Mailbag: Charter meeting hampered by audience reaction

I attended the recent special meeting to review the Costa Mesa city charter prepared by the committee appointed to work on the project.

The document was examined and questioned by various folks. I was astounded by the behavior of many of those in the audience.

Although I am still unsure of the need for a charter, I was dismayed by the rude remarks and obvious disapproval when residents spoke in support of the document. These meetings should be a place where all sides of the issue are examined.

No one should ever feel intimidated by the vocal responses of audience members or comments from the dais.

Susan Shaw

Costa Mesa

Limit users of Back Bay Drive

Regarding "Teaming with Traffic" (April 17), regarding bicycling safety on Back Bay Drive:

As an area resident since 1964, I have used the road over the years, especially since the late '80s. I occasionally drive on it, often jog on it and bicycle on it four times a week on average.

Turning it into a one-way road is not the answer. Controlling what is allowed on the road would make more sense. The easy answer is stop all motor vehicle traffic. Cars speed, drive in the bike lane and travel the wrong way on the one-way road.

Next, cyclists need to adhere to traffic rules and laws. The third and glaring issue is pedestrian traffic. This is the biggest danger. There is no such thing as single-file or using the shoulder. The pedestrians' attitude is they own the road.

Students use Back Bay Drive like it is their field at school. They run five to six abreast, taking up the entire one lane and back path.

Keeping the pedestrians and cyclists under control and removing auto traffic would make this a much safer road.

Gary Schmidt

Newport Beach

Every day is Earth Day

Consumers have incredible power to help the environment through their buying habits.

If we set standards for our purchases, stores will respond by making more eco-friendly products available.

First, we should only buy fast-drying towels because it takes less energy to dry them. They are surprisingly absorbent and luxurious. Second, to reduce plastic pollution, we can buy certified compostable green bags for our trash and pet waste. Other plastic bags should be recycled.

Reusable products have been around for many years. We can replace plastic water bottles with reusable water bottles that don't contain harmful chemicals like phthalates. Although disposable water bottles are recyclable, many end up in the ocean, our neighborhoods and trash bins, contributing to overcrowded landfills.

We can also bring our own food storage container to restaurants for leftovers, to avoid Styrofoam containers that may contain benzene, a cancer-causing chemical.

To help preserve our forests, we could use cloth napkins instead of the disposable paper kind. Cloth napkins can be washed with the permanent press clothes, so they don't use more water. If you need paper towels, buy only the pick-a-size variety so you don't use more than you need.

Also, check the back of greeting cards to see if they are made from sustainably managed forests or at least from recycled paper. Using our own reusable, washable bag for shopping can also save trees.

These are simple things we can resolve to do to improve the environment, not just for Earth Week but for the future of our planet.

Linda Newton

Fountain Valley

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