Thursday, July 31, 2008

Costa Mesa Council Race Update


THREE MORE HORSES HEADING FOR THE STARTING GATE
Well, our world got just a little more interesting over the past day or so. First, the Daily Pilot reported today that someone named Nicholas Moss has pulled papers to run for the Costa Mesa City Council this fall. To describe Mr. Moss as a newcomer, as the Pilot did, doesn't even come close. Still, that's not bad - new ideas on this cam
paign trail will be welcome.

SNEEN AND REEDY
Then, when I checked with the City Clerk, I found out that two more residents have pulled papers - William Sneen and Lisa Reedy.

I don't know a thing about Mr. Sneen, but will assume he's related to former school board member Linda Sneen.

Lisa Reedy is the president of the Mesa del Mar homeowners association and has been an occasional speaker before the city council on issues that affect that community. She always struck me as being articulate and prepared.

A LUCKY NUMBER?
So, we're now up to seven people who have indicated they are serious about a run for city council. These three new people, plus the chance of a few more in the 6 days left to officially file their paperwork, should make for a very interesting campaign season.

THE SHIFTING DEBATE

I don't think more bodies on the ballot will necessarily mean the best three candidates will be chosen. What it will do is provide a breadth of discussion at candidate forums. That may also dilute the number of tough questions asked.

SPREADING VOTES
Of course,
Reedy's presence creates speculation about whether she will take votes from Linda Dixon and Reedy's neighbor, Katrina Foley.

This is going to be fun. Stay tuned.

***

FUM
ING FOOL BLOWS A GASKET - AGAIN
In the meantime, Mr. U. Know-Who, the Mesa North Blowhard, continues to rave like a lunatic at the author of the CMTRUTH blog - must be because he's struck a nerve. The pathetic loser apparently doesn't really like the spotlight, although he's never shunned it in the past. In fact, he's specifically sought it out at council meetings, where he would wave his books around like some kind of a carnival shill. We assume he's angry because he doesn't know the identity of the author of the blog and, as a result, can't personally attack him.

There's a handy link to the CMTRUTH blog over on the right side of the page, if you care to read his take on the guy known in some circles as "Mensa Marty" - a much too generous term, in my estimation. CMTRUTH continues to put a smile on my face...

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Recent Death a Painful Reminder


CHRISTOPHER LAURIE'S DEATH A REMINDER
The tragic, untimely and violent death of Christopher Laurie, 33 year-old son of pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie, in an automobile accident last week dredged up some very sad memories for me. Laurie, apparently a young man with a history of driving with excessive speed and violating car pool lane rules, drove into the rear of a Cal Trans sweeper train moving at a reported 15 mph while cleaning debris from the car pool lane. We'll probably never know what caused Laurie to crash into the sweeper train at such a speed that, despite the high technology impact barrier attached to the rear vehicle, destroyed Laurie's Dodge Magnum so completely that it was all but unrecognizable. It's a sad loss of a young man with much potential.

INEXPLICABLE ACCIDENTS
Laurie's accident - which may have been a result of inattentiveness, reminded me of the passing of my best friend, Larry Moore, at the end of 2003. Some will recall that Larry, my best pal for 57 years, crashed on his motorcycle on a lonely desert road as he drove home from Las Vegas. We'll never know why he missed seeing the three signs that preceded his accident - a "25 mph" sign, a "RR Xing" sign and a "Left Turn" sign - but he did. Those of us who knew Larry as a safe - almost to the point of being boring - motorcycle rider all his life, including his fifteen years as an LAPD motor officer, this accident was simply inexplicable. The only explanation we can come up with is that he just wasn't paying attention. Maybe he was reaching for a drink of water or tuning his radio.. we'll never know.

AT THE SIDE OF MY FRIEND
Larry lingered for six weeks in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit in a hospital in Las Vegas before finally succumbing. During that time I stayed at his side, helping doctors decide the course of action that, we hoped, would bring him back to us. Finally, when a blood clot in his heart caused cardiac arrest and the doctors couldn't bring him back again, I had to make the decision to have them stop trying. It was the worst moment of the worst six weeks of my life.

LOSS LEAVES HUGE HOLE

As is the case of the death of Christopher Laurie, my friend's passing left a huge hole in the lives of his friends and family. He loved his daughters and grandson and will never know his brand new granddaughter. Larry's legacy included the Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay, the premiere relay of it's kind in the world where public safety officers from around the world run from Baker to Las Vegas overnight in a test of fitness, tenacity and teamwork. He and his partner, Chuck Foote, created the event while Larry was the Athletic Director at the Los Angeles Police Academy more than a quarter century ago. Through that event, and others he administered, he formed fast friendships with thousands of people around the world.

DON'T WAIT TO SHARE YOUR LOVE

So today, on the day he would have turned 67 years old, I remind you once again that life is fleeting. Don't waste a second of any day and, above all, tell those you love just how you feel. Don't wait - do it now.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMIGO
The photo at the top of this entry is the last photo taken of us together - snapped just a few weeks before he died. Happy Birthday, Larry...

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

DAILY PILOT PUBLISHER TOM JOHNSON RESIGNS!

Photo courtesy of Daily Pilot

BREAT
HTAKING NEWS!
Tonight, when I cranked up my computer to check email and online newspapers, I almost fell out of my chair when I read the online Daily Pilot banner headline: "Daily Pilot Publisher Resigns". You can read the online article HERE. It took my breath away...

A TRULY GOOD MAN

Over the past few years I've gotten to know, and know about, Tom Johnson as I interacted with him and various members of the Daily Pilot staff. I've always found him to be a bright, fair man with a great sense of humor and outstanding community spirit. He struck me as a man who fully understood the responsibilities and obligations a community newspaper has to the area it serves. It's my impression that he was viewed by his staff as an excellent boss - a man they could trust.

ZELL CREATES CHAOS
As almost everyone knows, ever since Sam Zell bought the Tribune Companies - the parent of the Los Angeles Times and the Times Community Newspapers - there has been chaos in the organization. Despite Zell's occasional assurances that no catastrophic changes would take place, that's exactly what has been happening. The upper management of the Los Angeles Times has been in perpetual turmoil, with senior management turning over like frogs on a hot skillet. The editorial staff of the Times has been disemboweled over the past year or so.

JOHNSON LED THROUGH THE TUMULT
Johnson continued to try to lead the Times Community Newspapers through all the tumult, keeping his steady hand on the helm. Pressure from the top forced layoffs and the discontinuation of publication on Mondays as a cost-savings measure. I don't know what the final straw was that forced him to resign a job he has held for 15 years, but regardless his reason for departure, he will truly be missed.

HYENAS WILL BE HEARD
I have absolutely no doubt that there will be some in our community that will crow about Johnson's departure. Those catcalls will come from those who have perceived themselves to be slighted by Johnson's view that not everything written by every person is worthy of publication in the Daily Pilot - that editorial discretion and good taste will always be paramount.

THANKS FOR THE LEADERSHIP
I want to thank Tom Johnson for his leadership of the Daily Pilot and the other newspapers that formed the Times Community Newspapers, and for his unflagging dedication to fair, accurate, timely and honest journalism. The Daily Pilot story indicates that Johnson has no plans to retire, and that he will pursue another job when he departs from the Daily Pilot. He should have no trouble finding a new assignment - he is a superior leader who just happened to publish excellent newspapers. I wish him, and the loyal and dedicated staff he leaves behind, all the best.

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