Friday, June 29, 2012

Candidate Krupp "Openly Discloses" Himself

Apparently under the assumption that ANY publicity is good publicity, Costa Mesa City Council candidate Marshall Krupp,, continued his flurry of public pronouncements, letters to the editor and press releases with yet another long, long media communication today.  This one, however, may not have the effect he anticipated.

In a four-page press release today Krupp attempts to explain what he perceives to be criticism of his participation in the ManKind Project (read about it HERE).  He uses most of the press release to define the project,  apparently to help voters understand why he conducted events in which he led men, blindfolded and naked, traipsing through the woods, subsequently sitting in a circle - still naked - using a wooden phallic symbol as a "microphone" to express themselves. 
For those of you who are not aware of this issue, a piece from the internet, HERE, may be helpful to you.
One of his comments on this issue is stated thus:
 "Should a man feel he needs to disrobe and run around in a room, or even in the woods, to tap into an inner primal energy he possesses, a safe, confidential, private setting is created by the staff to do such a process. So yes, there are sometimes when nudity is an optional part of the integrated processes. Ultimately, each man decides what he needs to do to get what he came to get from the weekend experience. It is his choice."

He invites readers to search the internet for different perspectives and views of this "training".  Uh, oh!

Finally, in the press release he quotes himself as saying, "However, I hope that since I have openly disclosed myself, Costa Mesan’s and particularly the candidates and those who are challenging and questioning my morals and ethics, will now focus on the issues facing the City and the character and values that each of us bring, so that the Community can make decisions from a place of truth."

Since he announced his candidacy Krupp has been omnipresent at municipal meetings - challenging the current city council's policies and practices - has showered local media outlets with press releases and letters to the editor and has pointed out the misuse of student cheerleaders in political campaigns by his opponents.  To say that Krupp is conducting an aggressive campaign would be a serious understatement.

I suspect this most recent press release was an attempt to get out in front of an issue that would surely haunt him during his campaign.  However, he's about a month late.  It has already become the cowbell around his neck and will remain there until the completion of his campaign and, probably, beyond.

This is going to be a VERY interesting campaign season.  It has the potential to be the most contentious in recent memory.  Based on observations of his early campaigning, Krupp's presence will be an integral part of that contentiousness. We'll see.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Krupp "Exposes" McCarthy And Mensinger

On June 21, 2012 Costa Mesa City Council Candidate Marshall Krupp,, wrote to the President and Members of the Board of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District advising them of what he perceived to be a violation of District rules and the California Education Code that occurred a week earlier, at Colin McCarthy's council campaign kick-off event at The Triangle (formerly known as Triangle Square).  He also copied the Fair Political Practices Commission, Enforcement Division, in Sacramento.

Apparently there were a half-dozen Estancia High School Cheerleaders present at this event and Krupp informed the leadership of the NMUSD that this was a violation of the rules.

He went further and recounted overhearing Steve Mensinger, also a candidate for council in November, "touting his relationship with Estancia High School as a large fundraiser and booster of the school and that he had arranged with the District, the Cheer Team's participation and support at the McCarthy event".

In his press release, which can be viewed in its entirety at, he mentions a telephone conversation with Interim Superintendent of the NMUSD, Dr. Robert Barbot, who - according to Krupp - informed him that he was "absolutely right" that McCarthy and Mensinger had violated District policy

Subsequently, Laura Boss, Director of Communications for the NMUSD, distributed a letter to  "Leadership Team Members", the subject of which was "Campaign and Political Activities".  In that letter Boss hedged her bet just a little by requesting recipients to contact her "before making a judgment on permitted or prohibited conduct.  The legality of specific conduct cannot be fully answered until the facts and circumstances of specific incidents are evaluated."

She went on to list what may and may not be done by Employees and Students.

What Employees and Students Can Do:
• Employees are permitted to have signs or political bumper stickers on their personal vehicles and park on school District property.

• Employees may wear political buttons or t-shirts in the classroom as long as the buttons or t-shirts do not create class disruption or contain malicious or defamatory statements.

• Employees and members of the public may conduct peaceful picketing on the sidewalk, off school property as long as this activity does not create a dangerous condition for students, block access to entrances or school site exits, or interfere with orderly school operations.

• Students are permitted to wear buttons making political statements as long as the content of those buttons is not obscene, vulgar, malicious, defamatory, or creates a disruption in the classroom.

• Union prepared items may be placed on the NMFT and CSEA designated membership poster boards only. This is the only designated location that items can be displayed. Typically these are located in the staff lounge or possibly another area of the front office.

• The unions may distribute union prepared flyers, notices, etc., via employee’s mailboxes.

What Employees and Students Cannot Do:
• No district funds, services, supplies, or equipment or anything that is a symbolic representation of the District or a specific school site (this would include students as representatives of school sponsored teams, cheer, etc,) shall be used to urge the support or defeat any ballot measure or candidate, including any candidate for election to the Board. (Education Code 7054)

• During working hours and while on school property, employees may not solicit or receive any political funds or contributions to promote the passage or defeat of a ballot measure that would affect the rate of pay, hours of work, retirement, civil service, or other working conditions.

• District resources, including email or computer systems, shall not be used to disseminate campaign literature. In addition, district resources shall not be used to purchase advertisements, bumper stickers, posters, or similar promotional items that advocate an election result or urge voters to take any action in support of or in opposition to a measure or candidate.

• No items may be sent home with students relative to political campaigns or positional items.

We've all seen Mensinger use, or "misuse" the Estancia Football Players over the past many months.  In fact, many of them stepped to the speaker's podium in their football jerseys to praise him as a candidate for appointment to the City Council eighteen months ago.  This most recent abuse of authority and violation of the rules shouldn't surprise anyone who has been paying attention.

It is unclear what action, if any, may be taken by the Fair Political Practices Commission in this matter.  What it does clearly demonstrate is the arrogant disregard for established rules of procedure by Colin McCarthy and Steve Mensinger.  Now, this really doesn't surprise me, because we've seen Mensinger throw his weight around before, using his considerable influence as a fundraiser to get what he wants, when he wants it.  Apparently the rules are for somebody else, not him.

This is certainly something we should consider as we evaluate the candidates for City Council over the next few months, particularly with Jim Righeimer's Charter also likely to be on the ballot.  That document provides inadequate controls over precisely this kind of abuse of power, so to consider it in the hands of men like Mensinger, Righeimer and McCarthy should give every voter pause.  We will, indeed, Remember In November.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mensinger Assails Goldmann

On June 21st Tamar Goldmann - long-time Costa Mesa resident and renowned Orange Coast College instructor, HERE - published a letter in the Daily Pilot, HERE, in which she criticized the current Costa Mesa City Council for decisions they've been making.  It is not the first such criticism offered by Mrs. Goldmann, who has become a frequent speaker before City Council meetings over the past couple years, nor do I expect it to be the last.

Consistent with her personality and training, Mrs. Goldmann delivers her message - whether in person or in writing - with respect, courtesy and clarity.  And, for her trouble, she is frequently interrupted and/or chided by members of the council simply because she disagrees with them.  Her most recent commentary evoked precisely that kind of a response from non-elected councilman and presumed council candidate Steve Mensinger in the pages of the Daily Pilot today, HERE.

Mensinger, is also "renowned" by those of us who watch council proceedings - for not paying attention to issues at hand, for his inability to grasp and use the English language and for the difficulty he sometimes has adding numbers like 5+2, for example.  He IS also renowned for tinkering with his cell phone or his Ipad, sending and receiving text messages or emails and surfing the web, while business is being conducted.

Back to the business at hand, Mensinger's criticism of Mrs. Goldmann's criticism.  In his first paragraph he identifies Mrs. Goldmann as his "friend", then consistently misspells her name throughout the piece.


In his second paragraph he quotes Mrs. Goldmann as saying crime is up in Costa Mesa, but doesn't refute her allegation and confirms that "property crimes are up 11%" after saying "violent crime is actually down".  Well, old Steve has not been paying attention, as indicated in the recent rash of violent crimes described HERE.  I'm not sure the older couple on Baker Street who were attacked recently or the young man who was shot in the chest coming to the aid of his father on Cabrillo Street or the jewelers who were robbed at gunpoint a week ago would see things his way.

Later he attempts to justify the recent decision by the City Council to squirrel away a half-million dollars "just in case" one of the "problem properties" (motels) should come available for purchase.  I guess, based on the comments made from the dais recently, the plan would be to buy a motel, then sell it at a loss to a developer.  Did I mention that Mensinger and his buddy, Jim Righeimer, are developers?

That $500,000 would be enough to fund hiring a few more police officers at a time when we sorely need them.  Councilwoman Wendy Leece outlined this from the dais and on her blog OC Public Square, HERE.  Mensinger and his majority on the council have refused to permit Police Chief Tom Gazsi to hire replacements for departed officers or for those officers who will be retiring in the very near future.  It takes at least fifteen months to identify, qualify and train a new police officer and it's becoming VERY difficult to attract "lateral" officers to our department because of the uncertainty of our compensation plans and the hostile work environment this council - including Mensinger - have created.  Despite that, Gazsi has launched a three-part recruitment effort that includes some "hedge" language, just to get the ball rolling.

Mensinger, in response to Mrs. Goldmann's comments, tells us that he and the council are "repairing the crumbling infrastructure, repaving pot-hole-laced streets and replanting barren sports fields.", indicating that "These are the type of things that will continue to attract more young families who want to make Costa Mesa their home."  Well, that may be true, but any family - young or old - FIRST wants the city to be SAFE.  Costa Mesa is NOT a safe city today - a fact supported by the numbers.  But then, unless Mensinger takes his shoes off to aid counting, he may not understand those numbers.

Near the end of his letter Mensinger says, "Tamar makes her living as a teacher, where precession and clarity are essential.  I believe her commentary misses the mark in these areas."  That emphasis is mine and demonstrates precisely what I said at the beginning of this post.  I suspect Mensinger meant "precision", but we'll probably never know.

In his final paragraph Mensinger tells us the council majority will "address the needs of all the residents, not just the wishes of organized labor."  What he fails to tell you is that this council majority has focused on meeting the partisan political aspirations of the Orange County Republican Party as orchestrated by Scott Baugh and implemented by his pal, Righeimer.  In this effort Mensinger has become a willing dupe - a term I don't use lightly.  His comments are "disingenuous" (see HERE) at best.

As I've observed in the past, when Mensinger begins a comment with glowing praise of an individual - as he did in his letter in the Daily Pilot - that person had better be careful of what's coming next.  That friendly arm on your shoulder is only used to pull you closer so he can slide the stiletto in between your ribs and twist it over and over again.  Beware of the big, sappy grin - that's how it begins.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Huntington Beach Qualifies Anti-Pension Bill For November

Just a moment ago the following email came in over the transom from Huntington Beach Mayor Don Hansen.  Looks like "pensions" are going to be all over the ballot in November.



I've got some great news.

Tax relief is on its way to Huntington Beach.

Just a few hours ago, our City Clerk informed me that our Initiative to eliminate the Huntington Beach Pension Property Tax has qualified for the November ballot.

For months now, we've been out on the streets collecting signatures to try to take this Measure to the voters.

The support from our community was overwhelming. By the time we turned in the petitions, we had over 150% of the requirement to reach the November Ballot. The Orange County Registrar's office didn't even need to count all the way through our signatures to verify that we had more than enough.

Voters were more than happy to sign up to get the chance to remove this tax.

This is great news for our City and its taxpayers.

Voters will now decide whether homeowners should continue to be unfairly asked to pick up the tab for lavish union pensions.

But now the difficult part begins.

We are going to have to campaign hard throughout the Summer and Fall to ensure that this measure passes.

The Special Interests that have been enjoying the benefits of this tax aren't going to go quietly into the night. They are going to fight this every step of the way.

But we have got the voters and what is right on our side, and that should be enough when all is said and done.

You will be hearing more from me in the coming weeks and months about this campaign.

But for right now, for tonight, let's take a moment to celebrate. Tax relief is coming to Huntington Beach!

Thanks again for your support!

Don Hansen
City of Huntington Beach

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Harold Weitzberg In The Race For Council

Costa Mesa businessman Harold Weitzberg made it official via an interview with the Orange County Register's Barbara Venezia, HERE, that he's in the race for a seat on the Costa Mesa City Council in November.

I, too, spent some time with Weitzberg recently discussing his candidacy and his views of Costa Mesa today and his plans for the future.  I came away with many of the same feelings expressed in Venezia's column.
He is a member of the grass-roots organization, Costa Mesans For Responsible Government,, and is related by marriage to Robin Leffler, the President of that group.  Leffler's son is married to Weitzberg's daughter.  He is but one of other potential candidates that may spring from that organization as the campaign deadlines draw near.

One issue that will certainly be part of any discussion of his run for office is the fact that his wife ran a medical marijuana dispensary until the Costa Mesa Police Department and the federal government recently shut all of them down in our city.  We didn't belabor that issue, but spent most of our time discussing other much more critical situations in our city - Jim Righeimer's Charter, the I-405 Improvement Project, the rising crime rate and the condition of City/Employee relationships as they exist today.

In my view, Weitzberg is going to be a formidable force in the upcoming campaign.  He's not a developer, but is a skilled educator and businessman.  He's able to deliver his message crisply, as I suspect we will all see as the campaign season unfolds and forums take place.


He has created a website,, that will provide you with a good introduction to him and his candidacy.  Personally, I like his campaign slogan, Unity, Safety and Prosperity.  He seems to have the right view of what's needed in this city and presents them in the right order.

So far Weitzberg and businessman Marshall Krupp are the only two announced opponents to the three presumed OC GOP-supported candidates, Steve Mensinger, Gary Monahan and Colin McCarthy.  Only those five have taken out the official papers.   Beginning July 16th candidates may begin collecting the 30 signatures necessary to confirm their candidacy.  Only 20 are required, but the City Clerk requires 30 to be sure the minimum is met.  The official filing period ends August 10th and then the fun begins.

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Military Affairs Team Needs Volunteers

The Costa Mesa Military Affairs Team is looking for volunteers to help formulate and carry out plans to help Costa Mesa veterans.

THE "1/5"
The primary focus initially will be our adopted Marine battalion, the 1/5 Marines, presently stationed at Camp Pendleton and scheduled to be deployed again to the Middle East later this fall.  They are commanded by Lt. Col. Terry Johnson, shown here at a recent City Council meeting.


This new effort, launched a couple months ago by former planning commissioner Jim Fitzpatrick and councilwoman Wendy Leece, has been hampered by lack of interest by members of the public.  As a result, it's been difficult to sharpen the focus of this effort.


If you're interested in providing support to "our" Marines and other Costa Mesa Veterans, please attend the next meeting of the Military Affairs Team on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, in Conference Room 1A at 5:30 at City Hall.  The flier for the meeting follows.  Click on the image to enlarge it.

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Monday, June 25, 2012

A Week In The CMPD

The past week has been an interesting one for the men and women of the Costa Mesa Police Department.  I suspect it was not the busiest week in recent weeks, but here a just a few of the events that occupied their time over the past 7 days. 

6/19/12 - 9:16 a.m. - 1860 Newport Blvd. - Robbery
Four male blacks assaulted employees of Newport Watch Jewelry & Loan and robbed them of watches and jewelry.  They escaped in a red Jeep Liberty with spare tire on the back.

6/22/12 - 12:45 p.m. - 100 Block of Walnut Street - Residential Burglary
Damian Pedersen, 22, residential burglary - grabbed purse.  Police arrested him

6/22/12 - 4:33 p.m. - 2205 Harbor Blvd. - Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
Joseph Robert Barnes, 28, attempted to stab two males.  Arrested.

6/23/12 - 2:45 a.m. - 200 block of Cabrillo - Attempted Murder
Victim, a 19 year old male, shot in upper left chest with "rat shot" by one of two men who were engaged in a car burglary.  Shooter, still at large, identified as thin blond man with a goatee.

6/23/12 - 8:00 a.m. - 600 block of Baker Street - Robbery, Burglary, Attempted Sexual Assault, False imprisonment and public intoxication.
Matthew See, 23, arrested following a report of an assault on a 79 year old female and a 69 year old man.  See had been smoking "Spice", a synthetic form of marijuana.

6/24/12 - 12:20 a.m. - Wilson Street/Placentia Avenue - Attempted Homocide
Two male Hispanics attacked a male Hispanic with a rock and knife and inflicted multiple stab wounds.  He was taken to the hospital for treatment.  Attackers still at large.  May be gang-related.

This, by no means, represents the totality of the calls the members of the CMPD received and responded to over the past seven days - only the ones that were sure to get your attention.

And, of course, last week we had the very significant distraction of the court ruling in the case of CMPD motorcycle officer Allen Rieckhof.

And, coincidentally, this week began with the day the Costa Mesa City Council approved the 2012/2013 Municipal Budget, which perpetuated the lower staff levels for the CMPD.

I fear that, with the attitude this council has about the CMPD and their obvious unwillingness to negotiate with the police association, it's going to be a very long, long summer in Costa Mesa.  Even though Chief Tom Gazsi has authorized an ongoing recruitment effort for officers at all levels in anticipation of multiple retirements over the next few months - and other possible departures for a less-hostile work environment - the City is forbidden to make job offers unless there is a 2nd pension tier for new hires approved.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't see more of what I outlined above as the summer months pass

The phrase "Nero fiddled while Rome burned" comes to mind.

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Clock Is Ticking on I-405 Comments

Although it seems like you've heard plenty about the I-405 Improvement Project, the clock is ticking for comments from the public to be submitted to the appropriate authority on this issue.  So, right at the top of this post I'm going to give you the proper addresses to which you may mail or email your comments.  The public comment portion of this project has been extended to July 17, 2012, which is right around the corner. 

Your written comments may be sent by mail to:
Smita Deshpande
Caltrans District 12
2201 Dupont Drive, Suite 200
Irvine, CA, 92612
email your comments to:

Some have suggested providing copies to the local media - the Daily Pilot and the Orange County Register.  Personally, I don't recommend deluging them with all the comments and letters.  However, I DO suggest submitting relevant letters to the editor to each of those organizations.

The Orange County Transportation Authority Regional Planning and Highways Committee will meet to discuss this project at its meeting on August 6th at OCTA Headquarters at 600 South Main Street, Orange, CA.  The full Board will make a decision of a "preferred" option at it's meeting on August 13th.  Here's information you should know about the venue if you plan to attend.  Plus, you may wish to carpool because it may cost you $11.25 for parking all day if the meeting stretches on.  As the meeting dates draw near you'll be able to find the actual agendas HERE. (Click on map to enlarge)

To summarize what's happening on this project..

Traffic on the I-405 through Orange County is a major problem.  You can read all about it at the OCTA site HERE.  The decision has been made, based on public outcry, to NOT widen the right-of-way to enhance traffic flow.  Instead, four alternatives have been suggested.  The first one is a "no build" option, which means we will soon strangle on our own exhaust on the 405.

The first viable choice - Alternative #1 - adds one general purpose lane each way between Euclid and the 605 interchange.

The second is Alternative #2, which adds two general purpose lanes through the same corridor.

These choices DO NOT require the removal and replacement of the Fairview Street bridge over the 405, although they DO require replacement of bridges further upstream on the project.

Alternative #3 is the one the OCTA is pushing because it adds one general purpose lane AND one High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane to the existing carpool lane - both would be 'managed" together and WOULD require the demolishing and replacement of the Fairview Bridge.  In addition, this choice  - due to limited access to the lanes - creates major difficulties for Costa Mesa residents and visitors trying to reach our city through the major portals at Harbor Blvd., Fairview, Bristol and the SR55 Freeway.  OCTA prefers this choice because it produces income via the toll lanes, although they won't be pinned down as to the actual cost of driving in those lanes.  They use the fascinating term "congestion pricing", but won't give us numbers.  Basically, those who presently use the carpool lanes are out of luck unless they're willing to pay through the nose (transponder, that is).


Much has been written about this project on this site and elsewhere.  The Daily Pilot and the Orange County Register have done a good job of providing coverage.  Alternative media, like the Orange Juice Blog, has also done an excellent job of giving different views.  You can read some of the commentaries that have appeared on that site recently HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

You can also read Mayor Eric Bever's recent angry commentary against Alternative #3 in the Daily Pilot HERE and a letter also appearing in the Daily Pilot a month ago by representatives of three homeowner's associations in the north part of town, HERE.

Additionally, there are some VERY significant impacts on a couple dozen homes that abut the freeway right-of-way.  Some, our neighbors on Nevada Street for example, may end up with a 20+ foot high sound wall just a few feet from their homes.  The City is trying to work with OCTA and CalTrans on possible mitigation measures for them.
Alternative #3 - the only issue I've seen in a dozen years of paying attention that has galvanized much of the community and the City Council in a common goal - will NOT provide ANY benefits to Costa Mesa and will cause significant inconvenience and turmoil for a very large part of our populace.  The folks making the decisions need to hear from us all about this.  The City Council has already sent a resolution to them opposing Alternative #3.  Now it's time for us to do our part and send those messages immediately.  Recommend that Alternative #2 is the proper choice.


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