I'm a little surprised with your stance on the Mercantile West editorial. I expected a more liberal "big company bad" slant instead of your more conservative support of free enterprise, and I agree with your comment about businesses aware of the rent when they signed the lease.
However, let me just state that I don't think Westar is our friend nor a supporter of the community. Obviously they don't give a damn, or are so strapped by the enormous money they paid to the Rancho Mission Viejo company to acquire the land when the market was so high that they don't have a choice. Or perhaps their insurance is covering all their losses.
Whatever the reason, we have a thriving community with pretty poor shopping and worse dining. I loved the Italian restaurant Roma D'Italia and have known the owner for years. You might have a little compassion for the struggling businesses if you actually spoke with some of them.
Owner Tony's complaint was always about the high rent and lack of cooperation of any kind from Westar. Our only option in a free enterprise system would be to boycott the whole center and let Westar respond with a little more concern for the community, lower rents and more flexible tenancy, but I'd hate to harm the good businesses that we do have. So we're screwed. Maybe when Trump takes over we can thrive again.
(Editor's Note: Please re-read the editorial, and don't put words in my mouth. Also, you contradict yourself about the rent.)
The recent controversial decision by a sharply divided (5-4) Supreme Court to concoct a Constitutional "right" to homosexual "marriage" won't be the last word on the subject.
The ideologically based, politically biased decision, which basically puts hetero-phobic homosexuals on the same level as normal heterosexuals, so flies in the face of reason that it will eventually be overturned by more intelligent, less biased judges.
Thinking people have known for centuries that homosexual activity is immoral and a bad legal precedent.
The ancient and primitive Greek and Roman societies once valued homosexual activity, but
people ultimately wised up and deprecated it.
Plato, for example, wisely and logically opposed it as unethical. Some Supreme Court Justices should be as wise as Plato on this subject.
As female minds in male bodies and male minds in female bodies are sure signs that something went wrong somewhere (in nature and/or nurture), so homosexual minds in heterosexual bodies are also sure signs of mind/body mismatches, are sure signs of disorders.
To put obvious disorders like homosexuality on a par with normal heterosexuality is clearly absurd.
To equate homosexual "marriage" with heterosexual marriage is nonsensical.
Someday in the future people will look back at this regressive, inane decision and wonder "What were they thinking?" (or IF they were thinking).
In the meantime, it's up to decent ethical people to work to overturn it. Let's get started.
Why Do We Need a $10 million Community Center?
According to reports from community members, LARMAC/LARCS disclosed this past week they have been working on a plan to build a community center at a cost of $10 million.
In a communication Friday, August 28 from Keith Zilker, Director of Operations for the Ladera Ranch management company:
"This facility would offer meeting, activity and event space for the community to use, as there really aren’t sufficient available spaces to meet demand."
This raises a number of questions for LARMAC, LARCS and Mr. Zilker:
1. Where is this "demand" coming from? What data do you have to support this?
2. What kind of " meeting, activity and events" are envisioned that could not already be accommodated in the four (seemingly underutilized) club houses and numerous open spaces we already have in Ladera Ranch?
3. Where would the $10 million for building it and the budget for maintaining the building come from?
In the nearly seven years we have lived in the community, we have been very impressed with the facilities and management of Ladera Ranch. Furthermore, we have appreciated all the special activities that have been planned and executed by LARCS.
We note that these activities, no matter how large, have been conducted outside with great success and enjoyment of the participants.
We are at a loss, however, to understand how we need such an expensive venue when we already have excellent facilities that seem to go underutilized.
Finally, we are struck by the potential cost of building and maintaining what appears to us as a huge "white elephant."
If the community has to vote to raise HOA dues for this, we are confident residents would vote it down.
And if, for some reason, it were disclosed that the funds are already available within Ladera Ranch’s resources, we are confident residents would rather see a reduction in their current fees than fund an unnecessary project like this.
I’m sure I speak for the community when I ask that we be informed about these plans that according to Mr. Zilker "have been in the works for most of this year."
As a good start, management should answer the questions posed above.
My new website is getting a lot of attention and even Donald Trump's office called and thanked me.
And Mr. Trump has taken on a few of my suggestions and many are quoting from it.
The site is:www.TimeToTakeAction.comand it will help voters decide who is best qualified to get their vote in November, 2016.
You are doing a great service to the people of Ladera Ranch which is my home also.
I live in Covenant Hills. Thanks Jim.
Author and Public
Speaker at Salisbury
I would like to say congrats on the new site but . . . Wow it's really bad. From the color palette to the photography, layout . . . Ladera deserves better if you ask me.