Monday, November 30, 2009

"Fairy" Tales

Ah, the wheels of progress move slowly - sometimes.

Those of us following the potential sale of the Orange County Fair and Exhibit Center (Fairgrounds) were astounded at the rapidity with which The State bureaucracy moved in getting the ball rolling. To many of us it seemed like a blur, and we wondered what caused this aberratio
n in the normal method of doing business. Ben Franklin was right - haste does make waste.


When the Request For Proposals (RFP) was initially issued there were some elements
that needed much clarification. Thanks to an alert reader of this blog, who pointed out to me today that on November 10, 2009, officials from The State issued Addendum #1, which promised clarification on three points no later than November 23, 2009. Those items were:

State's Profit Participation Requirement

Auction Format
Purchase and Sales Agreement

On November 23, 2009 The State issued Addendum #2, which said, in part:

"Addendum No. 1 dated November 10, 2009 indicated that additional information would be
posted November 23, 2009. The posting of this additional information is herein postponed

The additional information will be posted in a subsequent addendum which will also
include a revised schedule of Key Dates as identified on page 10 of the October 7, 2009
Request for Proposal.

While the November 23, 2009 dead
line for questions regarding the RFP has passed, the
Key Dates will be revised to include a new deadline for submission of questions pertaining
to the additional information.

All other aspects of the request for proposal remain unchanged."


So, concerned that important elements of the RFP would not be available by the deadline for bids - January 8, 2010 - I called Dave Kalemba at the Department of General Services in Sacramento for clarification. He's the fellow who wrote the RFP.

Kalemba acknowledged that the second sentence of the first paragraph above might be a little misleading - now, there's a surprise! - and that he probably could have found a better way to make that statement.

In any event, he told me it is his intention to provide the clarifications mentioned above as soon as possible - which he hoped would be within a couple weeks. He acknowledged that bidders must have the information to appropriately assess this process and to make a proper bid.

I asked him who has the authority to stop the sale at this time. He said that any direction to take the Fairgrounds off the market must come from the governor's office. It is my understanding that representatives of city government hope to get an audience with the governor to specifically request him to do just that - take the Fairgrounds off the market.

The Costa Mesa City Council, at it's meeting Tuesday, December 1, 2009, will again consider two Fairgrounds issues. First, in a closed session that will begin at 4:30 p.m., they will consider the purchase of the Fairgrounds.

Later, in the last item on the agenda, they will consider options presented by staff regarding the zoning of the property and the creation of a ballot measure for the June, 2010 election. We expect there to be some significant progress at that meeting since it is the final regularly scheduled meeting of the year except for the Study Session scheduled for December 8, 2009. According to the agenda report now available, the staff will recommend that the council consider a General Plan amendment to revise the land use designation of the Fairgrounds property and, once adopted, include that designation as part of the ballot measure. Any future changes to that property would then require a vote of the people.

I found the language of "Option 4", the choice of the staff, to be interesting. It states as follows:

"OPTION 4: Prepare and adopt a General Plan Amendment and Place on Ballot
Given the deficiencies of Option 1, staff recommends that the "Fairgrounds" land use designation as described in the 2000 General Plan be appropriately amended to further define permissible land uses for the property in a "broad" sense and to recognize the City's land use authority as such time the Fairgrounds is no longer owned by the State.

Staff believes that this amendment can achieve the "certainty" that both Council and the community desire for the property, while retaining the appropriate degree of flexibility in administering future land use decisions and permits. As with the specific plan, the amendment will require public hearings before both planning Commission and City Council prior to adoption, as well as preparation of the necessary environmental documentation. However, staff believes that this amendment can be processed within the necessary time frame."


I'm curious about the term "broad", above. Just how "broad" are we talking about here? I think we need some clarity on this one, don't you? I wonder how many interested parties will show up at the council meeting tomorrow night? The decision the council makes on this issue will be critical to any bids submitted on the property, including any such bid the city might put forth.


I'm led to believe that "thousands" of postcards to the governor were signed at the Orange County Marketplace over this past weekend. It would be nice if those city representatives hoping to speak with him could lug those cards with them for presentation to the governor as reinforcement of the strong views held about the Fairgrounds sale down here.

By the way, just in case you missed the performance by Huntington Beach blogger and activist Vern Nelson at the last council meeting, here he is via YouTube with his rendition of "Tainted Sale".


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Local Suspect Shot Dead

One of the things I usually do
upon returning from a vacation is try to give a quick scan to my accumulated newspapers because, even though I try to stay abreast of local items of interest while away, invariably I'll miss something online that later catches my eye in the print version. Such was the case this weekend.

On November 20th the Daily Pilot ran a little blurb entitled, "Fashion Island suspect is shot dead", HERE, in which crime beat reporter Joseph Serna tells us that 18 year-old Dalton Rahman was shot to death by members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's SWAT team after he wrested a gun away from one of them during an arrest.
At the time he was shot Rahman was driving a stolen car in which were found a bulletproof vest and other police equipment.


This is important to us way down here in the best of all worlds because Rahman is suspected of being the individual who escaped capture a couple months ago in Fashion Island when he and two buddies were observed
by a resident acting suspiciously. The other two youths were carrying a bag full of guns. I wrote about that episode HERE.

Ironically, on November 23rd Serna posted a blog entry, HERE, which asked, "Do you feel safe?" and cited a study which identified Newport Beach as the 28th safest city in the state, with Costa Mesa following at No. 103.


Today, with the economy still in dire straits, it's likely that we will see more desperate people turning to criminal act
s to make ends meet. I have no idea what might have happened had the episode involving Rahman and his two accomplices at Fashion Island not been stopped. It has been speculated that the trio were planning a robbery spree, and were certainly armed to accomplish that. It seems that we, literally, may have dodged a bullet.


I guess the message here is that we need to be constantly vigilant - aware of our surroundings, especially when out and about doing Christmas shopping for the next month. Be alert for suspicious persons as you carry packages to your car. When in doubt, return to the store - don't become a victim.


On that happy note, I'm glad to be back and hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Thanksgiving Thoughts...

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I did...

While away on a brief, but much-needed, mini-vacation I tried to keep up with what was happening back here in the land of Newport-Mesa. I didn't dwell on too many issues while away - like the future of the Fairgrounds, for example. The object of being away was to "be away"...

I did read with interest the very nice notes published in the Daily Pilot which listed reasons many of our friends and neighbors are particularly thankful this year. Before I left I fired off a letter to the editor at the Daily Pilot which, as you will see, obviously was too long to fit their format. So, never wanting to waste a word, I've placed it here for your consideration.

Dear Editor,

This Thanksgiving is the most unusual I can remember. This year I find myself being thankful not only for good health, the love of a wonderful woman and supportive friends and relatives, but for the very fact that we can put a Thanksgiving dinner on our table.

This year millions of Americans who were working, providing a good life for their families and enjoying "Turkey Day" like the rest of us a year ago can no longer do any of those things. This year the economic downturn - read that "Depression", Mr. President - has cost millions of Americans their jobs, with no hope on the horizon for improvement.

This year, at a time when retailers are normally gearing up for whopping holiday sales, many are taping kraft paper on their store windows and closing their doors. This year we find folks collecting unemployment insurance benefits twice as long as in the past, and the government looking for ways to further extend those benefits.

This year we see merchants looking for creative ways to weather this economic storm, including selling their products for 25% of last year's prices - or less.

This year we find local and state governments teetering on the brink of insolvency, where service cuts, furloughs and early retirements have replaced more positive themes.

This year we find ourselves governed by an administration which lacks the basic management skills to even understand the results of their actions. We find two of our three largest automobile manufacturers taken over by the government and being forced to tolerate the whims of "czars" who have no concept of that business.

This year we find our banking industry, the cornerstone of our financial well-being, driven into the ground by hapless political hacks who seem intent on creating a socialist "utopia" in which creativity, industriousness and risk-taking are replaced by government handouts, lethargy and complacency.

This is a year in which we find businesses, large and small, trying to just hang on until "things get better", without any signs that it will happen any time soon. We see half-century old businesses retrenching to revenue and staffing levels of twenty years ago, just trying to stay afloat.

This time of the year we are usually deluged by solicitations from charities, asking you to pony-up again as you may have in the past. This year the solicitations sound a lot more desperate, perhaps because this is a year in which food banks, for example, are running out of food and charitable giving is drying up.

So, you ask, how do we celebrate Thanksgiving this year in light of all that doom and gloom. Here's my suggestion. Don't try to solve all the problems that face us. Find one cause - a family, organization or issue - and help out any way you can. Provide food, clothes and other necessities of life. Any local church will know of folks who can use whatever help you can provide. Eat a couple fewer meals out each month and contribute that money to the needy.

If you can't give material things, volunteer to help out serving homeless, seniors and youth organizations. Look around you - I'll bet that in even the most prosperous neighborhoods there are opportunities for giving. Help elderly neighbors put up their Christmas decorations. Take them shopping or to the doctor. Sit with them and read or just talk. Walk their dog, dump their trash or feed their cat.

This year, instead of being thankful for "stuff", we should be thankful for things we can do for others - and do them. This year put the "giving" back into Thanksgiving.


Thursday, November 19, 2009


Well, it's time to turn the old cauldron down to simmer and take a few days off.

This Thanksgiving season I find myself particularly thankf
ul for my wonderful wife of more than 42 years, a loving and supportive family and very patient friends and neighbors. Without their encouragement we'd have stopped blogging a few years ago, so you can blame them if you don't like what you've been reading here.

I'm also thankful for the terrific people in the Newport-Mesa communities w
ho take the time to get involved in community activities. Whether it's serving on the City Council, one of the commissions or committees or volunteering at one of the many non-profit organizations or coaching a youth sport, their contributions make all our lives better.

I'm very thankful for the hundreds of folks who care enough for the future of the Orange County Fairgrounds that they've turned out by the hundreds at recent gatherings to m
ake their views known to our local leaders. Thanks to all of you for your efforts.. keep them coming.


I'm always thankful for the management of the Daily Pilot for holding things together for the past couple years as Sam Zell seems determined to single-handedly dismantle one of the great newspaper organizations in the world. These are bleak times in the print media and it's being felt locally, too. Despite being staff
ed at roughly half the level of a couple years ago, the Daily Pilot continues to push forward, providing us with timely, balanced, accurate news of our area as it has done for a century. And, of course, this year I'm thankful to have been included in their DP 103 list. Each time I drive north heading for Santa Barbara I'll be reminded that "I'm 101"!


And, finally, I'm thankful to all of you who take the time to read these ramblings. I appreciate it when you feel moved to offer a comment, even when you disagree with me. That's really what makes this stuff interesting, after all.


When you bow your head to give thanks for all your bounty this year, please say a special word for our young men and women wearing the uniform of the United States of America in harms way all around the world. They have bravely volunteered to protect our co
untry and deserve our support.


So, we here at A Bubbling Cauldron wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you will find time to share your love with those around you, watch some great football and enjoy that once-a-year tryptophan-induced stupor from overeating.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fairgrounds, Huscroft House, Skosh and God

Here's my question for the day... Is there any resident of Orange County who actually wants the
Fairgrounds to be sold? Other than the current Fair Board, that is... Based on the recent public meetings held in Costa Mesa, I'd say the answer is a resounding NO!

Last night the Costa Mesa City Council, following an outstanding presentation by Councilwoman Katrina Foley and Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece, heard dozens of residents and other stakeholders present their individual views on this subject. Heck, they were even serenaded by blogger Vern Nelson, who appeared in a red, hooded cape, and sang "Tainted Sale" to the music of "Tainted Love", which brought down the house. Even Mayor Allan Mansoor cheered him when he finished.

Foley and Leece outlined the hist
ory of this sale scheme and gave the audience the time line that we face if the sale is to be stopped. They also presented the steps the City is taking to slam the door on potential buyers. It was announced that, during their closed session meeting, the council had agreed to proceed with plans to make a bid outright for the Fairgrounds and authorized spending $250,000 dollars of staff time toward that planning.

The upshot of the meeting was a three-pronged motion presented by Foley. To quote Foley, "The first part is to prepare a letter to all Orange County legislators and Speaker of the Assembly requesting that they put forth legislation to cancel the sale. The second part to
prepare a letter signed by all of the city council members to demand that the governor terminate the sale. And, thirdly, to authorize member Leece and myself to personally communicate our city's position to the governor, state elected and local officials and representatives to work with the City Manager in making it our top priority to stop the sale." The motion passed unanimously. Now the hard work begins because the time constraints and holidays will severely tax a staff thinned by budget constraints.


One interesting issue was broached by one speaker - that of the possible illegality on the part of the Fair Board and their hired representative in the sale of the Fair. As mentioned in an earlier post, R. Scott Moxley at the OC Weekly, HERE, indicated that the county attorney was pursuing legal action. The Orange County Register, HERE, further reported today that the State Attorney General declined to investigate because he is the legal counsel for the Fair Board. The buck has been passed back to the county, where District Attorney Tony Rackauckas will be asked to investigate this allegation. It was also suggested that Federal authorities take part in this investigation.


Another question arose as I watched the proceeding
s on television tonight - where's Riggy? Costa Mesa Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer has been omnipresent at every other meeting on this subject and had begun his own effort to place the subject on the ballot. He's been taking a lot of flack over the past week or so for his censoring of comments on his Save The Fair web site and, reports have it, that he's had at least one toe-to-toe heated discussion with a member of the public who questioned his motives.

My opinion of Riggy has not changed over the past couple years. I've referred to him as a carpetbagging political opportunist, who used his GOP connections to get himself appointed to the Planning Commission after helping get Mansoor re-elected two years ago after having resided in Costa Mesa for only a few months. I don't like his heav
y-handed approach on the Planning Commission, which is now made all the more onerous because he's been joined by Steve Mensinger and Colin McCarthy - all three have strong developer ties. To me, that's like asking the fox to be housemother in the chicken coop.


I was suspicious of his motivation with his Save The Fair scheme and the passage of time has done nothing to change my opinion. Hopefully, the council action last night will eliminate any need for
him to insert himself into this process.

A sidebar at the meeting was the concern expressed by several residents about the evolving sale of the Huscroft House on Bernard Street. After the city bent over backwards helping the buyer of that derelict building in the form of financial incentives and rel
axation of zoning issues, it seems the owner has sold the place to an outfit that plans to use if for a recovery home! Actually, it sounds like it's a series of recovery homes, to stay within the 6-person-per-house rule.

This has created much angst among residents along that street, several of whom have purchased homes in an adjacent development assuming the Huscroft House would remain an owner-occupied dwelling and be an a
nchor of a revitalized section of the Westside of town.

This whole deal was bad from the beginning, but then-councilwoman Linda Dixon carried the torch for that ram
shackle building and the council at the time got snookered. When will we learn? The City Attorney will investigate to see what, if anything, can be done. They shouldn't hold their breath, as our friends down in Newport Beach can tell you.


On the subject of councilman Gary Monahan's illegal banner on his pub, city officials tell me he was issued a citation late last week and has 30 days in which to pay the $75.00 fine and remove the banner. If he fails to do so he will be cited again, this time with a $200.00 fine and anoth
er 30 days to take the banner down. If he continues to thumb his nose at the city he will be cited a third time and fined $500.00. If he doesn't remove the banner after that citation the issue will be turned over to the city prosecutor for disposition. We all remember what a bang-up job he did with the Benito Acosta criminal trial, don't we? He dropped the ball and the case was dismissed.


I expect Monahan will continue to rack up the fines and write them off as a cost of doing business. The time line above will take him through the football season. However, I fully expect to see another similar illegal banner in March, advertising March Madness, and the process will begin all over again. As I've
said before, Monahan seems more than willing to abuse his position on the council for his own personal gain and ignore any rules he doesn't like. Thanks to all of you who voted him back into office after a dozen years of these kinds of shenanigans.


Oh, yes... at the end of the council meeting, aft
er many impassioned speakers on both sides of the issue, the council agreed with Wendy Leece and voted, 5-0, to hang the motto, "In God We Trust", in bold brass letters on the wall behind the speaker's dais. Of the many excellent presentations we heard on this issue, Byron de Arakal's suggestion struck me as the best compromise. He thought, if we really had to have a patriotic phrase hanging behind the council, it should be the first three words of the Constitution- "We, the people"... I agree.

I encourage the city staff to use great care when placing that motto on the wall behind the Mayor's chair. We sure don't want Mayor Mansoor to look like the motto is running through his head - even though it would likely find no obstruction to impede it.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Fair Quicksand, "God" and Monahan Thumbs His Nose

This whole "Fairgrounds Sale" plot continues to thicken. Right now it must be feeling like quicksand to a few politicians around Orange County. For example, over at the OC Weekly's Navelgazing site, R. Scott Moxley has produced an interesting investigative piece entitled, " County Lawyer Seeks State Probe of OC Fair Privatization Plan". You can read it HERE. Moxley discusses the role former Senator Dick Ackerman may have had as a hired gun
for the Fair Board in their role in getting a For Sale sign placed on the Orange County Fair and Exhibits Center. This has been nibbled at by several bloggers for several weeks, but the news of an official investigation is HUGE! There are times when being a Republican can be a painful experience.

Tuesday the Costa Mesa City Council will debate Katrina Foley and Wendy Leece's proposal and vote on whether to send a letter to the governor requesting him to quash the sale. Another full council chambers is anticipated as stakeholders and other residents line up along the walls to express their concerns. Let's hope a certain Mesa North resident shows u
p on time so he can get a seat and not be asked to leave the auditorium, as was the case a week ago. Of course, an auditorium without him in it will be an improvement in the air quality all by itself.


And, of course, following that item on the agenda Leece will overlay he
r personal religious views on city business and ask the council to place the motto, "In God We Trust" behind them on the wall of the chambers. According to her warped public comment, placing that motto will make us "more patriotic". Give me a break! Someone needs to remind Wendy that we do not live in a theocracy! Based on public comments by Mayor Mansoor and Councilman Gary Monahan, it seems like Leece has the votes, so every person who enters the chambers to do business before the city will be reminded of the city's religious affiliation. Yep, if you don't believe in "God" or believe in many "gods", don't expect to get a fair hearing in Costa Mesa, where "In God We Trust". If you're an agnostic, atheist, sun-worshiper or if, for whatever reason, you choose to rely on yourself rather than put your blind faith in a supreme being, you're out of luck in Costa Mesa. Don't come whining about not being treated fairly, either, because you will have been warned by that big, embossed sign behind The Mayor's head that tells you, "In God We Trust". Oh, and don't worry about the cost because city officials tell us it will be covered by private donations. Great - Wendy has co-conspirators, willing to pony up less than a thousand bucks for the sign.


By the way, Councilman Skosh Monahan still has the illegal "Sunday Football" sign up on his building. I told you earlier that the deadline for him to remove it was last Wednesday. I guess the rules are made for someone besides Monahan - something to remember when he asks you to name him the directly-elected Mayor for life next year. This is just one more example of why he got into politics in the first place - to get what he can for himself by using his position and power to bend the rules in his favor. He's the perfect example of why you just can't trust politicians to do the right thing most of the time.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Fairgrounds And God, In That Order

Tuesday's Costa Mesa City Council meeting is lining up to be another fun-filled event.


Late in the meeting, which starts at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, the council will address two items, each of which have the potential to generate some very significant, emotional comments from the public.


The first is the proposal by Mayor Pro Tem
Wendy Leece and Councilwoman Katrina Foley for the council to prepare and send a letter to Governor Schwarzenegger requesting that he immediately remove the "For Sale" sign from the Orange County Fair and Events Center.


Former mayor Sandra Genis sent out
an email this weekend urging recipients to send similar letters to the governor, and to broadcast her letter far and wide. If you choose to communicate with the governor, here is the address as provided by Genis' email:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160


The second is Leece's proposal that the council approve placing the motto, "In God We Trust" on the wall behind the dais in the council chambers. This has been the subject of much heated debate since she first brought it up. Some view
it as unnecessary, and another example of Leece's intent to overlay her own personal religious beliefs on the city. Others feel it is completely appropriate to include the motto because it is the official federal government motto and it's displayed prominently on our money, for example. Still others feel it provides a forbidden intrusion of "church" into "state" business. And others feel it is too narrow - that such a motto excludes religions that don't believe in "God", per se. Regardless, I'll be curious about the comments on this issue.


By the way, the editors of the Daily Pilot saw fit to publish another of my commentaries this weekend. No surprise that it covered the Fair issue. As promised, I reviewed it and found that they printed almost everything I sent to them - enough that I won't bore you further with my actual text. If you wish to read the commentary as published you can find it HERE.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Who, Me? & More Fairgrounds Sale Stuff

First thing off the bat, let me thank the e
ditors of the Daily Pilot for their very kind and completely unexpected selection of yours truly as part of the annual DP 103 list. The DP 103 is always a fun publication in which we are reminded of the contributions many of our friends and neighbors make to the quality of our lives. I'm honored and humbled to be included in this year's list - along with two shopping centers, one golf resort, a hospital, the O.C. Fairgrounds and "the recession". Yep, I'm in good company down there at #101. Thanks to Brady Rhoades and his crew for the selection, and to all the other folks on the list for their very real contributions. This is pretty heady stuff for an old guy with too much time on his hands.

Back to the serious stuff - the seemingly never-ending drama around the Orange County Fair and Events Center.


Thursday the Fair Board had their regularly-scheduled meeting and were visited by, according to all reports, over 150 enthusiastic visitors intent on
stopping the sale of the Fairgrounds. Although I did not attend, members of the local media did a good job of providing us with coverage. You can read the Daily Pilot coverage HERE and the Daily Voice coverage HERE.


Gus Ayer at the OC Progressive Blog has a very interesting new development, HERE, in which he presents a time line
that demonstrates that the Fair Board created it's new non-profit foundation to buy the Fair well in advance of the passage of AB22 by the legislature and before the governor signed it. There is innuendo that former State Senator Dick Ackerman was hired as a de facto lobbyist by the Fair Board to facilitate the creation of AB22 at a time when it was illegal for him to perform such work. I'm having a very hard time with what looks like a "fixed" issue - the Fair Board deciding the State should sell the Fairgrounds, then hiring a guy to make it happen and forming a foundation to buy it on the cheap. The stench of this situation is palpable!


Skimming the local blogs and Facebook pages produces some interesting situations, too. It seems that Costa Mesa Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer - who started a movement to ostensibly "save the fair" - may have less altruistic motives. Apparently, several comments have been deleted or failed to be posted on Riggy's S
ave the Fair Facebook page. When confronted about this at the Fair Board meeting those in attendance report his reaction to be "childish", and that the comments deleted were "negative". Well, duh, Riggy - there are folks around who differ with your view of the world - get used to it. That stench mentioned above is lingering around Riggy, too. He's too tight with the GOP power structure and guys like Fair Board Vice Chair Dave Ellis for my comfort zone.


Late this afternoon, after the original publication of this entry, I was made aware of a bogus Facebook page, designed to look like an official City of Costa Mesa page, which has a very obvious slant toward Righeimer's Save the Fair organization. It originally used the official city seal, which has subsequently been replaced by a logo. This site is obviously an attempt to further muddy the waters regarding just whom thinks what about the Fairgrounds sale. This has a familiar odor to it very similar indeed to other Riggy actions.


In the agenda for next Tuesday's City Council meeting there is an item for the council to consider which strongly recommends they send a letter directly to the governor requesting him to quash the sale of the Fairgrounds. It seems advisable for those parties interested in this issue to make their feelings known that evening.


Although Assemblyman Van Tran pledged (to the press, mainly) that he will carry a bill to the legislature to quash the Fairgrounds sale, I'm thinking that such a bill has a much better chance of making it through if was co-authored by Assemblyman Solorio. Van, as a lame duck Republican in the Assembly, doesn't carry much weight. Solorio should sign on, too.


So, here's a suggestion for you. Fire off an email to Assemblyman Jose Solorio through his legislative aide, John Nam, requesting him to either join Tran on a bill or to generate one on his own. Here's Nam's email address: I spoke with John today and he guaranteed to me that Solorio would see every email on this subject.

In the meantime, neighbors, here a couple reminders of what we're talking about here. You can view them over and over again throughout the weekend. Enjoy.



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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Fairgrounds Frivolity and 1901 Newport Plaza

In the case of the story that never stops - the sale of the Orange County Fair and Events Center - two local blogg
ers have presented us with more insightful coverage.


Over at the Orange Juice Blog, author Vern Nelson hammers away at the folly of this sale. You can read his post HERE. In case some of those images on his blog look familiar, yes, he borrowed them from me.


Former mayor Sandra Genis, a land use planning consultant, has been
slapped awake by this issue and has begun posting again on her blog, La Femme Wonkita after a long hiatus. She wants to put a halt to the sale and today she presents us with an excellent primer on just what can and cannot be done with the Fairgrounds under various circumstances. Her entry is a "must read" for anyone interested even minimally in this issue. You can read her post HERE. It's good to see her back in the saddle again.


Tomorrow morning the Fair Board meets for their regularly-scheduled meeting at 8:30. The buzz is that they c
an expect company in the form of angry, frustrated stakeholders and residents wishing to make their views known. You may recall that all the Fair Board members who attended last Monday's meeting at City Hall skipped out as soon as the Public Comments portion began. That, of course, demonstrated one more time exactly how much they care for the opinions of the public.


Also, for your reading pleasure, there is a chance that a commentary I submitted to the Daily Pilot will appear in print over the weekend - I'm not exactly sure when. You'll have to join me in looking for it. For my part, I just hope most of it makes the cut... If it gets eviscerated, as sometimes happens, I'll publish the entire thing, unedited, here next week.

NEWS ALERT! Costa Mesa resident Chuck Cassity has a commentary in the Thursday edition of the Daily Pilot suggesting we, the residents of Newport-Mesa, buy the darn Fairgrounds ourselves. Click HERE to read Chuck's very clever suggestion.


On another subject entirely, the Costa Mesa City Council held a joint meeting of the council
and the Redevelopment Agency on Tuesday - the Redevelopment Agency is just the council in another dress. In a closed session they had several items apparently dealing with 1901 Newport Plaza - the condos that are known as Pacifica At Newport Plaza - which, from the way I read the staff introduction, has gone into receivership. The items to be discussed were pending and anticipated litigation and purchase of property. I wonder what the heck all that is about?

Some may recall the turmoil that surrounded that project after it was approved when residents raised a stink about it and promptly got sued,
along with the city, by the developer. I don't recall the exact details, but the height was dropped and the number of "affordable" units was codified. Perhaps some kind soul at The City will let us know what's happening here, since it is our money being spent, after all.

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