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Mailbag: Privatizing TeWinkle fields will hurt Mesa del Mar

May 22, 2012

The community of Mesa del Mar, located between the Orange County Fairgrounds and Baker Street in Costa Mesa, has been a great place to live for many years, 34 in my case. I've raised three sons here and spent many idyllic hours with my grandson, age 5 now, at TeWinkle Park.

Angels Playground, the beautiful lakes, and the area's ducks and fountains are sought-after destinations for many families. The proposed privatization of the athletic complex between the Mesa del Mar tract, Davis Magnet School and TeWinkle Park, and directly across the street from the fairgrounds, is going to change things radically and, in my opinion, cause great harm to the area and the residents.

We homeowners were aware of the fairgrounds when we bought our homes, so we, more or less, willingly endure the noises, traffic and parking problems created by that establishment. During the fair we hear the rodeo, the screaming from carnival rides, the mariachis, the motorcycle races, the concerts in the new Hangar. The rest of the year, we hear the Barrett-Jackson auto event, more motorcycle races, the recent Pet Expo, the Scottish Games and many more.

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The notorious Pacific Amphitheater has thankfully reduced the noise level down to bearable. The fair's new chief executive, Jerome Hoban, and the sound engineer, Gary Hardesty, have guaranteed the residents of Mesa del Mar and surrounding areas that they are seriously working to reduce the sound invasion into our neighborhoods. We thank them for their sincere efforts.

The fair staff is also working with the city to control the parking and traffic problems caused by the overlapping events at the fairgrounds. The recent Pet Expo, coupled with the Orange County Market Place, created a disaster for anyone trying to enter or leave our tract, or find parking at or near the fairgrounds. This includes TeWinkle Park, one of the nicest, premier treasures of Costa Mesa.

All of the streets at that edge of the Mesa del Mar tract were inundated with cars that didn't belong in our community. This is what happens every time there are two large events at the fairgrounds.

And now, as if those overlapping events weren't enough, the city is considering privatizing the baseball fields that are literally in the backyards of some of the residents of Mesa del Mar.

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