Our own Femme Wonkita named “Best Political Protester of the Year” by OC Weekly!

Let’s congratulate former Costa Mesa Mayor Sandy Genis, who blogs brilliantly as “La Femme Wonkita” both here on the Juice and on her own site, for her latest honor – she’s been named “Best Political Protester of the Year” by the OC Weekly!  I would have preferred “Activist of the Year,” since she actually accomplishes a lot, but we’re still very proud of the award.  And this comes right on the heels of our sister blog, the Fullerton Fringers, getting the coveted “Best Political Blog of the Year” award (which we got in aught-7.)

Here’s the Weekly’s blurb on Sandy, although many of us could add a lot to it:

While political insiders negotiated in relative secrecy about the proposed forced sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, Sandy Genis—the city’s former mayor—has been a one-woman show, delving into the finer points of the deal and revealing the anti-public terms. At City Council meetings and in quotes to inquiring reporters, Genis has claimed the deal allows a future real-estate developer incredibly wide latitude to alter the existing property with almost zero public oversight. What about putting a giant Wal-Mart or Mercedes-Benz dealership on the site? The questions raised by Genis helped inspire 50,000 residents to sign a petition asking Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to rescind his order calling for the sale of the fairgrounds as a misguided attempt to reduce the state’s massive budget shortfall. A resolution isn’t clear at the moment, but what is certain is that Genis made an impact.

And Sandy does a lot more than that;  she’s been fighting the Fairgrounds Swindle on about a half-dozen different fronts, and spends the other half of her time fighting the Poseidon Desalination Boondoggle.  But you know what she’d say if she were here right now?  She’d say, “Thanks, but don’t waste your time congratulating me – CALL Governor Schwarzenegger NOW and tell him to stop the sale of the Fairgrounds!”  His phone number is 916-445-2841, Arnold’s Fax = 916-558-3160, and if you don’t have a Fax machine (or even if you do, this is so simple) use THIS free service:  https://faxzero.com/

Yes, that sounds like a broken record, but we have come around to that point again.  We’ve managed to derail the rotten deal Costa Mesa cut with profiteers Facilities Management West, but now Arnold is considering selling it outright to one of four private developers.  He doesn’t have to though, and maybe he won’t, now that the budget has been passed without the measly $96 million he expects to get for it.  The California budget doesn’t need it, it seems to just be possibly a political favor he owes to certain insiders.  He will be deciding this week. And doesn’t he want this huge county to remember his governorship fondly?

Anyway.  This post is about Sandy, so let me wrap up with the latest e-mail from the group she chairs, the Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society:


This may be the most important chain letter you will ever get!!

It is vital you call or fax Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Phone: 916-445-2841 ~ Fax: 916-558-3160
Tell the Governor to stop the sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds.
Working together we’ve made a difference, beating back repeated efforts to sell our Orange County Fairgrounds. If not for our protests, letters, petitions, phone calls, faxes, and other contacts with our State legislators, the Fairgrounds would have been sold to a developer already.
But our work isn’t done; our Fairgrounds is still at risk. We must stay vigilant!
Please call or send a fax to Governor Schwarzenegger NOW.

After you have done that, please forward this to everyone on your e-mail list.
If you fail to do so, it will NOT: cause you to break out in boils all over your body, cause your house to be hit by a meteor, and cause your son or daughter to join a doomsday cult.
However, failure to act COULD result in:
Loss of the Centennial Farm, visited by 80,000 school children annually
Loss of the public equestrian center
Loss of the Orange County Market Place and the 1,600 small businesses that operate there.
Loss of $2.5 million per year in local tax revenue
Loss of $185 million per year in regional economic activity
Loss of the 2,184 jobs created by that economic activity.
Plus, an additional $40 to $50 million in costs to Coast Community College District to replace fairgrounds surface parking currently utilized by Orange Coast College.



Our fairground is priceless and part of our heritage. Together we can save it!

“It’s time for Sacramento to stop playing politics with our fairgrounds and simply take this valuable public asset off the market for good,” – Sandy Genis.


Join us on Facebook “Derail the Sale”

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.