Tuesday, January 3, 2012

CM PRESS # 730


Good morning, boys and girls.  A new play--called The Prospect of The 19th Street Bridge--is unfolding before our eyes on the proscenium stage that is Costa Mesa.

Let's talk a little about this play and some of the characters, along with what might be their motives. 

You do know that people have motives for their actions, don't you boys and girls?

Entering stage left is Eleanor Egan, let's call her Ms. Eleanor, who is the wife of Mr. Tom, who we wrote about recently after Mr. Tom penned a rambling, bizarro, book length column about the school district. We don't know where Mr. Tom is now...what's that you say?  No, we don't think Ms. Eleanor has him locked in the attic.

Ms. Eleanor has written a column against the proposed 19th Street bridge [HERE].  Thankfully, Ms. Eleanor, unlike Mr. Tom, doesn't take us all the way back to the 1800's in her column and she pretty much stays on point.

There are things that need to be made clear about the 19th Street bridge and some of the players who either already are or who will be involved in this play over the next months and years that Ms. Eleanor did not make clear in her column.

But first, a minor geography refresher.  There are presently two bridges connecting Costa Mesa to Huntington Beach. One is on Adams and  the other is on Victoria.  The traffic on Adams and Victoria can be pretty bad as a result.  Our guess is that the folks who live just off those streets would like to see some traffic relief. 

How could that be made to happen?  Why, open a new bridge someplace else, not near where they live--say on 19th Street--to bleed off some of those cars.

Not really John Moorlach
or Wendy Leece.
But, we're getting ahead of ourselves. We wonder, why is it that Ms. Eleanor doesn't want the bridge on 19th Street?

Is it because she's concerned about the Westside or the city generally, and out of the goodness of her heart she wants to fight that darn bridge as though she's channeling Carrie Nation, and the bridge is a subconscious symbol of demon rum and the men of the town are being led astray by the demon bridge and ignoring their families? And, we ask breathlessly, is Ms. Eleanor about to wield an ax to chop that evil bridge down even before it is built? 

Well, maybe. But, could it be more simple--but a lot less visually interesting--than that?  Could it be because Ms. Eleanor and Mr. Tom live on the Westside Bluffs  near 19th Street? If the bridge is built, it'll be close to their home. They may even be able to see it from their back yard. So, of course, not being trolls, they don't want the bridge built.

And, Ms. Wendy (Leece) also lives near 19th Street, so she'll be against the bridge also. Yes, dear theatre goers, the Dead End Kids don't want that bridge near their dead end.

However, Supervisor John Moorlach, (Mr. John) who is the big suit pushing for the bridge, and who lives way over in the Mesa Verde Collection just off Adams Ave. may argue that the bridge will end the, er, dead end nature of the Westside and with traffic flowing through the area, the Westside will improve. 

Is Mr. John convinced that the 19th Street bridge will be great for the Westside and Costa Mesa, so that's why he wants it?  Are his motives pure and selfless? Maybe. 

But, it may also be that Mr. John figures if there's a 19th Street bridge it may cut the traffic on Adams (near his home, remember) and also with a 19th Street bridge way over on the Westside, the prospect of a Gisler Street bridge (also in Mesa Verde) will be gone forever.

But wait, there's more.  Councilmember Eric Bever  (Mr. Eric), who has not yet taken the stage, lives just off Victoria Street, and if a 19th Street  bridge is built, Mr. Eric may believe that will take away some of the traffic on Victoria, so expect him to have a part in this play as well.

There are more actors in this play--such as Jim Righeimer and Steve Mensinger (who both live in Mesa Verde)--but their interests and motives may be more involved in building political capital with Mesa Verde residents and Mr. John and the big GOP suits, by supporting a 19th Street bridge to lessen Adams traffic and completely killing off the prospect of a Gisler Street bridge than them being personally affected one way or another with a new bridge.

And then there's the no small matter of Banning Ranch and possible motives relating to it.  But, that's in Act II.

And, there's even more.  There's CALTRANS that can, it seems, overrule everyone, like the congressional base closing commission, and put in a freeway right through your bedroom if they choose without so much as saying "May we please."

More will happen on the stage, dear readers, before the final curtain, but what the CM PRESS wants to hear are objective arguments pro and con, with facts and examples backing them up, about what is best for the Westside and the City.

We don't care about what is best for this or that individual or what is best for Banning Ranch or Newport Beach or commuters from Huntington Beach. 

We care about what is best for the Westside and Costa Mesa (in that order); and if the rest of Costa Mesa must bear a little more traffic to improve the Westside, then we come down in favor of the Westside--which we have always considered key to improving all of Costa Mesa.

We know that everyone whose ox is about to be gored will try to have someone else's ox gored instead. Such is human nature.
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The CM PRESS may be there with a few comments suggesting the Council needs to make a minor course correction or two.
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  1. CM Press, the bridge is a bad idea all the way around. I hope it doesn't become another point for the extremists to attack fiscal reform. This Council should address the critical issues before it and not get caught up on other issues that don't matter is much. Say no to the bridge!

  2. I agree with John. Elenor may be a bit loony, but she is right on about saying no to the bridge.



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