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Great Park

OPINION
January 13, 2013
Re "Irvine council tightens oversight of Great Park," Jan. 10 Sanity has finally returned to Irvine. City Councilman Larry Agran is no longer the puppet master over the Irvine City Council in general and the Orange County Great Park in particular. The $220 million spent so far should have resulted in a significant park. As suggested by Todd Spitzer, an Orange County supervisor, what we have to show for that $220 million is "a palm court, a merry-go-round and a balloon. " And frankly, I am sick of that odious orange balloon.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 10, 2013 | By Mike Anton and Rhea Mahbubani, Los Angeles Times
Capping a raucous eight-hour-plus meeting, the Irvine City Council early Wednesday voted to overhaul the oversight and spending on the beleaguered Orange County Great Park while authorizing an audit of the more than $220 million that so far has been spent on the ambitious project. A newly elected City Council majority voted 3 to 2 to terminate contracts with two firms that had been paid a combined $1.1 million a year for consulting, lobbying, marketing and public relations. One of those firms - Forde & Mollrich public relations - has been paid $12.4 million since county voters approved the Great Park plan in 2002.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 16, 2012 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times
Irvine leaders are planning a detailed review of the $200 million spent on what has been billed as the country's next great urban park, one that is supposed to rival New York's Central Park with a majestic man-made canyon, rivers, forests and botanical gardens. Despite the spending, only a sliver of the park has been built, and most of the Marine base land remains fenced off. Park funds are expected to be exhausted next year. With a new majority taking over the council next month, city leaders indicated that they want to take a closer look at the decade-long effort to build the municipal park.
OPINION
November 2, 2012
Re "Not-so-great park," Oct. 27 It doesn't matter if the park is called the Great Park or the Not-So-Great Park, as long as it is not called the Orange County International Airport. Few people in Irvine and cities south of us wanted an airport as planned by our county supervisors. Everyone is aware of the economic meltdown that started in 2007 from which we still haven't recovered. Here in Irvine, we still have a major housing problem caused by loans made to people who couldn't afford them.
NEWS
October 30, 2012 | By Beth Krom
In its Oct. 27 article, " Orange County's planned Great Park a victim of hard times ," The Times paints a misleading picture by neglecting to provide adequate history and context. The truth is the Great Park in Irvine is not just moving forward. We are heading into our best year yet. Consider that the next year will see the addition of four tournament-quality soccer fields, a new visitors center, community gardens and our first water features. This will build upon the existing 200 acres of space regularly programmed with free public activities.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 4, 2012 | By Katherine Tulich
Bluegrass legend Del McCoury has been touring for more than 40 years, but the 73-year-old still likes to shake it up when he performs. "I do an all-request show where the audience shouts out what they want to hear. The band doesn't know what we are going to do, I don't know what we are going to do. That's what keeps it exciting," he said, speaking from his home in Nashville. With his distinctive high-ranged vocals, some nimble guitar picking and sons Ronnie and Rob on mandolin and banjo, the Del McCoury Band are returning favorites at this year's Flights and Sounds Summer Festival, a world music feast that spans five themed weekends during the month of August at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 2012 | By Chris Megerian and Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO -- The accounting scandal that forced the ouster of the California state parks director and her chief deputy has highlighted a long-standing rift over off-roading on public land. The culture clash has pitted conservationists against drivers of dirt bikes and dune buggies, who have tangled over how to spend more than $100 million set aside to buy and manage land for off-road vehicles. That fund is where state accountants found more than half of a $54-million hidden surplus, the revelation that sparked the ongoing scandal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2012 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
Thousands of new homes could be built along the perimeter of a retired Marine base in Orange County that officials envision being turned into one of the nation's great urban parks, according to a proposal being considered by city officials in Irvine. The proposal from developer Fivepoint Communities Inc. would more than double the number of residences that would be built on the property surrounding the Great Park by changing the zoning of land that had been marked for commercial use and offices, city officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 2012 | By Jeff Gottlieb, Los Angeles Times
A Superior Court judge in Sacramento on Thursday rejected Irvine's attempt to block the state from taking millions of dollars of property taxes that were set for use in its construction of a sprawling urban park that boosters said would rival Griffith Park or San Diego's Balboa Park. Irvine had asked for a temporary restraining order to keep the state from taking the money until the issue of redevelopment funds in California had been settled. A Sacramento judge made a similar ruling a day earlier in a case involving a group of California cities, including Glendale, Pasadena and Huntington Beach.
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