Mailbag: Off-season lifeguards essential to saving lives

To cut the permanent staff of lifeguards in Newport Beach as a guise for saving money is the stupidest thing I have ever heard ("Off-season lifeguards may be reduced," April 19). Between Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, Chief Mike Morgan and City Manager Dave Kiff, they have no ocean lifeguarding experience.

I was a 32-year lifeguard in Newport Beach. I have been a tower guard, boat deckhand, boat operator, lieutenant, captain, battalion chief. I was the agency certification chairperson for the United States Lifesaving Assn. and have a master's degree in public administration.

I spent my life helping build the Newport lifeguards into one of finest lifeguarding organizations in the U.S. To discount the value of lifeguards in the off season is short-sighted. I have participated in and observed many rescues in the off season that had it not been for the permanent lifeguard, those people would have died.

It was an off-season lifeguard who saw Newport paramedic Brian Slater floating face down in the water, responded, rolled him over and he is alive today because of an "off-season" lifeguard. If this is the value you people place on protection of Newport's beaches, you don't belong in Newport Beach.

Dave Kiff, go back to Laguna. Mike Morgan, go back to L.A. County with your bloated pension. And Leslie Daigle, your constituents should recall you. Swim near a lifeguard, if there is one!

Eric A. Bauer

Lifeguard battalion chief, retired, Newport Beach

Huntington Beach

Editor's note: This comment originally appeared online and was verified later as a letter to the editor.


A tribute to Vi Cowden

Vi Cowden passed away April 10 at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach ("Female pilot was 'national treasure,' 'an inspiration'," April 15). Vi was one of Huntington Beach's most courageous women. She flew military planes and delivered them from the West Coast to the East Coast during World War II. She was a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP. She received many awards and a Congressional Gold Medal — the highest military honor, awarded in 2010.

She also parachuted at 89 years old. When her granddaughter asked her, "How was it?"she answered, "I didn't want to come down." She was extremely active in all efforts to make Huntington Beach a cleaner, safer and healthier city to live in. She joined the Bolsa Chica Land Trust, cleaning the beach for 10 years every Monday from November to March.

Vi was a Huntington Beach treasure.

Eileen Murphy

Huntington Beach


Planned Parenthood provides vital services

Re: Peggy Normandie's letter of April 8 ("View opposing Planned Parenthood funding"): Normandie's letter falsely asserts that abortion is 98% of Planned Parenthood services. Well, not even close. The real number is 3%. And, if one is against abortion, then why wouldn't you want Planned Parenthood to continue offering its contraception services so abortions are avoided? In any case, per current federal law, no abortions are funded with taxpayer money.

That's fair enough. But let's also remember that abortion is legal. Planned Parenthood is under assault with a campaign of lies and untruths. The truth is that they are the main and only health service that many poor women will ever see, and the health services and cancer screenings they receive are vital. Contraceptives prevent unwanted pregnancies and therefore abortions.

I don't mind people expressing their opinion. I just want them to tell the truth while they are doing it. Check your facts, Normandie.

Anne Earhart

Laguna Beach

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