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Mailbag: Parents need to heal, not sue, after son's death

December 04, 2013

Re. "Family sues city after son's suicide" (Nov. 21): There is no greater pain for a parent than to lose a child by suicide. No one will ever understand what motivated 17-year-old Matthew Cline to shoot himself. Sometimes all it takes is for a coach, teacher or girl to say something disheartening.

Often the parents assume the child did it to hurt them for one reason or another. Then sometime later, reacting out of grief, the parents may direct their anger at each other, and the marriage dissolves into bitterness. In this case, the parents have directed their pain, anger and confusion at our Huntington Beach police officers.

Unfortunately, suing can't bring back a son who made a regretful choice, and no amount of money will work as a salve to heal the wound.

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This loss is never going away — no question, it is psychologically damaging.

If I were Matthew's parents, I would dismiss the lawyer and seek the council of an experienced Catholic priest. He can help them establish closure and find a way to try to get on with life.

John Frederick Hill

Huntington Beach

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Ban on bags is just feel-good law

I felt compelled to provide the following observation based on my experiences since Huntington Beach's plastic-bag ban took effect.

I could not resist using my acumen from my previous life as an engineer to do an analysis and provide a synopsis based on my observations.

Nine of the 10 convenience stores that I have gone to have provided the plastic bags without question even though ordered to cease and desist.

The 10th one was the best of all; it charged me 10 cents for a bag, a plastic bag. The proprietor said the store had to charge for the bag. Clueless.

These bans represent feel-good politics, not grassroots education, and are like gun control, spay-and-neuter and drug laws — inept. The wrong or bad guys will circumvent them.

Now Styrofoam? Please tell me my city taxes are not paying for nanny police. The money could be better used for education, if that is even possible when citizens don't seem to care.

I have another home in the South and see no litter in the area there at all. Whether it be beaches or highways, it is just non-existent. I do see old-town attitudes and respect for the community and environment.

Oh yes, and plastic bags and Styrofoam.

Drew Kovacs

Huntington Beach

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