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Mailbag: 'Bridge to nowhere' is wrong priority

Environmental PollutionEnvironmental PoliticsMiningBarack ObamaMetal and MineralJohn Larson

Too bad you can't do a survey to determine how the residents who get stuck with the bill feel about this latest City Council decision to build a bridge to nowhere. (Re. "Newport council approves $2-million bridge," Nov. 29).

Every day we read about how strapped the various levels of government are for funds to provide for education and other basic services.

In Newport Beach, however, we have the money to add a $2-million tail to a $130-million white elephant, but we avoid fixing our streets. Who sets these priorities? Oh well, just another day spent observing a display of arrogance by our political class.

Bob Thompson

Newport Beach

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UCLA column inspires cross-bay rivalry

First of all, Bruin fans are no "smarter, hipper and infinitely more humble" than Trojan fans and alumni. Secondly, UCLA is not "far superior in every other conceivable way" than USC. Third, the comment "the University of Spoiled Children with its over-the-top fundraising machine and unapologetic arrogance" is absurd (Re. "Apodaca: A Bruins fan in Newport is something of a Trojan horse" Dec. 4).

Has Apodaca ever sat in the UCLA section with her 8-year-old child wearing an SC jacket only to be subjected to continual harassment by UCLA fans until the kid had to move? Doubt it.

Both schools have their positives and negatives. Both schools have classy alums and knuckleheads. I'm sure the readers have decided in which category Apodaca fits.

John Larson

Newport Beach

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Tighten mercury regulations

Every time I eat fish and breathe the acid fog that often sneaks in at our coast, I know I am increasing the amount of mercury in my system. Dirty, coal-fired power plants are the No. 1 source of mercury pollution in the United States, emitting more than 130,000 pounds of toxic mercury pollution in the year 2009 alone.

Power plants are allowed to spew mercury pollution without national limit, and this exposure has been linked to developmental disorders and learning disabilities. More than 800,000 public comments have demonstrated support for strong Environmental Protection Agency regulations regarding mercury, and now it's up to President Obama to finalize the protections.

Not only will new standards create jobs installing pollution-control equipment on outdated power plants while expanding the clean-energy industry, but they will save money for working families suffering health problems from toxic pollution. We all need to let Obama know that he must push for strong mercury protections.

Rhea Dorn

Costa Mesa

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