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Dec-20-2010 17:06printcomments

Orange County Great Park Update: Don't Test Don't Tell

Our OC beat reporter bangs the drum slowly... "Don't Test Don't Tell, Don't Test Don't Tell..."

El Toro's toxic hangars
El Toro's toxic hangars and flightline will remain.
Salem-News.com photo by Tim King

(IRVINE, Calif.) - Update: Voice of OC's Adam Elmakrek reports the great scale back: (see: The Great Scale-Back Adam Elmahrek - Voice of OC)

Nothing but one broken promise, one bald-faced lie after another. Can the taxpayers now file for a divorce from Irvine? Haven't we had enough Agran-vation (aggravation), why not refuse to help find the funds for this LENNAR/Agran scam anymore?

As we've tried to point out, these two hangars (296 & 297) and those runways sit on some of what we believe to be the most contaminated soil on the base. Ellzey's Elves took samples around the perimeter/margins of the runways, never did extensive test borings through them (or did they?). Underneath them are the soil sterilizers, pesticides and herbicides left from Irvine Ranch before the base conversion in the 1940s. It's not really about saving demolition costs, it's about what they suspect is underneath those sites. Or maybe they already sampled, keeping the horrible results confidential and painting a happy face on a pig. They don't have to publicly disclose what they assert they never found. Ellzey & Agran made sure that investigators never got anywhere close to reasonable discovery or public, 3rd party peer review.

Remediation and mandated mitigation are based upon a simple principle: Whomever breaks ground and finds contamination MUST clean it up. You break it, you bought it. By NOT tearing up the hangars and runways, they won't be forced to (A) Reveal exactly which, and in what carcinogenic-causing concentrations, the already known residual contaminants remain, and (B) Obviously not have to spend the huge amounts of money necessary to excavate, to scrape down and export thousands of cubic yards of toxic soil to a distant hazardous waste site.

Then too this explains why they kept the truth from Irvine City Council members Shea & Choi, stonewalled them, kept up that "Attorney-Client Privilege" ruse this year: Knowing (or firmly suspecting) what was buried there, they kept Shea & Choi from digging up the bodies.

Speaking of buried, maybe that explains the Forest Lawn cemetery abandonment too----It met the same fate because that would have entailed extensive digging down for plots and landscape, FL would have found gross contamination. Shades of the movie POLTERGEIST where the dead rise up to smite the corrupt living, in this case conscience-less developers like LENNAR, willing accomplices like Agran and high paid lapdogs like Mike Ellzey..

Ellzey is the Manchurian CEO sent from San Fran by his LENNAR cronies up there to assure that their interests are the top priority, not OC voters, not OC taxpayers.

From the OC: The Great Scale-Back Adam Elmahrek - Voice of OC (Please take the time to leave your thoughts in a story comment)


Launched in 2010, Odd Man Out is the creation of Roger von Bütow and his OMO columns are written exclusively for Salem-News-com. Born and raised in the LA Harbor area, son of a German immigrant father, he's been in Orange County for 45 years and is a 38-year resident of Laguna Beach, Ca. In 1998, he began his professional career in environmental review processes (CEQA, NEPA, MND, MND and EIR/EIS). He's a rare mix of cross-trained builder, writer and consultant as he brings his extensive construction experiences dating back to 1972 into his eco-endeavors. He has tremendous field and technical expertise in successful watershed restorations, plus wastewater, urban runoff, water quality monitoring/improvements and hydrologic mechanisms. He's built everything from commercial spas to award-winning private residences, and provided peer review and consultant analyses for single homes, subdivisions and upscale resorts.

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His resumé is extensive, try an online GOOGLE search of his personal journey and historical accomplishments. His consultation fees are reasonable and if you've got a major project that alarms you, that needs creative intervention, then he's your man. His credentials and "CV" can be provided upon request.

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$2 million per year- gone December 21, 2010 4:13 pm (Pacific time)

January 9 2007, an impending 'acre for acre" trade/transfer of real property and improvements (then owned by Great Park/City of Irvine) was announced within Great Park Corporation documents: as planned to occur with Heritage Fields (the original El Toro base buyer/developer). This publicly-owned property (to be traded to Heritage Fields, LLC) then sited the RV storage facility and improvements the City contracted with AMCI; said contract then generating approximately $2 million per annum to the city. An immediate financial windfall, in favor of Heritage, would be result of the property exchange/trade. Fact: The AMCI storage contract with the City would be assigned by the City, and assumed by Heritage Fields as part of the “acre for acre” boundary redrawing/exchange.

Contemporaneous to this planned event (land swap), according to the budget adjustment document of Great Park Corporation (Jan. 9, 2007) the “Demolition and Deconstruction ($2,000,000)” budget category would be eliminated. The Great Park Corporation document (1/9/2007) goes on to explain: “The current $5 million demolition budget was created based on the assumption that a limited amount of superstructures could be identified early in the master planning process for removal. (sic) “a portion of the budgeted demolition costs can be transferred for other use in this fiscal year.”

It is clear that the loss of $2 million dollars (from the RV storage contract) was resolved by moving $2 million in reserves for runway demolition activities to another budget area; thereby, replacing the anticipated loss of $2 million a year (from the AMCI-City of Irvine contract) to the immediate enrichment of Heritage Fields who would be receiving the AMCI contract revenues instead of the City, also receiving a land exchange “acre for acre” of where the RV’s were stored. It is of Note: Heritage Fields had previously been awarded the runway demolition contract by the Great Park Corporation (such demolition which had stopped almost as soon as it began in Spring 2006).

What, after all, did the Great Park Corporation feel would even entice AMCI to consider ever moving acres and acres of RV’s, in breach of a contract that yet attached to a legal situs (location on a parcel of property) as was defined (likewise) by an original contract going back to AMCI’s similar contract with the Navy after the base was decommissioned ?

AMCI was awarded the contract to manage the Great Park Visitors Center, and the Orange Balloon issue and balloon rides (the Balloon issue budget paying to AMCI approximately half-a million per annum). Were these contracts offered as enticements by the City to AMCI (hoping when the RV storage contract would eventually come up for renewal) so as to entice AMCI to later physically move the stored RV’s over to hard-scapes the Great Park Corporation still controlled?

Any ones guess is a good as mine, was there a little bit of palm-padding going on in these events somehow..?

to Editor December 21, 2010 9:21 am (Pacific time)

Typo error: In previous comment 'more than meets the eye', I meant the new settlement will change terms of original Heritage agreements with city dating back to 2006 and 2005. (I had typed 2006 and '2006',instead of '2006 and 2005')

More than meets the eye December 21, 2010 9:14 am (Pacific time)

I have forwarded to the Editor information of interest regarding the Great Park. The City of Irvine has been in an ongoing position of RE-negotiating: so as to enter into a settlement agreement with regard to the Lehman bankruptcy, and thereby; 'State Street' can become the NEW lender for Heritage Fields. This agreement portends to reduce the original terms of the financial Heritage Fields agreements dating back to 2006 and 2006 with the City of Irvine: HENCE THE SCALED BACK PARK PLAN announced as of December 2010 {in anticipation of the "Heritage Fields-Lehman-State Street-City of Irvine" recently impending "Settlement"}.

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