OCFA Fire Station Burns Down in Rain

A fire station. Burned down. In the rain.

(Photo from OC Register)
This is one of those of stories that is so amazing as to not be believed. Orange County Fire Authority’s Station 61, in Buena Park by Knott’s Berry Farm, burned down this morning.

In these rains.

A fire station. Burned down. In the rain. Let that sink in for a few moments.

When I looked at PulsePoint it looked really, really bad because 49 separate units had been dispatched.

Somebody must have lost an iPad considering everybody got out okay and yet two Chaplain Units were dispatched.

An iPAd was lost on the scene.
While certainly a troubling thing to happen this is a great example of priorities. How many of these units, many of which were likely redundant and unnecessary, were dispatched for the sake of being dispatched.

Had this not been a Fire Station it is doubtful that this many units would have been on scene.

At least they weren’t dozing for dollars I suppose.

Just a few weeks ago there was a story in the OC Register about this station. Buena Park was planning to sink $13 Million in to fixing this 50-year-old station. Now it’s gone and they’ll have no choice but to replace it.

Prepare to see Fullerton’s Ladder Truck in and around Buena Park more often until OCFA replaces Ladder Truck 61. That $1Million+ OCFA truck, along with tons of other equipment became scrap in the fire.

The Yellowing Submarine Sinks Deeper

Dive! Dive!

You have to wonder about the integrity of an avowedly left-wing media effort that is so desperate to prop up and defend local government that it will…well, read on.

The Fullerton Observer and its obtuse editor, Sharon Kennedy, have now resorted to republishing pieces written by the pro-cop union shill “Behind the Badge.” The taxpayers pick up the tab for that lame propaganda.

It’s true.

In it’s latest journalistic effort, we see on page 12 a “story” scribbled by the utterly servile Lou Ponsi. There is no explanation as to where this tidbit comes from. Is Ponsi now an “Observer?” But a simple hunch led me to Ponsi’s new source of income. Sure enough. Kennedy has just passed along a reprint from “Back the Badge.”

The sole purpose of Behind the Badge is to make Fullerton’s cop apparatus look good, no matter what, by running feel-good stories. And Sharon Kennedy’s mission is making Fullerton’s government look good, no matter what. I guess it makes sense in a perverted kind of way.

At least we don’t have to pay for the Fullerton Observer.

Reliable Local News

With age came wisdom.

Here’s some fun stuff from our local amateur news effort, The Fullerton Observer, from the latest installment.

First, one of the yellowing observers writes in to compliment the production of reliable news and to note that “local” news is the best kind. The editor Sharon “ED” Kennedy goes on to describe other news sources that are less reliable than her own.

You’ll notice that the subscriber, a Ms. Christina Garner, displays the classic muddled logical error of attributing the characteristics of some members of a class of objects, to all of them. A tiger is a mammal. A tiger has stripes. Mammals have stripes. You get the idea.

Kennedy soldiers on in her solicitude to making sure we don’t succumb to the lure of “fake news.”

And  yet, hilariously, and indicative that we have now entered an irony-free zone, on the facing page is yet another of The Observer’s funny fact dodging articles about Joe Felz’s Wild Ride and subsequent quitting of his post. The last one didn’t even mention Felz until the third paragraph and never mentioned his first name at all. Here’s the latest:

Here it takes six paragraphs of nonsense to get around to the real reason Felz was forced to quit: he was drinking the night of November 8th/9th, drove off Glenwood Avenue, killed a tree, and tried to drive away from the scene. But of course these facts appear almost disembodied from the rest of the drivel so that any connection drawn between these events will not be the fault of Sharon Kennedy. The reason for this weird version is clear enough given The Observer’s penchant for idolizing of public employees no matter what they do: it would make them look bad.

Now I have no idea whether any of the Observer’s loyal followers actually give a rat’s ass about reading real news; and maybe the reason they like the Observer is because it helps reassure them of their own little weltanschauung. But really? In the “most reliable zone?” I don’t think so.

 

xx

How do Fullerton cops know if you’re too high to drive?

Well, the short answer is that if they don’t get a call from the Chief of Police telling you to drive the dude home, they’ve got their man. And if they’re lucky they get to keep his impounded his car.

No, this is not Joe Felz…
Ironic use of photo by Bill Alkofer, OC Register

Seriously, though, the virtually useless OC Register ran another one of its slanted, pro cop pieces yesterday about the evils of mary-j-wanna, and I wouldn’t even bother posting about it except that it featured the images and words of Fullerton’s expert dope detecting cops.

The extreme irony of Fullerton cops being set up as exemplars in the detection of impaired drivers seems to have escaped the writers and editors at the Register, given the department’s behavior in the case of the Missing Maniacal Motorist, former City Manager, Joe Felz, who was apprehended after jumping a Glenwood Avenue curb, uprooting a tree, and trying to drive off. Despite emitting an odor of alcohol strong enough to be detected by a cop on the scene, the boyz in blue gave Joe a pass and a ride home. I’m not sure, but he may have been tucked into bed, and gotten a glass of warm milk and a cookie, too.

Okay, So Maybe I was Wrong!

By Tony Bushala, Guest Contributor

Hell, yes!
Hell, yes!

Way back in 2010 I offered a post attacking Norberto Santana and his relatively new blog Voice of OC. The title was “The Sad Degenerate World of Norberto Santana.” It was a pretty tough post attacking Santana’s objectivity given the fact of his financial backing by the OCEA union and what some of us perceived as slanted reporting. I won’t go into any more detail. You can check out the original post, here.

Well, over six years have passed and I, like many others have come to appreciate the good things Norberto and the Voice of OC have done uncovering the bad behavior of many of our so-called “conservative” leaders in Orange County. The Voice has been particularly effective uncovering the influence peddling going on in Anaheim, but also covering the County level, where the Board of Supervisors have been working us over like we were peons on their plantation. Their Board’s latest little tactic is to limit public comment to just 3 minutes per person, per meeting. Pretty shameful, right?

With an almost complete lack of competent news coverage on local stuff from the mainstream media, it is more important than ever that we recognize and financially support the the Voice of OC.

“Personnel Matter” is Bureaucrat for “Misdemeanor”

Both The OC Weekly and The OC Register have picked up the Uber-Failus story of Joe Felz.

According to The Register the City Attorney, Greg Palmer, said “the incident is a personnel matter but declined to elaborate”.

Let us look at that “Personnel Matter” shall we? First we’ll reference our fallen Sappy McTree.

Dearly Departed Sappy McTree
Dearly Departed Sappy McTree

According to Chief Hughes’ memo to City Council “the city manager was involved in a minor single vehicle collision”. Okay. That explains the tree but not what happened.

For context Sappy McTree is knocked down facing West which means that he left this mortal coil after being struck from an Easterly direction. The following is a photo of a skid mark which starts near Sappy’s remains and continues west.

Fleeing the Scene?
Fleeing the Scene?

It continues for 176ft. How do we know? Because we measured it.

176ft Skid Mark
176ft Skid Mark

“So what?” some of you will comment. The “So What” is California Vehicle Code 20002 (emphasis mine):

(more…)

New Centurions Watching All Our Backs?

Those army boots look a little soiled. Let me at 'em!
Those army boots look a little soiled. Let me at ’em!

“New centurions watching all our backs.”

Thus spake David Whiting of the OC Register in another of his breathtakingly sycophantic ride along reports, this time with some Anaheim cops the other night. He writes about their heroics, here.

Good Lord! Whiting dons body armor! Almost a Hero himself as he chronicles the travails of folks who now could be the targets of violent crime themselves.

Of course it’s easy to mock this “journalistic” rubbish for what it is. It’s especially fun given the history of the bootlick Whiting and the Culture of Corruption in the wake of the Kelly Thomas murder. Remember this? Or this? Or this? Or this? And of course, the worst bullshit of all, here.

The reference to the cops as Roman soldiers is just hilarious; but it’s more telling than a dated reference to a Joseph Wambaugh novel, as Whiting innocently supposes in his hermetically sealed, irony-free hyperbaric chamber.

The militarization of the cops is precisely the problem that created people like Chris Dorner and Jay Cicinelli and that puts us citizens at risk from violent cops each and every day.

And recalling the activities of the cops in Anaheim and Fullerton last summer I think a reference to The New Praetorian Guard is much more apt.

In any case, why-o-why can’t the people who run the Register get it? Being little else than a pro-cop propaganda outlet is no way to run a real newspaper.

Sunday Editorial – The Wrath of the Police Unions

I’d say Steven Greenhut hit it out of the park with this piece in today’s OC Register:

Despite the revelations, police unions continue to behave as before, trying to intimidate council members who refuse to go along with their demands for ever-higher pay and benefits, and protections for their members from oversight and accountability.

Two councilmen in Fullerton, Bruce Whitaker and Travis Kiger, are experiencing treatment similar to the Righeimer episode in Costa Mesa. The Fullerton police union is angry at the role those men played in demanding reform in the wake of the death of Kelly Thomas, a schizophrenic homeless man fatally beaten by Fullerton officers in July 2011.

Please read the rest of “Steven Greenhut: Others feel wrath of police unions”

Gennaco Delivers Report Part Deux

 

According to The OC Register, here, the outside “independent” investigative company hired by the City to look into the actions of the cops that beat Kelly Thomas to death last July has delivered its report on the incident. Unfortunately, nobody gets to see the report authored by Mr. Michael Gennaco except Acting Chief Dan Hughes – because it relates to police personnel matters. And, as everybody knows, those matters are shrouded in a veil of impenetrable secrecy. Just the way the police unions like it.

So we are left to guess at the contents of the report and left to guess whether or not our elected officials will be able to see it. Speaking of guesses, my guess would be no, except for Pat McKinley, of course, who seems to get special privileges when it comes to sticking his nose into personnel matters regarding the dubious characters he hired as former Police Chief.

The issues here are particularly interesting given the fact of the impending trial of Mssrs. Cicinelli and Ramos for manslaughter and murder, respectively. Negative findings could have an impact on that case. If, as many anticipate,  Mr. Gennaco tends to whitewash the case we can expect a comparatively speedy release of the report with some exculpitory headlines by Lou Ponsi.  Gennaco’s undernourished first report was more interesting for what it left out than for what it said,

Also lurking in the back of the room is the potentially costly civil trial and possible Civil Rights charges by the Feds. So if the report indicates that the cops acted way outside policy and procedure look for a protracted release of minimal information, or no release at all.

Proving That Old Dogs Can’t Learn New Tricks

Here’s the title of Sylvia Mudrick’s press release describing Tuesday night’s council action with regard to Fullerton’s illegal 10% water tax: “Council approves eliminating franchise fee on water rates.” That’s not true. Yes, the council voted to stop transferring the illegal tax to the city’s General Fund, but they most certainly did not approve to eliminate the franchise fee on water rates – just the transfer, which means we will keep paying the illegal tax into some sort of escrow fund until a Prop 218 hearing can be held – the Prop 218 hearing that should have been held 15 years ago! Of course in the meantime there is no legal requirement to hold a Prop 218 hearing to quit collecting the 10%; and it looks like Quirky and Whitaker got sideswiped on the scam that will put another $400,000 in the escrow account as City manager Joe Felz tries to cook up a scheme to hang on to as much of that annual $2,500,000 he can.

But back to Mudrick: of course she has been happily peddling pro-city baloney for years, and as a retiree she is still doing it, now as a double-dipper.

The worst part of the press release is the bogus recitation of the history of the water tax, conveniently omitting the fact that periodic complaints have been coming from citizens since at least the early 1990s. Syl would have you believe that it was the City that brought this scam to light and that they have been proactive. Wrong. The City has been hiding this massive scam for decades; the tax has been patently illegal since 1997,  and everybody in authority in City Hall knew it, a fact curiously omitted by our highly pensioned and still remunerated Public Misinformation Officer.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE #09312               4/18/2012

Subject :Council approves eliminating franchise fee on water rates
Contact :Sylvia Palmer Mudrick, Public Information Coordinator, Fullerton City Manager’s Office
(714) 738-6317

The Fullerton City Council voted at its Tuesday (April 17) meeting to eliminate the transfer of a franchise fee charged on water rates in the city, effective May 1.

The water franchise fee was first adopted in 1968 when the council assessed a fee of 2 percent of the Water Fund as a means of reimbursing the costs to the city’s general fund for operating a water utility.  The fee was raised to 10 percent in 1970.

In fiscal 2010-11, the city’s general fund received approximately $2.5 million from the water franchise fee.

The franchise fee came under review in 2009-10 at the conclusion of a five-year water rate study.  At that time, the council formed an Ad Hoc Water Rate Advisory Committee composed of citizens who were tasked with studying all facets of operation of the city water system.

In conjunction with its action Tuesday, the council directed the Ad Hoc Water Rate Advisory Committee to study and make recommendations on a method for the city to charge for the direct cost of operating the water system.

In addition, the council asked the committee to make recommendations on a method for reimbursing citizens for the actual cost of the franchise fee paid for the past three years.

Further information about the council action may be obtained by calling the Fullerton City Clerk’s Office at (714) 738-6350.  Further information about the franchise fee and the water rate study may be obtained by calling the Fullerton Water Engineering Office at (714) 738-6845.