Melissa Fox Announces Traffic Reduction and Transportation Plan for Irvine

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Irvine has long been recognized as a national leader in city planning and innovation.

Unfortunately, Irvine has failed to properly plan for the tremendous increase in traffic caused by the city’s explosive recent growth.

As a result, Irvine residents have been forced to contend with unprecedented traffic congestion and less safe streets and roads.  Irvine’s traffic jams are not only frustrating, they are also a major contributor to increased air pollution, and that’s bad not just for our climate, but our health too.

My plan offers concrete and achievable recommendations to unsnarl our roads and make our city a better place to live, work and raise a family.

Here is the press release announcing my traffic plan:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jason Mills (714) 576-4303

Melissa Fox Announces Traffic Reduction and Transportation Choice Plan for Irvine

 IRVINE, CA        Irvine Community Services Commissioner and City Council candidate Melissa Fox announced today a Traffic and Transportation Plan for the City of Irvine. Fox said that her plan is designed to reduce Irvine’s traffic congestion both in the long and short term, while providing more transportation choices for Irvine’s residents and commuters. The Fox Plan is intended to reduce travel time, reduce noise, improve safety, improve resident access to employment and entertainment centers, improve parking and reduce emissions.

“My plan is designed to make our streets safer for children, bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists,” Fox said. “The residents of Irvine are exasperated by the tremendous increase in traffic in the last few years and rightfully infuriated by the lack of concern shown by the current City Council.”

The key elements of the Fox Plan are:

– Provide immediate relief for Irvine commuters by speeding up road and street repairs and prioritizing improvement projects throughout the city.

– Ensure Irvine residents and commuters have access to multiple safe and efficient transportation choices, including automobiles, bicycling, walking, iShuttle, ride-sharing, streetcar, and student transportation to Irvine’s schools.

– Restore Irvine’s village planning model requiring that housing developments include grocery stores, shopping, entertainment and childcare within one mile.

– Aggressively push for Irvine’s fair share of transportation funds from local, state, and federal agencies and seek out grants for fuel efficient and clean transportation projects.

“My plan offers concrete steps that can be taken right now to help get our traffic and transportation problems under control, unsnarl our roads and provide Irvine residents with more transportation choices.” Fox concluded. “The Fox plan will make Irvine a model of transportation efficiency and safety in the future.”

The Fox Plan is intended to be brought to the City Council for comment and consideration. A full version of the Fox Plan will be made available on Melissa Fox’s campaign website, blog and social media.

Melissa Fox is an Irvine Community Services Commissioner, attorney, and small business owner in Irvine. To learn more about her campaign visit www.votemelissafox.com

2/11 Marine Trunk or Treat Volunteers Needed!

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Irvine is proud of its military heritage, especially its close connection to the United States Marine Corps.  From 1943 to 1999, Irvine was the home of Marine Air Station El Toro (now the Great Park), which was once the largest Marine air station on the West Coast.  Thousands of Marines served here, and thousands more flew from here to battles in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

We just received this message from the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee that we want to pass along:

imagesEvery year the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee supports the Marines and their families by participating in their Trunk or Treat Event at Camp Pendleton. We want to make it even bigger and better this year but we need your help!

Please click here to sign up to volunteer Wednesday, October 26th 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Park your vehicle at the parade deck on Camp Pendleton and decorate your trunk so the children of YOUR 2/11 Marines can safely trunk or treat from car to car dressed in their Halloween best while you hand them candy and prizes. Candy will be provided! Dress up if you wish!

Last year we had some very creative submissions! Some decorations extended beyond the trunk to the space in front and to the side of the vehicle as well. You are welcome to go as big or small as you’d like, the important thing is that you’re there to share in this special event with YOUR Marines and their family.

The following is a list of entries from last year to get your creative juices flowing: The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, spooky theme with spider webs, graveyard, winter wonderland, pound puppies, under the sea and Star Wars just to name a few.

Access to Camp Pendleton now requires a military ID or Event Day Pass. To receive this pass you must complete all areas of the sign up form. This information will not be stored or shared with anyone other than the Camp Pendleton Base Pass Office.

We will contact you via email a week before the event with your pass, directions and contact information.

Thank you for supporting YOUR 2/11 Marines!

Date: 10/26/2016 (Wed.)

Time: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm PDT

Location: Camp Pendleton

Note:

The Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides charitable and educational activities and support for the benefit and welfare of the United States Marines and their families assigned to Camp Pendleton, California, with special emphasis on the Marines and families of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines (“2/11 Marines”).

The Committee accomplishes its goal by soliciting private and public donations of cash, food, beverages, and new and used material goods to help underwrite the cost of sponsoring 2/11 Marines and their families.

The Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee welcomes the Irvine community to support our adopted battalion by participating and donating to a variety of activities. These activities include holiday and pre-deployment events, care packages, toy drives and more.  Contact the 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee at contact@irvine211marines.org.

 

Join Me at Irvine’s Global Village Festival 2016!

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My favorite Irvine cultural event of the year is almost here!

This coming Saturday, September 24, 2016, is the Irvine Global Village Festival!

Irvine Community Services Commissioner Melissa Fox at Irvine's Global Village Festival 2013

Irvine Community Services Commissioner Melissa Fox at Irvine’s Global Village Festival

In Irvine, we are proud of saying that our city is not only among the most diverse cities in the nation, it is also the most fully integrated.  There are no ethnic, linguistic, religious, or cultural enclaves in Irvine: every neighborhood reflects Irvine’s harmonious ethnic, linguistic, religious, and cultural diversity.

How diverse is Irvine?  A non-English language is spoken in a remarkable 58% of Irvine homes, with more than 70 different languages spoken in residences throughout Irvine.  Nearly 40 % of Irvine’s public school students have a primary language other than English.  Irvine is also home to more than 80 different churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship, serving Irvine’s wonderful cultural and religious diversity.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Irvine Global Village Festival – Irvine’s largest and most attended community event.  Founded in 1998 by a group of Irvine residents to help promote understanding and build harmony within Irvine’s many diverse cultures, the Global Village Festival is now Irvine’s signature event, featuring more than 100 performances on five stages; international cuisine and food from more than 50 restaurants; an international marketplace filled with unique crafts and textiles; interactive, educational and entertaining cultural displays, demonstrations, and performances; and an international village just for kids.

I’m looking forward to celebrating the many facets of Irvine’s diversity at the Global Village Festival – and I look forward to seeing you there!

Here are some important Festival details:

What: Irvine Global Village Festival

When: Saturday, September 24, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Where: Bill Barber Park, 4 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA

Cost: Admission is FREE! Food tasting tickets are available for purchase at the event. Tickets are $1 each; with tasting prices ranging from 1 to 3 tickets per item. Cash, checks, MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover are accepted at designated ticket booth locations. Prices for sample sized items range from $1 to $3; it is recommended to purchase $10 per person. Tickets are non-refundable. For your convenience, a Schools First automatic teller machine (ATM) is located at the Irvine Civic Center, adjacent to the Irvine Police Department entrance.

Parking: There is no on-site parking at the event. While parking is not available at the event site, FREE shuttle buses will be in service to transport guests to and from the Festival’s satellite parking locations at Main and Jamboree and Woodbridge Community Park. Shuttles will be running from 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Disabled Person Parking will be available at the San Juan or Civic Center parking lots adjacent to Bill Barber Park. Please have the appropriate placard visible when entering the parking lot.

Bike to the Festival – that’s how I’m getting there!  By far the easiest way to get to the Festival is by bike. The City of Irvine has an extensive system of bike trails to get you to and from the event, and once inside, riders can safely and securely store their bikes at the Festival’s free Bike Valet area, hosted by the Bicycle Club of Irvine and the Orange County Bicycle Coalition. Use the City’s Interactive Bike Map to plan your trip. Enter the destination address as “4 Civic Center”.

Pets: Dogs are welcome at the Irvine Global Village Festival! However, owners must be responsible for their pets; dogs must be on leash, interact well in a large crowd and remain in the charge of a person competent to restrain them.

See you there!

Stop in the Name of Love: Irvine Motorists Must Obey Stop Signs and Respect Pedestrians’ Right-of-Way. Our Lives and the Lives of Our Children are at Stake!

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There has been a sharp uptick in complaints about motorists not obeying stop signs in Irvine.

The greatest concern has been expressed in Woodbury, but there have also been rising concerns in other parts of the city, including Cypress Village, Woodbridge, Stonegate, Northpark and Portola Springs.

A number of Irvine residents have posted videos on youtube showing just how dangerous our streets and roads have become.  You can see them here, here, and here.

I am very concerned — as are others — that we will soon see someone seriously injured or killed because a motorist in Irvine did not obey a stop sign or respect a pedestrian’s right of way.

It has happened before: Last year a nine-year-old boy was killed in Cypress Village when his bicycle was struck by a motorist.  The year before, I friend of mine was struck by a motorist and killed in Woodbridge as he crossed the street while Trick or Treating with his young son.

The statistics are chilling: California leads the nation in pedestrian traffic deaths.

Each year, more 700 pedestrians are killed by motor vehicles in California.

In California, 23% of all motor vehicle fatalities were pedestrians — well above the national average.

The primary responsibility for protecting pedestrians belongs to motorists; all motorists must watch out for pedestrians, especially children, and obey all stop signs.

If you see a motorist failing to obey a stop sign or endangering pedestrians, take down their license plate number and contact the Irvine Police Department at 949-724-7000.  You can also call the Irvine Traffic Research and Control (ITRAC) Center at 949-724-7324.

Irvine is world-famous as a safe place to live and raise our families.

But it won’t stay that way unless all Irvine’s motorists obey the stop signs and respect pedestrians’ right-of-way.

It’s not just our reputation as America’s safest city that is on the line.

Our lives, and the lives of our children, are at stake.

 

 

“We Live in Fame or Go Down in Flame”

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A-26 Invader from my father’s squadron on a mission during the Korean War. Photo by Stanley Kay.

My father, Stan Kay, in the U.S. Air Force in Korea during the Korean War.

Today, September 18, 2016, is the 69th anniversary of the creation of the United States Air Force, which became an independent military service on September 18, 1947.

The Air Force evolved from the United States Army Signal Corps in the early 1900s, and then into the United States Army Air Corps and the Army Forces in World War II.

After World War II, Congress created the Air Force as a separate branch of the United States military in recognition of the importance of air power in preserving American freedom and American interests around the world.

A-26s from my father’s bomber squadron flying on a mission during the Korean War. View from my father’s perspective as navigator.

The mission of the Air Force declared to be:

  • to preserve the peace and security, and provide for the defense, of the United States, the Territories, Commonwealths, and possessions, and any areas occupied by the United States;
  • to support national policy;
  • to implement national objectives;
  • to overcome any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United States.

The stated mission of the USAF today is to “fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace.”

My father, Stan Kay, served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War, flying A-26 Invaders  on bombing missions against North Korean targets.

He never fully recovered his hearing.

Thank you, Dad, for teaching me to “Aim High.”

Happy Birthday to the United States Air Force and thank you to all the brave men and women who have served and are serving in the United States Armed Forces.

 

 

Happy Constitution Day!

screen-shot-2013-09-16-at-6-29-04-pm The United States Constitution was signed by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia 229 years ago today on September 17, 1787.

On February 21, 1787, Congress called on each state legislature to send delegates to a convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation in ways that, when approved by Congress and the states, would render the federal constitution adequate to the  exigencies of government and the preservation of the Union.”

To amend the Articles into a workable government, 74 delegates from the twelve states were named by their state legislatures; 55 delegates showed up, and 39 delegates eventually signed.

The Preamble of this history-changing document makes clear why it was written: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”d5073bb68808c8dd92cbcefedb2da43e

As United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court, explained, “What makes the Constitution worthy of our commitment? First and foremost, the answer is our freedom. It is, quite simply, the most powerful vision of freedom ever expressed. It’s also the world’s shortest and oldest national constitution, neither so rigid as to be stifling, nor so malleable as to be devoid of meaning. Our Constitution has been an inspiration that changed the trajectory of world history for the perpetual benefit of mankind. In 1787, no country in the world had ever allowed its citizens to select their own form of government, much less to select a democratic government. What was revolutionary when it was written, and what continues to inspire the world today, is that the Constitution put governance in the hands of the people.”

It is of the nature of constitutions that their meaning evolves over time and in newly encountered situtions.  As UCI Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky wrote in the University of Chicago Law Review, “[t]he Constitution inevitably must be interpreted. There are countless issues — such as whether the president can fire cabinet officials or rescind treaties or assert executive privilege — where the document is silent, but a constitutional answer is necessary.  So much of the Constitution is written in broad language that must be given meaning and applied to specific situations. . .”

It is my hope that one day soon the Supreme Court will recognize that in order to ensure and protect our democracy, we must get unlimited and unaccountable money out of politics, and that there must be limits on the amount of money that individuals, corporations, or other organizations can spend to support or attack political candidates or to influence government policies.

It is my hope, too, that one day soon the Equal Rights Amendment will be adopted so that women will at long last be accorded full and equal rights in the United States.

In fact, our Constitution provides the means to make these changes and improvements in our government and our political process.

Our Constitution remains our best hope of “We the People” forming an even “more perfect Union.”

Guest Post by Beth Krom: Christina Shea Disrespects Irvine’s Jewish City Council Members and the Entire Jewish Community

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Guest Blog Post by Irvine City Council Member Beth Krom

(posted with permission)

14358654_10154548475591410_7386158788201046723_nIrvine City Council Member Christina Shea seems to believe that pushing the agenda of developers is a higher value than respecting the religious obligations of two fellow Council members.

Upon learning that Jeff Lalloway and I could not attend the October 11 City Council meeting because, as Jews, we observe Yom Kippur — the holiest day on the Jewish calendar on which we fast, atone for transgressions and remember and honor family members who have passed — she rescheduled a significant development matter that was supposed to be heard at the September 27th meeting for October 11th.

Reading this memo from Christina Shea (at right), it is clear that (a) she knew that Jeff and I would not be able to be at the meeting, (b) she thinks our absence should have no bearing on the matter and (c) she has no respect for Jewish observance and is, by her action, ensuring there will be no Jews in attendance to weigh in on this massive development proposal.

For Jews, a Council Meeting on Yom Kippur is like having a Council Meeting on Christmas Eve or Easter.  Councilmember Shea heard me tell the City Manager I could not attend. . . and why.  She even commented on it.  The next day she submitted a memo requesting that the Amphitheater matter which involves developer FivePoint be moved to the October 11 agenda knowing that Jeff and I would be observing Yom Kippur along with the entire Jewish community and therefore unable to attend.

We used to be a city that respected diversity of faith and culture.

It’s sad to see us being pushed in the wrong direction.

Update: According to the Orange County Register, Irvine City Council Member Jeff Lalloway “also denounced Shea’s reluctance to schedule the discussion for another day after the date conflict was raised. ‘I’ve lived through anti-Semitism, and to treat the Jewish people with a (lack of) dignity to (not) allow them to come to this council meeting and to participate is beyond disgusting to me,’ Lalloway said. “You should be ashamed.”