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Newport Beach

Volume 5, Issue 62  |  August 4, 2020


Letters to the Editor

Harley does not walk on water

Despite what Ms. Lorenz would have you believe in the Tuesday, July 28 edition of Stu News Newport, liberal Congressman Harley Rouda does not walk on water – far from it.

–Does someone who takes $4.3 million from billionaire Michael Bloomberg (and then – shock of all shocks – endorses Bloomberg for President) walk on water?

–Does someone who with great hubris proclaims on December 19, 2019, “Last night I cast my vote to defend the Constitution and impeach the President of the United States” in a phony baloney, contrived impeachment disaster walk on water?

–Does someone who participated at the University of Kentucky Delta Tau Delta “Mekong Delta” racist fraternity parties mocking hundreds of thousands of dead Vietnamese walk on water?

–Does someone who claims he’ll fight special interests but gladly accepts Bloomberg’s largess and votes with socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez 93 percent of the time walk on water?

–Does someone who neglects to disclose to his franchisees a $1.85 million settlement to a fired female cancer victim (as well as three other separate legal cases) and makes other unfulfilled promises to business franchisees walk on water?

–Does someone who was spotted on the Emerald Bay beach while the rest of us were forbidden from setting foot on a beach (and who denounced opening OC beaches as “reckless”) walk on water?

–Does someone who criticizes his opponent for wearing a face mask while a glut of PPE existed for essential workers walk on water?

Ms. Lorenz haughtily puts Mr. Rouda on a liberal pedestal and ends her piece with the inspirational words of JFK which quite rightly stir the reader’s emotions as to a liberal’s view of unchecked government. I see liberal tenets in a different light, a more realistic light, as perhaps rightly described in the following words:

“Liberals have created, and the minority leadership has exploited, a community of dependent people, unaware of the true route to prosperity and happiness: self-reliance and self-investment. Instead, people are told that America is unjust, unfair, and full of disadvantages. They are told that their only hope is for government to fix their problems. What has happened is that generations of people have bought into this nonsense and as a result have remained hopelessly mired in poverty and despair – because the promised solutions don’t work. And they never will work – they never have.” (Rush Limbaugh)

Paul Watkins

Newport Beach

Another young man loses his life, changes need to be made

There was a massive paddle out July 10 for an amazing young man, Johnny Von Der Ahe (14), who lost his life right by his house in Dover Shores. Struck by a woman [allegedly] speeding through the neighborhood. 

This is horrific. As everyone was enjoying the 4th of July, thousands of friends and family in Newport were mourning the loss of a wonderful child. Johnny was loved by so many in the community. I attended the paddle out by the Newport Pier. It was a touching event, and I could not possibly count the number of people in attendance. 

There is no official report in the public domain, but some of the circumstances around this unspeakable tragedy point to more work that needs to be done in our neighborhoods to protect our pedestrians, bikers, and skateboarders. Also, we all need to be careful when driving around our neighborhoods. There are tens of thousands of people who walk and ride around just Dover Shores and Newport Heights alone. 

I hope the City finds a way to make the necessary roadway changes in Dover Shores to mitigate the rampant speeding that residents see in their neighborhood daily. There are challenges though. There are policies that the City uses to vet and implement roadway changes, and these policies are rather onerous. For instance, they require 70 percent of people to petition for many permanent changes to be made. Volunteers in the community are required to do the legwork to gather the support. It is very difficult. 

At the same time it seems counter-productive. When it comes to safety, there should not be minimal debate or red tape. We need to recognize that cars, phones, and other aspects of our lives have changed, and our roads need to be made safer as a result. We cannot continue to pin people against our aged infrastructure and their need to move around the neighborhoods. Dover Shores, the Heights, and potentially other neighborhoods have issues and need fixes. 

The policies at the City have certain merits, one being that the desire of the few doesn’t create unnecessary problems for the many. However, when you are talking about the safety of pedestrians, bikers, and the like, you are talking about a majority of the people and therefore there should be no red tape. The time taken to push things through could be better used to spend time with our kids, walking our dogs, etc. 

Please drive safely and support the City to make our roads safer.    

Murphy McCann

Cliffhaven

Short Term Lodging is a Newport Beach tradition…let’s continue the legacy

After months of public debate, the City Council passed “Phase One” of the Short-term Lodging (STL) ordinance on July 14, 2020. This ordinance includes a few new good neighbor policies providing protection for the neighbors, encouraging owners and operators to screen STL guests to assure that they are neighborhood friendly.

The City Council recognizes the long tradition of STL in Newport Beach. STL has been part of the city’s landscape and economic engine for nearly 100 years beginning when Balboa was promoted as a holiday destination. This STL tradition continues in Newport Beach today generating income for the City, owners and businesses generated from rentals primarily on the Peninsula and Balboa Island.   

During the summer months 8 to 10 million people visit Newport Beach, most of them for day trips. During the summer, these day visitors strain City resources and take up most of the available street parking. At the same time, overnight STL guests contribute to the vibrancy of the neighborhood, frequent local businesses, restaurants, rent bikes, boogie boards, paddle boards, surfboards, Segway, canoes, Seadoos, jet skis, and buy mementos. STL guests generate millions of dollars, translating into sales tax and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) for the City. 

The city Police Department and Lifeguards do a remarkable job of policing, navigating traffic, watching over beachgoers and people enjoying the ocean. Most residents who live on Balboa Island and the Peninsula beach community understand and know summer is a busy time and there are impacts on street parking. However, all STL properties must have at least one parking space on site.

Newport Beach is one of the most highly regulated cities in the country for STL. All STLs are licensed via a permit process and are mandated to pay TOT just like hotels. TOT collected by the city from STL exceeds $4,000,000. Most “rental home” owners hire management companies responsible for the balance between the visiting guests and residents; assuring owners that guests adhere to the noise ordinances and abide by policies stipulated in the contracts all visitors sign. Each visiting STL guest is given information including owner and management company contact information, city ordinances related to gatherings and noise, street sweeping schedules and other pertinent material. Guests can call a 24-hour emergency contact who will respond within 30 minutes. 

Residents and visitors have the same goal: to enjoy the beach, the Bay and all inherent recreational opportunities, while taking care to be good neighbors. 

Short Term Lodging continues to be a popular choice for generations of families as a way to include children, grandparents, aunts and uncles all together in one domicile to enjoy our Newport Beach Paradise.

Craig Batley

Owner of Burr White Realty

Peninsula

Reader encourages those naysayers to join in to find solutions

I have an idea for those in local government who have wanted to sue the Governor over beach closures, mask mandates and, now, school closures. Why don’t you do what other people do to get attention for their cause (because after all, that’s what you are seeking, isn’t it?)? Grab a sign and take to the streets in protest. 

 Do you know how effective it would be to see a bunch of suits and high-heels protesting on Jamboree Road and MacArthur Blvd. or South Coast Plaza?

Although you may certainly have followers among some people, many of us in Orange County are embarrassed and tired of the hypocritical, anti-humanist and anti-science gestures of some of the members of local government bodies.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe that protests and lawsuits play an important role in a democratic society. But right now we have a seemingly insurmountable enemy on which to focus our combined attention. 

So, if your cause is not going to help solve the calamitous effects of the pandemic, why don’t you save your legitimate, as well as petty complaints and political posturing, until this tragedy has passed and devote your time and energy to abating it.

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach

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