Breaking News

-HUNTINGTON BEACH, Tony Barone: In regard to Brian Calle’s article, “Getting Soaked” [Commentary, July 10]: first it was the Newport Beach lifeguards, and now it’s the police motorcycle officers. I’m a retired Los Angeles Police Department police officer who worked patrol the whole time and never wanted to work motors.

These officers are required to maintain their motors after an eight-hour, 10-hour or 12-hour shift for the privilege of being able to take them home afterward. I have known a number of motor officers and in addition to cleaning and polishing these bikes, they are required to maintain their uniforms and leather gear, in addition to cleaning their service weapons for inspections and during roll calls. Some people would think it’s fun to ride a motorcycle all day or night in traffic with the elements attacking you during the shift, not to mention the people you meet.

When the shift is finished, these officers are required to do maintenance, no matter how tired they are or if their backs hurt. Let’s put the blame for this state and some local cities going belly up on the politicians who created the problems. It used to be that government was created for fire and police protection. Now it has gotten to the point that you take your child to a McDonald’s and you are told what your kind of toy you can get with a Happy Meal.

I think it’s about time we start to check out all the perks that our so-called leaders are getting and start there first.

Motorcycle cops get a steal of a deal

-LAGUNA BEACH, Benjamin J. Jones: Getting $5,600 per year overtime pay to wash your motorcycle at taxpayers’ expense is a pretty good deal. What about going to and from work on your motorcycle at taxpayers’ expense? Oh please, you should be using city or county-owned equipment when you get to your job site regardless of whether it is an emergency or not. Another rip-off as usual.

People should wake up on what services and compensation our police and firemen are getting as well as our elected officials – it has bankrupted our state.

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-STANTON, Sandra Stubban: These salaries are much too high and $5,600 per year to keep their bikes clean is utterly ridiculous. I have some additional questions: Does that include the gold dust they must be using to clean the bikes? And please tell me that this amount is not added to their already outrageous pensions. Finally, why would a Newport Beach motor officer be paid more than a CHP officer?

I’m so glad Newport Beach taxpayers can afford this foolishness.

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-SAN CLEMENTE,  Ross Geller: The car wash located across from the Balboa Bay Club offers motorcycle detailing for $45. The city of Newport Beach can have each police motorcycle washed and waxed (including leather protector and shiny tires), twice a week, every week and save a wad of public funds.

Pelosi’s poker face

-BUENA PARK, Daniel A. Thurber: It ceases to amaze me that politicians like Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi continue to lie to the American people with such a straight face. “No benefit cuts in Medicare and Social Security,” she says. Tell me, Mrs. Pelosi, if you don’t cut benefits, then how high do you propose to raise the Social Security tax?

Oh, you are not going to raise the tax either. Then, Mrs. Pelosi, where are the magic beans you possess to balance these two funds? Everybody in America, except for you and the rest of France by the bay (aka San Francisco) knows that without major changes these funds are bankrupt.

Quit lying to the American public and tell the truth for once in your life.

Putting out a Huntington Beach fire

-SAN CLEMENTE, Greg Zeboray: Huntington Beach needs to ride out the existing firefighter contract and then negotiate a new one that does not include ambulance service, county-provided air transport and firefighter-paramedics [“HB and firefighters battle over pensions,” Local, July 10].

There is an abundance of private ambulance operators with advanced life-support units and air ambulance service by private entities such as Mercy Air plus many more that would be happy to fill any void. Now the paramedics: private medics go through the exact same schooling and state licensing procedures as firefighter paramedics, so why is any city or county contracting this service to fire departments? It is time firefighters go back to being just that – firefighters. They should only be on an accident scene when extrication, fire or hazardous materials are involved.

The pay rate, job benefits and pension benefits for those private employees are considerably less than for union firefighters. An L.A. County paramedic once told me he would never take a part-time job with Mercy Air because what they paid in a 24-hour shift was a quarter of what he made in overtime pay with L.A. County.

And people wonder why all government entities are broke or near broke.

A great waste of time

-YORBA LINDA, Tom and Carolyn Croom: After reading the article about the Great Park anniversary celebration [“Great Park christens field, arts complex,” News, July 10], my wife and I checked the hours of the park on their website and decided to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the Great Park. Much to our disappointment, when we got there the park was closed for the day. The reason given was that it was closed to clean up from the previous day’s celebration. There was nothing prominent on their website to that effect and a wasted trip for us.

If the Great Park can’t have an event one day and open the park the next, how are they going to manage a huge complex if and when it’s completed? The Great Park visit for us was the great flop. Shame on Irvine.

Justice failed

-COSTA MESA, Barbara Stone: I am one of countless citizens who, knowing there are journalists and juries in this country speaking out that the “system worked” in the Anthony case, believe it is time (long-past time, actually) to seriously consider abolishing the “system” in this country that allows murderers, pedophiles and abusers to walk free. Message to the American Judicial System: Wake up and remember the true meaning of justice.

Minimum wage fix

-HUNTINGTON BEACH, Larry Blake, Sr.: Everyone complains about the economy and Washington, D.C., Congress and Senate, none of whom want to correct it in an easy way. Eliminate minimum wage and that will immediately put people to work and hired by companies; that will solve 80 percent of the immediate problem.

Keep people from going to welfare for any amount of wages which companies will pay in taxes and Social Security and medical. This is your answer and you know it, but you will not face the music.

Proud to serve

-ANAHEIM, Jackie Williams: To Sgt. Mike Taylor [“What does it mean to serve,” Guest Column, Jul 10]: As a 78-year-old grandmother who served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean “conflict,” I salute you, and I thank you for your service. I only hope that the next generation is aware enough to play their part.

Thank you for your words of truth.
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