Monday, March 31, 2008

First SR 55 Access Study Workshop

Tonight, at the Neighborhood Community Center, representatives of the Orange County Transportation Authority and the City of Costa Mesa presented an overview of the current plans for the mitigation of the traffic problems on Newport Boulevard from the terminus of the Costa Mesa Freeway at 19th Street to the city limits at Industrial Way.

This was the first such workshop and it played to a packed, standing-room-only crowd, some of whom were more than a little vocal. This meeting is the first of two - the second will be held in the City Council Chambers at City Hall on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 from 6:30 - 8:30. A third such meeting will be held in Newport Beach on April 10th to provide it's residents a chance to chime in on this issue.

It was clear from the tone of the questions tonight that many folks attending this meeting were very apprehensive about a "solution" being decided without having been given a chance to provide input. This is understandable, since this process has been going on for more than 6 months and this is the first such opportunity for the general public to express their views. Meetings have previously been held with city government and business owners plus a select few "stakeholders" - a description that certainly fit every person in attendance tonight. Some speakers were clearly nervous about being left out and some were quite hostile toward the officials present.

The charts provided good information about the current roster of alternatives. These are, according to the folks who led the meeting, not the only options available, but represent the current thinking of those people in OCTA and Cal Trans who have studied this subject. Following the other public workshops those responsible will cull through the suggestions and concerns and try to generate three or four alternatives for consideration. At that time representatives of the various government entities involved will consider each and attempt to make a final determination of the right solution.

Speakers indicated that this is a long-term issue - that nothing could happen for at least 5 years, maybe longer - once a final plan is adopted. Approvals and funding must be secured before the first shovel of dirt is turned - a long, complicated, expensive process.

So, if you have an interest in how the traffic flows through our city at that location I encourage each of you to attend the next workshop or to communicate directly with the OCTA and/or the City of Costa Mesa Transportations Services Department with your thoughts.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SR 55 Access Study Workshops

For those of you in the Newport-Mesa concerned about the growing traffic problems along SR 55, the Costa Mesa Freeway, and it's extension along Newport Boulevard, there will be two workshops conducted within our city limits next week.

The first is scheduled for Monday, March 31, 2008, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Center, 1845 Park Avenue - adjacent to Lion's Park.

The second will be conducted on Wednesday, April 2, 2008, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at the Costa Mesa City Hall, Council Chambers, 77 Fair Drive.

More information can be found HERE, a link provided by the Orange County Transportation Authority.

Additionally, Byron de Arakal, in his column in the Daily Pilot today, provides his view of this issue in his own special way. You can find his commentary HERE.

For those of us who live on the Eastside of Costa Mesa, the management of the traffic on Newport Boulevard from the terminus of the 55 Freeway to Pacific Coast Highway is in a dead heat with the growth of John Wayne Airport as the most important long-range issues directly affecting us. The traffic on Newport Boulevard has an even broader reach, affecting the future plans for the revitalization of the Westside, too.

I encourage any of you seriously interested in this issue to attend one of the workshops and provide your views on this subject.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Mansoor Frowns and June Brings Smiles

In case y
ou have not viewed the streaming video or the taped replay of the Costa Mesa City Council meeting from last Tuesday you are not aware that former mayor Allan Mansoor - currently mayor pro tem - was playing puppetmaster during the meeting. When he stepped down and his loyal sidekick, Eric Bever, was elevated to the post of mayor the two buddies switched seats. Bever assumed the Big Seat and Mansoor slid over to Bever's old perch, right next to Wendy Leece.

You will recall th
at Leece was moved over to the far end of the dais by the then-Mansoor-led majority because she "needed to be seated beside City Manager Allan Roeder because she was new and had many questions". Yeah, right! That bit of musical chairs put the minority, Linda Dixon and Katrina Foley on the far right side of the dais - out of the way where they could be, and have been, ignored by the majority.

Now, with Mansoor sitting between Bever and Leece, he's in the perfect position to orchestrate activities on the dais - which he did continually throughout the last meeting. If he wasn't directing
Bever he was leaning over and whispering to Leece. So much for open meetings. If you watch closely you can almost see Mansoor lip-syncing the words as Bever and Leece speak.

And, throughout it all, he looked particularly angry. Maybe he's worried about losing his real job as a jailer for the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Interim - and probable permanent - Sheriff Jack Anderson has said he wants to replace the current sworn deputies that perform the duty of jailer with civilian corrections officers, purportedly as a cost saving measure. This, of course, will create a big problem for Mansoor and his brother, both of whom are in cushy jobs in the jail. Anderson's move would require them to do actual field duties - out there where the bad guys lurk.


On a much happier note, you will notice a new addition to the LINKS section over on the right side of this page. I've added a link to the blog of former Daily Pilot reporter - the Grammar Goddess - June Casagrande. The blog is entitled, "Conjugate Visits", which will give you a clue to the fun ahead. A very accomplished reporter, you might recall she broke the story of Newport Beach Councilman Dick Nichols "Mexicans on the grass" comment. She left the Pilot some time ago and has been doing freelance work and writing books. Her first one is a hoot and her second one is due out very shortly. One would think books on grammar would be boring an
d dry, but June is very clever and her style makes the presentation fun. She also writes a regular column for the Times Community Newspapers in the Glendale/Burbank area. If you visit the link you will find further links to her web site, which is certain to give you a chuckle. So, slide over there and hit that link - and have fun.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Last Sunday San Clemente resident and Orange County Deputy Sheriff Erik Mansoor wrote a lengthy commentary in the Orange County Register addressing Interim Sheriff Jack Anderson's proposal to replace sheriff's deputies serving as jailers with civilian correction officers as a cost-cutting measure. Mansoor's commentary appears online HERE, although the Register failed to provide attribution. (Attribution added following my telephone call.) Under Anderson's plan, the deputies displaced would be re-assigned to the field jobs for which they had been trained. The plan seems to make sense from both a fiscal and tactical standpoint. Having highly trained deputies performing the duties of a jailer seems like a poor use of resources.

Unfortunately, the Register failed to identify Erik Mansoor as Costa Mesa former mayor - and current mayor pro tem - Allan Mansoor's brother. It also failed to tell it's readers that Allan Mansoor is an Orange County Deputy Sheriff - and a jailer.

Having read Erik Mansoor's several hundred word commentary offering a modification to Anderson's plan, it seems to me that one could surmise that he is simply trying to protect his brother's cushy job in the jail - a position which provides him the opportunity to play in local politics.

Then I find out later that Erik Mansoor is also a jailer... guess he's trying to protect the "family business".

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Andy Rooney's Holocaust & Costa Mesa

WARNING! This blog entry is guaranteed to make every reader uncomfortable. Proceed at your own risk.
I suspect most of you are familiar with Andy Rooney, a corresp
ondent on the enduring CBS television program, "60 Minutes". Those of you who watch "60 Minutes" know Rooney as a curmudgeonly fellow who closes the show each week with a couple minutes of his alleged wit. Usually he says nothing, but says it cleverly and gets paid well to do it.

For the past several weeks I've been crawling my way through "My War" - the best selling memoir of his experiences during World War II. It's taking me a long time because I frequently find myself angry at him, so I just stop until I cool off. Sometimes that takes several days.


Although he's written more than a dozen books, if you read this book you will disco
ver the real Andy Rooney - a spoiled, obnoxious member of the liberal elite from an early age. At nearly 90 years of age, Rooney apparently feels he has somehow earned the right to smear war heroes like General George F. Patton and others, because he does so freely in the book.


That being said, parts of it are quite interesting as a first-person account of that terrible war, so I'm
committed to finish it - soon. But that's not really the point of this entry.

Near the end of th
e book - and the war - Rooney describes his visit to a couple of concentration camps, Buchenwald and Thekla. Now, I'm not a stranger to the existence of such places - I've seen many documentaries and read several accounts of the conditions in them. I must admit, though, that every time I see the images and read the descriptions by observers and those who survived the camps I cringe, appalled that human beings could do such things to other human beings.

In this section of his book, while describing things he saw, Rooney makes the following statement: (The emphasis is mine)
"One of the devilish aspects of this crusade against the Jews was the necessity the Germans felt for making the extermi
nation of Jews legal. I don't think Americans know about it. Whatever the Nazis wanted to do, they first arranged to have a law passed that made the action legal. They did not, as it might seem, simply haul Jews off the streets and out of their homes without being able to justify it in their own minds and according to laws that had been enacted. There were laws that covered every despicable act."


He went on to describe sections of a document written and produced by the Reichstag in 1935 entitled, "The Nuremberg Laws on Race and Citizenship, 1935", which defined the position
- or lack thereof - of Jews in German society shortly before the outbreak of World War II. He quotes liberally (no pun intended) from the chapter entitled, "Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor", which includes specific descriptions of what constitutes being a Jew.


When I reached this section of his book and read the paragraph above I just paused because it struck a chord with me. I read and re-read it and realized that the concept described in it had a very familiar ring.

Our town, Costa Mesa, is a city in southern California of around 110,000 souls - depending on how many alleged illegal aliens remain after the current purge. Most of the folks who live in our city are fine people - hardworking and dedicated to making a good life for their families. We call ourselves "The City of the Arts" because we are home to an exceptional Performing Art
s complex and seem to have more than our fair share of creative types. Heck, our current mayor is an artist of sorts who, until he decided to run for public office, wore his hair in a long pigtail - a sure sign of an artistic self-perception.


We are a diverse community, with a third of our population being of Hispanic heritage - some of whom are almost certainly not in this country legally. Those folks came here for a better life and work hard to achieve it.

Unfortunately, there are among us a few people who object to their presence and, for the past few years, have methodically gone about making life difficult for them by passing laws to oppress them, dissolving government sup
port entities such as the Job Center and the Human Relations Committee, pressuring and defunding charitable support groups, etc.

When I read that paragraph in italics above I realized that the theme applies
to our city - and it made me ashamed.


No, I'm not accusing every person in this city who has spoken out against illegal immigrants of being Nazis, although there is a powerful presence in this
city that denies the existence of the holocaust. What I am saying is that much of the legal foundation for ousting folks of Hispanic heritage from our city is in place or is being planned. Our former mayor - currently the mayor pro tem - hatched a scheme a couple years ago to train every Costa Mesa police officer as an immigration screener. That was headed off, but the melody lingered in the form of an federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent being assigned to our jail to personally screen every person arrested and taken to our facility.


Originally, the former mayor assured his constituents that he only wanted to get dangerous alien felons off the streets, and that there would be no sweeps. Few
in the Hispanic community believed him, rightly so, as it turns out. The enforcement and screening effort has, indeed, taken some dangerous felons off our streets, but it's also snatched up individuals for minor infractions which resulted in their deportation. In some cases, this resulted in their families being left behind, including their American citizen children.

Some supporters of the plan proclaim that those people were law-breakers because they came to our country
illegally. No argument there, but that "crime" hardly fits the former mayor's assurance to the city.


The city has had a non-solicitation ordinance in place for almost two decades with which our police can managed loitering day-laborers, but currently there is a movement afoot to pass a more stringent ordinance to create more law-breakers, who can then be scooped up and sent packing.


There are those who espouse the use of eminent domain to yank property from their current owners, to be bulldozed and replaced with artist lofts and high-end h
omes. Most of those places to be demolished provide housing and/or jobs for members of the laboring class in our city, many of whom are of Hispanic heritage and some are certainly here illegally.

Those same strident voices decry the impact of children of immigrants on our school system. Most of those children are American citizens. Despite much progress being made in the integration of those children into the system, there seems to be a cadre of folks in our town that are determined to force them out.

In my view, the parallels between what's currently happ
ening in my city and the events in pre-war Germany are clear and undeniable.

It's a sad commentary on the societal attitudes of a few peo
ple in our city.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Never A Dull Moment...

Geez! I go out of town for a nice, relaxing long weekend and return to a very strange bag of accumulated news stories.

In no particular order....

First, Old Riggy, the carpetbagging Planning Commissioner, Jim Righeimer, some how managed to be included in Assemblyman Van Tran's recent trip to the border to view the accomplishments of the National Guard first hand. He wrote a nice trip report for us in Saturday's Pilot, which can be read HERE. I guess Riggy is posturing because, after all, it is an election year. Who knows which ring his hat will land in this summer. It will make for very interesting viewing - and commenting.


Then, our young jailer/former mayor, Allan Mansoor, took exception to Orange County Register's Steven Greenhut's view on immigration enforcement in Costa Mesa as expressed in a recent commentary, HERE, with his own letter to the editor this weekend. You can view it HERE. Of course, Greenhut had it right, but Mansoor just can't let anyone criticize his plan. He rants about all those dangerous criminals taken off the street as a result of the presence of the ICE agent's presence in the Costa Mesa jail, but has not given us a reference point against which to compare. His comments assume there would be less enforcement of the law in our city - a view that is a direct slap in the fact of the men and women of the Costa Mesa Police Department. It's no wonder they supported his opponents in the election in 2006.


Then we are told that, in one of the priciest hotels in Newport Beach, a woman's body was found packed in dry ice in a sealed tub! Yikes! This strange story is still unfolding but it looks like the poor woman may have been dead for many months. You can read the coverage HERE.

And then there is the strange story of an off duty Costa Mesa police officer who was involved in a shooting in Temecula over the weekend, apparently while attending a Hot Rod show. Details are still very sketchy, and the officer is still unidentified, but some reports imply that he shot his way out of a beating being administered by a couple men outside a restaurant. One man died and another was injured in the scuffle and the officer is on administrative leave, recovering from injuries incurred in the fight. Local coverage can be read HERE and HERE.


And, finally, my pal Byron de Arakal used the second half of his column in the Daily Pilot today, HERE, to attempt to mediate a peace between the Daily Pilot and others in the community with an activist described in many postings on this blog and elsewhere. It was a noble effort. Not unexpectedly, it was met with a virtual loogie to the face, HERE.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Threats Win - Again

Gee, what a surprise! Our old buddy, Your Neighbor (or Mr. U. Know-Who, as he calls himself) stood before the city council Tuesday night and whined about my description of his influence in our city outlined in my commentary the Daily Pilot on Sunday. This follows his rebuttal published yesterday in a nearly half-page, 1,043 word rant.

With a smirk and a chuckle he opened by denying that he was a "mentor" to members of the council. Then, in a delicious bit of irony, he proceeded to give them specific instruction on a number of items he felt they were neglecting - just as a mentor might.

During his comments he made what I interpreted as a veiled threat - again. When referring to my position on the closure of the Job Center - which I opposed and still do - he cavalierly suggested opening a new one on the Eastside, which he referred to as my neighborhood. Then, in an I-know-where-you-live moment, he went further to describe very specific coordinates near my home. That got my attention, because the implication was clear.


I suspect he will continue to spout his views of what it takes to "improve" Costa Mesa. I've taken the position in the past that our city was worth the effort I've made to observe and comment on his actions. It's been my view that it doesn't serve the city that has been my home for half my life well to have the path to it's future mapped out by a man who is an internationally known racist and such a purveyor of intolerance that he's been on the hate watch list of the Southern Poverty Law Center for nearly a decade.

We could continue to joust, with him laying a smoke screen of "improvement" to cover his insidious racist motives for the expulsion of the Latinos from our midst and with me continuing to comment, point out his actions and blow that smoke away to expose the truth. We could continue to spar about our views on issues. We could do that....

However, once again it's been made clear to me that he is a threat to the safety of me and my family. Once again, as I did several months ago under similar circumstances, I've had to weigh the future of Costa Mesa against the safety of my family. Once again, it's no contest.

As difficult as it is for me to make this decision - because I firmly believe his influence is a serious threat to this city - someone else will have to pick up this cause. I'll continue to observe and comment on things around this city and offer opinions for real improvement. I will no longer include this guy in the equation. Understand that I don't necessarily fear him - he's an articulate, insidious blowhard - but his influence over violent, radical right-wing groups is considerable and undeniable.

To those Costa Mesa residents who read this blog and my commentaries in other venues, I hope you will pay close attention to what's going on in your city. Particularly in this very important election year, I hope you will not fall under the spell of this Hitleresque Svengali. If you continue to allow those who follow his drumbeat to control your city you have only yourselves to blame for the outcome. I wish you the wisdom to make the right decisions. He's out of my life... I'm done...

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mr. U. Know-Who Bursts his Sphygmomanometer

In my previous entry, HERE, I told you about the editing of my most recent submission to the Daily
Pilot and, in the interest of clarification, I provided the full text for you to read. At that time I assumed the editing, which removed almost half of my submission, was done in the interest of space restrictions. I still believe that may have been the case.

That submission - which appeared in print on Sunday, March 2nd, at the bottom of page A7, the Daily Pilot's Forum page - was critical of a local resident for his intolerant views and his influence on the majority on our city council. Even in it's excised form, it outlined my views of his "contribution" to our city over much of the last decade. Those same thoughts have been chronicled on this blog over the past coupl
e years at length - some might say "ad nauseum".


This morning the Daily Pilot published a rebuttal from this guy, who has been referred to on thes
e pages as Your Neighbor and Mr. U. Know-Who (a name he gave himself). The rebuttal was not unexpected. What was unexpected was the size of the rebuttal and it's location. The editors of the Daily Pilot, after chopping my 924-word submission to a measly 503, provided almost a half page above the fold on page A3 - prime real estate in the newspaper business - for Mr. U. Know-Who to print his 1043 word rant. You can read it HERE.


Most of you who read these pages regularly know that I'm a big fan of the Daily Pilot. I think the editors and reporters do a good job of providing accurate, timely news for our region. I have what I feel is a good relationship with many of the folks at the Pilot and am always grateful when they publish something I submit - even when they edit my work extensively. Most of the time the edited version is superior to my original, but not always. For example, a few years ago a senior editor - who is no longer on the staff, by the way - made some assumptions because he didn't understand the subject and edited a commentary of mine so drastically that it changed the meaning of the piece 180 degrees. No "correction" buried in the bowels of a subsequent edition can fix that kind of a mistake.

Last night, when I read Mr. Who's screed online, I prepared a multi-part comment and posted it on the Daily Pilot blog. This rebuttal - if the editors publish it - will be read only by those folks who read the newspaper online. It will never see the print edition. Frankly, I have my doubts as to whether the editors will actually publish my comments. As I post this entry it's more than 12 hours since I submitted them, but I'm still keeping a positive thought...


So, in the interest of clarification, the following is that 9-segment comment as submitted last night:

What a surprise! The writer, known by some around these parts as "Mensa Marty", is unhappy with my characterization of him and his influence in our city. I'd like to thank him for going out of his way to provide us with his little epistle, much of which proves my point. (Cont.)

As you read through his little essay you will note that the common thread is, indeed, the discomfort and displacement of the Latinos among us. He calls for a "college on the Westside". Where might that citadel of higher learning be located? Why, on land confiscated by eminent domain - which he has recently advocated - that presently houses members of the Latino laboring class in our city. (Cont.)

He denies any "connection" between himself and Allan Mansoor, and yet those of us who take the time to watch the council proceedings recognize that Mansoor and the other members of the council majority frequently echo his words with uncanny precision - as virtual "Charlie McCarthy's" to his "Edgar Bergen". Coincidence? Hardly! (Cont.)

His actions on the 3R committee are a matter of public record. There is no doubt about his role in reducing the funding for Westside charities, the disdain for which he readily admits in his piece. Which group would suffer the most from reduced funding of the charities? Yep, those hard-working folks with brown skin living on the Westside. (Cont.)

Like some pathetic William F. Buckley, Jr. wannabe, he arrogantly proclaims that he "writes to be read", and that his target audience is "free-thinking adults with average or above-average I.Q.'s". He doesn’t mention that he’s embraced and praised by that "paragon of tolerance", David Duke - the former head of the Ku Klux Klan, who features Millard's essays on his web site, which Millard uses as a marketing tool to sell his books. He says he writes for those of high intellect when, in fact, his internet essays appeal to the knuckle-dragging extremists on the far right. (Cont.)

He says he writes not "in the dry language of the academy but in ways that I hope will be interesting to some readers". I'm sure he's accomplished that goal as he decries the "blending" of the American identity, causing, in his words, the evolution of "Tan Everyman" and goes on to encourage us to breed only within our own race - as often as possible. (Cont.)

His ego is fully on display as he, with no trace of humility, compares himself to Galileo and other great thinkers of the past. I hope you all appreciate just how lucky you are that he has chosen to address us mere mortals from his place on high. Give me a break!

He uses this opportunity to hawk his books, wave his alleged Mensa membership like a battle flag and advertise his blog. I've never said he wasn't smart. (Cont.)

And, of course, he denigrates me as a lesser being, barely able to understand the written word, much less his profound pronouncements. He may be correct - I'm just a simple guy, without Millard's prodigious intellect - the existence of which I have acknowledged many times. I do know right from wrong. I do know intolerance when I see it. I've got enough gray matter to understand the common thread of his actions in our city is the extraction of the Latinos from our midst. I'm grateful to him for proving my points. (Cont.)

He closed his commentary by saying, "I will continue working as hard as I can to help improve Costa Mesa. Count on it." I'm sure he will. And you can count on me to set my picture books aside and observe and report on his attempts at "improvement", too, whether he likes it or not.


I'm not quite sure what to make of it if the editors fail to publish my comments on their blog. There are many things that could be read into that act - or, rather, lack thereof. One could assume that Mr. Who has applied significant pressure - perhaps in the form of a lawsuit. Or, one might speculate that, for whatever reason, the editors are no longer interested in providing their readers the full, accurate story. Personally, I don't believe that. My personal experience with them is just the opposite - they always try to provide the complete, accurate story. Or, it could simply be that they won't play ping-pong with commentaries.

I shouldn't have worried... just after noon today the editors decided to publish my 9-segment comment. Life is good!

So, that leaves us to contemplate our navels on this subject. Fortunately, I've got some nice picture books handy to help me pass the time.

I was very amused to note that our pal, Mr. U. Know-Who, dedicated an entire posting on his blog, the CM Press, to me today. I'm not sure where he found that accurate image of me, but it did make me chuckle. You can read it HERE.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Life in the World of Editors

This morning the Daily Pilot, our local newspaper of record, published a commentary I submitted t
o them several days ago in response to one published in that fine newspaper by M. H. Millard, local activist, gadfly and publisher of his own blog, CM Press. You can read that commentary HERE. You may read M. H. Millard's commentary to which I was responding HERE and the commentary by former mayor Allan Mansoor that Millard was addressing HERE.

As occasionally happens, the editors of the Daily Pilot found it necessary to slice and dice my submission, eventually printing just about half of it. For those of you that might be interested, I've provided the entire submission as it was sent to the Daily Pilot. The text the Pilot used is in green. The unpublished remainder is in purple.


Costa Mesa resident, prolific writer and gadfly M.H. Millard provided us with a view into his mind with his recent Mailbag contribution. ("Fix holes in city structure, not holes in the road," Feb. 20).

Millard begins by cautiously praising the current council majority, Eric Bever, Allan Mansoor and Wendy Leece, for their efforts, then proceeds to criticize them for not doing enough to implement "structural change" in the city. He then provides them with a blueprint for that change, including reduction of industrial zoning, primarily on the Westside, removal of what he calls "barracks-style apartments", also predominantly on the Westside. He also suggests a change in the owner vs. renter ratio in Costa Mesa, which currently has 60% renter occupied housing and bemoans his perception that Costa Mesa looks more like Santa Ana than Newport Beach - literally.

Millard's message, as usual, is directed specifically at the one-third of our residents of Latino ancestry - and I don't mean only those here illegally. For nearly a decade he has been leading the charge to dislocate and cause discomfort to the Latinos among us. In addition to those subjects in his current column, the closure of the Job Center, his attacks on the charities on the Westside and his attempt to have the Orange Coast College Swap Meet shut down are among the many attempts he's tried to orchestrate to expunge the Latinos from our midst. His ideas of "change" in our city are anchored in changing the "complexion" of our residents - fewer brown faces, more white ones.

He has been trying to institutionalize intolerance in our city since the late 1990s, providing the song book for "improver" elected leaders and chiding them from the speaker's podium when they don't toe his line.
It's clear that most are listening to him because they echo his comments from the dais frequently.

There may be no better example of the pervasiveness of this institutionalized intolerance than the comments uttered by former mayor, and current mayor pro tem, Allan Mansoor at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 19th.
Following the brief presentation by a representative of the Orange County Human Relations Commission - a group that tracks hate crimes and provides tolerance training throughout the county - which reported to the council recent activities in our city, Mansoor used part of his "council member comments" time to state
categorically that he wasn't interested in hearing any further reports from the Commission. Apparently inflamed by unsubstantiated critical comments directed at the Commission by one Costa Mesa resident, he seemed angry that "some council member" invited them to speak. He wasn't any happier when told by the City Manager that, as a matter of practice, the Commission speaks before all city councils each year to report on instances of hate crimes in each city. Mansoor said that he won't support further reports to the city by the Commission, which tells me he is either ambivalent about hate crimes in our city or, even worse, supports them.

As distasteful as Mansoor's statement was, this is no surprise, since he led the move to unceremoniously disband the Costa Mesa Human Relations Committee not too long ago, ending nearly two decades of work done to mediate conflicts between factions in our city.

For nearly a decade M. H. Millard has been the source of racially intolerant views in this city. He is an articulate, persuasive speaker who rants before the city council and other official government bodies frequently. His local web log is widely read by many elected and appointed officials.

Millard has become an influential person in our city, a fact recognized by the Daily Pilot which has named him one of its 103 most influential persons two years running. He has been an insidious activist, wheedling his way onto important committees - like the 3R Committee, where he used his influence to attempt to de-fund charities on the Westside. In 2006, when his activities on that committee became widely known, he resigned under a cloud - apparently not wanting to hamper Mansoor's re-election campaign.
Millard's prolific writings on far-right wing web sites have been embraced by such notorious racists as David Duke, former head of the Ku Klux Klan, who publishes and praises Millard's work on his own web site. The New Nation News web site archives hundreds of his repugnant essays written over the past decade. Millard has been tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a purveyor of hate for a decade - ever since one of his essays bemoaning the dilution of the American populace through racial interbreeding, creating what Millard referred to as "Tan Everyman", was widely denounced. I've read many of his essays - they make you want to puke.

I wonder how many of the residents of this city are comfortable knowing their elected leaders not only follow the drumbeat of intolerance as practiced by M. H. Millard, but seem eager to actually institutionalize the practice in our city. It's as though they've become willing pawns in Millard's plan to recreate our city into someplace found in the deep south during the middle of the last century, when intolerance was a way of life. What a sad commentary this is about our city - that we would elect leaders so easily led by the intolerant among us.
One can only hope that most voters will see through the veil of Millard's rhetoric, understand the underlying motives and repudiate them. One way to demonstrate this repudiation is at the ballot box next November.

I have no reason to think my submission was so severely edited other than for space reasons. Regular readers of this blog know that no one will ever accuse me of using too few words. I'll let you be the judge.

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Weekend Housekeeping

It's time for a little weekend housekeeping, following up on a few earlier posts.

In an earlier post I mentioned that the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission would hear a proposal from a couple groups of Civil War "re-enacters" to provide a weekend-long event at Fairview Park the first weekend of April. At the time I thought
that weekend might be pushing the envelope. It turns out I was correct.

During the presentation it was determined that the short time between
now and the beginning of April didn't give adequate time for all the necessary permits, etc. So, this extravaganza has been pushed out to October of this year. Actually, considering the proximity to the elections in November, that might be a perfect time for this event. The way recent election campaigns have gone in this city, it might be looking a lot like Civil War in our town by that time.

Regarding the probable annexation by Newport Beach of the Santa Ana Country Clu
b and nearby neighborhoods - all of which currently reside in Costa Mesa's sphere of influence - things have taken a new twist. Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Moorlach - a Costa Mesa resident - has decided to stall the proceedings by not putting forward the tax plans essential to this process.
So, after the shouts of glee by the members of the country club, their neighbors and most resid
ents of Newport Beach and the wailing and gnashing of teeth by Costa Mesa officials, we're back to square one. That means all that rancor that was created by this issue between our two cities went for naught. The residents and country club are stuck in no-man's-land and remain islands of country territory. The animosity between our two city councils has intensified, as witnessed by recent public pronouncements of some elected officials, and we still have a truck-load of common-interest projects ahead of us. And, of course, this scab will be ripped off again if and when the annexation issue is re-visited.

That self-same person, John Moorlach, then told the assembled masses at the Airport Working Group annual meeting that they needed a better public relations effort regarding the possible (probable) expansion of John Wayne Airport. That cavalier assessment of their efforts certainly rankled attendees, but he might be right. Negotiations for an extension of the current caps on the airport cannot even begin until 2011. I'm sure most of the hard-working attendees at the meeting hoped Moorlach would stand up and say he was going to fight, tooth and nail, to prohibit any further expansion of the airport. He didn't do that. You can read Joe Bell's column on the subject HERE.


So, those of us currently being adversely affected by the present traffic load need to take the
lead and ramp up the rhetoric and help find alternatives to the expansion of John Wayne Airport. We need to find alternatives to the current scheme - something called "Go Local" - that would attempt to entice us to climb aboard crowded, smelly buses to airports in the hinterlands - San Bernardino and Ontario - instead of boarding flights at John Wayne for our exotic destinations.


One alternative, the creation of a regional international airport at Camp Pendleton, has been espoused by myself and another local blog writer for a couple years. As distasteful as it is for me to agree with anything that guy says, he's got it right this time. It makes a lot of sense, since it could resolve traffic volume problems not only for John Wayne Airport, but San Diego's Lindbergh Field, too. So far, that proposal has gotten nowhere.


And, of course, the great frustration in all this is that there sits El Toro, runways still 98% intact, just waiting to be converted into an International Airport! Rumors of the financial difficulties and potential demise of the successful bidder, Lennar, only add to that frustration. And, the ongoing allegations of corruption swirling around the whole Great Fiasco, er, Park further add to it. Maybe we can make a deal with the Emperor Agran. Maybe we can agree to name the new airport at El Toro for him. Do you think that might assuage his ego enough that he will throw in the towel and support the best use of that chunk of Orange County? Nah, neither do I.

That's it for now....

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