Mailbag: Bolsa Chica going to the dogs

Thank you, Chris Epting, for your story on dogs at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve ("The O'Reilly factor is at Bolsa Chica," In the Pipeline, Feb. 23).

As you said, there are many responsible dog owners, but the irresponsible owners leave their mark — or should I say, they leave their dogs' mark. I walk a great deal in HB and our sidewalks and parks are littered with what dogs leave behind.

I will go to the park with my granddaughter and I have to check it out before I can let her use the play area. I watched in horror as a dog owner allowed her dog to relieve himself in the sandy area under the slide where my granddaughter usually played. I said something to the dog owner and the words I got back at me — in front of my granddaughter — could not be printed in this newspaper.

I hope these owners see themselves in this letter and try and do the right thing — that is, every time they walk their dogs and not only when someone is watching.

Mike Jones

Huntington Beach

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Visit Tampa for Poseidon truth

Poseidon Resources' only desalination project, in Tampa Bay, was completed by Tampa Bay Water after Poseidon encountered financial problems before completing that task. Tampa Bay finished building the plant according to Poseidon's design.

Initial testing revealed substantial design problems. Millions were spent redesigning the plant only to end up with a desalination facility that still could not meet its 25-million-gallons-a-day promise and water that was too expensive to produce except in the darkest days of Tampa's water needs.

Poseidon fled the East Coast and prayed that people in California would not know what was going on in Florida. Unfortunately, for California residents, their gamble may pay off. With the Independent covering the story locally, people will never know about Poseidon's financial woes and their lobbying of public officials. The public will be fed only an endless blather of Poseidon's press releases mixed with minimal and selected quotes from those with opposing views.

John Scott

Huntington Beach

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Belated kudos to second winner

Come on, Michael Miller — be a graceful loser. On Jan. 25, you promised a mention in your column to the top vote getter in your Oscar picking contest ("The Oscar contest is on," City Lights), and in your Feb. 29 column ("Oscar picks not incredibly close," City Lights), you stated that there were "two winners of the Independent's Oscar pool" while only naming one. The other winner was my son, Owen Essen, who also picked five out of six of the top awards. Time to admit to your readers that you were crushed by a high school student.

In fairness to Michael, Owen has been studying and making films most of his life, including, at age 15, his eerie short "Strangers." He is an accomplished and perceptive actor, teaches filmmaking at his high school and founded a movie trailer website. As a 16-year-old, Owen wrote the script for a feature-length indie Western that is one of his current projects. Check out what he calls a "concept art reel" at FringeTheMovie.com. Last summer, he shot footage for the mock trailer. Stay tuned.

Owen is interested in all aspects of filmmaking and reads numerous trade and technical magazines. The family Oscar pool he created covers all 24 categories and in the minor categories, Owen predicted nine out of 18 winners correctly.

Erick Essen

Chapel Hill, N.C.

Editor's note: My apologies for leaving Owen's name out! I was waiting for an email back about his city of residence and must have overlooked it when it arrived. But yes, I will gladly admit that I was crushed by a high school student, and I hope to predict Owen for a Best Director win in the future.

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