Tuesday, April 27, 2010

18 Year Old Drinking Age

This is a letter to the Daily Pilot that I wrote in answer to the front page article about a young man who wants to change the drinking age to 18 - Again!

It always amazes me that every generation fights the same issue of the drinking age.Usually the main reason is the military one. If they are old enough to put their lives on the line in combat they are old enough to drink. Eric Paine is not old enough to have seen the results of a lowered drinking age in my time (I am 63).

In this generation of "helicopter parents" and children whose main decision has been what game to play on the internet I don't believe that they are ready for EITHER option. I have talked to parents who 18 year old have gone into the service and they agree with me that at the very least a soldier should not be assigned to combat before 21 years old.

Young men and women at 18 are not old enough or mature enough to realize what they are doing when they sign up for the military. Because of my age I read the obituaries on a daily basis. Every day there are young men (and women) whose lives have ended before 21. It is terrible enough when the person is in his late 20s or 30s, but it is horrific if they are younger than 21 and starting out in life.

I realize that the argument against this is there already is a shortage of individuals available for military service. And 18 year olds are much easier to convince than 21 year olds. And what will the high school graduates with no college ambition do? Does this mean we need to sacrifice young lives? I don't think so. Just wait until they are a bit older - and 21 still isn't that old - then send them into combat. The reality of life will be clearer and their judgment will have improved through 3 years of non-combat military training.

Finally, I went to college in the 60s and 70s when some of the states had the 18 year old drinking age. Binge drinking was rampant then. It is part of college, unfortunately. It won't go away by letting kids drink at a younger age.

We live in a different society than our forbears whose young children worked on the farm and in factories. 400 years ago people were old at 35 and dead at 45. The stages of our lives were smaller - children had to grow up at a young age and were parents and soldiers in their teens. The average age of a bride has risen considerably in the last century. Isn't it time we rethink what is the actual maturity age for a person in the 21st century? I think so. 18 year olds are not, for the most part, grownups in the protective environment they grow up in this day and age.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


We are on the countdown to the 20th Annual All Island Garage Sale. It is hard to believe I have been doing this for all those years. With the help of my assistants - this year Patti Gordon and Patty Marjama. Delegation becomes a necessity, not an option as you get older!!!

The Balboa Island All Island Garage Sale is posted on www.balboa-island.com a year in advance and the phone calls about the date start coming in in September. I always knew it would be a fun event, but never imagined people would plan their vacations around it!! One person I know even cut a European trip short so he could come home and participate!! As I mentioned before my husband Mike doesn't like Garage Sales, so he still marvels that someone would actually come home from Europe for the Garage Sale!!

One of the reasons the Garage Sale is as popular as it is comes from the fact that the neighbors get involved in the walking and buying as well as the selling. There is a saying - "Nothing ever leaves the Island - it just moves from House to House." And in a large part that is true. However there are a lot of relatives of Island residents that show up with their treasures to sell at the sale as well.

We usually have over 100 alley locations. Bikes, Cars, Wagons, Strollers and People fill the alleys. Parking is impossible to find before noon after 8 am. Everything from antiques, to furniture to kayaks and exercise equipment can be found. And you have to believe there will be people looking for old gold jewelry this year with the price of gold over $1100/oz.

Come to the Island and enjoy the camaraderie and the fun - and pick up a few fabulous finds along the way.

In two weeks we will have the Balboa Island Art Walk - Sunday May 16, 2009. More about that later. Put that date on your calendar as well.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


This from my Columnist Dee Dawson - Dated Thursday April 15, 2010
I am going over to visit A.K. as usual on Thurs. Just a few short hrs. earlier, apparently a girl had come into Rachel's and tried to rob the place of a ton of merchandise. A.K. being suspicious of the girl already, acting incoherantly and weird (on crank or meth) approached her single-handedly to open her backpack. When the girl refused and threatened to "mess her up",
A.K. practically 'shook her down' to recover her clothing - and the girl took off running down Marine. IN the meantime, the Postwoman saw the rucus, dropped her mail-cart and joined inrunning, dialing her Cell for 911. Other town people were out walking and (also) getting on their Cells for the Police as A.K. was shouting for help. Then a guy who is a Soap-Opera actor ran out of his yard and gave chase also!! (This is practically slap-stick @ this point)
The girl ran onto S. Bayfront and into a private home's yard! They all tackeled her there and held her until the Police arrived. A.K. declined to press charges as she did recover her merchandise out ot the girls bag.
But honestly, she put herself into a particularly vulnerable high-risk situation!! These people could be armed - watch out for those Armenian girls (ed - AK is Armenian) - they're street tough!! (Recalling Rachel, in her 70's taking down a robber from theirplace with her own hands!!)
Editor's note - the "soap-opera" star was our own Peter Bergman!!!
On a much lighter note - don't forget the All Island Garage Sale coming to Balboa Island on Saturday May 1, 2010 and the Art Walk on Sunday May 16, 2010. Both events are a lot of fun and positive energy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


May first is coming quickly. The first Saturday in May And the event I envisioned when I first moved to Balboa Island 20 years ago. The Balboa Island - All Island Garage Sale. For many years I was in the housecleaning business and my clients were always giving me furniture and household items when they remodeled. I got to "redecorate" my own house with new furnishings at least once a year. Then I would sell the old items at a garage sale.

When I moved to Balboa Island I saw this was the perfect place to have a garage sale. I started small - with two streets - the "Opal-Topaz" garage sale. When others saw how successful that version was they asked me to help expand the idea. I told Mike "I am going to have an all-island garage sale". Mike said, "No one will ever come."

Was he wrong. It is a fun, fun, fun event - for Island Residents and outsiders. People start calling in September to ask me when it is even though the date is published all year long on www.balboa-island.com and on the program I distribute at the current garage sale.

The program has been an issue in itself. In order to keep the sale fun and fair I don't allow them to be distributed until after 7:30 am on Saturday morning. I used to have them printed at Staples. Strangely enough copies were leaking out before 7:30 am and people were showing up to buy the night before. Now I print them in house and no one ruins the fun. Everyone has an equal chance to find the wonderful bargains - no Friday night knocks on the doors :)

More about the garage sale in my next blog. Since I have been doing this for 20 years - crazy me - who does an event for 20 years - I have lots to write about.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Meeting the Mayor

This week I received a note from Tara Finnegan at the City of Newport Beach to post on www.balboa-island.com . Our new mayor, Keith Curry, was going to be across the street at the Beek Center to meet and greet the Citizens of Balboa Island and Newport Beach today.

Last year when I was involved in the Underground Utilities issue I wrote to all the City Councilmen and Keith was the only one who responded to me and to several other residents of Balboa Island. It was noted at the time and I wanted to tell him that we appreciate his attitude as a 'public servant' rather than one of being elected and then ignoring the constituents as so often happens.

His wife, Pam, greeted everyone at the door and was a down- to- earth really nice person who seemed interested in what we had to say. Keith listened to my problems and asked me to send him an e-mail outlining what I had going on with the City and he would direct me to the proper personnel. That is all I could expect. Just the fact that he took time from his Saturday morning to listen to the citizens was a positive thing. Especially since he probably didn't get as many "atta-boys" as gripes and concerns.

While searching the internet for a picture to post with this blog my opinion of Keith took another step up. There was an article in the Register April 2. 2010 (where I got Keith's picture) that talked about "gifts" that Keith had received - about $5,000 - in the last year. Keith was the only one to list his gifts except for long time City Councilman Don Webb and I believe he was exact and honorable in his listing.

It was too bad the headline was "Mayor reports receiving $5,422 in gifts". It should have been - "Mayor Reports Actual Gifts - What a Refreshing Change." Especially since the "gifts" were well within the limits set by law. I wish our Federal Politicians were as honest.

I think Keith will be a good person to represent our city for the next year. I wish him luck and if you ever get a chance to meet him - do so.