Mailbag: DUI stats should guide policy

We do not need more bars in downtown Huntington Beach ("ABC officials approve license," June 9). Our crime and DUI rates are off the charts. The taxpayers have to pay for the law enforcement costs. So, why did these folks protest the license? It's not because they had nothing better to do, but because they recognize the following pattern downtown:

1) Open a family/neighborhood restaurant.

2) Acquire a liquor license.

3) Realize most of the crowd on Bourbon Street (Main Street) are there to drink.

4) Restaurant begins to fail because it is not the "nightclub" hot spot.

5) Owner acquires an entertainment permit to improve business.

6) Restaurant morphs into a bar/nightclub to make ends meet.

7) Restaurant owner doesn't like running a club and sells the business to an experienced nightclub operator.

8) New owner acquires both the liquor license and the entertainment permit in the purchase and turns the site into a full-fledged nightclub.

How do we allow good restaurants to open downtown and prevent them from turning into a nightclub? Our policy makers need to place restrictions on the licenses to prevent this from happening. The 195 people killed or injured in HB in 2009 from DUIs is unacceptable. A policy change is in order here to allow restaurants to open but to prevent the nightclub morph from taking place.

Angela Rainsberger

Huntington Beach


Blame visitors more than vendors

Regarding "ABC officials approve license," June 9:

A few weeks ago, Mayor Joe Carchio sent a letter to downtown bars and restaurants with "proposed" and "voluntary" suggestions that he strongly suggests they "consider." However, we need Carchio and the voting majority of the City Council to take real measures to change the mindset of downtown patrons.

As downtown residents will tell you, the restaurants and bars are a small part of the problem. In reality, it is the patrons who come to party in our neighborhood who cause the problems. We need action, not lip service intended to make it sound like he is doing something.

Here are a few things that will impact the mindset of visitors:

1) Set up alcohol checkpoints on main thoroughfares exiting the downtown area on a regular basis.

2) Deploy a pair of police officers on bicycles to patrol the neighborhood on Friday and Saturday nights.

3) Work with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to conduct sting operations on restaurants and bars for overserving, free drinks and other violations of their licenses. There are restaurants that appear benign; however, they are breaking the rules. There should be unilateral testing of all alcohol establishments' practices regardless of whether they appear to be creating problems.

David Rice

Huntington Beach


Bolsa Chica still not pristine

In regards to Chris Epting's article "Wetlands indicate where we're headed" (In the Pipeline, June 16), we at the Bolsa Chica Land Trust applaud the attention he is giving to the issue of law enforcement of the reserve.

It is this community that saved Bolsa Chica from rampant development, and it is up to this community to continue to work to restore it, protect it and educate the public on its importance. This is the mission statement for the Bolsa Chica Land Trust and our guiding principles. The situation with the homeless setting up camp, abuse of the natural and cultural resources and disregard for the rules of the reserve are an unfortunate result of the stressors our society places on all of our remaining open spaces.

We are working with the Department of Fish and Game to keep Bolsa Chica safe for visitors and wildlife alike. The Land Trust's restoration plans for the mesa will bring more responsible eyes to the mesa and hopefully a decrease in these types of unwanted activities. At times, it is hard to look beyond the ugliness that people can inflict, but none of the work this community has done, and is continuing to do, to save Bolsa Chica is in vain. Of this we are assured as we revel in the natural beauty that is there. Bolsa Chica has come a long way, and the journey is far from over.

Carrie Thomas

Huntington Beach

Editor's note: Thomas is the vice president of the Bolsa Chica Land Trust.


Too many interests in this community

I am writing as an elected and reelected public school trustee in a public school district that covers Seal Beach, Westminster, Fountain Valley, Midway City and Huntington Beach. And I am writing on behalf of myself and nobody else to express my grave concerns about the recently published redistricting maps being proposed for our communities ("New district lines would combine areas," June 16).

I believe in the legal precedent for redistricting of "communities of interest." School districts are bound by the historic geographic land boundaries of communities served; congressional districts carry no such underlying requirement. Instead, the law suggests that "communities of interest" be identified and bound together into congressional districts that best represent those communities. I believe that the communities of Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Huntington Beach, Westminster and Fountain Valley possess broad and comprehensive common interests best represented by the same congressional seat.

As an elected public official serving the citizens of Fountain Valley, I do not believe Fountain Valley has a "community of interest" in Santa Ana and Garden Grove. The proposed "Orange County Coast" district stretching from Laguna Niguel to Seal Beach also stretches the limits of "community of interest" to the breaking point. Huntington Beach has far less in common with Laguna Niguel and far more in common with Fountain Valley. I strongly oppose the proposed redistricting map most recently promulgated by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

And I strongly endorse a compact district in the northwest corner of Orange County that includes the "communities of interest" of Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Stanton, Westminster, Midway City, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Rossmoor.

John Briscoe

Huntington Beach

Editor's note: Briscoe is a trustee for the Ocean View School District.

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