President’s Corner — April, 2019

I hope you all had a Happy Easter and that the Bunny was good to you. Now, as we move on into Spring, let’s talk a bit about what’s going on in Mesa Verde.

First, at our Annual Meeting in March, we elected and welcomed our newest Board member, Geri Hidalgo, as our Data Manager. And, thanks again to Bill Burke for his exciting narrative and video of his mountain climbing exploits. We gained 31 new MVCI members last fiscal year ending March 31st; 15 regular, 12 platinum, and 4 lifetime.
Our membership dues are our lifeblood, our only source of revenue, so we again solicit your support in your own membership and recruiting your friends and neighbors.

Things are moving along at “The Shops at Mesa Verde”. Carmen Twork at C. J. Segerstrom and Sons reports that Dylan Blue Nail Spa has officially opened next to the Broken Yolk Cafe. Dylan Blue is offering 30% off all their services for a limited time according to Carmen, so check,’em out.

Descanso Mexican Restaurant was just named one of Orange Coast Magazine’s Best New Restaurants. I’ve been there- it’s nice.

Negotiations are underway for the space next to Descanso’s for a new restaurant, to be announced in the coming months. Stay tuned.

Donna Stapleton presented to the MVCI board an overview of a unique musical instrument project being installed at the Mesa Verde branch of the Public Library, under the auspices of the “Friends of the Costa Mesa Library.” “Freenotes” instruments were developed by Grammy winner musician Richard Cooke in 1995 to help people of all ages experience the freedom of playing music instinctively without worrying about wrong notes. Besides being aurally pleasing, the four instruments are visually pleasing. They will be available daily and year-round. Playing music in the library/park setting will be a community-building opportunity that encourages creativity, self-confidence, stress release, curiosity, and joy. The instruments are finely tuned with carefully chosen notes that invite easy improvisation with little musical skill. To get a short sample of what this will sound like, you can watch this video:

“Freenotes” are being subsidized by local public and private funding and anyone interested in supporting this endeavor should contact Donna at

Our Costa Mesa Fire Department sponsors the Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.), designed to aid our first responders in emergencies, and also to serve our community in a variety of other ways. This team consists of citizen volunteers, and led by the exceptionally capable and effervescent Brenda Emrick, CMFD’s Fire Protection Specialist and Community Education expert.  I had the distinct honor of serving on this team for six years, under Brenda’s leadership, and it was an exceptional and educational experience. I encourage you to check out their website The next class is scheduled for May 17-19. C.E.R.T. will be a hosting “Preparedness in the Park” series in the Fall and are looking for neighbors to share preparedness skills and activities. Brenda can be reached at

One Metro West is a proposed mixed commercial/residential project destined for the NW section of Costa Mesa, north of the 405 freeway and east of Harbor Blvd. The City Council has approved going forward with further study and review, and because of the size of this project, would require approval of voters at an upcoming election. At this juncture, MVCI has taken no position, pro or con, but we urge you to become familiar with this proposed project, and the effects it could have on Mesa Verde, both positive and negative. You can see a digital brochure for the development here: and the synopsis presented to City Council here:

**SAVE THE DATE** MVCI’s second annual neighborhood picnic has now been set! The date is Saturday, May 18th and will again be on the lawn in front of the Mesa Verde United Methodist Church, from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Details will follow, so keep an eye on this website for more information.

You are always encouraged to communicate with us via our website, or e-mail me,

Let us hear from you!


President’s Corner — October, 2018

Hello neighbors,

Halloween approaches, but with this warm weather I wonder about the frost on the pumpkin. Maybe it will be a nice evening for the trick or treaters. Got your costume ready?

Our recent candidates forum was very successful. All ten candidates for City Council and Mayor participated, and all performed well. I believe our audience gained a better perspective on the issues facing our community. You may view the entire forum by clicking here.

Our work with the CMPD on traffic issues continues to bring results. Citations for speeding and other violations have increased since the beginning of greater vigilance. Thank you Lt. Bakkila and the traffic division. We will continue to pursue this effort and report to you periodically on the results. Please keep us informed of particular hot spots. Be specific as to time, location and type of violation. To give you an idea of the magnitude of this effort, here are some stats on citations so far this year:

Mesa Verde Drive            20
Adams                             452
Baker                                182
Oriole                                   7
Tanager                              71
Gisler                                 26

The recent grand opening of Fire Station One was a huge success. The facility is a beauty and fully operational. Just another example of “keeping Mesa Verde Safe”. Hats off to our City staff, Chief Stefano, and the CMFD for pulling off the building of this great new asset.

The “Shops at Mesa Verde” are progressing nicely if not quickly. Descanso is scheduled to open the first week of November, and Stylists will open soon with a grand opening set for late November. We will soon see a whole new look for this area.

We are looking for a volunteer “Data Manager” and possible Board member to manage the data base for our growing membership. If interested, please send an email to, and put “Data Manager” in the subject line.

Finally, thank you and congratulations to Leah Ersoylu, our newest Lifetime member. If you have not renewed your membership for this year (Apr 1 – Mar 31), this is a great time to do so. Click here  to access the application form (PDF).

‘Til next month,
Happy Halloween!


2018 MVCI Candidate Forum — Epilogue

The 17th Mesa Verde Community Inc. Candidate Forum is in the books! Or, as Geoff West said, “in the can!” Over 100 people were in attendance and all 8 candidates running for City Council seats and both Mayor candidates were present, as well. The Forum was recorded by Dane Bora’s team at CMTV and will be available for viewing in a few days; we’re told it’ll likely be Wednesday the 10th.

The candidates were prepared and ready to go! Our goal was to provide an environment where the candidates would be able to respond to all questions, in a timed format. Feedback after the session was that the candidates felt they were treated fairly and allowed to convey their take on the important issues in and around the city. Mesa Verde didn’t have a candidate as we are in District 1, but that seat will be coming open in 2020.

Here are a few pictures from the event!

Photo credit: Spencer Grant, LA Times (Daily Pilot)

Photo credits: Stacia Beckman, MVCI

Photo credits: Geoff West

Photo credit: CMTV3

Thanks to the candidates and audience for their participation and a special acknowledgment to the MVCI board for the supreme effort in producing the event. A special thanks goes out to Terrilee Stevenson and the good folks at The Crossing for providing a wonderful venue for the Forum!

President’s Corner — September, 2018

It’s that time again – beginning of Fall, kids back in school, and the silly season (elections) is upon us. So, I should begin this month’s President’s Corner by reminding you of our MVCI Candidate Forum, October 4th. It’s a new ball game for Costa Mesa; election of Council members by district, and an independently elected mayor by the electorate at large. All candidates have accepted our invitation to participate, and all residents of Costa Mesa are invited to attend. Please see the detailed notice posted on this website under Neighborhood News.

By now you have received our semi-annual newsletter. Many hours of work by our Board of Directors have gone into this production, and we hope you enjoy it. As always, we appreciate feedback on what you want to see in this publication. A special thank you to our MVCI Volunteers, Gayle Rindge, Cindy Veach, Christine Williamson, Karen Jovanovic, and Ginger Juneman for their help in getting this edition labeled and stickered.

In my August President’s Corner I mentioned our work with the CMPD in identifying and curbing speeding in our neighborhoods. We are already seeing some early results, thanks to Lt. Bakkila and the traffic division. Covert cameras have been placed in strategic locations throughout Mesa Verde. Just a word to the wise: Yes, Costa Mesa can always use some extra revenue, but let’s not donate it through traffic fines!

We are working on a “Town Hall” style forum with our new school board, hopefully in January. We expect that families with school age children will be especially interested in the philosophy and policies of the folks that set the agenda for our teachers. Stay tuned for date and time.

Finally, if you have not yet renewed your membership in MVCI, please do so. A membership form can be downloaded from this website.

‘Til next month, be happy in your work.🤠


The Tanager Park Tale — Updated Summary

BACKGROUND:   In  April 2017 some buzz started about possible plans for  a public swimming pool and big  parking lots at Tanager Park.  Neighbors were alarmed when a site map appeared  in the  “Updated Open Space Master Plan of Parks and Recreation”  prepared  by a consultant to the City.  The report would be reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Commission (PRC) on April 27.  City Staff  recommended  approval of the report and all the projects it contained.

Tanager Park neighbors got organized, got educated on the issue, held a neighborhood planning meeting, met with the Chairman of the Parks Commission, circulated a petition.  A  neighbor came to a Mesa Verde Community, Inc. board meeting and shared  their concern.  As a result, the MVCI Board of Directors voted to send a letter to the PRC in support of  leaving the park alone.

UPDATE:  Because of the neighbors’ organized and articulate response,  the PRC voted 5-0  to remove every reference  to an aquatic facility at Tanager Park before the report was forwarded to the City Council for final approval.

It was a good  night for the neighborhood!   The Tanager  Neighbors did a fantastic job, and Mesa Verde Inc. was privileged to help them by sending a letter .

Robin Leffler, MVCI Government Relations Chair

Great News from MVCI President, Robin Leffler!

Update on the Tanager Tale-   All mention of Tanager Park as an “opportunity site”   for an aquatic facility had already been removed from the report.  In fact all the other “opportunity sites” were removed as well.  The Parks and Recreation Commission voted  5-0 to recommend the revised report to the City Council.  As soon as that was done, the commissioners had a few things they wanted to include or change.  Commissioner Liz McNabb moved that the addition of 2 tennis courts slated for 2020 also be completely removed.  That passed 5-0 as well.

It was a good night for the neighborhood!  You guys did a fantastic job-


The Tanager Park Tale — A Summary

BACKGROUND:  A few weeks ago some buzz started about possible plans for  a public swimming pool at Tanager Park.  Neighbors were alarmed when a site map appeared in the  “Updated Open Space Master Plan of Parks and Recreation” report prepared by a consultant the City hired.  The report would be reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Commission (PRC) on April 27.  City Staff recommended approval of the report.

Tanager Park neighbors got organized, got educated on the issue, held a neighborhood planning meeting, met with the Chairman of the Parks Commission, circulated a petition.  One of the neighbors came to a Mesa Verde Community, Inc. board meeting and shared their concern.  As a result, the Board of MVCI voted to send a letter to the PRC in support of  leaving the park as is.

UPDATE: The story is not quite over.  The outlook to preserve the park as is looks very good.   Because of the neighbors’ organized and articulate response, all five PRC members indicated they want every reference to an aquatic facility at Tanager Park removed from the report before they vote to pass it on to the City Council for final approval.  The PRC directed the consultant to ensure the Commissioners’ comments and the neighbors’ concerns were included in a memorandum to the report.


Email Commissioners and staff (addresses below)  before the deadline of May 10.  Technically, all comments before and during  the Public Hearing will be included in the public record,  but practically, it will be difficult for the Commissioners and staff  to give thoughtful attention to comments after May 10.

Attend the PRC Public Hearing May 25, 6pm, at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.

Kim Pederson, Chairman,

Liz McNabb,

Kristina Bogner

Arlis Reynolds

Leah Ersoylu

Recreation Director Justin Martin

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

~Robin Leffler, President, MVCI

A Pool At Tanager Park?

ATTENTION MESA VERDE RESIDENTS!! There is a movement afoot to develop a swimming pool complex at Tanager Park. This change would alter the quality of life in the area–and the “Upper Bird” streets would incur the greatest impact. Considering the existing limited entry/exit to the neighborhood, adding a significant amount of traffic to what already comes through could have further adverse effect.

Add to that 100+ parking spaces, restrooms and shower facilities, and, again, the traffic that will accompany this plan, and our community will suffer in a manner from which there may be no recovery.

Residents should attend the monthly Parks & Recreation meeting, scheduled for Thursday, April 27, at 6:00pm and let your voices be heard. And let your city council members know how you feel, as well!

Click the link below for a copy of the entire report.

Parks-Rec ReportSummary-March15,2017

Post Script: A Board member suggested that this writer “jumped the gun” when releasing this post, so yesterday (Wednesday), I “paused” it. I am re-releasing it today with the statement that regardless of where you stand on this issue, be sure to let the MVCI Board, Parks & Rec committee and the city council know. ~TRW