March 6, 2006
Thinking about throwing that old cell phone in the trash? Think again. A new California regulation outlaws throwing phones, batteries and other materials containing lead or other heavy metals in the trash, changing the way local families and small businesses manage their waste. Known as "Universal Waste Rule," the new law governs dozens of items found around the house: lithium batteries, mercury thermostats, fluorescent lights, old computer monitors, televisions, computer hard drives and personal electronics.
December 2, 2005
In the opening minutes of "Rent" we see the actors on a bare stage, singing their hearts out to an empty theater. The voices soar in thrilling harmonies as they sing about what makes up a year in one's life. I think to myself, this is brilliant. Little did I know that from there it would mostly be all downhill. For while "Rent," Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer-winning 1995 darling of the stage, has wonderful musicality and an enormously talented cast, the movie version only serves to highlight another case of style over substance.
November 4, 2005
Ahoy. You have seen them cruising around the waterways. Most of you have ridden one or at least want to ride one. Everyone returns to shore with a smile on their face. What I am referring to are personal watercrafts, motorcycles of the water. These vessels provide recreational activities that are fun for the whole family and are affordable. Seventy-five percent of personal watercraft sold will hold up to three people, and newer models have four-stroke engines, which are environmentally friendly.
October 27, 2005
If you didn't know better, which of the following would you guess is under scrutiny -- a member of a city council spending city money on supporting nonprofit groups or a council member spending that money on a fancy cell phone with a wireless ear piece? If you guessed the cell phone, you've made the logical choice, but logic is not much in vogue these days in Costa Mesa City Hall, where Councilwoman Katrina Foley has been called out by colleague Eric Bever for giving money to organizations such as the Davis School PTA Jog-A-Thon and College Park Fast Tutoring program.
August 19, 2005
Researchers at UC Irvine want to make technology greener by using a $1.5-million grant to produce a prototype electronic device using environmentally friendly materials. Scientists have five years to use the grant. Professor Oladele Ogunseitan, slated to lead the research team, said it is hoped that the result of the research will be a device -- possibly a cell phone -- that works as well as current technology but uses safer components. Cell phones and other electronics, Ogunseitan said, contain metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium.
June 18, 2005
Andrew Edwards Costa Mesa restaurateurs and residents could wind up sharing the costs of keeping grease out of local sewer pipes. The Costa Mesa Sanitary District's board is set to consider billing Costa Mesans later this summer. The board is not scheduled to vote on the proposed fees until August, but if approved, fees will go into effect retroactive to July 1, sanitary district assistant manager Thomas Fauth said. The new fees would be due at the same time as property taxes.
May 27, 2005
The hit comedy "Monster-in-Law," featuring the much-hyped return to the big screen of Oscar winner Jane Fonda, is a disappointing waste of her talent. Playing the ultimate meddling mother must have been a tempting change of pace after her great roles in "Klute" and "On Golden Pond." But the script by Anya Kochoff and direction of Robert Luketic ("Legally Blonde") goes for easy laughs and big box office, reducing everything to silly shtick that gets wrapped up in pretty peach ribbons at the end. Viola Fields (Fonda)
March 16, 2005
Watchdog says it all on council hubris Dolores Otting's Watchdog piece in the March 6 Sunday Forum pages "Talk about building, and they will come" -- about the new city hall promotion -- says it all! The insensitivity, poor judgment and hubris repeatedly exhibited by this City Council is just amazing. Council members seem to have an unerring knack for picking issues that the residents are likely to jam down their throats. I'm also wondering how our council could take nearly six months to get the first meeting of the Marinapark ad hoc committee off the ground but could approve a huge consulting contract and schedule three public forums on the new city hall, all to be completed within two months.
December 17, 2004
JOHN DEPKO "Ocean's Twelve" is guaranteed to be nominated for nothing at Oscar time, unless "Most Disappointing Big Budget Movie of the Year" becomes a new category. Never has so much A-list talent been put to so little use. It's hard to imagine that George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones could all be found sleepwalking through the same scenes. But there they are: beautiful, bored and devoid of any interest in the work at hand.
April 8, 2004
Alicia Robinson California ranks near the bottom of the 50 states in wasteful federal spending, but Congress approved more than $3 million in local "pork barrel" projects, according to Citizens Against Government Waste. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group on Wednesday released its annual "pig book," which catalogs what it sees as unnecessary congressional spending. Statewide, 2004 wasteful spending was listed at nearly $643 million, which averaged about $18.12 per person and ranked California 43rd nationwide in pork spending, the group said.