Monday, September 29, 2014

Lighting Kaiser Fields

Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 30, 2014, the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission will hold a special meeting beginning at 6:00 in City Council Chambers at City Hall to "discuss" installing temporary portable lighting on several playing fields at Kaiser School on the Eastside of Costa Mesa.  I put that word in quotes because it appears the decision has already been made, so the "discussion" will apparently be the commission telling everyone that it's a done deal.

You can read the agenda announcement HERE and the skimpy details of the single issue on the agenda HERE.

Just to give you a flavor for this issue, Parks and Recreation Chairman Byron de Arakal is quite adament that this IS GOING TO HAPPEN, PERIOD!  In a post on a new Facebook forum, Costa Mesa Public Square, in the middle of a long, long discussion with residents and others on this issue, he posted the following statement:
The residents around Harper have been tolerating - relatively patiently i might add - lights at Harper for the past two years. The CM PRC proposed a rotation system as far back as last spring. It WILL be implemented. Beyond that, as long as i am a commissioner i will prioritize the recreational needs of thousands of kids over the short-term inconvenience of residents. We as a community need to recognize that from time to time we need to endure inconveniences for the greater good of the community.

For those who have signed up for that forum, when you read down through the 90 comments (and counting) you will find several where the exchanges between The Chairman and others to be, er, testy.  I guess that's to be expected, since this is a very touchy issue.  One participant described some of de Arakal's comments as "snippy" - I agree.  He directed at least one of them at me.  I fear my friend - he's the reason this blog exists - has taken on some of the attributes of his benefactors on the City Council who appointed him to the commission - he just doesn't like folks to challenge his views and/or disagree with him.

The reason for lighting Kaiser School fields is to provide some relief for the residents surrounding Harper School, who have been enduring the intrusion - light spill-over and noise - for the past couple years.  Lighting Kaiser School fields would allow elimination of the Harper School lights.  This decision is driven by the conclusion reached by the commission that we MUST have lighted field for kids to practice soccer on in our city.  Independent analysis by residents of some of the numbers used to support this conclusion raise some interesting questions about their accuracy.

And, added to the mix, is the implication that our friends in Newport Beach are not doing their fair share to provide lighted venues for AYSO 97, which includes large numbers of Newport Beach kids.  I don't have facts to support that segment of the issue, one way or the other. 

I expect the council chambers will have more than a few interested parties for this special meeting.  I imagine there will be some of my Eastside neighbors in attendance to address both schools situations.  I'll attend and report.  Because it will be held in council chambers I imagine CMTV will televise the meeting live and also make streaming video available to us later.

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Anonymous Byron de Arakal said...

I asked you a simple question, Geoff: If not Harper or Kaiser, where would you suggest we place these kids for the Fall/Winter season? How is that snippy?

9/29/2014 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

"Snippy" was not my word, Mr. Chairman. I took your comment to be an "in-your-face" comment.... if you didn't mean it that way, OK. Re-read the entire thread. You've engaged in some serious push-back, almost demanding that those commenting "get involved" and help find a solution. And, you're operating on the presumption that there is a need when some of the analysis of numbers lately cast suspicion on the accuracy of the numbers.

9/29/2014 06:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Byron de Arakal said...

You mean I've been beating my head against a wall during my six years on the Parks Commission trying to find a solution to a problem that I'm imagining? The hours spent in Field Allocation meetings trying to make it all work were a mirage? Tell you what…I'll resign my seat so that it can be filled by the insight and expertise of the individual who conducted the "analysis of the numbers."

9/29/2014 07:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Maybe the solution would be to get rid of people paying to use our facilities. Granted Matt Leinerts group is a good one, but if its such a probem, maybe they should go. Then we'd have room for our kids.

BTW, when did it become necessary for the kids to play year round? Isn't there something else they could do and then rotate teams? 6 mos. on and 6 mos. off? Or let them have a surf club during the summer. 6 mos. surfing, 6 mos. soccer, or whatever.
What about swim teams? Tennis? Do kids ever do homework anymore?

9/29/2014 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Has AYSO 97 finally provided the requested data re: their organization? I was told that they had refused to give a CM vs NB breakdown and an actuall number of kids vs ages. Did they give the data?

9/29/2014 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...


Your old pals drank the Kool Aid and became rigbots.

(Synthetic voice): "Pave everything, build upward, help Scott Baugh and Jimbo get more contributions."

"Crime is down. There is no traffic. Run me like a business."

9/29/2014 10:18:00 PM  

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