Fun In Newport-Mesa
It's been an interesting week here in the land of Newport-Mesa. In addition to the budget gyrations mentioned in the two previous blog entries, there have been a few other noteworthy events, too.
CITY STOPS ENFORCING ANTI-SOLICITATION ORDINANCE
Among them is the decision made by city officials early in the week to cease enforcing the anti-solicitation ordinance that has provoked yet another lawsuit by the ACLU. We don't know all the details of specifically why, as contract City Attorney Kimberly Hall Barlow announced on Tuesday evening, they've chosen to pause in their enforcement efforts. She tells the local media, HERE and HERE, that they will hold off any further enforcement efforts until the results of an appeal of a similar case involving the city of Redondo Beach is resolved. While you're at those sites, take a peek at the comment threads for a little perspective on how some of the "open-minded" folks who live around you feel. The Register site is particularly enlightening.
OC VOICE BLOG INTERVIEWS CHIEF SHAWKEY
I invite you to visit the Orange Coast Voice blog, HERE. Over in Huntington Beach Editor John Earl and his staff has produced quite an outstanding series of video clips on the subject of the Costa Mesa efforts to enforce the anti-solicitation ordinance which includes an extensive interview with Costa Mesa Police Chief Christopher Shawkey. A peek at those YouTube clips will be very informative for those of you who have an interest in this story. Congratulations to Earl and his team on this excellent report.
FOLEY FIGHTS BACK
At the City Council meeting Tuesday night councilwoman Katrina Foley tossed some of the venom pitched her way earlier by The Mouth From Mesa North, as reported in an earlier post. Well, the Daily Pilot reported her comments today. You can read them in the Political Landscape column HERE. It's about time someone starts standing up to that racist bully. He's ranted his displeasure with Costa Mesa for more than a decade. The Mouth is obviously unhappy with the demographics of our city. My suggestion is, in the interests of his mental health, he seek greener (or whiter) pastures. I imagine there are some folks in Idaho who would welcome him with open arms. I'll buy the bus ticket.
NEWPORT BEACH TESTS IT'S ALERT SYSTEM
Our pals in Newport Beach are defending their use of their automated telephone alert system to warn residents to stay away from the shoreline during the recent Chilean earthquake-induced tsunami scare. You can read the Register article on the tsunami HERE, and the Daily Pilot article HERE and Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff's commentary HERE. Even though the threat turned out to be nothing at all, I think they did the correct thing. The tsunami manifested itself as ripples on local beaches, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
CORONA DEL MAR TODAY SCOOPS OTHER MEDIA ON TSUNAMI ALERT
A writer dropped me a note after this post was published to let me know that this whole "Tsunami Alert Failure" story was actually broken by Amy Senk at the Corona Del Mar Today blog. Amy, not just your average blogger, is a real journalist who does a great job covering issues involving the village of Corona del Mar and nearby locales. Unfortunately, she doesn't always get the credit she deserves for her coverage of important issues. You can read her entry on this issue HERE.
YOUNG "ACE REPORTER" SCOOPS THE LOCAL MEDIA
The earliest local report on the earthquake and tsunami threat was produced by a local high school sophomore, Melanie de Arakal, who, after hearing the international news reports that morning, sprang out of bed and fired off an entry in the online version of the Corona Del Mar High School Trident, HERE. If that name looks a little familiar, this budding reporter is the daughter of my friend, former Daily Pilot columnist and Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman, Byron de Arakal. It certainly looks like those "ace reporter" skills are in her genes. Congratulations to Melanie for her timely and excellent reporting. Incidentally, young Melanie is also a budding basketball star at Corona del Mar. You can read more about her enthusiasm for the game, and one player in particular, HERE.
MONAHAN GIVES THE CITY "THE FINGER" - AGAIN
Councilman Gary Monahan apparently continues to believe the rules are for others and don't apply to him. You will recall that in recent months he displayed an illegal banner on the front of his gin mill announcing Sunday Night Football. Even though the city Code Enforcement folks advised him to remove it, he stretched it out as long as he could. He was cited for that infraction. Well, he's at it again and this time not only is he violating the law with another illegal banner in the same place, he's thumbing his nose at the city by posting it on his Facebook page. Here's what his announcement looked like:
IGNORES THE COUNCIL - AGAIN
As I said the last time Monahan pulled this kind of stunt, I don't have a problem with temporary banners announcing a special event. However, Monahan made his case to his peers on the council the last time and was rebuffed. He went right ahead with the other banner and here he is with another. These kind of shenanigans should be kept in mind if (when) he dredges up the "directly-elected mayor" scheme later this year. He apparently sees himself as a kind of "mayor for life" and wants to put the issue before the people. His scheme excludes term limits, by the way. As always, it seems that all he cares about is what's in it for him. Don't worry, I'll remind you of his banner transgressions when the time comes.