Thank you for publishing the story, "Documentary explores grandparent visitation rights," (Sept. 8) about a little-known issue that seems to be a growing problem affecting many families in Orange County and beyond. I am a doting grandparent who enjoys a strong bond with my grandson, however, I do have friends who have been alienated from their grandchildren.
I cannot imagine the heartbreak that they endure and will continue to support them in any way that I can. Fortunately, they founded the Advocates for Grandparents organization, with its local support group, which has been a godsend, because of their resources and community outreach.
I found the film "A Precious Bond" a touching tribute and vital reminder about the importance of preserving the grandparent-grandchild bond. I completely agree with the quote, "You don't think you can love anyone more than your children, until you have a grandchild."
CdM fire rings
Sometimes it seems like journalists want to inflame the public rather than inform. Take the headline, "Fire ring application is incomplete," (Sept. 9, 2012).
How can this be deemed newsworthy when the columnist's source made it clear he's "given the new information only a cursory look?" It scares me when journalism becomes subjective — interpreting and speculating rather than actively seeking all the information at hand. The city's documentation is public record and it includes a lot more information about health effects of wood smoke than Amy Senk has reported.
Beyond a cursory look there is overwhelming evidence that wood smoke is harmful to human health. Experts say the smoke from beach fires accumulates under an inversion layer, creating a health hazard that can be equivalent to smoking a pack or more of cigarettes. Sources such as the Air Quality Management District have expressed concern about exposure to particulate matter caused by burning wood in the beach fire pits in Newport Beach.
The California Coastal Commission carefully notes that this is an important issue. After all, public health is at stake. Reporting presumptions based on a cursory look seems more intended to inflame than inform.
Corona del Mar
405 toll lanes
I cringed when I read Huntington Beach Mayor Don Hansen's commentary ("Add capacity to the congested 405 Freeway," Sept. 9, 2012) trying to use the 91 Toll Road as a successful model to copy for use on the San Diego (405) Freeway.
This public-private partnership ended in a disaster seven short years after it started and the Orange County Transportation Agency bought it in 2002. Eventually, the 73 Toll Road Agency had to merge with the 91 Toll Road Agency to prevent it from going under.
To make a toll road work next to a "free" way, the freeway needs to be in gridlock to create a pain point so the driver is willing to pay for the toll. Yes, there is a "non-compete" agreement, that actually prevents improvements on the 91 on a 30-mile stretch of the 91 to make a 10 mile toll road "work." This explains both the gridlock, and the huge undeveloped right-a-way on the 91 just east of the Costa Mesa (55) Freeway.
Don, you really want to create contractual perpetual gridlock on the 405? The last time I filled my vehicle, I paid $18 in taxes. I'm with Costa Mesa Mayor Eric Bever on this one: "Stop the south county Lexus lanes."