Saturday, December 15, 2012

Have Yourself A Merry....

A GOOD WAY TO BEGIN...
It's time to get into that old Christmas spirit, folks.  This clip will be a great way to start.

Miss Judy, if you please...

Labels: ,

Snoopy House Grand Opening!

NECESSARY DISTRACTION
On an evening when the entire country still reels from the tragic events at Newtown, Connecticut earlier in the day and the flag at Costa Mesa City Hall hung limply at half staff in honor of those lost, even the intermittent drizzle couldn't dampen the spirits of those of us who attended the Grand Opening of the Snoopy House Friday night.  You can read Bradley Zint's account and see Scott Smeltzer's photos in the Daily Pilot, HERE

WEATHER DIDN'T DETER
The weather kept the crowd smaller than anticipated, but a few hundred residents and children braved the threat of rain to see the amazing displays created 46 years ago by the Jim Jordan and his family and shown for the second year at this City Hall location.

A VERY SPECIAL GUEST
City Chief Executive Tom Hatch was master of ceremonies and Mayor Jim Righeimer introduced Jill Schulz, daughter of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, who was honored as Grand Marshall of this event.  Other politicians were in attendance - Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger, councilwomen Wendy Leece and Sandy Genis and Assemblyman Allan Mansoor were on the stage and participated in the ceremony.

 SNOOPY!
Snoopy - on temporary assignment from Knott's Berry Farm - was on hand to enhance the festivities.  He thrilled everyone, whether young or old.

SANTA!
Santa Claus came riding in on his sleigh and brought joy to the kids lined up to sit on his lap.

SNOW!
One highlight was the snow that managed to fall several times during the evening.  Children and adults alike enjoyed that fluffy white stuff.

LIGHTS AND MUSIC!
City Hall was awash in a new light display that danced to the music on command.

OPEN THROUGH CHRISTMAS DAY
Thanks very much to Public Affairs Manager Dan Joyce and other members of The City staff plus the dozens of tireless volunteers who worked hard for the past couple weeks to prepare the display for its two week run.  It will be open from 5 - 9 p.m. through December 25th, with Santa Claus making an appearance each night through the 23rd.  On this day in particular this was a very welcome, very positive event.

 MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Snoopy House Launch Tomorrow Night

 SNOOPY TIME AGAIN
Just a little reminder for you that tomorrow, at 5:00 p.m., the Snoopy House display will be officially opened to the public.
A SPECIAL EVENING
This promises to be a very special event, with Jill Schulz, the daughter of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, attending as Grand Marshall and Snoopy on hand to wander the grounds and greet guests.  Santa Claus will make an appearance and, we're told, snow will fall from the City Hall roof!  Food trucks will be on hand for those with the munchies.
 TWO WEEKS OF FUN
Last year, the first at the City Hall location, was a fun event, so I encourage you all to attend if possible.  The Snoopy House will be open every evening from tomorrow night through December 25th, with Santa visits every night through the 23rd.
KUDOS AND THANKS
Thanks to the Jordan family for allowing this wonderful Costa Mesa tradition to continue at City Hall after being available to their friends and neighbors at their Eastside home for 44 years, and to all the volunteers and sponsors who, once again, made this event possible.

Labels:

McEvoy Begins Righeimer Recall Effort

A MEASURED BEGINNING
On a dark and sometimes drizzly evening, in a modest Westside Costa Mesa home, school teacher and former City Council candidate Chris McEvoy began the long uphill climb to qualify his effort to recall Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer next year.  You can read Bradley Zint's report in the Daily Pilot, HERE.

A SPARSE, BUT ENTHUSIASTIC, TURNOUT
For a couple hours last night a dozen or so supporters made their way to McEvoy's home to sign recall petitions and to pick up a few with which to gather more signatures over the next few months.  The City Clerk indicates he will need just under 9,100 valid signatures, so McEvoy is aiming at 12,000 by the May 15, 2013 deadline.

A TRUE GRASS ROOTS EFFORT
Much like McEvoy's council campaigns, when he and his father cobbled together signs of plywood and 2X2 lumber, this is the purest of grass roots efforts.  There were no signs of the opulence of a well-funded campaign.  No flashy hors d'oeuvres served on expensive china plates and bottles of vintage wine in crystal glasses, consumed while overlooking a golf course fairway.  McEvoy greeted visitors through the unscreened open door to his home as he stood in his kitchen, slicing cheese chunks and salami and dumping crackers on paper plates for his guests. 

AN ATYPICAL GATHERING
There was no snappy banter by well-connected political power brokers over cigars on the patio here, only quiet conversation by a determined young man who greeted his guests as they wandered into his home singly and in pairs and gave them instructions on how to gather the signatures from their friends, neighbors and strangers. His dog slept peacefully in a cage in the corner of his living room and his roommate drifted through the small crowd on his way to a project in the garage.  "Low key" would be a major overstatement.

EAGER VOLUNTEERS
Volunteers quietly came and went, clutching handfuls of petitions as they departed, eager to begin the task before them.  McEvoy, the teacher, coached them on what the petitions represented and insured that they read both the Notice of Intention to Circulate Recall Petition and Righeimer's response on each page.  Both of those statements are shown below.  

(click on the images to enlarge)
NOTICE OF INTENTION TO CIRCULATE RECALL PETITION

THE ANSWER OF THE OFFICER SOUGHT TO BE RECALLED
LOOKING FOR MORE VOLUNTEERS
So, now it begins.  McEvoy hopes to recruit a few dozen volunteers to help him gather the signatures by the deadline in six months.  He plans to maintain the Facebook page he created for this event to update anyone interested in this effort, HERE, and the web site, Friends Of Costa Mesa's FutureHERE, as well.

A LONG SHOT...
In my view, this is a long shot that will take a lot of work by a lot of people just to qualify for a ballot.  There is no financial cost to The City until and unless he actually gathers sufficient signatures.  At that point The City will contract with the Orange County Registrar of Voters to validate each signature.  That cost is estimated to be near $25,000.  A special election will cost around $200,000.

UNFOUNDED FEARS
There are those within the community that are concerned that this recall effort comes at a time when Righeimer and his fellows in the majority on the City Council have indicated a willingness to work collaboratively with employee associations toward a resolution to what Righeimer perceives to be the major problems in our city - salaries and pensions of public employees.  They are afraid this action will undermine those efforts.  Well, Righeimer and his associates only took a couple hours to show their true stripes.  It is very clear that collaboration and cooperation are NOT on their agenda, so those fears are unfounded.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What Did He Say?

NEWPORT BEACH DOCK FEES
At the Newport Beach City Council meeting yesterday, December 11, 2012, the only item on the agenda was the contentious issue of the proposed increase in dock fees.  The new council chambers was packed with folks interested in this issue.  The council DID approve the changes.  You can read Jill Cowan's account of the meeting in the Daily Pilot, HERE.


EVEN THE RICH HAVE ISSUES
Lots of folks spoke on this issue, which will raise the fees folks pay by several hundred or several thousand dollars.  Even in a city where discretionary income seems not to be much of a problem, these proposed increases have really struck a chord with many wealthy residents.

HOW DO YOU FEEL, RUSH?
A couple hours into this discussion councilman Rush Hill was attempting to address his concerns with the current proposals and was clearly exasperated by this process and with some of the opponents of the planned increases.  "How exasperated?" you ask...  Well, just watch this short video clip and you'll have that answer.  He kind of reminds me of former Costa Mesa mayor Eric Bever...  


CAUTION:  This clip is not for children!  You're warned...









  Get Microsoft Silverlight

Labels: ,

60th Anniversary Planning Begins

LAUNCHING CELEBRATION PLANS
Tuesday night nearly 50 city staffers and members of the public met in the Emergency Operations Center to begin the planning process for the city's 60th anniversary next year.
 

   
HATCH'S VISION
City CEO Tom Hatch led off with a short description of his goal -  proceeding with aggressiveness and with a big vision for the celebration.

GODDARD'S TUTORIAL

He handed off the proceedings to historian Art Goddard who presented an historical overview of The City using some great old photos and maps.  He outlined the evolution of the area from an American Indian enclave to a hodge-podge collection of agricultural settlements supported by small farms.  He spoke of the impact of the Segerstrom family on the evolution of The City and how the Chamber of Commerce was the de facto governance body in the early days before incorporation.  He talked about the influence of the Lions Club and other service organizations on the culture of the area and how first mayor Charles TeWinkle and his four peers ponied up $20 each to provide the seed money - $100 - for The City treasury.

INTRODUCTIONS

He then tossed the baton back to Hatch who set the tone for the rest of the evening when he told the assembled group that it is they, not the city staff, that will drive the creativity and be ambassadors for the celebration.  He went around the room and asked each person present to identify themselves and tell the group the name of their favorite Costa Mesa restaurant.  That was an interesting exercise, with surprisingly little redundancy.  Nobody mentioned Skosh Monahan's Pub...

SUB-COMMITTEES

Public Affairs Manager Dan Joyce led the discussion of what kind of sub-committees will be necessary.  The group actively participated in a discussion of these committees and ended up with the following names:
1 - Branding, theme
2 - ARTS
3 - Fund raising and sponsorship
4 - Events
5 - Community Outreach
6 - Youth
7 - Volunteers
8 - Food and Beverage
9 - Kickoff Event
10 - Closing Event
11 - Educational
12 - Historical
13 - Sustainability (Go Green)

INTERNET-FOCUSED

The staff will create a discussion board on the City web site on which members of the committee can post their thoughts on the issues discussed last night in preparation for moving forward in January.  There will also be a Facebook presence so residents can follow along with the planning.  It is planned that this group will meet every Thursday in January - there are five (5) of them - and get a running start on the process.  It will meet less frequently beginning in February.  At the next meeting on January 3, 2013 a Chairman and Vice Chairman of the group will be selected and sub-committees will be formed.

TICKING CLOCK AND VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

The clock is ticking for this group.  It was generally agreed that the Kick-off event would occur late in the spring - perhaps coincident with the actual 60th anniversary on June 29, 2013.  And, the need for lots of volunteers to help facilitate the plans was stressed several times.

Labels: , , ,