Mailbag: 'Quiet zone' should extend to motorcycles

I applaud the efforts of the City council to rein in excessive noise pollution of any kind ["Council approves quiet zone," Coastline Pilot, Feb. 18]. Laguna Beach is one of my favorite places to spend leisure time, but of late the level of traffic noise on Coast Highway and in Laguna Canyon on weekends is noticeably worse.

What are the biggest noise polluters of all? Motorcycles with illegal modified exhaust systems. Can anyone explain to me why, if I drove a car without an effective muffler I would instantly get a ticket, but somehow motorcycle riders are exempt? There are laws on the books that limit motorcycle noise levels, just like any other motor vehicle. It's time the laws were enforced. I am a motorcyclist myself, by the way, but I have no respect for fellow riders who are inconsiderate noise polluters.

Dale Andrew

Fallbrook

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Get government off people's backs

I really related to Noel Lashley's letter last week, "All these rules are ruining the city" [Coastline Pilot, Feb. 18]. He could have easily expanded it to the whole nanny-state government, especially California. His mentioning of government needlessly closing off much of the California coast to fishing was a perfect example of the nanny-state government at work; in this case driven by environmental extremists.

Lashley pretty much covered it when he wrote, "Of course I don't want anarchy in this town, but I don't want to live in a Communist régime either." When you want a government powerful enough to do everything for you, remember it is also powerful enough to do everything to you, and it will. The federal government's job is to protect the country and its citizens. On a lesser scale, protecting the citizens from external forces is the job of all local governments. It is not government's prime job to control and regulate us, nor protect us from ourselves

Dave Connell

Laguna Beach

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I know of a way to reduce the national debt. It is for the government to sell some of the real estate now used by the military. One [way] is to sell to private real estate investors [one of] the most pristine real estate locations in Southern California. This is the land between San Onofre and Oceanside, used by the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton.

If sold in pieces to private real estate companies or the general public, it would over the years create another great city and reduce the national debt by tens of billions of dollars. The government could send the Marines to other military locations in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and other places. Similar (in a small way) was when the Irvine Co. sold parcels of land between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach. Now, after a few years, it's a community called Pelican Hill.

Ross B. Wankier

Laguna Beach

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City should foster skateboarding as a sport

Roger Carter, a Laguna Beach resident and sports/civic activist for decades, had his letter published ["Plan to restrict skateboarding 'insane'," Feb. 11, Coastline Pilot] stating the egregious sanctions the city and its law enforcement are imposing upon K-12 skateboarders. Kalos Kagathos Foundation's sports cultural exchanges have, since the '60s, introduced skateboarding throughout the world, fostered by Laguna Beach middle and high school teams representing the USA.

Laguna Beach has a sad history of making skateboarding an untouchable: jailing a 10-year-old for skating down Temple Hills when it was an undeveloped, open space paradise.

Laguna middle schooler Jessie Roach was a national champion, sharpening his skills along Park Avenue's Alpine peaks.

Costa Mesa has scheduled mobile skate parks and on school campuses, providing instruction, training and contests. Kalos Kagathos Foundation has officially proposed to City Council and its Recreation Committee: rather than banning the impossible to enforce, let us foster skateboarding as a legitimate sport and recreation, imprinting the disciplines of mind and body, integrated with the social and cultural legacy of an internationally-acclaimed art colony.

Bruce Hopping

Laguna Beach

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Community shut out of school track

The Laguna Beach Unified School District has closed the high school track and field to the public during school hours. If you are angry or upset about this decision, please do two things:

1. Show up at 6:15 p.m. sharp for the March 8 school board meeting to register your opposition to the new school policy.

2. Send an e-mail to openthetrack@yahoo.com to join a group of grassroots activists on this important issue.

Here's the background on the school board's decision: Five years ago, Don Austin came in as the new high school principal and immediately began a crusade to shut down the track — despite a decades-long history of harmony between the school and the community.

Since that time, Austin has lobbied hard for the closure; and with the appointment of a new superintendent, Sherine Smith, in July — also unfamiliar with the ways of Laguna — Austin convinced her and the board to shut out the community.

What's shameless is the scare tactics being employed. Citing some dark, nebulous safety threat — again, despite no major issues in decades of use — the board has bought into this Draconian lockout.

If Austin's boogeymen were real, of course, the board would have closed the track and field entirely, even during after school hours when there are a lot more students using the facility.

All the complaints raised by Austin can be handled through alternative means other than a lockout. (Ironically, many high school students are also upset at the Austin lockdown.)

Peter Navarro

Laguna Beach

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