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cathy greenOne of the arguments against dividing Anaheim into single-member council districts is that it makes the council dynamic more parochial and fractious because councilmembers will tend to place the interests of their section of the city above the interests of the city as a whole.

We saw that in action on December 9 when members of the OC Water District Board of Directors were explaining why they were voting for or against leasing the Ball Road Basin for the construction of a power plant. Seven of the 10 members of the OCWD Board are elected from single-member districts (they call them “divisions”). Director Cathy Green represents Division 6, which is composed of parts of Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach.

Green told the crowd of Anaheim residents and business employees she had prepared explanations for casting a vote in favor and against the power plant least, and announced she would support leasing Ball Road Basin to Competitive Power Ventures. Green said the lease would generate revenue for the OCWD, which would benefit her constituents in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach — and she reminded us that it was their interests she had been elected to represent. Not the interests of the OCWD as a whole (which includes how the district interacts with and impacts neighboring communities), but the interests of her Division 6 residents.

It’s useful to note here that this vote went against Anaheim by the barest of margins: 6-4. If one more director had voted “no” instead of “yes,” the lease proposal would have been defeated and Anaheim would have to spend the next 18 months fighting the siting of a power plant on the Ball Road Basin.

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The OC Register on Friday published an article on the Anaheim Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team:

Up to 10 officers eventually will be assigned to work on the Homeless Outreach Team, charged with building a rapport with the growing number of indigents living in Orange County’s most populous city. The Anaheim Poverty Task Force this year counted 447 homeless people living across the city during daytime hours – mostly gathered in parks, on the city’s west side and in the neighborhoods surrounding the Disneyland Resort.

The Anaheim Police Department’s new outreach team is based on an enforcement program in neighboring Fullerton, where police officers work in tandem with local churches and nonprofit groups to connect transients with motel vouchers, bus passes, clothes and gift cards to fast-food restaurants. A county mental-health clinician often is dispatched with officers to help the despondent. So far, 40 homeless people have been moved into transitional housing or reconnected with relatives, officials said.

This is approach is a wise one for the APD because it stems from its basic law enforcement mission. The police aren’t trying to “end homelessness” but to make the city safer for everyone, including the homeless. Part of that is connecting homeless individuals with organizations trying to help those who want it to achieve independence and a normal life.

The Homeless Outreach Team also recognizes the inherent limits of their work:

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Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray

Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray

From Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray’s e-newsletter, which came over the transom on Monday:

Waste Not OC

Working to End Hunger in Our Community

Last week, I met with the founders of the Waste Not OC Coalition. Waste Not OC is a public-private partnership with the sole mission to end hunger in Orange County. In Orange County, 379,960 individuals are at risk of hunger every month and 1 in 5 children are not receiving the food they need.

Fortunately, our community of residents and businesses are coming together to dedicate their time, resources, and energy to ensure that food is available and accessible to those in need. Waste Not OC is reaching out to local organizations, hotels, restaurants, the resort area, and the City of Anaheim to facilitate the donation of surplus food to local food banks and pantries.

Every year, 36.31 million tons of food is wasted in the United States; much of which would have been donated to the hungry if it weren’t for the fear of liability. With the passage of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, businesses, organizations, and individuals that donate food are now protected from legal liability that may arise from their donations.

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When the OCWD Board of Director’s voted 6-4 on December 9 to lease the Ball Road Basin to Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), it was the first step on a longer road CPV must travel to get permission to build a 400 megawatt power plant on the site.

CPV needed the lease agreement approved in order to meet the December 16, 2013 deadline set in a Southern California Edison’s Request-For-Offers for power generation. There are still a number of hurdles CPV needs to clear before it can actually build a plant, and here is a timeline of that process:

January 30, 2014: Edison notifies offerors who have been placed on the shortlist for consideration for contracts. If CPV’s offer doesn’t make the shortlist, it’s my understanding their proposal for a Ball Road Basin plant is dead for the time being.

May 22, 2014: If CPV’s Ball Road Basin proposal makes the shortlist, May 22 is the deadline to complete negotiation of agreement with Edison.

May 29, 2014: Deadline to submit a final offer.

June 26, 2014: Last date for notification of successful offers and to sign agreements.

If CPV succeeds in negotiation a power agreement with Edison for the proposed Ball Road Basin project, it will then begin the California Energy Commission’s 12-month review and approval process.

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nativity_ large

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them,

“Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.”

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

This is what it is all about. An omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving God taking the incarnating Himself as a helpless infant in order to accomplish the salvation of the stubborn, rebellious and sinful people He had created in His image.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Our Savior and the hope of the world.

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray published this op-Ed in the Anaheim Bulletin yesterday:

Last week, the Orange County Water District voted to lease property at the Ball Road Basin in Anaheim to a private company, Competitive Power Ventures, to build a gas-fired power plant. It would include 90-foot stacks towering over the neighboring community and obstructing the view of local businesses as well as the Honda Center and Angels Stadium.

Shockingly, the OCWD board also refused to consider changes to the plan that would have required approval by the City of Anaheim. Even more shocking, this planned power plant will not provide power to Anaheim.

Anaheim residents should be outraged that a 20-acre power plant – proposed for an area currently zoned as open space along the Santa Ana River trail – was approved prior to conducting any feasibility studies, environmental impact reports, public hearings, or obtaining any land use permits.

Anaheim recognizes the need for diverse sources of power in Southern California, especially with the permanent loss of the San Onofre plant. In Anaheim, we’ve focused on promoting diverse energy resources and conservation. In fact, Anaheim’s utility department developed a power portfolio that will exceed 33 percent renewable energy. Our residents, schools and businesses have partnered with the city on major solar projects. Most recently, the Honda Center – home of the Anaheim Ducks – partnered with Bloom Energy on new energy technology, making it one of the greenest facilities in the National Hockey League.

It is important to note that Anaheim offered two alternative sites properly zoned and approved for this purpose, but CPV rejected these sites – even though their prospective client, Southern California Edison, released maps to specify medium- and high-value locations that did not include the land at Ball Road Basin.

Orange County Register has also weighed in, arguing that the project should be subject to the local jurisdiction in its Dec. 10 editorial “Hear about the power plant? Anaheim project proceeds with scant notice.” They recommended that OCWD and Competitive Power Ventures slow down and allow local residents and the City Council to have “a larger voice in this matter, given they will be most impacted by the proposal.”

In Anaheim, we’ve had a long history of working collaboratively with OCWD on vital infrastructure projects, including a recent partnership to build Anaheim’s Canyon Power Plant in 2011. But it’s inexcusable that this new project is moving forward without any local review or planning in the process.

A broad coalition of community leaders, area businesses, and local and state lawmakers have joined together to oppose the power plant at this location. Now is the time for city residents to speak up.

Go to stopthepowerplant.com for more information on how you can get involved and make your voice heard.

The Anaheim City Council last night took an important step in the fight against the building of a 400 megawatt power plant on the Ball Road Basin, adjacent to the Anaheim Auto Center and very near residential neighborhoods and the eastern entertainment gateway to the city.

Ball Road Basin Power Plant
Support by a strong turnout of Stop the Power Plant coalition activists, the council approved a resolution proposed by Councilwoman Kris Murray stating that “if a special district or other government agency seeks to lease, sell, or develop property within Anaheim’s city limits, then the special district or other government agency should be subject to the City’s planning process to ensure orderly and consistent development with the surrounding community and uses, to the extent permitted by law; and 2) To direct representatives appointed by the Council, who may sit on a special district or government agency, communicate the positions expressed in this Resolution to the special district on which that member serves.”

The OCWD voted last week, in the face of intense community opposition, to lease the Ball Road Basin to Competitive Power Ventures for the construction of a power plant. CPV hopes to obtain a contract with Edison to provide power for its customers (Anaheim residents receive their power from the city utility). Since it is a power plant use, CPV bypasses the city planning process and the ordinary EIR process, and goes straight to the California Energy Commission for approval; the CEC approval process includes its own environmental review component.

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Virtually all city councils conduct their reorganization in December, electing their mayor and mayor pro tem. Since Anaheim has a directly elected mayor, tonight’s reorganization is for the MPT spot, currently held by Gail Eastman.

Generally speaking, councils tend to rotate the mayor pro tem position (although it can get political) so everyone gets a turn; although rotation really hasn’t been the rule in Anaheim.

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Anaheim Insider here.

Conservative talk radio host John Phillips was on his AM790 colleague Doug Mcintyre’s this morning discussing the Angels negotiations framework (Mayor Tait and his backers have misled the public the impression this is the deal, and not negotiation starting points):

John Phillips is a conservative, small government, free-market guy, and he can’t exactly be tagged as standing to benefit from the outcome of the negotiations. He sees is the big picture: this is the framework for a deal that can keep the Angels in town (much more important than Tait & Co. seem to realize), have them pay for the huge stadium improvement tab, and put fallow city owned land to economic use that will create jobs and tax revenue for the city.

It’s too bad the mayor and his small faction of critics can’t see the forest because of a couple of trees (which may not even be in the final deal).

A group of Anaheim Union High School District parents upset at the sudden and unexplained sacking without cause of Superintendent Elizabeth Novack, have decided to launch a campaign to recall the three AUHSD Trustees Al Jabbar, Katherine Smith and Annemarie Randel-Trejo who voted for the termination, an action opposed by Trustees Brian O’Neal and Anna Piercy.

Lori Diniwddie, one of the parents leading the effort, sent out this e-mail this morning:

We have decided to move forward with the recall of trustee’s Smith, Jabbar and Annemarie Randel-Trejo.  

After last night’s board meeting, I have been overwhelmed with support for the recall.  

This is your chance, I need 10 registered voters to sign the documents to start the recall process. Please let me know if this is something you would be willing to do. 

As well, we have begun a facebook support page, so please go to, http://www.facebook.com/recallAUHSD , and like and share! 

This financial irresponsibility must end now! 

Lori Dinwiddie
lori@dinwiddieland.com

Recalls are difficult.

Former AUHSD Superintendent Elizabeth Novack

Former AUHSD Superintendent Elizabeth Novack

As readers know, the Anaheim Union High School District Board of Trustees recently fired Superintendent Elizabeth Novack for no stated reason (but apparently no one at the district knows how to remove her from the website), and will now have to pay her a full year’s salary and pay the interim superintendent a reported $900 a day while looking for a permanent replacement.

I’ve been looking into the matter (the district PIO never responded to my inquiries) and the picture I am getting is this headhunting expedition was led by Trustee Katherine Smith, who didn’t like that Novack was a strong superintendent. [This is the same Katherine Smith who filed a complaint with the OC District Attorney against Jordan Brandman shortly before the 2012 council election, because she didn’t know why he was using his personal computer in a breakroom during breaks in AUHSD Board of Trustee meetings (Brandman was her board colleague at the time). The complaint came to nothing because there was nothing there, but her conveniently timed complaint allowed the OC GOP, the OCEA and the Tait family to hit Brandman with mailers claiming he was “being criminally investigated by the DA.”]

In any case, Novack’s supporters have been rallying. Here’s an e-mail that went out yesterday regarding tonight’s meeting of the AUHSD Board of Trustees:

AUHSD Stakeholder,

Tomorrow evening [Thursday, December 12] is a rather important meeting for the AUHSD. As many of you now know, Dr. Elizabeth Novack’s contract was terminated without cause. This termination was done at the discretion of the Board of Trustees and was executed swiftly without input of the stakeholders.

Our community has come to appreciate the tremendous efforts of Dr. Novack, and as a product of our district she was a clear example of the potential of an AUHSD education. While it is within the Board of Trustees authority to terminate the superintendent without cause it was done so irresponsibly. With Dr. Novack’s Termination, she will continue to be paid the rest of her salary and will cost the district approximately $250,000.00. As well, the board will need to find a new superintendent, and until a permanent replacement is found they are paying the interim Superintendent $900.00 per day.

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UPDATED: I’ve tried to make clear there was no hurtful intent, but less clearly stated is that I am sorry for hurting anyone’s feelings. Regardless of my honest intent, it’s clear that feelings were hurt nonetheless, independently of anyone’s politics, and for that I am sorry. I have lost family members. I know how it hurts, and I know the loss of a child in the most inconsolable of all, and I sincerely wish I’d had more awareness when writing the post. I have four children, and cannot imagine losing any of them. I’m sure it’s the same for any parent, no matter the circumstances of the death or the path of decisions made and not made that led to it. But I had absolutely no intent or thought of diminishing anyone’s grief or loss.

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This came over the transom yesterday from The Honda Center:

HONDA CENTER DEBUTS BLOOM ENERGY FUEL CELLS IN MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVE
Bloom Energy, Honda Center and the Anaheim Ducks team up for a perfect power play

December 11, 2013 – Anaheim, Calif. – Anaheim Arena Management, LLC, the management company for Honda Center, held a celebratory event marking the completion of its Bloom Energy fuel cell project today. The fuel cell generates power through a clean and efficient electrochemical process, providing more than half of the power required by the sports and entertainment venue each year. Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait as well as the entire Anaheim City Council attended the event along with representatives from Honda Center, Bank of America, Bloom Energy, the Anaheim Ducks and the NHL.

and the NHL.
(L to R) Tom Ricks, Chief Investment Officer for Anaheim Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli; John Reuter, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, Bloom Energy; Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks Assistant Coach; Michael Schulman, Anaheim Ducks CEO; Susan and Henry Samueli, Anaheim Ducks Owners; Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait; Tim Ryan, Honda Center CEO; Allen Staff, Orange County Market President, Bank of America; Omar Mitchell, Director of Sustainability, National Hockey League

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“We are not approving a project, we are simply approving a lease,” water district board member Stephen Sheldon said as the meeting slipped past midnight at the agency’s headquarters in Fountain Valley.

– Orange County Register, December 10, 2013

That’s what is known as a distinction without a difference. You’d need an atomic microscope to split that hair.

Let’s say the lease wasn’t for a power plant but for a nuclear waste disposal site. Would anyone buy “We’re not approving a nuclear dump…”?

Yet this is the kind of sophistry employed by most of the OCWD directors who voted to lease Ball Road Basin to Competitive Power Ventures for the purpose of building a power plant.

OCWD Director Bruce Whitaker told the assembled members of the public that he wasn’t voting to approve a power plant “but to let the process move forward.”

Why let the “process move forward” unless you think Ball Road Basin is a good place to build a power plant? Why approve a land lease for a power plant unless one thinks the power plant is a good use of that land?

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s getting close to the midnight, the public comments have wrapped up and now the 10-members of the OCWD Board of Directors are now making their comments and indicating how they’ll vote. [There were dozens and dozens of speakers, all of whom voiced opposition to the plant. Among them were Anaheim councilmembers Kris Murray and Jordan Brandman, Fullerton Councilwoman Jan Flory, and Assemblyman Travis Allen, as well as Assemblyman Tom Daly’s chief of staff.]

Director Phil Anthony urged his colleagues to listen to the community concerns and vote “no” on the power plant lease.

Director Harry Sidhu said he would be voting “no.”

Director Steve Sheldon is speaking and trying to convince the public in attendance that environmental impacts will be mitigated, and that is will be very attractive when it is done. Now he’s telling the audience that their “business leaders” will put a Target on the site. He’s sounding like a “yes” vote, which is expected.

11:46 p.m.: Director Phil Anthony just made a motion to reject the proposed lease, seconded by Sidhu. Now Director Denis Bilodeau has asked to speak, and is attacking the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce’s opposition campaign, accusing it of a “scare campaign” and telling the audience they’ve been duped. He sounds like a “yes” vote – another non-surprise.

11:54 p.m.: Now Director Cathy Green is speaking, She prepared two statements for tonight – a “yes” position and a “no” position. She’s running through a laundry list of recreational venues that are on OCWD land; I’m assuming this is a testament to establish OCWD as a good community citizen before she reveals whether she is voting “yes” or “no.”

11:58 p.m.: Green said she’s voting “yes,” saying more power generation is needed (which no one is disputing). She points out that there’s a power plant near residences in Huntington Beach (which isn’t really relevant here) and then said he charge is to represent her cities, Huntington Beach and part of Fountain Valley — her direct implication being how it impacts Anaheim and the nearby area isn’t her concern. She then made an alternative motion to approve the lease and “see what we can do to mitigate the impacts” (answer – not much). Bilodeau seconded. This motion will be taken up first.

12:02 a.m.: Now Director Vince Sarmiento is speaking. He’s criticizing the opposition to the power plant proposal, and he said he’s disappointed with the City of Anaheim and how they’ve handled the re-zoning of the Ball Road Basin. Now he is seeing the other side of the coin and the remoteness of the state approval process for the power plant. Now he’s seeing another side, i.e. the revenues to the OCWD, but at the same time what price does that money come with, and finally arrives at a “no” vote based on the absence of local control over the process.

12:09 a.m.: Director Bruce Whitaker speaking, comparing it to the El Toro airport fight. He’s saying they aren’t really voting to approve a power plant, but to allow the power plant proposal to go forward [that might be called a distinction without a difference], and also went on about how daunting and difficult the California Energy Commission (CEC) process (a tacit way of saying it is unlikely to be approved by the CEC).

Whitaker is going to vote “yes” on the power plant lease. [Too bad this is a power plant and not a homeless shelter.]

That leaves Directors Roger Yoh and Shawn Dewane. if either of them vote “yes,” then the lease will be approved.

12:16 a.m.: Board president Shawn Dewane has called the vote on Green’s motion.

Interesting: the district counsel answered Director Sheldon’s question about the agreement as if it had already passed.

The Board approved the power plant lease on a 6-4 vote.

Directors Bilodeau, Sheldon, Dewane, Yoh, Green and Whitaker voted to approve – while maintaining they really aren’t voting for a power plant.

Directors Anthony, Sidhu, Sarmiento and Barr voted no.

Tonight at 5:30 p.m., the Orange County Water District Board of Directors meets and will vote whether or not to lease the 20-acre parcel known as the Ball Road Basin to Competitive Power Ventures for the construction of a 400 megawatt power plant. They will also be dealing with an alleged violation of the Brown Act by three of the directors, in relation to this issue, in attempt to quarantine the OCWD from litigation if the Board courts folly by approving a lease for the land.

Red flags have been popping up with increasing frequency as this vote has neared. There are more, not fewer, questions and uncertainties regarding this power plant proposal. Anaheim residents and businesses are more, not less, opposed to the power plant proposal. The OCWD is hurtling towards approving a decades-long land lease for a power plant that faces steadily increasing community and official opposition – all in order to meet the deadline for an Edison request-for-offers. [Edison itself has ranked the Ball Road Basin as having no power generation value.]

The bulk of the Orange County legislative delegation signed a letter of opposition to this proposal — and these are pro-power generation leaders. That letter ably summed up the reasons why the OCWD Board of Directors should reject this proposal to lease Ball Road Basin for a power plant:

The property, known as the Ball Road Basin, represents one of the last remaining vacant parcels in the heart of Orange County. With many residential neighborhoods nearby, the public‘s interests must be paramount in any future development of this property. In addition, the proposed 300-600 megawatt power plant would negatively impact nearby entertainment and commercial businesses. Ultimately, the power plant provides no direct benefits to the residents of Anaheim, whose city owns its own electric utility and recently built a power plant in an industrial area a few miles away.

We agree there is a need to develop new sources of power to support our state’s population growth. However, a power plant located at the Ball Road Basin is the wrong solution.

Our constituents have made their opposition to the power plant loud and clear. Supporting this proposal will simply result in an unnecessary and drawn-out public battle over the project.

The Orange County Water District should reject the power plant and continue discussions with the City of Anaheim on a mutually beneficial use of the surplus property. By denying this proposal, the Orange County Water District can better attend to its primary mission of providing reliable, high quality groundwater to customers in northern and central Orange County.

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray has taken a leadership role in opposing this proposal. She has spoken at past OCWD Board meetings and will be there tonight to speak against it. She sent this e-newsletter out earlier today:

Later tonight, the Orange County Water District (OCWD) will be voting on a proposal to construct a power plant on surplus property located at the Ball Road Basin. If approved, the 20 acre property will be leased to a private company, Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), for the purpose of constructing a 300-600 megawatt plant.

The Ball Road Basin property is one of the few remaining large parcels of land existing in Orange County. Construction of a power plant at this location will have significant negative impacts on surrounding neighborhoods and businesses and fails to meet the needs of the local community.

The City of Anaheim has long appreciated the respectful, cooperative working relationship that we have developed over the years with OCWD that most recently resulted in the construction of the very popular Anaheim Coves at Burris Basin and the Canyon Power Plant.

We would like to continue to build on that partnership by finding a mutually beneficial use for the Ball Road Basin property — as an example a proposed option by city staff to purchase the land from OCWD and build a park and sports fields.

As a member of the City Council, I have been actively opposed to this power plant at this location. I encourage you to join the City, state and local elected officials, residents, and businesses in urging the OCWD Board of Directors to reject the proposal and stop the power plant.

There are several ways you can help:

  1. Attend tonight’s 5:30 pm meeting at OCWD (18700 Ward Street, Fountain Valley) and speak during public comments
  2. Call OCWD at 714-378-3200
  3. Submit comments online to OCWD.

For more information on the proposed power plant and its impact on the community, visit  www.stopthepowerplant.com. Your help is essential in preserving the Ball Road Basin property for open space that will meet the needs of the residents and surrounding communities in Anaheim and Orange.

I hope to see you at tonight’s meeting at the OCWD.

Best regards,

Kris Murray
Council Member
City of Anaheim

The controversy over a proposal to build a power plant on an OC Water District parcel in Anaheim erupted seemingly out of the blue just a few weeks ago, it’s reasonable to ask where it all started? Especially since the OCWD Board is set to vote on the proposal tomorrow evening.

Speaking to the Fullerton City Council, OCWD General Manager Mike Marcus said the district determined six or seven years ago that the Ball Road Basin had no percolative capacity and was unsuitable for use as a groundwater re-charge basin. It was decided to sell or lease the land (which is an interesting statement since I’ve had an OCWD Director tell me the district would never, ever sell the property]. OCWD has been working with Anaheim for the last few years seeking to have the Ball Road Basin re-zoned from open space to commercial, in order to develop it for commercial uses as a revenue-generator.

The power plant proposal from Competitive Power Ventures did not come about as the result of an open bidding process in which the OCWD issued an RFP and selected CPV’s proposal from a pool of responsive proposals for a commercial re-use of the Ball Road Basin.

Steve Sheldon 150x150_0According to this July 26, 2013 e-mail from OCWD Director Steve Sheldon to Marcus and OCWD Director of Property Management Bruce Dosier, the wheels were put motion this summer:

Mike/Bruce:

I recently meet with Janice Glaab and her client, Competitive Power Ventures, Inc. (CPV), pertaining to a six month ENA for the Ball Street basin so that they can study the area to propose a 20-25 year ground lease. I understand that they meet with Phil, Denis and some City of Anaheim officials as well. Apparently their timeframe is relatively short because with the closure of San Onofre the PUC will be issuing RFP’s for power plants and they are identifying various sites. They will be submitting a letter on Monday and potentially a draft ENA (for Joel to review). Since this concept appears interesting I would like to call a Property Comm meeting for Friday, Aug, 2 to discuss the issue.

I am interested in an your feedback and comments. Also, please see below and attached.

-Steve

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This came of the transom a couple of days ago from the Anaheim Hills Community Council:

Community Council Creates Winter Wonderland for Anaheim

Tree-lighting ceremony features snow, carolers and horse and carriage rides.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (December 5, 2013) – The Anaheim Hills Community Council, in partnership with the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, will be holding a free Anaheim Hills tree-lighting ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Influence Center to celebrate the holiday season with neighbors and community leaders and collect toys for disadvantaged children through The Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim.

Influence Center will be transformed into a winter wonderland for the evening with a real snow playground, horse and carriage rides, and Charles Dickens-style carolers from 5 to 6:00 p.m. Following a brief program, which will be attended by Mayor Tom Tait, Mayor Pro Tem Gail Eastman, and Council Members Kris Murray, Jordan Brandman, Lucille Kring and emceed by Anaheim Chamber President Todd Ament, the focus will shift to the lighting of the tree.

The Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim requests that any toys brought to the event should be unwrapped and suitable for children ranging from infants to 18 year olds.

Free hot chocolate and cookies will be handed out as well as a commemorative ornament to the first 500 families in attendance. Admission and parking are free to all attendees.

Influence Center is located at 8161 E. Kaiser Boulevard in Anaheim Hills. For more information about the Anaheim Hills tree-lighting ceremony, contact the Anaheim Hills Community Council at (714) 758-0222.

# # #
About Anaheim Hills Community Council

The Anaheim Hills Community Council is a Non-Profit Organization put together by the people of Anaheim Hills, California. The Council is most known for the annual Fourth of July Celebration, complete with a patriotic concert, pancake breakfast, 5k/10k run, food & games, live entertainment, and ending with a spectacular professional fireworks display. For more information e-mail Joyce Faryniarz at joyce@anaheimhillscommunitycouncil.org.

Ryan Cantor has penned an excellent blog post about the prospect of the Orange County Water District leasing its Ball Road Basin property to Competitive Power Ventures (CPV) for the construction of a major power plant next to Anaheim businesses and residential neighborhoods. The OCWD Board of Directors is set to vote at its meeting on Monday, December 9 (it starts at 5:30 p.m.).

Ryan raises some interesting questions, including the wisdom of situating youth soccer fields next to a power plant – which is what CPV is proposing with its “Orange County Energy Park.”

An excerpt from Ryan’s post:

The [Anaheim] Chamber [of Commerce] has it right . . . on this one  This proposed plant is a poor fit for this site and the OCWD has no business entertaining a long-term land deal without issuing an RFP.  Considering Anaheim has made it known that they’re willing to purchase the property outright, turning down a large chunk of capital now to improve our water infrastructure in favor of structured lease payments seems a bit . . . wait for it . . . shocking.  Accepting this lease amounts to nothing more than burdening Anaheim residents with a tax.  It’s their neighborhood that will pay the price of hosting this plant, yet those same neighborhoods receive nothing . . . NOTHING in return for their public investment.  While it’s great to hear that OCWD customers in Lake Forest will see a rate cut as a result of this project, it isn’t right that park starved Anaheim residents get to pay more of their time and space to make that happen.

I sympathize with the aesthetic objections or even concerns with emissions from the power plant stacks, but what I’m most perplexed with is why no one is discussing the safety implications of storing massive ammonia tanks in a rather dense urban environment.  A thousand feet isn’t exactly a lot of space for an accidental vapor cloud to travel.

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jose moreno for thee not meYesterday, the Los Angeles Times published an article claiming the City of Anaheim is looking to settle the California Civil Rights Act lawsuit brought by the ACLU on behalf of Anaheim City School District Trustee Jose F. Moreno. I don’t know whether a settlement is indeed in the works, but if it is I truly hope it does not involve the city capitulating to this litigious shakedown by a small left-wing faction trying to impose on Anaheim residents an single-member council district system they have not sought for themselves. Progressives love to presents themselves as tribunes of democracy, but are inclined to seek victory in the courtroom rather than at the ballot box.

That said, this quote from Moreno in the LAT article highlights what happens when reporters cover a political situation about which they have only superficial knowledge:

“For me, certainly, any settlement talks are about the city agreeing toward the direction of establishing districts, authentic districts, where the representatives are voted for by the residents of those districts,” said Jose Moreno, a plaintiff in the suit.

Now, I assume that LAT reporters Paloma Esquivel and Adolfo Flores are ignorant of the fact that Moreno has refused to take any action to establish “authentic districts, where the representatives are voted for by the residents of those districts” in the Anaheim City School District – where all the criteria he claims demand district in Anaheim council elections are even more in evidence. Otherwise, one would think that real reporters would have challenge Moreno on his blatant hypocrisy on the matter.

At least, one would think. In reality, there has been what could be characterized as a conspiracy of silence on the matter. I don’t think a single media outlet – certainly not the Voice of OC — has ever asked Moreno this blazingly obvious question: “Given the reasons you cite for suing the City of Anaheim, why don’t you take action to establish single-member districts in your own school district?”

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