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Letters to the Editor

Ideas to change the world with COVID moving forward

Thoughts on moving forward in the time of COVID:

1) Test the population for immunity – many people have had it and don’t know. Why waste a vaccine on a person who does not need it? Why self-quarantine after exposure to a person who has COVID if you have immunity?

2) Test those given the vaccine to confirm immunity. 

3) Provide those with immunity with a proof of immunity verification.

4) Start allowing normal life for those who have immunity. I am tired of wearing a mask and eating outdoors, not having a social life or being able to enjoy leisure activities, not to mention the toll on our economy by keeping people home, out of work and not spending money in the world economy.

5) Companies should allow employees who can prove immunity to come back to work. Service workers who can prove immunity should be given a temporary pay raise subsidized by the U.S. Government. If we are paying people to not work, why not incentivize those who want to and who can safely work with the public? 

6) Colleges and K-12 should test for immunity and allow those students and teachers back in the classroom.

7) Open up leisure and vacation areas to people who can prove immunity. There are 94 million confirmed cases in the world, 35 million vaccinations administered worldwide – that is a lot of consumer spending that is untapped in the leisure and vacation market. What a way to spur the economy!

The U.S. Government health organizations, the media, etc. will not come out and say you cannot get reinfected, but there are only 33 known cases in the world of people who have been reinfected, out of 94 million confirmed cases. Need I say more? You can look at this data at the link here.

You can help people by donating blood, platelets and plasma with the Red Cross and as a bonus, the Red Cross will test your blood for COVID-19 and for immunity to COVID. It only costs your time for the blood donation and if you download the Red Cross application on your phone you will have verifiable proof of your immunity. You can schedule an appointment at www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive or call 1.800.RED CROSSat 1.800.733.2767.

Lauri Preedge

Newport Beach

COVID vaccines at UCI move smoothly, but it doesn’t erase politicians’ lack of concern

Sunday afternoon and my wife and I have just returned from UCI’s Bren Events Center, where we received the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19. It was a very well organized and orderly process. There was free parking in the nearby parking structure. As we exited our vehicle, I noticed a Muslim couple kneeling on their prayer rug next to their car – a solemn reminder that we all need to pray for the end of this plague. On the second level, lines had been set up and marked with appointment times every 10 minutes throughout the day. My guess is that there were perhaps 50 people in each line, suggesting that 2,000 to 3,000 people received vaccinations that day – a mixture of races and ages, some in wheelchairs. After verifying our appointment, checking our temperatures and affirming that we were voluntarily accepting the vaccination, we moved to one of many small tables where a medical technician quickly and painlessly administered the vaccine. 

From there, we went to an outdoor area for a 15-minute wait to ensure no allergic reaction. As far as we could tell, no one had any adverse effects. While waiting, we struck up a conversation with a student nurse named Shelby Lee. Shelby told me that all the student nurses (and there were dozens of them) were working as unpaid volunteers. They had received their own vaccinations about a week previously. All told, UCI had hundreds of staff working there to guide and otherwise assist all of the patients. Seeing the dedication of these young students donating their time on a weekend to help protect the elderly members of our community profoundly impressed me. 

It contrasted vividly with the sickness and death that has resulted from the neglect of our salaried political leaders, who prioritized their political beliefs and careers over the welfare of the constituents. There is no need to name the mayors, ex-mayors, county supervisors and others who sued the governor, fought against common sense restrictions, and refused to take any actions to encourage social distancing and wearing of masks in the community, all on the grounds that such actions would “infringe personal liberties.” These misguided policies have contributed to 3,000 cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach, over 125 cases on the Peninsula alone, and nearly 40 deaths. 

This will be their legacy. We will remember them not for any good works they might have done in the city, but for the sickness and death they failed to address.

Craig B. Smith

Newport Beach

Concern for short notice on Mariner’s Mile project

 In my opinion, being a responsible developer also means being a good neighbor to the surrounding communities along the 1.3-mile scenic corridor known as Mariner’s Mile. This area is surrounded by the neighborhoods of Bayshores, Lido Isle, Newport Heights and Cliff Haven. Mariner’s Mile is the main street that connects all of these special villages.

To ensure transparency and to build relationships with community members, an open and honest dialogue needs to take place. Developers should start a conversation and strengthen community relations early in the process by integrating themselves into the neighborhood and seeking input from residents and community associations, community leaders and municipal government officials. Developers can leave a positive mark on the community. It involves connecting with local people, municipalities and neighboring businesses to add value to the area. 

The newly proposed 2510 PCH Development and its developer are proceeding in a haphazard manner with a disarray of apartments, car showroom, requesting height variances that will impact significant views from a public park, as well as giving less than a seven-day notification to the surrounding neighbors. 

It appears that City Staff has grossly been an enabler, as the 2510 PCH plans were not on the City’s website; eventually the project plans were obtained by a concerned citizen. The Planning Commission meeting notification was electronically emailed out Saturday at 6:30 a.m. on January 16 and with Monday being a holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., it means concerned citizens have less than 48 hours to repudiate this project, which will be heard this Thursday on January 21, at 6:30 p.m. 

Thirty-two apartments plus three low-income, for a total of 35 apartments, and one expensive car showroom whilst violating priceless public views, what could any responsible resident possibly wish for along this scenic corridor along Mariner’s Mile?

If this is a preview of how this particular developer and City Staff will covertly move forward with the upcoming Newport Village project, we as citizens must continue to be vigilant. These nonsensical projects will have the potential to alter our neighborhoods forever; it is obvious that we need to be very concerned about the process and further demand transparency from our elected officials. 

Peggy V. Palmer

Newport Beach 

What’s the rush? Let’s work together and get it right

Notwithstanding the pandemic, why are Public Notice requirements not being properly followed prior to the January 21 Planning Commission Public Hearing for 2510 PCH Project?

A Limited Public Notice was sent out on January 16. Monday, Jan. 18 is the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, Wednesday, Jan. 20 is the Presidential Inauguration, Thursday is the Planning Commission hearing. The City Council and the Planning Commission must postpone the public hearing for 2510 PCH Project!

Mariner’s Mile is an indispensable seaside center linking the Peninsula, Lido Island, Lido Marina Village, Mariner’s Mile, Balboa Island and Corona del Mar villages and neighborhoods. Its significance and impact must not be undervalued. The full scope of the Newport Village Development Proposal, including the 2510 PCH Project, must meet community expectations and environmental requirements before approval. Working together, let’s get it right.

The full scope of the Newport Village Project’s land use represents about one-third of Mariner’s Mile and will forever determine the future destiny of Mariner’s Mile. The full size and significance of the Newport Village Development, including the 2510 PCH Project, demands a thorough evaluation and must follow the normal process with all the checks, balances and safeguards, and not be rushed through on a piecemeal basis.

Let’s slow down and do it right by allowing all stakeholders to provide their perspectives. This will assure that the City’s General Plan vision, goals and objectives will be achieved and will prevent a long-lasting adverse impact. What is now occurring is clearly unacceptable and inconsistent with the intent of the General Plan and the Newport Beach community’s expectations. Let’s work together to optimize the outcome and maximize the benefits.

Before such significant investments, the City’s stewardship must build a community consensus among stakeholders and a clear vision of what Mariner’s Mile can become to guide the transformation. For such a substantial and consequential development project, a wide and comprehensive public notice is the first step for developing a community consensus. The General Plan process is intended to facilitate and shape the future of Newport Beach and Mariner’s Mile. 

Patrick Gormley, Former President

Bayshores Community Association

Newport Beach

Candidate Foley brings an energy and list of accomplishments to her Supervisor run

In 2018, Orange County elected a group of leaders who brought a new positive people and goal-oriented philosophy to Congress and the California Assembly. 

Now those of us who live in District 2 are going to get the opportunity to elect a like-minded individual to the County Board of Supervisors. Katrina Foley, the first elected Mayor of Costa Mesa, is running for that position (that was vacated by Michelle Steel) against a field of three other candidates. 

Just as representatives Katie Porter, Gil Cisneros, Harley Rouda and Cottie Petrie-Norris brought fresh new ideas and enthusiasm to their newly elected positions in 2018 to counter the stale politics of “no new taxes” and Republican domination at all costs, Katrina is running to bring the same spirit to the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

The negative role that the Board of Supervisors played during the pandemic should speak to those of us who disliked that they initially did nothing to help people and businesses in the County prepare for the devastating loss of lives and businesses.

Similarly, in other city councils surrounding Costa Mesa, rarely was the loss of lives to the pandemic ever emphasized. Katrina Foley, in contrast, sought to help the community by requiring masks and attempting to enforce the mask rule, which was a difficult task, when the surrounding cities and the BOS refused to do the same. The Board needs someone of Katrina’s positive philosophy to make it pertinent again.

Katrina had an amazing list of achievements even before she became Mayor. As a mother and practicing attorney, Katrina took time out of her busy life to serve on the Newport-Mesa School Board where she advocated for college affordability and job training. She also served on the boards of several local nonprofits and commissions. In law school she established the school’s first women’s law resource center.

Katrina’s list of awards is lengthy also, including being in the top 100 most influential leaders in the Orange County Register, Daily Pilot and LA Style Magazine, to name a few.

Although Harley Rouda and Gil Cisneros lost their seats in the 2020 election, most likely Harley will be back to champion the same causes as Katrina – Housing and Homelessness, Education and Job Training and the Environment and the Future.

Each time we elect one of these outstanding, energetic, people-oriented candidates, the closer we come to enlightening and aiding people and small businesses in Orange County.

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach