Re: "Is It Time For Athletic Fields at Fairview?" (July 31):

I drive by Fairview Park frequently and view most of it as a major eyesore. Has anyone considered the possibility of just adding some nice grassy fields and letting the users create their own athletic fields?

It's not that difficult for kids to show up at a nice park with a bat, a ball, a few bases or soccer goals or a football and enjoy themselves. It is really not necessary to have a backstop, grandstand, coaches, uniforms, team pictures and trophies to enjoy a game of ball.

Paul Kuhn

Newport Beach

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Lifeguard coverage fails gag test

I am a 40-year resident of Newport Beach. Over that stretch the city lifeguards have pulled my children, my grandchildren and various guests out of the surf. I have the highest regard for their competence and dedication. It is from that experience that I derive the following comments.

Our city is often portrayed, in other media, as supercilious or smug or silly. I think it is unnecessary for the Pilot to add ammunition to that conception.

The front page article and photo coverage of the Ben Carlson tragedy in Sunday's paper ("'Who do you love? Lifeguards'" was a travesty. Photos of the deceased lifeguard's parents laughing, smiling and hugging a young girl alongside a skateboarder leading a procession of "mourners" down the boardwalk, where it is against the law to ride a skateboard, was so pitifully tasteless as to fail the gag test.

This is an unforgivable exploitation. The editors should have known better.

Dick Taylor

Newport Beach

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Our lifeguards are tops

Lifeguards really help people aspire to set and meet challenges.

I learned this from Julie Moore's inspirational writing in the Daily Pilot ("Commentary: To thank the lifeguards, a swim of her own," July 12). The demonstration and fundraiser for Ben Carlson is further evidence of our appreciation of them.

Al Wonders

Newport Beach

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Toll roads have an elitist quality

If the purpose of putting a toll road on the 405 is to reduce traffic, then it should go all the way to LAX, if not into Los Angeles. Additionally, there should be a toll road on the 5 Freeway. And let's not forget the 55.

I've traveled all these freeways during rush hour, and they are all equally crowded. The congestion on the 91 doesn't get bad until you get to the toll road. My question to Caltrans is: Who on the south end of your proposed toll road wants this change? The only people who will see reduced traffic are those wealthy enough to pay the tolls.

This isn't a fair or equitable solution to traffic congestion. Toll lanes only improve traffic for those able to pay to use them, continuing to leave the hoi polloi stuck in traffic. Every working person on this route should be screaming discrimination.

Vicki Bowers

Newport Beach