A new website of people who are against finishing the Santiago Creek bike trail, called the “Save Santiago Creek Alliance,” is purporting to represent resident’s of Santa Ana’s Casa de Santiago, Fisher Park, Floral Park, Morrison Park, Riverview, and West Floral Park neighborhoods – but not one name appears anywhere on the website. It is completely anonymous.
I did get an email today from a fellow named Ronald E Salem. He claims to be the “interim director” of this mysterious anonymous organization, but his name is not to be found on their website. I did find his Facebook page. This guy is definitely part of the 1%. His profile picture (see above) shows him piloting a yacht. Nice. He appears to be a psychologist with a family counseling practice based in Glendora.
It is terribly dishonest for these people to use the word “Alliance” in their name, given that the major proponents of finishing the Santiago Creek bike trail are the Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance.
The mess Salem and his pals have allowed to happen in the Fisher Park portion of Santiago Creek
Salem and his pals are clearly trying to confuse Santa Ana residents. The subterfuge serves to undermine their message as we clearly cannot trust them, and they utterly lack transparency given their anonymous nature. I believe these people are elitists – they don’t want the trail to be finished because they want to keep the people of Santa Ana out of their neighborhood, but the reality is that this strategy has backfired. Today their portion of the Santiago Creek is replete with graffiti. It is a scary place to go – but that could change if we ever finish the bike trail.
Their website claims that finishing the Santiago Creek bike trail will destroy the environment – never mind that the finished trail in Santiago Park is part of a Nature Reserve. The claims of course are lies – the Greenway Alliance is all about nature and I have not met anyone in that organization who wants to destroy plants or trees.
Salem’s group also shows pictures of stretches of the current bike trail in Orange that don’t have much in the way of trees – but those areas never did! Again, these people are resorting to blatant lies and are doing so behind a veil of anonymity. They are cowards.
And check out the Greenway Alliance’s Mission Statement:
Greenway (gren’ -wa) n. 1. A linear open space established along either a natural corridor, such as a riverfront, stream valley, or ridgeline, or overland along a railroad right-of-way converted to recreational use, a canal, a scenic road, or other route. 2. Any natural or landscaped course for pedestrian or bicycle passage. 3. An open-space connector linking parks, nature reserves, cultural features, or historic sites with each other and with populated areas. 4. Locally certain strip or linear parks designated as a parkway or greenbelt.
To create a greenway along the entire length of Santiago Creek and to preserve, restore, and enhance its ecological, scenic, historical and recreational resource.
You can quickly see who is involved in the Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance by visiting their Facebook page. Again, not so with Salem’s group.
Salem says that he and his anonymous allies are going to be turning in signed petitions and letters from their neighborhoods to since “23 politicos in Orange County” indicating that they “are ardently against the construction of a bike trail down the Santiago Creek.”
Good luck with that Salem. I was at the Santiago Creek Greenway Alliance holiday dinner – and I saw with my own eyes the depth of political support they have. Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens was their speaker. O.C. Supervisor Bill Campbell was there as was Orange Mayor Carolyn Cavecche and her fellow Council Members Fred Whitaker and Denis Bilodeau, who is also the Chief of Staff to O.C. Supervisor Shawn Nelson. There were a lot of other current and retired elected officials there too, as well as City Commissioners.
Santiago Creek Greeway Alliance board member Shirley Grindle, a very well known Orange County political activist, is also a friend of Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido. I cannot imagine that the Santa Ana City Council majority will allow Salem and his fellow elitists to prevail. Wake up Salem – the days of the Usual Suspects controlling this city are long gone!