Mailbag: Crash is a reminder to lower speed limits

It was devastating to see your front-page story, "Accident leaves 3 dead" (Jan. 16), and to find out later that excessive speed may have been involved! I do hope that this will not call for a regular traffic survey under the guidelines created by the California Department of Transportation that has had the attention of the Newport City Council this last week. I shudder to think that the speed limit on Coast Highway could be increased due to that unfortunate display of civic responsibility. We poor souls on Highland Drive have had to live with speeds of 40 to 60 mph in a 25 mph zone for years, but I don't know when, if ever, our street was surveyed. Enforcement would be a good answer, whatever the limits are, and perhaps more education of the public to the dangers of high speed would be in order.

David A. W. Young

Newport Beach

Columnist channeled teacher's genius, charm

Columnist Patrice Apodaca did a masterful job in truly capturing the essence of Claire Ratfield's genius as teacher in "A Marvelous Quirky Lady" (Jan. 15). The highlight of all three of my kids' elementary school experience was the year they spent in Ratfield's class. She has a unique ability to unlock the creativity and natural curiosity in her students and force them to think, imagine and innovate. Even her discombobulated class structure requires her students to develop organizational skills that are critical as they move on to middle school. Our community is fortunate to have someone like Ratfield who has made such a powerful and positive impact on the students she's touched over the years. Thanks for highlighting this hidden gem in our school system!

Gunnar Gooding

Newport Beach

Cleavage doesn't belong on paper's flag

I sat down to read the Sunday Pilot and the first thing that I saw was that it was no longer the Daily Pilot but instead the Daily "ilot" because instead of the "P" it now had a picture of a woman (actress Lo Bosworth) with her breasts on full display. I'm not a prude but — in the middle of your name? Really? Is that what this paper has been reduced to? That picture could have been placed elsewhere. I'd much rather see the boat and your full name.

J.R. Geiskopf

Costa Mesa

Hubbard should voluntarily step aside

Re. "Sounding Off: Yelsey: Reserve judgment on Hubbard," (Jan. 15): School board member Karen Yelsey is correct that Hubbard should not be judged until a verdict is reached, however, placing him on leave would be a significant step toward reducing the distraction of this now sad affair from the everyday operations of our schools.

The larger issue here is not Hubbard's guilt or innocence; it is the perpetuation of the club atmosphere on the school board, a board that is unwilling or unable to discipline one of its own or even acknowledge that anything is wrong. No, Hubbard cannot be placed on leave. But Yelsey can ask him to step aside voluntarily to help minimize the distraction. That she has not is no surprise, for Yelsey's poor judgment led her to believe it perfectly acceptable to be addressed in a degrading manner by Hubbard via e-mail.


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