An Open Letter To Costa Mesa City Government

This was sent as an email Yesterday to Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley, Mayor pro tem John Stevens and City Council members Allan Mansoor, Sandy Genis, Manuel Sanchez, Andrea Marr and Arlis Reynolds. Because this is too important a matter to just leave it at that, I wanted to also post it as a blog entry, with the hope that more will see it. 

Good morning, everyone…hope you’re well. I am writing today not as the president of MVCI, but as a private citizen in the Mesa Verde area of our city. I continue to be deeply troubled by the One Metro West project and further distressed at the notion that steps are being taken to circumvent Measure Y, under the guise of this development providing units of “affordable housing” to help the city meet its numbers as prescribed by Sacramento. I don’t believe that any such measure should take the voters out of the equation, but that seems to be the tack Rose Equities will take to duck around “we the people.”

As I have said before, I am not anti-development, but this project from the onset has been fraught with controversy. Unfortunately, there seems to be no appetite at City Hall for any further negotiations with Rose and their attitude seems to be, “damn the torpedoes…full speed ahead.” If the voters decide this to be an acceptable project, so be it, and I will live with it. But let me say again, I am NOT in favor of ANY plan to take the voters out of such an important decision that will — in my opinion — have an extremely deleterious effect on Costa Mesa!

Please let the voters decide.

Thanks for listening.
Terry Wall

Connecting food with people who don’t have enough

I am so upset seeing TV images of farmers and food producers seemingly having no choice but to be destroying food here in the US when on the same news broadcasts we hear people don’t have enough food and are in charity food lines right in our own country. What I find so disconcerting is that we, as the self-professed “greatest economy in the history of the world” can’t find a way to connect food we can’t sell commercially — for whatever reason — with people who need food to survive. If I see ONE. MORE. STORY. about thousands of gallons of milk being disposed of, or thousands of animals being unnecessarily euthanized because the processing plants are closed or operating under diminished capacity, or truckloads of potatoes being dumped into landfills or buried, my head’s gonna explode! Un-freaking-believable!

Sadly, I have very little confidence left that elected officials will act in the best interest of ‘we the people.’ What’s worse, those in power aren’t feeling the pain of this madness… NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST. Did you notice that I didn’t call out any political party? That’s because they’re ALL culpable…culpable for not being willing to compromise on ANYTHING in earnest! WTH is wrong with our country that we can’t do better than that?!? Angry? You BET I’m angry!

Disclosure: Thanks to a dear cruise industry friend, Bruce Nierenberg, who wrote something similar to this on LinkedIn.

Terry’s Lament

I am a 71-year-old African American. I am a conservative-leaning Independent, mostly because I’ve always been leery of our government’s ability to effectively manage the dollars entrusted to their care. In my lifetime, I’ve voted for candidates from both major political parties because I’ve always believed in voting for the person, not the party. I am pro-life but accept Roe vs Wade as settled law.

I offer that preamble because of what I’m about to say. We are at a precarious point in our society and our very lives, and the haggling that I witness in the US Congress is disgusting and an absolute disgrace. All the rambling and scrambling in both houses is costing valuable time and lives and perhaps we should put THEIR paychecks on hold until they come up with a workable solution…FAST!

If Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, says “we’re close to an agreement,” that’s good. I have no problem with there being “oversight” to any money provided to large corporations. These organizations employ hundreds of thousands of employees and to say they don’t deserve help is preposterous. The money is crafted as loans that have to be repaid. I also have no issues with the extension of federal unemployment benefits for four months, because the “rubber meets the road” with the employees themselves, and these folks need valuable funds to cover losses that could span across months. This is far more meaningful than a one or two-time check. Schumer calls it “unemployment insurance on steroids.” I agree, and people deserve this consideration. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has offered no objection to this approach, and it would seem that at least the Senate is headed in the right direction.

Where I get serious heartburn is when the discussion shifts over to the House of Representatives. Suddenly, the bills under consideration are getting loaded with all kinds of caveats, demands and pet projects that have nothing, repeat, NOTHING to do with the intent of this legislation. To look up and find 1400 pages, in which are buried things like:

  • Aid to the Election Assistance Commission
  • Student Loan Forgiveness
  • Overreaching “Green New Deal” provisions
  • Ambiguous Diversity pressures imposed on corporations

…and others that even NPR referred to as “…their own wish list of items they couldn’t pass through the normal process,” is infuriating! THIS IS NOT NORMAL and the House (specifically House Leader Nancy Pelosi) needs to get these pork provisions OUT of the House bill and deal with them as the separate issues they are – especially at a time like this!

It is time for all of Congress to start behaving as if they really understand the gravity of our situation. The health of our nation – both physically and economically – depends on it. Listen to what I said, BOTH houses of congress from BOTH parties need to step up and DO THE RIGHT THING!

Here endeth the lesson!

What the hell is wrong with today’s chicken?!?

I love to cook! Everyone who knows me knows that. One of my favorite phrases is, “I love to cook for people who love to eat!” Which is just about everyone that comes by for a meal. Over the last couple of years, though, I’ve noticed that chicken has gotten progressively tougher, and whether grilled, pan-fried, baked or broiled, it turns out the same: often tough, rubbery and sometimes, barely edible. And although dinner guests never complain, this has bugged me for quite some time. Now as a sidebar, I only use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, because Laurie doesn’t like to eat “meat-on-the-bone.” But I’ve started to notice that it’s these cuts of chicken that are the culprits.

Out of frustration, I Googled “why is chicken so tough,” and got a public library in responses! One of the better explanations came from “The Reluctant Gourmet.” I am sharing his article with you here in the hope that if you also like chicken as much as we do, you will help bring pressure on chicken producers to take the necessary steps to rid the poultry market of this condition. If they don’t, it may just cost them, in the long run.

Have a great week!

Just checking in…….

I haven’t written here in quite some time…sorry I’ve been away. I’ve been quite busy with the video business (, and the duties of running a household. Since my last post here, we lost Laurie’s mom, who lived a long life, at age 96. I should be so lucky to live that long–so long as the quality of life is good. More recently, we said goodbye to our dear feline buddy, Dexter. Laurie and I were devastated by this loss as it was NOT expected. Choking back tears, we both wrote stories about our all too brief time with an amazing cat, from our perspectives.

Laurie’s story:
Terry’s story:

Here’s a bit of Dexter advice, as he left us to hang out with “Grandma Marge,” Always be kind to your pets, because we love you unconditionally. Even us cats. Well, most of us. Love, Dexter. And that’s just about as well as I could ever say it!

Be well.

An Anniversary Tribute to Someone Very Special

The year was 1993…I made this crazy decision to relocate back to California…this would be the fourth time coming back to a state I said I would NEVER return to! The purpose—aside from accepting a really cool job with Travel Weekly—was to see if there was anything to this “crush” I had on a good lookin’ girl. Some of my friends (Judy Chipman, now Keller, being one) already knew it. Not wasting any time, I proposed to this girl on Halloween (of all days!) and a few months later, on February 19, 1994, not even the Northridge Earthquake could stand in our way!

23 years later, we’re still cranking along life’s highway, and like many others, we’ve seen good and bad times. But they never got in the way of how much we cared for each other, trusted each other, valued each other, and—most importantly—loved each other. And as we celebrate our 23rd year together, the only thing left to say is…

Happy Anniversary, Laurie!



Let’s close this sucker out and move on to 2017!

Sorry I haven’t posted here much this year. Certainly not for lack of desire, but my business ( was VERY busy and between shooting, editing and freelancing, the year moved right on by! So since I don’t have my own year-end comments, I will share those of one of the greatest satirists of our time: Dave Barry. Dave has contributed his writing to The Miami Herald for many years, in addition to his many books, and I had the pleasure of meeting Dave when I lived in Miami. He’s rip-roarin’ funny, but usually dead on point at the same time, and here are Dave’s thoughts, in his “2016 Year In Review.” Take note that no one is spared…everyone is fair game for Dave’s pen!

Enjoy, and have a happy and prosperous–and healthy–2017!