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Letters to the Editor

Is Newport Beach prepared to make the changes needed to continue to optimally serve their citizens and businesses?

There is a great deal of conversation around the country about government and national, state and local reform, with lots of research and discussion around changes needed. COVID has brought to the foreground problems that have been pushed aside for years. I recently read a dialogue between government researchers and loved this quote from a longtime Deloitte government researcher talking about their research.

“A lot of the focus has been on looking around the corner. Where does government need to go? What shape does it need to be? Who does it need to work with? It’s really about making sure that government is keeping up with a lot of the changes in society and business and that government can continue to serve the needs of citizens and businesses in the most optimal way.”

While government needs to be cautious in making changes, the focus needs to be on keeping up with society and stopping the partisanship. Does Newport need to go far more digital, become a Smart City? Does it need to be working on sustainability, crisis management, lean less on state and county demands and more on influencing making state and county better managed? What are the plans for sea level rise, or do we wait to react when the peninsula and islands get inundated? Is Newport looking around the corner? Is our general plan update reimagining Newport the way it needs to?

Linda Watkins

Newport Beach 

Unfortunate death of cyclist raises further questions regarding future development near Newport Heights area

Traffic problems continue to plague us in Newport Beach, particularly in the Newport Heights area where drivers often exceed the speed limit by 10 to 20 miles per hour. They whiz by stop signs as if they weren’t there.

Last week we lost one of our own, Ernest Adams, who was riding his bike near Newport Harbor High in broad daylight on March 28th when he was struck by a suspected DUI driver. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his wife, Lynda Adams, and his family who have been active community members for decades. Neighbors would often see Lynda and Ernie enjoying the front yard  of their Newport Heights home.

You can walk down Riverside Drive to Pacific Coast Highway any day of the week and witness the often excessive speed of the passing cars. They reluctantly only slow down or stop for the crosswalk if you are an assertive pedestrian. Because there are few sidewalks in the area, which hosts two community schools, pedestrians often have to walk on the side of the street, making popular thoroughfares such as Tustin, Irvine, Cliff Drive and Riverside particularly dangerous for them, as well as cyclists. 

This already critical situation threatens to get a lot worse with the new developments being planned for Mariner’s Mile. Walking on streets without sidewalks, next to traffic driving at excessive speeds is already a daunting experience, and unsuitable for a residential community. It is definitely a problem that should be resolved before proposed redevelopment in that area receives the “green light” to proceed. 

Solutions for traffic problems now and in the future definitely need to be met with transparency.

Lynn Lorenz and Tom Baker

Newport Beach