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Report on Facts, Not Partisanship

March 27, 1986

The March 16th issue of The Times (Long Beach section) included an article by Daryl Kelley concerning the state Coastal Commission's rejection of the height limit for construction in the Belmont Shore, Naples and peninsula areas. Portions of that article destroyed what credibility your newspaper had in my household.

For example, ". . . the Coastal Commission sided with Councilwoman Jan Hall, who argued that the majority of her constituents favor a two-story limit." The events that took place during that commission hearing on March 13 in Culver City were not a contest of taking sides--Jan Hall accurately represented the majority of the affected 3rd District constituents and reported facts. The Coastal Commission stripped emotion away from the rhetoric, agreed with Mrs. Hall and others present, and based their decision on hard, cold facts that the density would go up, meaning more people and cars, etc., that access to the coastal areas would go down, and that the majority of the affected residents desired to keep the one- and two-story profile characteristics of the areas.

Going further, why was Councilman (Wallace) Edgerton selected to represent an alternative viewpoint? He represents the 2nd District, not the residents of the 3rd District. He was not at the hearing. His statement that the commission vote simply perpetuates a dispute that has split Belmont Shore and Naples, followed by ". . . as a legislator she's incompetent . . ." suggest that his priorities and analytical skills are skewed. The Coastal Commission's charter is not to put local disputes to rest, but rather to oversee the coastal areas for the common good. If anything, the Long Beach City Council should be embarrassed in having abdicated their responsibility to the Coastal Commission. Edgerton reportedly supports an opposing candidate (other than myself) in the upcoming April 8 primary elections, and one could infer that Edgerton's remarks are partisan politics in their worst form and forum.

After returning from the Coastal Commission hearing that Thursday (March 13), I was the (first, to my knowledge) person who contacted your Long Beach office and alerted them to the events of that morning. I trusted (obviously without foundation) that unbiased reporting would result. I suggest that you owe the residents of Long Beach, especially the 3rd District, and specifically Mrs. Hall, an apology. You should responsibly report facts, not partisan slurs.

--E.W. (Bud) Huber Jr.

Belmont Shore

Huber is a City Council candidate in District 3.

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