Saturday, February 10, 2007

Rain, Youth's Pain And "Your Neighbor's" Brain


Here are a few things to mull over this weekend. It's supposed to rain, so you'll just be sitting around, longing for football games, anyhow.

On Monday the new Planning Commission will be seated, including "improver" Sam Clark and carpetbagger Jim Righeimer. I wonder if Dana Rohrabacker will show up for the festivities? The highlight of that event will be the ceremony acknowledging the contributions of Bill Perkins and Bruce Garlich during their six years on the commission. Looking at the agenda report, the new commission will have it's hands full that evening. I find myself wondering if one loyal "improver" will show up at the meeting after being rejected three times by our young jailer/mayor for a spot on the commission. The carpetbagger got his seat when the music finally stopped.

Tuesday brings us the City Council study session in which the Youth in Government program, quashed last month by the council, has a chance for resurrection. You will recall that the mayor, in fit of pique, led the vote to "receive and file" the plan because he hadn't had a chance to provide "input". Alicia Robinson in the Daily Pilot recently reported that, curiously, none of the council members had provided any questions to be answered in the study session. During the council meeting in which the program was effectively trash-canned, Rubber Stamp Leece protested that it hadn't been her intent as, Parks and Recreation Commission Chair when this program was discussed last April, to have the program launched before the council had a chance to address it.

My review of the proceedings revealed a very different picture. She was all a'twitter about it and couldn't wait to second Mark Harris' motion, "to support the City funding and the implementation of a Youth in Government Program for the next fiscal year, and to have staff work with the School District to ensure that students who participate in this program are credited hours towards community service requirement for graduation" That was the extent of the motion. No other comments were made before or after the vote implying that it was their intent to recommend to the City Council any action on this issue. Subsequently, the City Council approved the budget, which included the modest amount of $3,800 for this program.

If our young jailer/mayor honestly wanted to provide "input" on this issue, he had the gestation period of a human embryo during which to provide it. I don't know, maybe it takes that long for an idea to evolve in his cranium. This is just a sham, of course. Katrina Foley initiated this plan, and the New Majority has demonstrated that they will crush the hopes of the children and the seniors in this community if necessary to prohibit Foley from getting credit for anything. Such is the pitiful condition of leadership in Costa Mesa these days.

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In the meantime, that bozo over at the CM Press - a guy who very much resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor - spent his week creating more fiction for his acolytes. He ripped the school district and the city for the poor showing by three Costa Mesa schools, blaming - you guessed it - illegal immigrants! Of course, that's all part of his scheme to rid our city of anyone with a Latin-sounding name. His solution to the shortage of playing fields is to plow under a handful of apartment buildings in the city where - you guessed it again - Latinos live, to make more fields.

He chided the council about their lack of effort to "market" Costa Mesa to developers. He suggested the city wine and dine potential developers and used an exceptionally obnoxious illustration to make his point.

He repeatedly pumped Camp Pendleton as a venue for a new airport to take the pressure off John Wayne Airport. ( I agree with that, by the way) With this country in the midst of a nasty war, it's unlikely the federal government will unload any portion of their primary Marine training base for an airport.

He assailed the process of doling out Community Development Block Grant funds to charities. You will recall that he "resigned" from the 3R Committee, the body charged by the council to assess and recommend to the council recipients for such funds, last year in the run-up to the campaign. It is assumed that he bailed out at that time just to take pressure off our young jailer/mayor because of his association with this guy. If he had his way, not a single charity in town would receive those funds because they encourage the presence of undesirables - you know, those folks who can't afford to live here - the hungry, elderly and, here we go again, Latinos.

Perhaps his most bizarre suggestion was, once again, to dredge out part of the Santa Ana River to make a "harbor" for Costa Mesa. It's a truly weird suggestion, since we don't have a way to access it. However, that's our guy - fabricating issues as he goes along.

I suspect he'll be spending at least part of his weekend preparing the play book for the council study session and the next meeting in two weeks. Without him to show the way the New Majority would be lost - or so he thinks.

Enjoy the rain.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Seniors Rebuffed - Who's Next?


Today's lesson is the word "rancor". My dictionary defines it as, "bitter deep-seated ill will".

Rancorous is the word that best describes much of the proceedings at last night's Costa Mesa City Council meeting. The tension was so thick you could have cut it with a knife! I found myself thinking that it's a good thing Katrina Foley and Allan Mansoor are not seated next to each other, because last night they likely would have come to blows. At one point in the meeting Linda Dixon asked for the floor, then took that opportunity to speak to chide her fellow council members, including herself in the scolding, and said, "We should be ashamed of ourselves." Right on, Linda! I couldn't agree more. It was like watching kindergarten children in a playground spat.

The New Majority showed it's true colors again last night as they found yet another
group in our community to rebuff. This time it was the growing senior population. In the usual 3-2 vote, - with Foley and Dixon voting "no" - they decided to reject a plan to create a Senior Advisory Committee, the charter of which would be to contemplate, evaluate and advise the council on issues that are oriented toward the growing senior population in Costa Mesa. As you listened to the mealy-mouthed excuses by Mansoor and the court jester, Eric Bever , for not authorizing such a committee, you realized that they have no interest in hearing from any group of residents other than their cadre of boot-lickers on any issue in the city.

So, now they have rebuffed the youth in our community when they decided to "receive and file" the Youth in Government program at the last council meeting and now the seniors at this meeting. Of course, you will recall the previous council - also controlled byMansoor and Bever - disbanded the Human Relations Committee, too.

If you watched the meeting last night you saw our young jailer/mayor at his worst. Time after time he tried to stifle discussion on one issue or another. Once again he and Foley got into it when he tried to cut her out of the discussion and, once again, she told him repeatedly that he was just plain rude. Trust me, rude is the least of it. It's obvious watching him that he really doesn't care to hear any kind of opposing viewpoint and will do all in his power to quash them. What a travesty.

So, you Mansoor supporters, get ready. It won't be long until he finds a way to trample your rights, too. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Beat Goes On And On


You know, some things never change. Over at the CM Press, the racist author continues with his drumbeat about Costa Mesa's under performing schools, which he blames entirely on the presence of children of illegal immigrants. He laments the relatively poor performance of some Costa Mesa schools when compared to schools in Newport Beach, again blaming the disparity on those children of illegal aliens. He, of course, ignores the socio-economic differences between the two cities. If you disregard the illegal immigrants in Costa Mesa - and no one really knows how many people that represents - Newport Beach is still far ahead of Costa Mesa in every economic measurement. The CM Press author says, "..you want the best education for your kids and you want them to have a leg up on life." That's undoubtedly true. However, many - probably most - of the kids living in Newport Beach don't just have a leg up, they start several rungs up on the ladder before ever throwing that leg up. That's just the way it is. Expunging the Latinos from Costa Mesa - the CM Presses ultimate objective, if you believe his rants on the internet sites for which he writes - doesn't resolve that disparity.

No rational person will deny that injecting students with limited English skills into a school system creates problems. It's one thing to insert new limited English students at the Kindergarten, First or Second grades - programs are available to manage those students and get them up to speed quickly. However, when students with those limitations are inserted at higher grades it will take Herculean efforts to keep them from failing. It takes hard work and dedication on the part of the administrators, teachers, students and their parents for them to succeed. Rather than expend that effort, the CM Press would rather just flush them out of the city.

Now, this would be bad enough if he was the only person in this city with such intolerant views, but he's not. Today, in our city, we have a majority on the City Council who are in lockstep with his views. As a result, anytime any issue that might, in the slightest way, involve students of Latino origins comes up, the New Majority on the council hammers it. And, since the minority on the council, Katrina Foley and Linda Dixon, seem willing to help craft solutions to the problems, the New Majority freezes them out - discarding almost every positive, progressive effort they propose. The most recent of these was the Youth in Government proposal that was trash-canned in a fit of pique by the New Majority instead of taking the time to flesh out their concerns and move forward with a program that was already in progress. Letters to the editor and online comments in the Daily Pilot reflected the disappointment of the children involved, and that of many concerned citizens, as well.

Steve Smith, in his Daily Pilot column, recently took the New Majority to task for that particular move and alluded to an insensitivity to children's issues on their part. Certainly, that cannot possibly apply to Councilwoman Wendy Leece who, in addition to being a mother and grandmother, spent several tumultuous years on the school board. Smith's assessment about Bever and Mansoor, though, may be more accurate. Childless, as far as we know, these two men continue to take actions that appear to be the result of insensitivity, ignorance or just plain stubbornness - maybe all three.

The New Majority has placed the welfare of the children of Costa Mesa squarely in the cross hairs of their misguided attempts to expunge Latinos from our city. Following the lead of the CM Press, they've made the children pawns in their petty political games. Shame on them.

Further in that same posting the CM Press author goes on to lament the fact that "We're not only not attracting upwardly mobile people, we're seeing many of those who already live here flee to safer communities with better schools and a higher quality of life". He then says, "And, it is people who make a difference. A city is its people." He's 100% correct in those observations.

I know a few of those young, upwardly mobile families who decided to leave Costa Mesa recently for what they perceived as a better place to live. They left not because of a problem with the schools - they were very happy with the educational opportunities available to their children here. They left because of the atmosphere in this city - an atmosphere of intolerance that not only festers on the Westside, but is encouraged by the actions of some of our elected leaders. They simply didn't want to raise their families in a city where such Neanderthal values thrive. They looked ahead and saw no light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel - so they moved on. How can you blame them? Do you really enjoy living in a city where such views control the agenda? This is a real tragedy for our community.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Banning Ranch - Another Opportunity Lost


Well, it looks like any chance of Costa Mesa negotiating with the City of Newport Beach regarding annexation of the Banning Ranch has gone from slim to none. As reported in the Daily Pilot recently, Newport's mayor, Steve Rosansky announced during his "state of the city" address that plans are in the works for residential development on that prime piece of ocean view land that abuts Costa Mesa. A scan of the internet reveals that environmental groups also covet this land - as a perpetual "natural" park. I can think of one activist in Costa Mesa who's probably seething. What a shame.

So, it looks like Costa Mesa has missed the boat - again. When it comes to negotiating with our neighboring cities we just don't quite seem to have what it takes. It remains to be seen whether the Santa Ana Country Club, a wonderful piece of property located within Costa Mesa's sphere of influence, and other sites in East Santa Ana Heights, will be annexed to Costa Mesa or Newport Beach. I'm betting Newport gets it all. The residents of the areas in question have practically screamed from the rooftops that they do not want to become part of Costa Mesa.

Let's see, now, if I can convince the City of Newport Beach to annex everything in Costa Mesa east of Tustin Avenue I'd get an instant bump in property value of about 50% and wouldn't have to deal with the dunderheads controlling this city now. Ah, Nirvana!