Archive for July, 2006

A “Smashing” Experience on the Toll Roads

When I did my normal run around the OC Political Blogosphere this morning I came across this story on the 241 toll roads: “Man Smashes Car, Toll Booth Windows.”

The article doesn’t give a reason why the man from corona would go on a rampage at the toll both but he did do a number on a couple cars and on the windows of the tollbooths at Tomato Ridge. A lane delineator, which is used to mark closed off lanes of traffic at the toll plaza, was used as the weapon of choice.

Now I know some people have reasons not to like the toll roads while some have reasons to like the toll roads (I would be in the middle, I see a reason for them but the cost is too high) but to take out your anger and aggression on a toll both is just wrong. Maybe as punishment we should sew an EZ Pass to his arm and make him take the toll road day in and day out for the rest of his life.

Bolsa Chica Morning Report

Miserable. That’s the word to describe it. Cold — we’re talking blue balls cold. The water’s littered with floating trash and muck. Walking to the water is like walking across the Atlanta rail yards in “Gone with the Wind” — only everyone’s oiled up and beered up. The parking lots are full — God only knows why — and the line-up is so crowded you could walk board-to-board all the way to San Clemente. The water is thick with jelly fish, dolphins are knocking people off their boards and stingrays are pulling people out of their cars to nail ’em. Oh, and did I mention the sharks?

As for waves, you’re better off at Irvine Lake.

My advice? Stay home. Go to IHOP. Anything, just forget about the beach. At least until around 10am — by then I should’ve had my share.

2nd Annual Tree Hugger’s Ball

First there was punk-a-billy in the canyon; next there’s bluegrass.

Essentials: 2nd Annual Tree Hugger’s Ball

When: Saturday, July 15, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Where: Baker Canyon (near Irvine Lake)

Details: The Tree Hugger’s Ball is a fundraiser for the Orange Hills Task Force, an organization that has been working to oppose the Irvine Company’s development plans east of Orange that includes nearly 4,000 homes. Chief among the group’s concerns is the increase in traffic on Chapman Ave. and Santiago Canyon Rd. – and we’ve also seen recently how safe Santiago Canyon Rd. can be. In December, following the city of Orange’s approval of the project, the Sierra Club filed suit alleging that the city failed to adequately review the project.

The evening’s line-up includes the Shadybrook Trio, Chuck Buck, Lilies of the West, and Mike Reilly’s Band. (If these names mean anything to you, you’re a lot more familiar with the local bluegrass scene than I am.) The groups website also indicates that food will be served – though no word on liquid entertainment – and encourages “festive earthy costumes.” More details are here.

I’ll be there.

Live from Laguna Beach Again

Howdy from Laguna Beach. Yes, that Laguna Beach, the one made too popular by some MTV show in which too many people acted so poorly you would swear it couldn’t get worse unless they were actually trying to be that bad. (I think most shows on MTV fit this description).

So let’s see what’s going on here at “The OC” Metroblog:

Miles is speculating on the return of the Newport fun zone and has also provided a great post on Hootenanny ’06.

Mike Doss introduced us to the new Metroblog in Rio de Janeiro.

Grant showed us the inside of the newly renovated Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland

I discussed the problems with Anaheim’s Wi-Fi project. It has good intentions but the city still has to work out some kinks.

The OC Fair is going to kick off on the 7th. This year the theme is “Flower Power” so some of you hippies may have flashbacks. I hear that UCI is going to display their working fuel cell at the Orange County Building and the concerts are selling out fast.

If any readers and bloggers want to meet up before the summer is over let me know and we will put something together.

Newport Fun Zone Rumors

Rumors of the demise of the Newport Beach Fun Zone have been overstated. But not by much. Here are the facts as I’ve been able to piece them together:

  • At the end of last year, the Newport Beach Nautical Museum announced that it had completed its purchase of the Fun Zone. At the time, “[o]fficials on both sides of the deal emphasized that much of the amusement park would remain intact.” Except for the bumper cars and haunted house ride (aka the Scary Dark Ride), that is.
  • In June, it was reported that many of the Fun Zone rides were for sale — not just the bumper cars and haunted house, but also the Drummer Boy (a spinning tea cup type ride), miniature golf equipment, the laughing lady and the ferris wheel.
  • Many reports state that the ferris wheel has a 30 year lease — and hint that it is not going anywhere soon. How this is reconciled with the listing of the ferris wheel for sale is unclear.
  • The Fun Zone itself acknowledges that most of the rides — except for the ferris wheel and its 30 year lease — will be removed at the end of the summer. How this is reconciled with earlier statements that “much of the amusement park would remain intact” … well, you get the picture.
  • The fate of the carousel is uncertain. It is not listed for sale — but it is covered by only an annual lease that expires in September. The Orange County Register reports that “[t]alks have begun to relocate the Fun Zone’s iconic carousel, possibly elsewhere in Balboa.” Reading between the lines, I think that means it is gone as well.

I have nothing against the Newport Beach Nautical Museum — indeed, I enjoyed my last visit. It just seems that we’ve been fed the bad news regarding the fate of the Fun Zone in bits and pieces. Could this be to make it’s eventual demise more palatable? An early report quotes Councilman Tod Ridgeway as saying that the changes were merely part of an “overall face-lift” for the peninsula. Those of us who enjoyed the wrinkles, I suppose, will have to search elsewhere for them.

The Continuing Saga of Anaheim Wi-Fi

A tip of the o’hat to Xeni and Sean for bringing this to my attention, but the Anaheim Wi-Fi project was probably a bigger challenge then even Earthlink was prepared to take on:

Topography of Anaheim Hills prevents an even Wi-Fi Signal

Issues in the Resort District (Such as Asthetics of Light Post, Access, Disney, Etc…)

It only covers 6 Square Miles (Currently two square miles are operational near City Hall)

The network is considered a “Franchise” by the City

You can read the minutes from Anaheim’s Wi-Fi Workshop and you can see the map of the current layout and future expainson plans here. Further information was provided to me by the SoCal Wireless Users Group.

Hootenanny ’06 Wrap-up

Hootenanny ’06 has come and gone. The OC Register does a fairly good job ticking through the line up, so I won’t bother other than to mention that it was a real treat to see Wanda Jackson. Each year the organizers manage to find a performer to remind us of our roots. Remember the appearance last year of the late Link Wray?

Of the event itself, though, I’ll offer up a few thoughts and observations.

Welcome Rio!

Check out Metblogging’s first South American city, Rio de Janeiro! The posts are in Portuguese, but I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure it out.

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