Thursday, July 26, 2007

Affordable Housing - Yeah, Right!

Our friends over at the Newport Beach Voices blog have provided a couple interesting entries dealing with the recent edict from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) regarding the need for affordable housing throughout Southern California communities. Here's the link to the relevant entry. Embedded in it is a link to a detailed report which, if you choose, you can visit for some of the details of the numbers.

DIGGING THROUGH THE DETAILS
However, since I've already done that, I'll share some of the interesting numbers for Costa Mesa and Newport Beach with you. In SCAG's report entitled "Final Regional Housing Need Allocation Plan - Planning Period (January 1, 2006 - June 30, 2014), it presents their requirements for additional housing units through their fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. The big news locally, which was covered by an article in the Orange County Register, here, is that the City of Irvine must absorb almost half of Orange County's 82,332 total new housing units mandated over the next seven years. Of that total of 35,322, more than 21,000 must be "affordable" - available to very low, low and moderate income households. Irvine officials have freaked out with these numbers, claiming a lack of land. Kind of makes me smile just a little.

BUILT OUT, ARE WE?
Closer to home, Costa Mesa has been mandated to provide 1682 new housing units, of which 972 must be either very low, low or moderate income units. Newport Beach will be required to provide 1784 new housing units, of which 1076 must be very low, low or moderate income units.

UPSIDE-DOWN
For us Costa Mesans this presents an interesting dilemma. By all accounts, we are upside-down in rental versus owner occupied housing. The last number I heard was 60% rental, 40% owner occupied. Typically, very low income and low income housing units mean rental units. I'm informed by city staff that, as far as the 710 market rate units are concerned, we seem to have that covered and more. The Enclave, which will be built by Irvine Apartment Communities in the bean field near the Performing Arts Center, will account for more than 800 units alone.

MOVE OVER, ROVER
However, that doesn't address the folks at the other end of the spectrum - the low and very low income folks for which we will be required to plan for over the next seven years. If the rhetoric we've been hearing for the past few years - spurred on by those folks who identify themselves as "improvers" - is any indication, there seems to be little interest in providing housing for folks at the low end of the economic ladder. Quite the contrary, most of the ambient noise we hear these days seems to be about bulldozing many of the apartment units that very likely provide that kind of housing specifically.

LEADERSHIP DILEMMA
The Costa Mesa planners will have their work cut out for them, as they attempt to meet the mandate and still follow the direction of a council intent in turning Costa Mesa into Newport Beach or, at least, Huntington Beach. There are a few folks in our town who, when they hear the words "affordable housing", apparently instantly see slums in their minds eye. They exercise a lot of influence over the council majority, so it will be very interesting to see what tack they take on this subject.


LOOK HONEY, A PLACE FOR THE KIDS!

I thought it was quite ironic that Newport Beach has been earmarked to provide even greater numbers of very low and low income units. I find myself wondering just how they're going to pull that off, since the average home value in that city is at least four times that of Costa Mesa. Maybe they can turn the entire Banning Ranch into an affordable housing enclave.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Light of Truth Shines - "Your Neighbor" Whines, Again

Did you ever notice how some folks just don't like to have the light of day shined on their activities? It's interesting, isn't it?

INFAMOUS RIGHT-WING WHINER
There's a
guy who operates a local blog - a man who very much resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor - who has cranked up the volume of his hysterical rants over the past week or so. It seems the Daily Pilot, our local newspaper of record - which he refers to as "ultra-liberal" - has recently mentioned him by name and he just doesn't like it. This is beyond hypocritical, since this is the same guy who has never seen a microphone he didn't embrace nor a topic on which he wasn't prepared to offer an opinion. He whines that he's just a simple private citizen, then stands at the speaker's podium and waves his books around, encouraging all within sight or sound to buy them and read his "pearls of wisdom". This is a guy who revels in the fact that the OC Weekly has called him "one of Orange Counties most frightening people" - and has used that description as a marketing tool to sell his books. He's gained international infamy and is on the watch list of at least one organization that tracks hate groups.

KNEE-JERK NAME CALLING

Touting his alleged membership in Mensa, he condescendingly refers to those who disagree wit
h him and his philosophy as "the usual dimwit and cowardly cranks". He accuses the Daily Pilot editors of publishing "letters of bigots who smear others". When I read those comments, and the remainder of that particular post, I started chuckling and still have not stopped. For him to refer to any other human being as a "bigot" is just hysterical. The phrase, "pot calling the kettle black" doesn't even come close on this one!

LITERAR
Y EFFLUENT
As you scroll down the lis
t of his essays on the New Nation News site you will find many that make clear his views on race. Heck, he's even chosen to adorn some with a swastika! His actions in our city have certainly been aimed directly at changing our town from one with significant diversity into one what is, in the words of Councilwoman Linda Dixon, "lily-white". That term caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth when she wrote it, but it was right on the money.

To save you a little time trying to pluck the pearls from the excrement in his essays, let me provide some links for
you. Each of the following links will take you to an essay which is quite representative of the perverted viewpoints he espouses. They are not really "pearls", just hard balls of dung among the rest. These are just a few of the hundreds to be found at the site linked in the previous paragraph and on other far, far right wing sites.

Is The Swastika The Spirit In The Sky?
(2000)

In which he postulates at the end that God is behind the swastika.

The Mutating States of America - Trust Your Eyes (2002)
In which he bemoans the dilution of the white gene pool.

The Recessive
Race (2002)
Where his conclusion suggests that whites must increase their birth rates, including advocating polygamy and pornography as tools of propagation.

Breeding
Humans (2004)
In which he begins by praising the Nazis for their selective breeding program and goes down hill from there.


America Got A Lot Darker This Week (2004)

In which he advocates "White Power", using images of swastika-holding neo-Nazis as illustrations.

Proof? (20
04)
In which he attempts to debunk the holocaust.

Funny, You Don't Look Indian (2007)
In which he decries the "blending" of certain native American tribes.

That word, "blending" is representative of a theme that runs through many of his essays as he decries the dilution of the white gene pool by "inter-breeding" with "inferior" races. It makes you want to puke! After you've read these essays ask yourself this question: Is this the guy I want charting the course of my city? If your answer is yes, then I'm deeply saddened for you.

GOVERNMENT INFESTATION
This ma
n has infested our city government with his putrid racial views for most of the past decade. He's used his considerable oratorical skills to sway members of the City Council and the commissions to his view. He's written prolifically, and, more recently, has used any number of pseudonyms to post comments on the Daily Pilot blog. Unlike most concerned residents of this city, he demands money from the Daily Pilot to publish his verbiage, then complains when views opposite his position on issues appear in the press.

When he a
ccused the Daily Pilot of being "ultra-liberal" it made me laugh out loud because any position that differs from his is going to seem liberal. He's so far out on the right that he makes Ronald Reagan seem like a Communist.

PERVERTED IDOLATRY
I was watching a piece on the History Channel the other day that dealt with Adolph Hitler's ris
e to power. It went to great lengths to describe what a meek, introverted person he was in private, but how powerful his words were when he spoke before the masses. It talked about his plan to take over the German government by giving the people someone to blame for the state of their economy - someone to fear and hate - the Jews. He kept up a steady drumbeat on the subject and found willing listeners among those who were suffering because of the post-World War I German economy. After failure and imprisonment he eventually found just the right mix of circumstance and rhetoric to launch his plan for racial purity and the dominance of the Aryan race over those he felt were inferior. He chose to simply exterminate those who were threatening to contaminate the German gene pool.

Does any of that sound vaguely familiar? It should. Your Neighbor has followed the same playback and, sadly, is experiencing similar success. He's found a fertile field in parts of Costa Mesa in which to sew his seeds of intolerance and, with the election of a malleable council majority, they have now taken root. Hitler had the Jews, Your Neighbor has the Latinos - for now.

OFFICIALS LISTEN IN FEAR
You know our
description of this guy and his actions are accurate because he's striking out viciously against anyone who dares to speak against him or who attempts to shine the light of truth on him. He has used threats and intimidation of council members when it looked like they might be turning away from him as Chris Steel finally did. I thought Steel was inept and a pathetic council member, but he was smart enough to finally realize what was going on and turned away from Your Neighbor - and incurred his wrath because of it. He's even threatened some current council members with a fate similar to Steel's if they didn't toe his line.

UNDERESTIMATING EVIL
A couple of regular posters of comments on this blog have opined that I over-estimate the influence of this particular guy in civic affairs - that he appeals only to a very small number of residents. I remi
nded them that he appeals to those in power, which counts a whole lot more than any other guy on the street. Those in power set the tone and establish the ordinances by which our lives are governed. To under-estimate this man's influence is a huge mistake. For example, the whole "Paularino Park" thing began with him as a solitary, but strident voice, complaining about marauding soccer players in "his " park a couple years ago. He created this "problem" out of whole cloth and, when it seemed that he was getting nowhere with this move to cause discontent among the Latino population in our city, he turned it into a public safety issue. Well, that's all the management of our city needs to hear - rightfully so. They cannot, and will not, ignore an issue that might cause harm to our residents. He continued with his drumbeat of discontent until he finally just wore down the process. His influence over our city council on this issue will likely bleed over into other neighborhood parks and result in there being many fewer places where kids can go to just "play".

INSIDIOUS INFLUENCE
Your Neighbor can continue to sit in his bunker in Mesa North and whine about the attention he's getting, but he's an insidious influence on our city and his role in the decline of civility and respect for all residents is obvious and worthy of discussion. As long as he continues to present a public face and spew his hate based philosophy he will be the subject of scrutiny. As long as he holds sway over certain council members he will be
the subject of criticism. If he doesn't like it he can simply stop, but I seriously doubt he'll do that. He's on a roll now and seems all set to jump aboard a bulldozer to begin leveling Latino occupied apartments throughout the city.

KUDOS TO THE DAILY PILOT

Bravo to th
e Daily Pilot editors for boldly stepping up to this subject and for - as one blog commentor put it in an unfortunate, ironic turn of phrase - calling a spade a spade. That is their proper role as a community newspaper - to expose evil where it exists. I hope the readers in our city will finally understand what's going on and reject Your Neighbor's attempt to make this city a bastion of intolerance. If not, woe to us. If not, they will soon know what it was like to live in the deep South during the middle half of the last century - because that's the direction we're taking.


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