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parks and open space in the news - 2009

Will Silverado-Modjeska Go Bankrupt Paying Developer’s Legal Bill? 12-22-09
OC Register - The Silverado-Modjeska Park and Recreation District was asked to pay $352,000 in legal fees to CCR Farms. The amount is five times the District’s annual budget.

Transportation Agency to Spend Millions Saving Habitat 12-18-09
OC Register – The Orange County Transportation Authority will spend tens of millions to acquire and restore large areas of native habitat. FHBP’s Melanie Schlotterbeck, commented this mitigation program is a model for other counties and the nation.

Fair Plans Go to a Vote 12-14-09
Daily Pilot – The City of Costa Mesa and County of Orange are scheduled to vote on submitting a joint bid to buy the 150 acre OC Fairgrounds. The State Controller will allow a minimum bid of $50,000.

Land Trust Sells Private Land to U.S. Forest Service 12-11-09
Riverside Press Enterprise – About 830 acres were transferred from the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust to the US Forest Service. Funds came from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Who Should Pay for OC Harbor Patrol? 12-11-09
O.C. Register – The County anticipates spending $11.4 million patrolling OC’s coastline – an increase of 22% from last year. The increase is due to growing retirement costs. The debate is on over how to pay for the patrolling or if the County should be paying for it at all.

College District Could Go In on Fairgrounds 12-10-09
Daily Pilot – Orange Coast College is considering getting involved with the cities and County opposed to the sale of the OC Fairgrounds. The College has used the Fairgrounds as a site for graduation. Along with other contributors, the College District may help fund the purchase of the site.

Newport Beach Ordered to Clean Bay of Contaminants 12-10-09
Daily Pilot – High levels of selenium were found in Upper Newport Bay by state water quality officials and fines were imposed to Newport Beach and other upstream cities to fix the problem. Estimates to remove the contaminant range from $42 - $137 million.

Rep. Pushes Bill to Save Coastal Rock 12-10-09
Daily Pilot – Representative John Campbell authored legislation that would protect 40 rocks off Laguna Beach and Dana Point. The bill passed the House of Representatives and is awaiting consideration in the Senate.

O.C. Nominees Fail to Nab Coastal Commission Spot 12-09-09
OC Register – Two Orange County councilmen and two county Supervisors were vying for an open seat on the California Coastal Commission. Huntington Beach Council member Keith Bohr and Laguna Beach Council member Kelly Boyd, lost to Santa Monica Councilman Richard Bloom.

Following Vandersloot’s Example 12-09-09
Daily Pilot – Jan Vandersloot was honored at a memorial with over 200 friends and family. His leadership, character and good thinking made him a hero. Though it seemed he was always the underdog in the fight, he choose, like others, to fight for sacred places. We should all follow his lead.

Fair Board Gets No Legal Help From Attorney General 12-06-09
OC Register – The State Attorney General declined representing the Orange County Fair Board due to potential conflicts of interest in the disputed sale. A coalition has formed (known as Derail the Sale) that has flooded public meetings on the issue.

Sounding Off: Here’s a Vote for Clean Beaches, Rivers and Waves 12-05-09
Daily Pilot – With a permit pending by the State Water Resources Control Board for improved water coming up for a vote, the County of Orange is claiming hardship and threatening legal action on the permit's requirements.

Officials Headed to Capital 12-05-09
Daily Pilot – With bids for the property due in January, the state is expecting to receive between $90 million and $180 million for the sale of the OC Fairgrounds. Councilmembers from Costa Mesa disagree since the zoning will remain the same, projected revenues are off.

Shirley Grindle Runs Out of Patience With TINCUP Reform Committee 12-02-09
OC Weekly – A Committee has been working the last year to rewrite the county’s law limiting the influence of money in campaigns. Watchdog Shirley Grindle helped pass the “Time Is Now, Clean Up Politics” (TINCUP) law in the 70’s, but Grindle isn’t happy with the expected Committee results.

State Assemblyman Solorio Introduces Bill Calling for Rescinding Proposed Sale of OC Fairgrounds 12-02-09
Daily Pilot – Solorio introduced Assembly Bill 1590 to repeal portion of the July Assembly bill that allows the state to sell the OC fairgrounds. Solorio asked Governor Schwarzenegger to address all issues and be mindful of this sale as a precedent.

Sounding Off: Desalination Plant will Cost More than GWRS 11-29-09
Daily Pilot –OC's Groundwater Replenishment System treats sewage through five different processes, exceeding drinking water standards, and costs less than $800 per acre foot. Desalination has too many unknowns but will likely cost $2,000 - $3,000 per acre foot.

County Lobbies Against Sale of Fair Site 11-24-09
Daily Pilot – With a 4-0 vote the Orange County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in support of the fairground sale – as long as the buyer maintained the site for fair uses. The County is considering buying the site if the Governor doesn’t stop the sale.

O.C. Supervisors, in Reversal, Ask Governor to Cancel Fairgrounds Sale 11-24-09
LA Times - To help ease California’s budget crisis, Governor Schwarzenegger put six state properties up for sale. The Board of Supervisors reversed its decision and is now opposed to the sale of the OC Fairgrounds since the land may now be used for non-fair purposes.
Click here to view the resolution.

Supes to Governor: Scrap the Fairgrounds Sale 11-24-09
OC Register – In a unanimous vote today, Orange County Supervisors urged Governor Schwarzenegger to stop the sale of the OC Fairgrounds. In an attempt to shore up revenues, the Governor put six state properties, including the OC Fairgrounds on the docket for sale. Click here to view the resolution.

Coastal Activist, Land Trust Co-Founder Dies 11-09-09
Daily Pilot - Jan Vandersloot, co-founder of the Bolsa Chica Land Trust, dies suddenly at the age of 64.

Banning Road in Works 11-06-09
Daily Pilot- Environmental groups are worried about a proposed road through Sunset Ridge Park in Newport Beach, near coastal land the group wants to permanently protect as open space.

Don Bren's Gift That Keeps on Taking Public Money (Or Trying to, Anyway) 11-04-09
OC Weekly - The Irvine Ranch Conservancy has proposed restoration work on some of its lands, some conservation groups are concerned over the request for so many taxpayer dollars.

O.C. Shouldn't Accept Irvine Co. Land Now, Environmentalists Say 11-02-09
LA Times - Environmental groups are concerned that the County doesn't have enough money in its budget to accept the proposed 20,000 acre donation by The Irvine Company.

Greenhouse Gases Finding for Coyote Hills 10-16-09
OC Register - The 510-acre Coyote Hills development completed its greenhouse gas emissions study and are now closer to holding public hearings

PBS Special - Highlights Work in Santa Ana 10-16-09
PBS - Bill Moyers focuses on Latino Health Access' great work in tackling Santa Ana's public health and open space problems.

Citywide: Orange Charges Residents to Go Green 10-12-09
OC Register - Orange residents are faced with $920 permit fees for solar installation, while other OC cities and the County provide incentives.

Modest Donor Steps Out to Accept Honor 10-11-09
Daily Pilot - FHBP President Jean Watt talks at the Environmental Nature Center about a tree planting in honor of the Center's donor Elizabeth Steele.

Fair Grounds Officially For Sale 10-08-09
Daily Pilot - The state is now accepting bids for the 150 acre site and a non-profit group expects to bid on it. The state expects between $96 and 180 million for the site, the sale of which will help close the budget gap.

OC Takes First Step Toward Huge Parkland Acquisition 09-29-09
OC Register - Article discusses the recent approval by OC Supervisors to begin the process of negotiating for the transfer of 20,000 acres of open space.

The Irvine Co. Gift That Keeps on Giving 09-29-09
OC Weekly - Article focuses on The Irvine Company's proposed donation and concerns conservation groups have raised.

Supes on Irvine Lands Letter of Intent 09-29-09
OC Progressive - Blog post on Irvine Ranch transfer proposal, outlines flaws in the transaction and concerns with management.

Conservation Leaders Urge County to Slow Down 09-28-09 (PDF - 24 KB)
FHBP releases a press release focusing on slowing down the approvals for the transfer of 20,000 acres to the County of Orange.

An Unusual Pairing from the Jesusita Fire 09-25-09
Two young animals, a bobcat and fawn, were rescued during the Jesusita Fire and found comfortable in each other.

Council: Easements Needed to Stop Buck Gully Erosion 09-22-09
Daily Pilot - Concerned about erosion and a potentially very wet winter, the City of Newport Beach is seeking easements to provide erosion control, but residents are worried about other motives.

Editorial on Land Transfer 09-16-09 (PDF - 89 KB)
LA Times - Editorial encourages OC Parks to proceed with Irvine Ranch land transfer with a little less haste, more public input and more information.

Disney Stars, Storm Troopers Make OC Greener 09-15-09
OC Register - Over 4,000 native plants were planted with the help of Disney Expo participants. Inside the Outdoors' naturalists and volunteers will nurture the plants while they grow in Silverado Canyon.

New Parkland: A Thumbs-Up Vote, Then Back Country Tour 09-12-09
OC Register - The Irvine Company's offer to OC Parks for 20,000 acres of its historic ranch, received a unanimous yes vote by the OC Parks Commission -- then Commissioners went on a tour of the rugged lands.

Irvine Co. to Donate 20,000 acres to OC Parks 09-04-09
OC Register - OC Parks received approval from the OC Parks Commission to officially begin negotiations for the transfer of 20,000 acres currently owned by The Irvine Company.

Judge Rules Against Developer on Sacred Site 08-31-09
OC Register - Anaheim Hills developer was ordered to pay OC Parks $68,000 and to restore the parkland and Native American site impacted by his development.

Santiago Oaks Regional Park Lawsuit 08-21-09
OC Register - After a developer encroached on County parkland, the County filed a lawsuit to protect an archeological site and natural springs.

City Buys Coveted Open Space Area08-20-09 (PDF - 100 KB)
San Juan Capistrano will buy 132 acres for an equestrian site and sports field using $27.5 million of the $30 million open space bond approved by voters in November 2008.

Offshore Oil Drilling Video August 2009
Oil companies have been drilling offshore in California, but not paying the state. In every other state they drill, they pay. We'd have over a billion dollars to help our state if the oil industry paid its fair share.

European Bug Found, Report OC Sightings August 2009 (PDF - 112 KB)
Please review the picture of the "Red Seed Bug" (Scantius aegyptius) and report sightings (photos only) in Orange County to Peter Bryant at UCI.

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