Letters to the Editor


Rich Harbour Helped Save the Beach at Seal Beach

I was greatly saddened by the loss of my friend and former neighbor, Rich Harbour. Rich was famous all over the coastal world for his quality surfboards and the cute little shop on main street, but it is important to remember Rich as a civic leader also. 

In the early nineteen nineties, the Navy base next door wanted to expand and build long breakwaters that would allow the Navy to supply warships for the US invasion of Iraq. These huge structures would have greatly disrupted the sand flows in Seal Beach and Surfside and would have had a very destructive effect on our beaches. 

I was active in the brand new coastal environmental group, the Surfrider Foundation. We started a campaign called “Stop the Breakwater.” The first group that gave our campaign an endorsement was the Seal Beach Business Association. 

Rich was their president and he spoke passionately to the group about the importance of a healthy beach to the community. Every business owner raised their hand “yes” to support us in our campaign. That endorsement was an opening boost to our campaign to save the beach. Finally, with the help our then-Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and our city council, the Navy backed off and Seal and Surfside were saved. I remember Rich for making all my cool surfboards, but I remember him more as a community leader.

Gordon LaBedz

Kaua’i, Hawai’i

Supports McGaugh pool site

Dear Mayor Kalmick

I am writing to express my support of keeping the McGaugh pool site.  Keeping the McGaugh site is desirable for numerous reasons: 

• Financial: the eventual cost will to renovate the pool will be less expensive than building a new pool on the grounds the Navy Weapons Station.

• Getting Coastal Commission approvals for the renovation/upgrades of an existing pool site will be far easier than getting approvals for a completely new site that is intertwined with navy military/security approvals and logistics, as well as lease costs. 

• The McGaugh pool provides a familiar and well located site for children’s swim lessons, our local swim team and Jr. Guards, with many generations of Seal Beach children having attended or are attending McGaugh School.  

• It is in a location that is close by and safe for children to walk or bike to from Old Town or The Hill.

• The pool has been a long time casual meeting place for parents during their kid’s swim lessons, pool parties and/or adult lap swim times.  

The familiar and friendly atmosphere at McGaugh pool reflects our small town ambiance. 

Personally, I have been lap swimming at McGaugh pool for over 20 years.  Not only do I lap swim for my fitness, but throughout the years I have been fortunate to use the pool to rehab after back surgery, hip surgery, knee surgery and just whenever I need to relax and clear my head.   The McGaugh pool is a part of the fabric of our Seal Beach community and needs to remain where it’s at.


Vanessa Joe

Seal Beach

Criticisms of Leisure World may be colored

I’m finding it difficult to read Anne Walshe’s monthly criticisms of Leisure World’s board in the Sun’s pages (see July 8, June 3, April 8) after discovering her opinions may be colored by her simultaneous roles as a LW resident, employee, and litigant against Leisure World. 

For instance, despite Ms. Walshe’s frequent complaints concerning LW’s expensive ways, she was one of two employees who sued LW for about $2 million for supposed wage-hour violations, then settled for $565,000. (It’s Brock vs. GRF, case 30-2017-00952709, if you’re curious). 

While she gets to enjoy her settlement check, each of her 6,607 fellow shareholders have ponied up $85 to pay Ms. Walshe, her co-plaintiffs, and their lawyers.   

The lawsuit revealed the motive of Ms. Walshe’s lead co-plaintiff. He sued after he got fired from his job. I don’t understand Ms. Walshe’s motive. While she comments in your newspaper as a resident, she remains a LW employee, and takes a salary from shareholders of the organization that she stated mistreated her. 

I am certainly not arguing against Ms. Walshe’s right to be represented in your pages. However, as your readers assess her views of our community, they need to understand Ms. Walshe’s potential conflicts.  

Jean Flannigan

Seal Beach Leisure Worlda

Maintain a community pool

As long-time residents of Seal Beach, where a public community pool was always available, we would encourage the City to do whatever it can to maintain a community pool in this town. We believe that it is imperative for the youth of our community to be water safe, and that can begin in a pool and transfer to the ocean – where junior guard classes are conducted during the summer.

Our family has utilized the McGaugh pool over the last 40+ years for our children and grandchildren for lessons, swim team, lap swim and enjoyment. Please see that this continues for the future! It will have our support.

Karen and Randy Ferretti

Seal Beach

Poisonous material

It is my understanding that Los Alamitos Unified School District (LAUSD) is utilizing ethnic studies as a means of developing better educated students. However, one of the main problems is that the ethnic studies course that LAUSD plans to use to teach our K-12 students is drawn from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s framework “Teaching Tolerance.” What a nice sounding name from an anti-Christian organization!

Under the guise of “our children must be taught to understand other points of view,” the Southern Poverty Law Center’s program ignores all points of view except liberal doctrine. Although the United States still has the First Amendment Freedom of Expression, LAUSD concludes (via the poisonous material it wants to use in this program) that only liberal points of view are welcomed. All other – and that means mine – are considered racist hate speech.

Black Lives Matter violence has defaced or destroyed statues of great American patriots. Those statues represent MY freedom of expression. Recently, two bronze statues of George Floyd have been erected in Newark and Brooklyn. No one should ever die while in police custody but let us not ignore the fact that this entire incident began when Floyd was passing counterfeit money in a small business owner’s store.

National Education Association President Becky Pringle recently stated on CBS News that, “Students need to actually confront injustices that have been built into social systems within this country.” Ridiculous! Most of this country (and that means millions of White Americans) proudly elected and then re-elected the Black Barack Obama. Even liberal Bill Maher says it is insane to talk about America as if things were the same as 100 years ago!

The goal of critical race theory is to replace the America of equal rights of the individual with the revolutionary idea of unequal rights based on identity. Here are comments of three Black men:

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Critical race theory basically gives Dr. King the middle finger as it focuses on a person’s skin color.

The video of Dr. Ty Smith chastising his local school board for wanting to teach critical race theory so that the youth would learn to hate each other based on their skin color went viral. Dr. Smith said in an interview that critical race theory is “a whole bunch of nonsense, virtue signaling, playing off people’s emotion. The only race there is, is the human race.”

Following the sentencing of the former police officer who was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, his brother Philonise Floyd said, “Not just black lives matter, but all lives matter.”

What happened to the Democratic Party that once proudly stood for the United States of America? Let’s remember what President John F. Kennedy stated in his January 20, 1961, Inaugural Address, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for our country.” We need to focus on the POSITIVE of our wonderful country.

Karen Swenson


Letters to the Editor