Friday, December 24, 2010

Best Holiday Wishes To You All

BUMMED, BUT EAGER
Well, I'm still bummed out about the latest Fairgrounds fiasco, but I'm trying to get myself back into the holiday spirit. Today my sweet and very patient wife and I will venture out into the chaos that is Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve for some last-minute purchases.


THANKS TO YOU ALL
Before I do, though, I want to thank each of you who have taken the time to stop at A Bubbling Cauldron over these past many months - and years, in some cases. I appreciate you taking the time to read my views and to comment when you feel so moved - even Vicki. :-)

RELAX AND ENJOY
I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. So, to get us all back into the old spirit I leave you with a couple little video clips. The first one was just too clever to pass up. The second one got me into the mood to go look at an Ipad - you'll understand why.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY!



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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Arnold Pulls A Fast One...

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN OVER THE HOLIDAYS?
So, I ask myself, what could possibly happen in this Fairgrounds drama now that there is a firm temporary restraining order in place until at least January 10, 2011? I know that the folks at Facilities Management West are planning to file paperwork with the appellate court, but beyond that I thought we were home free for the holidays. HA! Silly me!

SCHWARZENEGGER APPOINTS A MAJORITY
Today Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed three new members
to the 32nd District Agricultural Association AND the 32a DAA and re-appointed two current members. The current members re-appointed are current Chair Dave Ellis and David Dykema. The new folks are Ali Jahangiri, a 35 year-old Republican lawyer from Newport Beach; Douglas La Belle, a 67 year-old retired City Manager (Chino Hills) from Costa Mesa (also a Republican) and Alexander Vellandi a 40 year-old Republican attorney and real estate broker and business owner from Ladera Ranch. You can read about their backgrounds and the others Schwarzenegger appointed at the last minutes of his reign HERE.

STATE DEMANDS A
QUIT CLAIM TITLE TRANSFER!
Virtually simultan
eously, the State and Consumer Services Agency directed the Fair Board to meet to consider a quit claim deed transferring the Orange County Fair and Event Center from the 32 DAA to the 32a DAA, which was formed with the original legislation authorizing the sale of the Fairgrounds when this whole basket of snakes was created. That meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. January 1, 2011! That's right, New Year's Day! How do you guarantee limited opposition at a meeting? Why, hold it on a holiday when folks will be immersed in watching football games and replays of the Rose Parade, that's how!

ARNOLD STACKED THE DECK

Clearly, the governor is trying to circumvent the legal process and has stacked the Fair Board dec
k with new folks who, along with known kindred spirits, will form a majority to follow his wishes. He may, however, have overstepped himself and violated the current temporary restraining order. That's for the lawyers to sort out.

WILL THEY HAVE A QUORUM?
There appear to be even more complications in this farce. It seems that at least a couple of board members are out of town, vacationing. I suppose it's possible that there will be no quorum at the meeting on the 1st, but I can't imagine that kind of a gaffe being made - even by this Fair Board. Nope, I suspect we'll see the new guys plus Ellis and maybe one more which will form a quorum. Then it will probably only take 4 of the 5 to vote for the quit claim transfer and the State will have a clear path to sell the property.

LOOKS LIKE A MUGGING TO ME

Seems to me that this validates the questionable status of the title to the Fairgrounds - a po
int that has been made frequently over the past few months not only by Fairgrounds sale opponents, but the Fairgrounds management, too. Apparently the State doesn't really own the Fairgrounds, so it can't sell it, which may make the whole process being conducted by the Department of General Services illegal. However, if this maneuver goes through - holding a gun to the heads of the Fair Board members and ordering them to hand over the property - then it's clear sailing for The State and Facilities Management West to consummate their deal once the TRO is released.

WHICH LAWS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED?
I find myself wondering just how ticked-off the appeals court must be right about now... I know how angry opponents to the sale are tonight. I wonder if the court has any recourse in this process, or will they be left with their collective jaws on the floor like the rest of us.


I WARNED YOU...

I've cautioned you in the past to never relax when contemplating this Fairgrounds Sale issue. This is why... There is so much money at stake here - hundreds of millions of d
ollars - that nothing at all will surprise me as this mess moves forward. Merry Christmas!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fairgrounds Appeal Stalls Sale

APPEAL COURT "STAYS" THE SALE
Late this afternoon the Court of Appeal of the State of California Fourth Appellate District, Division Three granted an immediate stay in the pending sale of the Orange County Fair and Event Center to Facilities Management West or anyone else by the State Department of General Services . According to court documents, "the stay shall be in effect until further order of this court. Defendants and respondents are invited to respond to this petition on or before Monday, January 10, 2011." You can read the brief Daily Pilot article on the stay HERE.

FACILITIE
S MANAGEMENT WEST TO FILE RESPONSE PROMPTLY
Following this news I
spoke briefly with Tom Gibbs, attorney for Facilities Management West, who advised me that they will, indeed, be filing a response to this stay. He did confirm that this stay will be in place until the Appellate Court decides to remove it - if ever. When I asked Gibbs what he thought about the prospects for this sale once Jerry Brown takes office he had no comment.

GENIS, TELLER, FOLEY, ETAL NOT AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT
Representatives of Advanced Real Estate Services and the Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society could not be reached for comment - they're probably out partying!

DRAMA CONTINUES

So, the drama
continues. Instead of a lump of coal in their stockings in the form of a consummated sale this Christmas, the opponents find themselves with new life in their battle to prevent the Fairgrounds from being sold to anyone. Their euphoria may be short-lived, though, since Facilities Management West has proven to be a persistent and aggressive opponent.

HAVE YOUR
SELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
So, let's all just let this simmer for a couple weeks and enjoy our holidays. Frank, if you please...

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Rohrabacher and Righeimer In Honduras

NO REST...
Just when you thought the holidays were going to keep things nice and calm, stuff, as they say, happens.

WIKILEAKS: ROHABACHER IN HONDURAS

Over at the Surf City Voice Editor John Earl has posted a very provocative essay captioned, "Wikileaks: Rohrabacher subverted U.S. foreign policy and shilled for friends on Honduras trip." You can read that essay HERE.


RIGHEIMER WITH HIM
I'm not going to try to re-state any of Earl's report except to note that the trip in question a
pparently took place roughly eleven months ago and the entourage that accompanied Representative Dana Rohrabacher included Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem James Righeimer.

IS THIS "NEWS"? YOU DECIDE
Earl uses as his source for this story information leaked by Wikileaks and provides the full text of the leaked message. I'll leave it to you to read the report and make your own assessment of the issue. Is this newsworthy? Maybe. It involves our Congressional representative - a Costa Mesa resident - and his pal, our Mayor Pro Tem. Read and decide.

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Pre-holiday Potpourri

FAIRGROUNDS SALE APPEAL...
As we enter the far turn and head for Christmas on Saturday about the only thing pending now is the supposed appeal of Judge Brenner's ruling against the opponents of the Orange County Fair and Event Center sale last week. Sandra Genis, Jeff Teller, Katrina Foley and the others involved in the opposition have until tomorrow afternoon to get the appeal filed and heard or the Temporary Restraining Order that's currently blocking the completion of the sale will be lifted. It's my understanding that the State is ready to close the deal as soon as the TRO is lifted.

COUNCIL, GIVE CAREFUL CONSIDERATION

And, since they have absolutely nothing else to do between now and January 4th, the Costa Mesa City Council can take a few hours from their holiday celebrations and give serious consideration to the candidates who applied to replace Foley on the council, and to those many others who applied to fill vacancies on the Planning and Parks and Recreation commissions. I'd like to think that politics will play no part in their decisions but I couldn't write it and keep a straight face. Of course, there's always hope. This time around there are many excellent candidates from which to select - a great thing for our city, in my view.

CHUCKMEISTER ON THE "DEATH TAX"
Before I close this brief entry, let me refer you to the latest contribution to our enlightenment by my friend, Chuck Cassity, on his Chuckmeister Unleashed blog. This time Chuck addresses the "death tax" - the estate tax that has the potential to rob our children of their future. Some of you will enjoy it - others will hate it. All of you will be provoked by it. You can read it HERE.

DRIVE SAFELY - NO TEXTING!
As you brave the storms to finish your holiday shopping please drive carefully and keep your hands off those cell phones! Santa knows who's been naughty...

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