Sounding Off: Both sides need to settle down over Bolsa Chica mesa

I am responding to the various and sundry letters published by the Independent on the general subject of the work being done on the Bolsa Chica mesa, its possible (mis)management by Bolsa Chica Land Trust folk and commentary/reportage by Lou Murray on her accidental discovery of water drained from hardpan soils.

First off, I believe that all parties involved in this (now) silly brouhaha over who did what and when and why must recognize that an open public meeting forum was the required modus operandi by the Land Trust. The possible secrecy — lack of openness to the community-at-large — would have avoided the rhetorical explosions both ways.

As one of hundreds of community activists of past years on the Bolsa Chica issue, saving all 1,700-plus acres and doing a college paper on the subject, I am disgusted at the current personal attacks against a "columnist" working for the Independent, and doing a fine job as far as this observer is concerned. Her "accidental" entry into this quagmire, and her persistence in getting to the bottom of her discoveries on dry/wet ground, is journalistic detail that she need not have followed up on, but she did, and she gets the watchdog award of the year from these quarters. Murray, thank you.

Lastly, I totally object to Julie Bixby's suggestion that Murray be cut off by Independent editors ("Columnist went too far at mesa meeting," Sounding Off, March 24). What? Censorship at its baldest, people. Totally inappropriate and mean-spirited.

Huntington Beach is a unique Orange County community. Its geography and land mass characteristics (and oil) have been a target for negative exploitation for more than 100 years. To those of us who have worked so hard and long to "save it, don't pave it" — let us enjoy what we have been able to accomplish. No more squabbling over who did what and who should be getting credit, etc. Let us simply do the job and do it right — the first time. No redos, please.

Only one question to end this: Do we know where the dollars will be coming from, and is it a certain source? I have a feeling that "free volunteerism" of the Huntington Beach community will be the call of the day.

ANNE JEAN SPIEGEL is a Huntington Beach resident.

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