Friday, November 30, 2007

Consent Calendar Dollars And Laguna Beach Defense Bucks

The Costa Mesa City Council will wrap up 2007 at their final meeting of the year on Tuesday, December 4th. Except for a study session scheduled for the 11th, they will not meet at an official scheduled meeting again until January 2, 2008. They will go out with a bang.

The agenda for Tuesday's meeting looks fairly routine, but with these folks you just never know. You will recall that our young jailer/mayor chose to spring his infamous plan to cross-designate all Costa Mesa police officers as immigration screeners two years ago at the final meeting of the year and ignited a firestorm that persists to this day.


One thing I noticed on this agenda is the amount of money to be authorized in the Consent C
alendar. The Consent Calendar is where "routine" items are placed and typically voted on in one big hunk, sometimes without any discussion at all. In addition to the usual warrants authorizing payroll and city operating expenses, this time there are eight items - numbers 7 through 14 - involving much needed street rehabilitation projects around our city. If you include item number 5, which will facilitate the completion of access roads and improvements to streets for the Home Ranch Project, and item number 6, a consulting contract to provide conceptual design and public outreach services for the proposed mulitpurpose trail at Paularino and Santa Ana Delhi Flood Control Channels, our city council may authorize the expenditure of nearly $12 million with a motion and vote that might take no more than 15 seconds! The breakdown is listed below:

Item 3 - Warrant Resolution 2189 - Payroll #723 $2,418,455.91
Payroll #722A $1,047.03
Operating Expenses $2,532.134.51

Item 4 - Warrant Resolution 2190 Operating Expenses $396,040.06

Sub-Total - Items 3 & 4....$5,345,583.45

Item 5 - Purchase of two parcels to facilitate completion $213,168.00
of improvements to Harbor Blvd. and 405
access to the Home Ranch project

Item 6 - Prof. Svcs. Contract - Multipurpose trail $92,277.00

Item 7 - Roadway Rehab. - East 19th St. $555,555.00
Santa Ana Ave. to Irvine Ave.

Item 8 - Roadway Rehab. - Baker St. $751,649.00
Fairview to Bear

Item 9 - Roadway Rehab. - Harbor Blvd. $1,430,213.98
Wilson St. to Newport Blvd.

Item 10 - Roadway Rehab. - Sunflower Ave. $1,092,387.38

Harbor Blvd. to Hyland

Item 11 - Roadway Rehab. - Hyland Ave. $859,000.00
So. Coast Dr. to MacArthur Blvd.

Item 12 - Roadway Rehab. - So. Coast Dr. $475,363.10
Harbor Blvd. - Hyland Ave.

Item 13 - Roadway Rehab. - So. Coast Dr. $842,030.00
Carmel Dr. to San Leandro Ln.

Item 14 - Parkway Concrete Repair and $374,800.00
New Sidewalk Project

Sub-Total - Items 5 - 14....$6,686,443.46

Grand Total, all items.....$12,032,

Now, before you get all hot and bothered, all these items seem to be important projects and do need to be authorized, but it makes this taxpayer swallow hard when I realize that, in one quick wave of their magic wand, the City Council will agree to the expenditure of $12 million of our hard earned dollars. This is especially interesting when you consider this same group haggles over pennies during the budget discussions.

The Orange County Register, in it's Immigration Blog, reports this morning that the City of Laguna Beach spent $75,000 defending itself in the lawsuit by Minutechick Eileen Garcia challenging their d
ay laborer center. Combine that with the thousands of dollars being spent by the City of Costa Mesa in the Benito Acosta trials because of our young jailer/mayor's actions almost two years ago and it sure looks like those Minutemobsters really like to spend our hard-earned tax dollars on their flights of fancy. I find that amusingly curious since both Eileen of Laguna and our mayor claim to be conservatives. I guess they are good students of Minuteman Grand Pooba, Jim Gilchrist, who reportedly has had some difficulty managing money himself.

That should give you something to chew on this weekend as you stay all warm and cozy inside trying to figure out what that wet stuff is that's falling from the sky while watching the Trojans and Bruins battle for a potential Rose Bowl bid.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Politics of Immigration

Over the past couple of days the local news media has presented us with some very interesting and thought-provoking articles to consider on the subject of illegal immigration. I'll present the following comments and the links to the individual pieces for your consideration. I think you'll find the time reading each well spent.

Right off
the top, a judge backed the city of Laguna Beach on the issue of their day laborer center. You will recall that our pal, Eileen of Laguna - Minutechick Eileen Garcia - and her hubby with a different last name sued the city. This link will give you the information. It looks like our young jailer/mayor's favorite Minutechick will appeal this ruling. At least it might keep her occupied and out of Costa Mesa's business for a change.

Next, th
e Orange County Register produced an editorial on November 16, 2007, which can be read here, in which they addressed the Costa Mesa illegal immigration plans, and the presence of the ICE agent in our jail. On November 25, 2007 the Register ran a rebuttal to that editorial produced by our young jailer/mayor, which you can read here. Based on some of the stuff he wrote, it certainly does appear that the mayor has issues with those in authority, probably due to his under-achievement in his chosen profession.

The Los Angeles Times provided us with an interesting story of a study that appears to refute much of the argument that illegal immigrants account for a large percentage of the use of e
mergency rooms for health care. This study postulates that those here illegally don't use the emergency rooms because of the need for identification - that they fear deportation more than they need health care. If true, this takes much of the wind out of the sails of some anti-illegal immigrant factions. You can read the Times article here.

The City Council of the City of Orange considered the subject of day laborers in their city at their meeting Tuesday night. Among the more than a dozen speakers was the ubiquitous Jim Gil
christ, co-founder of the Minuteman Project and the man who anointed our young jailer/mayor with the mantle of Minutemanship. Old Jim certainly does like to spread the wealth, so to speak. You'll find the Register's account of that meeting here.


Finally, the Los Angeles Times provided us with a most fascinating story from Tom
Tancredo country in an article about the ouster of Tom Selders, the mayor of Greeley, Colorado - a city similar in size and ethnic makeup to that of Costa Mesa - apparently because he was viewed as sympathetic to illegal immigrants. The link to that article is here. Rather than try to give you a "spun" version of the article, I'll leave it to you to read it and form your own comparisons to our situation.

Illegal imm
igration, and it's impact both locally and nationally, continues to be a ripe pimple on the nose of American politics, that will undoubtedly affect local and national elections next year. There seems to be no middle ground on the issue. The most vocal, rabid anti-immigrant activists - like Gilchrist and his frothing mob and some of Costa Mesa's own self-styled "improvers" - leap at any attempt at reasoned discourse like starving pit bulls, ready to rip out the throat of those with an opposing viewpoint and label anyone who tries to present a moderate view as "illegal immigrant lovers". As we've seen locally in recent years, attempts at dialogue end up being shouting matches - or worse. This is a truly sad commentary on our times.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Post-Thanksgiving Musings

Ten days a
go I left you with my Thanksgiving message - a tome of sad memories recalled and encouragement to be thankful for your blessings. I hope your holiday found you close to family and friends and that you did, indeed, take a moment to contemplate those things and people for which you are grateful - I did. As you can tell from my photo, I did what many of you probably did - ate too much. URP! Excuse me!

Returning from a little holiday vacation I found that not too much had changed, although there were a few noteworthy events to think about.

For starters, our municipal court jester, Mayor Pro Tem Eric Bever, displayed both petulanc
e and bad judgment in one clumsy move. He apparently was so angry at the result of the now notorious Lion's Park/Fairview Park Skate Park issue - both were turned down as possibilities - that his hissy fit continued for two weeks. He had an item placed on the agenda to revisit the Lion's Park issue, then for some unknown reason, had the item withdrawn. I'd like to think he thought again about it and used good judgment, but I doubt that's the case. More likely is that someone pointed out to him that his reasoning was flawed and that he would only look more ridiculous if he persisted. In a perfect bit if timing, Daily Pilot columnist Jim DeBoom presented his annual Turkey of the Year award and reminded us that Bever had been a recipient not too long ago. Just as leopards don't change their spots, apparently turkeys don't change their feathers either. I really am looking forward to next year's council race when Bever is expected to run for re-election.

At that sa
me council meeting a renovation of an existing hotel was given the go-ahead. This move, combined with other planned developments, means that before too long the north part of our city will soon look like an asparagus patch, with residential towers in excess of 20 stories popping up like that vegetable over night. If memory serves, there will now be nine new towers in that location. Yikes!

Then, as I read my accumulated Orange County Register newspapers I found that our young jail
er/mayor, Allan Mansoor, had penned a pathetic response to an earlier editorial regarding ICE accomplishments. In his missive he blathers on and on, trying to justify the actions he took two years ago that fractured Costa Mesa. At one point he asks, "The Register also said that 'those here illegally will be reluctant to report crimes or cooperate with investigators in criminal investigations.' Where is the evidence to support this claim?" Well, he conveniently forgets that three of the last four chiefs of police in Costa Mesa advised the council on that subject and each concluded the same thing - that the bridges of communication between the CMPD and the Latino community would be severely damaged by his proposal and that victims of crimes would be reluctant to come forward fearing deportation. I don't recall any position the current chief, Chris Shawkey, has taken on this issue. Of course, Mansoor doesn't care - he consistently ignores the advice of his senior law enforcement officials. One might think that he, an underachiever in his career, has issues with those in authority.

Also during our absence the blood tests for Sara Harris were announced. You will recall that Harris crashed her Audi in Mesa Verde as she played games with her boyfriend, dodging in and out of traffic. It turns out that her blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit and traces of marijuana were also found. As sad is this case is, with a young, vibrant woman killed through her own bad judgment, it could have been much, much worse. She and her irresponsible boyfriend could have taken others with them as they played games in heavy traffic on one our most crowded streets. There is nothing good in this situation, but perhaps her death can be used as a lesson for other young, careless drivers before they kill themselves and others.

And, finally, I returned to find a commentary in the Daily Pilot by a man who can be most generously described as an "influential activist" in Costa Mesa - a man about whom I've written much in the past, but nothing recently. He bemoaned the condition of several defunct businesses and/or homes throughout our city and demanded that the city council create an ordinance to prohibit such conditions. While I agree with him about the proliferation of such places - even a stopped clock is right twice a day - this is dangerous ground for the council. I urge them to use caution before they begin creating such draconian ordinances. The next thing you know they will be creating an ordinance to penalize your neighbor for not mowing his lawn every week.

So, off we go toward Christmas and then a new year.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007


It's that time of the year when we stop to consider those things for which we are, or should be, thankful. For starters, I'm glad I'm not a turkey - at least, not the gobble, gobble type. I know there are some who think that word is completely appropriate when referring to me.


As some of you already know, four years ago I was sitting in a hospital at the bedside of my best friend since we were both five years old, overseeing his medical treatment following a horrendous mo
torcycle accident on a lonely desert road when he encountered a turn he didn't anticipate. So extensive were his injuries that we were not sure if he would make it to the next day. As it turned out, he spent six weeks in the Trauma Intensive Care Unit in a hospital in Las Vegas before finally succumbing to a blood clot that couldn't be dissolved due to the nature of his other injuries.


As I sat there, day after day, week after week, making decisions with the doctors who were orchestrating the delicate symphony of care necessary to try to bring my friend back to us, I had plenty of time to contemplate things that were important in my life. My friend was one of them - we had been best friends for 57 years. Each night I wrote an email message to a few friends, reporting on his condition. Eventually, those nightly messages took on a life of their own and were read by hundreds of people around the world. The response to those messages, which shared their own remembrances of our friend, only reinforced for me the value of true friendship.


Each night, as I tried to put a positive face on a terrible situation for those readers, my mind w
ould turn to the many wonderful times I shared with my friend - the vacations with his family, the double-dates when we first got our driver's licenses, his leadership for athletic programs for the LAPD, of which he was a member for more than three decades. Even though his condition was bleak, we always hoped that he might recover from his injuries. In fact, the week before he died late in December we were making plans to move him closer to home in California for the long rehabilitation that was anticipated. Finally that darn clot got him and, standing in the doorway of his room watching a dozen skilled staff members try time after time to re-start his failed heart, I had to tell them to stop. My friend was gone.


Spending six weeks in and around an emergency room can change one's perspective on life. During that time I watched as some of the most tragic events you can imagine unfolded before me. For e
xample, a Las Vegas firefighter who was injured in an accident as his truck responded to a call spent sixteen days in the unit as a quadriplegic until he transferred to a hospital in Houston that specializes in such injuries. Perhaps the most painful irony of his situation was that the call to which he was responding turned out to be a false alarm.

And there was the evening a young man was brought in after a bit of careless teenage driving caused him to crash his car into a wall. His best friend since kindergarten was a passenger and died after a couple hours of treatment in the room next to his. The young driver eventually recovered enough to leave the hospital, but he will live with the memory that he killed his friend for the rest of his life.

I was there the night a gang of thugs dragged the lifeless body of one of their homeboys into the unit, a victim of senseless gang violence, demanding that he be saved. They had already taken him to another hospital that had no emergency room. I watched for three days as this mob of miscreants milled around the waiting room as their fri
end's body was kept functioning with tubes and pumps. During that time I overheard angry conversations about "getting even" and, sure enough, a couple nights later a rival gang member was admitted near death from gunshot wounds. Eventually, the gang-banger's parents listened to the doctors and permitted him to be unplugged.

So, what's the point of those grim stories? What kind of "Thanksgiving" message is this, anyhow? Through all that time - in the city I dislike most, where I was obliged to be a friend, a cheerleader, a gatekeeper and, eventually, god - those stories and others reminded me of just how lucky I am. I live in the best neighborhood in our city, have a wonderful wife who loves me, a family who supports me and loyal friends who tolerate me. For an old coot I'm in pretty good condition, except I'm built more for comfort than speed these days. I'm grateful every day for these treasures in my life. I'm thankf
ul for those of you who read what I write - even those of you who don't agree with me and find creative ways to tell me so. Even when I'm dodging those slings and arrows, I'm a lucky guy.


So, as Thanksgiving Day approaches, I hope you will reflect on those things in your life that are really important. This holiday, which has become a celebration of football games and the triptophan-induced stupor from gorging ourselves on turkey, should mean more to us than a full
stomach and glazed-over eyes. As you spend this holiday with family and friends - before you jam that first heaping fork full of gravy-soaked turkey and stuffing into your mouth - I hope you will quietly acknowledge your good fortune and make a special effort to tell those you love just how you feel. You just never know what kind of a curve you will find on the road ahead.



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Angels Playground Groundbreaking

As we approach Thanksgiving there are many things in this neck of the woods for which to be thankful. Today I write about only one of them, but a very special one, indeed.

Three weeks from today, on November 28, 2007, the groundbreaking ceremony will take place for Angels Playground at TeWinkle Park. Doug Hansen, the president and founder of Angels Charity dropped me a note recently to remind me of this event and I'll share some of the information he sent with you.

According to Hansen, the playground should be completed by May, assuming that weather cooperates. Facilities like Angels Playground, and the community effort it took to establish it, are what makes Costa Mesa such a wonderful city in which to live and raise a family. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, November 28th. Hansen's announcement follows:

Groundbreaking for ANGELS PLAYGROUND will be November 28, 2007 at 3:00pm.

The groundbreaking ceremony for Angels Playground will take place at TeWinkle Park - 885 Junipero Drive in Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (the ceremony will take place rain or shine)

The ceremony will take place near the old playground, look for balloons and signs.

Angels Playground will be the FIRST Universally Accessible Playground in the City of Costa Mesa and neighboring cities. Angels Playground will allow children of all abilities in our community the opportunity to experience some of childhood’s most basic joys…to play side by side…walk…run…laugh…a place for every child to play creating an environment where compassion and acceptance flourish.

If you plan on attending the groundbreaking ceremony please RSVP by email or phone.

Angels Playground was designed by the award-winning firms: Lynn Capoya Inc., Landscape Architects & Lampert Architects-Christine Lampert & Coast Recreation.

Once again thank you for your support.
Warmest regards,
Doug Hansen

Angels Charity
2549-B Eastbluff Dr., #432
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Phone - 714-549-1701
Email -
Website -

Angels Charity is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Federal Tax ID# 56-2383681


Friday, November 09, 2007


Sunday, November 11, 2007, we will once again celebrate Veterans Day. This day was set aside initially to honor surviving veterans from World War I, but has been expanded to honor all surviving American veterans from every war. For more information you can find details at these sites, here, here and here and elsewhere on the web.

It's my experience that most folks have no clue about Veterans Day, except it sometimes results in them having a three-day weekend. Except for those of us who are veterans, most people don't even give the reason for the "holiday" a second thought, much less fly a flag or attend an event commemorating the day.

Many of us are so wrapped up in local issues - saving the critters, weeds and dirt at Fairview Park or fending off efforts of those who plan to "poison us" with fluoride in our water, for example - that we seldom take time to remember the veterans of our wars and their sacrifices for us.

I hope, sometime this weekend, in between football games or after you've dried off from your morning surfing session, you'll take a moment to seek out a veteran of our many conflicts and thank him or her for their sacrifice for our country. Today, with so many brave volunteers serving in hostile places in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world, it is especially important to show your support for their efforts to protect our country through their military service. Regardless of how you might feel about the validity of our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, the brave men and women who chose to serve this country in dangerous, far away places deserve your respect and support.

We live in perilous times - when events even more horrendous than those of September 11, 2001 could happen here on our soil at any time. There are elements in this world who have vowed to exterminate us. What stands between us and more violence here at home is the bravery and vigilance of our men and women in the armed forces and local law enforcement departments.

Take some time this weekend to hug a veteran - we deserve it.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007



Last night's Costa Mesa City Council meeting may have been the most surreal event I've observed in nearly a decade of paying attention to what goes on
in our city. This meeting, which dragged on past midnight and actually ended at 1:10 this morning, demonstrated the wisdom of the council policy to not try to conduct city business past midnight.

Mayor Mansoor, who looked like he was well
off his game all night, made the decision to move forward with one of the most contentious issues on the agenda - the debate of whether or not to re-open the Fairview Park Master Plan to consider placement of a dog park and/or skate park within it's boundaries - at midnight! Dozens of speakers stood to address the issue and very few spoke in favor of such a move. Most pleaded with the council to retain Fairview Park in it's "natural" state, citing potential damage to fragile habitat and danger for the indigenous critters that call it home. This was after the council decided earlier to approve placement of a temporary building near the model trains to house a donated train exhibit and to move forward with plans to seek grants to build a larger building that is included in the current master plan.

One of the truly strange pa
rts of the Fairview Park debate was the fact that several dog lovers, including a couple officials from the Costa Mesa Bark Park Foundation that oversees the operation of the TeWinkle Park facility, stood and told the council that the site proposed by staff for a dog park at Fairview Park was not acceptable. They encouraged the council to look for a different venue. I can't remember when an advocacy group rejected an opportunity for a facility before. It was actually kind of funny when former mayor Sandra Genis - a dog lover herself - stood at the podium and warned the council about the inappropriateness of the proposed site, citing the potential danger from errant golf balls from the adjacent golf course. I know she was serious, but I couldn't help but chuckle.

Earlier, the subject of a skate park at Lion's Park took three hours to debate. The staff h
ad provided the council with five different sites within the boundaries of Lion's Park, including the incendiary suggestion to place it on the infield of the baseball diamond at Davis Field. At the end, none of the sites presented - which represented virtually every inch of open space available at the park and then some - were found to be acceptable. The result, much to the chagrin of the men on the dais, was that the ladies on the council voted to not place a skate park at Lion's Park. They, instead, directed staff to return soon with an analysis of each of the other parks throughout the city with an eye on possibly placing small skate venues in several of them to serve the neighborhood skaters. They also directed staff to continue to seek opportunities to purchase land in the city for another larger skate park. I imagine there's a certain diminutive bar owner who is not happy this morning.


The issue of the possibility of closing Park Avenue north of 18th Street, a strange idea proposed by Linda Dixon, was combined for discussion with the skate park at Lion's Park. It was clear from early debate that no one was interested in closing the street - rightfully so. That idea was rejected along with the skate park.

In a night of strange events, the most bizarre was the behavior of Mayor Pro Tem Eric Bever when, at the end of the debate about Lion's Park as a possible site for a skate park - even before the vote was taken - he blew a gasket. He petulantly told his peers on the dais that he was "ashamed to be up there with them" and that they should let him know the next time they planned to discuss a skate park because he would just stay home. I found myself wanting to make him go stand in a corner for his infantile outburst. That display of childishness occurred just before midnight, reinforcing the wisdom of closing the meetings before the calendar flips over.

Curiously, a man who has been beyond just merely vocal on the subject of the preservation of Fairview Park and not placing a skate park at Lion's Park - he posted at least 8 blog entries on his "little newsletter" in the past few weeks, posted innumerable comments of the various Daily Pilot blogs under several of his pen names and his own, too, and had a commentary published in the Daily Pilot on the subject yesterday - failed to speak on these issues last night. In fact, I don't know if he was in attendance or not, which is also very strange, since he almost never misses a meeting in this city. Perhaps he felt his "direction" to the council had been clearly stated and his ideas were a slam dunk - which it turns out they were. Costa Mesa politics is a strange business.


It was good to see Katrina Foley back in the saddle after her recent convalescence from cancer surgery, about which she spoke briefly at the beginning of the meeting. She brings focus to the debate of most issues. Perhaps that's why our young jailer/mayor looked like he was dealing with a bad toothache all night.


So, every tree hugger in our town can breathe a little easier today because the insects, birds and other critters in Fairview Park have been given a reprieve. And, the skateboarders in our city - who waited a generation for the first skate park - will have to wait a little longer to see just how the City Council will resolve their frustrations and pent-up demand for more skate facilities in our city. Based on some of the testimony against a skate facility in Fairview Park and the photos presented by some speakers, I guess those little "terrorists" will just have to continue damming up the flood control channel to make a skate venue and using every wall, curb and raised planter in the city as a grind rail while they wait.

On the brighter side, the council did direct staff to aggressively pursue the possible acquisition of the recently abandoned Air National Guard site behind TeWinkle Park. That process is in it's early stages, but could provide some interesting opportunities for future open space/recreational facilities. Actually, that site has lots of possibilities. Things that immediately come to mind include another much needed high rise senior living facility similar to Bethel Towers on the Westside, more athletic fields like The Farm Sports Complex or maybe just acquire the space, then swap it with another land owner for a site or sites elsewhere in the city where recreational venues are in short supply. Heck, maybe one of those "nasty, polluting businesses" on the Westside Bluffs so reviled by the "improvers" in our city would want to swap - that could be fun.

Life is never dull in Costa Mesa.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Considering Parks - Fairview, Skate and Dog

Tomorrow, November 6, 2007 (contrary to a date shown on another local blog) the Costa Mesa City Council will consider several issues that may determine the configuration of Fairview Park in the future.


Fairview Park has been described by many local officials and activists as Costa Mesa's "Crown Jewel". As you can see in the photo above, at more than 200 acres, it is the largest open space in our city and the only really "natural" park. Many residents want it to remain as it is - more or less natural and a place where one might go to contemplate wildlife or - one's navel - depending on how you are inclined. Presently, you can ride a choo-choo one weekend each month, fly model airplanes or kites or just meander around t
hrough the weeds (native plants) and enjoy the fresh air wafting up the Santa Ana River. What you cannot do is break a sweat.

On the agenda tomorrow night, in a curious bit of scheduling, are four items the council will include in it's deliberation. The first on the schedule, Old Business #1, is the consideration of placement of a temporary 2,000 square foot building on the east side of Placentia Avenue, near the model trains. Theoretically, and based on the staff report, this will temporarily house an extremely valuable model train exhibit that may be, at least temporarily, donated to the park.


Old Business #2 is the consideration of awarding nearly $70,000 for the conceptual design for a skate park at Lion's Park. I'm trying to figure out why we would spend that kind of money before a decision has been made to consider only Lion's Park as the preferred venue.

Old Business #3 addresses the request by Council Member Linda Dixon to consider the closure of Park Avenue north of 18th Street - adjacent to Lion's Park - to facilitate use of Lion's Park for a skate park. Quite honestly, this is a pretty hare-brained scheme, one that would create inconveniences and safety issues since the fire station location is included in the proposed closure area.

New Business #2 is the consideration of opening the Fairview Park Master Plan for consideration of inclusion of a skate park and/or dog park within it's boundaries. I've read the staff reports on this issue and it certainly seems reasonable to consider a skate park and a dog park on the east side of Placentia.


It seems to me that we've got the cart before the horse, schedule-wise. I hope the council will c
onsider the New Business item first and resolve that question. If they decide not to re-open the Fairview Park Master Plan to consider placing a skate park and/or dog park then the other items mentioned above should be given serious consideration. If they do decide to re-open the Master Plan, then Old Business #2 and #3 are premature. There's no reason to spend $70,000 for a conceptual design if the skate park may not end up at Lion's Park. The same applies to the consideration of closing Park Avenue.


I fully expect there will be a large turnout for this particular meeting. There will be many views expressed, and much wailing and gnashing of teeth about destroying Fairview Park with cement and buildings. Hogwash!


Fairview Park is huge, with plenty of natural areas to enjoy on the west side of Placentia Avenue. The east side already has the model trains and the inclusion of other more active entities would certainly seem to be appropriate. One wag has gone so far as to recommend closing Placentia Avenue, a pipe dream which certainly doesn't make any of the local commuters happy.

Fairview Park is a unique and wonderful resource for our city. However, it certainly doesn't serve enough residents in it's current configuration. I've studied the staff reports and think there is plenty of space for a skate park as envisioned, plus a new dog park and the model train building on the east side of Placentia.

I encourage those of you who have strong feelings one way or the other to attend the council meeting and voice your opinion. The rest of us may be watching on Channel 24 - the proceedings begin at 6 p.m.

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