Friday, November 30, 2007

CM PRESS #245














CITY COUNCIL--TAKE THE TIME TO DO THINGS RIGHT THE FIRST TIME


At its December 4, meeting, the Costa Mesa City Council is expected to approve a contract for the rehabilitation of Baker Street from 750 feet east of Fairview Road to Bear Street.

Part of the contract will be for sidewalk repair on Baker Street.

WHAT'S MISSING FROM THE CONTRACT!

In reviewing the staff report, the CM PRESS didn't see anything about putting in some plants to cover the wall on the north side of Baker Street.

Such plants would improve the appearance of Mesa North, would soften the appearance of the wall itself, would prevent graffiti on the wall and would deaden traffic sounds from Baker Street.

This would be the perfect time to do this work because of the sidewalk work that is part of this contract and because the contractor will already have concrete cutting machines on site that can be used to make some minor cuts in case the plants need root room between the wall and the sidewalk. (LINK)

Here's the LINK to CM PRESS # 241 with specific suggestions about this wall and plants.

If you'd like the City Council to consider doing something for Mesa North as we've suggested above, you should attend the December 4, City Council meeting.

If you can't attend, you might want to email the Council your opinions on this. Here's the link with all the City email addresses you'll need: LINK

The Baker Street contract is Consent Calendar Item # 8. Because it's on the Consent Calendar, the contract will be approved as written without public comment as part of one vote to approve all 20 Consent Calendar items.

The CM PRESS will try to be at this meeting to pull this item for public comment so it doesn't just slip through unnoticed.

We'll let you know which Councilmembers are serious about improving ALL of Costa Mesa and which ones are just going through the motions or who only care about their own neighborhoods.

Mayor Mansoor used to live on the Westside, but now lives in Mesa Verde. Mayor Pro Tem Bever lives on the Westside. Councilmember Leece lives on the Westside. Councilmember Dixon lives in College Park. Councilmember Foley lives in Mesa del Mar.

There are no councilmembers living in Mesa North, Halecrest or Hall of Fame. Only Foley lives close to this ugly stretch of Baker Street, but she has not been helpful in the past for our issues.

Maybe it's time for some real Improvers to help organize some activists in the north part of Costa Mesa as they did on the Westside!
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.
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IF YOU'VE RECEIVED THIS ISSUE VIA EMAIL AND IF ANY OF THE LINKS ABOVE AREN'T LIVE, JUST GO TO THE CM PRESS FOR LIVE LINKS: http://cmpress.blogspot
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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

CM PRESS # 244


SHOULD COSTA MESA ENACT A DAY WORKER CATCH 22 AS ORANGE IS PLANNING?

According to the OC POST, the City of Orange is about to enact new city ordinances to protect the public and day workers themselves from dangerous solicitation activities. LINK

Here's a quick comparison of what Orange is proposing and what Costa Mesa currently has on the books.

The main elements of the proposed ordinances in Orange ban solicitation...

1. From sidewalks next to streets without parking lanes. (Costa Mesa's ordinance doesn't have this but does ban solicitation of traveling vehicles.)

2. While a solicitor is stopped or standing in a traffic lane, median or driveway apron on a public right of way. (Costa Mesa's ordinance has better language than this.)

3. From private property without the owner's written permission. (Costa Mesa's ordinance doesn't have this provision.

In Costa Mesa, if an owner doesn't want day workers congregating on his or her property, he or she has to post a city approved sign and then send a letter to the police chief telling him of the sign. Few owners want to do this.

In other words, with Orange's proposed ordinance, a day worker can't solicit work on the property without a written permission slip from the owner, but in Costa Mesa, a day worker can solicit work on the property so long as the owner hasn't put up the correct sign and notified the CMPD of the sign.)

NUMBER 3, ABOVE, IS ORANGE'S CATCH 22 FOR DAY WORKERS AND FOR THEIR ENABLERS--IT'S IN THE SMALL PRINT


Here's why. Say you're a private property owner where day workers congregate--maybe you own a convenience store or a paint store--and you want to let day workers congregate on your property.

No problemo, right? All you have to do is give the day workers a permission slip to solicit work from your property.

Ooops. You just stepped in it.

Under Orange's proposed ordinances, if you give a written note to day workers saying they can congregate on your property (again, think a convenience market or paint store), you will be considered to be running a job center and you will need a conditional-use permit from the Planning Commission in order to run your job center in your parking lot.

Private property owners who violate this provision will be fined up to $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second and $1,000 and possible jail time for the third.

Suppose you do manage to get such a CUP for your new job center in your parking lot. What then?

Well, you'll have to comply with various workplace rules and supply bathrooms, etc. to the day workers. And, are you ready to check ID's to make sure all the day workers you are helping find work are in the country legally? What about your insurance company? Will they raise your rates because of your job center? And, it goes on and on.

Under Orange's proposed ordinances, you might just decide you don't want to let day workers congregate in your parking lot.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

CM PRESS # 243


VACANT PROPERTIES AND INEFFECTIVE MUNICIPAL CODES



We're starting to have a problem in Costa Mesa with boarded up properties that seem to have permanent "temporary" fences around them. Some stay in this state for years.

The intent of such fencing is to keep the properties from being eyesores and to keep them from being used for illicit purposes while demolition and construction activities take place behind the fences.

Unfortunately, some of these fences just seem to barely mask the boarded up property and end up being part of the problem, not part of the solution--because some remain in place for so long.

The way our municipal code is presently written, the City has painted itself into a corner with these fences and boarded up properties. In fact, it's an example of the expression: be careful what you ask for.

As it is right now, if the City asks a property owner to board up a property and put up a fence, and if the owner complies, the City then ends up with both a boarded up property and an ugly fence and thereafter has a difficult time naming the boarded up property a public nuisance; because the owner has complied with what the City asked him to do.

When citizens have complained about long term boarded up and fenced properties, City Council members usually reply that there's nothing they can do about the problem.

Nothing they can do? Nonsense. They're the lawmakers in this city. If the law doesn't work, then revise it.

And, revise it they should.

The problem with our codes is even worse than I alluded to above. They have loopholes big enough for an army of homeless people pushing shopping carts 20 abreast to go through. And, don't think that may not be happening to some degree in some of these boarded up and fenced properties.

So, at Tuesday's City Council meeting, the CM PRESS suggested to the Council that they may wish to consider changing our codes regarding vacant properties and public nuisances to include, at a minimum, the following provisions that are now missing:

1. Add a catchall preamble giving the policy reasons for these codes.

2. Add a time limit on keeping a property boarded up or fenced.

3. Require that a property owner prominently post his contact information on the property.

4. Charge owners for the extra enforcement that their boarded up properties require if they remain boarded up past a fair and reasonable grace period.

5. Revise the definition of public nuisance so that negative economic and negative aesthetic effects can be used to declare a boarded up or fenced property a public nuisance.

We also suggested that the Council may want to look at the relevant municipal codes from the cities of Long Beach, Sacramento, Stockton and Richmond which each have some pieces of the language we need in Costa Mesa.

Mayor Pro Tem Bever then asked the City Manager to look into this and report back.

With a little bit of luck, the Council may soon make the necessary changes to meet present realities. Then, we may see some improvement in neighborhoods that are suffering as a result of having long term boarded up and fenced properties in their midst.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Monday, November 19, 2007

CM PRESS # 242


VIOLENT CRIME RATES IN THE RING OF CITIES (Lowest to highest violent crime rates per 10,000 residents)





Irvine.................................. 6.68
Newport Beach..................16.14
Fountain Valley..................17.01
Huntington Beach..............20.74
Costa Mesa.........................27.61
Santa Ana............................58.18

These figures are from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program and were reported in the OC Register and OC POST. Click HERE to go to those publications for more info.

MORE STATISTICS TO MULL OVER

Here, from areaconnect.com are the percentages of Non-Hispanics (thus, presumably, also fewer illegal aliens) in each of the above cities.

Newport Beach........... 95.29% Non-Hispanic (Read fewer illegal aliens)
Irvine.......................... 92.63% Non-Hispanic
Fountain Valley.......... 89.32% Non-Hispanic
Huntington Beach....... 85.34% Non-Hispanic
Costa Mesa.................. 68.25% Non-Hispanic (Read second most illegal aliens)
Santa Ana................... 23.93% Non-Hispanic (Read most illegal aliens)


WHAT'S IT MEAN?


Once again, Costa Mesa finds itself closer to Santa Ana in its statistics. This is consistent with what we've been finding since we began publishing about seven years ago.

No matter which numbers you look at, demographics tell the story of a city. If we had put up income levels, education levels and other similar statistics that tell something about the people in a city, we'd end up with pretty much the same lineup that you see in the two cases above.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

CM PRESS # 241


NEW ZEALAND SAYS NO TO FAT IMMIGRANT

New Zealand is refusing to let a fat woman from England immigrate to that country because she may become a burden upon tax payers.

In this age of nation shopping by those who can easily compare benefits of living in different nations as though they're comparing insurance policies, coupled with the ability to move to the more comfy nations en masse via jumbo jets, or in the case of Mexicans by walking north, New Zealand's position is laudable.

Now, wouldn't it be nice if the U.S. government actually cared as much about U.S. citizens as the government of New Zealand does for its citizens, and cut off all immigration except for those who will not burden our citizens?

Click HERE for the link to the full article.
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HEY, CITY COUNCIL, HOW ABOUT MAKING THE UGLY WALL ALONG BAKER STREET LOOK NICER? IT MAKES OUR CITY LOOK LIKE CRAP.

How about you five getting off your duffs and sending out the City arborist to take a look at the ugly wall along Baker Street to see if he can come up with a quick and cheap fix to make this thing look nicer?

Yeah, we know there are other walls that are also ugly, but this one is different.

It's on a major arterial, and because of its approximately 1,800 foot length, with no features to soften it, it looks like slumsville.

Confused about which wall we're writing about? It's on the north side of Baker and extends eastward from the Mesa North Center to Babb Street.

Maybe the City can fix this eyesore in a cost effective manner with plants such as, or similar to, Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) or Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila) or similar wall covering plants as determined most appropriate by the City's arborist.

The above two species of plants are suggested for their appearance and ability to completely cover walls, but may or may not be suitable for this location. Geez, we have an arborist on the payroll; let's ask him. How hard can that be? What is this, friggin' brain surgery?

Cripes, it took three years for you five to get some scrawny trees and four boulders put in Paularino Park, when it should have taken about a week.

By the way, City Council, you may be happy to learn that it appears there are more people, and especially families with young children, enjoying Paularino Park now that they don't have to worry about being harmed by walking through the middle of rough and tumble team sports games.

And, Linda Dixon, thanks for nothing. You did your best to thwart the wishes of the residents of Mesa North, but you ultimately failed. If you run for office again, the CM PRESS will most certainly try to let all the voters in the approximately 700 + homes in Mesa North not forget your snub.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.




Friday, November 16, 2007

CM PRESS # 240


HEY CITY COUNCIL, CITIZENS KEEP SAYING THE COPS NEED TO HOLD MORE DUI/LICENSE CHECKS ON THE WESTSIDE AND IN NORTH COSTA MESA. WHY AREN'T YOU LISTENING?

The Daily Pilot is reporting that Gabriel Aguirre Reyes of Costa Mesa was arrested Wednesday by Newport Beach police for suspicion of hit- and-run after a collision on the Westside at Placentia and Superior that left a motorcyclist in the hospital in critical condition this past week. Click HERE for the Pilot's article.

Meanwhile, the Daily Pilot is also reporting that the CMPD is going to hold a DUI/Checkpoint in Costa Mesa tonight.

Let's see...yet another serious injury collision on the Westside. Well, no doubt the checkpoint tonight will be on the Westside, right?

Wrong.

Once again, and for the umpteenth time, the CMPD is going to hold their checkpoint on the Eastside at 19th and Newport Blvd.

The CMPD holds so many checkpoints on the Eastside along Newport Blvd. that they might as well set up a permanent police "toll booth" there. Click HERE for the Daily Pilot article.

Come on City Council, have the cops hold some of their checkpoints on the Westside and in the north part of Costa Mesa. Make ALL of our streets safe.

Some citizens who have contacted the CM PRESS believe that there are some in local government who don't want the cops holding such checkpoints on the Westside and in the north of Costa Mesa because they may end up arresting more illegal aliens. True or not, that's what some people believe.

Would we all be safer if such checkpoints were held on the Westside and in the north of Costa Mesa? Well, it seems that there are more Hispanics in those areas. And, with more Hispanics you're probably going to find more illegal aliens.

Also, as reported in CM PRESS # 226, according to the Alcohol Policy Group of Berkeley, Calif., there is evidence that:

"Hispanic drivers are more likely than Anglo drivers to consume more alcohol more frequently and have been shown to be more likely than Anglos to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level over .05 percent."

So, if the Alcohol Policy Group is right, then wouldn't it make sense to hold more checkpoints where there may be people who may be more likely to drive drunk, and also to not have driver's licenses, proof of insurance and registrations?

Wouldn't putting the police where they may do the most good, make our streets safer?
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

CM PRESS # 239


BIGGEST STORY IN COSTA MESA, AND THE DAILY PILOT IS SILENT

The biggest story in Costa Mesa right now was the approval by the no-Planning Commission on Tuesday of the Westside Lofts project of Nexus Development.

As far as we know, the Daily Pilot hasn't reported on this.

You may be saying, "CM PRESS, what's the big deal? There are much bigger developments going on in the South Coast Metro area of the city."

The big deal, dear readers, is that this project is located on the Westside Bluffs--THE WESTSIDE BLUFFS-- and it may jump start the revitalization of the entire Westside.

At 6.82 acres, this project is also about ten percent of the industrial land on the Bluffs, and that ain't small potatoes.

This project is also within walking distance of Volcom's corporate offices and warehouse facility on Monrovia. "Synergism," and "hip" come to mind.

But, there may be more to this project than you see on paper about what it can mean for the evolution of the Westside away from being the worst part of our city to being the hippest and most urbane part of Costa Mesa.

Maybe a clue about the future of the Westside presented itself in the person of Curt Olson, the CEO of Nexus Development, who stood up from the audience and went to the podium to speak to the Commission.

The CM PRESS had never seen Olson before, and we had expected him to be the typical lifeless looking and conformist Orange County businessman with the de rigeur conservative suit and the power necktie.

Instead, when Olson stood up, we immediately thought of Sir Richard Branson, the British billionaire and visionary, who looks more like a member of a rock group than a businessman and who isn't afraid to put his money where his mouth is and have fun while doing it. Olson also reminded us a little of Shaheen Sadeghi who brought us The Lab and The Camp and who is transforming the area around Bristol and Baker into a unique and fun area of our city.

It's not that Olson is a ringer for Branson or Sadeghi, but there's a look and an attitude that struck us as similar.

Olson has longish dark hair, and sideburns that would put Elvis to shame. He was wearing a dark T-shirt with some logo or picture on the front, that we couldn't make out, over a long sleeve lighter T-shirt, and he had sunglasses dangling from the front of the T-shirt. He looked as though he had just been surfing.

Olson told the Commission about how he had started a business in the Quonset huts on W. 17th Street in the '70's and how after his business failed, he decided to go to college; which led to where he is today. He also told about his vision for his project and for the Bluffs.

As I watched and listened, I kept thinking that this guy was too good to be real. It was almost as though Central Casting had sent a guy with the "feel" that many Improvers had been hoping for to help transform the Westside.

Then, Olson casually mentioned that right now he's building two 25 story towers on South Main Street and MacArthur in Santa Ana. I occasionally pass that location and have seen the towers that he's building. Yup, he's for real.

Olson told the Commission that once the Westside Lofts project is built, he plans on moving his company to the offices that are part of the project. He also spoke of being able to see the ocean--where he does surf--from some of the upper units, once the project is completed.

Look, we don't know Olson, and maybe we've got him wrong and maybe we're jumping to false conclusions and judging a book by its cover, but we have a feeling that having this guy in an office on our Bluffs where he can look out his window and have ideas of what to do next on the Bluffs is not a bad thing.


Westside
Lofts will have 151 residential condo units, 5 live work units, and about 40,000 square feet of commercial space. The location is behind MacGregor Yachts.


An interesting aspect of the design of Westside Lofts is the fact that the parking structure and condos will be in a "wrap" configuration. This means that you will drive into the four story parking structure and go to your parking place on the level of your condo and then walk down a hallway to your condo unit.

Westside Lofts will be the first major residential/mixed use project to be built in the middle of the 60 acre Westside industrial zone on the Westside Bluffs since the City changed the rules to allow such projects.

It is hoped that once this project is built, that those buying units--and they're expected to be mostly young upwardly mobile singles--will, by their presence, start a whole cascade of beneficial changes to the area, including an influx of top-flight retailers.

Time will tell how the whole Westside does evolve, but if this project is a harbinger of things to come, the Westside may become THE place to be.

Hip lofts aren’t unique in the current real estate business. They’re found in cities all across the nation. The difference here is that these are close to the ocean and blend in with an already established surf/skateboard youth oriented culture that is, itself, evolving and putting Costa Mesa on the map worldwide.

The Westside Bluffs of Costa Mesa are unique. It's our guess that they’re on their way to becoming even more so.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

CM PRESS # 238


WESTSIDE BLUFFS LAND RUSH?

At tonight's no-Planning Commission meeting, the commissioners are expected to approve a final tract map and plan for the first major residential/mixed use project to be built in the middle of the 60 acre Westside industrial zone on the Westside Bluffs.

This project, named Westside Lofts by its developer Nexus Development, is on a 6.82 acre site at 1640 Monrovia Avenue that was previously an industrial facility.

As presently planned, Westside Lofts will have 151 residential condo units, 5 live work units, and about 40,000 square feet of commercial space.

The reason this project is noteworthy is because this may be the pump-priming project of the Bluffs area and may start the Bluffs down the path to being a great place to live for those looking for an ocean close location without paying ocean close prices.

To help this project blend into the area, the developer has designed the project with a quasi-industrial look that will include corrugated steel panels on building facades.

The thinking of many Improvers is that once more people actually start living on the Bluffs and bringing their disposable incomes to the area, that a whole cascade of beneficial changes should start taking place that will benefit all of Costa Mesa.

Quality retailers, for example, look at how many people live in an area and what their incomes are before making a decision to open a new store. At the present time, there are very few people living on the Bluffs, so retail stores are largely absent. On weekends and in the evenings the Bluffs are pretty much a ghost town. These condos will help change that.

In addition, over on the Newport Beach side of the Westside Bluffs, that city has already converted one industrial park into residential condos and more may be in the works. These will add to the higher income demographics of the Bluffs and help make the area more attractive to quality retailers.

Improvers have been pretty consistent in saying that they prefer that the Bluffs not be overly planned or manicured, and that the area should be allowed to evolve to its highest and best uses with just a little nudging from local government. This project seems to meet these goals.

Time will tell how the whole area does evolve, but if many Improvers have their say, part of the Westside Bluffs will become a vibrant art colony and destination location for people who like the ambiance of such areas.

During the long Westside Revitalization process that was initiated and kept on track by Improvers over the past few years, there was a fear among some industrial property owners that eminent domain would be used to take their properties, scrape the Bluffs, and build homes similar to what we see in some South County cities.

This was never the goal of the Improvers. However, the Improvers did repeatedly point out that while some industrial property owners were saying that government should just leave them alone with their private properties, that, in fact, the industrial properties were actually being protected by local government and that this was one of the major reasons the Bluffs had not transitioned to higher and better uses as we've seen in other coastal close communities.

Underlying the Improvers' arguments for the evolution of the Bluffs is the sure fact that land close to the ocean is generally more valuable for housing than for industrial uses and that people are willing to pay a premium to live close to the ocean.

Even in a down real estate market, these condos should sell fast. The supply of housing near the ocean is low and the demand is high. When other developers see the response that Improvers expect to see for this project, they'll become believers and will want to take part in what may turn into a land rush in Costa Mesa. Stay tuned.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

CM PRESS # 237


EVOLUTION OF WESTSIDE PICKS UP STEAM

On Tuesday, the no-Planning Commission is expected to further the evolution of the Westside by approving a Final Master Plan and Vesting Tentative Tract Map for the 6.82 acre property at 1640 Monrovia Avenue, near 17th Street, owned by Nexus Development.

Nexus plans to build 151 residential condos, 5 custom live/work units and some commercial space on this property deep in the bowels of the Westside industrial area. The preliminary plans are for a development that will have an industrial feel to it.

Improvers hope that this will speed up the evolution of the Westside into being the great part of Costa Mesa that it should be. Click HERE to see the staff report.
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ICE REPORT

At the City Council study session this Tuesday, 11/13/07, the CMPD will make a presentation on the ICE program to date. Click HERE to see the report.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Friday, November 9, 2007

CM PRESS # 236














HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARINES ON OUR 232nd BIRTHDAY




NOVEMBER 10, 1775--NOVEMBER 10, 2007

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

CM PRESS # 235



















THE MENTALLY ILL AMONG US


Here's the latest national news item about a mentally unbalanced person who is obsessed with another person.

The individual in this article is a Catholic priest and a graduate of Harvard.

If he lived near you or if you saw him on the street would you guess he is insane? Probably not. That's the way it with many of those who have this type of mental illness.

The way these people are identified is when they begin acting out their obsessions. And, in severe cases, they must act them out. They are compelled to do so. They can't help themselves. Their obsession with another individual is as compelling to them as alcohol is to an alcoholic or drugs are to an addict.

Mentally unbalanced people who have such obsessions exist in just about every city.

You can know such people by their almost total obsession with some other person. They'll stalk them, write about them, talk about them and do little else but think about them.

Last month, there was a mentally unbalanced woman from Huntington Beach who was arrested after stalking Sandra Bullock.

People with this mental disorder usually fixate on some other person who has some celebrity status, no matter how minor.

Oftentimes, they'll fixate on actors, performers or authors and sometimes on politicians. The key is that the fixation usually is upon someone in the public eye and it is usually a specific person.

Depending on the details of the mental illness, the mentally unbalanced person will think the person they are obsessed with has somehow harmed them or intends to harm them or is in love with them or is sending them secret, sometimes coded, messages or may even be a space alien or a demon or....

The insane person often thinks that he or she is somehow special or has been called to do something regarding the person they are obsessed with.

Once they begin acting out their obsessive compulsions, these mentally ill people tend to increase the frequency of their actions and they become more and more overt.

With the advent of inexpensive computers, the Internet and blogs, it's just a matter of time before we start seeing serious studies about how these things factor into how these obsessions play out.

Those with such mental disorders no longer have to use pen and paper to scrawl their messages. Will their acting out impulses be satisfied by being able to stalk over the Internet or will they be increased? As a result of their blogs, will they be more easily identified by police and mental care professionals for intervention strategies? These and many other questions are yet to be answered.

If you suspect anyone of having such a mental illness, you might want to let the police know about it.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

CM PRESS # 234


PHONY HATE CRIMES, REAL HATE AND LOONS

Here's a link to an Ann Coulter column about phony hate crimes. Coulter gets it right.

Here's a link to a column by Walter E. Williams about anti-white racism. Williams also gets it right.

Why is this important to Costa Mesans?

Because we have had incidents that appear to be hate hoaxes and we have some individuals in Costa Mesa who are trying to divide our community with various smears and innuendos.

In the former category, we are reminded that just before a Costa Mesa election a couple of years ago, there was a report of hate graffiti on a half-way house in the city.

If we remember correctly, it was strangely worded anti-women graffiti that sounded to us as though it had actually been written by a woman. The perps were never caught, but from everything we read about the incident, it sounded to us as though the police may have suspected that one of the female residents did it.

In any city the size of Costa Mesa, there are bound to be unstable individuals who have various persecution complexes and varying degrees of paranoia or other mental problems.

Such people often make false claims out of their psychological needs for attention or for various other reasons linked to their personal abnormal psychology. Anyway, be sure to follow the links above for a better understanding of this phenomenon.

WHITE GANGS TRYING TO ENSNARE YOUNG MINDS?

A couple of years ago, the CM PRESS learned that a special assembly about gangs had been suddenly called at Costa Mesa High School.

Students had no choice to opt out. They were all herded into the assembly hall and were forced to listen to a presentation.

When we asked a student about the details of the assembly, we were told that it was all about white gangs and that there was a slide show presented by an officer from the Costa Mesa Police Department.

We then contacted the Newport Mesa Unified School District and asked to be shown the presentation.

So, in due course, we sat in the conference room at the NMUSD headquarters and watched the presentation which had been filmed from the audience.

To us, it looked like an attempt at left-wing indoctrination or re-education.

The entire presentation was about white gangs, and the CMPD officer told the students with great solemnity to avoid things such as the common surfer cross which is also known as the Maltese cross or the Iron cross and which is very similar (but he didn't say this) to the cross found on Costa Mesa fire trucks and those of many other fire departments.

Frankly, it sounded pretty silly to us. In fact, we were reminded about the old poster about people sneaking up to you in crowds and putting marijuana in your pocket to hook you into a life of crime and dissolution. In this case, it would be someone sneaking up to you and putting a surfer T-shirt with the surfer cross logo on it into your pocket.

Now, how many white gangs have you seen running around Costa Mesa? Probably none. How many shootings in our city were done by white gangs? None.

In fact, in a staff report from some officers in the CMPD to the City Council last year about gangs, we saw the reality of the gang situation in Costa Mesa.

Here, in summary, taken from the CM PRESS # 119 of April 12, 2007, is what we and the Council learned:

1. Costa Mesa's gang problems are largely Hispanic in nature (300 members in 7 gangs). There's also a strong connection with the city being illegal alien friendly.

2. In spite of the Hispanic nature of most Costa Mesa gangs, the report from the CMPD to the City Council never mentions Hispanics or Latinos or illegal aliens. Not once!

3. The only mention of race/ethnicity in the report was when it discussed a "white" gang. What's odd about this is that the report, itself, says that the so-called white gang isn't based in Costa Mesa but that some members may live here but that they're not involved in typical gang crimes that most citizens of Costa Mesa are concerned about. Huh? Why the hell didn't the report's writers discuss the Japanese Yakuza? That would make as much sense.

Curious, is it not? Hispanic gangs are the problem--7 gangs and 300 members--but the report doesn't mention them by race/ethnicity, while a white gang that is not based here and is not the problem, but which may have some members living here who are not involved in the shootings, etc. that we've seen in this city, is identified by race/ethnicity.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

CM PRESS # 233










WHAT A MESS MOTHER NATURE HAS MADE OF FAIRVIEW PARK


We need to cut down those trees and bushes and put in some concrete and asphalt all neat and tidy.

And, look at those dirt trails. Dirt! Can you imagine? We have to straighten those out and pave them. Maybe make them wider. Put in some street lights and trash cans and restrooms.

And, all that low lying green stuff. Good grief! There are birds and insects and all sorts of things in there. We can't have that. Some nice AstroTurf will do the trick.

Folks, that's where we're headed if the City Council starts stuffing things in the park tonight.

Once you start down that trail, there's no turning back. Every person and group with some hobby or sport is going to want to stick it in Fairview Park.

That's why the CM PRESS is asking the Council to not put any more concrete or asphalt or buildings or skateboard parks or dog parks or museums or whatever in our only natural park.

Contrary to the headline above, we think Mother Nature has done an excellent job with Fairview Park. Keep it natural. Let our kids and grandkids see and experience nature in an unmanicured setting just as Mother Nature made it.

Let them see the struggle for existence that all life on the planet goes through. Let them understand that the plants that are in that park are there because they were sown by the winds and they were the ones to win those tiny plots of dirt where they stand.

Let them see the life that has adapted to live in this park on the edge of a city...and wonder.

Let them question why nature has caused this type of plant or insect or bird or lizard to be here and not some other type of plant or insect or bird or lizard.

Let them see and experience the universe in a tiny pool of water that forms naturally.

The City Council meets tonight starting at 6 pm. If you want Fairview Park to remain natural, you should be there and you should speak out.
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SEE OUR OPINION PIECE IN THE DAILY PILOT TODAY

For some more of our thoughts on this, from a political perspective, here's an opinion piece we wrote that is appearing in the Daily Pilot today.
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HERE'S A LINK TO THE CITY'S WEBSITE--YOU CAN EMAIL THE COUNCIL AND READ THE CITY COUNCIL AGENDA HERE.
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Here's our permanent address that you can bookmark to come back for frequent visits:

http://cmpress.blogspot.com/

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Those are opinions. Thanks for reading them.

Monday, November 5, 2007

CM PRESS # 232--UPDATE--SEE LETTER AT BOTTOM




















THEY WANT TO PAVE OVER PARADISE


Mother Nature isn't enough of a planner for some anal retentive types. They want to fill every square inch of land with concrete and asphalt.

Fairview Park is the only natural park in Costa Mesa, but there is a constant attempt by some to put in buildings, more parking lots, more restrooms, more paved trails, sports fields, a skateboard park and you name it.

Remember how Lions Park used to be before it was whittled away with buildings? Now, many are saying that it's no longer big enough to even put in a small skateboard park. And, they may be right.

That may also be the fate of Fairview Park if the City Council allows a skateboard park to be built there or if it allows the model train engineers to put in the so-called temporary building (read permanent building) that they're asking the Council to approve on Tuesday.

See the red line on the map above? That's Placentia Avenue. Some are attempting to convince people that the area to the right of Placentia (the east) is okay to develop with a skateboard park and a new building for the model train engineers and that the parking lot should be made bigger and that it should be paved.

We don't buy it.

Fairview Park is one park. In fact, we'd like to see Placentia Avenue removed from the park. Just dead end it at the north end in Mesa Verde and on the south end near Estancia High School.

If you want to keep Fairview Park a natural park, then you should go to the City Council meeting tomorrow night--Tuesday, 11/6/07 starting at 6:00 p.m. --and be prepared to speak out against putting a skateboard facility in the park and against allowing the model train engineers to put in a new building.
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U-P-D-A-T-E

Dear CM PRESS:

In the early 60s, Placentia did end at Joanne, it was after the high school was built they extended it to Adams.

Name Withheld by CM PRESS
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.


Friday, November 2, 2007

CM PRESS # 231


NO MORE MR. NICE GUY

Some long time readers of the CM PRESS may have noticed that we've taken a more mellow tack over the past year or so.

That's ending. We're getting closer to the election.

We're fed up with the mumbling do-nothings on the City Council and the two commissions.

These people are paid by us to do a job, yet most of them just show up every two weeks (if they even bother to show up) and do little but rubber stamp whatever staff puts in front of them.

We can't tell you how many City Council meetings we've gone to and watched the five City Council members have nothing to say during their comment period or who waste our time telling us about the latest cookie bake sale or some similar sweet nothing.

Look folks, Costa Mesa has problems and they need to be solved. If these people have nothing to say, it's because they aren't thinking. And, if they aren't thinking, who needs them?

How is it that a few citizens always have something relevant to say at each meeting about the improvement of this city, yet the people we pay to improve it can't think of anything to say?

Here's an example. At a recent City Council Study Session, only two of the City Council members even bothered to show up. Missing were Bever, Foley and Dixon. Only Mansoor and Leece were there.

And, at that meeting, which was with Supervisor John Moorlach, the CM PRESS asked about acquiring land near the ocean for Costa Mesa. Moorlach answered that it might be possible if the city bids on an area near the mouth of the Santa Ana River.

Has the Council done anything about this? Not as far as we know. Mansoor and Leece didn't even bother to follow up at the meeting. It would be too much like work to actually do something.

What about Fairview Park? There are some items about this on the agenda for the November 6th City Council meeting.

This park should be a natural park, but everyone with some hobby or need wants to stuff it into this park. One guy on the Parks and Recreation Commission wants a big parking lot. Others want to put in a dog park and a skateboard park. The model railroad engineers even want to build a 2,000 square foot building in the park. In the past, Dixon and Bever tried to stuff the Huscroft House in the park.

The CM PRESS thinks this park should remain as natural as possible. Take your parking lot and your buildings and your sports facilities and stuff them where the sun doesn't shine! Or, find and buy some more park land and put them there.

The Council recently had a chance to buy three buildings in the Shalimar slum and turn them into park space, but they didn't do it. Why? They mumbled that we we don't have the money.

Why don't we have the money? Because these idiots are acting like drunken sailors and spending our money on all sorts of stupid things. For example, instead of having the supermarkets keep their shopping carts on their property, the Council is paying $ 40,000 per year to pick up and return the carts. That's your money, folks. You're subsidizing the supermarkets and the suspected illegal aliens who are taking the carts.

And, that's just one example. We're throwing away hundreds of thousands of dollars every year because of a lack of proper priorities.

Check out the brand new trucks that just about every pick and shovel employee of the City is now driving around in.

But, don't take our word for this, check out the budget for yourself and see if you don't see lots of lard that can be cut out.

It's a matter of priorities, and our City Council doesn't seem to have any priorities or has ones that are screwball and don't help our city become the great place it can be.

As we get closer to the election, you're going to be hearing more from us. So-called improvers are not going to get a pass from us because they pretend they're well intentioned. If they think they can just sit on the dais and scratch their butts, we're going to tell you about it.

Have you seen any really major changes to the Westside, yet? Nope. Why? Because the Council isn't pushing things hard enough in that regard.

What about the boarded up shopping center in Katrina Foley's Mesa del Mar neighborhood? That thing has been empty for about a year and is a major eyesore. What is the Council doing? Nothing. Just the usual mumbling of eunuchs with no gonads.

Where the hell are our leaders? It's as though we have five low level clerical employees sitting on the dais instead of leaders. We have five people who take orders from staff. We have five people who have no vision for this city. We have five privates instead of five generals.

And, where the hell are the Westside activists? Few of them even bother to show up at meetings anymore. The CM PRESS is about the only constant voice for improving the Westside. And, we don't even live on the friggin' Westside.

What about the no-Planning Commission? We were told by members of the no-Planning Commission that the City Council is keeping the no-Planners from actually doing any planning. They've turned this commission into a hapless zoning administration board.

And, the present Council also seems hell-bent on helping a small clique of overtly political liberal cops within the CMPD who used the tax payer supported police station to try to defeat improvement candidates in the last election.

Maybe the majority on the Council is making the Chris Steel mistake and thinking that these libs are their new best friends. Get over it. They smile to your faces because you're on the Council. They'll be trying to defeat you when you run again.

And what's with the cops only turning about 50 illegal aliens over to ICE each month? It's always about the same number. Month after month. How can that be? Is there a quota? Are they doing just enough to look like they're doing something and doing no more?

And, where does the CMPD hold DUI/paper checkpoints? Mostly on the Eastside where there are few illegal aliens. Why aren't they holding more on the Westside and in the north part of the city?

The last time they held such a checkpoint at Baker and Fairview was when Chief Hensley had just come to the department. The CM PRESS was there. The tow trucks couldn't keep up with the number of cars that were being towed away because the drivers didn't have proper papers. Why hasn't that been done again?

We have a flyer in our hand as we type this that was sent to us in the last election asking us to vote for anti-improvement candidates Bruce Garlich and Mike Scheafer.

This flyer is from the Costa Mesa Police Officers PAC, ID # 1244504. You know what that PAC used as its address? "99 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626." You know where that is? That's the Costa Mesa police station that you and I are paying for. Did you say it was okay for your tax money to be used to fund this PAC by giving them an office or address in the police station? I sure as hell didn't.

And, speaking of the police. At the November 6th City Council meeting, the City Council will have a recommendation from the CMPD to pay a paltry $ 250 reward to a tipster who turned in a guy destroying city property with permanent graffiti. The City can pay up to $2,000 reward for this and has always paid no less than $500.

So, what's going on here? Why the smaller than usual reward? It looks like politics to us (we may report more about this in the future as we learn more). According to our source, the CMPD even tried to stiff the tipster and deny any reward at all. Then, after we wrote about this in the CM PRESS, the CMPD reluctantly offered this small amount.

Look folks, we've had it with the phony baloney good time Charlies who are helping screw up this city on our dime. We are citizens. This is our city. This is our municipal government. We are not beggars showing up at the back door of city hall and asking for a handout.

We demand a nicer city. And, if the present five City Councilmumblers can't fix things, then we have no use for them and we'll work hard to replace every single one of them with people who can do the job.

We're tired of seeing people get elected to the City Council who then become part of the problem instead of being part of the solution.

If you're also fed up, join with us. Come to the November 6th City Council meeting and be prepared to speak out about making Costa Mesa nicer, and about Fairview Park, and about priorities. If we haven't met, come up and introduce yourself. We aim to make Costa Mesa a nicer city and we aim to help good candidates get elected who want to do more than just mumble and collect a check each month.

If you're a slacker and you aren't going to speak out strongly and work to make Costa Mesa nicer, don't waste our time. Don't email or call us or whisper in our ear that you agree with us, but you're just going to remain silent.

We're fed up with the graffiti, with the gangs, with the slums, with the failing schools and with seeing Costa Mesa turned into a Third World city (except for South Coast Metro--which most people don't even consider to be part of Costa Mesa), while our public officials mumble to themselves and act as though they have no power to change things.

We've often written that we have no friends in politics, and we mean that. Sweet nothings mean nothing to us. We can't be co-opted with back slaps and friendly smiles. We want action not schmoozing.

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

CM PRESS # 230

WELCOME TO FAIRVIEW PARK--ALSO KNOWN AS TELETUBBYLAND IN COSTA MESA

We imagine:

Those who want to "plan" Fairview Park have succeeded.

Now, the real grass has been replaced with artificial turf. Real flowers are now plastic. All the trails are paved. A dome has been put over the park to keep it at a constant temperature and to filter out the sun's rays and stop the rain. All insects have been removed.

Underground water pipes feed a concrete pond lined with plastic, and there's an artificial rock waterfall. Plastic, motorized ducks swim around the pond.

In the artificial trees there are hidden speakers making the sounds of chirping birds.

Over here are six soccer fields. Over there is a baseball field. There's also a softball field. In this section is a huge skateboard facility. Over in this other section is a parking lot to accommodate a thousand cars. There are restrooms and drinking fountains scattered everywhere. Everything is exactly where it should be according to the plan. Nothing is out of place. Every inch of the park is now perfect.

Trash thrown into the ubiquitous trash cans falls into service tunnels beneath the park, where it can be removed by tunnel dwelling city workers who perform all the necessary maintenance functions of the park from down below when possible, and who monitor the park with cameras hidden throughout the park.

The whole park is ADA approved so people in wheelchairs can enjoy nature and roll right up to the plastic flowers.

Genuine nature is so messy and so unplanned. Thanks to the Costa Mesa City Council, everything in Fairview Park has been fully planned down to the smallest detail so you can enjoy nature as comfortably as though you're sitting in your living room watching TV.
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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.


CM PRESS # 871

RAMZPAUL: A TALE OF TWO CHURCH SHOOTINGS When a White shoots Blacks it's national news for years.  When a Black shoots Whites the stor...