While I vehemently disagree with R. Claire Friend regarding the Wisconsin recall, I respect her right to exercise her freedom of speech ("Wisconsin recall election," June 15). Having said that, I would respectfully ask her to save her history lessons, which have become increasingly redundant and a staple in most, if not all, of her political diatribes.

We don't need another lecture about our Founding Fathers fleeing King George, and certainly not from Friend, who appears to have been in a coma during the eight long years that George W. Bush, and especially Dick Cheney, conducted much of the administration's affairs in a clandestine manner and under a cloth of secrecy.

Contrary to Friend's belief, there might have been a time when America was the greatest nation in Western civilization. That time has passed, no thanks to certain individuals (the majority of them being Republican) who have abused their positions as representatives and abused resources to rebuild other civilizations (chief among them Iraq — you know, the war that their oil was supposed to pay for).

All this has happened while our own infrastructure is falling apart, while Congress, under the misguided direction of John Boehner, takes a week's vacation every two weeks. Interesting that none of the heroes (i.e. Gov. Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Allen West and Paul Ryan) who Friend sings the praises of address that salient truth nor have any of them proffered a budget or legislation that would return America to its former greatness.

What speaks volumes is the obvious omission of any mention by Friend of the Republicans' great white hope, Mitt Romney, who would never mistake a brioche for a croissant but asked for one of those "chocolate things" as he pointed to a doughnut during a press junket at the Main Street Café.

Talk about disconnected!

Bette Doremus

Newport Beach

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Harbor tennis coach stresses fun

I read the article about Newport Harbor High School girls' tennis in Sunday's paper (Re. "Radeva, Cernius moving on").

My daughter Elizabeth was fortunate enough to have played under Kristen Case. Unfortunately, she is out of the country studying, so I have to write this for her.

Tennis with Kristen was not just about hitting a tennis ball. It truly was about inspiration, helping those girls reach for the stars and, most of all, having fun. It was a commitment, but isn't that a life lesson in itself?

They won league in 2009 and enjoyed themselves when they accomplished that goal, but they would have had fun and learned many valuable lessons whether they had won or not. I speak for many who do not agree that Kristen expects too much from her athletes. I remain friends with parents I met when Elizabeth was on the team, as does Elizabeth with her team members even though they are now at different colleges.

Kristen was inspiring in so many ways. Three years later, Kristen is still in touch with Elizabeth as a mentor and now a friend, and that has nothing to do with winning a tennis match.

It saddens me that many people seem to forget that being part of a team is about so much more than winning or using it to get into a college.

How many of our local kids will ever play a sport in college, let alone get a scholarship? Not many.

It reminds me of something boys' golf Coach Scott Tarnow said when my son was on the team. At the very first parent meeting. he said that he saw no Tiger Woods on the team. so he stressed that the boys needed to study and, of course, have fun. Maybe parents need to keep that in mind.

It shouldn't be about what the college counselor says to do or the parents hoping for a scholarship. It should be about the kids and inspiring them to reach, or even exceed, their potential, which is just what Kristen stresses.

I for one will forever be thankful that Kristen took over the team, as I know my daughter is.