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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
July 1, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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July 1, 2011

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" i II . Cross ng the L00ne: Local businessman steps over OP/ED BY CHRISTOPHER BLEHM Jack Tucey was denied a site plan incldding variances by the Planning Commission. He ap- pealed to the City Council and lost, 3-2. Tucey ended the meeting by telling the council to "go to hell." He then followed it with nearly a full page of venom in letters to the editor of our town's other paper. This paper has been watching, tis -- Giving). Commissioner Jessica Herzog noted that Tucey was granted a height variance, and a parking variance, and not one, but two conditional use permits. Did you think that would put him in the most telling, Martin observes, "In four or five planning requests from Jack, this is the first one I haven't supported him, so I guess you're a goodguy until you cross him." Mr. Tucey, you accuse Mayor Bob Kennedy of "Washing the mood to compromise on terrac- ing the upper two levels, Jess? If you simply said "no" in the first place, Tucey could've done what- Constitution and our property rights." I capitalized Constitution for you. You said in the council meeting (at the 2:26.51 mark, tening, and reading, andifs time- ever he wanted with to respond. 28-30 feet and he First, to the Plng Commis- never would have sion: You madea Stupid mistake, questioned your pa- It wasn't volunteering hundreds triotism and dedica: of hours of your time or caring tion to this commu- enough about th e future of-our nity. Forget the fact communityio stick your necks out that yo UC Irvine (for free), aridit wasn)t ultimately : degre e includes ur- denying Tuceys 'Site Plan-::Your ban planning and dumb mistake Was being too nice to him in thesqrst place. The maximum height for a commercial building in Avalon is 28 feet. Variances are rare excep- tions to the law under extremely special circumstances. You gave the Yamaha Shop 30 feet, so ef- fectily thnew height is 30 feet, .top there. That prevents Tucey and ,o3her bullies like him from pres:ng you for more ex- ceptions to the rule, baiting and switching uses, and pushing your backs against the wall until you must register a contentious "no" that he takes as ersatz giving (what Tim Winslow would call Indian if anyone wants to watch) "You have a right to certain variances." You do. not, sir. Variances are requests, excep- tions. And the more Chris Blehm you get, the more Columnist you want, which has been your m.o. the development. Forget . entire paltry twelve that your education and commF-) "years I've been on the island. ment tO this town makeyouaia as- You can disagree with Kenne- set. Put in another thousand volun- dy's politics. And everyone knows teer hours and try again, he's my friend; of Course I'm bi- Commissioner Chuck Martin ased. But to insult him as a man, tried to work with Jack, and got to put on the adolescent sarcasm, blasted for it. Along with Herzog, to call Kennedy discriminatory, is MacGugan, and Schmidt, Tucey as puerile as it is offensive. There called Martin's requests "unedu- is someone discriminatory on the cared and uninformed." He's also council, Mr. Tucey, but it's not "inept," shows "liberal bias," and Bob who calls Hispanics "those "trashes the Constitution." people." Martin notes Tucey's bait and Bob Kennedy volunteers 'his switch. "He starts out as a generous time as Mayor, and on the Hospital employer to get the support of the Board," Lions Club, Conservancy, commission, then ends up chang- Little League, and don't forget the ing for his own benefit.'.' Perhaps Fire Department. Remember 2007 when volunteer fire fighter Ken- nedy stood behind the podium, ashes in his (then) mustache, and as Mayor announced to our com- munity and the nation our safety status? That's a man. I was hiding at the Catherifie Hotel, surrounded by brick and right next to the boat. Where were you? Bob Kennedy takes the children of this community out on the King Neptune for free. He bums $5 a gallon diesel taking youth groups fishing, the Marine Biology class for water samples, and bringing field trips back from the mainland. You give a 10 percent discount on pizza so the CHOICES charity can go broke hosting the school kids. Disagree with the man. Don't ever question his patriotism or com- mitment to Catalina. It makes you look like a fool. If you could get the vitriol out of the way, Mr. Tucey, you actu- ally have some really good ideas. I agree that the structure of the coun- cil / commission needs to change. That has nothing to do with attack- ing the people on it. You're smart. Folks would listen to you if you stopped screaming and showed a willingnessto cooperate and com- promise. You say that you are tired of the government telling you what you can and can't do with your property. That's what goyemment does, sir. You cannot raise cattle in the middle of Avalon, or build a skyscraper. That's why we have zoning laws. It's unfortunate that when a well-meaning commis- sion tries to work with you, you take and take and take and bait and switch and then scream "unconsti- tutional!" when they actually say no. And this whole bit about "go to hell," md "I'm taking my wife on a world cruise." Come on, Jack. Now, I know you were upset, and 1 know that I've said a bunch of Catalina Island's Fop-CIp Kesta,,mnt ZesE CaEerlng  ven5 at the -M - .est:aurant: VFese r115: -Celebrating America- Veaturing a selection ol C regional dishes Crom coast to coast rough or Jub Jub l"th00 Jub 5pro - Close On Jultj  watch the fireworks displa 9 while dining on our paso ]=or reservations, please call J o-5 ! o-ao+ July 1st through July 7th Shows Nightly at 7:00 & 9:30pm Rated G 4th of July 7:30pm only For More Information Call 310-510-0179 things in the heat of the moment that I:later regretted. That could and would he forgiven. We all have temper, iBut you went home to Middle Terrace, slept on it, thought about it, and then lashed out again - in writing. Remember the spoiled rich kid in middle school who al- ways brought the cool new toy so everyone would pay attention to him, but if anyone disagreed with him about anything he took his ball and went home? Ralph Morrow is a conserva- tive with his heart in the right place. We don't always agree, but he commands respect for his consistency and his passion for the community. As to liberal bias, Mr. Tucey, I don't see it in Mayor Kennedy and commissioners Mar- tin and Herzog. However, if they are left, Jack, they're what's right about the left.You, in contrast, are what's wrongwith the right. Mor- row cares about Avalon. Tucey cares about Tucey. you have the right to feel any way you.. want, Mr. Tucey. You have a right to say it in the paper. I do that nearly every week. Consid- er a compromise. Show some ap- preciation for the numerous excep- tions you've already been granted, and the thousands of hours the dedicated folks casting the votes put in. Finally, I respect your right to disagree with everything with one exception: In no way, shape, or form did the commission or the council compromize the Constitu- tion that they swore to uphold. Pa- triots take that extremely seriously. Everything else can be argued. That point is sacred. Until you re- tract that one point, you will never see me, nor anyone who agrees with my position, in any of your establishments. If we can debate as fellow Americans, we can ac- complish anything. Crossing that line will get you nothing. Chris Blehm is a regular col- umnist for the Catalina Islander His new novel "Mercy of the Ele- ments. "is available locally and on Amazon and Kindle. WOMEN'S SOFTBALL REGISTRATION BEGINS The Avalon Women's Softball League summer season s sched- uled to open Thursday, June 7. Dust off your cleats and your gloves, and come on out and have some fun. This league is open to women age 18 (out of high school) and over. The Avalon Women's Softball League will be Nayed on Thursday nights, with two games at 6 and 7:30 p.m. respectively. Fee is $40 per person, non-refund- able. AI registration forms can be picked up and returned to 83 Sol Vista. Registration closes once we have 48 paid applications. If you have questions, contact Kenny or Patti Engel. 41 Friday, Juiy" 11 20:it i  CATALINA "LANDER FI -r" T!"lr  lTr IIIFrll'fg'rlllTIl'!-llVJllll]| lqlll-lliltlN']Ullq  l ][liIF r"] NifflF, r '*rllll 1:11 TI] :-lii q,wr il