Saturday, December 3, 2005
Chief Snowden Speaks Out!
Dave Snowden, Chief of Police in Costa Mesa for more than 17 years before departing for the same job in Beverly Hills in 2003,
has signed in with an opinion on the wisdom, or lack thereof, of our young mayor's plan to have Costa Mesa police officers
certified as immigration enforcement officers. Today he authored a commentary in our local newspaper, the Daily Pilot, which
pulls no punches. The former chief, who still lives in our area, is a man who earned great respect in the community during
his tenure. He also thinks the mayor's plan is a very bad idea.
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One particular paragraph from Snowden's commentary is especially enlightening. It reads as follows: " Over the years,
I have watched some very mean-spirited, and in my opinion bigoted, gadflies at City Council meetings gain support for their
effort to seemingly remove the Latino culture and influence from Costa Mesa (a city that has even a Spanish name). Sadly,
its residents seem to have finally elected some members to the council who seem to share similar beliefs. This has had an
effect, which, in my opinion, is very detrimental to the reputation and future of one of the finest cities in America."
The chief went on to criticize our "leaders" for the pending closure of the Job Center, citing the tremendous negative
impact on the Costa Mesa Police Department and the community as a whole.
Thanks to Chief Snowden for articulating this issue so clearly. He managed to slice right through the smokescreen blown by
Mayor Mansoor and his cronies and drive right to the heart of the issue, re-affirming what a few of us have known and written
about for some time.
I find it extremely interesting that, of the other sitting council members, only Katrina Foley has offered an opinion for
publication on this subject to date. Mansoor's pal, Mayor Pro Tem Eric Bever and two former mayors, Linda Dixon and Gary
Monahan have all gone underground, choosing not to comment at this time.
The residents of this fine city need to decide if they will permit a small, vocal group of bigots to control the destiny of
this city or not. Unless the good people of this city speak up on this issue, the path chosen by those in power - and those
who influence them - is clear. Tuesday's City Council meeting is the opportunity to make their views known.
(For those of you interested in some history on this subject, you can find previous writings in the archives listed at the
bottom of this page. The following entries may be helpful: 2005.11.27; 2005.10.23; 2005.09.18 and 2005.08.28.)
Thursday, December 1, 2005
The Republic of Costa Mesa
Do me a favor, OK? Take a look at the date on this page and make a mental note. This is the day the mayor of Costa Mesa
effectively let the world know that we will soon be an independent republic, with all the powers assumed therein.
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Our young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor, has agendized for city council approval at their meeting on December 6th an item which
could authorize members of the Costa Mesa Police Department to be trained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau
to conduct immigration interviews - to become de facto immigration officers. This is an astounding but, sadly, not surprising
The object, as far as I can tell, would be to have jailers in Costa Mesa become certified immigration interviewers. That
way, if someone becomes a "guest" in our jail who turns out to be an undocumented resident, these highly trained
and certified specialists - as "highly trained and certified" as 3.5 hours of training can produce - could ferret-out
that information and ship them on their way to their country of origin. It's unclear whether the mayor's plan might include
granting similar powers to field patrol officers, as well.
Of course, this fits the pattern that Mansoor and his cronies have been working on for some time. Guided by a man who very
much resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor (see Archive 2005.08.28), Mansoor and his buddy Mayor Pro Tem Eric
Bever, along with their cadre of disciples of Your Neighbor, have methodically gone about creating an environment of intolerance
in this community.
They have de-funded and dissolved the Human Relations Committee, voted to close down the Job Center, reduced funding to charities,
etc., etc., etc. All these acts are aimed straight at the hearts of the Latino immigrants on the Westside of this city.
Now they will consider adding two additional jailers to the tune of more than $164,000, plus another $25,000 and change for
training, for a total of nearly $200,000 in un-budgeted expenses. This, from a group that recently screamed bloody murder
when one council member spent a small portion of her $2,000 discretionary budget on some local charities! Talk about two-faced!
A few years ago I wrote, almost tongue in cheek, that some folks on the Westside wouldn't be happy until buses lined up on
West 19th Street to take immigrants back across the border - leaving behind their American citizen children to fend for themselves.
It was a joke then - it's a near-reality now.
I realize there is a growing resistance to immigrants in this country. I realize that our borders are porous, and that there
are reports of terrorists making crossings in recent months. That scares the heck out of me. It probably scares you, too.
I feel strongly that not enough has been done in the past, nor is enough being done presently, to secure our borders from
incursion by illegal immigrants and possible terrorists. This is not a new problem, but the events of 9/11/01 and subsequent
war on terrorism has certainly changed the perspective.
However, until the federal government changes the way it manages the immigrant population, we are left to enforce the laws
over which we have purview and allow the state and federal authorities to enforce the immigration laws of this country. Turning
this responsibility over to a local politician on a power trip is huge mistake.
This move by the mayor is just another step to systematize the trampling of human rights in this city. Does anyone think
it is a coincidence that Mansoor floats this idea when the Job Center is less than a month from shutting it's doors? I'm
afraid this plan will require our police chief to take a page from the "Joe Arpaio" handbook - Arpaio is the Sheriff
of Maricopa County, Arizona, who treats criminals like criminals by forcing them to live in tents and do hard labor. Chief
Hensley will likely have to consider a tent city in the Fairgrounds parking lot to accommodate the influx of new "guests"
in January, as day workers and those who would hire them are thrown in the slammer for violating our solicitation laws.
This is how Hitler began his "little" campaign to "purify" Germany. I don't for one minute think our
young mayor is clever enough to put this plan together. He's simply a puppet, dancing to the tune played by the guy pulling
the strings behind the curtain - perhaps someone resembling Your Neighbor.
If we, the residents and voters of this city, permit this to continue, what makes you think it will stop with the Latinos?
Once this ball gets rolling, what will stop it? Whose rights will be trampled next year - the African Americans among us?
What about the business owners on the Westside who stand under the shadow of eminent domain as those in power proceed down
the path to "Lagunatizing" the Westside? Who's going to stop Mansoor and his pals from yanking that property away
from the owners and re-developing it into artists lofts? Every resident of this town should be worried about this latest
move - not just those among us who speak Spanish as their primary language.
Yes, it looks like we are on our way to becoming the only municipality in the United States of America to have it's own foreign
policy. A cynical person might suspect this is simply a maneuver by an misguided, eager, young politician with an eye on
higher office and not particularly concerned with the damage he leaves in his wake.
What's next, Mr. Mayor - new uniforms for our police officers? Perhaps something snappy and tight-fitting in tan, with bloused
trousers, jack boots and red arm bands with funny little intertwined S's on them?
Be afraid, Costa Mesa, be very afraid.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Perverts Among Us
It seems like we spend a lot of time yapping about the differences between Costa Mesa and Newport Beach these days. Some
of our local "leaders" seem determined to pry these communities apart on a variety of issues rather than work hard
to combine our respective strengths to accomplish goals in which we share an interest.
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Newport Beach's population is roughly 2/3 that of Costa Mesa, yet property values are just about quadruple. Newport Beach's
annual budget is 50% greater than Costa Mesa's. The list of "differences" goes on and on...
Costa Mesa has Newport Beach "beat" in one statistic, though - one in which I take absolutely no pride in reporting.
Based on the official State of California Megan's Law web site (you will find a link to it on my Useful Links page), Newport
Beach has 12 registered sex offenders while Costa Mesa has a whopping 96!
If you visit the site you can view maps - or a list, if you prefer - and see just where these "pillars of our community"
live. In fact, in Costa Mesa there are actually clusters of these people scattered around our town, some frighteningly close
As you think about those numbers and feel your blood pressure rise, here's how we compare with some of our neighboring cities:
Costa Mesa - 96
Newport Beach - 12
Santa Ana - 285
Anaheim - 272
Huntington Beach - 98
Orange - 64
Tustin - 29
Fountain Valley - 29
Irvine - 25
I don't have a solution to this question, but it sure makes one nervous when you consider the large number of "group
homes" in this city, too. These facilities - drug and alcohol rehabilitation sites - proliferate throughout our city
and most are in otherwise quiet and peaceful residential neighborhoods. It's unlikely most of us would choose these kinds
of facilities as neighbors, and sure wouldn't choose to raise families in neighborhoods with convicted sex offenders.
Perhaps our civic leaders should spend less time trying to figure a way to expel the Latinos in our city and more time finding
ways to restrict the number of these kinds of facilities in our community. You can call me intolerant, but I don't want child
molesters living in our city - anywhere.