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Letters to the Editor

Are tonight’s Closed Session agenda items a cause for concern?

There are two items on the City Council Closed Session agenda tonight. They are two Real Property negotiations. It appears that resident Palmer Luckey wants to purchase or sell property adjacent to a property he owns on Lido Isle. It also appears that resident Bob Olson wants to purchase the land under his Lido House Hotel where the old City Hall once stood. 

One can surmise that these transactions are for personal gain. Both residents were prolific donors to various campaigns of current City Council members in the recent City Council and 2nd District Supervisor elections. At the least, the optics of this negotiation between these City Council members and these donors at this time is questionable. 

Residents who have sought election reform would argue it should be illegal for those Council members to vote on something brought forth by a recent donor.

Not long ago, residents of the City-owned property in Beacon Bay approached the City arguing that their land rent was too high. Instead of politicizing this request it was assigned to a citizen subcommittee or Ad Hoc of the City Finance Committee for evaluation. I suspect members of the City Finance Department also participated. This allowed the request to be evaluated outside of the political arena and the results were publicly reported at a subsequent Finance Committee meeting.

The resultant report allowed an informed City Council to publicly act on the request. I suggest that these two matters being discussed tonight be handled in the same manner. I do not take issue with these requests by these gentlemen. However, neither fellow is being philanthropic in their respective request and some level of expertise on the City’s behalf should be used to evaluate each request.

If you want your opinion heard, please call or attend the City Council meeting tonight or write to them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Charles Klobe

Newport Beach

Political extremism in Newport and OC

I have lived near the beach for more than 50 years and have experienced the long arm of extremism many times. Back in 1971, when I was a student teacher at a Newport Beach elementary school, the principal told me he already had one Jew on staff and “couldn’t afford to have another one.”

Five years later, after I founded a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging high school students to vote when they turned 18, I was called a “n-lover” because I invited then-Congresswoman Yvonne Braithwaite Burke to join the group’s advisory board. 

But those insults were nothing compared to the death threats my wife and I received for publishing the Andy Warhol portrait of Jane Fonda in 1982. Back then, the actress and her husband, Tom Hayden, often were called traitors by OC elected officials and members of the powerful Newport-based Lincoln Club.

Even today, I am still on the receiving end of someone’s extreme political views. In a Facebook private message, an acquaintance of mine recently called me a “demonic, Satan liberal” because my views were so different from hers.

Whatever happened to the phrase, “Live and let live?” I guess that only applies to some who call Newport or Orange County home, not everyone.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach