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Mailbag: No need for fire ring ban on all beaches

April 16, 2013

I have been a citizen of Orange County for 37 years and have frequently enjoyed the beach and the fire rings.

Never have I heard of a problem until this year. It appears that the rich of Newport Beach have convinced themselves that they are being inconvenienced again (special airport regulations) and have discovered that they can use the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) to their advantage.

I urge you to reject any attempts to ban the use of the wood-burning fire rings on Orange County beaches. Let the city of Newport Beach do as they see fit within Newport Beach.

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Russell Koelsch

Huntington Beach

The author gave the Independent permission to publish this letter written to AQMD board members William Burke, Judith Mitchell and Shawn Nelson.

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Air agencies make decisions without research

Chris Epting's recent articles on the fire ring issue and the AQMD reminded me of two recent surprises regarding rules from the AQMD or California Air Resources Board (CARB).

I recently refinished a natural wood exterior door threshold and went to purchase some exterior polyurethane to protect it. Surprisingly, one can no longer purchase exterior polyurethane in this area due to the fumes given off when using it.

A few months ago I went to purchase some windshield washer fluid that would withstand freezing weather because we were leaving on a ski trip to Utah. Again, no longer available in this area due to the fumes given off when using it.

I have great difficultly imagining the impact on air quality the removal of these products have on the environment, especially the windshield washer fluid. It's not like people are spraying their windshields all the time and most people use it during rainy weather when air quality is not an issue.

Balance this against the safety issue when driving in freezing conditions and one cannot clear the windshield because the system is frozen.

As pointed out by Epting and Thomas Eastwood in his April 11 letter it appears these agencies make decisions without attempting any actual measurement research.

Armond Briggs

Huntington Beach

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Fire ring issue is exercise of power

The fire ring issue is the perfect example of how politics often trumps arguments regarding science, technology, public health, community needs and civic interests.

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