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The Times Accused of Playing Politics

July 07, 2002

Re "Mormons Get an OK on Newport Steeple," June 27:

Your headline was inaccurate and an example of The Times either playing politics or being influenced by external forces. Newport Beach simply released the draft Environmental Impact Report on the proposed Mormon Temple. Nobody has received any approval to do anything. There is now a 45-day period for the public to comment on the report; then it heads to the Planning Commission.

This is not a religious issue, but rather an issue about building a 124-foot lighted steeple in a residential area. Proponents know that local homeowners oppose such a structure. We would be equally opposed to a water tank or an illuminated gas-station sign of equal height.

Your headline gives those opposed to the structure the impression that it is a done deal and that we might as well give up. They couldn't get this past the opposition back around Christmas so now they are trying to do it during summer vacation. The Times should stick to reporting factual news and not try to editorialize or influence people with inaccurate headlines.

Allen K. Murray

Newport Beach

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