Cypress Council: $330K for Race Track “Vision?”

(Cypress, CA, 2/25/2017)   [Editor’s Note:  There are at least two causes for concern about Cypress’ City Manager’s proposal:  1) Is it a good use of taxpayer money, which George Pardon addresses first.  2)  Under what conditions might it be a good use of taxpayer money?  & 3) What should be the City’s goals for such a study, both of which I will address at the end of George’s article.]

1.  Is this a good use of taxpayer money?

By George Pardon:  At this Monday’s Cypress City Council Meeting (2/27/2017)  Agenda Item 9 under New Business proposes spending $330,000 of the City’s money to develop a vision for the future development of the race track property.

When the school district sought a zone change to rezone MacKay School and the District Office, the city didn’t pay for it.  Most recently, the city has asked two developers to propose plans for the city’s 13 acre site but the city isn’t paying for it.

While there might be some value in the city taking the lead on how the race track property should be developed in the future, the implication is that the city and the residents didn’t provide any input into the last process.  Just like the city takes the lead on Environmental Impact Reports, the property owner reimburses the city.  After all, who is the primary financial beneficiary of the rezoning of the property if not the property owner?

If the city has an extra $330,000 to spend, maybe they need to hear from the residents as to how they think it should be spent.

One statement in the agenda item may indicate the catalyst behind this push by the city to have this property rezoned: Continue reading

A brief history of Thanksgiving, the uniquely American holiday

The Pilgrims’ big Thanksgiving feast was actually the third Thanksgiving!

(West Orange County, 11/22/2016) by Dave Emerson:  Thanksgiving is a uniquely North American holiday. It is only celebrated in the U.S. (4th Thursday in November), Canada (2nd Monday of October), and, more recently, in Grenada (October 25th).

What a great idea–a day set aside for a celebration of thanks! In many ways, it’s my favorite holiday–less commercialized, more family oriented, with unique American roots and even a relatively healthy main dish.

But there’s way more to this holiday then food and family, as a brief review of Thanksgivings past reveals.  Along with a few surprises. . . like the fact that the first Thanksgiving celebration in North America didn’t take place in Massachusetts, but in Florida! And the celebrants didn’t even speak English!

The real first recorded American Thanksgiving:  Continue reading

Cypress Measure GG: No free park?!

(Cypress, CA, 10/18/2015)  By George PardonA free park? Think twice before you swallow this hook.

Nowhere in the Measure GG initiative does it say that the race track is going to donate the 20.7 acre park area to the City of Cypress. While Measure GG restricts the zoning on the 20.7 acres, all of the race track property currently allows a park as a permitted use. Maybe the race track will donate the property to the city or maybe they will sell it to the city or?

The initiative does allow for a performing arts center to be built on this ‘park’ property with a conditional use permit. Again, the initiative doesn’t say the 20.7 acres ‘park’ property will be a donation to the city. It could be a small park with the rest sold off to a developer to build a performing arts center.

It’s time to vote. Why isn’t the initiative more specific on such an important issue to the residents? It’s interesting to see all the projects that the property owners chose to put in the initiative but then chose not indicate they were going to donate the 20.7 acre ‘park’ property to the city.

Also, a number of people have indicated they didn’t know that Measure GG rezones more than just the race track and golf course property. Here is a breakdown of the property proposed for rezoning: Continue reading

Park evaluation, Senior Housing on Monday Cypress City Council Agenda

(Cypress, CA, 10/25/2015) by George Pardon:  Click here for the Cypress City Council Agenda  for Monday, October 26:

http://www.ci.cypress.ca.us/administration/2015_agd_,min/2015_agendas/102615_agenda.html

In addition to the Cypress City Council considering approval of the 33 acre Senior Housing/Commercial Retail development called Barton Place (Agenda Item #1), the City Council will also consider approving a scope of work for a study to assess current park space, recreation facilities and current and projected community needs to guide future capital improvement planning. 

The scope of work for this assessment includes the evaluation of sports parks, neighborhood parks, and the Senior Center.  The need to conduct this study was included as an objective of the City Council’s March 2015 update of the City’s Strategic Plan.   Agenda Item #10 provides valuable information about existing  park space and recreation facilities that I think you’ll find to be a beneficial read.  http://www.ci.cypress.ca.us/administration/2015_agd_,min/2015%20_staff%20_reports/102615%20Staff%20Reports/10_Facilities_Assessment_102615.pdf Continue reading

Massage, stop signs, parking, cell tax, land purchase on 10/19/2015 Council Agenda

What could be done with those striped end sections?
City Hall :  The "elephant in the room?"

What’s this month’s closed session about?

(10/18/2015, Los Alamitos)  Note:  I still hope to get JM’s important post on corruption in OC up later today, but felt the need to get a brief post up on Monday’s Los Alamitos City Meeting first. by Dave Emerson:

The revised agenda for Monday’s 6 pm Los Alamitos City Council Meeting is now online, and quite a number of items caught my attention:

Item 14:  Last on the agenda, is a Closed Session with representatives of the  Lincoln Property Company and the Joint Forces Training Base for the purpose of negotiating “price and terms of payment.”   Not sure what exactly they’re paying for, and since it’s a closed session I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find out and still live, but I did put out an inquiry for details to at least one City Official.  Could be something mundane, maybe the long discussed idea of moving City Hall.  My personal hope would be for a OC Parks Regional Sports Park, possibly including a football/soccer/baseball athletic stadium, which is Continue reading

HG: Los Al Blight: Someone needs to look into this

This aerial shot of Los Alamitos High School shows 6 recommendations, 2 of which were deemed unfeasible by the LAUSD

Our Thursday columnist asks what’s hiding behind that red, white, and blue banner at Los Al & Cerritos

(Los Alamitos, 10/16/2015)  LosAlNews Update:  Dave E here.   I’ve been somewhat MIA around here while dealing with everything from my Mom’s passing & service to thee adoption celebration for our newest grandkid.  Real “Circle of Life” stuff, with lots to share when I get time.

In the meantime, two of our other major contributors have put together two articles on two major West OC issues.  First, our Thursday columist weighs in again on something that shoul concern us all.  Then, later today or tomorrow, I’ll release a report JM Ivler’s been working on for a couple of weeks on a scandal that reaches from Los Alamitos to our County DA and maybe even Sacramento.  Stay tuned!

by Highlands Guy:  Prominently displayed on the north east corner of Los Alamitos Blvd and Cerritos Ave is sign that touts the good stuff that is Los Alamitos High School. ‘Home of the Griffins:  Academics, Athletics, Activities, and the Arts,’ are displayed prominently in red, white, and blue.

Very nice, and inspiring.  But did you ever look over the fence that the sign is on, or wonder how come this space has been vacant for the last 20 years, especially in the face of a school that is always bursting at the seams? Continue reading