I am a 30-year resident of West Newport. I am writing this note to express my disgust about the current situation at the local strip center at Balboa Boulevard and West Coast Highway. Lately, there has been an influx of mentally ill, homeless and aggressive panhandlers hanging all over the center.
Some workers at Circle K have even expressed fear of certain individuals who hang out there and occasionally come into the store and steal what they can. Our neighborhood has many growing families, which is a pleasant addition to our mix of residents. Lately, they have expressed concerns about the center.
Some have stated that they no longer shop at the center because of the problems and are worried for their children; others say they have been approached by others selling pot and who knows whatever else off the 52nd Street lifeguard tower.
This out of control, and it's only going to get worse. Summer is coming with a great influx of visitors to our city. Is this the memory we want them to take away?
Postscript on Malarky's
It is indeed unfortunate that Malarky's owner Mario Marovic has decided to not go forward with his expansion of the business.
Everyone loses here: the city with less entitlement fees and sales taxes; the neighborhood with the same old aging bar and the same bar patrons cruising through the neighborhood at 2 a.m.; and, of course, the business owner who will be unable to recoup any further investment in the business.
However, the real failure here is with the City Council not providing needed leadership. They listened to the mendacious rants of a small minority in the neighborhood and then proposed a compromise that satisfied no one and angered everyone. Their proposal created a completely untenable situation for the business owner in which to operate the business.
The vocal neighbors who opposed the expansion and unjustly blamed Marlarky's for a majority of rowdy bar customers in the area are now stuck with exactly the same old place with the same old alleged problems.
Don't privatize police chopper
This is in response to a proposed option to save the police helicopter program in Costa Mesa. For certain our city is in financial darkness and so much opposition to all solutions isn't making it any easier. We've swept the budget problems down the road so often in the past few years, it's now time to dig in and fix it.
However, taking private money from a Newport Beach millionaire is absurd. This program costs almost $3 million that we don't have. That's a lot of city jobs, which will keep families in our city working and paying taxes. On that rare occasion we actually need assistance in the air, contracting it through the Orange County Sherriff's Department or Huntington Beach makes more sense.
Let's make some good decisions that will sustain us all for the long run and not play favorites.