Senator Boxer on The Great Park

Dear Friend: 

I recently visited the Orange County Great Park and was pleased to be able to view this development at its beginning stages.  The Great Park is being created from the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.  The planning process for Great Park had a few delays and detours just after the base was closed in the process known as Base Reuse and Closure.  However, while communities across America are still struggling to reuse their closed bases, great progress is being made to create one of the largest urban parks in America in Orange County.  In fact, when built out in the coming years, Orange County Great Park will be larger than New York’s Central Park and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park COMBINED.

But it is not just size that makes your Great Park great.  It will offer sports parks for children and families, a two-and-a-half mile nature canyon, an almost thousand-acre nature preserve, a twenty-acre lake, botanical gardens, a great lawn, a performing arts venue, and wildlife corridors to the Cleveland National Forest and the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.  Not only that, but all of this is being planned to include both environmentally and ecologically sound practices. And all of these facilities will be linked with public transportation, making it easy for everyone to visit this Great Park.

I am pleased that Great Park will also preserve the history of this important place. The El Toro Marine Corps Air Station had an important role in our nation’s military history, and I’m pleased that the final design includes a memorial to our nation’s veterans as well as an aircraft museum.

One of the important early elements in the park plan is the reuse of a former hangar to serve as a cultural center.  And, while it needs rehabilitation work, I am pleased to have joined forces with the Great Park by requesting that federal funds be appropriated to help rehabilitate and refurbish the hangar so that it will become a central part of the Great Park as its cultural center.

Development of the Great Park is a massive undertaking.  However, change is already underway. Over time, you will begin to see the fundamental changes that will be needed to create the various elements of the park.  I hope you share my excitement for what the future will bring.  If you would like to see a few pictures of my visit, I invite you to follow this link. 

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

  28 comments for “Senator Boxer on The Great Park

  1. March
    June 10, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Thanks for visiting, Boxer.

    John McCain can’t see the forest, and doesn’t really like trees.

  2. Todd Gallinger
    June 10, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Federal investment in the park would be great. I know ideas were floated about a Smithsonian West. Plus there are opportunities for alternative energy projects. Hopefully she and our other legislators will follow up on it.

  3. June 10, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    Nice to see Larry’s promise of using no public money for the Park turn into another lie.

  4. Dan Chmielewski
    June 11, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Allan — Boxer is the one proposing federal investment in the Park, not Larry. But since you’re so eager to clear up lies, how about the one Christina Shea keeps telling that Larry’s best friend was offered the CEO job. What she means to say is the twin brother of a staffer of Larry’s who died 20 years ago. Best friends? No. Acquaintences, yes. Qualified. Yes.

  5. June 11, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Lennar was supposed to finance most of this Park with fees from development. Now that that looks like it won’t be happening because of the cratering economy, Larry has called in a chit from Senator Boxer to get taxpayer money for the Park. Larry lied and the taxpayers are now going to be saddled with this boondoogle. Nice

  6. June 11, 2008 at 8:56 am

    Dan, why do you always hijack your own thread by diverting attention away from the issue you posted about?

  7. Dan Chmielewski
    June 11, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Not a hijack; you’re the one that brought up lies. I extended it to your candidates own lies about the Great Park.

    And on this: Larry has called in a chit from Senator Boxer to get taxpayer money for the Park. Larry lied and the taxpayers are now going to be saddled with this boondoogle. Nice

    Do you have an iota of proof that a chit was called in? You don’t. Did you just lie on my thread Allan? Why don’t you ask Christina and Steven how much money they wasted hiring a recruiting firm to go through CEO resumes only to hijack the process and go through the resumes themselves?

  8. June 11, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Why don’t we ask Mr Agran himself if he requested it? How about it Larry? Feel free to chime in here. If he is against taxpayer funding of this Park, he should turn the $$$ down on principle, but he sounds like he will gladly accept the taxpayer gift.

  9. Dan Chmielewski
    June 11, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Oh Allan, you are so right. I would much rather my taxpayer dollars go to fund the War in Iraq, or to subsidize oil companies, or some other Republican boondoggle. If Boxer comes up with Federal Funds for the Park, it will likely to be to fund some new aspect to the Park not provided for in the initial plan. It not like she’s advocating placing Wild Rivers there (I wonder whose hairbrained idea that was?).

  10. Dan Chmielewski
    June 11, 2008 at 11:01 am

    So did you or did not not lie when you said Larry called in a chit?

  11. Paul Lucas
    June 11, 2008 at 11:07 am

    I used to work for the firm that was designing the park. I was the water quality scientist on site. The economy definitely took a bite out of the parks progress. In fact about 30 guys plus myself had been laid off due to lack of funding for the parks progress.

    However, there is a significant portion of the parks design that is small business and industry zoned properties. That area has become the main focus of development by Lennar in order to raise funds for the park development. The educational, industry, and other non-residential developments are the areas that are going to raise the development fees and rents in order to pay for some of the parks developments since the crash of the residential real estate market.

    We can only hope that these phases are enough to carry the project through to the real estate market recovery. The Balloon is one of the biggest blunders of that project in my opinion. I wrote the water quality management plan and swppp for that project. I would have located it far away from the methane factory that is the green waste recycling facility just yards from the balloon. The smell is repellant. I also would have placed the balloon on the other side of the park just off of Irvine Blvd. The hills just adjacent to that area would have helped o cut down on the winds influence on the balloon and reduce the number of closure incidents due to high winds.

  12. June 11, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Let’s wait for Larry to answer here. Maybe you can encourage him to post the answer up here on Liberal OC or engage your speed dial to call him up and ask him. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that since private money(Lennar) dried up, all the sudden Sen Boxer comes to Larry’s rescue with taxpayer $$$. It’s not lying to make reasonable assumptions Dan. After living in Irvine my whole life, there’s certain conclusions you can draw from watching Larry operate.

  13. Dan Chmielewski
    June 11, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Larry is not on my speed dial. Good one though. And I don’t have his email. Reasonable assumptions can certainly be made of the Republicans on the city council too. And I don’t pity those who cry about hit pieces while they still have mud under their own fingernails for the stuff they have slung

  14. just...asking?
    June 11, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Isn’t Irvine one of the best places to live in the U.S.?

    Isn’t Irvine the safest large city to live in?

    Isn’t Irvine schools the best in California?

    Isn’t Irvine the fastest growing community in Southern Cal, if not the State?

    Hasn’t these great successes been led by Larry, Beth, and SuhKee?

    Isn’t it right for a tax “donor” city, from a tax “donor county, from a tax “donor” state actually get some federal money invested back in our region?

    Allan Bartlett, should federal money have been spent on Central Park, Golden Gate Park, the Grand Canyon, the Smithsonian?

    This is the type of impact envisioned for the Great Park, it will benefit the state and all of us who live in Orange County.

    Senator Boxer please spend my tax dollars on Orange County’s infrastructure (including Parks) instead of Iraq! …or Haliburton or Exxon’s boardrooms!

  15. June 11, 2008 at 11:52 am

    That’s a good debate to have “just asking”. The problem I have is that this Park was sold to the people by Larry that no taxpayer money would go to fund it.

  16. Dan Chmielewski
    June 11, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    And no taxpayer money has been offered; but if Boxer wants to fund a “Smithsonian West” then it would be a great addition to the Park.

  17. Todd Gallinger
    June 11, 2008 at 1:25 pm


    You clearly don’t know Larry or understand what has been said about the park’s funding. You’re challenging him to post here, and puffing when he doesn’t respond to your silly allegations. For your future knowledge, Larry doesn’t use computers, doesn’t use email, and almost certainly doesn’t read this blog.

    As for the ridiculousness that no tax payer money would be used, getting federal and state funds have always been part of the plan, and rightfully so. What was said is that the park would be developed without accessing City of Irvine General Funds, which there is absolutely no plan to do.

    Just like with your sign mess, you should get your facts straight and do a little research before posting. Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool….

  18. June 11, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Well Todd, why doesn’t Larry join us in the new millineum and get himself a computer. They’re great inventions. Does he know that you can send people messages now without going through the Post Office, LOL. It’s called email.

    “What was said is that the park would be developed without accessing City of Irvine General Funds, which there is absolutely no plan to do”

    He said no taxpayer funds would used for the Park. Nice Clintonian answer of yours. I’m sorry I don’t have all the old HTV guides to show you where this was said.

  19. Dan Chmielewski
    June 11, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Allan —
    Todd’s right; I’m sure even Christina will vette the idea that no city funds would be used for the Great Park.

    That all said, I doubt Larry reads this or any blog.

    Safest city 4 years in a row; yep that Progressive Council Majority is just plain awful aren’t they?

  20. June 11, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    Since when have slate mailers (independently owned and operated political advertising vehicles) set policy?

    The issue has always been City of Irvine General Funds. I could do the research for you, just like with the sign issue, or you could just use “the Google.”

  21. June 11, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    Yeah HVG is real independent Todd, LOL.

  22. June 11, 2008 at 6:32 pm


    You’ve drunken the Kool-Aid, there is nothing wrong with a slate mailer collaborating with candidates. It is totally different than an independent expenditure, where there cannot be coordination. A slate mailer basically just sells ad space to candidates and committees. It has to collaborate with its advertisers and generate content they find acceptable. The issue is that the final decision maker is not any of the one candidates advertising, but the owner of the voter guide.

  23. just...asking?
    June 12, 2008 at 11:12 am


    The Great Park was sold as “It’s not an Airport”!

    Agree or disagree thats what the voters determined. A park it is!

    Now that settled, why would you want to limit this project’s chances for success? The Bush economy has negatively impacted all sectors of western society, including the City of Irvine. If Senator Boxer sees the need to support the vision of the “Great Park”, why is that wrong? And just because you don’t like Larry/Beth/Suhkee is not a good enough answer.

  24. Misha Houser
    June 12, 2008 at 12:17 pm


    I have been working on the plans for the Great Park Multicultural Center along with some very dedicated people from the myriad of cultures living in OC. I find it incredible that you are putting up a straw man argument and wasting all of our time slapping it down.

    If you and Christina were really interested in serving your community, then you’d stop thise horse puckey and actually figure out a way to work with the very organized and motivated voters who are also members of various cultural groups in the city of Irvine.

    They’re very frustrated with your side of the political divide’s constant obstructionism with the Great Park project.

    If you were smart politically, you’d be cultivating their support by supporting the grand dream of having a Multicultural Center in the Great Park. You won’t get any of their votes by pulling stunts like this and udermining the vision that these citizens have for the future of Irvine, the Great Park and the county.

    Instead, you try to sidetrack the argument and sound like a whining, petulant little child having a temper tantrum because it wasn’t your idea.

    Grow up.

  25. intergalacticman aka Chris M.
    June 17, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    It seems that my friend Todd here seems to need a lesson on slate mailers. According to the State of California, the slate mailer organization must be independent from candidates, and can not be created to support primarily one candidate. In recent years, the OC weekly and the have done some extensive research that shows just how involved Agran is his slate mail campaigns. Also, slate mailers do not change policy, but as shown in the last 3 elections, they elect the people who do (change policy) in their favor.

    To Dan C:
    You are nitpicking Allan for making a small lie in your forum, when he is just pointing out that Agran made a big lie by promising no taxpayer money would be used. Do you consider yourself better than Allan?, is it okay when you nitpick but not okay when Allan does it? Basically I’m telling you to not get so worked up because you are doing the same exact thing.

    And to the rest of you, Allan is not trying to obstruct anything, but he is merely pointing out that the Great Park (which is a wonderful idea in theory) has corrupt leadership which will impede the Park’s progress in the long run if we don’t take the time now to fix the broken parts (Agran and friends).

  26. Dan Chmielewski
    June 17, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    so what are you saying; small lies are OK but big lies are not. Clinton/Bush. I did not have sex with that woman is a small lie/ Saddam Hussein has WMDs is a big one.

    Has Boxer actually delivered any federal funds to the Great Park? No. So Allan has his panties in a bunch for nothing.

    And even if/when Boxer does deliver federal funds for the Great Park, using the standards Republicans have set up during the Bush administration, Agran meant what he said at the time he said it. I have no problem with some of my tax dollars coming home to roost in the Great Park, but to be specific, Larry hasn’t lied.

    Unless you’d rather have an airport.

  27. intergalacticman aka Chris M.
    June 17, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    First off, I never said that it was okay, look for yourself

    Secondly, are you sure your revered Larry Agran is not lying? If he meant what he said he would have opposed the senator’s plan instead of calling it “a great opportunity” as reported by the OC Register.

    And to be perfectly honest, I don’t care at all either, but he should have just said so in the first place.

  28. Frustrated
    August 12, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    I am frustrated with the Great Park Corporation who thinks they can control every aspect of what will happen with this public land. The proposed law on the november ballot is another attempt to give complete control to Larry and friends (itis not just about fnding, it is about “who can do what” in the park) The problem is that they will not give th public the freedom to use the park the way they want. We will all have to play and relax the way they want us to, and not veer from the program.

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