Mailbag: Newport Beach needs a city motto

Should Newport Beach have a sound bite image slogan? Many other nearby cities along the coast with surroundings far less glamorous than Newport Beach have adopted them, yet we have none. In speaking to our former public information officer some time ago, I learned that when she was first hired she inquired as to whether Newport Beach had a motto. She was told, "Our city is so special and so diverse, that no slogan could possibly capture its image; therefore, we don't need one."

With our brand new Civic Center due to open at the end of 2012, quite a bit has changed since then. And a city with the cachet of Newport Beach, certainly deserves a sound bite image worthy of its stature.

Huntington Beach is now officially "Surf City" and Costa Mesa is, "The city of the Arts." The motto of Laguna Beach Visitor's Bureau is, "A resort for all seasons." Dana Point has the most clever of them all, "Harboring the good life."

Isn't it time that Newport Beach had a positive, public image motto too? And, wouldn't it be a great touch — the icing on the cake, as it were — to announce the new slogan along with its creator, concurrently with the official opening of our new Civic Center?

Here briefly, are several of my thoughts as to how it might work: The contest would be eligible to every single Newport Beach resident, including school-age children, and each participant should be allowed to submit several entries. The exact number can be determined.

It would need to be highly and repeatedly publicized in The Navigator (the city newsletter), the Daily Pilot, the Newport Beach Independent and on our local, cable TV channels — at the very least!

When it comes time for judging, in order to be completely fair and without prejudice, the entries should definitely be submitted to the ad hoc committee without names attached. It is also extremely important that all of the entries be dated, in the likelihood that the slogan ultimately selected, will have been submitted by more than one person. In that case, the person with earliest submission date will be declared the official winner.

Wendy Brooks

Newport Beach

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Not really a 'citizens' group

The Daily Pilot is grossly misled in attributing certain recent advertising and publicity to "Repair Costa Mesa, a citizens' group." The first such ad, featuring the mayor, was the work of a single individual, who invented the name "Repair Costa Mesa" and later apologized to the as-yet-unnamed citizens' group of which I am a member for making the ad appear to be something more than his own personal creation. The Daily Pilot has attributed that ad and subsequent publicity to "Repair Costa Mesa, a citizens' group." As of the present, this citizens' group has not settled on a name and has not authorized any advertising or publicity. I ask the Daily Pilot and its readers not to continue erroneously attributing the work of others to the citizens' group.

Eleanor M. Egan

Costa Mesa

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Gray's marijuana proposals

Re. "It's A Gray Area: Regulate marijuana like wine," James P. Gray column, April 9: The U.S. has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available. Decriminalization is a long overdue step in the right direction. Taxing and regulating marijuana would render the drug war obsolete. As long as organized crime controls distribution, marijuana consumers will come into contact with sellers of hard drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin. This "gateway" is a direct result of marijuana prohibition.

Robert Sharpe

Washington, D.C.

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