Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Appeal, Stats, Fluoride, Tradition & More

Ah, the joy never stops. Today, both the Orange County Register and the Daily Pilot had articles regarding the appeal filed by the City of Costa Mesa in the case of the dismissed charges on Benito Acosta.

According to the Register report, Costa Mesa City Attorney Kim Barlow doesn't e
xpect a ruling by the three-judge panel until next week. The Daily Pilot article quotes Acosta's attorney as stating the appeal "meritless". I guess we'll find out some time next week. In the meantime, that old meter is spinnin' as legal charges continue to rack up on this case.


In a kind of related issue, the Orange County Register Immigration Blog provided us with a brief st
ory and link to a very interesting bit of information provided by something called the Migration Information Source. For those of you interested in such things, I've linked to it here.

Another issue ca
using angst in our little neck of the woods these days is the fluoridation of our water supply, which some folks apparently think is tantamount to poisoning all of us. The debate on the Daily Pilot blog has been, er, spirited - to say the least. You can read the relevant articles and their comment threads in the Daily Pilot. There are four separate articles for your consideration here, here, here and here.


Also, for us Costa Mesans, the fate of Fairview Park continues to raise the collective blood pressure around town. Mike Scheafer, former councilman, former Parks and Recreation Commissioner and active member of the Lion's Club among many others, wrote to the Daily Pilot suggesting the skate park being proposed for Lion's Park be shifted to Fairview Park because it would displace the Lion's Club-sponsored Fish Fry - a six decade tradition in Costa Mesa. As I type this more than 100 comments have been posted on that article. You can read it here.


The issue of Fairview Park and the skate park are apparently going to be on the City Council agenda for next Tuesday evening. I suspect folks representing many views will appear to present their case.


After having driven past Fairview Park a couple of times this week, it seems to me t
hat there is plenty of room on the eastside of Placentia, near the model trains that get used one weekend a month, for the city's second skate park and the parking and restrooms necessary for such a facility. Placement at that location certainly would not interfere with the more passive uses on the west side of Placentia - reachable by the big, ugly bridge.


There are those in our town who devote a lot of energy and blog inches trying to convince us that Fairview Park should remain "pristine" - not a word I associate with that park. Those folks apparently think that any active uses in the park will detract from their plan to bulldoze what they refer to as "slums" - apartments that are occupied by Latinos - to make space for more parks. How pathetic and transparent!


Nowhere in the discussion did I see mention of the possibility of utilizing small pieces of several neighborhood parks to place small, single skate elements so the younger children could practice their skills close to home. A simple small bowl or pad with a grind rail would only take up 400 -500 square feet in parks that are infrequently used now.

With only a couple of council meetings left this year, it's going to be very interesting to see how these issues shake out.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Orange Coast Voice - Costly Legal Action and Day Laborer Harassment

As we all begin to breathe a little easier - both literally and figuratively - because most of the horrendous fires here in southern California are either contained or look to be contained within the next couple days, our attention turns to more mundane things - like the Benito Acosta fiasco.

Over at the Orange Coast Voice, published by activists Duane Roberts and John Earl, the current issue presents some interesting statistics about the trials involving Benito Acosta. The current issue may be found at this link. According to that publication, the City of Costa Mesa has already spent more than $130,000 on the two trials involving Acosta, with no end in sight.

Please take the time to read this fascinating account and to review the PDF files linked within the story reflecting the bills from the two law firms involved. It looks to me as though the meter continues to spin, racking up significant charges in both the criminal trial - presently dismissed, but perhaps to be appealed - and the pending civil rights law suit filed on behalf of Acosta by the ACLU.

In the same issue there's an interesting article entitled "Chilling Effect", which addresses the current condition of day laborers in Costa Mesa and their relationship with the Costa Mesa Police. I'm not going to attempt to interpret Earl's words - please read them for yourselves. I will say, though, that the closure of the Job Center has exacerbated tensions between the police and day laborers. This has been compounded by the anti-immigrant attitude of our current City Council majority and their band of "improver" buddies. When you read Earl's account of this situation you will come to realize that relationships between the city government and the Latino community will continue to be strained until there is a change in attitude at the top in our city government. Right now, that seems highly unlikely.

Labels: , ,