Mailbag: Health issues force rent hike

In the interest of publishing correct information, may I draw your attention to an article ["Gallery to close doors," Coastline Pilot, April 8] in which it was stated, "Esther Wells Collection owner says a 38% rent increase was too much to stay open."

May I point out the true facts? The tenant was on a month-to-month basis for at least the past two years and paid rents of 10% of gross sales each month. The lowest [of these] being $50 for the entire month of January 2011 while the annual rent was $9,137.82 for 2010.

Rest assured I would not have closed the gallery if I had not been the victim of ill health.

Richard B. Challis

Laguna Beach


Baptism undone 80-plus years later

I was born 83 years ago. Sixty-six days later I was dunked, kicking and screaming, into a baptismal font. I was not mature enough to understand or condone being baptized, but it happened anyway. Is that child (baby) abuse? Why couldn't it have waited until I reached the age of understanding and consent?

Recently I learned that the Freedom From Religion Foundation ( offers a DeBaptismal Certificate, and I secured one and knowingly consented to sign it. Now I am officially debaptised.

Niko Theris

Laguna Beach


Marine base sale could reduce debt

Did you know the U.S. will reach its borrowing limit this year of a default of a record $1.5 trillion? Some politicians suggest that reducing the spending of the military is one way [to reduce the debt]. The government could sell the pristine land now used by Camp Pendleton, located between San Onofre and Oceanside. Many builders would be anxious to buy some of the ocean view land. In a few years the money from the sale would reduce the U.S. debt substantially. Move the Marines to other existing military locations in California, Arizona and other states.

Ross Wankier

Laguna Beach


Enjoy West Street this summer

At noon on Memorial Day, there was a large crowd at South Laguna's internationally known gay-lesbian beach, West Street. Three volleyball courts were busy with two decorated with American flags. As the afternoon passed, the crowd got bigger on what is Laguna's largest expanse of sand. Remember, in early July free summer trolleys and buses run daily from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. from the downtown bus terminal to Crown Valley Parkway.

Many people park in town on a residential street, walk to Coast Highway and take them to the West Street bus stop, and if you have no car, OCTA's big buses stop from early morning until early evening hours at West Street, starting off from Seventh and Channel in Long Beach and going to South San Clemente. A short walk north will take you to the new Sands Cafe on the sand at Aliso Beach and other cafes include the Vienna cafe, Papa's Taco's, El Coyote, the Thai Cafe at the Third Street signal south of West Street and the donut shop.

The Village Green park one block north of Eaglerock Street and one block east of Coast Highway has picnic tables and a large expanse of grass, and from Aliso Beach you can walk to the Aliso Creek Inn and 9 hole golf course in picturesque Aliso Canyon. Come one, come all. Warm weather will see friendly, summer crowds at West Street beach and Fourth of July and Labor Day will see even more people at South Laguna's West Street beach.

Roger Carter

Laguna Beach

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