Mailbag: Solar panels pose safety threat

The Huntington Beach City School District has voted to place solar panels in front of our school ("District stands by solar panel decision," Jan. 13). A few things should be pointed out:

1. Not one person is against solar panels. It's all about where they are being put.

2. We had alternate sites and not the roof as was suggested, but on 17th Street near our lower field basketball courts, where there is 100% efficiency for these panels. They would cover ice plants that can no longer be maintained because of cuts to our maintenance department by this same board.

3. We now will have students, during a PE unit, running as hard as they can toward these cement-based structures trying to catch footballs or kick a soccer ball or...can you say liability exposure?

4. The parents spearheading this drive to place the panels elsewhere have been doing and are still doing a fantastic job of researching every single aspect of this project.

The board has voted to take away field space, my classroom. I teach PE at Dwyer Middle School. I have the feeling that what our current government is doing and the school board is now doing is to not listen to the majority of the people.

Gary Arneson

Huntington Beach

Traces of old ranch remain

That was a nice column that Chris Epting wrote on the old Huntington Beach Co. ranch and Col. Robert Northam ("Park was once a ranch house," In the Pipeline, Jan. 13), but he neglected to mention that the old ranch silos are still standing. They are located in the Seacliff Office Park at Main Street and Yorktown Avenue.

About a week or so before the fire of March 22, 2000, former Mayor Cathy Green, Connie Mandic, members of the historical society and I toured the ranch house. We had planned to go before the City Council with a proposal to restore the house as a museum and a community center for weddings, parties, etc.

Epting mentions that Northam was nicknamed "Diamond Bob." A docent at the Western Trails Museum, which Epting wrote about in his last column ("A local house of history," In the Pipeline, Jan. 6), told me that Marion Speer liked to be called Bob also.

Jerry Person

Huntington Beach

Editor's note: Person is the city historian of Huntington Beach.

Local cities deserve a daily

The Los Angeles Times publishes our local news in the Huntington Beach Independent every Thursday (also includes Fountain Valley). The Times also publishes the Daily Pilot for Newport Beach and Costa Mesa every day.

Why does Newport-Mesa get a daily while HB-FV gets a weekly? HB and FV have a combined population of 249,209 people. Newport and Costa Mesa have a combined population of 192,099. HB has one of the highest numbers of voters of any city in Orange County. We have many politically active citizens who are interested in local news and want to read about it.

Is the Times giving Newport-Mesa favored treatment because of its wealthy population? Are some rich Newport citizens bankrolling the Daily Pilot?

Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley deserve more local news coverage.

Marinka Horack

Huntington Beach

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