Letters to the Editor

Commission of Bad Planning?

Last night (July 9), the Planning Commission granted yet another approval to the Shell Service Station located at 1600 Jamboree Rd., City of Newport Beach, immediately adjacent to the Community of Big Canyon. This time the approval was to add a car wash to an already overcrowded site that has previously received approval to add a mini-mart, which produced noise and traffic, a hydrogen storage facility which was unsightly and had lights that shone right into the Big Canyon Community, and an approval to expand the mini-mart which added more noise and more traffic. 

The Commissioners somehow disregarded the “cumulative effects” of their previous approvals, despite a law requiring they do, and found adding a car wash while having to violate their own setback requirements to make it fit on the property was in the public’s best interest and constituted good planning. 

Despite overwhelming opposition from those present and no one to speak in favor of the project except the owner’s paid representative, and despite no proven need for a car wash in this location, the Commission found (with Commissioner Koetting voting no) that the “Operation of the use at the location proposed would not be detrimental to the harmonious and orderly growth of the City, or endanger, jeopardize, or otherwise constitute a hazard to the public convenience, health, interest, safety, or general welfare of persons residing or working in the neighborhood of the proposed use.” 

How is that possible?

David B. Kuhn Jr.

Newport Beach

A Vote for Peace

While political discussions with friends and family have become heated and best avoided at all costs, discussions with my new political junkie best friend have proved the exception. Rather than bewildered, I find myself enlightened, curious even to hear another viewpoint. Red or Blue, it matters not. What does matter is the connection we have forged, so vitally important during these strange and isolating times.

And where did I find this gem, this fellow political junkie with whom I share an affinity for all things political? Practicing my civic duty, working as a poll worker at (an assisted living facility) in Corona del Mar. A longtime poll worker expecting to encounter the usual poll worker crowd of senior citizens, I am momentarily stunned as I walk in and take my seat. And there he was, that most-holiest of holy grails, a poll worker under the age of 70! And a cute guy, to boot!

So, I encourage everyone, rather than banging your head in frustration, open your mind, put aside your opinions. Learn to listen, “agree to disagree,” look at this as an opportunity not to hate but rather to “hear,” hear what the other side is saying. And maybe, just maybe – Imagine, as John Lennon famously suggested, all the people living life in peace.

Suzi Scallon

Laguna Beach

What kind of world are we living in?

Do we really want to live in a society where we don’t even acknowledge that (a large percentage) of the population in convalescent homes have died in the last four months, where children and teachers are being called back to the classroom in the midst of a coronavirus surge, and where a larger percentage of people than we want to admit are intent on living their life to the fullest, devoid of concern for those around them?

It’s hard to explain this all away by myopic leadership. This is ultimately a democracy and we can make decisions that move us forward toward a better society or we can choose to opt out and only concern ourselves with our own immediate world. Some are lacking the resources, the knowledge and have too many constraints to be able to contribute to the world outside their limits, but the vast majority of us can make decisions that will make this world a better place by moving toward a collective conscience.

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach