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Letters to the Editor

Support our local police, fire and first responders…they deserve it

As election day nears, trying to keep track of who is endorsing which of the many candidates running for office this fall can be quite confusing. But one thing is certain in these challenging and uncertain times, and that is how important our fire, police and first responders are to protecting our country at large and our local communities. The dedicated men and women who serve us tirelessly day-in and day-out, protecting us from harm and peril at every turn, are really the modern-day unsung heroes of our childhood. You don’t appreciate who is there providing consistent and much-needed services until there is a crisis in our midst. And thus, it should come as no surprise we are seeing signs sprout up all around our neighborhoods proclaiming our uniform support and appreciation for their great service. 

As we have learned first-hand over the past six months, Newport Beach is not immune to the many challenges confronting our civil society today – the impact of the pandemic, business closures, smoke and ash covering our neighborhoods and blocking out the sun, casting an eerie orange glow over our neighborhoods, not to mention maintaining order during the mostly peaceful protests this summer that were occasionally interrupted by a stray gun-toting antagonist or driver who ran into a group of protestors standing in the middle of Balboa Boulevard on the Peninsula. These are but a few examples of the events transpiring in our midst that illustrate why support and praise of our fire, police and first responders is well-deserved. Hence, I was not surprised to see Council Member Dixon and a few others on City Council give their thanks to our fire, police and first responders at a recent City Council Meeting (viewed online). 

Clearly our local fire, police and first responders are doing a great job protecting us and our community. And while I find it somewhat disappointing to see reports in the news that some local residents are going around removing and discarding these blue and white signs, in some cases even damaging the signs by cutting them (as was done to a first responder sign hanging outside a cottage on Balboa Island), there is not much we can do, other than to continue showing our uniform strong support for our fire, police and first responders. 

That is why come this election day, I plan to support them by voting for those City Council candidates that “they” have endorsed. While I find it somewhat curious that they are not endorsing the standing District 5 incumbent, it is really not for me to question why they are endorsing a newcomer instead. They likely know something I do not. So come this fall, I will be showing my support for our local fire, police and first responders by voting for Noah Blom. Everything I have learned about Noah is authentic and above board. Please learn more for yourself and I think you will find the same.

Barbara Klinger

Balboa Island

I like Jeff’s “stand-up” character

Recently I read Jack Callahan’s and Keith Curry’s letters in the newspaper and want to say that I am also voting for Jeff Herdman because he is doing a “stand-up” job as a council member. I receive his newsletter and appreciate that he stays in close touch with his constituents on Balboa and the rest of Newport. 

The path of communication is always open with Jeff and he is candid in his dealings with the City. I may not always agree with his position on certain issues, but I know that if I ask about his decision or vote, he will get back to me.

I admire that Jeff appears to be more independent in his thinking than some of the other members on the council. We need council members who represent different viewpoints. I think some of the members tend to influence each other’s vote too frequently rather than represent the different viewpoints of the community. 

We need members with council experience as well as leadership experience. As a former school administrator and member of a leadership group on Balboa where he has lived for decades, Jeff brings that excellent experience to his job. He has been involved in many civic projects, most notably the John Wayne Airport committee which interests me most as a Newport Heights resident. Jeff greatly deserves to be re-elected to a second term to the Newport Beach City Council.

Tom Baker

Newport Beach 

Long for old Orange County

Once again I enjoyed Lynn Lorenz’s unbiased (ha ha) letter. I have just one quick comment. Ms. Lorenz quotes Dr. Fred Smoller from Chapman saying that the local leaders who denounced the governor’s beach closure speak for “the old Orange County of rugged individualism and making their own way” and added, “I think they speak for a fraction of OC that is diminishing in size.” I believe that many of us think that is what made our country/county unique. I long for the old Orange County.

Jerry Piersall

Costa Mesa

Nasty voices hurt opinion sharing

I had a most disturbing experience yesterday and this morning when I put a political opinion piece on Nextdoor in support of a candidate for city council. I was very much surprised by the personal nature of the verbal attack that I received from one gentleman (who was anything but). It was as if I had pushed a button that released a fountain of personal and venomous remarks focused on me and my candidate. 

While I would be one of the first to speak up about freedom of speech, I try to make my point publicly by talking about a candidate’s positive qualities, rather than the negative qualities of the opposition. When I find it impossible to make an important point in my argument without mentioning the opposing party, I try to speak in general terms as much as possible. If necessary, I will describe people’s actions that I believe are ill-conceived.   

I have been accused of “fawning” over politicians and of “thinking that they walk on water.” But I would much prefer those criticisms to ones accusing me of verbally assaulting someone, particularly a total stranger. 

I have spoken of my distrust of candidate slates and teams. I still hold that they are compromising what should be the democratic function of our city council. I know very little about the candidate running on the O’Neill, Avery slate. 

In addition to being distrustful of slates, I have followed Jeff Herdman on council for four years and while I don’t always agree with Jeff, I fully support him as I have in the past. My trust in Jeff has not wavered. He is not perfect, but nobody in public office is. 

As for the attacks that Jeff has taken money from developers, I would have to say that you would be hard-pressed to find candidates who do not. This practice was brought to my attention by a neighbor several months ago, and I was in disbelief that it was legal. When I expressed that it was wrong, I was told that while it may seem immoral, it is legal. Unfortunately, in races as expensive as Newport’s, only the wealthy would be able to run without donations, so one negative counteracts another.

I believe that there is a small, boisterous and sometimes malignant group of people who are after Jeff for one reason or another, some of which is personal, but that this group is also being encouraged to act out by some forces which will remain behind the scenes. They are trying to manipulate and use this small group of the opposition to discredit an honorable man, one who might be standing in their way. 

So I say to the public and those of you who have run across the angry and personal invective that I have seen on Nextdoor and elsewhere to not let these forces influence you and try to darken your opinion of an honorable man, much less of mankind in general.

It was my first foray into Nextdoor and I had been told from a former acquaintance that personal attacks were removed from the service. I decided to leave my post up so that people could view the emotionally charged negative attacks and try to understand the psychology of those who make them. But soon I will go off of Nextdoor and leave it to those who have the stomach for the type of communication I unfortunately found there.

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach