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Newport Beach: No to Solar Panels, Yes to Reagan Statue

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Oh, that Orange County. The Newport Beach City Council voted yesterday to drop solar panels ($750,000) and a pedestrian bridge ($2 million) from their new Civic Center, but gave the go-ahead to a statue of Ronald Reagan. Resistance to the statue led to a compromise, according to the OC Register--the Gipper effigy will be placed at the city's Castaways Park, instead of within the $131.5 million Civic Center project, which will includes a new park, library, and bureaucratic buildings. Many locals took umbrage with the statue, saying donors are deciding the nature of city art, rather than Newport Beach's Arts Commission. City Councilman Keith Curry, who gave "a rapid-fire, wide-ranging presentation of all the reasons to honor the former president," suggested the Arts Commission might choose something too arty: "I don't think (donors) want the metaphysical Reagan, the provocative Reagan, the 21st Century Reagan." Construction should start soon on the Civic Center--the biggest government project in Newport Beach's history.
· Newport OKs Reagan Statue, Civic Center Contract [OC Register]