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 He had an item placed on the agenda to revisit the Lion's Park issue, then for some unknown reason, had the item withdrawn.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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