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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Bid May Bring Free-for-All; Fall in New York

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Well-connected OC political consultant Gary Hunt, adviser to the Fait family’s Facilities Management West, has won another round with Gov. Arnold’s latest decision to sell the 150-acre OC Fair & Event Center to high-bidder FMW for $100 million (with $20 million down.) But it ain’t over. A legal free-for-all is ready to erupt among competing financial and political interests. The OC Fair Board, already asserting that it has a say in any land transfer, has fired another salvo, notifying longtime swap meet operator (and competing fairgrounds suitor) Tel-Phil Enterprises that it might cancel Tel-Phil’s lease over unpaid rent. And in 10 weeks there’s a new governor …

Kristina and Larry Dodge’s triplets (and potential reality series stars) have arrived—Tatiana Rose, Cozette Sophia and Alexandra Tate—each four pounds, all healthy and expected to be out of Saddleback Memorial soon. Surrogate DeAun Nixon is “doing great” … Former OC Register Publisher Chris Anderson, now publisher of the Oregonian in Portland, is recovering after heart-valve replacement surgery, reports Willamette Week …

EE RR enjoyed a trip to New York almost as much as the Texas Rangers. He spent inspirational hours ferrying to Liberty and Ellis islands (many foreign tourists) and walking to Ground Zero (many construction cranes) before checking out the vacant warehouse that’s causing so much controversy. Whatever you think about it, the proposed Islamic cultural center would be unseen from Ground Zero and would upgrade a seedy block of Lower Manhattan …

RR with RR

In the Fifth Avenue showroom of ultra-high-end fashion designer Randi Rahm (Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Halle Berry), yours truly dutifully asked whether she had any OC clients. Yes—in fact, Rahm said, Janis Agopian was coming with a Bowers Museum contingent. They were in NYC to see Bowers Prez Peter Keller receive the Explorers Club’s Lowell Thomas Award …

Recent Republican VIPs in OC: Palin, Gingrich, Giuliani, Pataki, Steele. Recent Dem VIPs: Bill Clinton, Biden, Pelosi …

UCI law school’s bold “free” tuition bid for Top 20 status will get another tweak next fall. Last year’s inaugural class received full scholarships for all three years (a roughly $120,000 value.) The new class is getting half scholarships. Next year’s class will get one-third coverage. The scholarships are being funded with private donations from Newport Beach trial lawyer Mark Robinson and others …

And UCI’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts hosts a red-carpet screening of “Key Largo” on Saturday, kicking off a yearlong film festival to mark the late namesake actresses’ 100th birthday. Trevor, stepmom of Irvine Company chief and UCI benefactor Donald Bren, won an Oscar for her role in the 1948 Bogie-Bacall classic. Trevor also is getting the first star on the campus theater’s Walk of Fame, to go with one she has on Hollywood Boulevard.

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