[Continued...] Eventually, the board arrived at items 6.1-3, which concerned our district’s benighted ATEP campus out there in Tustin where the Marines (et al.) used to dump carcinogens onto the ground every five minutes for forty years. As things stand, ATEP is an acre of cool looking Art Tin-canno buildings right along Redhill, where kids/adults learn how to work various kinds of technical whizbangery.
Yeah, but what about the other 67 acres?
ATEP 2.0 was once supposed to be a center for “Homeland Security” training. Then, I think, it was supposed to be a center for the study of gizmology (well no) and Young Republican Hoofers 'n' Crooners (yes, sorta). Anyway, in recent years, efforts have been made to work with Money Men (and Money Women I guess, though I never seem to spot any of those) to create a film and TV pre- and post-production complex and underwater basket-weaving appreciation module.
For a while, the “Camelot” people seemed likely to put this thing together, but they turned out to be Money Men sans Money. Nowadays, there are two bigtime developers in the running (they seem to be avec money), and they’re still talking about that Film and TV studio, which, I'm told, is desperately needed in OC. One wonders why these Money People need us, cuz leasing property has got to be cheap in OC by now—I mean, what with the country hitting the skids and all.
In the meantime, the City of Tustin is essentially a crew of hayseeds who keep falling off of a turnip wagon (see Albert Camus' “Myth of Turnipus”)—and those people are pissed because, way back in the 60s or 70s, they were slated to get their very own community college right there where the Tustin Marketplace now stands, but then that wily old Irvine Company arranged one of its slick deals to avoid paying taxes by giving away that orange grove upon which IVC now sits.
So there you are: Irvine got the community college, and Tustin got IKEA. Ever since, Tustinistas have resented IVC and Irvine and their high-handed ways. The hayseeds who run that town (they’ve got names like “Lou Bone”) have been pounding their little fists and stamping their little feet to turn ATEP into “Tustin Community College.” But that just ain’t gonna happen.
I’m told, though, that the Tustin people have decided at long last to make nice. Don’t know what that’s about.
So, on Tuesday, the legal eagles of the bigtime legal firm that is advising us re ATEP (think of the money they're making!) showed up to explain a series of “resolutions” having to do with environmental impact reports and "conveying" the property and defanging the toxins. Something like that.
The way this went down was interesting. Board Prez Don Wagner recessed the regular board meeting to go into a “public hearing” regarding this complicated ATEP stuff. (A meeting within a meeting! How cool is that?) Then he asked if any members of the public wanted to speak to these “resolution”/ATEP issues.
At that moment, the spiffy and spacious Ronald McDonald Room was as quiet as the Gipper's tomb. Not only did no one want to speak, nofreakinbody showed up!
I enjoyed it immensely.
So Don looked out at the sea of nothingness and went forward with the damned resolutions.
He made a big deal of asking for public comments twice. I could tell that he was awfully proud of himself for this supererogatory CYA.
If any Tustinistas were there, I sure don't know about it.
Later, the board got to item 7.1, “ATEP Developer Selection.” The “principles” of Hudson Capital, LLC and Cyburt Hall Partners were there to “discuss their credentials” to complete ATEP 2.0.
That’s when Tom Fuentes manifested his fear of ATEP turning into a production facility for porno most foul (PMF). It was kinda like that scene in Dr. Strangelove when Herr Doktor Peter von Sellers explained the need for a rigorous repopulation program, post apocalypse.
What about “violence and vulgarity?” asked the violent and vulgar Mr. Fuentes. We don’t want a “fox in the chicken coop,” he said.
But the foxes explained that their vision of ATEP involves pre- and post-production, not big fancy soundstages and partings of the Red Sea. As things stand, businesses in the OC have no place to go for commercials and reality shows and Tony Robbins' chin and whatnot, and this facility would be just the thing.
Fuentes yammered for a while about our securing the 68 acres of the old helicopter station as a fine “peace dividend garnered for us by this man over here.” Fuentes turned around and gestured at the name “Ronald McDonald” on the wall. (Well, no. “Ronald Reagan.”)
I’m not making this shit up.
“Every six months,” continued Tom, there’s s strike in Hollywood, and, hey, in the SOCCCD we’ve got union teachers (he grimaced and snarled à la Tasmanian Devil). He wondered if the latter dastardly crew would “cross the union line.”
Well, the Money Men essentially explained that Fuentes doesn’t know what the f*ck he’s talking about. Market-related work doesn’t stop just because of strikes, they said. “The entertainment/marketing business goes on,” they said, no matter freakin’ what.
OK, whatever. No decision was made.
That was about it, I guess.