Smoking Gun Letter on Vets’ Cemetery from Shea: City Council’s Approval Only “Tentative”

Christina Shea

Christina Shea

Irvine Council member Christina Shea sent a letter to an unknown number of “Irvine Friends” on May 6, 2015 acknowledging receipt of a petition from residents opposed to a Veteran’s Cemetery and Memorial at the Great Park.  In seeking to reassure those petition signers, Shea said the Irvine City Council has voted to “tentatively support a cemetery at the Great Park.”


Here’s the letter:

Shea letter_150506

Shea goes on to tell the “Irvine Friends,” naysayers for the cemetery at the Great Park, that there are many hurdles to deal with prior to this plan moving forward and writes “I want to find a winning solution for our residents and for our Veterans.”

Shea then throws County Supervisor Todd Spitzer under the bus, telling her “Irvine Friends” that Spitzer is, “looking for other locations within the county to propose a veterans cemetery” and Shea urges these Irvine friends to contact Spitzer for details of his proposal.

There’s a proposal? 

And Spitzer’s still looking for an alternate site?  This was a done deal.  The Governor came to the Great Park to see the site himself.

(L-R) Matt and Laura Cunningham and Supervisor Todd Spitzer

(L-R) Matt and Laura Cunningham and Supervisor Todd Spitzer

Both Shea and Spitzer are up for re-election in November 2016; time to make Emile Haddad happy and get those big campaign contributions and Inedepent Expenditures. But the fact a search is still ongoing after the Governor came to Irvine to see the site and Shea’s list is out of the public eye makes these two less than the transparent public officials that they’d like you to believe.

We’ve contacted the City of Irvine for a list of Irvine friends Shea’s letter was sent to and we’ve emailed Spitzer’s office for comment.  There’s no response from the Supervisor.

More importantly, do all of the members of Irvine’s Republican Council majority feel the issue of the Great Park Veterans Cemetery & Memorial isn’t a done deal?  Time to own up to where you stand.

Washington Crossing National Cemetery

Washington Crossing National Cemetery

A reminder that there’s a Public Town Hall Monday night at Cypress Community Park (which has a club house) from 6-8PM; Mayor Choi will attend.  Perhaps Christina Shea and Todd Spitzer ought to attend as well.

  23 comments for “Smoking Gun Letter on Vets’ Cemetery from Shea: City Council’s Approval Only “Tentative”

  1. christina Shea
    June 4, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Dear Dan,
    You love to create controversy and spin facts, which isn’t responsible, in my opinion.
    Yes the Governor came to Irvine and he stated, on camera, to my surprise, the Dept of Finance wouldn’t agree to approve the funding for the cemetery, but he stated, he moved forward with the Quirk Silva plan, as she was so tenacious. Best to review that media statement.
    We approved the site at the Great Park as a set aside. We haven’t changed the General Plan, because there are so many hurdles ahead of us. The State and the Federal government must decide if they will fund this project
    We have many competing interests, and as electeds, we must represent everyone.
    We have hundreds of residents that spent up to a million dollars and more for their homes, and they have a right to their opinion, as do our Veterans,
    Diminishing their interests, is unfair and not what I was elected to do.
    The decision is in the lap of the State and Federal government, not further with our City.
    Best you take up your battle there.
    Our Council and our Supervisors shouldn’t be pressured to make public policy decisions based on your intimidation. I have never made decisions to support an issue because someone or even many try to intimidate me into their way of thinking.
    I was elected to represent all our residents and I will continue to do so.
    There was no smoking gun letter, it was a letter I sent to respond to our residents, just like I do as a matter of course in my daily duties.
    My Father, Stepfather and Grandfather were Veterans. I am working on an affordable housing plan for our Veterans. Don’t try to characterize me in opposition to our Vets, as that impression is just wrong.

    • June 4, 2015 at 11:55 am

      Ms. Shea
      On July 25th 2014, The Daily Pilot recorded “The Irvine City Council unanimously approved a 125-acre site for a proposed Veterans Memorial Cemetery within the Orange County Great Park Tuesday night. When the 5-0 vote was recorded, an overwhelming celebration among the standing room-only crowd in council chambers delayed the remainder of the regular session for 20 minutes.”

      Our community has been built with common values in mind, this is where we live and learn and teach our children right from wrong, we are a multicultural, integrated city.

      It is IMPORTANT that you remember, the men and women of our armed services that dedicated a significant portion of their lives to protect American interests. Sometimes they give their entire life, and each of these men and women leaves behind a grieving family so that Americans can enjoy the freedom of democracy, safety, and security.

      Please take time to pause at some point in your day and consider the many benefits of the lives that we lead and the things that we take for granted. While freedom may certainly feel free, it comes at a high price. That price is absorbed by the men and women that serve in our armed forces. Think about the revolutionaries that established our country based upon principles of individual liberty and equality. Think about your friends and family members that currently or previously served. Think about all the men and women who give their all on a daily basis to protect the homeland. Stop, think, and consider your actions and your WORDS.

      “Freedom” isn’t free. I would like YOU to remember our brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice in preservation of our freedom. How we can best honor them through our “increased awareness” to the cause of liberty for which they died and how they will live. They fought for us and now we need to fight for them, because they are one of the main reasons for our prosperity and successes as a nation.

      Ms. Shea you owe a debt of gratitude to these men and women, it is time to stop passing the buck. It is your time to stand and fight for what is right.

    • Cynthia Ward
      June 6, 2015 at 12:44 am

      Council member Shea, how many of 5 Points buyers are American citizens? How many are even residents of Irvine? It is my understanding the opposition to this cemetery comes almost entirely from a group of Chinese nationals who object to the “bad feng shui” of a cemetery near homes.

      Since when is an American public official elected to serve the interests of foreigners, putting them on the same footing or perhaps even preferential position over the needs of men and women who served our great nation? Madame I suggest you seriously rethink what is taking place in Irvine and throw every ounce of effort you can muster into ensuring those Veterans are offered a final resting place on land that represents the last American soil many of their friends set foot on before leaving to lay down their lives on our behalf.

      We have two competing interests here. One is an investment the other is a legacy. Thank you for what I will assume is support of our Veterans.

      • Dan Chmielewski
        June 6, 2015 at 8:21 am

        Cynthia, your use of the Term “foreigner” here was used in a slate mailer newspaper published by Agran’s campaign. Jeff Lalloway seized on it to call Agran a racist from the dais — a laughable charge given Agran’s long record on racial and cultural equality. It became the basis of an IE calling Agran a racist funded by the California Homeowners PAC. My new next door neighbors are Chinese nationals who speak no English. They are wonderful people and great neighbors. Language translation apps only work when using simple language. But calling these neighbors foreigners inst racist. It’s factual. The Irvine Republicans have no shame

        • Cynthia Ward
          June 6, 2015 at 6:16 pm

          The OC Cemetery District ran a poll in 2013, trying to gauge the views of OC residents/taxpayers on cemetery expansion, as we are also looking for space. That information is public record, and the survey showed 80.6% said they were NOT bothered living close to a cemetery. 64% said they would support our locating a cemetery near their homes. Of the 20% who were bothered, 31.8% said the problem could be mitigated with landscaping, and indeed even Feng Shui principles have mitigation techniques, such as building cremation niches on the edges, as the ashes of the departed have less “negative energy” than full grave burials, and offers a buffer zone of sorts. Incorporating water and other traditional Feng Shui design to neutralize negative chi are all well known and possible.

          Dan, do you live in the 5 Points project because that is where a great deal of this opposition is coming from. Chinese citizens are buying those homes where kiosks on the street let you purchase American real estate. It is the safest way to get their money out of China and into an investment likely to hold its value, given America’s habit of protecting property rights, which is unheard of in their neck of the woods. And it is those investors who are having the worst time with the concept of the Veteran’s Cemetery, and voicing their objections. Forgive me for not wanting to offer them veto power over the promised final resting place os those who served our nation, and ironically defended the very property protections that had drawn those Chinese dollars to begin with. That was the context for my use of the word “foreigners.” Citizens or residents of a foreign nation.
          I have no idea what language Agran and Lalloway or anyone else used, my only concern is to ensure that the Vets get the land they were told would be supported by those now backing down on that offer.

          Funny, at first I thought we were on the same page, but even when we agree you have to nitpick me to death. For once lets get on the same page for this, the stakes are too high to play your one-upmanship games.

          • Dan Chmielewski
            June 6, 2015 at 8:58 pm

            We are on the same page. I do not live in a FivePoint development. And if I’m nitpicking anyone, it’s the Irvine Republican majority more interested in winning elections than leading or governing

          • Ken Jackson
            June 7, 2015 at 10:18 am

            Well said Cynthia. It appears that the decision makers in Irvine lack the focus to deal consistently with this minority of nay-sayers and see this project through to a successful conclusion.

  2. June 4, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Ms. Shea, thank you for your signed confession that the Veterans Cemetery is not final, but I will correct you on one thing. You do not represent the interest of all voters in Irvine. You represent the interests of your party and the developers you serve.

    • Ltpar
      June 4, 2015 at 8:44 pm

      Dan what part of the deal is done and the land is set aside for a cemetery don’t you understand? As Christina indicated, the ball is now in the court of the Feds and State, who will be responsible for funding the project if it is to go forward. The Irvine City Council never agreed to fund or maintain the cemetery, merely to provide land for it, which they have done. Quit beating a dead horse and move on to your next complaint.

      • June 4, 2015 at 9:29 pm

        Read her letter of May 6 again. And the line about how people who paid a million dollars for a home need to be heard. If you can’t connect the dots, you’re dumber than I thought

        • John Lee
          June 5, 2015 at 1:06 am

          Hi Dan,

          I came across your website earlier this week and can say I enjoy reading about issues pertinent to Irvine. However, I have noticed a snarky and sometimes mean tone in the comments when you reply to your posters you have differences with.

          IMO, there is no need for any name-calling or ad-hominem attacks to your posters. This could be a deterrent to a thoughtful discussion on the merits. Instead of going down the rabbit hole that is rife with personal attacks, may I please suggest purposeful responses without the mean-spirited tone? I feel this would be more professional. Just my 2 cents.


          • June 5, 2015 at 7:33 am

            Thanks for reading. The stuff between Pat Rodgers and I dates back years and he gives as good as he gets. Generally speaking, we let everyone say their piece here

            • John Lee
              June 6, 2015 at 12:26 am

              Then I stand corrected. Obviously, I haven’t been around here long enough to get a sense of the landscape.

              You run a great website. As a new Irvine resident, I enjoy what you post and will let me my friends who are moving to this great city know about


              • Dan Chmielewski
                June 6, 2015 at 8:22 am

                Welcome to Irvine John. Let’s grab a coffee one of these days.

        • Ltpar
          June 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm

          Dan, I understand the concept of Town Hall meetings and citizens being allowed to vent their frustrations is something not known to you Agranistas. There is absolutely nothing wrong with letting people have their say and it shows the Council is going the extra mile for transparent and open government.

          That said, the Council made it’s decision in the 5-0 vote and the chances of any of them changing their mind is slim and none. What you seem to have a problem with is the Council continuing to let unhappy people vent their frustrations. Perhaps, if the vote on the cemetery had gone the other way, both you and I might be attending the Town Hall meetings expressing our unhappiness to the Council? Just saying…..

      • Dan Chmielewski
        June 5, 2015 at 8:54 am

        from a summer 2013 article in the OCRegister:

        More than 10 years ago, the plan for the Great Park envisioned 96 acres set aside for a cemetery, just south of Trabuco Road and north of a proposed golf course. Then it became 73 acres. Then, the plan to use land for a cemetery was gone, as was a plan for a golf course.

        “That was something we had promised the public,” said Christina Shea, who served on the City Council from 1992 to 2000, 2002 to 2010 and was elected, again, last year. She said the city’s staff talked with the federal government about establishing a national cemetery there, to no avail.

        “We just couldn’t really get anywhere,” she said.

        Nice to know Sharon Quirk Silva could get it somewhere. Wow, what an effective assembly representative to convince the Governor to do something he hadn’t planned on doing……

        And since this story is nearly 2 years old, it blows the whole “we didn’t know about this until the last minute” excuse.

  3. Pinky
    June 4, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Do you still hate Gay people Christina?

    • Ltpar
      June 4, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      One question Pinky…….Does that question mean you are now out of the closet? I can’t speak for Christina, but as a Christian she doesn’t hate gays and prays for them. I think most Christians detest the act, but leave the judging up to God.

      • June 4, 2015 at 9:35 pm

        Pat, do you have any tattoos? Do you eat pork? Do you eat shellfish? All abominations according to the Bible? Does Christina have a tat? Pork/shellfish? But she detests The Gay? Thanks for sharing

        • Ltpar
          June 5, 2015 at 12:45 pm

          Dan, I have no tattoos but I do love pork and shellfish. I guess if those ae the worst of my sins, then who knows God may one day grant me grace?

          Now I don’t know Christina well enough to know if she has any tattoos, or even if she eats pork or shellfish. I do know as a Christian she understands we are all sinners and there has only been one perfect person in the history of the planet. As I previously indicated each of us, including yourself no doubt detests certain acts whether they be moral, sexual or otherwise. I learned years ago it was ok to hate the act that I had to deal with as a Police Officer, but to leave the judging of the person committing the act to a higher power. Instead of you judging Christina Shea, you might be best served using that same approach.

      • Kitty Pryde
        June 4, 2015 at 11:39 pm

        WOW! Thank you Pat Rodgers for admitting your homophobia. How many gays did you victimize during your years on the force? How many did you beat down in unjustified arrests. Maybe someone ought to look into your past. You hate gays and Mexicans, how many found themselves on the receiving end of your baton blows.

        • Ltpar
          June 5, 2015 at 1:09 pm

          Kitty, sorry to pop your stereotyping bubble of me but I am not homophobic or nationality biased.

          Actually, your comments brought back memories of younger days as an undercover Officer working for Costa Mesa Police Department. By far the worse job I ever had in my career was being assigned to the predator detail working the old Kona Lanes bowling alley on Harbor Blvd. and restrooms at South Coast Plaza. Both were places frequented by children and were also notorious meeting places for homosexual men. Kona Lanes was so bad, many nights we had three two man teams hauling them off to jail by the dozens. In making these arrests we also encountered some of the most fierce fighters I ever encountered because of their occupations. As respected school teachers, clergymen, lawyers and others they knew not only would they be outed, but if convicted have to register a s a sex offender. All of my arrests were justified and I never lost a single one in court. No one was “beat down” and we carried no batons.

          In conclusion, my grandmother on my fathers side of the family was a Mexican Natonal, which makes be 25%. While also arresting many illegal aliens in the days it was politically correct to do so, I can’t remember a single one ever resisting arrest.

          Kitty, the moral of the story is, if you want to engage in deviant behavior, stay the hell away from places children frequent and you will likely not have any problem with the Cops.

          • Dan Chmielewski
            June 6, 2015 at 8:24 am

            Let me get this straight Pat. You consider homosexuals to be deviant? Wow

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