Mailbag: Setting the record straight on my blackball flag position

I recently received a letter requesting that I recuse myself from the blackball issue. It was from Equal Beach Access for All. The writers of the letter are concerned that my late father made harsh comments about surfers.

He made some harsh comments about men divorcing their wives. Should I recuse myself from every issue involving divorced men?

They also pointed to a comment of mine. I stated that I had read some of the online comments about The Wedge issue and was embarrassed to say I was a surfer. Yes, when ignorant people make homophobic and other comments, it embarrasses me to be associated with that. I would have answered Equal Beach Access for All directly, except that there was no individual's name and no address included. So to set the record straight:

1.) I'm a bodyboarder. Although I did bodysurf The Wedge, and am proud of the fact, that was in the 1960s. I have been a bodyboarder for the last 30 years or so. In fact, when the initial policy to restrict The Wedge was introduced, I planned to speak in opposition, but something came up — I no longer remember what — and I wasn't there that night.

2.) I asked for the blackball review. I have long thought there could be an area for all-day board surfing in addition to the River Jetty. I asked for the review with that in mind and I also thought it was a good opportunity to take a fresh look at The Wedge.

3.) No, I will not recuse myself. Once I made my request for the review, the Blackball Working Group took over. I have not met with them, sat in their meetings, tried to influence them. I don't know what they're going to suggest but when I see their proposal, I will review it with one goal — to balance the needs of all water users.

Nancy Gardner

Newport Beach

The writer is a city councilwoman and former mayor.

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Pass fewer federal laws

Recently, the Los Angeles Times ran an article proclaiming our current Congress "A Do-Nothing Congress for the record books," [Dec. 22]. This immediately insinuates that the duty of Congress is to pass as many laws as possible. I'd like to review this a bit more in depth.

Passing laws is equivalent to passing restrictions and restrictions are the opposite of freedom. Some restrictions are absolutely required to have a civilized society (I'm not advocating for the repeal of murder here), but passing more of them? That is not necessarily a good thing, and setting up a measurement system based on the passing of legislation that inherently degrades freedom is the opposite of what we should be doing.

We need to be advocating for local governance — government that can be held accountable, knows the community and feels the issues firsthand. I don't want someone in Congress passing the same laws affecting transportation for Hawaii and rural Kansas. Those are two completely separate entities with completely separate issues; let the locals through the local governments determine the best course of action, as they know best.

I'd like to encourage all of Congress to spend time reviewing the Constitution and the specific 9th and 10th amendments that they are sworn to uphold. We need fewer new laws passed every year and the contest should be running in the opposite direction than the headline implies.

Michael B. Glenn

Newport Beach

The writer is candidate for City Council.

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