I don't know Peter Navarro, nor where he gets his information, but I have to strongly disagree with his negative assessment when describing "sad sack incumbents" in the paper, (Mailbag: "'Sad sack incumbents' in power," Dec. 16).
As a Laguna Beach resident of close to 50 years, I have seen many City Council members come and go. However, in recent years I have not been very involved with our local politics.
Therefore, on a relatively bipartisan basis, in the last two to three years I have personally had the privilege to observe both Jane Egly and Verna Rollinger as they continue to be the only two council members who attend our monthly council-created Complete Streets Task Force meetings. In this capacity, they are looked upon with respect and as reliable resources of information.
For the curious, Complete Streets encompasses federal legislation that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2011, of which all cities need be aware, as it affects any new future planning relative to accommodations for non-automobile means of mobility (buses, pedestrians, cyclists, etc.).
It also includes possible implementation of funding sources. Laguna has recently allocated $300,000 for related Complete Streets studies and improvements. Some cities, such as Durango, Colo., have even created a city managerial position (called multimodal coordinator) solely to oversee/coordinate non-auto types of mobility with city planners.
Egly and Rollinger have demonstrated a basic knowledge of this information as well as a willingness to learn. When in attendance, they make cogent contributions, exhibiting their grasp of city-related matters and responsibilities.
Kudos, not insulting language, is in order from this observer for Egly and Rollinger.
A note of thanks to two Lagunans
At this time of year I need to give a shout of "thank you" to two Laguna Beach people that saved my life this year.
First to my vascular surgeon, Dr. Michael Coccia, for literally saving my life by cleaning out a blocked carotid artery. And to Mo Bonakar, owner of Laguna Auto Service Center, which is the most honest and competent auto service center I have ever encountered, for saving my mobility life this past year.
A more than sincere and public thank you to both.
Michael J. Ahern
Strangers generosity helps out families
Community support for the Laguna Day Worker Center in Laguna Canyon is shown in various ways during the year, from the church ladies who bring lunch every Wednesday to the folks who drop off surplus food and clothes on weekends.
And every Christmas, people make special efforts to help the day laborers who gather in Laguna Beach. This year a gentleman showed up at the site and gave the staff $2,000 and asked them to distribute it and thanked the men for being models of hard workers supporting their families. A lot of people had a better Christmas because of his generosity.
So thank you, kind stranger. Your anonymity is safe with us, but your charity will echo through the community for a long time.
The writer is the chairman of the Crosscultural Council.