As I had widely predicted to all who would listen, Jill Hardy came in first in the City Council elections despite the unprecedented smear campaign launched against her by powerful partisan special interests through Atlas PAC ("Hardy top vote-getter in H.B. council contest," Nov. 8).

It remains to be seen what effect this brazen example of gutter politics will have on our body politic in Huntington Beach. I hope it will lead to a wave of campaign reform that has the new council majority out front on curbing this brand of negative campaigning in the future.

Hardy's victory was a clear sign that the citizenry has become sick and tired of special-interest-dominated leadership in our city and that community interests should now come to the fore. The big winners in the election were the residents of Huntington Beach.

Tim Geddes

Huntington Beach

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Council's got a brand new bag

Good riddance to City Councilman Devin Dwyer! Though pro-environment, I voted against Dwyer solely for his support of the idiotic proposed ban on plastic grocery bags with handles.

Banning this vital staple of modern life will hurt low-to-middle-income voters the most; hardly a "progressive" act! (Plant-based alternative bags are available; why not promote those and phase out petroleum plastics gradually?)

In the future, I for one will vote against any other bag-ban supporters, "liberal" or "conservative" (and I for one will shop elsewhere if this ban goes through). The people have spoken; is the City Council listening?

Therese Egrafed

Huntington Beach

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Blessing helps overcome barriers

"Somewhere, on the other side of that horizon (the ocean's), all the answers may await us. Here on the sand, for now, we do our best." In these few words, you captured something about the fifth annual Blessing of the Waves at Huntington Beach that all of us who work on the event every year truly believe in ("'Blessing' faith at finest," City Lights, Oct. 18). And you captured something that all who were there experienced.

Thank you for the whole editorial. You shared your personal reaction to the event and I'm sure it struck a chord with many of your readers. Your words were so focused on the reality of what was happening: A cross-section of our diverse city had gathered there by the pier, despite the many religious, political and cultural differences that often separate us, enjoying a glorious summer-like day and openly giving thanks together for the sand and the sea.

Fr. Christian Mondor

Huntington Beach

The writer is vicar emeritus at Sts. Simon & Jude Catholic Church.

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Nature column was a treasure

We were very disappointed to learn that you would be discontinuing the weekly Natural Perspectives column by Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray. It has been most interesting and informative and something we have looked forward to in each issue of the Huntington Beach Independent.

Please reconsider this decision as there certainly are other columns that could be eliminated instead to free up space and reduce your overhead.

Ron and Helene Schnorr

Huntington Beach