Political Potpourri

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Since everyone else in NB Indy seems to do this, I thought I would take my shot at random thoughts of the day.

The Taj Ma-City-Hall

This is just too easy to pick on.

Both City Halls are closed as you read this for moving week. They hope to open in their opulence next Thursday, April 11. The city’s computer servers will be down as well as their phone system from April 4 until whenever. I am sure that they will have to go out and get a hard copy of this paper to see what they should be doing as they will not have their internet back up by the time the paper hits the streets.

The trendy and opulent new Taj-ma-city-hall will be open for business next week. The original $40 million project will soon be over $140 Million. The city is trying to convince us that their over-expenditure was justified because the scope grew. “Which part of the project should we have left out” our mayor declared in his state of the city speech last month.

Let’s see, where should I start? The $2 million dollar bridge to nowhere that no one will use? The multi-level curly cue sidewalk and windy path dog park, where you cannot even throw a ball for the dogs? Maybe the white concrete oversized bunnies in the view portals in the civic center park?

The original Ficker plan called for a non “image building” and we got waves in the roof that look to be a nightmare to keep from leaking. I will have to go into more detail in two weeks, prior to the grand opening ceremony in May.

Fire Pits and the AQMD

I attended the AQMD hearing for the proposed banning of “Beach Burning” in all of Southern California last week. The staff told us that they were not thinking of banning fire pits, except that the California Coastal Commission used the Exemption of Beach Burning by the AQMD as a reason to deny Newport Beach’s removal of the fire pits. So AQMD is proposing banning open fires in all of Southern California.

Thanks Newport!

This hearing was a “fact finding” public hearing where staff acts like the “Board” and listens to testimony and asks questions back to the public. This is so that there are no surprises when it gets to the real “Board” hearing. This format also allows the staff to tailor their recommendations to match the public mood.

Huntington Beach was out in force. They have over 300 fire pits and they estimate that the fire pits generate over $1.5 million annually in parking alone. This figure is based on the amount of revenue collected after 3 p.m., since there is no other reason to go to the beach at night. This doesn’t include the sales of firewood and s’mores kits from the local Albertsons or those that stay in a hotel overnight because they partied on the beach too late to drive home.

Newport Beach residents testified blaming the fires for their smoky smell and complained that they couldn’t open their windows in their multi-million dollar beach front homes because of the smoke. I offered to trade homes, but no offers as of yet.

The take away was, if you live near the beach fires, you will die of cancer; if you don’t live near them then they are OK. My bet is that rather than ban fires in all of southern California, the property fiends at the AQMD will likely split the baby and allow or encourage (read that as require) the removal of fire pits within a certain distance of residences.

Darn, ran out of space before I got to the real fun ones.

Contact the writer at [email protected].

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