Mailbag: Solar panels have historic price

I was happy to read that the Huntington Beach City School District expects to save more than $15 million over the next 25 years in electricity costs because of the solar panels installed on five campuses in the article ("District slashes electricity costs," Jan. 26).

Personally, I have always been in favor of implementing alternative energies to save money and improve the environment. I've also been interested in preserving the intrinsic and aesthetic environmental value of our local historic landmarks, like Dwyer Middle School.

Last year when I and hundreds of other local community citizens asked the school board to reconsider the location of the solar panels at Dwyer, we were rebuffed because of the cost to move the panels to an alternative location. The board informed the community that the estimated $200,000 required to move the panels to the bus parking lot or other location not directly in front of the school was deemed too expensive.

It is also important to note that the "Chevron HBCSD Photovoltaic Assessment" used to determine the "optimal location for the panels" showed the bus parking lot at Dwyer had the highest solar rating of any of the locations with 99% exposure to the sun. Based on the district's expected cost savings, it would have cost us less than 1.7% of the total savings to both save money and preserve the aesthetic value of our historic landmark school by moving the panels to a location that most likely would have yielded even greater production of electricity.

I sure wish we would have made the investment to protect the aesthetic value of our local historic landmark school at Dwyer. Less than 1.7% of the expected savings doesn't seem "expensive" to me!

Steve West

Huntington Beach


Why no caution for Delgleize?

A recent focus of the Independent ("Bixby votes on project," Jan. 26) has been the voting record of Planning Commissioner Mark Bixby on the senior center issue.

It is interesting that no other planning commissioners received warnings from the city attorney regarding "bias," especially Chairwoman Barbara Delgleize (who has made no secret of her position on the senior center as both a candidate for City Council in 2010 and an Advisory Board member to the Council on Aging). Delgleize did vote for the EIR and the CUP for the senior center with no reservations.

It seems that the "bias" rumblings only come from one side of the argument, and that these "concerned citizens" are intent on attacking one of the fairest and most objective public servants ever to sit on the Planning Commission. Let us hope that this is not a continuing tactic by senior center supporters going into an election year.

Tim Geddes

Huntington Beach


Opposed to a 'hall for hire'

My sister and I have lived next door to the Woman's Club of Huntington Beach for 23 years ("Vote for new club delayed," Jan. 26). We moved to the neighborhood after my husband died in a car accident, hoping for a new beginning for my family. Instead, we met with an ongoing nightmare that peaked when our home was severely damaged in the fire that destroyed the clubhouse last April. We only recently moved back in.

Let us begin by saying we do not oppose the rebuilding as a meeting place for club members, but we do object to a "hall for hire." Over the years, we have endured an endless stream of out-of-control partygoers renting the clubhouse. Club members never provided oversight.

Now, the Woman's Club is asking to rebuild with a variance that would allow accommodation for only four parking spaces instead of the 73 required by the building and commercial code. Since the new club will hold up to 200 occupants, parking will certainly spill out onto the surrounding streets if this variance is approved by the Planning Commission. Residents on Ninth, 10th and 11th streets and Pecan and Orange avenues will be severely impacted as parking is already extremely limited.

Weekends are particularly difficult, as St. Mary's by the Sea Roman Catholic Church members can attest. Residents are afraid that more frequent clubhouse rental will result in more loud parties and public drunkenness plaguing our neighborhood.

We have circulated a petition and received more than 63 signatures from residents opposing the parking variance. Anyone who would like to sign the petition may call (714) 655-0709.

Jeannette Seemann

Huntington Beach

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