“How can we celebrate the whales when we’re adding to the destruction of their home in the process?” In the week of the 49th Festival of Whales, primarily sponsored by the City of Dana Point and County of Orange, environmentalists question these agencies’ reluctance to tackle the plastic crisis.
The long-awaited revitalization of Dana Point Harbor, two decades in the making, will move forward after Orange County supervisors Tuesday approved a 66-year lease agreement to develop the Harbor through a public-private partnership.
ByNICK GERDA, THY VO, KASSIDY DILLON and BRANDON PHO |
Orange County supervisors Tuesday are poised to vote on a $1 billion-plus public-private revitalization project for Dana Point Harbor, although officials have so far declined to specify how much of the county’s $1.2 billion in projected harbor costs are expected to be paid out of park funds meant for the entire county.
Orange County supervisors Tuesday unanimously picked a team of developers to manage a long-awaited overhaul of Dana Point Harbor with new space for shops, restaurants, boat slips, and hotels – as one supervisor raised heated questions about how the winning team came to be chosen.
With Orange County supervisors poised to approve a developer to remake Dana Point Harbor this week, two different approaches appear for a public/private sector partnership to build hotels, docks and shops at the harbor. One bidder – Dana Point Partners – wants a $45 million subsidy from taxpayers while another, Dana Point Harbor Partners, seeks $20 million, both largely to fund parking garages and potential nearby street improvements.
Former Dana Point Police Chief Lynn Koehmstedt stayed 159 nights at the Dana Point Marina Inn, while another high-level official used the discount at least 75 times. Supervisor Todd Spitzer says they should be prosecuted.
Dana Point Harbor Director Brad Gross retired Thursday following an audit that determined the county-owned Dana Point Marina Inn handed out steep discounts to high-level harbor and Dana Point city workers for hundreds of room nights.
High-level employees of Dana Point Harbor and the city of Dana Point took advantage of a poorly documented employee discount program for room stays that had no approval or oversight from the Board of Supervisors.