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Support Grows for ARDA Site for Veteran’s Cemetery

 

Larry Agran sent this update on the proposed Veteran’s Cemetery at the ARDA site.  I will note if we didn’t go through the entire Landswap/Strawberry Fields/Measure B fight, construction on the original site would have begun more than a year ago.  Council member Melissa Fox, who’s leading the charge for a special election for the 5th city council seat because — democracy — fought tooth and nail against direct democracy on Measure B and has now come around to moving forward on ARDA.

As Agran points out, we need one more vote on the city council to move this forward.  If not, the same people who brought you Measure B will bring another citizen’s referendum on moving the ARDA site forward.

Kudos to the work of State Reps. Sharon Quirk-Silva and Tom Daly for moving AB368 forward.  It’s time to get this done.

Agran writes:

Construction of a beautiful Veterans Memorial Park and Cemetery should have begun two years ago — on the City-owned, 125-acre “ARDA” site in the Great Park.  The first phase was scheduled to become operational this year.

Instead, we have had two years of delays and obstruction by the City Council.

The good news is that a bipartisan group of State lawmakers has introduced  legislation — Assembly Bill 368 — pledging that the State will build, operate and maintain a Veterans Cemetery — at no cost to the City of Irvine — if the City agrees to locate the Veterans Cemetery on the original ARDA site in the Great Park.  Two City Councilmembers, Melissa Fox and Farrah Khan, are saying “yes” to the ARDA site.  But a third Councilmember’s vote is needed.

So far, Councilmember (now Mayor) Christina Shea seems to want to continue searching for another site, and Councilmember Anthony Kuo has been silent on the matter.  (The fifth City Council seat remains vacant.)  This matter was scheduled to be heard at a Council meeting in May.  But in a troubling development, the item has been removed from the May agenda.

In the event the City Council doesn’t support AB 368, Irvine’s all-volunteer “Build the Great Park Veterans Cemetery” committee is preparing to launch an initiative campaign for a public vote.  The initiative would require the City to transfer the 125-acre City-owned ARDA site to the State in order to begin construction of the Veterans Cemetery in the Great Park.

Ed Pope, Co-Chair of the citizens’ committee, has begun raising the $75,000 needed to launch a successful citywide initiative — preparing all the legal documents, printing thousands of initiative petitions, and organizing hundreds of volunteers to gather the 20,000 Irvine resident signatures needed to qualify the initiative for the ballot.

My wife Phyllis and I have already made a contribution.  We ask you to join us.

Whether you wish to donate or not at this time, please take just 3 minutes to view our Veterans Cemetery video.  Let’s turn our vision of the Great Park Veterans Cemetery into an on-the-ground reality!

Editor’s note: There is a link to donate on the video page.

3 Comments

  1. Patrick Rodgers Patrick Rodgers April 30, 2019

    Considering the source of this article is non other than the fraudulent past Mayor of Irvine who gave away 200 million dollars of Great Park money to his friends, readers should be highly skeptical of anything said. As I understand it, nothing has been committed in writing by the State to fund the clean up costs of the ARDA site. only some phantom Legislative Bill, which has not been passed. Pass the Legislation, let the State work out a contract for a timeline for development of the Cemetery and then talk to me about the ARDA site. Meanwhile, back at the Great Park, the Council should continue to fast track the golf course site, including assessed values of the land there vs the value of the ARDA site. This would serve as a back up in case the State does not come through. Once the land is given to the State, the City of Irvine no longer has any control over it. If the State comes through with the money and the Council can mitigate the complaints from the School District and adjacent homeowners, then I have no problem moving forward with the ARDA site. Moral of the story is, keep Larry Agran and his bunch of two bit hustlers away from the Veteran’s Cemetery process.

    • Jerry Falwell, Junior’s Pool Boy Jerry Falwell, Junior’s Pool Boy May 11, 2019

      You liberal bleeding heart socialists want me, a really rich right-wing racist Republikkkan White man, to give up playing golf every other f**king weekend at immense expense to the taxpayers just so some wartime losers who didn’t have a Klan member billionaire father to get them out of the draft (like I did) can be laid to rest properly? How dare you angry Democrats delay my self-gratification! I will sue you frivolously! Or at least put Rudia Giuliani back on TV again to freak everyone out with those janky Giuliani teeth.

      #ChancellorBoneSpur

  2. Greg Raths Greg Raths April 30, 2019

    As a Marine Corps Veteran of MCAS El Toro who served there from 1977-1995, I feel that these endless delays must stop and construction must begin soon to start laying our great warriors to rest in Orange County. Enough is enough! Time to end the political posturing on both sides and begin construction asap. As our great warriors rest in peace in the Great Park Veterans Cemetery I promise you that they will be quiet neighbors and will not cause any problems within your community.

    Thank you,
    Greg Raths
    Colonel USMC (RET)
    Mayor, City of Mission Viejo, CA

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