Thursday, June 14, 2007

Save Trestles campaign update - * SPECIAL FOOT IN MOUTH EDITION *

gaffe – (gaf)
1. A clumsy social error; a faux pas.
2. A blatant mistake or misjudgment.

In the mad scramble to find new spin on a bad project, local TCA supporters seem to be clamoring to make any argument – no matter how far fetched – to scare, confuse or otherwise bamboozle the public into supporting the proposed 241 extension. However, the problem with “making it up as you go along” is that…well….you’re making it up!

Not since Dan Quayle’s famous “potatoe” incident have we seen a foot (or in this case feet) wedged so deeply into one’s own mouth. Here are just a few gaffes we’ve seen over the last month:

In a recent letter to the Capistrano Valley News, entitled “Examine the facts, not falsehoods” San Juan Capistrano Mayor Sam Allevato wrote:

“Don’t be fooled by environmental groups and legislators from outside our county like the Surfrider Foundation...”

Actually Sam, the Surfrider Foundation has been based in Orange County for the last 20 years. In fact, our global headquarters are located in San Clemente, just a couple of freeway exits down from your office.

Next on the list is San Clemente Mayor Jim Dahl. In an OpEd published in the May 31st edition of the San Clemente Times, Mr. Dahl writes:

“Today there is one way in and out of South Orange County—Interstate 5. From a public safety perspective, that is a disaster waiting to happen. If there were an earthquake or other disaster that required a mass exodus, a secondary route would be vital.”

Yikes - Not only has Mayor Dahl apparently forgotten about the existence of Pacific Coast Highway, he also seems to have forgotten that it is listed as an official EVACUATION ROUTE on the City of San Clemente’s website!

Not to be outdone, in the May issue of her OC Lite newsletter, Dana Point Mayor Diane Harkey railed against the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board’s efforts to protect San Mateo Creek, offering up this gem of a quote:

“Should all beaches be required to attain a goal of “shellfish” quality purification, or should human health standards rule the day? …Hopefully people of goodwill can work toward our mutual goal of ensuring that our watersheds are improved and our beaches are safe for “human” recreation. I’m not sure it would ever be possible (considering the bird sanctuaries) nor would we really want shellfish to flourish along many of our favorite swim or surf spots ¬- could be tough on the toes!”

Yes heaven forbid we let nature get in the way of us enjoying the beach…

I can almost picture Mayor Harkey walking along the beach at Salt Creek, wishing she could replace the sand with something a little less...sandy!

Proving that gaffes are not limited to the political arena, Mission Hospital CEO Peter Bastone gets in on the action, demonstrating his gift for exaggeration in a May 19th letter to the Editors of the Los Angeles Times:

“Mission Hospital is the only trauma center in south Orange County. If there is an accident or emergency that shuts down Interstate 5, there is no other way for anyone to get to our hospital.”

Sorry Peter… We checked with the Community Relations Department of the Orange County Fire Authority, and they assured us that in the event that the I-5 freeway were closed in both directions, there are ample alternate routes to access the facilities at Mission Hospital, and that emergency response personnel were trained to deal with such a crisis.

Is anyone else somewhat surprised that the CEO for one of the county’s largest medical centers doesn’t know the contingency plans for his own facility?

And finally – in a vitriolic outburst that Mel Gibson would’ve been proud of – in an article that appeared in this week’s Orange County Weekly, TCA geologist David Skelly shared what he thought about the save trestles campaign and its supporters:

“It appeals to the stupid. It appeals to the lemmings of the world.”

Gee, I know I didn’t graduate from Harvard but…

Perhaps Mr. Skelly was referring to California Attorney Generals Bill Lockyer and Jerry Brown…

or Congresswomen Loretta Sanchez and Susan Davis…

or Volcom and Billabong CEO’s Richard Wolcott and Paul Naude…

or all the Council representatives for the cities of San Francisco, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Beach, Oceanside, Del Mar and Imperial Beach…

…or Clint Eastwood?

I’d like to see David Skelly call Dirty Harry stupid to his face! Go ahead, Dave… Make my day!


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