach

Costa Mesa needs more coverage

Why is only Corona Del Mar provided a special page of information ("Corona del Mar Today," every Sunday)?

Costa Mesa needs a good reporter on the job to provide information about Costa Mesa.

We have more schools, freeways, malls, businesses, fire stations, the Orange County Fairgrounds, an equestrian center, more churches, etc.

Thanks for perhaps showing an impartial attitude about which area should be covered by the Pilot.

Jeanne Moody

Costa Mesa

Defense for Paul Krugman

Chriss Street did not offer economic credentials in his Sunday op-ed on deficit spending, and his rebuke of Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman sounds suspiciously like conservative ideology rather than economic analysis ("Community Commentary: Deficit spending a bad idea for U.S.," July 25). As someone who taught economics at the college level for a dozen years, I feel justified in coming to Krugman's defense.

If you-know-who had not squandered the gift of economic surpluses passed on to him by the Clinton administration, no one would question Obama's or Krugman's call for further stimulus to combat a weak economy. It is sound Keynesian theory.

And if Street knew his economists, he might recall Milton Friedman's admission that "We are all Keynesians now." What Street forgets is that we should have been running surpluses from 2003 to 2008, which would have made the current deficits a no-brainer.

Parenthetically, it's starting to work. My wife and I are just back from a 100-day trip that took us to 27 states. We had to put up with "expect some delay" signs on the highways in all 27 as the construction season is now in full force.

Bob Schmidt

Corona del Mar

Edison benefits by making customers pay

In your piece, "Smart meters, small hikes," July 18, Southern California Edison passed on the cost of installing the new meters to the consumers, rather than assuming the cost itself.

Installing the meters was lauded for reducing energy costs. However, SoCal Edison will benefit in several ways: There will be a reduction in staff since there will be no longer a need for meter readers and, and most probably the utility will receive a tax credit for cutting energy usage.

Pretty nice profit by shifting the cost to the public.

Shirley A. Conger

Corona del Mar

Solicitors have become more rude

I was out of town for April and missed news of the new anti-solicitation at homes ordinance ("Rule not stopping knocks," July 15).

My wife and I have been at the same address in Newport Beach since 1970. We have been alarmed at the increase in solicitations to say nothing of "Door Hangers." So much so, that I have talked to sign companies about having a "polite" sign made. But the size ultimately made a proposed sign ugly if it had to cover both solicitations and "hangers" and, out of necessity, in both English and Spanish!

The hanger people deposit screeds of stuff in our mail box, attached to our fence or jammed in our door, and for many of our neighbors this junk finally blows all over the place if they don't pick it up in time.

We have an internal audio system with an external speaker control. Our front door two-way speaker was out of action for a few years, but it has now been repaired and when the door bell rings we can use the speaker to find out "who is at the front door?" This way we avoid confrontations and perhaps even an attempted home invasion such as we read about these days. But the callers still leave the front gate open as a sign of disgust!

The ordinance will be hard to enforce and vigilance is the only immediate answer if we are not to waste the valuable time of our law enforcement personnel. Please keep an eye on this problem and kudos to Newport Beach Councilwoman Nancy Gardner.

David A. W. Young

Newport Beach

Columnist did not promote tolerance

Jim Carnett wants to know if "atheism alone will sustain [Christopher] Hitchens," now that Hitchens may be terminally ill ("Mesa Musings: Will atheism sustain him?", July 6. Aside from the gratuitous sarcasm, Carnett's title reflects exactly the poison that Hitchens has brilliantly shown to be inherent in virtually all religions: smug intolerance.

Carnett's insistence on praying for Hitchens to come to his senses and convert to Christianity makes no sense. It lacks logic, human kindness and the tolerance necessary for all human beings to live peacefully on the planet. Would it make sense for someone, any one of us, to be so mean-spirited as to begin hoping now that, when Carnett is faced with the possibility of dying, he will suddenly acquire the wisdom to drop the lifelong consolation of his religion?

What we need is not Carnett's self-righteousness; we need international understanding and tolerance.

Dariela Wilson

Balboa Island

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