Irvine Mayor’s Race Taking Shape. Our May feature story is about the race to replace Irvine Mayor Steven Choi with a newly elected Mayor this November. Former Councilmember and long-time Irvine Planning Commissioner Mary Ann Gaido has entered the race, determined to once again make growth control and traffic control the central issues in her campaign. We’ll continue to report on the evolving Mayor’s race throughout the summer.
Veterans Cemetery Is Still Alive. In a shameful move, Councilmember Christina Shea teamed-up with developer FivePoint Communities to derail the Veterans Cemetery at the Great Park. Fortunately, the Shea-FivePoint “land swap” scheme — I call it a “land swindle” — was defeated by the City Council. It appears that the plans for the new Veterans Cemetery at the Great Park are still on track to be sent from the State Veterans Affairs office to the U.S. Veterans Administration for federal approval. Read the full story this month.
The Portola High School Toxics Scandal Worsens. Now we’re down to just about 100 days until the $300 million Portola High School, built on land contaminated with toxics, is scheduled to open. Meanwhile, additional, very belated testing for toxics continues. Huge questions remain unresolved about the extent of the petrochemical contamination, its source or sources, and the health risks posed to teachers, staff and students. Read Dr. Harvey Liss’s TestforToxics update. And, in our Open Forum section, you’ll find my own editorial about this growing — and very dangerous — scandal. Yes, I’m angry…and you should be too.