Saturday, April 26, 2008

Another Anti-Foley Diatribe


ANOTHER "SECOND HAND" BLAST AT FOLEY
A local blogger, who is intent on slamming Costa Mesa Councilwoman Katrina Foley at every turn, has recently posted another jab at her, this time embedded in a critical diatribe about the activist organization, AirFair. A
s some may know, AirFair's role in life it to protect us from the expansion of John Wayne Airport - or whatever the official name is of that place that directs airplanes nearly over my house all day, every day. There's a link to that organization over on the right side of this page.

SINISTE
R SUPPORT SUSPECTED
The entry
in question postulates that there is something sinister going on because AirFair seems to be supporting one Costa Mesa council member over others. Apparently, the author of the blog feels there is something suspicious about AirFair's support of Foley in her re-election bid and states flatly that "the airport issue is non-partisan and should remain that way."

JOHN WAYNE FUTURE SHOULD BE NON-PARTISAN
I agree - the airport issue is, and should be, a non-partisan issue. However, AirFair is
certainly free to support council members who have demonstrated to them unwavering support for their goal of blocking any further expansion at John Wayne. Foley apparently meets that standard.

COSTA MESA'S HISTORY ON JOHN WAYNE AIRPORT ABYSMAL

The City of Costa Mesa has an abysmal history when it comes to fighting against expansion of John Wayne.
A few years ago, when Libby Cowan was mayor, we missed a tremendous opportunity to rally in support of the use of El Toro as the logical choice to meet the growing demand for air transportation. I've said before, I thought Libby was trying to protect her job with the City of Irvine when she not only didn't provide leadership on the issue, but blocked every move proposed.

BEST SOLUTION GONE - DEMAND REMAINS

Now the demand remains but the perfect solution is gone and all we hear about these days is the impending demise of the agreement that currently restricts traffic at John Wayne and feeble mutterings about using surface transport to move travelers and cargo to outlying airports in the Inland Empire to quench the demand. Good luck with that!

TUNNELS BURIED?
At least the rants by those proposing a triple tunnel under Saddleback Peak to an airport on the other side of the mountain have died out - as has their web site. They were so darn passionate about that fiasco that I suspect they may have just, appropriately, gone underground and are continuing to work on it in the dark.

YET ANOTHER REASON TO VOTE FOR FOLEY
If Katrina Foley is, in fact, eager to lead the charge against further John Wayne Airport expansion, that gives us yet another reason among many to support her candidacy for re-election. An even better reason, however, is that she recognizes that blog author for what he is and doesn't take any of his guff. Unlike others on the council, she can't be controlled by that guy - as good a reason as any to vote for her in November.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Byron Zings Leece - Cheers All Around


WITCH HUNT EXPOSED
Daily Pilot columnist Byron de Arakal wrote a terrific column today addressing the witch hunt Costa Mesa
council woman Wendy Leece has been engaging in at the Costa Mesa Senior Center for the past several weeks. You can read his handiwork HERE. The original article by Daily Pilot reporter Chris Caesar can be read HERE.

COSTLY QUERIES
Leece, apparently provoked by a couple malcontents at the Senior Center, has been sucking up staff time like a bone-dry sponge as she demanded immediate responses to four dozen questions which ranged from the inconsequential to the ridiculous. What ever happened to the "4-hour rule", where any project that required more than four hours of city staff time required a vote of the council?

JUSTIFYING HER EX
ISTENCE
I'm not really surprised that Leece is nosing around the Senior C
enter. Since she rode into office on then-mayor Allan Mansoor's coattails she's been developing a reputation as a champion of the underdog. She's getting that reputation by over-reacting to every piddly little complaint that is tossed her way. She apparently doesn't have any kind of filter in her make-up to help her sort the important issues from the meaningless. This Senior Center episode is a perfect example.

GOOD INTENTIONS?
I don't think there are many people in town who will doubt Leece's good intentions. You remember the old proverb, though, that says, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." I don't think Leece
does.

CHEERING AND SINGING
Rumor has it that, when the doors to the Senior Center were opened this morning, there was singing and cheers all around as a result of Byron's column today. That's good news for the seniors and those of us who care about them.

USUAL PATHETIC CRITICS

Not unexpectedly, Byron's column has evoked some critical comments from some of the "u
sual suspects" - folks that write their own blogs critical of anything not "improver" generated. This is just so much pre-election smoke being blown from parts north in our city.

FEEL THE BURN!
Let's hope that Councilwoman Leece can find something more productive to do with her spare time instead of throwing rocks in a calm lake just for sport. I think she needs to find a new form of recreation to burn off some
of that pent-up aggression. Perhaps co-ed mud wrestling would appeal to her, since she seems to be happy to trying dig up dirt at the Senior Center.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Searching for Carona's Replacement - A Comedy

THE SAGA CONTINUES
The on-goin
g drama of the Orange County Sheriff's Department continues. Last week the 47 candidates dredged up by the consultant hired by the Board of Supervisors to replace ousted Sheriff Mike Carona was announced. The list makes for some very interesting reading.

DEPARTMENT IN DISARRAY
Whomever the Supervisors select will fact a department in disarray. In addition to Carona himself, top aides George Jaramillo and Don Haidl are covered in scandal and the recent death of a prisoner in custody reeks to high heaven. Of course, the exclamation point last week was the allegation that deputies may have tasered a cat to death at a jail just for fun. The "new sheriff in town" will have to wear some pretty large boots, because there's a need for a whole lot of butt kicking right now.

A WARM BODY AND...?
Go to the county's site, HERE, then click on the link to the "candidates". As you scroll down the list you can't help but chuckle. Scattered among the serious candidates - top law enforcement officials from venues local and remote - there are some names and backgrounds that make you shake your head in amazement and cause you to wonder exactly what kind of a job specification the Supervisors gave their consultant. Looking at the list, one might think that profile required only a warm body who was interested in the job - period. Heck, we're not even sure some of these guys are warm!

IRS GUY?

The list is alphabetical, so you just never know when a surprise will pop up. For example, there's a guy named Roderick Fletcher who works in "Compliance Support Assistance - Internal Revenue Service". Yeah, that's a fit!

LOOK OUT!
A little further down we find Alan Hamilton, the retired Chief of Police from the town of Duck, North Carolina. where he oversaw a staff of 6 sworn officers and one tracking dog. Actually, he might just fit in here because, for the past several years, most of Mike Carona's senior staff have been yelling, "Duck!" whenever a new scandal broke.

BOOZE PEDDLER?

Further yet we find Nicholas Paros, who lists his qualifications as "Owner & Managing Member, Paros Liquor, LLC" in Baltimore, MD. Why am I not surprised that a guy who sells booze applied for the job of top cop of Orange County?

SHORT CIRCUIT!
A couple entries further down the list we find Ion Petrinca, an "Electrician's Assistant" from Garden Grove. Geez!

THE "USUAL SUSPECTS"
Among the REAL candidates there are many of the "usual suspects", Paul Walters, Chief of Police for the City of Santa Ana; Jack Anderson, acting Sheriff; Ralph Martin, Commander in the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and Bill Hunt, recently retired from the Orange County Sheriff's Department following his demotion by Carona after challenging Mike Carona in the last election.

COTTON FIELD "SWAT" TEAM?
The range among the "others" is fascinating. For example, in addition to the above-mentioned Mr. Hamilton from Duck (!), we have Tommy Tunsen, the Chief of Police from Arvin, California. Many of you know of Arvin - a little burg of 16,000 souls deep in the belly button of the Central Valley agricultural area. I
t's just off Interstate 5 on the way to Bakersfield. In Arvin, "SWAT" means what you do to fend off the gnats hovering over the cotton fields.

WHY THE O.C.?
At the other end of the spectrum we have a couple very interesting applicants. There is Robert Peppler, Assistant Director, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Kim Brian London, Executive Director of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL). How's that for some horsepower? My question to these guys is, "Why would you want to come to Orange County? Did the consultant tell you that you'd get a chance to be on "The Real Housewives of Orange County?"

FAMILIAR SURNAME - SAME LACK OF SKILLS

However, for me, the most interesting applicant on the list is near the middle. There we will find the name of Erik Mansoor, a Deputy Sheriff in the Orange County Sheriff's Department. You may know of Mansoor - he's the brother of our young jailer/mayor pro tem and, based on my information, is also a career jailer. How this guy, with limited academic credentials and even more limited law enforcement experience, hopes to be seriously considered for the job of top law enforcement official in Orange County is way, way beyond me. He may be afflicted with the same malady as his brother - delusions of grandeur on a monumental scale.

DEMAND SOME MONEY BACK!
Now the sorting process begins. In my opinion, the first thing the Board of Supervisors should do is demand a fee reduction from their consultant for wasting their time with some of those "candidates".

TOP COP OR POLITICIAN?
One of the first problems faced by the successful candidate - the person the supervisors choose to fill Carona's shoes - is that he is going to have to immediately begin raising funds and start campaigning for election to the job in 2010. Sadly, we need a great law enforcement leader and we're going to end up with a politician. Such is life in Orange County these days.

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