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parks and open space in the news - 2011

Planning for a Slow Recovery 10-30-11
OC Register - Irvine Company Chairman Donald Bren talks about his company, development during a down economy and his legacy of open space.

Mountain Lions Spotted In South County Park, Near School 10-25-11
OC Register - Hikers on a ranger led sunset hike at Riley Wilderness Park spotted a mountain lion running across the trail and into the brush. A second sighting by other hikers occurred a few days later. The likely increase in sightings is due to the increased deer herd populations.

Harman Blasts Gov. Brown Over Parks Bill Veto 10-07-11
Daily Pilot - With temporary closures of California State Parks, State Senator Tom Harman blames partisanship on Governor Brown's veto of Harman's bill which would have allowed private companies to operate cash strapped parks.

Mayor Calls For Investigation of New Fair Board Member 08-17-11
Daily Pilot - Mayor Gary Monahan asked County prosecutors to investigate whether Fair Board member, Nick Bernardo, was in violation of the Open Meetings Act because of a request he sent to other fair board members for an independent audit investigation.

Fair Board Chairman Rejects Suggested Audit and Review Committee 08-16-11
Daily Pilot - Chair David Ellis said he wouldn't include on the Fair Board's upcoming agenda the call to create a special committee on the fair sale, nor would he add the request to have an independent audit of the fair.

That's a Wrap, Folks 08-15-11
Daily Pilot - Southern Californians flocked to the Orange County Fair in record numbers -- a over 1.4 million visitors and enjoyed new favorites like deep fried Kool-Aid.

West Coyote Hills Opponents Hit Number for Petition 08-13-11
OC Register - Residents turned in enough signatures for their petition to repeal the Council's 4-1 decision to allow the 760 unit Coyote Hills development. Now the issue will go before Fullerton voters.

FHBP Releases Directory to Help Cities 08-01-11
Since 2009, FHBP and its supporters have worked to create a Resource Guide that helps cities create more sustainable communities. Every Orange County city and the County received multiple copies of the Directory to further "green" policies.

Park District V. Developer V. Toad: Who Won? 07-18-11
OC Register - The Silverado Modjeska Recreation and Park District won its appeal and no longer has to pay the developers legal fees, totaling $358,000. Conservation groups working to protect the Holtz Ranch lost their appeal to protect the endangered arroyo toad and its habitat.

State: O.C. Fairgrounds No Longer for Sale 07-15-11
Daily Pilot - The state had been on the losing end of a $100 million sale (and Court of Appeals decision) of the OC Fairgrounds, but now state officials say the OC Fairgrounds are no longer for sale.

State Officials No Longer Want to Sell Orange County Fairgrounds 07-15-11
KPCC - Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger put the OC Fairgrounds, and other state properties, up for sale to help alleviate the ailing state budget. After losing in the Court of Appeals, the state no longer has the OC Fairgrounds on the market.

[UPDATED: FMW Appeals Ruling] Court Critical of Sale Process Denies FMW's Fairgrounds Bid--Sale Halted 06-29-11
OC Weekly - FMW appealed the Court of Appeals decision to stop the sale of the OC Fairgrounds. FMW claims flaws in the bidding process can be remedied and should proceed corrected.

Transportation in 2 06-20-11
OCTA - Conservation groups, leaders, OCTA staff and board members celebrated the milestones of the OCTA Environmental Mitigation Program. The Program has protected nearly 900 acres and has five restortation projects underway.

Back Country Battles - 06-20-11
OC Register - Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders face challenges on multi-use trails. This article recommonds common courtesy and a simple hello.

OC Park History Is A Tale of Two Counties 06-13-11
Voice of OC - But for the hard, and secret, work of Dave Baker and Richard Ramella Orange County's Mile Square Park wouldn't exist. As the southern portion of Orange County began to develop more parkland was set aside.

Appeals Court Kills Fairgrounds Sale 06-07-11
OC Register - The fate of the OC Fairgrounds is now in the hands of the California Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals decided to stop the sale and now the bidder, FMW, is filing an appeal of the decision.

State Appellate Court Kills OC Fairgrounds Sale 06-07-11
Voice of OC - The Court of Appeals granted a permanent injunction against the state's attempt to sell the OC Fairgrounds. Citing a lack of accountability and oversight, the Courts decided the sale could not move forward.

300 Acres Preserved with Transportation Funds 05-26-11
OC Register - Leo Hayashi sold his hillside property to the Orange County Transportation Authority. This property will now be set aside as mitigation open space. The former landowner planned to build roughly 300 houses on the site.

Debating OCTA's Real Estate Bid 05-21-11
OC Register - Environmental Oversight Committee (EOC) Member Nancy Jimeno commented on the goal of the OCTA mitigation program and the leadership of Supervisor Bates (EOC Chair) and Melanie Schlotterbeck (EOC Vice Chair).

Transportation in 2 05-20-11
OCTA - Officials, environmental groups and partners celebrated a land conservation victory on May 13. The first acquisition of the Environmental Mitigation Program was announced, as Saddle Creek South. FHBP's Melanie Schlotterbeck spoke about this history making moment.

Slide Show: A Brief Hike Through OCTA's New Trabuco Canyon Property 05-14-11
Mission Viejo Patch - View photos from the recent acquisition of mitigation lands in Trabuco Canyon.

84 Acres of Trabuco Canyon Set Aside as Open Space 05-14-11
San Juan Capistrano Patch - Officials held a ceremony for the purchase of Saddle Creek South to celebrate this milestone achievement. FHBP's Melanie Schlotterbeck said that today one of our dreams has come true and then challenged us to continue making history.

Coyote Hills: Public Park or Housing Development? Mid May 2011 (PDF 3.7 MB)
Fullerton Observer - The planned May 17 public meeting to decide the fate of the 510 acre Coyote Hills property was postponed until July 12. Friends of Coyote Hills has been working for 10 years to preserve this property, but so far Chevron is not a willing seller.

OCTA Buys Property to Preserve as Open Space Mid May 2011 (PDF 3.7 MB)
Fullerton Observer - OCTA commemorated its first acquisition with the Renewed Measure M Mitigation Program. Neither the City of Fullerton or Chevron responded favorably to OCTA's announcement of potential funds for West Coyote Hills.

84 Acres of Trabuco Canyon Set Aside as Open Space 05-14-11
Rancho Santa Margarita Patch - Officials held a ceremony for the purchase of Saddle Creek South to celebrate this milestone achievement. FHBP's Melanie Schlotterbeck said that today one of our dreams has come true and then challenged us to continue making history.

OCTA Buys Property to Preserve As Open Space 05-13-11
Metro Magazine - OCTA held a ceremony commemorating its first acquisition under its Environmental Mitigation Program. FHBP's Jean Watt commented on the unique partnership between the environmental community and OCTA.

Transit Agency Secures Land for Open Space 05-13-11
OC Register - The Orange County Transportation Authority celebrated the acquisition of 84 acres in Trabuco Canyon. FHBP's Jean Watt commented that it was the first time environmental groups partnered with OCTA.

Orange County Transportation Authority Unveils Its New Open Space 05-13-11
KPCC - OCTA CEO Will Kempton describes the importance of the Authority's first acquisition under the Renewed Measure M Envirionmental Mitigation Program.

Legislators to Debate Fate of OCFairgrounds 05-10-11
Voice of OC - State Legislators and the courts are both hearing about the potential sale of the fairgrounds. OC Assemblyman Jose Solorio wrote a bill that considers revenue sharing as an option. Stay tuned!

Fate of Two Cities Coming Up 04-28-11
Voice of OC - The City of Orange is preparing to consider a development (Ridgeline) that would pave over its last remaining open space. The same is true for the City of Fullerton, where the Coyote Hills project is proposed.

89 Acre Parcel in Foreclosure at $31 Million 04-14-11
OC Register - The owners of Robinson Ridge will have their property, which was planned to have 198 houses on it, enter foreclosure. Saddleback Canyons Conservancy co-founder Rich Gomez commented that he had heard their were troubles with the property.

Fair Games Over the OC Fairgrounds 03-17-11
OC Weekly - After Governor Schwarzenegger decided to list the Orange County Fairgrounds as surplus property -- a saga of deception and powerplays began.

L.A. County Responsible For Polluted Runoff That Flows into Sea, Appellate Panel Rules 03-11-11
Los Angeles Times - In a court of appeals decision, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Santa Monica Baykeeper won their suit. The courts ruled Los Angeles County was on the hook to clean polluted water from the LA and Santa Clara Rivers before it enters the Pacific Ocean

Wildlife Study on Irvine Ranch Lands
Irvine Ranch Conservancy - For more than 15 years, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey have been conducting studies on wildlife within the Irvine Ranch lands. The goal is to gain a better understanding of certain species to help improvement the stewardship of the land.

Transit Committee Backs Mega Station in Anaheim Amid Funding Questions 01-13-11
Los Angeles Times - The Anaheim ARTIC station, which has been on the drawing board for 25 years, gets questions about where the funding is coming from. According to Supervisor Nelson, Renewed Measure M only allows for enhancements to existing stations, not building new stations.

Platinum Triangle Visionary Village or Missed Opportunity? 01-12-11
Wilderutopia - FHBP Board member Jack Eidt writes about a sustainable urban village. Imagine a stroll along the Santa Ana River, a day trip to an Angel's game and dinner down from the park -- all opportunities missed in this 19,000 unit development at the Orange Crush.

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