SOC912 will meet on Fri., May 23, 7:00 p.m. On the program will be a screening of the documentary “Blue.” The film exposes the Green Movement, which says the Earth is threatened by the activity, even the existence, of mankind, and that the noble response is to restrict freedoms in order to save the planet. “Blue” is an independently funded documentary challenging that idea. Its director, J.D. King, explores the reality beneath the rhetoric and shows the movement is no longer about humans' proper conservancy of nature but about seizing the new “green” – of money, power and dictatorial control. No charge to attend the meeting; donations are requested to help pay for costs. Light refreshments. The group meets at the Norman P. Murray Community Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, http://www.meetup.com/SOC912/events/181681522/
Capistrano Valley Republican Women Federated will meet on Wed., May 21, 9:00 a.m., at the Marbella Country Club, 30800 Golf Club Drive, San Juan Capistrano. The featured speaker will be Robert M. Hammond, a member of the Orange County Board of Education. His topic will be “What Is Common Core?” CVRWF meets on third Wednesdays of most months. Call (949) 240-6799 for reservations, http://cvrwf.org
Approximately half of Mission Viejo’s homeowners will receive a letter from the Orange County Fire Authority. It is the first direct notice to MV homeowners of an unpopular city council majority decision in 2012, placing half the city in a “Special” fire protection area. Without a compelling reason to do it, council majority members Frank Ury, Dave Leckness, Rhonda Reardon and Trish Kelley put homeowners at risk to increased insurance premiums and lower property values. The obvious fire hazard – overgrown brush on county- and city-owned property – is not affected. While homeowners will now be subject to inspections and told to cut down such trees as pine and eucalyptus, the county and city are not required to do anything. Numerous articles have been published on this blog, and Joe Holtzman’s article in the May issue of Community Common Sense tells the impact of the council majority’s big mistake, http://www.ccsense.com/2014/05/mission-viejo_115.html#more
The council majority’s decision to add 12,000 Mission Viejo homes to the fire zones (4-1 vote, Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht dissenting) took place on July 1, 2012. During the meeting, Councilwoman Rhonda Reardon emphatically claimed it would have no negative impact on Mission Viejo residents. Her statement defied logic, and residents have since learned from insurance companies that she was wrong. Council members up for reelection this year include Reardon and Leckness, who have indicated they are running in November 2014. Ury’s council term doesn’t end until 2016, but he is currently running for a seat on the OC Board of Supervisors. Voters residing in the fire zones have new reasons to vote out incompetent elected officials.
What kind of spin will council majority members attempt during the May 19 meeting? Will they lie again or try to distract everyone by citing the recent wildfires as an excuse for their irresponsible act in 2012? Fire hazards on an individual’s property can be addressed without putting entire neighborhoods in a fire zone. If Council Members Ury, Leckness, Reardon and Kelley apologize for their bad decision in 2012, it will be an interesting turn of events. All residents should be carefully watching the performance of those running for office – Ury, Reardon and Leckness. Trish Kelley terms out of office in November, and Cathy Schlicht – the only council member who consistently does her homework and represents residents – is not up for reelection this year. Also demonstrating buffoonery throughout the fire zone discussions was City Attorney Bill Curley. As another matter, the way lines were drawn by other officials indicates incompetence if not outright deceit. Wait until residents learn about how it was done.
The risk of many Mission Viejo homes to fire has always been the unmaintained tinderbox vegetation on public property. Pine and eucalyptus trees are abundant on city property, and the city has persisted in planting more and more trees instead of maintaining existing trees or removing inappropriate ones. Overgrown pine and eucalyptus are often ignored until they fall down. When the community was built, the developer planted cheap and fast-growing trees, which should have been replaced by now. Such city administrators as Keith Rattay have been on a tree-planting rampage, boasting that the city literally has a million trees. With a severe water shortage, drought, increase in the cost of water and heightened concern about fire, why has City Manager Dennis Wilberg not reined in the No. 1 contributor to the problem? Rattay should have been redirected to address the city’s neglected open space, fire hazards of overgrown brush and replacing inappropriate trees.