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Welcome to A Bubbling Cauldron, a blog dedicated to the observations and opinions of this writer. Most of the time the subject will be local politics and politicians - those issues and/or people affecting the lives of those of us in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. Occasionally, I might write about something obscure that interests me. Or, I may just launch off into some philosophical rant if the urge moves me. I might even include comments by others from time to time.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Bever's Rescue Attempt
Our arrogant Mayor Pro Tem, Eric Bever, came riding to the rescue of his pal, Mayor Allan Mansoor and Mansoor's anointed running mate, Parks and Recreation Commission Chairwoman Wendy Leece, in the form of a condescending commentary published in the Daily Pilot this morning. He threw them a rope to extract them from the quicksand they jumped into recently when they proposed eliminating 25% of the holes at our municipal golf course to build a youth sports complex. He didn't succeed. They are still stuck in the muck and will be likely dragged down by this egregious idea. Bever's attempt to pull them out will fail because he, too, is on the slippery edge of this morass and will likely be pulled down into it, as well. His commentary demonstrates, once again, the attitude continually displayed by Mansoor, Bever and their small knot of supporters. They obviously feel that any idea they have is a great idea and they don't understand why the community doesn't just follow along. Well, here's a clue for them - those ideas are bad ideas.

Bever's attempted rescue is certainly the result of the overwhelming outcry from community leaders and golfers when Mansoor and Leece launched their plan without consulting anyone affected. This is typical of the current leadership of this city. Ever since Mansoor was elected mayor and Bever became mayor pro tem eighteen months ago they have leaped from one slippery slope to another. Each time they've managed to inflame a segment of our community to the point where this entire city may be ablaze with indignation by the time the elections come around in November.

In his commentary Bever laments the difficulty of finding open space for fields that won't impact neighbors. That's no surprise, since our city is virtually built-out. When he joins Mansoor and Leece in their folly involving the destruction of golf holes at the Costa Mesa Golf and Country Club he also ignores the homes that would be immediately adjacent to those fields on Joann Street. The potential disruption to the quality of life of those residents is not insignificant. If the three of them are actually sincere about these quality of life issues for Costa Mesa residents, which I doubt, they cannot overlook those homes and apartments. However, since many of those residences are reportedly occupied by Latinos, I guess our "leaders" don't feel those residents are entitled to the same quality of life protections.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, though - literally. A contract with the state for the use of several acres at Fairview Developmental Center as playing fields is imminent. If all goes well, according to city officials, those fields could be online within a few months. Since those would most likely be practice fields, their existence doesn't negate the need to light two more fields at The Farm Sports Complex. During the recent Daily Pilot Cup tournament I wandered around those fields, trying to get a measure of the potential impact of lights from the two additional fields on those homes adjoining them. It appears that most homes would likely not be negatively affected and those who might suffer some overflow illumination could probably receive relief if the city would plant large trees along the fence line. That could be a relatively inexpensive way to mitigate the potential problem.

There is really only one area left in this city where adjoining neighbors would not be disrupted by the construction of playing fields - Fairview Park. Perhaps it's time to consider butchering that sacred cow for the greater good of the community. Instead of providing open space for the couple dozen people who wander among the native plants (weeds) and vernal pools (dried-up mud holes) each week, perhaps it's time to consider building that "Costa Mesa Youth Sports Complex" on the bluff overlooking the Santa Ana River. Imagine sitting around the playing fields, enjoying the ocean breezes and views of Catalina and the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the distance while our children romp. Perhaps it's time to put that venue to a use that will justify the recently constructed "Bridge to Nowhere" over Placentia Avenue.

I understand the angst this will cause among nature lovers, but we're not talking about building a parking lot or 200 homes - we're talking about perpetuating the open space already there - just in a more formal, usable form. This metamorphosis would make Fairview Park a much more widely used facility than in it's present configuration. As we brainstorm about where to build playing fields in this city Fairview Park certainly seems worth considering. Those folks who have the need to commune with nature in the raw could simply meander down the slope to Talbot Regional Park, adjacent to Fairview Park.

In the meantime, don't turn your backs on Mansoor, Bever, Leece and their cronies.
1:25 pm pdt

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Copyright, 2006 - Geoff West