12:19 AM EST, February 20, 2013
Re. "BB gun sparks shooting scare at Estancia" Feb. 16:
I happened to be at Estancia High School during the recent BB gun incident. While our kids were never in real danger, the recent school shootings made this a sobering experience. As I huddled in a darkened, locked room with school board Trustee Martha Fluor, we worried for the kids, teachers and staff. The halls were quiet and deserted, but soon, thankfully, there was an announcement that all was well and we were safe.
What I found out later was that a parent refused access to his child due to a restraining order threatened our assistant principal, Mike Sciacca, with a partially covered gun. Sciacca didn't hesitate in fighting back and restraining him, joined by our principal, Kirk Bauermeister, until police arrived on the scene.
While they would both say they were just doing their jobs, they are real heroes. It could have been a real gun, and this could have been a real tragedy. I want to personally thank our principals for literally putting their lives on the line for our kids. I also want to thank our staff for following protocol in identifying this man and notifying administration, and I am grateful to our teachers for keeping our kids safe and as calm as possible.
Finally, I want to thank our school board and district administration for putting into place the "Run, Hide, Fight" program this year. Recent events have proven this could happen any community, and we must continue to be diligent to protect our kids.
Estancia PTSA president
Cleaned up bay
Re: "Newport completes lower-bay dredging," Feb. 15:
Hats off and a big thanks for the successful efforts of City Manager Dave Kiff, Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller and Uncle Sam. The timing to complete this needed dredge was a gift from the Port of Long Beach. While I commend the diplomatic wrangling for funds and time spent worrying about deadlines, we need to remember that World War II wasn't the only toxic contributor here.
The county is most likely the biggest source of how almost all this fill entered our Upper Bay, then filling in our Lower Bay. With Orange County's huge, rapid-growth developments approved by the county, storm water had to go somewhere, carrying everything from dead animals to DDT. The tons of fine sediments coming from highly engineered flood-control systems under all the new roads and hundreds of community developments and new cities linked like blood vessels, delivering its gather into our innocent, receiving recreational bay.
The county blindly turned our bay into a flood control system and the end of the pipe is Newport Harbor entrance. Nobody in our city government staff wants to accurately blame the county, the Irvine Co., the Irvine Ranch, California Department of Transportation, water quality control boards and many neighboring cities, plus unincorporated areas in our still-growing watershed.