Saturday Fairgrounds Meeting Canceled 12-28-10
Daily Pilot - The State and Consumer Services Agency ordered the Fairgrounds Board to meet by January 1, but that would have violated a temporary restraining order from a Superior Court judge. A new meeting has been set for February 8.
Appellate Court Upholds Halt of OC Fairgrounds Sale 12-21-10
Voice of OC -
A California 4th District Court of Appeals upheld a temporary restraining order halting the sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds until January 10, 2011. A request for a permanent injunction against the sale was denied.
Hobo Aliso Ridge - Protected! 12-16-10 (68 KB - PDF)
PR Newswire - After a settlement agreement was reached, Driftwood properties will place a conservation easement over 75 acres and include a right to purchase 80 acres more by the Coastal Commission.
FHBP interview on KSBR Radio Show 12-13-10 (34.5 MB - MP3)
FHBP President Jean Watt and Green Vision Coordinator Melanie Schlotterbeck were interviewed on KSBR about the Green Vision Map, the Measure M mitigation program and recent statewide legislation.
Lobdell: Stay Vigilant on Fair Happenings 12-04-10
Daily Pilot - Facilities Management West, a company that left the City of Costa Mesa for a better solo deal on the Fairgrounds, is already acting like it owns the property and will soon be running the
O.C. Fair Employees Learn of Layoffs 12-01-10
Daily Pilot -
Employees for the O.C. Fairgrounds learned from the state that they would be laid off, but could reapply for their position with the new property owner. Over 100 individuals got the news that their position was in jeopardy.
Official Transfer of Irvine Ranch
Lands to OC Parks 11-30-10
OC Register - In the largest land gift to the County, Irvine Company CEO Donald Bren comments "It's all yours" after signing the ceremonial deed transfering 20,000 acres of rugged and nationally recognized land to O.C. Parks.
Suburban Sprawl, Serpentine Sameness from the Skies 11-18-10
Wilderutopia - From the sky, our developments clearly demonstrate our auto-centric life, says Jack Eidt, FHBP board member and urban planner. He advocates an environmentally sustainable, human-scale community that has a smaller carbon footprint.
Attorney Checking Timing For Faigrounds Challenge 10-28-10
Daily Pilot - The Fair Board found evidence it contributed to the original purchase of the land and therefore may have claim to the title. The Board is having legal counsel review the situation.
Costa Mesa Receives $3.5 Million in Grants 10-05-10
Daily Pilot - The Orange County Transportation Authority
approved $2 million in habitat restoration funding for the Fairview Park Wetlands and Riparian Habitat Project.
Anaheim Approves ARTIC Plans 09-28-10
Both the Planning Commission and City Council approved the plans for the $184 million regional transportation facility.
Is Fairgrounds Sale Back On? 09-28-10
OC Register - Sale opponents think the City of Costa Mesa and Governor are doing an end run around the Legislature.
Pols Doubtful of Fair Sale 09-08-10
Daily Pilot -
Two politicians have stated they are doubtful the fair sale will go through. It is because the City of Costa Mesa's deal doesn't guarantee the public's interest says Councilwoman Katrina Foley
$50 Million Bay Restoration Concludes09-03-10 OC Register - Upper Newport Bay has been safeguarded for decades, after four years and $50 million of sediment removal and restoration have been completed.
Talks Flow for River Park Project 09-01-10
Daily Pilot - Veteran conservationists form new non-profit to protect 1000-acre river park at the mouth of the Santa Ana River. FHBP's Jean Watt says the work of collaboration and doing the project begins now!
OC Fairgrounds Sale May Fall Through, Legislator Says 08-31-10
Los Angeles Times - Local legislators relay concerns over the potential sale of the OC Fairgrounds to the City of Costa Mesa and its private partner. Transparency and accountability seem to be top concerns.
Irvine-Corona Tunnel at End of Line08-26-10
OC Register - The 11.5 mile "toll" tunnel connecting the Inland Empire to Orange County is too expensive. Studies have been halted and project staff are considering ending the program.
Solorio Positive on Fair Sale 08-26-10
OC Register - Either the Governor threw a wrench into the fairground deal or added lubricant. Assemblyman Jose Solorio believes Schwarzenegger's decision to put the fairgrounds back on the market will actually help the City of Costa Mesa's proposal to buy the fairgrounds.
State Puts Fairgrounds Up for Sale -- Again 08-24-10 Daily Pilot - The City of Costa Mesa has been working for months to purchase the fairgrounds, the State put the site up for sale again. Offers are due to the State by September 30th.
City OKs Fairground Deal 08-24-10
OC Register -
The City of Costa approved, via a vote of 4-1, a proposal to operate the fairgrounds. The $453 million deal needs to be approved by the State Legislature before it adjourns on August 31st.
Orange County Goes Green 2009-2010
OC Grand Jury - The Orange County Transportation Authority's Environmental Mitigation Program and its Water Quality Program were highlighted as environmentally sensitive and fiscally responsible programs.
Activists: Fairground Deal Unfair to Public Interest 08-03-10
Daily Pilot - With an intial goal of having Costa Mesa hold title to the Fairgrounds, and have transparency and community involvement, community activists say this isn't looking favorable that the City will do this.
Fair Board Wants Profit Sharing 08-02-10
Daily Pilot - The OC Fair Board voted to introduce a profit-sharing agreement with the State, to keep the Fair in state hands. This agreement goes against the city's purchase.
OC Fair Board Like Killer in Bad Horror Flick 08-02-10
OC Register -
OC Fair Board Chair wrote a letter to Governor Schwarzenegger proposing a profit-sharing agreement with the state. This agreement, if accepted, would end the City of Costa Mesa's efforts to buy the Fairgrounds via a public/private partnership.
Fairground Sale Still Could Get Deep-Fried 07-16-10
OC Register - The State Legislature must approve the deal between the City of Costa Mesa and an investment company before it is final, but with Costa Mesa's "rule of law" on illegal immigration this may be difficult.
Brea Couple Spot Mountain Lion 07-01-10
OC Register -
While walking in Chino Hills State Park, a couple spotted a mountain lion crossing the same trail they were on.
Solorio Won't Block Fairgrounds Sale 06-30-10
Daily Pilot - Though Costa Mesa has the controversial stance on illegal immigration, lawmakers want the best deal possible for the residents as it relates to the fairgrounds.
FHBP Press Release on Land Transfer 06-27-10
FHBP tells the story behind the Irvine Ranch Land Transfer and outlines the four assurances it asked for from the County. (PDF - 20 KB)
Newport Sold $1.8M in Oil Last Year 06-26-10
Daily Pilot - Newport Beach pumps oil on the Banning Ranch property and profits go to keep beaches clean and maintained. Last year the City brought in $1.8 million.
Fairgrounds Down Payment: $19.2 million 06-24-10
Daily Pilot - The State will accept a $19.2 million downpayment from the City of Costa Mesa and a private party and put it towards the fairground's purchase price of $96 million.
Chipko Awards Given at Treehugger's Ball 06-12-10 FHBP's Melanie Schlotterbeck, FHBP Board member Stephanie Barger and Green Vision Coalition member Sherri Loveland each received a Chipko Award at the June 5th Treehugger's Ball for outstanding environmental leadership.
Vote Set for Massive Parkland Donation 06-09-10
OC Register - The OC Parks Commission is set to vote on the proposed transfer of 20,000 acres of open space to OC Parks. The transfer would add 50% more land to the County park system.
Activist Honored with Oaks 06-06-10 Daily Pilot - The late activist, Jan Vandersloot, was honored at Castaways Park with 15 oaks planted in his memory by a local group, Stop Polluting Our Newport.
Calif. Could Be First to Ban Plastic Bags 06-04-10 MSNBC - Having passed the Assembly, a ban on plastic shopping bags, is now under consideration in the Senate. Earth Resource Foundation, an FHBP partner organization, has been working on the ban for years.
Grand Jury Criticizes Great Park Financing06-03-10 OC Register - The Grand Jury report outlines financing concerns and potential conflicts of interest in the largest municipal undertaking ($1.6 billion) in County history.
'Babe' has her Babies 06-02-10 Daily Pilot - Babe, the resident bobcat, gave birth to three cubs at Upper Newport Bay. Residents caution drivers to go slowly in the area to avoid hitting Babe and her babies.
Council Shoots Down Coyote Hills Development 05-25-10 OC Register - The Fullerton City Council voted 3-2 to deny the proposed development project on West Coyote Hills. Conservation groups and park advocates were thrilled with the decision.
Poseidon Goes for Another Permit 05-21-10
Daily Pilot - A recent state ruling on power plants changed Poseidon's plans to use AES for its once-through cooling. The ruling doesn't apply to desalination plants. Concerns exist about the costs and impacts.
City Life: Advocates Effective in Methods 05-17-10
Daily Pilot - FHBP's Jean Watt and others are working to stop the expansion at John Wayne Airport. A new terminal and parking structure are being built that will impact residents in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.
Our Laguna: Bates Updates Canyon Conservancy 05-14-10
Coastline Pilot -
Supervisor Bates was the guest speaker at the Laguna Canyon Conservancy's monthly meeting. Her presentation focused on water quality, habitat protection, and Renewed Measure M.
FHBP's Melanie Schlotterbeck Honored 05-13-10
With her focus on conservation and work with creating the Renewed Measure M mitigation program, FHBP consultant Melanie Schlotterbeck gets Special Recognition for Outstanding Environmental Achievement by OC League of Conservation Voters.
Don't Bankrupt Us! Pleads SIlverado-Modjeska Park District 05-07-10
Orange County Register - The Silverado-Modjeska Recreation and Park District may go bankrupt over the judgement for it to pay $358,000 in legal fees. The District is involved in a suit over a Supplemental Environmental
Impact Report with the developer of Holtz Ranch.
You'd Never Know He's a Sun King 05-07-10
New York Times - Philanthropist
David Gelbaum quietly donated $500,000 to The Wildlands Conservancy and to The Sierra Club. He continues to invest in new technologies and works to protect important landscapes.
Fair Center Plans Unfold 05-06-10
Daily Pilot - The City of Costa Mesa would hold title to the fairgrounds property, but obligations to pay the mortgage would be paid by the fairground operator. The proposal will go to the state May 21.
OC Oil? Are We Ready for a Big Spill? 05-05-10
OCLNN - OC has already had an oil spill and due to the close proximity with the shore, crews would need to act fast. The Coast Guard would be the lead response agency for an oil lead off Orange County's coast.
Air Pollution: O.C. Gets 'Fs'; L.A. Worst 04-28-10
Orange County Register - Because of fuel combustion, OC received failing grades for its air quality researchers say. The fine particles and ozone were the main reasons for the bad grade.
Earth Day and the Climate Bill 04-23-10
The Washington Post - This Earth Day, federal Senators work on a Climate Change Bill that has become more about energy independence than carbon emissions.
Brad Gates, Space Cowboy 04-22-10
Some San Juan Capistrano residents feel the City's recent acquisition of a riding center from the Rancho Mission Viejo Company was a waste of money.
$96M Offered for Fairgrounds 04-22-10
Daily Pilot - Cash-strapped Costa Mesa offered the state $96 million, the minimum amount the state wants for the OC Fairgrounds. No word yet on how the City will raise the funds.
"Hands Off," Fair Board is Told 04-22-10
Daily Pilot - Fair Board Chairwoman was asked by a state official to remove an agenda item discussing a profit-sharing model from its agenda. This was likely due the state's negotiations with the City of Costa Mesa for the purchase of the fair grounds.
The City to Share Fair Goals 04-14-10
Daily Pilot - The City of Costa Mesa met in closed session about its negotiations for the OC Fairgrounds. An open session would be help to allow the public to hear the councils goals and objectives with the sale.
O.C.'s Parks: Crazy Names, Riot of Color 04-07-10
OC Register - Regional Park staff are offering tours of the blooming wildflowers. You're guaranteed to hear some crazy plant names and will see some beautiful colors.
The Deal that Keeps Getting Worse 04-07-10
Voice for OC - The cash-strapped City of Costa Mesa is grappling with potentially spending $100 million to buy the OC Fairgrounds before it gets sold to private developers.
County Out of Fair Sale 04-07-10
Daily Pilot -
The County has dropped out of negotiations for the OC Fairgrounds and the City of Costa Mesa is on its own to work with the state to purchase it.
Not in My Backyard 03-31-10
Video - Chevron plans to build homes in Fullerton on the ecologically important Coyote Hills, is it an assualt on nature or enlightened planning?
OC Infrastructure Report Card is Out March 2010
FHBP and others participated in evaluating the status of OC's Parks and Environment. Though the County received a better grade than previous years, significant challenges lie ahead.
City, State Talk Sale 03-31-10
Daily Pilot - The City of Costa Mesa has entered into "exclusive negotiations" for the purchase of the OC Fairgrounds from the State of California.
Trees Donated to Great Park 03-24-10
OC Register - Irvine Ranch heiress Joan Irvine Smith has donated more than 100 oak trees to the Orange County Great Park.
Ranch Road on Deck 03-20-10
Daily Pilot - The City of Newport Beach will consider adding a road to Sunset Ridge Park, that conservation groups fear will help facilitate the development of Banning Ranch.
Patagonia Contributes Toward Saving Hills Mid March
Fullerton Observer - Patagonia provided Friends of Coyote Hills with a grant to continue working on the effort to preserve West Coyote Hills as open space. (p. 5)
OC Community Indicators Report Released March 2010
County of Orange - The Orange County Community Indicators Project annually measures the overall quality of life of the Orange County community by tracking key indicators of economic, social and environmental well being. View the Report.
Hunting for Nature 02-22-10 Daily Pilot - State Farm Insurance awarded five Sage Hill School students $52,000 to create a park program called Nature Scene Investigators, which creates a scavenger hunt for kids at several Orange County Parks.
Venezia: O.C. Fairgrounds Drama is Far From Over 02-17-10 OC Register - The battle over the fairgrounds has changed significantly since the summer's "sell or not sell" issue. It has grown substantially with misinformation, flip flop politicians and more.
Fair Use Goes to June 8 Ballot 02-17-10 Daily Pilot - The City of Costa Mesa has added a ballot measure to the June elections proposing to landlock the OC Fairgrounds into fair and exposition center uses.
Illegal Bike Park Discovered in Wilderness 02-16-10 OC Register - OC Park officials were surprised to find an elaborate system of illegal bike ramps, bridges and trails in Limestone & Whiting Ranch. Volunteers are working to remove the trails and restore the habitat.
Protesters March Over Coyote Hills Proposal 02-16-10 OC Register - Seventy-five individuals marched to City Hall in protest over a development proposed for West Coyote Hills. The land, they say, should instead be set aside for open space.
Group Protests Coyote Hills Development 02-16-10 Daily Titan - Protestors marched to City Hall to show support for preserving Coyote Hills as open space, instead of the alternative -- allowing Pacific Coast Homes to develop 760 houses.
The Political Landscape: Beck Intrigued by DeVore 02-10-10
Daily Pilot -
Members of the public ask where the Fair Board stands on the proposed OC Fairground sale, but they have no way of knowing because the meetings are cancelled due to lack of quorum.
Volunteers Not Rained Out 02-06-10 Daily Pilot - Fifty volunteers worked in soggy weather collected trash as part of a campaign called ZeroTrash hosted by non-profit Earth Resource Foundation.
Fairgrounds Use to be Clarified 02-02-10
Daily Pilot -
The City Council of Costa Mesa voted to amend the City's General Plan to further delineate the land use for the OC Fairgrounds. Costa Mesa voters will vote on the amendment in June.
Concerns Addressed in West Coyote Hills Report 01-29-10
O.C. Register - Comments have been made public on the West Coyote Hills Environmental Impact Report. The City says air quality and greenhouse gases can't be mitigated in the project's report.
Reps. Plan to Revise Fair Bill 01-29-10
Daily Pilot -
Assemblymembers Jose Solorio and Van Tran pulled AB 1590 off the Assembly floor because its language no longer calls for the sale of the OC Fairgrounds.
Fair Leader Gets a Raise 01-21-10
Daily Pilot -
Even with public outcry and an investigation by the OC District Attorney, the OC Fairgrounds Board of Directors voted to increase the salary of its chief executive by $7,000 a year.
Generation M2 01-20-10 A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study found that kids between 8 and 18 spend more than 53 hours a week (7 hrs 38 minutes a day) using entertainment media.
Mr. Governor, Stop This Sale 01-17-10
Daily Pilot -
Craig Realty won as highest bid, at $65 million, for the OC Fairgrounds, but the Governor may still scrap the sale because the state was expecting around $100 million for the sale.
Nature Deficit Disorder January 2010
Environmental education programs offer children a chance to learn outdoors instead of always doing structured activities.
High Bid on OC Fairgrounds Lower Than Expected 01-14-10
ABC Local - The top bid ($56.5 million) was lower than the state expected for the sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds. Historically, the state thought they could bring in $180 million for the site.
Connecting 1,000 Acres 01-12-10 Daily Pilot - FHBP and local cities form a subcommittee to connect 1,000 acres at the mouth of the Santa Ana River.
City, County Put in Joint Bid 01-10-10
Daily Pilot - In an move to save the 150 acre OC Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa and County submitted a joint bid for the property. If someone else's bid wins, any attempt to change the zoning must be approved by Costa Mesa City Council.
Sneak Preview: Orange County's Newest Park 01-09-10
OC Register - This short video shows parts of the proposed Black Star Canyon Regional Park, with interviews from Irvine Ranch Conservancy's Executive Director Mike O'Connell and OC Parks District Supervisor John Gannaway.
New Bridge Coming in Soon 01-06-10
A pedestrian bridge will soon connect the Bolsa Chica Mesa to the parking lot on Warner. Bolsa Chica Land Trust's Flossie Horgan commented it has been a long time coming, but it is a tribute to the community responding.
OC Fairgrounds Sale Still On 01-05-10
Daily Pilot – Three Costa Mesa City Councilmembers and the City Manager traveled to Sacramento to discuss rescinding the decision to allow the sale of the OC Fairgrounds.
Nature Deficit Disorder January 2010
Orange County Parenting – Environmental education programs offer children a chance to learn outdoors instead of always doing structured activities.