Friday, May 11, 2007

Let There Be Lights - Again

At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, May, 15th, the council will have before them as part of the Consent Calendar the issue of approval of contracts for the lighting of The Farm Sports Complex. Under normal circumstances, unless a member of the public or a member of the council pulls an item from the Consent Calendar for separate discussion, the entire calendar is voted on as one item. This item, number 7 of 12, will be pulled because Councilwoman Katrina Foley has a conflict of interest - she lives near the Farm and cannot vote on the lighting issue. So, this subject will get it's own hearing and vote.

As anyone who has been following this subject for the past couple of years knows, lighting of The Farm has been a subject of considerable controversy. There is a faction in town, including at least one council member, who feels that lighting the remaining four fields violates a covenant given to the contiguous neighbors when the complex was approved that only fields 1 and 2 would be illuminated. The city official who purportedly gave that assurance was, according to those officials who have addressed this subject, not authorized to make such a promise.

Costa Mesa is in dire straits when it comes to adequate playing fields for the youth of our city. We, quite simply, don't have enough of them. Every city official and elected or appointed leader who has addressed this subject agrees - we don't have enough fields for our kids. This problem has recently been emphasized by the controversy about people kicking balls around smaller, neighborhood parks. Lighting all The Farm fields would provide near-term relief to this problem and take some of the pressure off our officials as they go about developing long-term solutions.

The vote Tuesday night is going to be interesting. I suspect there will many speakers from both sides of this issue. Last week Recreation Manager Jana Ransom took the unusual step to communicate with many stakeholders in this issue, suggesting strongly that they make their views known before the council Tuesday. As she pointed out, it won't be a question of funding - the dollars to provide the lights for all fields at The Farm have already been allocated.

I hope the members of the City Council will do the right thing and vote to light all the fields at The Farm. With Foley unable to vote on this issue, a split vote is possible. Should that occur the result will be no lights. That would not only be a shame, it would be catastrophic for the youth of this community and the hundreds of volunteers and parents who attempt to juggle schedules to provide important sports opportunities for the kids.

I encourage those of you interested in this subject to speak before the council on Tuesday. This item will most likely be considered early in the evening, between 6 and 7 p.m. If you cannot attend, please communicate with the council by email. The address to use is:

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

"Man In Black" On The Attack

For those of you who don't follow his racist rants, Your Neighbor (The-Brain-Who-Ate-Costa-Mesa) over at the CM Press is on a roll again. This time he continues his attack on the Daily Pilot for a number of things, the first of which is the appointment of a columnist, Alicia Lopez, to address items of interest to the Latino community in Costa Mesa. This demographic group represents somewhere between 30 and 40% of the city's population and it apparently bugs "the man in black", as he's been referred to by a comment poster here. This doesn't surprise me at all.

All one has to do is read some of his racist essays, like this one, on sites like the New Nation News to understand where he's coming from. And, of course, his drivel is like a plague - it infects those with a low immune system, as represented by comments posted on some of the Daily Pilot articles. Although he stopped short of doing so, I half-expected him to demand the publication of White Supremacist columns to satisfy his interests.

He then goes on to address the recent appointment of Jim Righeimer as a regular "conservative" columnist in the Pilot. Apparently Old Riggy isn't conservative enough for him - again, no surprise. This guy is so far to the right that he makes Joe McCarthy look like a communist!

Your Neighbor goes on to remind his readers just how dangerous it is to cross him and the so-called "improvers" by recalling how they got chronically inept Chris Steel elected, then got him un-elected. It's a not-too-veiled threat to some currently on the City Council that they'd better not forget who "brung them to the dance" - or else. It's going to be very interesting to see if our young jailer/mayor toes the line drawn by this guy, or if he will follow the wishes of the high mucky-mucks in the Orange County GOP to further his political career. I'm betting on the latter, since he already left one loyal "improver" foot soldier dangling in the wind in favor of appointing Righeimer to the Planning Commission.

Tonight, at the City Council Chambers from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., the California Department of Toxic Substances Control will host an open house and public meeting during which they will invite public comments on the proposed plan to clean up contaminated soil at the Grand Plan Site, 1640 Monrovia Avenue. Certainly, Your Neighbor will be in attendance to beat his drum about the pollution of the whole Westside by those terrible industrial property owners. For those who have not seen him in action, his performance will be worth the price of admission - it's free.

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Monday, May 07, 2007



The Red County/OC Blog reported just before noon today that there has been an initiative filed with the Newport Beach City Clerk to relocate the City Hall to the location mentioned in my previous post - just north of the Main Library on that 12.82 acre parcel some folks want to retain as a passive park. You can read that blog entry here.

According to the entry, some big names are included in this filing, including Marion Bergeson, former California Secretary of Education and former State Senator.

This will certainly make an interesting issue even more so and will likely cause a few of the Newport Beach open space advocates to go apoplectic. In the meantime, the clock continues to tick and the price of any new City Hall continues to escalate.

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