Letters to the Editor

Liked Duncan’s childhood memories, but don’t forget, I was there, too

Duncan Forgey did a nice article but left out Johnnie Crean. I ran with the O’Toole brothers, Chasin, and all the Point guys. We lived on Channel Road, next to the Allen sisters, 2-3 houses from the O’Tooles. And Andy Crean, my brother, was there, too. We lived on Channel Road from 1958-64, then moved to the Caribe Balboa, the high-rise in Balboa. 

It was magic. We played football on Little Beach on Channel Road by the Little Harbor Pier, next to the fenced beach that belonged to the Association. We played baseball in the street in the triangle at the center of the Peninsula, next to the park, went to the Wedge when it was roaring and climbed to the end of the jetty, and we walked to the Balboa Theater for movies and roamed the Fun Zone.   

Alice and Penny Paris were about, too.

It was so rural, because maybe one-third of the homes were summer homes, so all winter there were just a few of us kids, so we all got to know one another. 

The Wedge was risky, but Corona del Mar beach was great. Some of us crossed the channel in a small boat or on a board to surf.

At the end of Channel Road was the jungle, some bushes at end of houses just before the jetty alongside the water. We went there to smoke. Regular cigarettes.

Johnnie Crean

Kamuela, Hawaii

Still thinking good things about Governor Newsom

Certainly people can be critical of Governor Newsom because like most mortals he has made some mistakes. He has succumbed to political pressures and in an attempt to please everyone he has made and remade decisions. He has been flexible in certain areas and inflexible in others. But remember, it is not every day that one governs during an unprecedented national disaster.

Everything is relative when a leader faces such a dire situation and the natural response when making decisions is to learn from your mistakes. But those who have been overly critical of Governor Newsom from the beginning have allowed him no leeway and have failed to recognize how he masterfully issued the first national stay-at-home orders and was one of the most successful governors to procure emergency medical supplies and equipment. 

And again in his favor, California’s COVID death rate is lower than that of more than half the states, and California will emerge from the pandemic with a robust economy.

Several local politicians have criticized Newsom from the beginning simply because he is not a member of their political party. They railed against his decisions while offering absolutely no COVID response in return. We have elected and re-elected leaders who have openly defied any regulations put in place by the state and county to protect public health. 

And from the supervisors to the local councils, there has been absolutely no disaster leadership to date. You would think that they would be hiding their faces in shame instead of criticizing one who was not afraid to lead, one who constantly communicated with his constituency trying to observe the best practices to help us emerge from COVID.

Yes, he made some mistakes, but the question is, could anyone have done any better? Look at our local leaders, look at some of the states with no leadership. Having someone emerge triumphantly from a recall election with such attitudes and lack of true leadership scares me greatly.

The purpose of the recall, which became part of the California Constitution in 1911, was to help keep officials in Sacramento accountable and honest and to help unlock the grip of special interests groups. 

For the first 83 years in California, only three recall elections successfully reached the ballot. But in the subsequent 27 years it has happened seven times. It’s modern use has been frequently that by the minority party which is trying to make an end run around the normal election process. It is a costly, chaotic and unpredictable process which in Newsom’s case is being used mostly by conservatives and even some extremists whom you think would not want to waste money when a real election is just around the corner. 

And while balancing your options, remember this truism: Be careful of what you wish for.

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach