Thursday, March 04, 2010

Fun In Newport-Mesa

It's been an interesting week here in the land of Newport-Mesa. In addition to the budget gyrations mentioned in the two previous blog entries, there have been a few other noteworthy events, too.


Among them is the decision made by city officials early in the week to cease enforcing the anti-solicitation ordinance that has provoked yet another lawsuit by the ACLU. We don't know all the details of specifically why, as contract City Attorney Kimberly Hall Barlow announced on Tuesday evening, they've chosen to pause in their enforcement efforts. She tells the local media, HERE and HERE, that they will hold off any further enforcement efforts until the results of an appeal of a similar case involving the city of Redondo Beach is resolved. While you're at those sites, take a peek at the comment threads for a little perspective on how some of the "open-minded" folks who live around you feel. The Register site is particularly enlightening.

I invite you to visit the Orange Coast Voice blog, HERE. Over in Huntington Beach Editor John Earl and his staff has produced quite an outstanding series of video clips on the subject of the Costa Mesa efforts to enforce the anti-solicitation ordinance which includes an extensive interview with Costa Mesa Police Chief Christopher Shawkey. A peek at those YouTube clips will be very informative for those of you who have an interest in this story. Congratulations to Earl and his team on this excellent report.

At the City Council meeting Tuesday night councilwoman Katrina Foley tossed some of the venom pitched her way earlier by The Mouth From Mesa North, as reported in an earlier post. Well, the Daily Pilot reported her comments today. You can read them in the Political Landscape column HERE. It's about time someone starts standing up to that racist bully. He's ranted his displeasure with Costa Mesa for more than a decade. The Mouth is obviously unhappy with the demographics of our city. My suggestion is, in the interests of his mental health, he seek greener (or whiter) pastures. I imagine there are some folks in Idaho who would welcome him with open arms. I'll buy the bus ticket.

Our pals in Newport Beach are defending their use of their automated telephone alert system to warn residents to stay away from the shoreline during the recent Chilean earthquake-induced tsunami scare. You can read the Register article on the tsunami HERE, and the Daily Pilot article HERE and Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff's commentary HERE. Even though the threat turned out to be nothing at all, I think they did the correct thing. The tsunami manifested itself as ripples on local beaches, but it's better to be safe than sorry.


A writer dropped me a note after this post was published to let me know that this whole "Tsunami Alert Failure" story was actually broken by Amy Senk at the Corona Del Mar Today blog. Amy, not just your average blogger, is a real journalist who does a great job covering issues involving the village of Corona del Mar and nearby locales. Unfortunately, she doesn't always get the credit she deserves for her coverage of important issues. You can read her entry on this issue HERE.

The earliest local report on the earthquake and tsunami threat was produced by a local high school sophomore, Melanie de Arakal, who, after hearing the international news reports that morning, sprang out of bed and fired off an entry in the online version of the Corona Del Mar High School Trident, HERE. If that name looks a little familiar, this budding reporter is the daughter of my friend, former Daily Pilot columnist and Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman, Byron de Arakal. It certainly looks like those "ace reporter" skills are in her genes. Congratulations to Melanie for her timely and excellent reporting. Incidentally, young Melanie is also a budding basketball star at Corona del Mar. You can read more about her enthusiasm for the game, and one player in particular, HERE.

Councilman Gary Monahan apparently continues to believe the rules are for others and don't apply to him. You will recall that in recent months he displayed an illegal banner on the front of his gin mill announcing Sunday Night Football. Even though the city Code Enforcement folks advised him to remove it, he stretched it out as long as he could. He was cited for that infraction. Well, he's at it again and this time not only is he violating the law with another illegal banner in the same place, he's thumbing his nose at the city by posting it on his Facebook page. Here's what his announcement looked like:
As I said the last time Monahan pulled this kind of stunt, I don't have a problem with temporary banners announcing a special event. However, Monahan made his case to his peers on the council the last time and was rebuffed. He went right ahead with the other banner and here he is with another. These kind of shenanigans should be kept in mind if (when) he dredges up the "directly-elected mayor" scheme later this year. He apparently sees himself as a kind of "mayor for life" and wants to put the issue before the people. His scheme excludes term limits, by the way. As always, it seems that all he cares about is what's in it for him. Don't worry, I'll remind you of his banner transgressions when the time comes.

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Anonymous mongo said...

Code Enforcement Officers have the OPTION of issuing a CIVIL citation or a CRIMINAL (misdemeanor)citation. I believe the last time Mr. Monahan pulled this stunt he was issued a Civil citaion. In the end he took the banner down making it obvious that he was disrespectful to City Staff after being asked to remove the banner prior to issuing a Civil citation. Mr. Monahan probably viewed the Civil Citation as "the cost of doing business" without any real consequence. This attitude clearly sends the wrong message to not only the other business owners in Costa Mesa, but to the citizens of Costa Mesa who put him in a position of leadership and trust. That includes obeying the law. It's time Code Enforcement issue a Criminal Citation,and forgo all the "please take the banner down " rhetoric. It's time for the matter to be handled by the City Prosecutor and Harbor Superior Court. Let Mr. Monahan explain to a Judge why he can't comply with the LAW like everyone else. Perhaps a fine and/or a period of Probation will get his attention. Simply because you are an elected official doesn't give you the right or expectation to be above the law. By the way, I wonder if Mr. Monahan paid his Civil Cite or did that magicly get shoved under the rug ?

3/04/2010 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Eastsider said...

Pot Stirrer, Millard makes a good point about schools. I pulled up the OC Register report from last

Note the Newport/Mesa Schools in Newport have way higher rankings than the ones in Costa Mesa. Same goes with the high schools. Corona Del Mar High and Costa Mesa High are night and day. Why is this? Same District. We need an explanation. Why can't our schools be as great as those in Newport. If I lived in Newport I would want to start my own school district. Costa Mesa is weighing them down. Do you have an observation?

3/04/2010 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Chris McEvoy said...


I followed your link and Sonora was at the top, a Costa Mesa school, go Eagles. I would assume Millard would consider the neighbor directly adjacent to Sonora a slum. Hmm, interesting. Oh yeah and Millard believes that Latinos are the root cause of the skewed performance between Costa Mesa and Newport, I remember being surprised and disappointed in CMHS ranking. In looking at the scores of CMHS subgroups (ethnicity, primary language) found some results I would doubt Millard would rant about at the podium. So much of a schools ranking is based on standardized test scores, I take these scores with a grain of salt. I say this as a teacher who has seen my A students bomb these standard tests and F students outshine everyone else. Let me pose this question, what motivation does a student have for taking this test seriously?

Why does Newport generally do better then Costa Mesa with their schools? Can't give you an exact answer, but money classically has something to with it. The advantages range from stay at home parents to attendance of pre-schools.

3/04/2010 07:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Paularino Park Guy said...

Why does Millard care about the schools anyways?

HIS kid went to a CONTINUATION school!

A GREAT example of practicing what HE preaches!!!

3/08/2010 06:47:00 PM  

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