I've read with much amusement about the 1% who has complained the loudest about the fire rings in Corona del Mar State Beach and at the Balboa Pier.
From my long experience living on the Gold Coast for more than 50 years, as well as having been a Huntington Beach junior lifeguard for four years and an ocean lifeguard at Huntington City, Huntington State Beach, San Clemente City Beach and the Los Angeles County beaches from Redondo to Malibu for more than 14 years, the 99% deserves access to our beautiful coastline, including the enjoyment of the summer family ritual, school or church event of a barbecue and fire.
First, the facts. Corona del Mar is a state beach and not run for the benefit of the very few Ocean Avenue or flower streets families who rarely, if ever, set foot on the beach. This is not a private beach, nor do the homeowners have dominion over what transpires on the sand. The state of California has contracted with the city of Newport Beach to provide lifeguard and maintenance services and not to dictate what is in the interest of the 1% .
I've been coming daily to Big Corona State Beach for more than 25 years and rarely see local residents coming to the beach, let alone enjoying the fire pits.
Secondly, as to gang members and crime on Big Corona: Ask the Newport Beach Police Department and lifeguards for statistics. Crime on the beach is minimal. Sure, maybe you don't like the clientele who come to the beach, but these visitors are paying $25 to park and spending money in our community.
Further, they are your gardeners, your restaurant servers, your teachers, your doctors, students from UC Irvine, Vanguard University, Biola University, Chapman College, Cal States, churchgoers from Cavalry Chapel, from synagogues, mosques and other productive members of our community who work hard and enjoy their leisure time at the beach.
When was the last time a Newport resident was at the beach at 6 a.m. on a weekend to reserve a fire ring? People take the beach for granted when you have access to it every day.
Glen "The Waterman" Lindenstadt