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Note: This is another segment of an interview with Huntington Beach mayor  Keith Bohr, conducted in November, 2008.

Water Conservation in Huntington Beach.

Q: What are some specific things we can do in Huntington Beach to conserve water?

Mayor Keith Bohr, Huntington Beach, California

Mayor Keith Bohr, Huntington Beach, California

Well you start with education before you make it a law. Don’t water down your driveways, sweep them. Do your sprinklers every other day. Only do them for five minutes.

People already know that. Right? They’ve been educated about that.

There’s still room for a ton of improvement. I’m trying to educate my gardener still. It’s a constant battle. What they’re doing with groundwater replenishment, that’s huge. A huge expense and I think it’s been well worth it. Don’t go make it salt water and try to desal it. Let’s capture it early. Put it in, let it filter itself through the whole normal process basically. I say do all three prongs. But then as we get closer, mandatory; it’s the law, you get fines if you get caught watering your driveway down. If you have a swimming pool like I do you can’t change that water but once every five years. You end up going on a shared water system and you get punished like on an electric bill.

Do you think there’s any chance of getting that passed on this new city council?

I would like to maximize the education and figure out how the gap relates on those tiers, like how many kids and people are in your household. You have to do several things to hit different baselines. If you have six kids obviously you should use more water than somebody who has no kids…When I lived in a condo for 15 years I had an electric bill of $15. Then I moved into a house where’s it’s several hundred and I go `holy schmoley, what’s going on?’ I went to fluorescents. So you pay attention. So the tier system would help incentify that, right? You think that water’s cheap. It is. You think of water, it’s something that’s so fragile and so scarce, it is…So it makes you wonder why it isn’t already more incentified. So I think that one of the things that we absolutely are going to. I don’t know if that’s going to happen on our term or not, but we need to start looking at that, absolutely. (more…)

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Based on information taken from a variety of sources, including the H.B. City Council Candidates Forum held on Sept. 18, as well as from Voice news stories, interviews and from campaign literature provided by the candidates.

Q. How would you speed up construction of the new senior center on 5-acres of land in Central Park?

Pacific City present time. Photo by John Earl

Pacific City present time. Photo by John Earl

Issue background: Makar, the developer that agreed to build the senior center in Central Park in lieu of providing park space in its downtown mixed-use development, Pacific City, is behind schedule in construction of the $22 million structure, according to the city’s interpretation (opa-correspondence1)of the Owner Participation Agreement (OPA). The $22 million construction amount (or fee if the developer backs out) is based on an appraisal of the Fair Market Value the Pacific City site, located downtown at PCH and 1st. The city appraised the land for about twice that amount, but a court ruled that its appraiser was under qualified and Makar’s appraisal technique was more accurate (makar-park-fee-arbitration-award2). (more…)

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By Rashi Kesarwani
OC Voice Staff Writer

The Huntington Beach City Council was greeted by dozens of residents at its Feb. 4 meeting, as it considered an appeal of the Planning Commissions previous approval of a $22 million senior center to be built on a 5-acre expanse of Central Park, across from the Huntington Beach Central Library.

Proponents claim that the new facility is needed to replace the aging Rodger’s Senior Center, located at 17th and Orange streets, and to meet the needs of a growing senior population.Senior center small

Opponents say they support a new senior center, but they are concerned about its location and environmental impact, as well as its “hidden costs” and how to prioritize use of badly needed but limited park funds.

Ultimately, the council voted to move forward with the project in a 5-2 vote. Councilmember Jill Hardy and Mayor Debbie Cook voted no.

Although Huntington Beach voters initially green lighted the project in an “advisory” ballot initiative known as Measure T in Nov. 2006, opponents of the plan argue voters were not aware of the environmental impact or costs of a state-of-the-art facility in Central Park. (more…)

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