Well, another five wonderful nights of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade are behind us. The parade this year was incredible. The quality of the boats and the homes continues to get better and better. The crowds keep getting bigger and bigger.

Sunday night was something truly magical, with hundreds of lighted boats floating in the calm waters of Newport Harbor and the amazing fireworks going off over the scene. The crowd's reaction to it just goes to show what a special event the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is to so many. It truly lived up to its ranking as one of the top Christmas light spectacles in the country.

Of course there are so many parade volunteers to thank that we could not possibly list them all. All of their efforts make for a smooth and well-dressed 2 1/2-hour parade for five straight nights.

But the heroes of this event are, of course, the boat and home owners. Their commitment of time and money to make the Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights a reality is an amazing display of generosity. They start weeks and, in many cases, months before the parade week, planning and decorating. Then they spend the five long nights on the water completing the 14-mile parade route. And, finally, they must clean up and tear down.

All of this hard work and generosity provides Newport Beach's Christmas card to the world. It also gives the local restaurants their best five nights of the year. It fills hotel rooms and brings thousands of people to our wonderful town.

So once again, to all of you incredible folks, from the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Committee, thank you.

David Beek and Don Lawrenz

2013 NBCBP chairmen

Newport Beach

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What's behind offbeat ideas?

Costa Mesa government has certainly been operating outside of the box recently, with the proposal to refund its share of property taxes ("Property tax plan gains traction," Dec. 13) and the council's relegation of much public meeting commentary to the very end, before adjournment.

Both ideas were defended as balancing measures that even out competing interests.

In each case, favor goes to the interests of a certain category of property owner. Guess which category is overwhelmingly likely to consist of those who would be motivated to show their appreciation through campaign contributions or votes?

Once again, haves obtain benefits at the expense of others. Par for the course in Costa Mesa.

Brad Tarr

Costa Mesa