Kudos to the Coastline Pilot for your editorial about the local effects of global climate change, "Editorial: Washing away our revenue," Sept. 16. There seems to be an effective embargo about even mentioning global warming these days.
Politicians mock science and liken themselves to Galileo, har har, yet take the word of naysayers and accuse scientists of getting rich off their research grants, har har again. The folks who get their information from faux news outlets are just listening to the latest chapter from the same playbook the tobacco industry used. Confuse and delay while we continue making huge profits. When did spending $100 dollars for a tank of gas become the American dream? When did wasting energy and destroying our planet become a conservative value? Both parties ignore this at our collective peril.
The question shouldn't be how much will it cost us to do something about global warming, but how much will it cost us not to do something about global warming? You mention possible local sea rise of 55 inches. How much do you think that will cost? Vermont, of all places, has racked up $1 billion dollars in damages from a tropical storm. And I haven't even mentioned this year's tornadoes or the drought. How much will those disasters cost us? A lot. I hope my grandchildren don't look at me one day and ask why we didn't do anything to stop global warming.
I am sure you will receive a lot of letters disputing your editorial. I have one simple fact. The ocean is filling up with carbon we have emitted by burning fossil fuel. This is changing the pH of the ocean and destroying the ability of plankton, which makes most of our atmosphere's oxygen, to produce that oxygen. And forget about coral reefs. They won't be able to form their calcium skeletons in the acidic water.
We need some common sense here. Global climate change is happening. Our inefficient use of energy is to blame. What are we going to do about it?
Fight for views could have used some help
In response to Gene Gratz's Mailbag letter, "Writing is cheap; action is what counts," Sept. 16, I can only say where were you in 1993 and '94?
Way back in 1992, a group was formed by Frank Visca to research view ordinances all up and down the California coast to see if any would be suitable for Laguna. Around 1994, I joined this hard-working group of dedicated citizens and we wrote a draft view preservation ordinance specifically for our unique Laguna topography and issues. It took a lot of time and countless meetings to research and write this proposed view preservation ordinance and present it to the city for consideration.
In that same period, this same group circulated an informal petition asking for the city to adopt our proposed ordinance. Even though we were a small group, we obtained more than 2,000 names in no time. Several meetings were held with the City Council and they assigned it to the Planning Commission for evaluation. When they presented their recommendations to the council we filled the chambers to overflowing with supporters.
Long story short, a very influential, well-known organization took it upon themselves to oppose our efforts with all their power, so all we finally got was a watered down view preservation ordinance that has no teeth. Thanks to certain council members, there were two reasonably good spinoffs. One was that the landscape plans are now supposed to take into account view preservation. The second was the hedge ordinance.
Those of us that led this years-long fight could have used your help and the help of all the others who have lost, and will lose, their once wonderful views.
Proud of what Village Laguna did for our city
It was with a great sense of pride that I read your fine editorial on the 40th anniversary of the anti high-rise initiative, "Editorial: Activists played key role," Sept. 9. You captured in just a few perfect words the impact a small number of local citizens can make to our lives. Indeed, had Arnold Hano and other "Villagers" not taken a stand for Laguna back then, we would be living in a different environment now.
Just imagine the beach side of Coast Highway studded with high-rise hotels and condominiums as far as the eye could see? Imagine the auto congestion and pollution such uncontrolled building would have generated. Imagine Laguna as Miami Beach!
Laguna is lucky to have had a generation of Villagers fight to preserve its character and neighborhoods 40 years ago. Will there be a new generation of "Villagers" present when we face the next big challenge?
Column provides local color, insight
I read David Hansen's column online last week and loved it, "Canyon is its own world," Sept. 30. It is beautifully written, so colorful. It reminds me of a journalist from Missouri who compiled his newspaper essays about colorful local characters, places and customs them into a book, which was wonderful. I loved reading it.
I will have to map out the way to Laguna Canyon and take a drive there one day soon to see it for myself. One Saturday I drove to Malibu Canyon and had the wonderful serendipitous adventure of meeting "Pearl the Wonder Horse" — a perfect miniature gray and white pinto with pristine pink hooves who was walking up the canyon road with her owner.
I pulled over, got out, introduced myself and had the thrill of stroking this little creature and learning about her special qualities. Pearl makes weekly trips to the veterans hospital in her Pearl-mobile to cheer up injured vets. She spends the entire day there, going into their rooms and providing gentle therapy sessions.
The best thing in the world is to look around and see what lies in our own backyards. So exciting! Thank you for your wonderful profile of Laguna Canyon.
Charges against Irvine 11 was unnecessary
Historically, county district attorneys have demurred from pursuing legal action against University of California students in cases of alleged minor crimes and misdemeanors when these incidents occur on university property. Instead, they have appropriately elected to honor the well-enumerated due process procedures in place at each of the UC campuses.
In the case of the so-called 'Irvine 11,' UC Irvine officials promptly investigated charges that a small group of students disrupted a speech by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. In this matter, UCI found the students in violation of campus policies and meted out punishments both against the individuals and their organization, the Muslim Student Union. Conventional wisdom and historical precedent would suggest that the matter had been handled appropriately.
The nagging question is why did Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas feel compelled to jump on this case and, in so doing, assign his chief homicide prosecutor to vigorously pursue misdemeanor charges against 11 students with no prior records and who were clearly no threat to society?