A Bubbling Cauldron
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After residing in Costa Mesa, California, for nearly three decades, I finally began paying attention to important issues in our community and to the way the town was being governed. Prior to that time, I did what 99.99% of the residents of this city do - I buried my head the sand, crossed my fingers and trusted the elected officials.

Eventually, I realized that some elected officials are no more skilled at governing than the guys mowing your lawn, bagging your groceries or serving you a cool beverage at your favorite pub, so I began to tighten my focus on the issues and the handful of people in our community who show up, stand up, get involved and actually get things done.

I began writing to the Daily Pilot, our excellent local community newspaper - which is owned and distributed by the Los Angeles Times - after a column written about leadership in Costa Mesa struck a chord. Since that time - more than three years and counting - I've continued to express my observations and opinions in letters and commentaries to the Daily Pilot and other local newspapers, many of which have been published. I'm extremely grateful for those opportunities to present ideas for my neighbors to ponder.

The editing process, though, seems to work a little like our alimentary canal - what goes in one end doesn't necessarily resemble what comes out the other. One never knows why a piece is changed or rejected - it could be my bad writing, a shortage of space, politics, or simply the whim of an editor. Having one's work edited - whether trimmed with surgical precision or disemboweled like a flounder at the fish market - can be frustrating. I do admit that the editing process frequently made my contributions much better.

So, in the middle of 2005 I decided it was time to create a web log - a place to provide the opportunity for a broader distribution of my observations and opinions - unedited.

I realize this is a dangerous move, because editors do perform a valuable service. This will become very apparent as you read my thoughts - typos, punctuation errors, malaprops and all. I fully intend to blame such transgressions on my advancing years - I'm told that we old fellas can get away with it.

My goal with this web log is to ask questions and offer opinions that might stimulate dialogue on important issues facing those of us who live not only in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, but throughout Orange County and our entire region.

If reading these pages motivates you to become more involved in your community, my goal will have been accomplished. I've tried to provide links to organizations that might be helpful to you and will add to the list as time moves on.

I'm interested in your opinions, so please drop me a note if you feel so moved. If you think I'm off base, let me know. If you think I got it right, I'd like to hear that, too. From time to time I might quote you, so watch your language. Anonymous notes will be treated like any other spam - they will be deleted without being read.

With ladle in hand, I invite you to visit often. This site is a work in progress, so your patience is much appreciated. Enjoy...

Geoff West
The Pot Stirrer