Dr. Stephen Choi, Irvine Council member, has an interesting Letter to the Editor in today’s Irvine World News.Ã‚Â The paper has for opinions on a $4.3 million balloon for the Park.Ã‚Â Choi cast the only dissenting vote here whcih is surprising because he and “Dr. No” AKA Christina Shea are almost always in lockstep on voting against anything that might further Beth Krom’s agenda for the city (take another peak at those residential satisfaction surveys again…approval ratings are through the roof).
Choi choses to go off on a tangent about a makeshift memorial to the fallen soliders in Iraq and the War on Terror (WOT).Ã‚Â
The city council voted to budget $150,000 for a permanent memorial, or about half the cost.Ã‚Â Private donations are trickeling in, but organizers keep wanting the city to pay more (hint — there’s a reason donations are trickling in; few people support the war and Irvine is an odd place for a memorial to soliders killed on the battlefield of this terrible war).
Choi must have forgotten that Krom voted to approve the $150,000.Ã‚Â He writes a recent letter against the memorial “echoes comments” made by Mayor Krom and council members Larry Agran and Sukhee Kang “during the public process.”
Choi goes on to cite logic on various memorials in Washington DC for justifying the memorial in Northwood Park, even though there is a memorial to branches of the military at Bill Barber Park and another memorial planned for the Great Park.
Choi’s final comment is: “Our residents spontaneously created the memorial at Northwood Park; it did not originate with city government.Ã‚Â That gives it more credibility with me, not less.”
So to follow Choi’s own logic here, if I decide to create an adjoining memoria;l in Northwood Park against the War and calling President Bush a Republican who lied us into War, I can get $150,000 from the city for a permanent memorial and it would have more credbility from Choi, not less.
The men and women of our armed forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan need our help and support with the right equipment (body armour), healthcare (both physical and mental health, job training, and their families need support too.Ã‚Â I would rather the council take the $150,000 for the memorial and instead donate it to food banks that serve Marine families at Camp Pendelton.
What Choi did here was make another low blow, cheap shot attempt to divide the community over a small idea.Ã‚Â It is the sort of thing I continue to expect from someone who lent his name to the Irvine Chronicle 4 years ago.Ã‚Â