Friday, January 29, 2010

Battle To Quash Fairgrounds Sale Dead?

IS THERE A PULSE?
Is it over now? That seems like a pretty good question considering some recent events.



DAILY PILOT REPORTS AB1590 DEAD

First, the Daily Pilot reported a little after noon today that Assemblymen Jose Solorio and Van
Tran have decided to pull AB1590 from the Assembly floor because it ended up too watered-down to accomplish the goal - the killing of the sale of the Fairgrounds. They are quoted as saying they might start over again with a new, stronger bill that contained the original language of AB1590.

DEVORE SAYS NO TO AB1590

Then I saw a copy of Assemblyman Chuck Devore's letter to Mayor Mansoor in which he states that he cannot support AB1590 because he and some of his fellow assemblymen have decided that the State should not be in the real estate business! You just lost my vote, Chuck.



GOVERNOR "SCORES" TH
E FAIRGROUNDS
Then, I was informed that Governor Schwarzenegger has "scored" the Fairgrounds for the 2011 budget. That means that he has counted the $50 million plus that was offered for the Fairgrounds as money in the budget. If the sale gets quashed that will put the budget $50 million in the hole! No way that's going to happen in this budget climate.

I NEED A PEP TALK

So, I need someone to give me a pep talk! Tell me why these events don't mark the death of the plans to quash the sale. Tell me something encouraging... because this information is just plain disappointing.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Righeimer's Choice

THE RIGHT DECISION...
As reported here yesterday afternoon, Costa Mesa Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer has been bounced from his Daily Pilot columnist responsibilities. I think the correct decision was made, if we can believe the scenario presented by the writer of the original story in the Newport Mesa Daily Voice. Riggy was give the choice of his column or his seat on the Planning Commission. He made the right choice.

MISSING HIS COLUMN?
Certainly, the world has not come to an end for Righeimer. Many folks have commented in public and private that they will miss his columns. I, too, will miss his views on some important issues in our city. His life experience and work background is very different than mine, so his perspective on development issues is valuable to our city. And, of course, his partisan perspective on political issues will be missed, too - by some.

PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR HIM, THOUGH
There is nothing at all to keep Riggy, as a private citizen, from submitting a commentary to the Daily Pilot when the urge moves him. I'm sure the editors will view his submissions as they do any other and publish them if they have merit. And, there is no longer the pressure to create a column on a regular basis. Of course, Riggy will miss those "big bucks" the Pilot pays their columnists...

NOT GOING SOFT ON RIGGY
Am I going soft on Riggy? Nah - I still think he's a carpetbagger and I still think he misused his position as a columnist for political purposes. I still think he's going to make another run for City Council in the fall, which would have forced him to abandon his column in any event. This just levels the playing field a little for those who might choose to challenge him for that council seat.


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EASTSIDE CM NEIGHBORS GROUP MEETING
A reminder... tonight, Thursday, the Eastside CM Neighbor's Group will host a meeting at Kaiser Elementary School on Santa Ana Avenue at which several items of community interest will be discussed. Righeimer will give his perspective on the Fairgrounds Sale. Former councilwoman Heather Somers will discuss the future expansion of John Wayne Airport. The Banning Ranch and the Broadway Safe Route To School Project will also be discussed. Call 949-646-9773 if you have questions.

The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. and is scheduled for 2 hours.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Righeimer and Wylder Out At Daily Pilot

THE DAILY VOICE REPORTS...
Wow! Big news reported by the Newport Mesa Daily Voice this morning. In a column, HERE, they report that both Jim Righeimer and Greer Wylder are out as Daily Pilot columnists! Huge news!

CONFIRMS EARLIER RUMORS

I had heard rumors earlier that Riggy was on shaky ground with his column, but declined to print that information because it wasn't
a done deal. The source at the Daily Voice seems to think it is now.

RIGGY'S CHOICE

I called the Daily P
ilot, spoke with two editors, who confirmed the facts as presented in the Daily Voice column - that Riggy was given the choice of retaining his column or resigning from the Planning Commission. It doesn't surprise me that he chose to leave the newspaper. I also called Riggy, who acknowledged the circumstances of this story.

UNFAIR ADVANTAGE

From my personal point of view, permitting a sitting city official to have a regular column in the Daily Pilot has always been
a little curious. In my view, it was made worse because Riggy obviously had aspirations for higher office and the column gave him a platform to express his views not available to other potential opponents.

LAST COLUMN?

No word yet when the Daily Pilot will publish his final column... it may already have done so with his presentation last week.

WYLDER DEPARTURE LEAVES HUGE HOLE...

The departure of Greer Wylder is also a shocker. Her column in the Daily Pilot has a HUGE following but, according to sources at the Daily Pilot, they were unable to reach
agreement on a contract. This will leave another big hole in the Daily Pilot's presentation of important information to its readers. I have no idea whether or not the fact that Wylder is married to former Daily Pilot editor, Los Angeles Times reporter and co-publisher of the Newport Mesa Daily Voice had anything to do with her departure from the Daily Pilot.

DRAMA CONTINUES
Lately it seems that there is no lack of drama over on Sunflower Street... this is just the mo
st recent event. Ever since Sam Zell bought the Los Angeles Times parent company, The Tribune Companies, and systematically dismantled that once-proud news organization speculation has existed about the future of the Times Community News family of local news outlets, including the Daily Pilot. I've written many times that I do not want the Daily Pilot to go away... our communities need this newspaper of record for more than a century. I hope the folks managing that group find ways to adapt to the changing world of journalism and remain an important, essential part of our communities.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Housekeeping & The Week Ahead

Here's a little bag of stuff that needs to be taken care of as we launch into a new week..

HEAR ROEDER DISCUSS THE FAIRGROUNDS SALE

Last Saturday Costa Mesa City Manager Allan Roeder was the guest of Troy Davis on his "Money Matters" program on KOCI-LPFM, 101.5. Roeder and Davis spent 35 productive minutes discussing the sale of the Orange County Fair and Events Center, the history and the future. As always, Roeder provided us with excellent information.

ACCESS ARCHIVE SITE

For those of you who missed the broadcast, Davis has provided us with a method of accessing the program at a special archive site. Just cli
ck HERE, then scroll down to the bottom of the right column and click on the red line that says "click here to download". It will take a few minutes for the program to download. Once it does, just click on the icon that appears and sit back for a half-hour of good information.

GRACIAS, KOCI
Many thanks to Troy Davis and the rest of the good folks at KOCI-LPFM for providing this public service. You can find their web site, with live streaming programming, HERE, and learn how you can support this excellent community resource.

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VISIT "CHUCKMEISTER"
Slide over to the right of this page and click on "Chuckmeister Unleashed". My old buddy, Chuck Cassity has a new, very entertaining post, part of which was recently published in the Daily Pilot.

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CHECK OUT "GREEN LIVING"

I've added Costa Mesa Planning Commissioner Jim Fitzpatrick's blog, "Green Living" to my blog roll. Be sure to take a peek at Jim's very interesting and informative entries. Jim's column appears regularly on the Daily Voice.

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PLANNING COMMISSION STUDY SESSION
On Monday, January 25th, the Costa Mesa Planning Commission will hold a study session at City Hall, Conference Room 1A at 5:30 p.m. at which Code Enforcement Priorities and Harbor Boulevard of Cars Signage will be discussed.

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MESA CONSOLIDATED WATER DISTRICT
On Tuesday, January 26th, the Board of the water district will hold their meeting at 7:00 at Water District headquarters. One very interesting item on the agenda - to be considered in a closed session - is a discussion of negotiations with Poseidon Resources for the "possible use of Mesa Consolidated Water District property by outside company for purposes of delivering desalinated potable water to other agencies."

Some may recall that Poseidon plans to build a desalination plant in Huntington Beach and plow up part of northern Costa Mesa to move that product to a distribution point just beyond the northwest border of our city. Poseidon has finally received - after years of contentious negotiations - permission to build a desal plant in Carlsbad and have recently broken ground for that project.

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PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION MEETING
On Wednesday, January 27th, the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission will hold their monthly meeting in the City Council Chambers beginning at 6:00 p.m. Three items are on its agenda:
Review of Conceptual Design for a Grant Application for Improvements at Lions Park
Fairview Road Parkway Improvements
Review of the Joint Use Agreement between the City and the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.

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EASTSIDE CM NEIGHBORS GROUP
On Thursday, January 28th, the Eastside CM Neighbors Group will hold a meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Kaiser Elementary School, 2130 Santa Ana Avenue at which speakers will address four issues:
John Wayne Airport Expansion (former councilwoman Heather Somers)
Banning Ranch Development Update
Sale of Orange County Fairgrounds (Jim Righeimer)
Broadway Safe Route to School Grant and Project.

You can find more information at their web site, www.eastsidecm.org or call at 949-646-9773

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