Please mark your calendars. We’re going on a couple of field trips and our annual Christmas Open House will be here soon. It’s fall and we need to get out and enjoy some of our County’s amenities.
It’s been quite some time since we’ve done a field trip and invited you to join us. If your calendar allows, please join us for one or more of the following opportunities.
OCTOBER 17 — SATURDAY
Enjoy a guided tour of Fairview Park in Costa Mesa, located at 2525 Placentia Avenue. We’ll meet at 9 a.m. at the park’s new interpretive area, near the west parking lot.
Costa Mesa’s Carol C. Proctor and Robert Staples will be leading the tour. The flyer, an invitation letter and the latest map of Fairview Park are attached.
We’ll learn about recent additions, improvements, restoration projects (with which the County and the Army Corps of Engineers has been assisting), and future projects.
Please RSVP by responding to this e-mail or contacting Carol Proctor at 714-754-5688 or CProctor@ci.costa-mesa.ca.us.
OCTOBER 29 — THURSDAY
Join us for a tour of the Tustin Blimp Hangars. OC Parks and the U.S. Navy will be escorting us for a tour at 1:30 p.m.
Many of you have driven past or flown over the two hangars all of your life. If you would like to go inside one of them, then this outing is for you.
To whet your appetite, please go to the City of Tustin’s website at http://www.tustinca.org/ and click on “The Tustin Hangars: Titans of History.” This documentary, written and directed by Costa Mesa’s Peter Buffa, is an outstanding program on local history. It premiered on September 21st, so it is hot off the press.
Please RSVP by responding to this e-mail. Details as to where to meet and park will be provided later.
NOVEMBER 28 — SATURDAY
We have tentatively arranged a day hike in Limestone Canyon and Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park with Michael O’Connell, the Executive Director of the Irvine Ranch Conservancy.
The hike will be from Limestone Canyon to Dripping Springs. It will be about 6 to 7 miles in length. The terrain is mostly flat, but expect an undulating trail with some portions possibly being strenuous.
The registration will be done on the Irvine Ranch Conservancy website at http://www.irconservancy.org/. This is an “invitation only” event with limited space and we’ll provide more information in an upcoming Update.
This hike will allow you to stretch your legs, enjoy cooler weather, walk off your turkey dinner, and observe the fall colors in the local foothills.
This hike is subject to weather conditions. Should it be raining or experiencing Santa Ana Wind conditions, we may need to cancel this event on short notice.
DECEMBER 16 – WEDNESDAY
We’ll finish the year with our annual Christmas Open House in our Second District offices at 333 W. Santa Ana Boulevard in Santa Ana. The festivities begin at 3 p.m. and should conclude around 5 p.m.
Please RSVP by calling Margaret Chang at 714-834-3220.
FIVE-YEAR LOOK BACKS
The cracks have started in the dam. On this day in history Chris Knap had two articles that shook the ground. They made it to the Metro section. They should have been page one. But, they were (me speaking) “in your face Moorlach” columns, with a hint of a turbulence in the air.
One was titled “Citron says he zigged, Fed zagged—Government: The county’s investment chief says he erred in believing that interest rates would stay low.” Citron admits that he guessed wrong on interest rates and says “his forecasting error will mean reduced interest earnings in the coming year.” The concluding line? “Nobody’s going to lose a penny of principal.”
The other was titled “Citron’s investment report rebuts primary challenger—Government: The treasurer-tax collector defends his strategy on securities.” This one includes great lines, too. It reminds me of an old adage I’ve been told a few times in my younger days, “Never say never.”
More astounding, if you are earning 7.74 percent and a benchmark fund is earning 300 basis points less, who is the better investor? And, why is everyone still oblivious to the high level of risk being taken? Oh, what memories these Look Backs conjure back up.
I had recently written a letter to OC Register Publisher David Threshie informing him that I would no longer deal with reporter Chris Knap. Accordingly, I refused to return his calls.
In an annual report sent last week to 187 public agencies that invest in the county fund, Citron strives to refute [Moorlach’s] criticism, saying the “paper losses” that Moorlach pointed to will never be realized because the fund seldom sells an investment before it matures at full value.
Citron also said reverse repurchase arrangements – leveraged investments that Moorlach criticized as too risky – earned $251 million for county investors, the equivalent of an additional 2 percent yield.
His report points to the long-term stability of the $8 billion pool, noting that the average annual yield for the past 10 years was 8.9 percent. Last year, the return was 7.74 percent. California’s $25 billion state investment pool yielded 4.4 percent last year.
Citron said the county pool still is returning more than 7 percent interest, but he expects yields to drop to 6.5 percent by the end of the fiscal year.
In part, the yields will fall because Citron had invested in inverse adjustable-rate securities, which began to yield less as interest rates rose.
Citron said that if he could have predicted that interest rates would rise, he would not have purchased these “derivative” securities.
Moorlach was not available for comment late Wednesday.