Re. "Mobile home park conversion stalled," (July 16): It was sad to hear the voices of residents frightened at the prospect of losing their homes, pleading for the City Council to turn down a developer's request to allow conversion of their mobile home park into apartment buildings. Some complained that they had only learned of it the day before upon reading of it in the Daily Pilot.

These Costa Mesa residents, like many others, had paid scant attention to their city government until faced with a direct threat to their well-being. It doesn't have to be that way. You have more than a vote; you have a voice and can influence our municipal government.

For example, the city is currently preparing a new, updated General Plan, a blueprint for the future of Costa Mesa, involving land use, noise, traffic circulation, housing, open space and other aspects of life in our little corner of Orange County.

Staff members and a consultant are holding community meetings for residents and business owners to discuss our vision for Costa Mesa's future. This is your chance to help determine what life will be like for yourself and those who come after you. You can accept that responsibility and help to shape that future.

The next General Plan meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 23 at the Emergency Operations Center, located between City Hall and the Police Department, opposite the Fairgrounds. I hope to see you there.

Eleanor Egan

Costa Mesa

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Lions Park plane

Re. "Panther gets a new coat," (July 18): The front cover photo of the fighter plane at Lions Park in Costa Mesa sure brings back memories. When I was 9, I used to stay with my grandmother, who owned a duplex on Anaheim Street just around the corner, about the only childhood home I remember that has not yet been torn down.

I remember when the plane was first put in the park. It was a real plane then with knobs, buttons and meters with which you could fool around. I recall crawling down into the hold along with masses of other kids and we all relived World WAR II.

As the years went by it got torn up pretty badly and all of the cool stuff disappeared. Sometime in more recent years, it has been plastered over and now merely resembles the glorious fighter that it once was. These days, with so many people ready to sue over a cut finger, such a big toy as I played in as a kid can no longer be enjoyed. Oh, for those good old days!

Lenard Davis

Newport Beach

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Hoag has freedom too

Re. "Commentary: A free society allows healthcare choices": I applaud Margaret Mooney's stance on freedom. All Americans should be so concerned with guaranteeing freedom in our country. I would like to ask her one question, though. Would you deny Hoag Hospital the freedom to chose what services it wants to provide?

I don't see Hoag Hospital's choice to exercise its freedom to choose not to do abortions a denial of anyone else's rights. Women still have the right to an abortion. They even have a choice on where to have it done. The only thing that has changed is Hoag Hospital is no longer a choice.

Margaret, if you are going to support freedom — demand freedom — you have to be willing to give freedom to others as well.

Vicki Bowers

Newport Beach