Mailbag: Man who removes graffiti works for common good

Re. "Graffiti buster cleans up the town," (Nov. 3): Thank you for featuring the work that Gaetano Russo does for our city. Not only is the story of the expertise he uses to eliminate graffiti enlightening, but it also shows the loyalty he feels toward Costa Mesa. Thank you, Mr. Russo.

Please make stories of our city workers an ongoing column so we can better understand their importance. Too often we have been inundated with negative attitudes from the City Council, who see these employees as a hindrance.

Rhea Dorn

Costa Mesa


I second that

Thank you for the piece on Gaetano Russo's efforts to curb graffiti in the Costa Mesa. Too often the taggings are near schools and parks, where children encounter them. And could you please publish the number for the graffiti hotline? In some areas taggings are well-reported, but in other areas graffiti remains for weeks or even months because no one in that neighborhood reports it.

Amy Litton

Costa Mesa

Editor's note: The city's graffiti hotline is (714) 754-5100, ext. 2.


Outsource to O.C. sheriff

From what the proponents of revising the present system of trash hauling here in Newport Beach proclaim: (1) We are the only city having employees do the work, and (2) we would be spending about $17 million over the next 15 years to enjoy that luxury.

I have an enormously better idea. We would not be the only city in O.C. if we contracted out to the O.C. Sheriff's Department to police our city.

The dollar savings, in my estimate, would be many multiples of the measly $17 million they talk about. Just think how many lawsuits our police bring upon the city, the workers' comp, payroll, vehicle costs, insurance premiums, attorney fees, etc.

And doesn't the sheriff already handle the harbor policing for us?

Larry Kirschenbaum

Newport Beach


No to 405 toll lanes

Fastrak lanes are for the more well-to-do car owners. When I use the 110 Freeway, I usually carpool but I can't use the Fastrak unless I buy a transponder for about $40.

This is expensive for me because I use that freeway infrequently. If they let car-poolers in I could accept what is going on but they don't unless you pay money. All the new taxes — excuse me — fees seem to be regressive with the more-affluent paying a much smaller percentage of their income.

I read somewhere that in one of the Scandinavian countries (Norway) when a person got a driving ticket the fine was determined as a percentage of the person's income. I'm for that.

Eileen Haussmann


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