Friday, June 12, 2009

Mansoor Pandering

CRUSIN' THROUGH THE COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA
Yesterday the agenda for the Costa Mesa City Council meeting for Tuesday, June 16, 2009 was made available online. As
is my practice, I scrolled down through it to see what fun might be in store for us next week.

LOTS OF GOOD STUFF
I blew on p
ast the re-authorization of a 2% tax for the Business Improvement Area; the two items about the proposed In-N-Out Burger joint on Harbor Blvd. and the 405 Freeway; the items dealing with the proposed budget and the item addressing the agreement on the operation of the Costa Mesa Public Golf Course and Country Club. Each of those will take some time Tuesday night and really deserve more than a passing mention.

THE HECK, YOU SAY!
What eventually caught my eye - and frosted my fanny - near the end of the agenda was New Business #1, which reads as follows:

"Request by Mayor Allan Mansoor to consider adoption of a resolution entitled: A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA, RECOGNIZING THE FLAG OF THE FORMER REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM AS THE OFFICIAL FLAG OF THE VIETNAMESE PEOPLE OVERSEAS."

(the flag)

PHEW!
Now, I know that our young jailer (is he still one?)/mayor is an awkward politician at best, but this absolutely REEKS! Talk about pandering to the electorate! What in the world does this item have to do with Costa Mesa? The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! This is pure political opportunism, us
ing his position as Mayor of Costa Mesa to engage in political pandering to the large Vietnamese population who reside in California Assembly District 68! Oh, yes... did I mention that Mansoor has announced he's running for Van Tran's Assembly seat - the 68th Assembly seat?

HOW ABOUT MEXICO?
Hey, Mr. Mayor, how about a resolution naming the flag of Mexico as the official flag of the local Mexican expatriates? Oh, that's right... there may be a lot of them, but they don't vote.


HOW ABOUT IRELAND?
What about naming the flag of the Republic of Ireland the official flag of all those nice folks from Dublin and Killarney who live in our city? Well, there are not many of them around here, right?

WHAT ABOUT THE REST?
What about the Brits, French, Germans, Poles, Slavs, Nigerians, etc....?

THEY ARE NOT STUPID, MR. MAYOR!
Mr. Mayor, do you really think so little of those voters of Vietnamese ancestry living in the
68th Assembly District that you actually believe they will be fooled by this little shallow gesture? Don't you think at least a few of them might be angry at you for this deception? Don't you think your opponents will use this amateurish pandering against you? What a fool!


INEPT POLITICAL OPPORTUNIST

You, Mr. Mayor, are the worst example I can remember of a flagrant, inept politician. You should be ashamed of yourself and should apologize to the voters of Costa Mesa for your selfish self-promotion while on the dais. You should also apologize to the Vietnamese-American community for this offensive manipulation.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Newport-Mesa Daily Voice Is Launched!

WE HAVE LIFT OFF!
Yesterday evening, at a meeting of Speak Up Newport, former Daily Pilot honchos Tom
Johnson and Bill Lobdell announced the launch of their new "hybrid" news publication, the Newport-Mesa Daily Voice.

EFFORTS TO BUY THE DAILY PILOT FAIL
Some will recall that this effort began as "Operation Local News", conceived to
fill a perceived need in local news coverage as a result of the decline of the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register and, to some extent, the Daily Pilot. According to Johnson, he and his team exhausted all efforts at locating funding to buy the Daily Pilot from the bankrupt Tribune Companies - their first choice. They apparently couldn't interest the bankruptcy court in entertaining their offer.

BARE BONES TO BEGIN

So, as of yesterday, they've launched this new endeavor with, in Johnson's words, "No large backers. No deep pockets. Just a group of us committed to providing Newport-Mesa with more local news, commentary and information at a time
when many news organizations are folding up shop."

I'LL LINK TO THE SITE
I will carry the link to this new site over there on the right of this page - just below the Daily Pilot li
nk. I thought that was an appropriate location since it appears that they are beginning life as an online aggregator - linking to other news sources as a springboard for their operation. Much of what they've linked to is directly from the Daily Pilot and its stable of bloggers.

VIEW THE VIDEOS
When you visit this new site - and I hope you will, early and often - you'll find some video clips from the meeting at Speak Up Newport, including seven minutes of Tom Johnson providing some perspective on the future of news presentation. You'll also hear his formal announcement of the launch of thi
s new site.

You'll also hear Orange County Register Central Editor Paul Danison provide his view, including his opinion that the local market isn't big enough for three news outlets.

And, you'll hear Daily Pilot Editor Brady Rhoades respond to the new competition and give his views of the future. Each of these are worth a look.

A LEAP OF FAITH...

Times are tough financially everywhere, but particularly in the arena of trying to fund a new venture. Jo
hnson and Lobdell have chosen to leap off this cliff without a parachute, assuming that "if we build it, they will come." They've signed up an exceptionally strong advertising team and have provided a way for the "little guy" to donate to the success of this venture.

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

I don't know if this new venture will succeed. I think the Newport-Mesa needs and deserves to have it's stories covered professionally, whether we're talking about hard news, sports, or community events. For more than 10
0 years that role has been fulfilled by the Daily Pilot and it's predecessor publications. I have strong mixed emotions as I think about this new venture displacing the Daily Pilot and, perhaps, forcing it out of business. I'm not comfortable with that, but life is competition. I hope this new competition will further motivate the management of the Daily Pilot to do an even better job for it's readers.

THEY'RE OFF AND RUNNING

In any event, it's going to be very interesting to see just what impact the Newport-Mesa Daily Voice will have on our local news. My understanding is that they plan to publish a print version once or twice a week once they get off and running. We'll see...

BYRON'S ON BOARD
Apparently they have recruited my old pal, fellow blogger and multiple-tour Daily Pilot columnist, Byron de Arakal, as a feature columnist. If that works out, his contributions alone will be worth the price of admission.

GOOD LUCK!

Good luck to Tom Johnson, Bill Lobdell and the rest of their team. Life is going to be very interesting for them for awhile.

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"The Mouth" Roars, er, Whines

"THE MOUTH" IS FOAMING!
Well, The Mouth From Mesa North is all in a tizzy about the reaction to his commentary in the Daily Pilot Wednesday morning. It's an abbreviated, and strangely edited, version of the same crap he wrote on his blog
recently attempting to refute his role in the recent de facto denial of a request to change the use of the Downtown Recreation Center's facility on Sundays. He used his three minutes before the commission to conjure up images of hoards of marauding convicts, stalking our children using the adjacent pool and park. If you really want to read his bilge in the Daily Pilot, HERE is a link to it.

HIS COMMENTS REJECTED

After his tripe appeared in print some of who observed his performance before the Parks and Recreation Commission wrote to refute his version of events, including Commission Chair Kurt Galitski. Those comments are appended to his commentary.

LIES, LIES AND MORE LIES...

Today in his blog The Mouth goes to great lengths to a
ttempt to refute those comments, including personal attacks on those who dared to differ with his views. He spent several hundred words saying basically nothing at all. Well, maybe not "nothing", because his rant is filled with flat out lies. But, then, that's no surprise - that's his style. If you really have to read his blog entry, HERE is a link to that manure pile, too.

JUDGE THE BOOK BY... THE BOOK
He goes on and on and on refuting my description of him as a "racist". Well, don't take my word for it - just read his body of work and make up your own mind. You can, for example, go to the New Nation News web site to it's archive of his essays published there ove
r the past decade and simply scroll down the list of titles. Pick one - recent or old - and read it. Of course, I don't recommend doing that if you've got a weak stomach. Here's the link to that site. If you don't want to plow through all his putrid stuff, here are but a few that await you:

White Tribe in a Brown Land on a Brown Planet
(2003)
America Got a Lot Darker This Week (2004)

Don't Blend - Evolve! (2008)
Jump Out of the Melting Pot or Die (2008)

Those rancid selections, plus others dating back a decade, await you. Don't say I didn't warn you!

HIS TWIN DISCOVERED!

By the way, did you hear about the guy who shot up the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. today? I heard about it briefly on the news while running errands, then came home and looked for articles about it. This fellow, 88 year-old James Von Brunn, is described as a "white supremacist and Holocaust denier". He is further described as a "self-describ
ed artist, advertising man and author" who has written frequently denying the existence of the Holocaust. He is also described as decrying the "browning of America" and attempts to "destroy the white gene pool". One white supremacist site describes him as a "White Racialist Treasure". He's a member of Mensa and was a film producer while in New York City. When I read those words I said to myself, "Hey, I know that guy! He lives in Mesa North!"

STAMPED FROM THE SAME MOLD!

Seriously, The Mouth and Von Brunn appear to have been stamped out of the same mold! In fact, a little looking on the internet this evening found both men mentioned - with great admiration, I might add - on a few of the same white supremacist web sites.

READ THE ESSAYS - YOU'LL UNDERSTAND
When you read The Mouth's essays you'll understand my reaction. The two might have been twins! Both have a life history of failed careers, fantasize about military accomplishments and both share a hatred of anything not white. Both are Mensa members - or so they claim - with all that alleged intellectual superiority that goes with that designation. What pathetic excuses for human beings!

COCKROACH CAN'T STAND THE LIGHT

You know, it's actually entertaining when The Mouth flies off the handle like this. It's a sign that whatever has ticked him off this time is getting pretty darn close to the truth about him. Like all cockroaches, he can't stand the light of day...

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Budget Study Session

MEETING REPORT - SUCH AS IT IS
It's the wee hours Wednesday morning and I thought I'd give you what little I know of the results of the budget study session yesterday afternoon/evening.

MANSOOR AND BEVER LATE
The session was scheduled to start at 4:3
0, which it did, although without our young jailer/mayor and his former pal, Eric Bever in attendance. Both arrived at this most important study session in their careers late - Mansoor was a half hour late.

NOT MUCH RESIDENT INTEREST

Word has it that there were few residents in attendance at this event, although I don't have a head count. I'm
told fewer than 6 showed up.

UNFULFILLED ANTICIPATION

However, the meeting went on, and on, and on and... well, you get the picture. I sat at home, flipping my television changer b
etween the Laker game and CMTV, waiting for the much-anticipated post-study session adjourned council meeting. For an hour and a half I kept reading the card on the screen promising that the council was wrapping up the study session and the special council meeting would start soon... it didn't.

ROEDER SAYS NO COUNCIL MEETING LAST NIGHT

Finally, after 8 p.m., Allan Roeder and City Clerk Julie Folcik showed up on the screen for about one minute to tell us that there would be no council meeting
Tuesday night, and that any "direction to staff" on the budget would occur at the next regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 16th. That's going to make it very, very tight if the council, in it's infinite wisdom, decides to send the staff back to hammer out budget issues, because the balanced budget is due on July 1.

REPLAY SCHEDULE
The study ses
sion went much longer than expected and I'm led to believe that much of the dialogue revolved around trimming things like recreation programs - important after school programs that affect many families in our city - instead of working on areas where large dollars can be saved. The session will play on CMTV today at noon, according to the schedule presently posted. Here's the remainder of the schedule:

CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION, 6/9/09

(Revised)*
* Because the study session ran long the replay schedule has been revised

TOUGH ISSUES THIS YEAR
In fairness to the council, this year is more complex than any previous year because of the many unknown
s. We don't, for example, know for sure that the state is going to steal, er, borrow 8% of our Property Tax revenue, but it seems like a pretty sure thing. We also don't know just how much longer Sales Tax revenue will decline. We also don't know if we're in line for some stimulus money to hire more cops, as has been rumored. We don't know whether Marc Puckett's work trying to get some of the city's Lehman Brothers investment back has been successful - that's a $5 million question.

THE 800 POUND GORILLA

We also don't know for sure whether the employee unions are going to cooperate with the proposed 5% cuts that were specified in the staff's 10 point plan. It's hard to make good decisions with so many questions still unanswered.

WORKSHOP PENDING

I intend to be at the public budget workshop on Thursday evening. With any luck at all, some of these very significant variables may be closer to resolution. In the meantime, the clock ticks on the budget...

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Prison Guards Against Mansoor

JUBAL ON MANSOOR'S CANDIDACY
Matthew Cunningham (the writer formerly known as Jubal) over at the Red County/OC Blog provided us with an interesting little piece of information in an entry today entitled, "AD68 Watch: Prison Guard Union May Target Allan Mansoor". Why does it not surprise me that the cadre of men and women with whom he is closely associated, having been a Sheriff Deputy/jail
er for going on fifteen years, have apparently not only turned their back on him but have decided to aggressively oppose his political plans? What does that tell you about the man? I mean, who knows the real man better than those who have shared his workplace for a decade and a half?

RUNNING ALREADY!
Buried in the text is a link that tells us of a fundraiser tomorrow for our young jailer (is he still a jailer?)/mayor. If you follow the link you will find the invitation includes many of the OC GOP movers and shakers plus some much lesser minions from Costa Mesa. The names of Surat Singh, Mike and Judy Berry, Jim Righeimer and Steve Mensinger are shown as members of his "host committee". Honorary co-hosts include Gary Monahan, Wendy Leece, Colin
McCarthy and Jeff Matthews - the last two, along with Mensinger, are recently appointed Costa Mesa commissioners. Appointed by whom, you ask? Guess...

EILEEN OF LAGUNA RIDES AGAIN!

Even more interesting is the fact that the hosts for this Rancho
Santa Margarita event are George & Eileen Riviere. Who the heck are they, you might ask? Well, perhaps you'll recognize Eileen if we tell you she's a huge Mansoor supporter who showed up at many Minuteman events on his behalf. She writes to the local newspapers defending Mansoor's biased immigration policies as "Eileen Garcia". I've referred to her frequently as "Eileen of Laguna" - which is where she and hubby, George, reside.

HOBNOBBING WITH THE HEAVY HITTERS
You can pony up a hundred bucks and go rub shoulders with those "important" people... what a thrill! Or, you can fork over $3,900 - the maximum per person per election - and help Mansoor fill his
war chest for the election - which is only seventeen months away! Good grief!

SEND HIM YOUR MONEY!

So, all you well-heeled Mansoor sycophants, please, please send him your non-tax deductible
contributions so he can use your bucks to lose in the Republican primary next spring to one of the well-organized, well-funded Vietnamese-American candidates for the same seat that are already circling their campaign wagons. Please spend your money on Mansoor's hopeless campaign. Heck, worst case scenario - he wins and heads for Sacramento, where he can use his limited intellect to inflict further damage on this state!

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Riggy Drops A Bomb

RIGGY, THE MAD BOMBER
At the Costa Mesa Planning Commission meeting Monday night Chairman Jim Righeimer dropped a little fiscal bombshell for those few in attendance and watching at home.

PLANNING REVENUE DOWN TWO-THIRDS!

During his comments section he
mentioned that Building Permit revenue had been running consistently around $25 million each quarter for the past several years. He then told us that, for the first quarter of 2009, those revenues were $8 million! Yikes! That gives us just a taste the kind of issues the City Council will be dealing with at their study session Tuesday afternoon and evening.

EXPECTING A FULL HOUSE TUESDAY AFTERNOON

In light of the c
ritical nature of the budget this year I expect that Conference Room 1A will be packed for the study session. Typically, only 15 minutes total is set aside for public comments in study sessions, regardless the number of speakers. That might get complicated... I guess we'll find out..


NO SECOND PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING IN JUNE

Riggy mentioned that, because there
is no work for them to do, there will not be a second Planning Commission meeting in June. The next meeting will be on July 13th. He also mentioned that consideration is being given to holding only one Planning Commission meeting each month - like the Parks and Recreation Commission - due to the sparsity of items to be heard by them. Sadly, this is a real sign of the times...

NEW TIME BEGINNING IN JULY

And thanks to Riggy for reminding us - and specifically me by name - to set our VCRs and Tivos to record that meeting at the new start time of 6:00 p.m. instead of the traditional 6:30.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Weekend Announcements and The Week Ahead

Geez, take a little weekend trip and strange things happen at home!

FOLEY ANNOUNCES NEW GIG

First, my friend, Katrina Foley, announced to the world this weekend that she has formed a new firm, The Foley Group. She and her associate
, Teal Anderson, will provide the professional legal muscle in this new venture. According to her note, Katrina will continue her employment litigation practice, but will grow her practice to include artist and athlete management as well as non-profit corporate organization and compliance services for organizations working with children and youth sports.

Beginning June 8th Foley and Anderson can be reached at their new digs:
The Foley Group, PLC

1600 Dove Street, Suite 101
Newport Beach, CA, 92660

949-502-8800
949-502-8801 fax

The partnership of Lents & Foley has apparently been dissolved. One can assume that, with that dissolution, Katrina may now participate in discussions and votes taken regarding the Costa Mesa Senior Center. Previously her partner was legal counsel for the Center, which created a conflict of interest for Katrina.

I certainly wish Katrina Foley and Teal Anderson the very best of luck with this new venture.

**********

ADIOS, "CMunimPRESSed"

Then I noticed that our old anonymous buddy who publishes the consistently clever CMunimPRESSed blog has decided to fold up his tent. That's a shame, because the wit and perception displayed on that blog has been fun and refreshing. I e
xpect a certain activist in Mesa North will be pleased to read about the CMunimPRESSed's demise. I'll miss it. I suggest you slide your cursor over to the right side of this page and click on the link to that blog, then scroll back through the archives to refresh your memory - and to enjoy his comments as he pokes that certain puffed-up hypocrite from Mesa North with a sharp stick.

Adios, amigo...

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AN INTERESTING WEEK AHEAD

ANOTHER "RIGGY" SHOW MONDAY
This week promises to be an interesting one... Monday we have yet another Planning Commission meeting - at 6:30 at City Hall. Tune in to CMTV to watch the Righeimer-led quintet once again play fast and loose with the rules and make applicants squirm. Maybe they should call this "bullying 101".

BUDGET STUDY SESSION ON TUESDAY

Tuesday is the much-anticipated City Council Budget Study Session, at 4:30 p.m. in Conference 1A, which might be followed by a special
adjourned council meeting at which the council may provide the staff with direction on the budget. As proposed right now the 09/10 budget will be 18% smaller than the year about to expire the end of June.

BUDGET WORKSHOP ON THURSDAY

On Thursday, at 6:00 p.m., also in Conference Room 1A, the staff will hold a public workshop on the new budget. In the recent past only a half-a-hand-full of residents have attended. I hope for a greater turnout this year, particularly in light of the extreme financial distress our city now finds itself in due to the economy and the capriciousness of our state leaders.

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