It seems like yesterday that those outside of Orange County hardly knew we existed. Working primarily in Los Angeles County, I would receive puzzled expressions when asked why I (or anyone) would want to live behind The Orange Curtain.
Quite proudly, I described some of the benefits available, if one bothered to peek beneath this imaginary curtain. Many desirability factors extended beyond Disneyland and various secret destinations and opportunities.
Further enlightenment included my describing fresh, new communities popping up, relatively low crime rates, property values going through the roof and slightly more palatable costs of living.
Over the decades, news eventually drew the Orange Curtain open, revealing maturation and regional business growth, that now populated our once agriculturally oriented towns.
Even in current times, news items include noise level conflicts, beach fire rings, arguable nuisance laws, local hospital policy changes, boat docking and park usage fees, etc.
Seemingly catastrophic happenings, such as local teens getting temporarily lost a short distance from home while perhaps celebrating a bit much, or irresponsibly driving, are examples of major events.
Despite growth, cities such as Costa Mesa, currently celebrating 60 years of incorporation, are actively dealing with anticipated growing pains.
Issues with homelessness, land use, holiday protocol, budget decisions and the like are being worked out, along with sharing of resources with neighboring communities. Leveraging the small-town attitude is still somewhat of a baffling concept to neighboring governments.
Every region has its pluses and minuses. I admit being sheltered and spoiled behind our small Orange Curtain. It's not for everybody. Rightfully so, not everyone prefers small oranges to bigger apples. Fortunately, this may be food for thought for all of us.
James H. Bridges
Abortion policy change
We are shocked and extremely disappointed by the decision of the board of Hoag Hospital to buckle under the heavy hand of Catholic doctrine and ban elective abortions as part of its long practice of providing full services for women's reproductive health.
This is a stunning betrayal of its staff and the community that has supported it for so many years, an unnecessary sacrifice of its values and principles and an incomprehensible failure of leadership.
The leaders of Hoag and the Catholic Church have put a knife through the heart of a great institution and the community and people who have created and maintained its excellence.
This should not have happened. They have underestimated the community that they serve by imagining that they could make a decision with such profound ramifications with impunity.
Holly and Peter Fuhrer
Commentary really about Public Records Act
The commentary by Ron Kaye in Sunday's edition, "Outcry preserve the right to know," is fascinating, but also extremely puzzling to those who know what he's talking about.
The article is clearly about the recent assault on the California's Public Records Act (Government Code §§ 6250 et seq.), but the author erroneously refers to it, at every opportunity, as the Brown Act.
The Brown Act (Government Code §§ 54950 et seq.) is something completely different, protecting public access to meetings, rather than documents; and although it, too, was recently under assault through suspension of the state reimbursements for compliance, that problem was corrected in the 2012 general election by voter approval of a little-known amendment to the California Constitution, hidden deep within Proposition 30, which eliminated the requirement for reimbursement by the state.