Saturday, November 08, 2014

Righeimer Lead Over Humphrey Cut To 23!

WORKERS TOIL ON THE WEEKEND
Registrar Neal Kelley's merry band of vote counters worked through the day today to try to meet their goal of finishing the Orange County vote count by next Friday.  You can view the results HERE.


THE COSTA MESA COUNCIL RACE TIGHTENS UP
Locally, here's how the Costa Mesa City Council race looked.  Katrina Foley gained 1.247 votes to extend her lead.  Jim Righeimer is still second, but continued to lose ground to Jay Humphrey.  Righeimer gained 978 votes but Humphrey gained 1,044 votes and now stands only 23 votes  behind Righeimer.
THE REST OF THE PACK
Lee Ramos gained 740 votes today.  Tony Capitelli gained 210 votes.  Al Melone gained 139 votes.   Rita Simpson gained 135.  Chris Bunyan gained 157 and remains in last place.

WHAT'S LEFT?
 According to the ROV site, HERE,  they made good inroads into the remaining ballots.  There remain only 54,070 ballots countywide to be counted.  According to the website, the next count will be reported Monday evening at 5:00 P.M., so we all can take tomorrow and Monday off!

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More Westside Development On Tap Monday

SHORT MEETING?
"Dynamic" Chairman Jim Fitzpatrick will lead the Costa Mesa Planning Commission meeting on Monday, November 10 2014, HERE,  but it might end up being a fairly short meeting.

TWO ITEMS TO BE CONTINUED
Public Hearing #1, the request from Saddleback Church to occupy over 19,000 square feet at 1901 Newport Blvd. has, once again, been requested to be continued to a meeting in December.  You can read that staff report HERE.

Public Hearing #3, HERE, is a request for a motorscooter showroom at 1536 Newport Boulevard.  It is also being continued.

 89 MORE WESTSIDE UNITS
That leaves only Public Hearing #2, HERE,  - the biggie on the agenda.  This one is for The Lighthouse,  a mixed-use development - 49 single family dwellings and 40 live/work units on the far west border of the city, adjacent to Newport Beach and the Banning Ranch, at 1620 - 1644 Whittier Avenue.  You can read the entire 280 page staff report at the link I provided.  It would replace historically industrial uses at that site, which is currently being vacated.  Here's the location: (click on the image to enlarge the image)

Here's what the plan layout looks like: (click on the image to enlarge it)

LOTS OF ADDITIONAL TRAFFIC
As I read the staff report, the trips generated by this development would double the current use.   The congestion caused by this development will potentially be exacerbated by the traffic generated by the proposed Newport-Banning Ranch development nearby - if it ever comes to fruition.

NEXT MEETING JUST BEFORE THANKSGIVING
Theoretically, the Planning Commission will meet one more time before the new City Council is seated the first meeting of December.  That meeting, on November 24th, is the week before Thanksgiving.  We'll see if it is held.  It wouldn't surprise me if it is cancelled because of the holiday week.

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Friday, November 07, 2014

Humphrey Gains On Righeimer*

RESULTS AS OF 5:00 P.M., FRIDAY, 11/7/14
So, there you are.  Jim Righeimer's lead over Jay Humphrey has slipped to 89 votes.  Katrina Foley gained 92 votes and still holds a commanding lead.  Righeimer gained 49.  Humphrey gained 72.  Lee Ramos gained 44 votes.  Tony Capitelli gained 19.  Al Melone gained 9.  Rita Simpson gained 7 and Chris Bunyan gained 6.


TIME TO CHILL
The remaining vote count has not yet been updated.* UPDATE As of 5:25 p.m., there are 70,667 ballots remaining to be counted.  You can check HERE for it later. I suggest we all just relax, enjoy the weekend and try to re-balance our lives - at least until Monday - since we cannot do anything about it.  I don't know if the Registrar is working over the weekend. If new numbers are posted on Saturday I'll provide that information to you.


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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Greg Diamond Sets Us Straight, So To Speak...

CALM DOWN AND READ THIS...
OK, folks.  Greg Diamond over at the Orange Juice Blog provided us a little primer following the results of today's ballot tally.  Rather than attempt to do a feeble paraphrase of his comprehensive essay on why we probably shouldn't be getting our collective shorts in a wad yet, you can read his entire tome HERE.

NOW I UNDERSTAND!
Take a couple minutes to read his take on our numbers... perhaps you'll sleep a little better tonight and the rest of the week.

GRACIAS, AMIGO
Thanks to my friend, Greg, for this information.  In a week we'll know how right he was. 

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Righeimer Stretches Lead Over Humphrey to 112

THE NUMBERS FROM 5:00 P.M., THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6TH
OK, here's how it looks now.  If you want to check the Registrar of Voters site, click HERE.

COSTA MESA CITY COUNCIL
Jay Humphrey lost ground to Righeimer significantly in today's tallying.  He now trails the mayor by 112 votes.  Katrina Foley continues to hold a commanding lead and each of the other candidates picked up a few votes, too.  Foley gained 479 votes.  Righeimer gained 435.  Humphrey gained only 341 during today's counting.  Lee Ramos picked up 305.  Tony Capitelli gained only 89.  Al Melone gained 84.  Rita Simpson gained 80 and Chris Bunyan picked up only 52, to continue to bring up the rear.

NUMBERS GAME
If you combine the votes cast for Foley and Humphrey you get 12,893.  If you combine those cast for Righeimer and Ramos you get you get 9,893.  Those numbers are not significant, but interesting to observe. 

MORE THAN 100,000 VOTES LEFT, COUNTY-WIDE
According to the ROV website, there remains 106,513 votes left to count.  All the vote-by-mail ballots have been counted.  There remains 38,513 provisional ballots to count and 62208 vote-by-mail ballots returned at the polls are uncounted at this time.  The last guess by Neal Kelley, the Registrar of Voters, made was that the count would be complete by November 14th.  So, we have a week and a half of agony left with lots of votes remaining to be counted.

MEASURE "O" - THE BOGUS CHARTER
No change to speak of in the Measure "O" race.  It is still being soundly thrashed.  Not surprised.  So far, 14,616 votes have been tallied in this race.
MEASURE P - THE I-405 TOLL LANE ADVISORY
No change to speak of in the insignificant, irrelevant and unusable information from the Measure P tally.  So far, 14,814 votes have been counted in this race.
HOW DO WE EXPLAIN THAT?
One of the interesting aspects of the Costa Mesa races is that virtually all other cities around us, throughout the county and state AND nationally, MY Republican Party has made major inroads.  That makes me smile.  Not in good old Costa Mesa, though.  Here, the party apparatus - "managed" by Righeimer's version of Scott Baugh's mantra - is a miserable failure!  All the candidates associated with the Riganistas in local races, except Shawn Dewane for the Orange County Water District seat he already held and possibly Righeimer, didn't just fail, but failed in epic style!  How do we explain that?

DRAGGING THEM DOWN...

One might assume that Righeimer and his second attempt at a Charter actually became an anchor around the necks of his pals.  Now, if that trend in the council race can just be reversed...  Next report in 23 hours, 22 minutes or so.

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Is The Register Sinking Deeper?



RECEIVERSHIP ON THE HORIZON? 
A few minutes ago the Orange County Business Journal reported that two investers who participated in the financing of the purchase of Freedom Communications by Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz two years ago have asked the Delaware Chancery Court to put Freedom into receivership.  According to the OCBJ report, which quotes the website Law360, the reason for the request is because, "it needs independent oversight because the company is insolvent and in financial distress from mismanagement."

BIG FINANCIAL TROUBLE
This is on the heels of the botched change in local distribution of the Orange County Register locally, the sale of their headquarters in Santa Ana and pending sale of another 14 acres nearby.

FROM COW PIE TO COW PIE
Kushner and his team botched the launch of the LA Register earlier this year, have laid off many staffers and offered buyouts to others.  They have tried to swim against the tide, emphasizing their print product while every other news outlet in the country is developing their digital presence.

I WANT THEM TO SUCCEED...
Personally, I want Kushner to succeed - I like a print newspaper and they do a good job of covering Orange County issues - certainly better than the also-beleagured Los Angeles Times.  This is not a good time for news folks.  I hope they figure it out.  Otherwise, you're going to be left getting your "news" from bozos like us bloggers!   Arrrggghhh!

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Post-election Musings

WAITING AND WONDERING
I'm getting bored waiting for the next slice of election results some 16 hours from now, so I thought I'd just barf out some things, in no particular order, that have been rattling around in my skull for the past several days.

IDENTITY CRISIS?
I thought it was curious that candidate Lee Ramos shifted his signage late in the campaign to little oval images saying "Lee" to his current ones that identified him as "Lee Ramos" and proclaimed as his apparent motto, "Safety and Civility".  Some wondered if that first sign was an indication of ethnic confusion - that he was attempting to attract our "large" Asian population.  Guess he decided later that his Latino heritage needed to be proclaimed, which he did - in Spanish - on signs posted around the Westside of town.  Hmmm, that didn't seem to work out too well for him.  And, I was kind of curious how he was going to deal with those "Safety" and Civility" issues - he never told us because he only attended one candidate forum, and did poorly at that one.  Was he going to hire more cops?  Was he going to scold uncivil folks and make them stand in the corner?  What was his plan?

NO "TEAMMATE" SIGN?
And, since he and Jim Righeimer were theoretically a team, I always thought it a bit odd that there was NEVER a Righeimer sign in Ramos' yard.  There were some on other lawns in his neighborhood - he lives a block or so from me - but not his yard.  Curious, no?  I mean, he had a "Perry" sign, for goodness sake!

WHERE'S DENNIS?
And, I wonder what has happened to his sidekick and campaign guy, Dennis Popp?  Old Dennis - I can call him that because we're the same age - became virtually invisible in the campaign late in the game.  Then, again, so did Lee.  But, Popp's almost incomprehensible blog has not had an entry for three weeks!  Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining, just observing.  Most folks I know that have visited the site and tried to understand his writing simply gave up.

"WHO" PERRY?
And then there's the case of "Perry" - the candidate with no first name.  You saw his (or her) signs around town, right?  A cynic might think that Chuck Perry, candidate for a seat on the Costa Mesa Sanitary District Board, was attempting to bamboozle the voters into thinking they were actually casting a vote for his brother, Art, who is already on the board.  Chuck finished last - way, back - in that race - even behind the "rocket scientist" who told us he was campaigning to get himself fired.  When last seen, Chuck was reportedly apparently replacing a mangled opposition sign near Ralph's on 17th Street on Monday.

BRUCE AND CINDY - DUELING SITES
Over on Facebook the Riganista cheerleaders/attack dogs who were hooting and hollering for weeks before the election all seem to have been dumbstruck simultaneously.  Yeah, you can make what you want of that word... have at it.  My friend, Bruce Krochman, who developed a bad case of disagreewithanythinggeoffsaysitis over the past couple months, has swept all the pre-election vitriolic posts on his Costa Mesa Public Square site.  You remember that one, right?  It was the one he promised would be managed with a very tight rein, to keep folks from being too nasty.  Well, that didn't last too long.  And, an amusing factoid is that Cindy Black created an opposing Facebook site - Costa Mesa Sandbox - which she said would be a no-holds-barred site where you could say whatever you wanted.  The funny part is that the more civilized discussions occurred on her site, not Bruce's.  Now Bruce tells us he's starting anew.  We'll see.  Much depends on how the election goes.

WILL THE REAL JULIE PLEASE STAND UP?
And, then there's the camera-shy person who calls herself Julie Mecurio, the self-professed neophyte and wide-eyed, eager-to-learn novice in the Costa Mesa political realm.  She surfaced on Nextdoor and on Krochman's site all "golly gee, look at me - I don't know nothin'  - please help me to learn".  It didn't take long for folks to realize she was a fabrication - a shill being used to gin up controversy and tilt the race toward the Riganista positions.  Since the election she, too, seems to have developed lockjaw or something.

STEALTH ANDY
And, of course, there's my neighbor, Andrew Smith.  Andy came to prominence as a member of the Charter Committee and was an articulate participant - one who was able to guide the discussion and craft arguments better than most on the committee.  It was Andy who, at the very last minute, maneuvered the committee to delete the "council member compensation" section from their document - a section that had been hammered out over several meetings with much discussion and consideration.  It took him only a couple minutes to get them to delete it - perhaps feeling that it might be a stake in the heart of the document.  I don't know.  In fact, it might have been, but there were other issues that caused it to fail so miserably.  That's all moot now.  However, Andy was a major player in Ramos' campaign and, we're told, the main man behind the Measure "O" campaign, including signage.  That was traced by others directly back to Dave Ellis - political kingmaker who managed to get his entire slate elected in Newport Beach but failed to get himself elected to the office he sought.  I smiled.  Yep, Andy was one of those stealth insiders who pretended he wasn't.

HAROLD... WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
And then there's Harold Weitzberg... I like Harold - a lot.  I admire his intelligence and oratorical skills and his passion for issues.  I watched him on the Charter Committee and when he spoke to the council over many, many months.  He's one persuasive guy.  I don't like his Medical Marijuana stance, but understand it.  I have a very difficult time understanding his position following the decision by his group, Costa Mesans For Responsible Government (CM4RG), to endorse Katrina Foley and Jay Humphrey.  Yes, he had every right to be disappointed and, maybe, angry.  However, in my opinion, he let that emotion cloud his judgment and it hampered the Foley/Humphrey campaign.  Instead, he apparently chose to advise Chris Bunyan - the here again, gone again, here again current (for now) and former resident and former candidate on HIS campaign.  As it turned out, it appears Bunyan will finish dead last, behind even the nice, but clueless, Rita Louise Simpson.  I kept asking myself, "What is Harold thinking?" during the last month or so of the campaign.

TONY...
And then there's Tony Capitelli, a very likable young man with great potential who carried into the council race what more than a few folks in town consider a burden - he works for Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.  Plus, the Riganista mob was trying to get him out of the race because, apparently, they feared he would suck votes from Righeimer and Ramos.  And, while everyone I spoke with liked him - a lot - and admired his dedication to solving the homelessness problem in our city, when he told us all that he was supporting the Charter he might as well have said he liked Ebola.

DOG PARK AL
Accountant Al Melone ran again and again sucked up valuable votes.  He's still a one-trick pony - the dog park is his baby - but he spread his wings and took on other issues, which probably did him in.  Since the last election he's been an occasional speaker at meetings and had become impatient to the point of anger because he couldn't get folks to agree with him - at least, not quickly enough.  He was not a persuasive speaker.

TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
None of us know how this race will end up.  It's the closest one in my memory, which includes Bruce Garlich's 44 vote loss a few years ago and, last time, when John Stephens lost by 155 votes to Gary Monahan.  Today Righeimer holds a razor-thin 18 vote margin over Humphrey and it's trending toward Humphrey.  Only the passage of time and counting of votes the remainder of the week and maybe into next week will tell.  There are still over 135,000 ballots remaining to be counted by the Registrar of Voters office.  But, once again, the tightness of this race only demonstrates the folly of so many candidates in the race.  Yes, it's their right to run.  Last time somebody named James Rader got his name on the ballot, changed his mind the next day and didn't campaign a lick and still got more than 2,000 votes.  This is serious business...

KEEP THEM CROSSED..
That's all for this one.  In sixteen hours we'll get another update and I'll report that one to you, too.  Please cross fingers, toes and anything else you think can be crossed with the hope that Jay Humphrey can prevail over Jim Righeimer.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Humphrey Edges Closer To Righeimer

PAINFUL...
That little squeaky sound you're hearing all over town about now is the sound of sphincters tightening as the 5:00 p.m. results were posted at the Registrar Of Voters Site, HERE.

A TIGHT RACE GETS EVEN TIGHTER
Here are the results for the Costa Mesa City Council race in which Katrina Foley appears to be clearly the highest vote-getter and incumbent mayor Jim Righeimer and former councilman Jay Humphrey are running neck-in-neck for the second seat available.
THIS HAS A FAMILIAR FEELING...
Each of them picked up a couple votes, but Humphrey has closed the gap during this session and now trails Righeimer by only 18 votes.  The counting will continue.  The next update is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday.

STILL A LONG ROAD AHEAD...
To call this a nail-biter is a major understatement.  According to the ROV web site, 14,765 ballots were counted today.  135,540 remain and the beat goes on, and on, and on.  Two years ago it took most of two weeks before the final numbers were certified.  Be patient...

MEASURE "O" CONTINUES TO DIVE
In case you're wondering, Measure "O' - the bogus charter scheme - continues to spiral down in flames.  Here's the 5 o'clock numbers for that one.
WAITING...
More info to come when available.  Relax.... there's nothing you can do now except wait and hope.  Well, maybe not NOTHING...

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