I’m delighted to join in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15).
Hispanic Americans are the largest minority group in both California and the United States, and generations of Hispanic Americans have helped make our country and our state strong and prosperous. The Hispanic American community continues to shape who we are, what we stand for, and where we’re going.
I’m grateful for the extraordinary contributions that Hispanic Americans make every day to our country, our state, and our county -– as scientists and business owners, doctors and teachers, soldiers and veterans, artists and musicians, labor leaders and public servants, and as essential workers keeping us safe during this crisis.
The Hispanic American Heritage is a vibrant legacy of leadership, vision, creativity, kindness, resilience and commitment. I’m proud to work together with my Hispanic American friends, colleagues, and neighbors to overcome the pandemic and save lives, make our economy stronger and fairer, ensure affordable housing and healthcare for all, fix our broken immigration system, fight climate change, restore our democracy, and make our world a better place for everyone.
Thanks to tremendous public support, we succeeded!
At the Irvine City Council meeting on September 8, 2020, the Council unanimously agreed to send an official letter to the U.S. Postmaster, on behalf of our residents, to cease and rescind any actions that undermine prompt delivery of the mail, including “expeditious action to re-store mail sorting equipment and remedy the recent changes to USPS polices and procedures that would result in reduced or delayed mail service levels.”
Here is the full text of the official letter sent to the U.S. Postmaster General:
Thank you to everyone who wrote to the Irvine City Council in support of the U.S. Postal Service! This letter is truly the result of democracy in action.
Now, we must keep the pressure on the federal government to ensure that the USPS “to provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and render postal services to all communities, without interruption.”
The sky was falling and streaked with blood I heard you calling me, then you disappeared into the dust Up the stairs, into the fire . . . May your strength give us strength May your faith give us faith May your hope give us hope May your love give us love
Today we remember all who lost their lives at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on September 11, 2001, including 343 members of the New York City Fire Department, who raced up the stairs into the fire, in an attempt to save others.
The World Trade Center (New York, New York)
Gordon McCannel Aamoth, 32, New York, N.Y.
Maria Rose Abad, 49, Syosset, N.Y.
Edelmiro (Ed) Abad, 54, New York, N.Y.
Andrew Anthony Abate, 37, Melville, N.Y.
Vincent Abate, 40, New York, N.Y.
Laurence Christopher Abel, 37
William F. Abrahamson, 58, Cortland Manor, N.Y.
Richard Anthony Aceto, 42, Wantagh, N.Y.
Erica Van Acker, 62, New York, N.Y.
Heinrich B. Ackermann, 38, New York, N.Y.
Paul Andrew Acquaviva, 29, Glen Rock, N.J.
Donald L. Adams, 28, Chatham, N.J.
Shannon Lewis Adams, 25, New York, N.Y.
Stephen Adams, 51, New York, N.Y.
Patrick Adams, 60, New York, N.Y.
Ignatius Adanga, 62, New York, N.Y.
Christy A. Addamo, 28, New Hyde Park, N.Y.
Terence E. Adderley, 22, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Sophia B. Addo, 36, New York, N.Y.
Lee Adler, 48, Springfield, N.J.
Daniel Thomas Afflitto, 32, Manalapan, N.J.
Emmanuel Afuakwah, 37, New York, N.Y.
Alok Agarwal, 36, Jersey City, N.J.
Mukul Agarwala, 37, New York, N.Y.
Joseph Agnello, 35, New York, N.Y.
David Scott Agnes, 46, New York, N.Y.
Joao A. Aguiar Jr., 30, Red Bank, N.J.
Lt. Brian G. Ahearn, 43, Huntington, N.Y.
Jeremiah J. Ahern, 74, Cliffside Park, N.J.
Joanne Ahladiotis, 27, New York, N.Y.
Shabbir Ahmed, 47, New York, N.Y.
Terrance Andre Aiken, 30, New York, N.Y.
Godwin Ajala, 33, New York, N.Y.
Gertrude M. Alagero, 37, New York, N.Y.
Andrew Alameno, 37, Westfield, N.J.
Margaret Ann (Peggy) Jezycki Alario, 41, New York, N.Y.
Gary Albero, 39, Emerson, N.J.
Jon L. Albert, 46, Upper Nyack, N.Y.
Peter Craig Alderman, 25, New York, N.Y.
Jacquelyn Delaine Aldridge, 46, New York, N.Y.
Grace Alegre-Cua, 40, Glen Rock, N.J.
David D. Alger, 57, New York, N.Y.
Ernest Alikakos, 43, New York, N.Y.
Edward L. Allegretto, 51, Colonia, N.J.
Eric Allen, 44, New York, N.Y.
Joseph Ryan Allen, 39, New York, N.Y.
Richard Lanard Allen, 30, New York, N.Y.
Richard Dennis Allen, 31, New York, N.Y.
Christopher Edward Allingham, 36, River Edge, N.J.
Join me on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 5 PM for an Orange County Education Forum on COVID-19 Safety and Our Schools.
For many of us, there is no bigger question right now than whether our children will be attending in-person classes this fall.
President Trump seems desperate to have schools re-open regardless of the danger to students, teachers, and staff, even threatening to cut federal aid to school districts that decide that the risk of COVID-19 infection is too great to return to in-person classes.
Yet the federal government has provided no real guidance for determining when it is safe to re-open schools, or the proper procedures for school to follow to limit the spread of COVID-19 if they do re-open.
In the absence of federal leadership, these decisions and procedures have been left to governors and, crucially, local school districts. As USA Today put it, “Abandoned by any semblance of national leadership during a raging pandemic, students, teachers and staff are being told to jump into the deep end and return to school buildings.”
Here in Orange County, our Board of Education made national headlines when it voted 4-1 (with the sole Democrat dissenting) to re-open this fall, without requiring the use of face masks or social distancing.
For many, there was tremendous relief when California Governor Gavin Newsom stepped in to mandate that any schools in counties on the state COVID-19 watch list, which includes Orange County, could not have students in classrooms. The Republicans on the OC Board of Education then responded by suing the Governor over his decision to prevent schools from opening in-person.
We will be discussing this lawsuit, as well as the larger questions when and how to re-open our classrooms, with three leading members of Orange County school boards currently dealing with the COVID-19 crisis:
Kerie Kropke of the Brea Olinda School Board. Kerie earned a B.A. in political economy from U.C. Berkeley, an M.A. from Cal State Fullerton in History, a post baccalaureate from Chapman University in Communication Disorders, and a M.A. from Cal State Fullerton in Communication Sciences. She is an elementary public educator with a California Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and has recently become a speech language pathologist specializing in language, early intervention and autism spectrum disorder.
Gina Clayton-Tarvin of the Ocean View School Board. Gina is a long-time educator, and was first elected to the OVSD Board of Trustees in 2012. She was recently voted President of the Board, after serving as Clerk, Vice President, and three terms as President of the Board. Gina holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Anthropology and a California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, as well as a California Secondary Single Subject Credential in Biology. She holds an English Learner (EL) Authorization and Cross-cultural, Language, and Academic Development (CLAD) Certificate and is authorized to provide instruction to English learners. She has also worked for Special Education as a home school teacher. She successfully completed the California School Board Association Masters of Governance program and received her certification in 2014.
Kris Erickson of Orange Unified School Board. Kris is the founding attorney at the Law Office of Kristin A. Erickson. She has held board positions on PTA, put on fundraisers for student events, mentored at-risk kids, coached mock trial, and planned our annual staff appreciations to honor hard-working teachers. She also started a grassroots organization, CARE, with several other parents to bring long-needed improvements to our high school campuses. Kris attended Western State University School of Law.
Jamison Power of the Westminster School Board. Jamison was first elected to the Westminster School Board in 2012 and was re-elected in 2016. He received his B.A. from UC Irvine and his J.D. from UCLA. In his professional life, Jamison serves as in-house counsel for Hyundai Motor America. He also provides free legal assistance to low income families, and has received multiple awards for his work. He previously served as a member of the Vietnamese-American Education Advisory Council, and he worked closely with the Superintendent and the Board to ensure that WSD became the first district in California to implement a Vietnamese-English dual immersion program.
Specifically, we wish to counter the narrative that a majority of Orange County’s residents object to Governor Newsom’s orders mandating social distancing and face covering in order to stop the spread of this deadly virus.
We are appalled by the much-publicized and politically motivated opposition to the Governor’s COVID-19 orders by the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the Orange County Board of Education, and individual “anti-maskers” in Orange County.
They do not represent us.
On the contrary, we stand with the great majority of scientists, doctors, nurses, and other health care and public health professionals in calling for mask wearing and social distancing.
We want our economy and our schools to reopen, but we know that to do so safely we will need to increase testing and reduce the rate of infection.
We join with you, Governor Newsom, in saying that social distancing and wearing a face covering is critical for keeping people safe and healthy, keeping businesses open, and getting people back to work and school.
Again, thank you, Governor Newsom, for your leadership during this challenging time!
June is Pride Month, when the State of California, and nations and cities around the world, stand with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community as they declare their pride in who they are and who they love.
Show your support for flying the Pride Flag in Irvine by joining Irvine City Councilmembers Melissa Fox and Farrah N. Khan at a Rally at City Hall before Tuesday’s Irvine City Council Meeting!
What: Rally for Flying the Pride Flag in Irvine Where: Irvine City Hall, 1 Civic Center Plaza Date: Tues., June 23, 2020 Time: 3:30 p.m.
Captain Frank Wendzel, a Lake Forest resident (and formerly an Irvine resident) who has been in quarantine in assisted living for over 90 days, will be celebrating his 100th birthday on Flag Day, June 14.
Born in Wyoming on June 14, 1920, Captain Wendzel flew B-17s with the United States Army Air Force in World War Two, participated in the nuclear weapon tests of Operation Crossroads, and then worked as an engineer on the Mercury, Atlas, Apollo, space missions. He moved to Orange County in 1957.
Due to the pandemic, his big party was canceled and he has only had window visits for the last few months.
His mailing address is:
Captain Frank Wendzel
Freedom Village Health Care Center
23442 El Toro Road
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Please join us in thanking Frank for his military service and wishing him a Very Happy 100th Birthday!
Here is a video on the life of Captain Frank Wendzel, USAAF, ret.:
On May 28, 2020, Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox held a virtual Town Hall Meeting with special guest Dr. Ebony Jade Hilton on “Exposing Inequalities During COVID-19.” Irvine City Council Member Melissa Fox and Dr. Hilton discuss why people of color have a much higher risk of being infected and dying from COVID-19, what the pandemic reveals about the underlying racial and economic disparities in our society, and what we can — and must — do about it.
Dr. Ebony Jade Hilton is Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Virginia Medical School, medical director of Goodstock Consulting, and a nationally recognized expert on how institutional racism has led to more severe impacts for communities of color from diseases such as COVID-19.
Dr. Ebony Jade Hilton received her M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in 2008. She remained at MUSC for completion of her Residency in Anesthesia, followed by a Fellowship in Critical Care Medicine. In 2013 Dr. Hilton made history as she was hired as the 1st African American Female anesthesiologist since the hospital’s opening in 1824.
Throughout her tenure at MUSC Dr. Hilton’s passions have centered on exploring the issue of health disparities, particularly as it pertains to race, and bridging the gap between physicians and the communities they serve. Her works have led to her integration in the medical school curriculum, serving as a clinical instructor for fourth year medical students in Intern 101 and has taken her across the globe as a participant in numerous medical mission trips via Project Madaktari at Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Now as a practicing physician at the University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Dr. Hilton has continued advocating for underserved and marginalized populations.
Her efforts have been recognized by the National Medical Association as well as the National Minority Quality Forum as one of the top 40 under 40 Leaders in Health Care award recipients.
She is also the author of the children’s book “We’re Going to be O.K.,” a book about staying safe, healthy, and optimistic during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch the full Town Hall on “Exposing Inequalities During COVID-19” here:
(Irvine, CA) — At a special meeting on May 29, the Irvine City Council voted to establish a Local Business Support Program to provide financial support to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Irvine has received close to $5 million for COVID-19 related grants for the City’s small business community from the federal CARES Act, distributed to Irvine by the County of Orange.
“Thank you to our outstanding Orange County Congressional delegation — Katie Porter CA-45, Harley Rouda CA-48, Lou Correa CA-46, Mike Levin CD-49, Gil Cisneros CA-39, Alan Lowenthal CA-37, and Linda Sanchez CA-38 — for your hard work in bringing these crucial federal dollars back to Orange County.” Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox said.
“We are very happy to be able to use these federal funds to help our small businesses begin to recover from the economic shock of COVID-19.”
The program will allow Irvine-based small businesses that meet the following criteria to apply for one-time grants of $10,000.
To qualify, businesses must:
Have 25 or fewer employees
Have an active Irvine business license at the minimum of one year
Demonstrate a financial impact due to COVID-19, and
Have reopened or are ready to reopen, meeting guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, the State and Orange County.
An estimated 500 businesses will be able to receive relief funds. Sixty percent ($3 million) of the $5 million City allocation will be directed to businesses that generate taxable retail sales. The other forty percent ($2 million) will be available to other small businesses with 25 or fewer employees.
Applications will be accepted for 30 days beginning next week, with grant funding awarded quickly on a first-come, first-served basis. Funds could be used to meet eligible businesses’ working capital needs such as payroll or operating expenses.
Businesses will be asked to provide a budget reflecting the proposed use of grant funds, and will be required to submit a post-expense report detailing how the funding was actually utilized.
“I’m glad we’ll be able to provide some basic recovery to our small businesses, which employ so many people who have been hit hard by the economic consequences of the quarantine, including many people who are self-employed” Councilmember Fox said. “I wish it could be more.”
“Now we need to get the U.S. Senate to pass and the President to sign the federal Heroes Act, already passed by the House of Representatives, which would give $2.7 billion in federal recovery funds to Orange County, so that our first responders, front-line health care workers, teachers, and working families will get the economic help they need and deserve.” Fox added.
More information and a grant application will be available at cityofirvine.org this week.
As Orange County moves into the next part, Stage 2, of Gov. Newsom’s Resiliency Roadmap, the City of Irvine has prepared a guide for residents and visitors regarding what is now open in Irvine and what is required and recommended to maintain our safety during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
✅ In Stage Two, the County of Orange will be allowed to have the following businesses re-open with adaptations:
🥙 In-person dining reservations.
🛍 Retail shopping with social distancing and curbside pickup.
🏢 Offices (when telework not possible).
🏯 Outdoor Museums.
▶️ Limited Services.
🚫 What is NOT allowed in Stage 2 🚫:
– Personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios.
– Indoor museums, kids museums and gallery spaces, zoos and libraries.
– Community centers, including public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
– Limited-capacity religious services and cultural ceremonies.
– Concert venues.
– Live audience sports.
– Theme parks.
– Hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism – non-essential travel.
– Higher Education.
Please be mindful that the pandemic is not over. COVID-19 is still among us. It is still highly contagious and potentially deadly.
Face masks are still required by customers and employees in retail businesses and are strongly recommended for everyone whenever going out in public. Social distancing and hand washing remain our most important lines of defense against the spread of COVID-19.
As we re-enter the social world, we need to take care of ourselves and be careful not to harm others.
Orange County has a long and proud military tradition. From 1942 to 1999, Irvine was home to Marine Air Station El Toro, the largest Marine Corps Air Station on the West Coast. During World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War, thousands of United States Marines, as well as airmen, sailors and soldiers, departed for war from MCAS El Toro. Many never returned.
As the daughter of a combat veteran, as the cousin of a Marine who was killed in action, and as an Irvine City Council Member, I am proud of Irvine’s commitment to honoring our veterans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
For many, many years, my family and I have attended Irvine’s two beautiful Memorial Day ceremonies — a community-led candle-lighting ceremony at the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial and the official City of Irvine Memorial Day Ceremony at Col. Bill Barber Marine Corps. Memorial Park next to the Civic Center.
Sadly, this year both ceremonies have been cancelled due to the need to limit non-essential gatherings to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
This year, the official City of Irvine Memorial Day Ceremony will be presented online beginning May 25, 2020, for the community to view at their convenience. The presentation will include words from our mayor, remarks from officers from the City’s adopted 2/11 Marine Battalion, and musical performances from past ceremonies. For more information, call 949-724-6606.
The Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial, dedicated in 2010, located at 4531 Bryan Avenue, Irvine CA 92620, is the nation’s first and only memorial dedicated exclusively to listing the names of all the fallen American service members in Afghanistan and Iraq. The names of every service member who has died in Afghanistan and Iraq are engraved in granite in a permanent memorial, to ensure that generations of Americans will remember and honor them with gratitude as we do today. Regarding the Northwood Honor and Gratitude Memorial Ceremony, the following notice has been posted on their Facebook page:
“To all our SoCal friends, it is with great sadness that we announce the City of Irvine, in keeping with the stay at home order, has CANCELED the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial.
The City will be generously donating a beautiful wreath of remembrance. American flags will be placed around the perimeter of the memorial and candles for lighting for those who would like to visit during the Memorial Day weekend.
There will be staff at the community center if anyone needs help finding the name of a loved one or needs name rubbing materials.
We encourage everyone to please take a few minutes of your time to stop by and pay your respects during the holiday weekend.
To our beloved Gold Star families . . . please know that even though there is no ceremony we will never forget the sacrifices your heroes made for our freedom. Thankfully this beautiful memorial is a daily reminder that our community has not forgotten those who bravely put on our Nation’s cloth and gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
Although we are not able to gather together physically this Memorial Day, we will be gathered together in our hearts
As stated so beautifully and appropriately by the Veterans of Foreign Wars:
“Pausing to remember and honor America’s fallen service members is a practice dating back more than 100 years. Since the days of the Civil War, humble Americans have gathered together on Memorial Day to remember and pay tribute to all who have fought and selflessly surrendered the precious gift of life, so that other could live free.
Again we gather this Memorial Day, as a nation solemnly united in remembrance of the fallen defenders of our great nation. Freedom is not free. It has come at great cost, paid for with the lives of our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, friends and comrades.
Every American owes a great debt to the courageous men and women who have selflessly given their all to defend and protect our way of life. And while giving back to the extent they deserve is impossible, celebrating their memory and honoring their most selfless deeds offers a start.
This Memorial Day, pause to reflect on the absolute selflessness of the 1.3 million members of our nation’s military who paid the price needed to ensure our way of life endures, and let us not forget the families whose pain will never go away, but may lessen with our thanks and prayers.”
God Bless our fallen, their families, and our men and women in uniform all over the world.
I’ve always been an outdoors person, and I love going hiking and exploring in Southern California’s beautiful wild lands, mountains, and deserts. Long before I entered politics, I served as a volunteer Ranger with the Orange County Park Ranger Reserve. This past week, I had the pleasure of talking with Irvine Ranch Conservancy Executive Director Michael O’Connell last week during a ZOOM meeting Town Hall.
The Irvine Ranch Conservancy is a non-profit, non-advocacy organization, committed to the highest possible standards of long-term land stewardship. Based in Orange County, California, the mission of the IRC is to ensure the protection, restoration and enhancement of the natural resources of the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks forever and to provide diverse opportunities for public participation by conducting and supporting scientific, recreational and educational initiatives and programs.
Michael O’Connell, Irvine Ranch Conservancy President and Executive Director, oversees all aspects of stewardship, public programs and business operations for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy. He has 25 years experience in land protection and conservation science including senior positions with The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund. He has served on the Board of Governors of the Society for Conservation Biology, and the Advisory Board of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara. He is currently on the Dean’s Leadership Council for the School of Biological Sciences at UC Irvine. Michael has co-authored two books on conservation and a number of scientific and popular articles. He has a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Carleton College and a Master’s in Conservation Biology from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
After we talk about the history and the special character of this incredible land, Mike leads us on a tour of this incredible natural resource in our backyard.
Watch our Town Hall on the Irvine Ranch Conservancy here:
I enthusiastically supported the City’s adoption of the Irvine Sunshine Ordinance, which expanded public notice to four times longer than California law requires and prevents government action without full and informed participation from the community. I also supported approval of a two-year budget cycle, along with a five-year financial planning program, to bring more accountability to government spending.
I’ve often said that Government transparency and fiscal responsibility should be neither a conservative nor a liberal idea, but appeal to both, as we strive to address increasing social needs with limited resources.
The economic distress caused by COVID-19 will make this important task even more difficult.
COVID-19 has already impacted every facet of California’s economy, including the fiscal health of California’s government institutions, from large state agencies to cities and school districts.
That’s why it will be especially valuable to hear from California State Controller Betty T. Yee on California’s fiscal health.
State Controller Betty T. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the California Board of Equalization. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member. Reelected for a second term as Controller in 2018, Ms. Yee is only the tenth woman in California history to be elected to statewide office.
As the state’s chief fiscal officer, Ms. Yee chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards. These two boards have a combined portfolio of more than $620 billion.
Ms. Yee has more than 35 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy. Ms. Yee previously served as Chief Deputy Director for Budget with the California Department of Finance where she led the development of the Governor’s Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analyses of legislation. Prior to this, she served in senior staff positions for several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the California State Legislature. She also co-founded the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, which exposes California high school youth to the public service, public policy, and political arenas.
A native of San Francisco, Ms. Yee received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and she holds a master’s degree in public administration.
What: Virtual Town Hall on COVID-19 and California’s Fiscal Health with California State Controller Betty T. Yee.
When: Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.
Where: On-line at ZOOM Meeting ID 951-321-0807
To see the Facebook page for this event, click here.
For more information, contact Allison Binder at email@example.com.
At last night’s Irvine City Council meeting, I was delighted to join my colleagues in voting to approve the lease agreement enabling the return of Wild Rivers Water Park to Irvine, with a new location in the Orange County Great Park.
Hundreds spend Labor Day cooling off in the waters of Monson Lagoon at Wild Rivers on Labor Day. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: wildrivers 9/6/10 LEONARD ORTIZ, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER Thousands of people enjoyed the waters at Wild Rivers water park in Irvine as the park enters it’s last week before closing for the season. According the the year-to-year lease the park has with the Irvine Company the park will remain open for the 2011 season.
I have been working to bring Wild Rivers back to Orange County since 2017, when I successfully asked the Irvine City Council, acting as the Great Park Board of Directors, to approve construction of a new Wild Rivers Water Park at the Orange County Great Park.
Under the lease agreement, the City of Irvine will receive 4.5% of the park’s annual gross revenue as a lease payment, and if the park remains closed for the summer or underperforms, the City is still set to receive a lease payment of $550,000 for that year. The annual lease is expected to bring in anywhere from $550,000 to $1 million to the City, according to a report prepared by City staff.
Wild Rivers will pay for the construction of the water park, while the City will pay for and maintain a parking lot with over 1,200 spaces for Wild Rivers use during the summer, but managed by the City the remainder of the year.
The old Wild Rivers Water Park opened in July 1986 on the site of the former Lion Country Safari, now the site of Los Olivos Apartments. Following the expiration of its lease with The Irvine Company, it closed permanently on September 25, 2011.
The new Wild Rivers Water Park will be located on 20 acres in the heart of the Great Park, at the intersection of Skyhawk and Great Park Blvd.
Wild Rivers will build a new water park with waterslides, an uphill water coaster, water play structures for children, a wave pool, a lazy river and Wild Rivers’ popular Congo River Rapids. I have also been working with Wild Rivers management to create an “all access” area, so that children and adults with disabilities can also enjoy a day at the water park.
We have missed having a water park in Irvine. I was a kid sliding down the water slides at the old Wild Rivers and I was a young mom taking my son there on hot summer days. We know that Wild Rivers provides fun and safe water parks, and they’ve always had a great relationship with the residents of Orange County. We look forward to having them back very soon. In fact, we can anticipate a Grand Opening sometime in 2021!
Join me on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. for a Virtual Town Hall on Small Business Assistance and Affordable Housing with California State Treasurer Fiona Ma!
ZOOM Meeting ID is 951-321-0807
COVID-19 has impacted both small businesses and housing in California.
Join Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox and California State Treasurer Fiona Ma as they discuss the impact of COVID-19 on California’s economy, small business assistance programs, and new opportunities for affordable housing.
Fiona Ma is California’s 34th State Treasurer. She was elected on November 6, 2018 with more votes (7,825,587) than any other candidate for treasurer in the state’s history.
She is the first woman of color and the first woman Certified Public Accountant (CPA) elected to the position.
For more information, contact Allison Binder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see the Facebook page for this event, click here.
Melissa Fox will also be joined joined on the Virtual Town Hall by Claudia Moreno, Southern California Outreach Manager for Small Business Majority.
Claudia Moreno develops relationships with both business partners and small business owners across the region to discuss ways to best help small businesses thrive in their local economies. Claudia also works closely on statewide policy initiatives. The daughter of a small business owner, Claudia understands the importance of giving back to her community and intentionally working to empower under-served entrepreneurs.
She previously worked at the White House during the Obama Administration in the Executive Office of Presidential Correspondence where she served as an intermediate between the President and the American people. She also took lead in the Office’s Spanish Analytical Department as an interpreter to support the President’s vision to serve all communities.
I am pleased to announce that Irvine has several hundred spots now open for child care for essential workers.
I currently serve as the Irvine City Council’s representative on the board of directors of the Irvine Child Care Project, along with other representatives from the City of Irvine and Irvine Unified School District.
Established in 1984, the Irvine Child Care Project (ICCP) is a Joint Powers Agreement between the Irvine Unified School District and the City of Irvine, overseen by the Irvine Child Care Project Board of Directors. It is a unique partnership in which the City of Irvine and the Irvine Unified School District collaborate to accommodate more affordable and quality child care in the City.
On Thursday, April 9, 2020, the ICCP Board had a virtual meeting to discuss some of the critical needs of the ICCP during the COVID-19 crisis. We made several important decisions at this meeting to help facilitate and increase the availability of child care for essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Crucially, we voted to waive rental payments from ICC providers for April, May, and June. Waiving the rent for these providers means that essential child care services will remain accessible to families in need of child care during this crisis.
Currently, 10 out of the 28 ICCP programs are open to serve children of essential critical infrastructure workers. The sites that are open are located on the following campuses: Canyon View Elementary, Deerfield Elementary, Oak Creek Elementary, Plaza Vista Elementary, Springbrook Elementary, Stonegate Elementary, Turtle Rock Elementary, University Park Elementary, Vista Verde Elementary, and Woodbury Elementary.
These 10 sites currently have the space to enroll approximately 200 additional children.
If you are an essential critical infrastructure worker and need child care, please click here to access a searchable database of currently open child care centers and family child care homes serving children aged birth –1 2 compiled by Early Childhood OC. This database will be updated every Friday. The Countywide list linked above lists all open programs in Orange County including, ICCP locations. In addition, each ICCP location below is identified as OPEN or CLOSED.
Kiddie Academy of Irvine, Prestige Preschool Academy and several family child care providers are open and able to serve school age children, including non-residents. These programs would be able to serve at least 100 additional children (combined capacity), even with the new guidance from the state regarding decreased capacities for best health and safety practices. Contact information for each of these programs is available in the searchable database of currently open child care centers and family child care homes compiled by Early Childhood OC. This database is updated weekly. I anticipate the number of providers on this list to increase as programs re-open to provide emergency child care to essential workers. Several providers have contacted child care coordination this week to discuss their plans to re-open.
ICCP sites (10 open operated by Child Development Incorporated) are only able to serve Irvine residents and/or children enrolled in the IUSD school district. This is based on the Joint Powers Agreement between the City of Irvine and the Irvine Unified School District. The ICCP Board has the authority to waive this stipulation, if that is something that the Board would be interested in considering at the May meeting.
You can find more information about these sites and enrollment here.
Please note: Essential workers include those who work in the following fields: healthcare and public health, emergency services, food and agriculture, energy, water and waste water, transportation and logistics, communications and information technology, government services, critical manufacturing, hazardous materials, financial services, chemicals, and defense/industrial base. For more details, click here.
I’ve added a new “COVID-19 Community Resources and Information Pageto my blog, with links to up-to-date and reliable resources and information from federal, state, and county sources, as well as the cities and public schools in the 68th Assembly District.
Did you know that every neighboring county of Orange County requires face coverings for all food service, grocery store, and other essential workers except Orange County?
Did you know that many of these workers are under the age of 18?
In order to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to protect both workers and customers, every neighboring county of Orange County — including San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties — now require face coverings for all food service, grocery store, and other essential workers.
Only Orange County does not. I believe this failure to protect public health is unacceptable and unconscionable.
My friend, Gina Clayton-Tarvin, President of the Board of Trustees at the Ocean View School District, who has also been a classroom teacher in Orange County for 25 years, has started a petition to address this very serious problem.
I have signed this petition because I believe that all workers who are providing us with food, groceries, and other essential goods and services during this pandemic deserve to be as protected from this deadly virus as possible.
As customers of these businesses and as residents of Orange County, we also deserve to be protected.
The protection of public health is an essential responsibility — and must be a top priority — of any government.
I’ve added a new “COVID-19 Community Resources and Information Pageto my blog, with links to up-to-date and reliable resources and information from federal, state, and county sources, as well as the cities and public schools in the 68th Assembly District.
Effective Wednesday, April 8, 2020, by order of the City Manager in his capacity as Director of Emergency Services, all retail personnel in the City of Irvine will be required to wear face coverings.
This executive order applies to all retail businesses in Irvine, including, but not limited to:
Restaurants providing take-out or delivery services
Banks, Savings and Loans, and Credit Unions
Home Improvement stores
The use of cloth face coverings could reduce the transmission of COVID-19 by individuals who do not have symptoms and may reinforce social distancing. Face coverings can include items such as bandanas, fabric masks, and neck gaiters.
It is important to note face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing and hand washing, which remain our most important line of defense against the spread of COVID-19.
Note: I’ve added a new “COVID-19 Community Resources and Information Pageto my blog, with links to up-to-date and reliable resources and information from federal, state, and county sources, as well as the cities and public schools in the 68th Assembly District.
I have also decided to use my Assembly campaign phone-banking and community outreach resources to call seniors and people in need of critical services in the cities of Assembly District 68 — Lake Forest, Tustin, Orange, Irvine, Anaheim Hills and Villa Park — to ask how they’re doing during this stressful time and to see whether they need any help, including food assistance and mental health assistance and other community resources. Our volunteer callers will be able to provide information and connect seniors with any community assistance or resources they might need.
Last week, my colleagues on the Board of Directors of the Irvine Community Land Trust (ICLT) unanimously elected me to serve another year as Chair. I am grateful for their support and for the opportunity to continue to lead the important work of the Land Trust in this difficult time.
As we fight this deadly outbreak, secure and affordable housing has never been more important.
At our next meeting, which will be conducted electronically and to which the public is invited, we will be adopting new measures to help our tenants deal with the COVID-19 emergency, including rent deferments and other forms of assistance.
There’s no shortage of uncertainly in the world lately, so I’d like to take a moment to tell you exactly how the Irvine Community Land Trust is navigating the post-COVID world.
As an affordable housing nonprofit, our communities are comprised of some of Irvine’s most vulnerable populations, even when there isn’t a global crisis weighing on them. No matter the circumstances, we remain steadfast in our commitment to our residents and to ensuring they have a place they can be proud to call “home.”
We will not falter, but we are doing things a little differently to best protect the health and safety of our staff, board members, residents and partners in the community.
For starters, we’re observing social distancing by moving our regular public board meetings online. Earlier this week, we held the ICLT’s first online board meeting, utilizing both Zoom and a public phone line to great effect. Information on joining our future digital meetings will be posted as available at http://www.irvineclt.org/agenda.
At each of our properties – Parc Derian, Alegre and Doria – we’re working with property managers to ensure residents are equipped with the knowledge and resources they need to navigate these trying times.
Through a series of special government protocols, we’re continuing construction on our new community, Salerno. Out of concern for our construction workers, we’re also undertaking extraordinary measures to ensure they stay safe and healthy while on the job. And, in cooperation with our community partners, we’re continuing our work to make Irvine the best it can be, no matter the challenges we face.
In the coming weeks, the next edition of our newsletter will be delivered as usual, packed with the latest and greatest from the ICLT. For now, rest assured that our commitment to our mission burns stronger than ever as we rise to face this unprecedented situation.
Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy – we’re all in this together.
Irvine Community Land Trust”
City of Irvine staff has coordinated with Families Forward, an Irvine-based non-profit dedicated to helping low income & homeless families, for an “Irvine Neighbors Helping Irvine Neighbors” Food Collection event this Saturday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, food assistance requests to Families Forward have increased 500%.
They are in most need of the following items:
The event will be staffed by Families Forward volunteers as a “drop-and-go” with items being removed from the trunk of vehicles to adhere to social distancing requirements. Participants are required to remain in their vehicles.
A traffic safety plan has been developed for both sites with the assistance of Irvine Public Works & Transportation, Public Safety, and Community Services staff to facilitate anticipated traffic.
Families Forward is an Orange County, California, non-profit that exists to help families that are homeless or at-risk of homelessness achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through housing, food, counseling, education, and other support services. It assists families in financial crisis to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. As Families Forward explains, “We do not just provide support; we supply the tools for families to once again become independent, productive residents of the community.”
To make a financial donation to Families Forward, click here.
At one time or another, any family may find itself in need of some form of support. If you are in need of support, please contact Families Forward at (949) 552-2727 or email@example.com.
In Irvine, we love to celebrate our many heritages. Irvine is home to more than 80 different churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship, serving Irvine’s wonderful cultural and religious diversity.
Sadly, this year’s Nowruz Festival in Irvine had to be cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak and the need for all of us to maintain social distancing.
In an announcement, my friend Neda Mottaghi-Movahed, a long-time organizer of the Irvine Nowruz Festival, wrote: “Dear friends and supporters, we regret to inform you that IAC 7th annual Nowruz festival which was scheduled for March 22nd in Irvine has been canceled. This was a very difficult decision due to outbreak of Coronavirus and Orange County Public Health recommendations which is to avoid large gatherings. Celebrate Nowruz with your friends and family. Eid Mobarak.”
Persian New Year, or “Nowruz,” translated from Persian to literally mean “New Day,” takes place at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, centering around the Spring Equinox. It is an ancient tradition, having been observed in Persian culture for approximately 5,500 years (older than the great pyramids of Egypt), celebrating the rebirth of the Earth after the cold of winter and welcoming the warmth of spring.
When was a new beginning — a “New Day” or Nowruz — more needed than now?
So even though we won’t have the Festival and we must keep apart from each other, let us celebrate Nowruz together with all our hearts.
May first day of Spring brings us all health, peace, happiness and joy!
Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu was born in Oakland, California, on January 30, 1919, the third of four sons to Japanese-American parents Kakusaburo Korematsu and Kotsui Aoki, who immigrated to the United States in 1905. He attended public schools, participated in the Castlemont High School (Oakland, California) tennis and swim teams, and worked in his family’s flower nursery in nearby San Leandro, California.
When called for military duty under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, Korematsu was rejected by the U.S. Navy due to stomach ulcers. Instead, he trained to become a welder in order to contribute his services to the defense effort. First, he worked as a welder at a shipyard. He went in one day to find his timecard missing; his coworkers hastily explained to him that he was Japanese so therefore he was not allowed to work there. He then found a new job, but was fired after a week when his supervisor returned from an extended vacation to find him working there. Because of his Japanese descent, Korematsu lost all employment completely following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
On March 27, 1942, General John L. DeWitt, commander of the Western Defense Area, prohibited Japanese Americans from leaving the limits of Military Area No. 1, in preparation for their eventual evacuation to internment camps. Korematsu underwent plastic surgery on his eyelids in an unsuccessful attempt to pass as a Caucasian, changed his name to Clyde Sarah and claimed to be of Spanish and Hawaiian heritage.
On May 3, 1942, when General DeWitt ordered Japanese Americans to report on May 9 to Assembly Centers as a prelude to being removed to the internment camps, Korematsu refused and went into hiding in the Oakland area. He was arrested on a street corner in San Leandro on May 30, 1942. Shortly after Korematsu’s arrest, Ernest Besig, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union in northern California, asked him whether he would be willing to use his case to test the legality of the Japanese American internment. Korematsu agreed.
Korematsu felt that “people should have a fair trial and a chance to defend their loyalty at court in a democratic way, because in this situation, people were placed in imprisonment without any fair trial.” On June 12, 1942, Korematsu had his trial date and was given $5,000 bail (equivalent to $76,670.06 in 2018). After Korematsu’s arraignment on June 18, 1942, Besig posted bail and he and Korematsu attempted to leave. When met by military police, Besig told Korematsu to go with them. The military police took Korematsu to the Presidio. Korematsu was tried and convicted in federal court on September 8, 1942, for a violation of Public Law No. 503, which criminalized the violations of military orders issued under the authority of Executive Order 9066, and was placed on five years’ probation.
He was taken from the courtroom and returned to the Tanforan Assembly Center, and thereafter he and his family were placed in the Central Utah War Relocation Center in Topaz, Utah. As an unskilled laborer, he was eligible to receive only $12 per month (equivalent to $184.01 in 2018) for working eight-hour days at the camp. He was placed in a horse stall with a single light bulb, and later said “jail was better than this.”
When Korematsu’s family was moved to the Topaz internment camp, he later recalled feeling isolated because his imprisoned compatriots recognized him and many, if not most, of them felt that if they talked to him they would also be seen as troublemakers.
Korematsu then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which granted review on March 27, 1943, but upheld the original verdict on January 7, 1944. He appealed again and brought his case to the United States Supreme Court, which granted review on March 27, 1944. On December 18, 1944, the Court issued Korematsu v. United States, a 6–3 decision authored by Justice Hugo Black, in which the Court held that compulsory exclusion, though constitutionally suspect, was justified during circumstances of “emergency and peril.”
Dissenting Justice Frank Murphy criticized what he called a “legalization of racism.” Justice Murphy added: “Racial discrimination in any form and in any degree has no justifiable part whatever in our democratic way of life. It is unattractive in any setting, but it is utterly revolting among a free people who have embraced the principles set forth in the Constitution of the United States. All residents of this nation are kin in some way by blood or culture to a foreign land. Yet they are primarily and necessarily a part of the new and distinct civilization of the United States. They must, accordingly, be treated at all times as the heirs of the American experiment, and as entitled to all the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.”
1942 editorial cartoon by Theodor Seuss Geisel (later author Dr. Seuss) depicting Japanese-Americans on the West Coast as prepared to conduct sabotage against the US.
Dissenting Justice Robert H. Jackson, who later served as Chief US Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, wrote that “Korematsu was born on our soil, of parents born in Japan. The Constitution makes him a citizen of the United States by nativity and a citizen of California by residence. No claim is made that he is not loyal to this country. There is no suggestion that apart from the matter involved here he is not law abiding and well disposed. Korematsu, however, has been convicted of an act not commonly a crime. It consists merely of being present in the state whereof he is a citizen, near the place where he was born, and where all his life he has lived. […] [H]is crime would result, not from anything he did, said, or thought, different than they, but only in that he was born of different racial stock. Now, if any fundamental assumption underlies our system, it is that guilt is personal and not inheritable. Even if all of one’s antecedents had been convicted of treason, the Constitution forbids its penalties to be visited upon him. But here is an attempt to make an otherwise innocent act a crime merely because this prisoner is the son of parents as to whom he had no choice, and belongs to a race from which there is no way to resign.”
After being released from the camp in Utah, Korematsu had to move east since the law would not allow former internees to move back westward. He moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he continued to fight racism. He still knew there were inequalities among the Japanese, since he experienced them in his everyday life. He found work repairing water tanks in Salt Lake City, but after three months on the job, he discovered he was being paid half of what his white coworkers were being paid. He told his boss that this was unfair and asked to be paid the same amount, but his boss only threatened to call the police and try to get him arrested just for being Japanese, so he left his job.
In 1976, President Gerald Ford signed a proclamation formally terminating Executive Order 9066 and apologizing for the internment, stated: “We now know what we should have known then—not only was that evacuation wrong but Japanese-Americans were and are loyal Americans. On the battlefield and at home the names of Japanese-Americans have been and continue to be written in history for the sacrifices and the contributions they have made to the well-being and to the security of this, our common Nation.”After this incident, Korematsu lost hope, remaining quiet for over thirty years. His own daughter did not find out about what her father did until she was in high school. He moved to Detroit, Michigan, where his younger brother lived, and where he worked as a draftsman until 1949. He married Kathryn Pearson in Detroit on October 12, 1946. They returned to Oakland to visit his family in 1949 because his mother was ill. They did not intend to stay, but decided to after Kathryn became pregnant with their first child, Karen. His daughter was born in 1950, and a son, Ken, in 1954.
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed a special commission to investigate the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, which concluded that the decisions to remove those of Japanese ancestry to prison camps occurred because of “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership”. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which had been sponsored by Representative Norman Mineta and Senator Alan K. Simpson. It provided financial redress of $20,000 for each surviving detainee, totaling $1.2 billion.
In the early 1980s, while researching a book on internment cases, lawyer and University of California, San Diego professor Peter Irons came across evidence that Charles Fahy, the Solicitor General of the United States who argued Korematsu v. United States before the Supreme Court, had deliberately suppressed reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and military intelligence which concluded that Japanese-American citizens posed no security risk. These documents revealed that the military had lied to the Supreme Court, and that government lawyers had willingly made false arguments. Irons concluded that the Supreme Court’s decision was invalid since it was based on unsubstantiated assertions, distortions and misrepresentations. Along with a team of lawyers headed by Dale Minami, Irons petitioned for writs of error coram nobis with the federal courts, seeking to overturn Korematsu’s conviction.
On November 10, 1983, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of U.S. District Court in San Francisco formally vacated the conviction. Korematsu testified before Judge Patel, “I would like to see the government admit that they were wrong and do something about it so this will never happen again to any American citizen of any race, creed, or color.” He also said, “If anyone should do any pardoning, I should be the one pardoning the government for what they did to the Japanese-American people.” Judge Patel’s ruling cleared Korematsu’s name, but was incapable of overturning the Supreme Court’s decision.
President Bill Clinton awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, to Korematsu in 1998, saying, “In the long history of our country’s constant search for justice, some names of ordinary citizens stand for millions of souls: Plessy, Brown, Parks … to that distinguished list, today we add the name of Fred Korematsu.” That year, Korematsu served as the Grand Marshal of San Francisco’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival parade.
A member and Elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, Korematsu was twice President of the San Leandro Lions Club, and for 15 years a volunteer with Boy Scouts of America, San Francisco Bay Council.
From 2001 until his death in 2005, Korematsu served on the Constitution Project’s bipartisan Liberty and Security Committee. Discussing racial profiling in 2004, he warned, “No one should ever be locked away simply because they share the same race, ethnicity, or religion as a spy or terrorist. If that principle was not learned from the internment of Japanese Americans, then these are very dangerous times for our democracy.”
Fred Korematsu died of respiratory failure at his daughter’s home in Marin County, California, on March 30, 2005. One of the last things Korematsu said was, “I’ll never forget my government treating me like this. And I really hope that this will never happen to anybody else because of the way they look, if they look like the enemy of our country.” He also urged others to “protest, but not with violence, and don’t be afraid to speak up. One person can make a difference, even if it takes forty years.”
In 2018, in Trump v. Hawaii, the Supreme Court expressly declared that Korematsu’s case was wrongly decided. Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “Korematsu was gravely wrong the day it was decided, has been overruled in the court of history, and—to be clear—’has no place in law under the Constitution,” quoting Justice Jackson’s dissent in Korematsu v. United States.
The proclamation by Governor Newsom reads as follows:
“PROCLAMATION: “Fred Korematsu did not set out to become a civil rights hero, but his bold decision at the age of 23 to challenge the policy of Japanese internment forever altered the course of history. This year, as we commemorate the 101st anniversary of his birth, we reflect with gratitude on his brave crusade for civil rights.
An Oakland-born welder, Korematsu refused to abide by Executive Order 9066, the federal government’s demand that Japanese Americans report to incarceration camps. Korematsu’s act of protest led to his arrest and conviction, which he fought all the way to the Supreme Court. The Court ultimately ruled against him, arguing that the incarceration of Japanese Americans was justifiable based on military necessity.
Korematsu found vindication 40 years later, when a federal court overturned his criminal conviction. Judge Marilyn Hall Patel said then, “a grave injustice was done to American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry who, without individual review or any probative evidence against them, were excluded, removed and detained by the United States during World War II.”
Over the course of his life, Korematsu fought for the civil liberties of others. He was tireless in his work to ensure Americans understood the lessons learned from one of the dark chapters of our history. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Korematsu the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Korematsu v. United States still hangs over this country after 76 years. Korematsu’s legacy reminds us that we must continue to strike out against injustice in our daily lives.”
Let us celebrate Fred Korematsu Day by learning his story, affirming our rejection of racism, and committing ourselves to stand up for what is right.”
On Tuesday night, December 24, 2019, the Irvine Police Department employed the drone to locate and arrest a commercial burglary suspect at a construction site in the 2900 block of Warner Avenue around 10:20 PM.
Following reports of a burglary in progress, police units arriving on the scene located a self-storage facility under construction and learned that a suspect was inside.
Officers then established a perimeter around the site and made announcements ordering the suspect to surrender.
The suspect hunkered down and was eventually located after police employed a number of resources including a small unmanned aircraft system, commonly referred to as a drone, along with a police helicopter and K-9 to search for the suspect.
A male suspect was located and arrested without incident.
Firefighter paramedics evaluated the man on scene before officers transported him from the location.
No other suspects were believed to be outstanding but officers were nonetheless conducting a protective sweep of the site.
Join me and my Irvine City Council colleagues on Saturday, December 7, 4:00 – 6:30 p.m., as we celebrate the season as “snow” falls over the Irvine Civic Center and the community gathers for our traditional Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony and an evening of holiday cheer!
This free event will include visits with Santa Claus, live holiday music, games, crafts, and winter-themed train route.
Guests to Winter Wonderland are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped gift suitable for infants or children up to age 12. Toy donations aid the Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Committee Holiday Drive, which benefits the families of Irvine’s adopted 2/11 Marine Battalion. Help bring joy to these families during the holidays by donating a new, unwrapped gift suitable for infants or children ages 12 and younger. Donations can be dropped off at the Civic Center.
The Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Event also features dozens of vendors, gourmet food trucks, a silent auction, low-cost microchipping and an opportunity drawing.
Each animal available for adoption is spayed or neutered, microchipped and evaluated by a veterinarian. Cats and dogs are vaccinated appropriate to age.
The suggested donation for the event is $2 per person or $5 per family. Parking is free. Event proceeds benefit the Irvine Animal Care Center in its efforts to provide care and support to thousands of homeless, neglected and abused animals each year.
What: Irvine’s 13th Annual Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Event
Where: 6443 Oak Canyon, Irvine, CA 92618
When: Sunday, December 8, 2019. 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Veterans Day is a time to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and commitment to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
In honor of our veterans and in support of their families, the City of Irvine will host a special Veterans Day Ceremony on Monday, November 11th from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the formal garden area at the Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park.
The ceremony will honor all our service members – past and present Honor Guards from the Irvine Police Department and Irvine’s own adopted 2/11 Marines will lead the opening and closing ceremonies.
As the daughter of a combat veteran, I know the tremendous value of veterans’ service, their core principles of honor, courage, and commitment.
As a member of the Irvine City Council, I am proud that Irvine truly appreciates the commitment and sacrifice of our military veterans. It is always an honor to celebrate the service of our men and women of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, and to thank them for what they’ve given to keep our nation free.
Please join me in honoring our veterans on this Veterans Day.
Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park is located at 4 Civic Center, Irvine CA 92606
This designation indicates that a city has low risk of experiencing fiscal distress.
A map created by the state auditor’s office ranks cities by fiscal health. Green is low risk, yellow is moderate risk and red is high risk.
Among the indicators used to evaluate the cities’ fiscal health were each city’s cash position or liquidity, debt burden, financial reserves, revenue trends, and ability to pay for employee retirement benefits.
I’m proud of my record on the Irvine City Council in increasing government accountability, openness, and transparency.
I’ve received the Orange County Taxpayers Watchdog Award for “demonstrating dedication to the protection of taxpayer funds and for the advocacy of government transparency and fiscal responsibility.”
Under my leadership, the Irvine Community land Trust was awarded the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, the world’s most respected source of information on nonprofit organizations.
I enthusiastically supported the City’s adoption of the Irvine Sunshine Ordinance, which expanded public notice to four times longer than California law requires and prevents government action without full and informed participation from the community. I also supported approval of a two-year budget cycle, along with a five-year financial planning program, to bring more accountability to government spending.
You can read the full California State Auditor’s Report HERE.
As a member of the Irvine City Council, I am extremely proud of these accomplishments But much more important to me is the fact that our city is truly serving its residents with fiscal responsibility and transparency.
I ran for City Council on a platform of using my skills as a business attorney to safeguard every public dollar, and I have kept that promise by making sure that Irvine is financially transparent and doesn’t spend more than it can afford.
These awards reflect the commitment that I and my colleagues on the Irvine City Council, as well as our Finance Commissioners and our professional staff, have made to the taxpayers and residents of Irvine, and to the principles of government transparency and fiscal responsibility.
Government transparency and fiscal responsibility should be neither a conservative nor a liberal idea, but appeal to both, as we strive to address increasing social needs with limited resources.
Each year the FBI ranks the public safety levels of U.S. cities according to population and considers a number of factors including murder, rape, assault, burglary, arson and auto theft.
This is the 14th year in a row Irvine has held the top spot as America’s Safest City among cities with a population of 250,000 or more.
Irvine Chief of Police Mike Hamel said, “Irvine continues to be a safe community due to the collaboration between the men and women of the Irvine Police Department who work tirelessly every day to identify and respond to criminal activity and quality of life issues, our City leaders who always make public safety a top priority, and our residents who actively participate in crime prevention and community improvement strategies.”
Councilmember Melissa Fox said, “We are America’s safest city because the men and women of the Irvine Police Department perform their duties every day at the very highest levels of professionalism and integrity. Our community knows that our police officers are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our residents and treat everyone with fairness and respect. Thank you, Irvine Police Department.”
My favorite Irvine cultural event of the year is almost here! Experience sights and sounds from around the world on Saturday, October 12 through –Sunday, October 13, 2019, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., at the Orange County Great Park, at the Irvine Global Village Festival!
I am thrilled that, for the very first time, the Irvine Global Village Festival will run for two days at the Great Park!
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 18th 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.
More than 40 local restaurants and gourmet food trucks serve up samples of regional and international specialties from boba smoothies, miso soup, falafel, Mexican fusion tacos and German pretzels to Japanese dumplings, Hawaiian shaved ice and the all-American bacon-wrapped hot dog. Please be prepared with cash for food and beverage purchases.
At the heart of the Festival is the Community Partners Pavilion, where nonprofit, local community groups and government agencies have an opportunity to showcase their programs and services to the community.
This year, we’ve incorporated the best of Irvine’s historic fall festivals to offer a wide variety of food and music options, interactive activities, and exhibitions throughout an entire weekend. Families will delight in an expanded Kids Village with crafts, a “Seek-a-Treat” fall scavenger hunt, and a petting zoo. Attendees of all ages will enjoy samples of the best international cuisine as well as favorite festival foods for purchase; an Artisans Marketplace and the event’s first-ever art exhibition and demonstrations; and musical performances representing cultures from around the world — all while attending Orange County’s premier festival.
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, October 12 and Sunday, October 13, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., at the Orange County Great Park.
Where: Orange County Great Park, 8000 Great Park Boulevard, Irvine, CA 92618
Cost: Admission is $5:00! Please be prepared with cash for food and beverage purchases. A $20 Family Pass offers one-day admission for up to six people. Tickets are on sale now at irvinefestival.org/buy-tickets
Parking: Parking is free, but premier parking closer to the festival site will be available for $10 on-site (cash only). Disabled person parking is available. Please have the appropriate placard visible and parking directors will route vehicles to disabled parking.
Shuttle to the Festival: UCI Students and Staff: Anteater Express Shuttle service to and from the festival will be available for UCI students and staff.
Bike to the Festival: 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 Irvine’s Bike Map to plan your trip.
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.
The sky was falling and streaked with blood I heard you calling me, then you disappeared into the dust Up the stairs, into the fire . . . May your strength give us strength May your faith give us faith May your hope give us hope May your love give us love.
Please join me, the brave men and women of the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), and other members of the OCFA Board of Directors at a special “Day of Remembrance” Ceremony at OCFA Headquarters in Irvine, honoring those lost on September 11, 2001.
The ceremony will take place at 8:46 a.m. and is in memory of all of those lost at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Here is the official announcement of the ceremony:
“The tragic events of September 11, 2001 that occurred is a day in our nation’s history that we can never forget. On Wed., Sept. 11, 2019, the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) is commemorating the 18th anniversary of the horrific attacks of 9/11. Marking this important anniversary, OCFA will host the annual Remembrance Ceremony to honor the 2,977 men, women and children killed in the attacks at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, and aboard Flight 93. This year’s 18th anniversary is especially important to OCFA as we will dedicate a beam from the Twin Towers at our Regional Fire Operations Training Center (RFOTC).”
OCFA Headquarters is located at 1 Fire Authority Road, Irvine, CA 92602
City Councils are not private clubs. Public meetings in a real democracy should not be stage-managed by the political majority to prevent public discussion of issues that they want to avoid for their own political advantage.
The new policy was in direct response to my proposal in June to fly the Gay Pride Flag from City Hall during Gay Pride Month. Although dozens of residents spoke at the meeting in support of flying the Pride Flag, the Council defeated the proposal and I was the only Councilmember to speak in favor of it.
In opposing this restrictive and anti-democratic agenda policy, the Register observed that “Public-meetings laws have a vital purpose in a free society. The public is supposed to be privy to the inner workings of government so they can witness the sausage-making legislative process in action, ugly and unappetizing as it can be. Unfortunately, many local officials act as if hearings are a show – a way to put their best foot forward before the citizenry.”
The Register also recognized that while the new rule was adopted specifically to silence me, the effect of the rule will be to silence all disagreement and dissent:
“Fox has previously discussed supposedly ‘divisive’ issues ranging from flying the LGBTQ flag at City Hall to creating a veterans’ cemetery near the Great Park. But this fracas isn’t about the particular issues any member might want to discuss, but about whether a duly elected official has the right to publicly discuss them. Councils are not private clubs . . . These are the public’s meetings and all officials, even minority voices, represent their constituencies. All elected bodies need to encourage wide-ranging discussions so the public can be part of the self-government process – and not just observers of a carefully crafted script. That’s the essence of representative democracy.”
At this Tuesday’s Irvine City Council meeting, the political majority will propose to extend this anti-democratic policy to the Great Park Board (composed of the members of the Irvine City Council) as well as to all City Commissions.
The public should not tolerate this extension of the current majority’s attack on representative democracy.
As the O.C. Register eloquently stated, “These are the public’s meetings and all officials, even minority voices, represent their constituencies. All elected bodies need to encourage wide-ranging discussions so the public can be part of the self-government process – and not just observers of a carefully crafted script. That’s the essence of representative democracy.”
As I stated in July, I have no intention of being silent.
There is a serious child care crisis in Irvine. At present, nearly 2,500 Irvine families do not have adequate child care. Irvine will need an additional 4,551 child care spaces by 2035, due to the increase in housing development and the concomitant increase in the number of families with young children moving to Irvine.
As a member of the Irvine City Council, I have made it a priority to increase childcare and early childhood education opportunities in Irvine. By volunteering to serve on the Irvine Child Care Committee, you can serve our community and help me and others work to alleviate our childcare crisis.
The Irvine Child Care Committee is a 15-member advisory body to the Irvine Community Services Commission, and works cooperatively with the Irvine Children, Youth, and Families Advisory Committee, Child Care Coordination staff, and Community Development to enhance the quality of childcare and school readiness in the City of Irvine.
The Irvine Child Care Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Community Services Commission, providing input on the needs of the community pertaining to child care-related issues. The full committee includes five City Council appointees; two center- or home-based child care providers; two parents/guardians; three representatives, one each from Irvine Unified School District, University of California Irvine, and Irvine Valley College; and two community representatives.
Committee meetings are held on the second Tuesday of January, March, May, September, October and November, from 9:00 am to 10:30 am at Heritage Park Community Center, or other designated Irvine location.
Applicants must be willing to commit to a two-year term of active service, January 2020 through December 2021. Irvine Child Care Committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of select months (at least six times a year) from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Heritage Park Community Center or other Irvine locations.
Applications are available now at the Irvine Child Resource Center and Irvine Civic Center, and online at cityofirvine.org/childcare. Completed applications must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, September 9. Applications may be mailed or hand-delivered to: Irvine Civic Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606.
For additional information, contact Traci Stubbler at 949-724-6635 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or contact my Lead Council Executive Assistant, Allison Binder, at email@example.com.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Irvine Animal Care Center is participating in Clear the Shelters, a nationwide adoption event hosted locally by NBC4 and Telemundo52. All adoptions on Saturday, August 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be just $20.
Discount does not include licensing or puppy wellness fees.
Clear the Shelters was created to raise awareness about the benefits of adopting from a local shelter.
Last year’s event was the largest single-day pet adoption drive in Southern California, with more than 11,500 animals adopted in Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties.
Nationwide, more than 80,000 pets were adopted from 1,000 shelters.
Since the program’s inception in 2015, more than 180,000 animals have found their forever homes.
The Irvine Animal Care Center is a progressive and innovative municipal animal shelter that continually strives to strengthen the human-animal bond and improve the welfare of animals by promoting their humane care and treatment.
The Center’s 3.73 acre, park-like facility cares for thousands of homeless, neglected and abused animals every year. All animals in their care receive veterinary care, high-quality food, soft bedding and daily socialization.
Your support helps the Center fulfill its mission of placing all adoptable animals into permanent, loving, responsible pet homes and reuniting owner-identified animals with their owners; providing a safe, clean, caring and enriching environment that meets the high standards of our community and provides the community a resource of trained and knowledgeable staff and volunteers; and promoting human responsibility for companion animals.
We are so fortunate to have the Irvine Animal Center in our community!
To learn more about the Irvine Animal Care Center, visit irvineanimals.org, or call 949-724-7740.
Join your Irvine neighbors and the Irvine Police Department at the annual National Night Out Celebration on August 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Once again, the Irvine Police Department will host festivities at three locations throughout the City.
This free event features police vehicles, appearances by the Mounted and K-9 Units, crime prevention tips, and bounce houses and other activities for kids.
Grab a bite on a warm summer night from food trucks that will have items available for purchase.
Join us at these locations:
Cypress Community Park, 255 Visions, Irvine CA 92618. Kids are sure to want to meet the officers and horses that make up our Mounted Unit, a new crowd favorite. One of our beloved K9s will be eager to greet children and adults alike. Get up close to police motorcycles, patrol cars, and a SWAT vehicle. Kids are encouraged to bring bikes and helmets for the bike rodeo.
Adventure Playground@ University Community Park, Beech Tree Lane, Irvine, CA 92612. Hop into a police vehicle or visit with a K9 to start off the fun. Meet officers and learn about our Community Emergency Response Team, as well as other Department units. The popular Adventure Playground will stay open late for families to enjoy.
The Ranch Neighborhood Park, 5161 Royale Ave, Irvine, CA 92604. Our Animal Services Unit will please crowds at the Ranch. Tour police vehicles, meet Police Explorers and Youth Action Team members, and learn about Crime Prevention.
National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.
National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community.
It also provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
Children at all three locations will receive a free IPD police vehicle squish toy while supplies last.
Join us to say Hello and Thank You to the men and women who make Irvine America’s Safest City!
For more information, go to cityofirvine.org or call 949-724-7193.