Friday, October 19, 2007

Weekend Reading

More things to contemplate while you're relaxing with your family this weekend.

First, the Daily Pilot has announced the 2007 edition of their DP 103, a list of 103 people and things that were "influential" in our lives this year. You can read it here. As you scroll down through the list you'll find many familiar faces - movers and shakers in the Newport-Mesa area who appear year after year for their contributions. As always, there are some new ones, too. I've already teased some of my pals who made the list, but were superseded by plankton, at #80.

Thanks to each of those folks recognized by the Daily Pilot. Without their energy, vision and generosity our community would be a sorry place, indeed.

Speaking of which, our pal, Doug Bennett, over at the Orange Coast College Foundation and #84 on the DP 103, took time out from trying to sell Rabbit Island to drop me this little note:


I wanted to let you know that there will be a new library in Costa Mesa in January – the new Orange Coast College Library. Yes, it is a college library but it is also a library that the community will be able to use. It will be 88,000 square feet and although I am biased its pretty spectacular, lots of computers, places to read and books. Community members can get a library card for $20 a year. It won’t have all of the children’s and juvenile collection of a city library but it will fill a need for students and the community until the new city library is built. It is being paid for with our local Measure We will be having a dedication ceremony in February, I’ll make sure you are invited.

Doug Bennett

Executive Director

Coast College

So, once that new facility is opened you library fans can sneak over and check it out. It may whet your appetite for the new Costa Mesa Library even more.

A former member of the DP 103, Gary Monahan, announced that the three-term councilman, mulit-term mayor and the only councilman to qualify for a city pension, has decided to pitch his hat in the ring for a council seat again. You'll find Daily Pilot article here. The comment thread attached to that article is thought provoking, to say the least. Monahan's candidacy will be the subject of a separate post in the future.

So, let the speculation begin about which names will find their way to the ballot next year. At this point, it looks like Monahan, Foley and Bever for sure.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Libraries, Lawsuits and Blog Terrorists

Here's a little early-week potpourri for you to contemplate.

First, over on the right edge o
f this page you will find a new link - for the Costa Mesa Library Foundation. When you have a couple minutes slide on over to the site and familiarize yourself with the efforts of these tireless volunteers who are determined to improve the library situation in Costa Mesa. Don't resist that urge to send them a few bucks to nudge their efforts on down the road. Pick up your pen, write that check and put it in the mail tomorrow.


The Costa Mesa City Council meeting tomorrow has a couple of interesting items on the ag
enda. Right off the bat, there's a closed session that includes an item on labor negotiations and - here's the biggie - a discussion of the most recent lawsuit involving the City of Costa Mesa and Benito Acosta. I won't attempt to revisit the last one - which was dismissed two weeks ago because of a gaffe by the attorney for the city. This one is the federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of Acosta. I honestly hope the majority on the council - who tend to see things in black and white - will be able to put their collective egos on the back burner and do what is right for the city - settle this disaster before it drains our coffers and causes further embarrassment to the city. Who knows, maybe all it would take would be for the mayor to suck it up, admit he made a mistake in the heat of the moment and apologize to Acosta. Do you think that will happen? Nah, neither do I.

I'm sure many of you visit the Daily Pilot online frequently. This has the potential to be a wonderful tool for the community as the debate of important issues can be pursued. Unfortunately, there is a small cad
re of bitter spoil-sports who are determined to derail almost every comment thread by attacking those who express an opinion instead of addressing the issue at hand. Most of these people are cowards, fearful of attaching their identities to their comments. They are a bunch of bullies who hide behind trees and throw stones - like the insurgents in Iraq that plant IEDs then scurry away like the cockroaches they are. They contribute nothing to the debate and only cause pain and destruction.

Among the most painful comment threads I can remember are those attached to the several articles about the tragic death of Sara Harris last week when she crashed her car in the Mesa Verde area. Regardless the reason for her crash - there are many as yet unsubstantiated theories - the viciousness of some of th
e posts on those articles shakes my faith in humanity. It's beyond me to understand how people can be so cruel and heartless. I find myself wondering if this is really the tenor of the times in Costa Mesa. Has the influence of the current majority been so pervasive that it's unleashed the worst of human nature among many members of our community. If so, what kind of a legacy will that be for our young jailer/mayor and his crew to leave behind? It's a very sad state of affairs. I provided no links to those articles. If you really want to read them, go the Daily Pilot online and find them yourself. If you do, please seek out Publisher Tom Johnson's commentary on this subject which was published last Friday. His view is, by far, the most reasoned discussion of this subject.

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