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Touch of Anger in Newport Beach

April 17, 1988

For years I've lived in Newport and tried to be calm, rational--even nice--despite my bias toward preserving the residential neighborhoods and enhancing the environment. Now I'm going to blow it all in one letter because I'm seeing red over the way the collective wisdom at City Hall is seeing fit to treat the "Touch of Green" Committee.

The "Touch of Green" Committee was recently formed by residents of Newport Heights because they were seeing red over the way City Hall was treating Mariners Mile and their neighborhood. The "Touch of Green" Committee wants to maintain a touch of green in an otherwise increasingly paved-over section of the city.

Residents of Newport Beach who prize their city do so because of their neighborhoods and the unique topographical features that give everyday city life a touch of relief from acres of asphalt and cement. A touch of water, a touch of hillside, a touch of bluff-top, a touch of green, make our neighborhoods special. But all that can be lost by a gradual degradation of the green areas and siege by dense development.

The Newport Heights neighborhood happens to be one of the nicest neighborhoods in the city. People who live there care. But the growth mongers are digging at their hillsides, their parks, their touch of green. And now, with the most abandon I can remember seeing, the bulldozer came, covered a section of the little wetland stream, dug into the park hillside, slopped up the area in preparation for putting up a wall where green hillsides were before, and parking cars.

It's time someone laid the blame where it belongs--the City Council. It knows these residents care about their touch of green. And I'm going to be seeing red until it chooses to care about it too.

JEAN WATT

Newport Beach

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