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Lobdell: Some Thanksgiving leftovers

November 26, 2010|By William Lobdell

Here are some leftovers for you on the day after Thanksgiving.

Turkey. This fowl is also known as the Facilities Management West's deal with the state to buy the 150-acre Orange County Fairgrounds for $150 million.

It's already generated one lawsuit, and rumors are swirling around town that additional litigation will be filed next week to block the transaction.

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The game plan for the deal's opponents appears to be this: Use litigation to run out the clock on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's term, which ends Jan. 3. Then, lobby the new administration of Jerry Brown to kill the ill-conceived deal that lacks any community support and reeks of an inside job.

As a bonus, Brown could fire the fair board members en masse (this whole fiasco — including the wasted tax dollars — can be squarely placed on their shoulders), replacing them with new appointees.

Mashed potatoes. This dish — liked by everyone but some boaters — was served up by the Newport Beach City Council, which took antiquated local laws on mooring fees and transfers and mashed it into common sense rules.

Though the headline read "Council triples mooring fees" (the last increase was an astonishing 15 years ago), the real story was this: The new ordinances established public mooring fees at a reasonable 14% of the average Newport marina rent and will eventually end the repulsive practice of private boaters making sizeable profits from transfers of public moorings.

Stuffing. The Costa Mesa City Council is stuffing the community full of hooey if it keeps insisting that an open-minded and fair search will be conducted to fill the seat that will be open next month when Katrina Foley leaves for the Newport-Mesa school board.

Anyone who can fog a mirror — or spell "crony" — knows that Planning Commissioner Steve Mensinger will be offered the council post. There's nothing wrong with the conservative majority giving the empty seat to one of their own (and by the way, Mensinger seems well qualified for the job).

As they say, elections have consequences, and the incumbents have earned the right to appoint whom they want. But how about stopping the charade that there's no preordained pick and stop trying to stuff us with a lie?

Gravy. Did you catch Matt Szabo's moving story this week in the Pilot about Kristen Case, the super upbeat (and successful) girls tennis coach at Newport Harbor High?

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