Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More Byron, Commissioner Jim, Rehab Homes and More

There's an interesting mix of news in the Daily Pilot today.

First, and most important, is the debut of the new, "improved
" column by my pal and muse, Byron de Arakal. Byron moves to Wednesday every week instead of alternating on Thursday's with Barbara Venezia, so we get twice as much "Byron" as before. This is good news for the readers of the Daily Pilot. For example, in his inaugural column this morning Byron reaches right in and grabs the Costa Mesa ICE situation by the proverbial short hairs. As only he can do, he capsulizes the issue with a style that makes it easy to understand and also amuses at the same time. You can read his column at this link.


Second, my old "pal" Commissioner Jim Fisler - appointed to the Planning Commission by the M
ansoor majority - has announced he will run one more time for the City Council next year. Readers of this blog and the comment threads herein know that Commissioner Jim is not reluctant to present his views and actually uses his own name to do it. We frequently disagree, but he's always welcome to try to set me straight here. Perhaps the most interesting part of Fisler's announcement - to me, anyhow - is the almost instantaneous endorsement by a very, very controversial blog operator here in town. You can read that entry here. After I read that I dropped Commissioner Jim a little note to remind him that we all are known by the company we keep. It's his choice, but we all know how long the stench lingers when you run over a skunk. I don't think Commissioner Jim is necessarily a bad guy, but there is only so much baggage a person should be expected to carry with him on the campaign trail.

And, as Commissioner Jim launches the local 2008 election season, the Katrina Foley haters are already in full stride. Of course, this began the day following last year's election, when the "No Foley!" chants could be heard in the back of the Mansoor/Leece bus. The same guy that is touting Fisler is the leader of the band on this issue, too. I
t is apparently not enough for them to have, both literally and figuratively, shoved Foley and Linda Dixon aside on the dais, but now they want to shove both of them off - Foley in particular. Our young jailer/mayor, in particular, doesn't like having her up there making him look even more incompetent than he already is. It's just a good thing for him that he controls the majority, because his arguments on important issues just don't hold water and his exchanges with Foley prove it. In fact, he has recently begun openly attacking her on the Daily Pilot blog - a low-class move that is not entirely unexpected. Ah, the stories I could tell you.... Who know, maybe I will one of these days.
So, it's going to be a very interesting year - even more so when the full slate of candidat
es becomes known. Rumors have swirled about former Mayor Gary Monahan throwing his hat in the ring to add more years to his retirement fund. First he's in, then he's out. We certainly expect the court jester, Eric Bever, to run again - and continue to make a fool of himself at least twice a month. No word on whether carpetbagger Jim Righeimer will run - maybe he's waiting for a better offer from Fountain Valley or Garden Grove. Even Dixon is mum on whether she plans to try to hold on to her seat, so to speak.

Our friends ov
er in Newport Beach continue to rail about the proliferation of Rehab homes, particularly on the peninsula. The screaming seems to be led by one particularly rabid activist, to whom I have referred as "Newport Lori" on the Daily Pilot blog. The poor thing must have typed her fingers to the bone by now. I tease, but this is a serious problem for them, and one that presents a curious dilemma for their leaders. Here we have Newport Beach - bastion of conservatism unmatched in this country - having to deal with rehab operators who have, following all the tenets of conservative entrepreneurship, created a business model that is just like picking up diamonds in an open field. First, they buy a large home on the sand, then open it up as a rehab facility where they can charge astronomical fees to their "clients", which enables them to buy more big houses on the sand and open more rehab "diamond mines", etc., etc. etc. Until Lori and her buddies exposed them their biggest problem probably was what to do with all that money. Now they know - spend it on lawyers.
LAWRENCE JAMES MOORE (7/30/41 - 12/19/03)
Finally, today marks the fourth anniversary of the passing of my lifelong best friend, Larry Moore. Four years ago this evening - after overseeing his care in Las Vegas for six weeks and watching the staff of the Trauma Intensive Care Unit that had worked so diligently with him all that time try for his final fifteen minutes to bring him back to us once more - I had to tell them to stop. It was the most difficult decision in my life and I can still see that moment so clearly in my mind's eye that it could have happened yesterday. So, through these tear-filled eyes, I remind you all to wrap your arms around those you love - especially this time of the year - because you never know what's on the road ahead... Rest in Peace, my friend. I miss you.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Orange County Register Immigration Report

Yesterday the Orange County Register began a three-part series on immigration, the result of a year-long effort by several reporters. Having read the first two installments, it looks like they've done a good job on the subject.

I'm not going to attempt to paraphrase the articles, unlike another notorious blog operator here in town. Here are the links to the First Installment and the Second Installment. You can read them, review the charts and graphs provided and draw your own conclusions.

I will say, however, I think the authors captured the essence of the issue as it relates to Costa Mesa in the second installment. I've given my opinion on this subject many times over the past couple years. I'm convinced that our young jailer/mayor's initiative to cross-designate ever CMPD officer as an immigration screener two years ago was not to rid our city of "dangerous illegal alien felons", as he so frequently pronounced, but was designed as an attack on all immigrants of hispanic origin.

Each article is lengthy, but worth the read. I'll likely provide an opinion of the series tomorrow, following the publication of the final installment.

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