Re "Bonfire foes blowing smoke," Column, March 29
These are public beaches and the fire rings are a public good. I lived in Corona del Mar from 1965 to 1985, and I can guarantee that if the fire ring users looked like the residents in the nearby homes, smoke would not be an issue.
I don't hear much sympathy for people who buy a home near railroad tracks and then complain about the noise and pollution caused by trains. Every single person who lives near the Newport Beach fire rings knew of their existence before they moved into their multimillion-dollar homes.
Wake up and smell the roses, Newport Beach. There are 7 billion people in the world and only about 10 million millionaires. We are the 99.857%.
I live in Huntington Beach about two blocks from the beach. I am not a wealthy person.
I have asthma, and smoke from the beach fires is one of my triggers. During the summer I cannot drive down Pacific Coast Highway with the car windows open. I cannot ride my bicycle at the beach, and wearing a face mask does not help. We cannot keep the windows open in the house in the late afternoon or evening, especially on weekends.
Yes, there are other things that contribute to air pollution, but beach fires add quite a bit, and exposure to the smoke they cause is very unhealthful. Beach fires are no better than cigarettes when it comes to safety.
Please know that these are real issues, and with more people at the beach burning wood, the smoke has increased over the years.
Instead of removing the fire rings, the state and the city of Newport Beach should use their powers of eminent domain to condemn the houses fronting the beach and Corona Del Mar State Park to create a larger buffer between the fire rings and private property.
This use of eminent domain would actually be for a legitimate public use, expanding the parks and beaches used by all Californians, rather than for some dubious public use such as a shopping mall.
Home prices are relatively low now. This would be a tremendous legacy for future generations of Californians.
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