Spindrift October 26, 2023

MEETING—President Shirley Lashmett began with an invocation with thanks for this great country we live in, and to be with those suffering in terrible wars in Israel and Ukraine and asked for wisdom to make de-cisions for the good of our community. New member Lauretta Stansfield led the Pledge.

ANNOUNCEMENTS – We had a special visitor, Bella Maez, winner of the ACE award from Back Bay, who presented her thanks for our scholarship in attending Orange Coast College. She enjoys “narrowing her majors.”

Football – Bob Wood noted that even though one might buy ten books like Ken Dufour, who would have been the winner at halftime, the person who just bought ONE book, Chuck Seven, was the winner of the $50. Mike Gertner announced the football winners for Week 6, with more people playing than ever. Bob Wood stole last place with 7 correct out of 20, but Gar-ry TeWinkle got 16 right for first place, followed by Gina Lesley for 2nd and Chuck Seven for 3rd place, tie breaker re-quired.

Happy Birthdays to several members for October: Seymour Beek, Leo Fracalosy and Will O’Neill, announced by Cynthia Strasmann, President-Elect.

MEMBER DEATH – Mike Gertner not-ed that long-time member and Past President Dick Hodge has passed. There will be a memorial service for him at 1PM, Pacific View, Thursday, November 16.

PROGRAM – Diane Dixon, Assembly-member for the 72nd District, serving cities of Aliso Viejo, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Newport Beach and Seal Beach. Diane is one of the few members of the Legislature with real world business expe-rience. She spent 40 years in the private sector at a Fortune 300 company before being elected to the Newport Beach City Council in 2014, where she served two years as Mayor.

Diane began her remarks by noting that today was the first time she has been invit-ed to speak at our Club, and she believes the work that we do to put up the Field of Honor every year makes us a fabulous club, a wonderful gift to the community.

She has been in Sacramento since No-vember. There are 80 members of the Assembly, 18 Republicans, 62 Democrats. She believes she is from a wonderful Dis-trict, and is honored to work hard.
As Mayor of Costa Mesa in 2019, she was aware of 250 laws related to land use, and followed the advice of Jean Watt, “Don’t turn Newport Beach into Miami Beach.” Yes, there is a real housing crisis, and it’s real, no question. We need balance, let the cities decide. Newport Beach is now zoned for 4900 units. Other State laws are unwise, such as the “mentally ill” bill, where the consequences are unthought.
In answer to the question as to why she’s in Sacramento, she enjoys it. There are not enough voices, and there are sub-stantial differences between the various cit-ies. Only 78 of the 80 members of the As-sembly have been in business. She is one of the two who speak for business.

Diane spent some time discussing our own Seymour Beek’s situation and the is-sues surrounding it. She is hopeful that the application being considered for “ferry power” will maybe help solve the problem. The problem was that the cost is onerous, and that the major companies had not thought of privately owned ferries.

Diane also discussed some of the pros and cons of Proposition 57, which states:
“Allows parole consideration for nonvio-lent felons. Authorizes sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior, and educa-tion. Provides juvenile court judge decides whether juvenile will be prosecuted asadult.” This proposition reduces costs a lot for the prisons, but also increases the cost the counties have to pay.

She was strongly in favor of enhancing the penalty for child traffickers, which was recently defeated 5-2. She believes this will move forward properly with another hear-ing where it was unanimously approved on September 13.

During the Q and A, Diane confirmed that the wording on proposition promotion is always misleading; that we need to ver-bally threaten the “spider web” of non-profits, that there is no outlet for local news to shape public opinion, and that some rent-al properties don’t have to pay rent for three years after a one month deposit.

DOOR PRIZE— Ken Dufour and new member Lauretta Stansfield.

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Robert Wood

Robert Wood