While I know these are challenging economic times, and there is a good chance many Orange County residents will see a meaningful increase in taxes paid to the federal government, I am amazed that bayfront residents are responding so negatively to the city attempting to charge market rates for those homeowners choosing to rent an easement across public tidelands for their dock.

While I understand increases to $700 and $1,000 a year (as noted in the recent Daily Pilot article) from the current $100 annual rental rate represents a substantial increase, I can virtually guarantee that if the rights to those docks were auctioned off, the market would set a significantly higher annual rental rate.

Personally, I've been charged $200 per month — that's $2,400 per year, for those who may be math-challenged — for a side tie on one of those docks for an 18-foot Duffy; and I thought that was a great deal based on the location. That same dock was home to two additional significantly larger vessels. If there's someone with a dock that can't afford the new fee, I will gladly take over the responsibility and see if we can work on a lease back at the old rental rate for a portion of the dock. Just let me know.

Damon Wright

Newport Beach

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Naturally disappointed

It was with deep sadness that I read that Lou Murray and Vic Leipzig's gardening column is ending. It is the first thing I read each week. And Lou's recent description of her visit to the Tetons for photography was spellbinding. "…to see the first rays of a rosy-fingered dawn chasing shadows down the front of the Tetons." Why are they being discontinued? Perhaps they are not always local in their reporting, but stepping out with them is a breath of fresh air. Please reconsider.

Shirley E. Roth

Fountain Valley

Editor's note: Budget reductions across Times Community News led us to discontinue some of our regular columns.