Thank you for publishing your recent article, "OCTA kills proposed 19th Street Bridge," acknowledging the role of former Huntington Beach Mayor Don Hansen in the successful removal of the proposed Banning/19th Street Bridge from the Orange County Master Plan of Arterial Highways.

With their vote, the OCTA Board of Directors has ended this issue.

Due to term limits, former Huntington Beach Mayor Don Hansen is no longer eligible to serve on the OCTA Board. The mayors of Orange County's Second District have chosen me to be named to the vacancy on the OCTA Board of Directors.

Now that all stakeholders from Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach have had an opportunity to be heard, as an incoming OCTA director and Huntington Beach City Councilman, I will uphold this decision to stop the previously proposed Banning/19th Street Bridge from getting built.

Matthew Harper, mayor pro tem

Huntington Beach

How about bringing back Rockin' Fig?

As a longtime reader and resident, I concur with last week's Mailbag article by Julie Bixby. She commented on the Independent's lack of coverage for Huntington Beach and more additional articles regarding Newport Beach, Westminster and Seal Beach.

It must have been a coincidence that directly underneath her piece was an article about how great the Newport Beach boat parade is.

I would also like to address the absence of the surfing column in a newspaper centered around "Surf City."

First, we all remember a local surfing celebrity by the name of "Rockin' Fig," who was relieved of his "Wet & Wild" column some two years ago.

Fig's column was a staple for locals who frequently picked up the Independent exclusively to read the latest news on surfing contests, results and names of some of the locals who were moving up the ranks in professional surfing. There was quite a backlash, as I recall, and readers were very disappointed that Fig was replaced by an unknown writer from Laguna Beach.

Now that the H.B. Independent has a new City Editor, Alicia Lopez, might there be a possibility of bringing back the beloved Rockin' Fig and his infamous "Wet & Wild" column? There's an awful lot of locals and longtime residents who would be ecstatic to see the "voice" of the U.S. Open back in action.

Andrea Hanst

Huntington Beach

More variety of opinion needed in Mailbag

Re: "Indy Needs more HB" Dec. 13, mailbag

I find Julie Bixby's concern for more Huntington Beach news ironic. The Independent has a long history of relentless articles and Mailbag concerning the environment, to the exclusion anything else.

The Mailbag also has a long history of printing only the same environmentalist authors and their limited ability to deal with anything other than environmental or liberal philosophy. Bixby seems to be concerned that not enough ink is being used for the same old articles.

If the mailbag has a dearth of writers, it could be that no discerning reader pays attention to it anymore. Usually Mailbag will give Tim Geddes a lot of space on any topic. If there are differing opinions provided, they don't appear. The Mailbag is no more than an editorial page where the editor can hide.

However, I expect the Geddes Gazette to continue. Mr. Geddes is a reliable and eloquent liberal reporter that is cherished by the L.A. Times and their liberal cohorts.

The challenge for the Mailbag is dialogue, not monologue. It may take a new editor to replace the one hiding behind the Mailbag in the non-existent mail room.

Charles Osterlund

Huntington Beach