Archive for June, 2008

    I support the low density initiatives. It has nothing to do with being affluent (or rich – which I am not). I don’t see how limiting building that has too much density limits choice. Yorba Linda chose to limit density, and if that’s not what someone is looking for then look at a town with high density.

    I just like the space we have around our neighbors, neighborhoods and houses.

    Since most of OC is running out of room to build the only choice is to go up. Some cities do not want it.

 Loren Nason


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    Yorba Linda is the most affluent among the 15 cities in Orange County with populations over 65,000, according to census data used in an OC Register report last year.  Newport Beach is second.  Mission Viejo, third. 

    In fact, Yorba Linda was ranked as number one in the entire U.S. in median household income.  Newport Beach was third, with Mission Viejo coming in twelfth.

    The three cities have another similarity.  Yorba Linda and Newport Beach voters have passed low density intiatives which require voter approval for major changes to their cities’ low density building regulations.  Those initiatives are designed to prevent the corrosive effects that can occur when developers, public relations professionals, social engineers, city council members, and government bureaucrats team up to enrich commercial landowners and special interests by instead planning higher density under the guise of glitzy terminology like ‘new urbanism’, ‘walkable urbanism’ and ‘smart growth’.

    Mission Viejo is just starting down the road of gathering signatures for such an initiative, so its outcome is uncertain.  A MV initiative was recently filed that is virtually identical to Yorba Linda’s.  Both are similar to the one adopted in Newport Beach.  Are the citizens of these affluent cities more astute at understanding the perverse politics and economics that can negatively affect their communities?  Do their citizens have stronger backbones and greater stamina to restrain local officials?  Do they better understand no city council is immune from the collusion, and illusion, of grandeur that leads to high-density building schemes?

    The O.C. Register admits it has nothing against urbanization and high density; in fact it unsuccessfully opposed the Yorba Linda Initiative.  But yesterday even it condemned the “ideologues” who are “pushing policy-makers into adopting planning strategies that reduce consumer choice and increase coercion [toward urbanism].” Residents will have only themselves to blame if they fail to place restraints on their city councils.  

   Two South County cities, San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente, recently had to use referendums to stop developers from building high density housing units on portions of their golf courses.  In each case, by a 2 to 1 margin, residents successfully overcame expensive opposing campaigns financed by special interests who stood to benefit financially from the projects.  

    In the near future the Dispatch will describe the 2006 campaign in Yorba Linda.

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    On Friday Assemblyman Todd Spitzer placed automated phone calls to voters in the Capo precincts involved in Tuesday’s recall election:

    Education is my top priority – I care deeply about our kids. I have children in our public school system as well. That’s why I’m urging you to Vote Yes on the CUSD Recall – Tuesday, June 24th.

    We need to restore honesty, integrity and accountability to our troubled school district. Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 24th.  Vote Yes to recall the incumbents, AND in their place, elect Sue Palazzo and Ken Maddox, two highly qualified reform candidates.

    Other officials endorsing the recall include:

  • State Senator Dick Ackerman
  • State Senator Mark Wyland
  • State Senator Hollingsworth
  • State Assemblymember Chuck Devore
  • State Assemblymember Todd Spitzer
  • State Assemblymember Audra Strickland
  • State Assemblymember Mimi Walters
  • State Board of Equalization Member, Michelle Steel
  • CUSD Trustee, Ellen Addonizio
  • CUSD Trustee, Anna Bryson
  • CUSD Trustee, Larry Christensen
  • Aliso Viejo Mayor, Carmen Cave
  • Dana Point Councilmember, Lisa Bartlett
  • Dana Point Councilmember, Diane Harkey
  • Dana Point Councilmember, Lara Anderson
  • Dana Point Councilmember, Joe Snyder (ret.)
  • Laguna Niguel Councilmember, Linda Lindholm
  • Mission Viejo Mayor, Trish Kelley
  • Rancho Santa Margarita Councilmember, Tony Beall
  • Rancho Santa Margarita Mayor, Neil Blais
  • Rancho Santa Margarita Councilmember, Gary Thompson
  • Rancho Santa Margarita Planning Commissioner, Tom Russell
  • San Clemente Councilmember, Steve Knoblock 
  • San Juan Capistrano Councilmember, Mark Nielsen

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    The Mission Viejo Initiative is designed to protect the community’s living environment. It would require voters’ consent on major amendments passed by the City Council concerning land use laws, if the amendments increase density or congestion.

    The City Council could continue to pass the following changes, but consent by a majority of voters would be required if any change:

  • Allows designated Open Space to be changed to any other use. 
  • Allows designated Recreation land to be changed for other than Recreation or Open Space.
  • Increases the number of residential units permitted on a residential parcel.
  • Divides an existing parcel of land into smaller parcels.
  • Allows housing units to be constructed on property designated for only commercial or non-residential uses.
  • Converts residential property to another use.
  • Converts non-residential property to residential use if density would exceed 6.5 housing units per acre.
  • Converts commercial or industrial land to a different use if the aggregate size of all parcels being changed exceeds two acres.
  • Allows Public Land to be privately developed within five years after an approval for development.
  • Repeals any of the City’s official land use documents:  Land Use Policy Map, Land Use Provisions of the MV General Plan, Land Use/Zoning/Subdivision Regulations, Official Zoning Map, Any Specific Plan, or Any Development Agreement.

    The voters’ ballot would offer a “YES” or “NO” choice for any of the above proposed changes.

    An exception to the required voter approval would exist in cases where state law pre-empts municipalities on the subject of affordable housing.

    The petition for the Initiative will need signatures from over ten thousand local voters to be certified by the City Clerk and referred to the City Council for adoption.   The Council could instead choose to place the Initiative on a ballot for the decision on adoption.

    The Mission Viejo Dispatch endorses the Initiative, but invites all colorable opinions.

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Mission   Hospital’s   Neurology  and  Critical  Care Clinical Nurse Specialist, Mary Kay Bader, is the recipient of the national 2008 “Excellent Clinical Nurse Specialist Award.” The award is bestowed by the American Association for Critical-Care Nurses on those who exemplify excellence in the care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families. The honor is given to one certified Critical Care Nurse Specialist annually.

    “I am privileged to work at Mission Hospital where the physicians, nurses, and techs work together,” said Bader in accepting the honor. “This week, one of our families affectionately called us ‘TEAM MISSION’ due to incredible teamwork and excellence demonstrated throughout the neurotrauma unit and organization.”

    “Mary Kay is a talented, dedicated nurse who has touched many lives, especially those dealing with life threatening conditions or injuries,” said Peter F. Bastone, President and Chief Executive Officer with Mission Hospital. “She is a leader in patient advocacy and a relentless champion, always looking to develop best practices that support Mission Hospital in providing the highest quality of care.”

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   A Saddleback Valley News reporter inadvertently acknowledged in Friday’s edition that City Manager Dennis Wilberg successfully derailed her ongoing News series on community blogs.

  First off, reporter Lindsey Baguio claimed my Mission Viejo Dispatch post said the News dropped the third installment of a series on city blogs. I had merely reported her promise from May 30: “This article is part two of a series. Next week, city officials weigh in on the discussion.”  Nothing has been published after three weeks, but then she added Friday, “I’m still working on it.”

  Baguio also reported that in response to her request to the city for comments, “Wilberg sent me a list of 30 people whom he suggested I talk to who would have favorable things to say about the city’s anniversary celebration.”

  So instead of having city officials “weigh in” on June 6, Baguio wrote Friday (June 20), “I have to verify names, attempt to reach people who represent different viewpoints, and I have editors who hold me accountable for anything I might have overlooked.”

  So the third installment is back on track. If she wants different viewpoints, and there doesn’t seem to be any big rush, I can give her plenty of names of people who think city hall has retreated to the days of big, secret government.

   In both the Dispatch and a letter published in the News, I acknowledged the first two articles in her series gave webmasters a chance to discuss their blogs and their views on city government. We’re waiting patiently for city officials’ comments on the blogs.

Allan Pilger

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    Entry   is free  for the 24-hour Relay for Life on Saturday and Sunday at Saddleback College.  Residents are welcome at all hours to enjoy musical performances, entertainment, and Kidz Kamp activities – or join in walking or running laps around the track.  The event runs around the clock from opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. until the following 10 a.m.                           

    The Saturday entertainment includes:

  • 10 a.m. – Singer/songwriter Zack Montez
  • 11 a.m. – Cappy’s Garage Band
  • 1 p.m. – The Raymies (formerly Untitled Girl Band)
  • 2 p.m. – One Performing Arts Center (dance & arts)
  • 3 p.m. – Steppin’ Out Cloggers
  • 4 p.m. – Kina Grannis (Winner, Doritos Super Bowl Contest)
  • 5 p.m. – Megan Manoram
  • 6 p.m. – The Answer To Classic Rock
  • 9 p.m. – Luminaria Candlelight Ceremony
  • 10 p.m. – Sixstep Band
  • Midnight – Guitar Hero Contest

    Movies will be shown throughout the night and stargazing will be hosted by the Orange County Astronomers. 

    The event will benefit the American Cancer Society.  Walkers and joggers can still get info and participate on teams by visiting www.mvrelay.org or by calling Trish Kelley at 470-8476.

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