By Robert Cahill, Dana Point
Paul Hinman’s letter about the new low in City Council/citizen relations (DP Times, April 8-14) is spot on. I’m chagrined to see the “editor” show his/her bias once more by commenting on a citizen’s letter. This was also done on a letter I read about crime in Capo Beach and another one by, I think, Steve Stewart, about this same initiative topic. It’s funny how the editors don’t feel they need to comment on or correct misleading statements by city officials. Why didn’t the editor point out that Carlos Olvera wrote a lengthy guest opinion lauding council Measure I, but did not point out that he actually voted against the measure he was supporting? I suspect he is also specifically precluded from actively promoting the council’s ballot measure according to election law. I hope someone is reporting this to the Fair Political Practices organization.
Check out, too, the biased reporting in the puff piece on the Strandsgate issue in last week’s paper. Why didn’t they interview the guy who did the public records request, or the Surfrider people? Instead the city manager is allowed to get away with blatantly slanted comments distancing the current council from the Strandsgate scandal, and inferring that all the gate, trails and Ocean Institute costs are somehow due to the city’s largesse, and not, as is perfectly clear to citizens, a shameful penalty that will cost taxpayers $300,000 unless he gets Headlands Reserve LLC to pay the tab. Since they just allocated $160,000 in legal fees to sue Sanford Edwards for the legal bills still outstanding, I wouldn’t be counting on getting the $300,000 back.
We all know your advertisers won’t be pleased if you report these things in an unbiased manner, but come on—have some courage! Let’s see if you have the guts to print this letter in the paper. Who can the people count on to get the real story out there?
The editor’s note published with Hinman’s letter was added for clarification of measurements/dimensions related to the height of portions of the Majestic project (railing due to roof decks, elevator towers and screening of rooftop mechanical elements, approved without variances) that rise above the 40-foot limit, as well as to clarify the fact that the sections planned for four stories are the same height (40 feet) as the three-story sections.
The note posted alongside the letter to the editor regarding crime in Capo Beach, in which the letter writer referred only to a small set of numbers supporting the blanket assertion that “crime is up” across the board. The full report presented by law enforcement at the community meeting referred to in that letter showed crime has also fallen in other categories. The clarification was added in the interest of presenting the full story/the full set of statistics for those who were unable to attend.
Regarding the guest opinion by Carlos Olvera, please remember, his comments are his opinion regarding why he supports Measure I. Readers are welcome to interpret, and respond to, opinion pieces as they see fit. Robert Cahill (and others, via online comments) found Olvera’s opinions objectionable and shared their opinions on the matter. Thanks to all for reading and responding. It has been well-documented in this newspaper that Olvera voted against the measure before writing the opinion piece in favor of it. Olvera was asked for an explanation of why he changed his mind and declined to offer one.
With regard to the “Strand Settlement on the Horizon” story, the DP Times made the same public records requests as Letter to the Editor author Jesse “Jay” Sowell, and published the findings within the story.
The DP Times does not correct the opinions of community members. Whether elected officials or ordinary citizens, we respect the rights of all to express their opinion. Should a letter from a developer or City Council member contain incorrect, quantifiable information, an editor’s note, clarification or correction would be in order. Our job is not to try to sway the opinions of our readers, only to present information and let our readers decide how they feel about issues. We consider it a bonus when readers care enough to share their views.
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