Mailbag: Skateboarding debate goes downhill

A letter writer recently wrote a secondhand report (apparently she wasn't there) concerning two seventh-grade skateboarders who allege that a black Mercedes tried to hit them on Skyline Drive on March 28. If that actually happened, it is not noted in the Police Files on page A8, which list reports for March 28, ranging from a fatal crash on Broadway to a stray goat on Dunning Drive. Rather than taking it up with the police, the writer prefers to engage in a potentially libelous smear asking, "Is the driver possibly a member of Speedboarders Neighborhood Action Group?"

The reality of the skateboarding issue in Laguna is more responsibly described in the April 2 New York Times by Ian Lovett. Referring to 14-year-old Chance Gaul, Lovett writes "[w]hile Porsches and Mercedes-Benzes precariously descend the windy canyon roads here at 25 miles per hour, Chance bombs down at 40, sometimes even 60 mph on his skateboard, savoring the sea breeze on his face."

That's the kind of problem that leads to near misses between cars and skateboarders in Laguna Beach.

Manfred E. Wolff

Laguna Beach

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Skateboarders should run for council

It would be great if the skateboard families who dealt with the Laguna Beach City Council in a patient and civil manner could find someone who has the time and energy to run for City Council in the next election. The parents and children not only spoke well at several long council meetings but contributed literature, ran interesting page ads in local newspapers and also used the well-known decal, "Skateboarding is not a crime." These people are a big part of today's Laguna Beach, so why shouldn't they have their own candidate for City Council? I say, go for it!

Roger Carter

Laguna Beach

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No need for silly 'cat calls'

I really feel the need to respond to a phenomenally ridiculous posting in the Coastline Pilot Police Files of April 1, 20911. As a human owned by two cats, I couldn't help but be amused by the individual who actually called the police to report the "premeditated poo" by his neighbor's cat. I'm sure our Police Department has much better things to do than monitor the actions of a cat and where it decides to evacuate its bowels.

Kerry Strickler

Laguna Beach

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Give other contestants a chance

I am writing as a concerned citizen in regards to the annual Laguna Beach Library contest. The same contestants have won just as annually as the contest being held. As this is a diverse and growing community of many cultures and voices, I feel that this bias toward a few is an injustice to our art-oriented community. There is a growing concern about bias and pre-selection by those overseeing. This contest should belong to the community, not a few elite.

Patrick Collins

Laguna Beach

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Clergy support Planned Parenthood

We write as leaders of faith in Orange County who profoundly care about our community. As clergy, we have a unique perspective on the lives of women, men and families. In recent years especially, we've seen our congregants lose their jobs — and their health insurance — making it very difficult to access and afford basic healthcare.

Planned Parenthood serves these families when they have nowhere else to turn and plays a vital role in the health care of our community. We know that if one of our congregants needs care, we can count on Planned Parenthood to provide them with quality services and compassion.

Last year Planned Parenthood provided family planning services to 70,433 women and men in Orange and San Bernardino counties. It is among the most trusted brand names in Orange County precisely because of the quality service they provide our community. Through Title X funding, signed into law by President Nixon in 1970, Planned Parenthood is able to ensure that women like the 14,607 who received breast exams at their local health centers in the past year continue to have access to life-saving preventative care. We thank God for their presence in our community.

This is why we are very disappointed with the vote taken by the U.S. House of Representatives, which strips millions of American women of access to basic preventative health care by eliminating Title X and defunding Planned Parenthood. We hope that our representatives in Washington will put basic health services and the common good above personal ideologies and remember these women, men and families when deciding on a final budget.

The Rev. Dr. Gary Barmore and the Rev. Sarah Halverson

Fairview Community Church

Costa Mesa

The Rev. Holly Reinhart-Marean

Christ Church by the Sea (United Methodist Church)

Newport Beach

The Rev. Dr. Karen Stoyanoff

Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church

The Rev. Elizabeth Griswold

Irvine United Congregational Church

Irvine

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View opposing Planned Parenthood funding

First, let's be clear that Planned Parenthood is a rich organization in its own right and does not need government funds. It does not need the $360 million in taxpayer money it receives annually to underwrite its lucrative operations. According to its most current published annual report, Planned Parenthood has nearly $1 billion in net assets, which is only the tip of the iceberg.

Where do their profits come from? They come from abortions. According to their own annual report, abortions account for 98% of the health-care services they provide to their clients. Increased government funding has only begotten increased numbers of abortions in their clinics.

Is this the kind of "vital health care" that the clergy are referring to in their letter? Be assured, primary care is not on the Planned Parenthood agenda. At last report, it provided primary care to about 19,700 of its 3 million clients. Woman seeking affordable health care, STI testing or cancer screening have many viable options in this country through federally qualified health centers, as well as through authentically concerned and generous doctors and clinics throughout the country. Here in Orange County, Birth Choice Health Clinics, founded and fueled by the goodness of Kathleen Eaton, provide comprehensive testing and screening as well as compassionate intelligent counseling for women in compromised situations.

Planned Parenthood has deceived many otherwise smart and concerned modern Americans who feel that in defending the abortion epidemic they are defending a woman's right to health care. But, in truth, when stripped of its socially progressive wrapping, abortion is a degrading and disgusting practice that violates the very core of individual freedom. It may be legal, but it does not deserve American tax dollars.

Peggy Normandin

Costa Mesa

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