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New Petition Urges Moving Veteran’s Cemetery Out of Great Park

SQSGreatPark

There’s a new petition circulating to Irvine’s city council and Governor Jerry Brown to move the approved location of the Veteran’s Cemetery and Memorial away from the Great Park.  Simply put, it’s not going to happen.

This note appeared on the Facebook page for Orange County Veterans Memorial Park group which obtained a copy of the petition.

“After all the time and effort we put into obtaining a Veterans Cemetery on a suitable and logical location here in Orange County, your veterans have run up against yet another obstacle erected by those who have been afflicted with the NIMBY virus. Our readers can rest assured that this impediment will not discourage your veterans who have earned a place of eternal rest near their homes in the land that many fought for and many died for. And remember, we have been here since 1947, long before Irvine became Irvine. Note the irony of the quote by Margaret Mead included in the petition.”

Washington Crossing National Cemetery
Washington Crossing National Cemetery


The following is the text of the petition being circulated as received by the Page Administrator:

Petitioning California Governor and 5 others

This petition will be delivered to:

California Governor

City of Irvine, CA
Mayor

City Council, City of Irvine, CA
Christina Shea

City Council, City of Irvine, CA
Lynn Schott

City Council, City of Irvine, CA
Jeff Lalloway

City Council, City of Irvine, CA
Beth Krom

Petition for the relocation of the proposed State Veterans Cemetery from the OC Great Park and Irvine.

With all due respects to veterans, we do support any and all necessary and suitable veteran cemetery sites. However, the current location of the proposed State Veterans Cemetery is definitely wrong:

1. The cemetery is in the center of a highly populated city, neighboring to residential area, and adjacent to a future high school.

2. Irvine is a highly populated and diverse city with about 40% of the population as Asians, and this cemetery site is located very close to the urban center. Most of the residents lived next to the cemetery are Asians. In Asian culture, it is a taboo to place cemetery next to homes or close to urban area

3. Many Irvine residents did not know about this cemetery until October, 2014. We feel shocked about the proposed cemetery and blindsided.

4. In the next 100 years, the development of the west Coast of the United States will be largely supported by the Asian investment and immigrants. The cemetery in the Great Park will scare away the Asian investment and immigrants and make the portion of the Great Park into a ghost town.

5. The cemetery will drive down home values and increase blight. It’s near a family area and was never proposed to the residents during any prior discussions or meetings about the great park.

A cemetery is a cemetery. Most Irvine residents do not like the current location of the cemetery because it is at a wrong location, too close to homes, a high school, and the urban center, and at a highly populated area.

We are willing to help the veterans to find a better location to create a win-win situation.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead- American anthropologist

 

Former State Rep. Sharon Quirk-Silva, who fought so hard for the Cemetery and Memorial, responded on her Facebook page with this statement:

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about a Veteran’s Cemetery, but simply misstating the truth is wrong. The City of Irvine and the Irvine City Council set up an Ad hoc Committee to discuss this very topic. Many community members attended. The city even filmed and recorded these meetings. There were several meetings held that were publicized and many newspapers, radio, and social media covered this for several months. To say that a veteran cemetery will cause blight is disrespectful. Once again, I thank our veterans for their service and I ask the Irvine Council to stand by their vote. The Great Park will be great when we honor our veterans.”

With all due respect to those Asian neighbors near the Great Park, news of the cemetery was public well before October 2014 and when someone buys a home, it’s the buyer’s responsibility to research the neighborhood.  There are large cemeteries in Los Angeles near Asian neighborhoods, so the notion that cemeteries should never be placed in population centers is already a bad one.  The design of the memorial hasn’t been decided upon so landscaping could very well solve the issue.

When we bought my Irvine home in 1997, the possibility of an International Airport three miles from my front door was very real.  We had to sign disclosure statements saying we had be briefed about it.  Our realtors also let us know another vote would happen and there were thousands of new homes in the flight path, which we quickly determined would represent at least two “no” votes each.  When Beth Krom and Larry Agran teamed up to defeat the Airport, the vote wasn’t even close and the home values in my neighborhood increased overnight. We took a risk that paid off.

The Petition brings up a good point.  Irvine planning commissioner Anthony Kuo made reference for concerned Asian-Americans that the Cemetery and Memorial might be killed in the planning commission process, surely done to secure their votes.  Council member Christina Shea carried water for Emile Haddad and FivePoint on this issue seeking the developer’s input.  Mayor Steven Choi seemed eager for placing this memorial anywhere but the Great Park.

Quirk-Silva is right.  The Irvine City Council needs to reaffirm its commitment to the Veteran’s Cemetery and Memorial without haste.  And if the Asian Americans who bought homes near the Cemetery’s location, there’s always time to sell and buy somewhere else.  There are plenty of homes in Irvine nowhere close to the Great Park.

56 Comments

  1. Ltpar Ltpar February 4, 2015

    To the petition distributors I would say this, “get a life. Veterans were here long before any of you showed up and are the reason you can have the freedom to pass around stupid petitions.” If you don’t like the Veterans Cemetery at the Great Park, feel free not to buy a home there. Move to Quail Hill, Mission Viejo or someplae else where you can feel culturally secure. As for this Veteran, I want the Cemetery right where it is.

    • Minda Minda February 4, 2015

      I bought my home near the site. However, no one disclosed the information there would be a cemetery to be built. Otherwise, I would have bought one far away from it. I got stuck!

      • Michael St Claire Michael St Claire February 5, 2015

        Minda

        You might want to file and inquiry or complaint with the California Bureau of Real Estate. If you feel this should have been disclosed to you and wasn’t?
        http://dre.ca.gov/Consumers/FileComplaint.html

  2. Michael St Claire Michael St Claire February 4, 2015

    It is interesting even with all the press and a link at City of Irvine regarding the status of the Veterans Cemetery and background they could assert to having no knowledge of before October 2014.

    http://www.cityofirvine.org/cityhall/citymanager/proposed_southern_california_state_veterans_cemetery/default.asp

    I also challenge these citizens priorities. Being the are putting more effort into moving Veterans Cemetery that would be the final resting place for those that served this Country and gave use the freedoms we have and reason people come from other Countries to enjoy.
    But the have no concern of New Portola High School being so close to toxic dump and willing to play Russian Roulette with there children’s future health and well being.

    • Minda Minda February 4, 2015

      Do we have any choice for our kids not to attend the new public school as we live nearby?

      • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 4, 2015

        Send your kids to private school

      • katherine Daigle katherine Daigle February 4, 2015

        Minda,

        Of course you have a choice of schools to send your children to, you can either home school or move into another neighborhood.

        El Toro was a marine base for many years, where many of our soldiers left to defend our freedoms, to build our homes, send our children to school, and teach our children about those who have died for these freedoms in America. The Veterans cemetery is exactly where it should be – the Great Park.

    • Wendy Wendy February 4, 2015

      so you are saying it is ok to bury veterans in the toxic waste land because they are dead? I can see how much you “Love” our Veterans!

      • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 4, 2015

        The soil has been cleaned by the military. But if you believe it’s near a toxic waste site, well so is your home. And you have no problems sending your kids to a high school on toxic waste.

        • Wendy Wendy February 4, 2015

          that’s my point. St Claire’s challenge about citizen’s priority and the high school being close to toxic dump does not make sense. If it is cleaned it must be cleaned for high school. If it is toxic it is toxic for cemetery as well.

          • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 5, 2015

            and if it’s toxic, it’s toxic for your backyard as well.

      • Michael St Claire Michael St Claire February 4, 2015

        The toxic dump remains there even with Portola High School under construction. At some point the dump will have to be clean up and cost the City. The City Council was throwing about clean up costs at different meetings range from $20 to $40 million. There was even a closed door Council Meeting regarding the Cities liability with the High School Being built that close.

    • Michael St Claire Michael St Claire February 4, 2015

      In looking at that map of Great Park and Veterans Cemetery what is the closest house currently built as of February 4, 2015. So the rest of the homeowners any future homes actual have the choice of having home there or not and knowing what will be in there neighborhood. So who is the petition actually benefiting most?

  3. Joel Joel February 5, 2015

    Dan,
    “We cherish cultures and traditions, but no one’s culture is superior to someone else’s.” If you mean what you said, how can you be so rude and arrogant to ask those live next to the proposed cemetery to sell their homes and move? You are shooting yourself in the foot here.

    We stop at red light when we drive, veterans should do the same too, and they should follow rules and respect others. There are things that are culturally taboo and you should never do.

    America is strong not because we are all the same, it is because we respect other’s and cultures and differences in opinions.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 5, 2015

      Oh Joel, that’s just it. The Veterans did follow the rules. They asked their government for this Memorial. There were several meetings. It was voted on by the state legislature and signed by the governor. What you seem to have missed is that great care will be taken in designing the Memorial so residents would hardly know it’s there. It’s you and the cowards behind the petition who aren’t following rules and who didn’t pay attention. If you think I’m being rude or arrogant, look in the mirror.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 5, 2015

      Then respect the Veterans who successfully got the Veterans Cemetery and Memorial at the Great Park through our statewide government.

      There are a number of cemeteries located in metropolitan regions; there’s one in Westminster near the heart of Little Saigon and that’s about as Asian as it gets.

      You guys say you didn’t know about the Park until October; read the paper:
      http://www.dailypilot.com/news/tn-dpt-me-0726-irvine-council-20140725,0,1025529.story (from July)
      http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/05/26/44036/final-push-for-new-veterans-cemetery-in-southern-c/ (from May)
      http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2014/04/great_park_veterans_cemetery_i.php (from April)
      http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-veterans-cemetery-20140428-story.html (the LA Times from April)

      If you were “uninformed” it’s because you chose to be.

    • Ltpar Ltpar February 5, 2015

      A need for an Orange County Veterans Cemetery was on the list of projects for the Great Park since it’s inception. Sorry if homebuyers didn’t do their homework and/or the builder (Lenner/Five Points) didn’t share that with them. If the truth be known, when the project is complete, the cemetery will provide a lot of green open space to the areas adjacent to homes and a less dense amount of traffic. I would not mind having it adjacent to my property.

    • Ken Jackson Ken Jackson February 5, 2015

      You’re correct Joel, America is not strong because we’re all the same. You made it obvious in your remark that you are different from us, but you want us to be the same as you by agreeing with you. That is a contradictory point of view you are espousing so, in order to prove your position, you should be embracing our cemetery because we are different from each other. Keep America strong, support our opposing point of view..

  4. jose s. jose s. February 5, 2015

    hey minda, the minute you were dumb enough to decide to buy a house in a shithole like Irvine you “stuck” yourself the veterans cemetary actually makes the place more respectable and is a place of honor so please shut the hell up.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 5, 2015

      Irvine’s a shithole? What a jerk you are sometimes. Where do you live again?

    • Minda Minda February 5, 2015

      Hey, Jose, Irvine is no shithole like the place where you were dumb to choose to live in. It is a holy city for the civilized and educated citizens who enjoy life in. It is these citizens that have been making the city so beautiful, holy and respectful. Each of them has every right to defend his or her freedom of speech against any “shut hell up” for not agreeing with you on the issue.

    • Ltpar Ltpar February 5, 2015

      jose, how’s things these days in the barrios of Santa Ana or Anaheim. You only wish you could live in a great place like Irvine and have your rug rats attend our schools. People who live in glass houses, should never throw rocks.

  5. Ken Jackson Ken Jackson February 5, 2015

    There are huge waste dumps in several major metropolitan areas. There is an airport girded by residential tracts. There are freeways, bus depots, jails, train tracks and various other trappings of society that are inconvenient, but necessary to quality of life. These include cemeteries and memorials. Ironically, the planned cemetery on former military property in Irvine seems to disturb folks more than these many other issues – ironic in the fact that the cemetery is without doubt the least intrusive, quietest, least polluting park-like establishments of all the ones I just listed. And these are locations for our citizens, our defenders, our heroes to find eternal rest. Many cemeteries are beautifully landscaped havens of rest and meditation – destinations for those who want to show love and respect for the ‘residents’ laid therein. The hordes who have moved into Orange County lately must realize that by their very numbers they have squeezed out most if not all of the remaining unencumbered properties. A substantial number of us veterans pre-date by many years the majority of you new-comers, so you’re going to have to adjust your thinking to accommodate those of us who are aging and have lived here for decades. If you don’t like the fact that we want to be buried near our place of residence, then you should be prepared to relocate as we have no intention of relocating.

  6. jose s. jose s. February 5, 2015

    hey cheminowski im a jerk most of the times kinda like you’re a giant petty douchebag most of the time as well and I live in santa ana thank you and a barrio no less and am quite happy I dont live in Irvine. and minda, you live in a “holy city”? like its more holy “anointed” than other cities? like “godly”? and because of this you’re more “civilized” and “respectful” than others? so “respectful” in fact that you have a problem with a soldiers cemetery by your precious Irvine shithole?! good grief! you understand that they are soldiers right? that their final resting place is sacred right? I don’t think you get that at all obviously or else you wouldn’t be whining like an ungrateful cow. and liptard*, I don’t have any rugrats so theres no reason to be driving to Irvine to drop them off at your awesome shools. I have some chickens though theyre like my kids I home school them and they have turned out quite proper thank you. I’m pretty sure they have more brains than minda.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 5, 2015

      The word you’re searching for is “Libtard” jackass. Irvine’s just too diverse a community for you to handle. Glad you don’t live here. You’d drop the community IQ significantly

  7. jose s. jose s. February 5, 2015

    no, I meant liptard*

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 5, 2015

      that word doesn’t apply, pendejo. Crawl back to your chickens

      • jose s. jose s. February 5, 2015

        it works for me that’s all that matters cheminowski* so piss off.

        • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 6, 2015

          said the expert on shitholes

          • Vern Vern February 8, 2015

            The worthy and wise jose s did indeed mean LIPTARD, as he was addressing Liutenant Pat, as anyone who bothered reading what people are saying would be able to tell. Duh. Carry on…

            • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 8, 2015

              Actually, he was responding to Minda who was not liptarding. Libtarding perhaps.

              • jose s. jose s. February 9, 2015

                cheminowski, liptard* came from ltpar get it? I was responding to him and minda who lives in a shithole of a city. but from now on ill refer to ltpar as lipturd* so as not to confuse you ok? stop thinking it only hurts this blog.

                • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 9, 2015

                  enjoy those chickens; are they pets or food?

  8. Ken Jackson Ken Jackson February 6, 2015

    For the record, I did a quick search of cemetery and memorial locations in Orange County. The result? Out of over 30 cemeteries in our immediate vicinity, not one was located within the City of Irvine boundaries. It appears that a very vocal few in Irvine prefer to use cemeteries in other locations to bury their dead in the interest of keeping their own city cemetery-free. Most cities have at least one cemetery. Some cities have more than one. Anaheim and Orange have the most. How is it fair to the other OC residents when some Irvine residents expect the other cities to host their funerals and provide property to make room for their dead? I urge the vocal few in Irvine to step up and do their part in providing these facilities.
    KJ

  9. David Vasquez David Vasquez February 6, 2015

    The Veterans deserve a burial ground. Where it is also important. It is fitting and honorful that this be at MCAS ELTORO. But it is not perhaps convienient. My family owned a service station in Tustin through out the seventies catering to MCAS (LTA).

    With that said, there is so much garbage circulating and so little focus on the Veterans it is disturbing, The best example is the recent “PROPAGANDA” film American Sniper, I know my dead Godson/Nephew whould have loved to have a Satalite phone to call home in the midst of a firefight! HOLLYWOOD !

  10. Nurse Judy Nurse Judy February 7, 2015

    Has any one here bothered to research the Feng shui principles? Has any one investigated the plotting of the Great Park Neighborhoods?

    “•The Irvine Transportation Center is located adjacent to the southern portion of Great Park Neighborhoods and is served by Metrolink, Amtrak and the Orange County Transportation Authority (bus service).” –(taken from their web site.) Isn’t this bad Feng shui?

    Don’t forget that Alton Parkway, Culver Boulevard, Irvine Boulevard, Portola Parkway, the 241 and the 133. All fast moving roads (bad Feng shui)

    Being located near churches , fire stations, jails, toxic dumps, hospitals, are also bad Feng shui. What happens when the Santa Anas blow? (Bad Feng shui–only mild breezes allowed.)

    Ironic that Feng shui arose out tomb placement.

    What ever happened to the concept of honoring our ancestors?

  11. jose s. jose s. February 10, 2015

    no, my babys are pets I don’t eat them they die of old age. and that means you cant eat them so direct your snout somewhere else please.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 11, 2015

      I’ve raised chickens before; dirty disgusting animals so I’m not surprised they are your pets.

  12. Bill Lewis Bill Lewis February 14, 2015

    Read much of the comments and subsequent diatribe between the parties, pro and con. My sense, is the arguments presented in the petition have focused primarily on ethnicity relative to philosophical cultural attitudes, versus historical, import with not only El Toro, but the Immigrant experience. “Bring me your poor and tired’, Statue of LIberty. My grandmother went though Ellis Island and earned her place in American society. There has to be a common ground for a semblance of coherent conversation to alleviate any and all predispositions to cultural admonitions. This is America and leave your ancient, outdated mindsets on the table for review by your offspring who have greatly benefited from the American experience. The Veterans Memorial Cemetary is going to happen and will enhance the City of Irvine’s reputation of endowing all things ‘Great and Small’. Bill

Comments are closed.