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Mailbag: Desalination could provide more drinking water

September 13, 2012

I am now convinced that ocean desalination will provide almost 10% of our future potable (drinking) water requirements here in the Southern Orange County.

Waiting any longer to embrace it will jeopardize those critical needs.

Here in South O.C., due to ancient infrastructure and EPA regulations, fires are fought using exclusively potable supply lines.

Twenty years ago, here in Laguna Beach, as a volunteer myself, I can attest that we basically ran out.

Only the wind shifting 180 degrees around 7 p.m. saved us or it would have burnt down the rest of our region.

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We should consider starting long-term commitments and public or private partnerships now, before a major disaster, or state legislation, leaves us isolated and cut off from 100% imported allocations and entitlements. There's little drinking water available in the O.C. other than small well draftings and expensive advance treatment processes.

If you thought recycled water, water efficient washing machines and/or militant conservation will solve all of our potential needs, you're being unrealistic and Pollyanna — read my column and think it over again.

Desalination has been categorically demonized by know-nothings.

Roger Butow

Laguna Beach

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Confiscating skateboards is too much

I ride the buses because I have no car so almost daily I see the Laguna Beach Police dealing with people who are very troubled at the bus station downtown and all over town.

In one recent incident, a homeless man, who has been in town for years, was being given a ticket and was cursing the two cops beyond belief. When given the ticket, he wadded it up and threw it on the cement. I thought the cops should do something, but they didn't.

In my opinion, Laguna Beach cops are great, but I am happy to join Councilman Kelly Boyd in saying that confiscating skateboards because of this or that is too much.

Roger Carter

Laguna Beach

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Funding sources dealt with improperly

In three years of meetings with residents, city staff and City Councilmembers, the Complete Streets Task Force identified sources of public funding for infrastructure projects as early as June 2009, again in April, July and August 2010.

The city never applied for these sources of public funding until now (Enhanced Mobility and Complete Streets Transition Plan, 2012 recently approved by Caltrans). The reasons the city never applied for these sources are because:

•The funding recommendation from CSTF never reached Planning Commission staff.

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