Mailbag: Now is not the time to ban bags

Broc Coward's treatise is excellent, save one major issue that he chooses to ignore — the timing is all wrong, just as are Alaska oil and Wyoming shale restrictions, stricter Environmental Protection Agency industry requirements, tougher auto gas mileage rules, green jobs and the like ("Community Commentary: Huntington Beach made right call on bags," Sept. 22).

I'm sure he thinks cleanup costs will be reduced but there are always unintended consequences. And we always seem to legislate frivolous stuff at times like this instead of facing the difficult issues when our City Council and the country's direction ought to be focused on people's economic lives, job creation and preservation, improving the economy, eliminating home foreclosures, curtailing our wrong-headed tax structures, education improvements, etc., mostly to be accomplished without huge government financial intervention for which we will pay for generations.

And I for one will simply shop in Seal Beach, or a city with some sense of reality. Given enough of us, it will cost Huntington Beach jobs, revenue and perhaps some City Council changes. There's a right time for everything, and that is not now for this very poor judgment ban, given human proclivity.

Rick Taylor

Huntington Beach

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Try giving up animal products this month

October is turning into "food" month, beginning with World Vegetarian Day and World Farm Animals Day on Oct. 1 and 2, continuing with World Food Day on Oct. 16, and culminating with Food Day on Oct. 24.

World Farm Animals Day (www.WFAD.org) is perhaps the most dramatic of these observances. It celebrates the lives, exposes the abuses, and mourns the slaughter of billions of sentient animals raised for food. Recent undercover investigations showed male baby chicks suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground to death, pigs clobbered with metal pipes, and cattle skinned and dismembered while still conscious.

Numerous studies have linked consumption of animal products with elevated risk of chronic killer diseases. Animal agriculture accounts for more water pollution than any other human activities. A 2007 United Nations report blamed it for 18% of greenhouse gases.

No humane welfare reform proposed thus far has alleviated the suffering of a single animal. Improvements in medical and environmental technology cannot possibly keep pace with the devastating impacts of meat consumption.

The good news is that dropping animals from our menus works beautifully on all these counts. Lots of recipes and helpful hints are at http://www.tryveg.com.

Harold Undell

Huntington Beach

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Ban bag is going to make shopping hard

So the city of Huntington Beach wants to make it even more inconvenient to shop in our city by banning plastic grocery bags and adding a 10-cent/bag fee (tax) for paper bags for those who need them ("Council votes to create ordinance banning single-use plastic bags," Aug. 18). The stated purpose is to have less plastic bags on city beaches, requiring less money to clean up.

But the math doesn't add up: There are 189,992 (2010 Census) residents in Huntington and more than 16 million beach visitors a year. Even those who failed high school math are smart enough to figure out all those bags aren't coming from locals but from visitors bringing their bags from other cities. The city should raise the parking fees because the locals know where to park for free and visitors can help pay to clean up the bags.

All kidding aside, the ban will do nothing but make it more of a pain to shop in Huntington. If people prone to littering can't get free bags with their groceries, they'll just buy some and leave them behind anyway! Council members Connie Boardman, Joe Shaw, Devin Dwyer and Keith Bohr may feel good about themselves, but they'll only have annoyed voters who have to pay for bags when they stop for groceries on the way home from work because they forgot their reusable bags.

If you want to help fight City Hall and prevent Huntington from becoming Serf City, leave a voicemail for Boardman, Shaw, Dwyer and Bohr at (714) 536-5553 and tell them to leave your bags alone! There's still time — you can make a difference!

Robert and Helena Foutz

Huntington Beach

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Taxpayer group crosses line with Sunset support

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Assn. is risking a great deal, aiding the citizens group in Sunset Beach ("Advocacy group supports Sunset Beach independence," Sept. 29).

Many folks, like us, who have supported Jarvis with our donations, will think twice before sending them more money. Why should Jarvis use our money to support a group who wishes to freeload, enjoying their beachfront and beach-area homes, depending on the county to provide their fire, police and educational services, and who now will be required to pay their fair share, just like the rest of us who have paid our share for these services all along?

The folks at Jarvis need to be told we already have the American Civil Liberties Union, and they should concentrate on their original mission to control local and state governments' never-ending thirst for increased revenue.

Barkley and Lea Yarborough

Huntington Beach

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Surfrider donation swayed council's vote

The Huntington Beach City Council voted to spend upward of $40,000 in the total costs of an environmental impact report in the banning of the use of plastic bags — more needless regulation and expense for residents.

Councilwoman Connie Boardman boasted that the city would receive $3,000 in funds from Surfrider for the purpose, and that the Surfrider Foundation was the only organization that has offered up such funds in supporting their cause. Boardman, perhaps the folks who don't offer up such funds might be concerned about an illegal transaction called bribery.

If I offered the City Council $5,000 to vote no on the matter, would that be called bribery? Does the fact that it was done publicly, and made out to the city of Huntington Beach nullify the impropriety that the $3,000 check from Surfrider affected the outcome of the vote? Boardman even posed with officials from Surfrider with an enlarged facsimile of the check before the vote was taken.

Maybe there are no such laws that exist in the city of Huntington Beach to protect citizens from legislative outcomes. Simple me!

Shirley W. Orlando

Huntington Beach

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