William Lobdell's column reached me in Northern California and had me laughing out loud in delight ["Commentary: Bacall, Bogart and the Daily Pilot columnist," Aug. 21] He wrote about Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart and a "pilot columnist," who was my father, Al Lockabey.

Not only did dad love telling stories, but he adored it when others appreciated them, and he did have quite a reputation. I wish I could positively state whether this tale is true or not, but I can't. After all, I was — in addition to being his daughter — just part of his rapt audience.

Lura Lockabey Halbert

Los Gatos

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Vote no on Measure Y

Please ask readers to vote no on Measure Y, so as to stop unwarranted traffic increases and preserve Newport's residential quality of life.

Don Harvey

Newport Beach

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Toll road change is confusing

We just took a 20-day, 6,300-mile cross-country driving trip, which took us on a number of toll roads. We did not always know that we were going to have to be on a toll road. But each experience was painless: you paid the nice person in the toll booth.

By contrast, early in July I missed the exit I intended to take on an Orange County toll road and went one exit too far. Because I was going out of town for several weeks, I promptly went on the website to pay my toll to avoid getting hit with a fine.

What I understood the website to say was that I did not owe anything for that brief section, but when I got home I opened a communication stating I owed $59.25 — the toll fee, plus a fine. We wrote the check to be rid of the hassle, then protested. I am still waiting to see whether I actually owed — or am owed — the money.

It was bad enough for me, a local resident. But I can't imagine how I would react if I had been on a driving trip such as the one we just completed and learned I had to go on some website to determine how much I owe, and pay that amount. We did not even use a computer the entire trip, other than our cell phones.

Some days we were in two or three states; for example, California, Arizona and New Mexico. If every state adopted this web-based system, persons going through multiple states in a short time would be unable to keep up with their tolls. Imagine the fines and ill will.

Speaking from the perspective of a tourist and a resident, this is a totally ill-conceived plan.

Catherine C. Cate

Santa Ana

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Vote no on charter initiative

Here they go again — or not.

It's as if Costa Mesa's City Council majority didn't arrogantly humiliate themselves enough during the previous election with their sure-fire failure of a city charter (Measure V). Shot down in flames by 60% of citizens' vote.

Our sales-oriented council members still have more feet to shoot with their not-so-new approach to pitch their son of Measure V, Measure O. The obviously humiliating hell-no vote of no-confidence by citizens should have been enough to try something more original than the same approach during the next election, except passing it off as written "by the people, for the people."

What the council tries to play down is the fact that it cherry-picked many of "the people" who formed its committee, instead of allowing community input as to who should be "the people" deciding what and/or if Costa Mesa would be better served under the council majority's version of "home rule."

The new Measure O basically allows even more flexibility for council to interpret just about anything, any way it chooses.

James H. Bridges

Costa Mesa

The writer was a member of the Citizens' Bureau of Investigation, a community group.