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Mailbag: 'Quiet zone' should extend to motorcycles

February 24, 2011

Here's the background on the school board's decision: Five years ago, Don Austin came in as the new high school principal and immediately began a crusade to shut down the track — despite a decades-long history of harmony between the school and the community.

Since that time, Austin has lobbied hard for the closure; and with the appointment of a new superintendent, Sherine Smith, in July — also unfamiliar with the ways of Laguna — Austin convinced her and the board to shut out the community.

What's shameless is the scare tactics being employed. Citing some dark, nebulous safety threat — again, despite no major issues in decades of use — the board has bought into this Draconian lockout.

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If Austin's boogeymen were real, of course, the board would have closed the track and field entirely, even during after school hours when there are a lot more students using the facility.

All the complaints raised by Austin can be handled through alternative means other than a lockout. (Ironically, many high school students are also upset at the Austin lockdown.)

Peter Navarro

Laguna Beach

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