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$50,000 Ronald Reagan statue might be a bit too much for Orange County park

a young girl from Newport Beach running in the grass during an event at Castaways Park in May, 2010

Ronald Reagan has an airport named in his honor in Washington D.C., but some of his supporters are having a hard time getting a statue of the former president erected in a park in Newport Beach.

The Newport Beach city attorney, David Hunt, said in a council meeting last week that the city manager would have to decide whether the proposed statue violated a 25-year-old regulation written to ensure that the park remained "a natural setting with unobtrusive additions."

"The question is whether or not the placement of the statute … is what one would call 'unobtrusive,' " he said during Tuesday's City Council meeting. "It really depends on what's going to be recommended -- where it's going to go, what size it's going to be, what's the ultimate position."

The $50,000 statue, conceived to celebrate Reagan's 100th birthday, was funded privately through donations.

For a while, it was believed that the statue would be placed at the future Newport Beach Civic Center, but in February the council voted 5-2 to allow the city manager, with guidance from various groups, to choose the sculptor and its location within Castaways Park.

Some are recommending that the Reagan statue, and other monuments, including an existing statue honoring fallen Marines, be placed in the Back Bay View Park instead of at Castaways.

Councilman Keith Curry, who led the commission for the Reagan statue, not only believes that the statue is unobtrusive but also says the plan to put the monument at Back Bay View Park isn't wise.

"The idea is to not look at the statue at 50 mph," Curry said, noting that Castaways Park has parking facilities though the other park does not.

Correction: A previous version of this post said that President Reagan had an airport named after him in Orange County, CA, Reagan National Airport is in Washington D.C.

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: A girl at Castaways Park in May 2010. Credit: Mark Dustin / Daily Pilot

Comments () | Archives (7)

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I'm a Reagan fan, but spending big deficit dollars on stautes is dang foolish! California, doesn't seem to have a clue-that must be the meaning of progressive where you come from?

Why not a statue of a guy doubling the National debt or raising taxes over and over again...or giving weapons to Iraq and the Afghan rebels...?
This whole Reagan phony image thing is really getting old...

Reagan opened the obscene gap between rich and poor, the dismantling of our middle class . . . How fitting to stick his expensive statue in an enclave of the super-rich (who play little if any taxes)

What airport? It's John Wayne the last I heard. Secondly there would be no problem if it were a Kennedy or a mosque.

Our hard times bring new challenges: it's harder to find a place to put a statue than to collect money on it ;)

Our hard times bring new challenges: it's harder to find a place to put a statue than to collect money on it ;)

WOW Kala-- your Kennedy or a mosque comment was just so edgy. Its so funny when you neocons try so hard to be BECKISH but end up sounding like a FAUX ENTERTAINMENT sound bite!

He was a Alzheimer suffer that went to sleep in cabinet meetings, he doubled the national debt, raised taxes three times, and RAN from the Muslim Terrorist when they bombed the Marines. This is the truth and I know it hurts but watching that old fool acting like a puppet hurt me. Then to watch and listen to the spin doctors try to prop up the greatest acting job he ever did make me even sicker


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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