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The world of politics and celebrity are pretty much the same. Issues which you think have been resolved suddenly return with an ardor, that one can only wax unwilling in amazement. You take Lindsay Lohan for instance! No, how about OJ Simpson? Charles Manson? Charlie Sheen perhaps? OC School Superintendent Jeff Hubbard? The two Henry’s of Orange County? Oh the list goes on and on and on. The search for any clarity for a final, final answer always seems so hopeless. How about the Casey Anthony, Natalie Holloway, Foxy Knoxy and now the George and Trayvon debacle or even Anders Brevit. How long can these various stories remain news cycles? Do they always have to keep going like the Energizer Bunny without resolution?
Well, after about 50 years (we are exaggerating of course) the OCTA – Orange County Transportation Authority that is: finally voted to dump part of their Traffic Mitigation and Circulation Plan and bring some solace (also some stability to property values) to the folks that live in West Costa Mesa, East Huntington Beach and half of the Traffic Engineers in Orange County Planning Departments scattered around the Southern California area. Even our old nemesis Garold Adams, who beat us twice running for Newport Beach City Council District #4 is probably looking to return from Washington D.C. and get back into the old Traffic Circulation Planning Game. Adams has been gone to the east coast now for years, by the way!
OK, we are being a bit cynical and acerbic regarding “the Planning of a Bridge for sometime in the Future”. OCTA said: “Done! No more 19th Street Bridge!” Newport Beach came back and said: “We want a redo!” They even had to pull out an old warhorse from a prior Planning Commission appointment. Hawkins shouts the devils down! “We want the Bridge back in the plan or we will sue!” Sounds fairly serious doesn’t it? OK, OCTA said: “NO WAY RENE! We are sticking to our guns and NO MORE STINKING BRIDGES Yankee – WE don’t need no stinking bridges!” Hawkins comes back to the Newport Beach City Council: The Vote for OCTA to RE-DO or Newport will sue: 5 to 2! Leslie Daigle who is running for the new 74th Assembly District had to vote NO and our good friend Keith Curry went along with her….so it didn’t look that stupid.
Meanwhile, ex-Planning Commissioner turned litigant Bobby Hawkins is busy filing new paperwork to contest the decision of the OCTA. He is calling for an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) before the OCTA could reach a final, final decision. Since the 19th Bridge is merely a contingency plan and not set in stone, the OCTA thinks they “do not have to do any STINKING EIR…..WE don’t need no stinking EIR!” There is a 35 day Approve or Deny phase and then Dr. Hawkins will have to file suit to stop the presses that would remove the 19th Street Bridge from the County Circulation Plan.
The County however has become conciliatory and at least willing to talk to City Manager Dave Kiff of Newport Beach. OCTA sitting member Shaun Nelson meanwhile is probably just looking for special parking privileges at the Balboa Bay Club, but wonders why no one called him before the original OCTA vote. Is this going to turn out to be another episode of Dancing with the Stars – or what? Don’t these folks have actual things to do? How can make work programs like this exist in the 21st Century? Guess it is going to take some Judge to finally put a stake in the heart to this issue. Can anyone make the process any more convoluted or confusing? Can’t someone just say: “We don’t want the 55 Freeway to go all the way to Pacific Coast Highway and end there!” Do we constantly have to try confusion or misrepresentation or shout out other issues which are totally off the subject to seemingly just make work – where there is none?
The dirty little secret just in case you didn’t notice: If they remove the 19th Street Bridge from the County Circulation Plan, they will require other mitigation measures which will have to be considered, evaluated and implemented into the existing Traffic Plan for the county. Now, when will that be printed and be presented and suggested – for another 50 years?
So here is a question: Should the City of Newport Beach offer the mitigation measures or should the OCTA? Should all parties be required to agree on the mitigation measures or should it simply be a choice finalized - by the OCTA Board? Meanwhile, (in case you haven’t noticed just yet) the Secret Service is in big trouble……by spending all their TDY money in Columbia. What really happened? What, they never got their expense checks “in advance” as they were promised? How long to you think that this story will go on and on? Better ask Mom…that is, if you dare! Cause (The Non or Working MOM story) that story could be going on and on and on too!