Mailbag: Individual liberty needs to be upheld

Judge Ronald L. Bauer's order tossing the Laguna Terrace Park controversy to unelected bureaucrats on the California Coastal Commission should not escape close scrutiny ("Judge rules against owner," July 15).

Free people have a fundamental right to own and enjoy private property without interference. Indeed, the right to private property supports all other political and civil rights. The alternative is government ownership and control, which diminishes individual choice and fosters dependency and oppression.

Unfortunately, this most basic of civil rights is all too often subverted and, worse, stamped with the judiciary's approval; a sadder example that this is so can hardly be imagined. As a result of this judge's ruling, the fate of the mobile home park's owner, and those in Laguna Terrace, is fraught with uncertainty.

Members of the Coastal Commission are not accountable to the electorate, but the same cannot be said for Superior Court judges. This uninstructed order earns Bauer a "no" vote the next time he seeks reelection. Judges need to honor individual liberty, not undermine it.

Joan Mounteer

Laguna Beach

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Property owners' votes only ones that count

What? Am I understanding this correctly? The petitions for the purchase of remaining parcels of open space could be signed by any registered voter. Is this correct? Once enough required signatures are accomplished, this process would move forward. Seems logical.

However, the folks who actually will be paying for this will be property owners only, right? Something is drastically wrong with this picture. How do those who do not own property manage to vote for this? The only folks who should have any determination as to the acquisitions of these remaining parcels are the folks who will be paying for them.

This process must be changed. This method of taxation must be stopped unless registered voters who do not own property have no skin in the game. They have to put their money where their vote is.

Only $10 a month? Think about the cable, DMV, sewer, water and insurance rates that go up each year. Then add all that together.

We've got to change this procedure of how these land acquisitions get on the ballot and who will get to vote. The way it now exists is totally unfair and abusive.

James Gothard

Laguna Beach

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Don't let Laguna become like Bell

The secrecy surrounding the parcel tax is suspicious. Petition pushers have been refusing to tell possible petition signers what they are signing, instead telling them to just sign and read about it when it appears on the ballot, which is wrong.

And it was also wrong when Mayor Toni Iseman refused to listen to the Laguna Beach citizens when they attempted to learn about the THCA Pathway budget item, yet proceeded to budget $300,000 toward said item.

Are we becoming a city like Bell?

Martha Lydick

Laguna Beach

Editor's Note: Lydick is president of the Laguna Beach Taxpayers Assn.

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Hospital land deal rankles resident

Count me among many Lagunans who are profoundly disappointed and angered by Mission Hospital's last-minute preemptive action to prevent the city from acquiring nearly 8 acres of open space behind the hospital. While there probably is nothing legally wrong with it, it demonstrates contempt for our city and an apparent willingness to play hardball with potential hospital development.

I think that Mission needs to figure out that community loyalty is a two-way street. Google Maps says that Hoag Hospital is 10 miles from Laguna Beach, and Saddleback is 8. Those distances don't seem as far today as they were a few weeks ago.

John Monahan

Laguna Beach

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Obama shuts down America's space program

America takes another hit.

President Barack Obama has created another national disgrace by shutting down America's space program and has left control of space to the Russians and Chinese. Now if we need to send a scientist into space we will have to beg Russia to do it for us, and I heard Russia has already tripled the cost.

If that weren't bad enough, Obama also pushed about 10,000 of some of America's best technical minds into unemployment or into less meaningful under-employment. Yes, I know that some commercial efforts are in the works and others are planned. However, these efforts depend on using the technical know-how that already exists. The hundreds of scientific advancements that are now in common use by people and industry were the result of scientists and engineers working in our military and space industries.

Admittedly, the space shuttle is now outmoded, but it is all we have and probably will have for the foreseeable future. The shuttle and all its support equipment should be maintained and ready for use until we have new and better ships. What happens if the space station is in trouble?

Can we rely on the Russians to step up or even stay friends of a sort? How could Congress have let Obama put us at the mercy of Russia and destroy so much of our industry and so many lives with the stroke of pen? Obama and his cabal of czars ignore the Constitution and Congress and are working at full speed to turn us into an impotent third-world socialist country.

They want to do it right now just in case there is an honest election and Obama and his cabal are tossed out of office.

Dave Connell

Laguna Beach

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