Reading Karen Klein's commentary had me fuming on Friday (Commentary, "Why bring NOAA into the sea lion killing?," April 5).

In the editorial, the writer says, "Sad, but was it irresponsible? Criminally or civilly irresponsible?" I say yes! A sea lion was killed in a national nature reserve. If I had a big strong dog, would it be responsible of me to let my young daughter take it for a walk? Does she have the knowledge or strength to restrain the dog?

Had this happened to me, my dog would have been taken to the pound to be destroyed. I would most likely be in handcuffs on my way to jail. Is there a double standard? Sure looks like it to me.

A federal case? Yes. NOAA is the correct agency because it does in fact oversee the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Scott Alan

Laguna Beach


'Best practices' needed before parking structure

In response to Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson's letter to the editor, ("Mailbag: Meeting about parking, Village Entrance," March 15), and subsequent council action about converting the existing parking lot on the northeast corner of Forest Avenue and Laguna Canyon Road into a park and stacked parking lot.

The city's current plan promises that if the city builds this stacked parking lot up against the hill behind the farmers' market, there will be less auto congestion in the central business district and the Pageant of Masters, [seven-degrees], Sawdust Art and Art-A-Fair festivals will make more money.

There is no data or best practices information to support either promise. How do we tell the difference between a myth and reality? Simple: We do research, we count, we do accounting, baseline data, evidence based documentation.

In an interview with parking guru Donald Shoup, a 75-year-old professor of urban planning at UCLA and author of the landmark book, "The High Cost of Free Parking," Shoup states clearly more parking in a downtown area will generate more auto trips.

I invite us to learn from best practices before we invest in a taxpayer funded parking structure.

Michael Hoag

Laguna Beach


Food pantry thankful for donations

Last weekend, our dear friend and volunteer, Cathy, celebrated a milestone birthday. Instead of receiving gifts at the party, she asked that her friends bring non-perishable foods for the Laguna Food Pantry.

Fortunately for us, she is loved by an inordinate number of people, whose gifts helped fill our shelves. May her thoughtfulness inspire others to celebrate special events with food drives of their own.

Our thanks to Cathy and to all of you who have supported the pantry's mission to provide free groceries to our neighbors in need.