Santana: OC Vets Cemetery in Irvine Stuck?

Irvine City staff are asking questions about the future of idle portions of a proposed 125-acre veterans’ cemetery – possibly eyeing vacant parcels for commercial development. Veteran leaders are publicly worrying that an expected Tuesday vote to finalize a controversial land swap for the vets cemetery could be in doubt along with key aspects of the deal to bring a state veterans’ cemetery to Irvine.

Santana: Inaction Can Kill

Orange County Supervisors keep wasting precious time with an anemic response to the homelessness explosion along the Santa Ana riverbed and downtown civic center. With Hep A outbreaks prompting action in both LA and San Diego Counties, how much longer will it take county supervisors to step up and protect public safety in Orange County?

Robbie: A Random Act of Mendez – For All of Us

Sandra Robbie describes its importance of Mendez v. Westminster and why she produced the documentary that depicts this important case. The year 2017 marks the 70-year anniversary. Random Act of Mendez celebrates a new Hispanic heritage tradition.

Santana: OC Contract Cities Rebuke County Supervisors Over Spiraling Sheriff Costs

Following significant salary hikes granted by Orange County Supervisors to Sheriff Deputies, fueling a 33 percent increase in costs over the past decade, contract cities are now starting to publicly question whether they need to look into alternatives. OC’s biggest contract city, Mission Viejo, takes leadership on a new audit of Sheriff’s patrol services. Big questions also loom over whether city or county taxpayers own the long-term pension obligations for both Deputy Sheriff’s and Firefighters if cities bolt from current regional policing and fire protection models.

Curry: Newport Beach State Gas Tax Reversal Highlights Power of Debate in Democracy

Former Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry credits city council members for voting to reverse track this month on their decision to forgo state gas tax funds. Yet it was the public and columnists like Tom Johnson and Barbara Venezia, Curry writes, that really moved the ball. Curry notes the experience underscores the need for strong public comment, debate and engagement in Orange County’s civic life.