Gustavo's Latest "Orange County Line" for KCRW: The Great Park Lunacy

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Crazy but true story: years ago, a source approached me about all sorts of alleged insanity regarding the Great Park, Larry Agran, and his cronies. The editor at the time was thrilled at the story--then promptly took me off the story and gave it to Schou. Schou was thrilled to get on the story--then promptly took him off it, and gave the story to Moxley. Mox, of course has killed in the decade since that bout of musical chairs occurred, but I always wonder how the Weekly's coverage of that orange-balloon place would've differed if Nick or I would've taken it on.

The recent disposal of Agran's regime was the subject yesterday in my latest "Orange County Line" commentary for KCRW-FM 89.9.

In all fairness to Agran, a dirty politician par none, I told KCRW anchor Steve Chiotakis that Agran crony Beth Krom's assertion that what the new Irvine council majority did to essentially dismantle the Great Park Board of Directors reeked of a vendetta is correct--but councilman Jeff Lalloway and his crew are merely following in the footsteps of Agran, for whom vendetta is as essential to life as his morning coffee at that coffee shop in the shopping plaza that hosts Wholesome Choice. Enjoy!

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 Gustavo's piece covers most of the facts but not in any depth. His choice to put a negative spin on the Great Park project is just that, a choice.  To me its a sound bite that represents our societies expectation to have things pop up from nothing into Hollywood style endings.  This project has vision and has had setbacks in the worst economic times in 80 years. Gustavo seems to malign  conflict on the City Council, yet conflict is what defines government and ensures that projects can stand on their own two feet and succeed.

Irvine has grown into a showpiece based on cooperation of business, government and consumers that make a choice to live in a place that works economically.  This community is not for everyone but the people that live here live here can take the criticism. I've been here for 20 years and have every confidence that the County Park that Irvine is building will be a Great success.

 As an educated consumer of news, I expect more from KCRW.


"A decade later, what do we have?  Well ... there's an orange ballOOON, and, uh....."

Is that all that there is going on in the Great Park, Gustavo?  Because as OC's anointed public radio representative, that's just what you told a whole bunch of listeners.

Thanks for acknowledging the role that the housing crash and the loss of redevelopment had in stunting the hoped-for swifter development of the Great Park.  I'd say that this exonerates Agran for responsibility for the delay, but no doubt he engineered the housing crash, therefore he's still somehow to blame.

It seems to me that your understanding of the phrase "a dirty politician" may be on par with your understanding of the phrase "bar none."  When the forensic audit shows no wrongdoing, will you apologize to Agran -- or are facts less important than a juicy story?

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