The year is almost over and I would be remiss if i didn’t briefly recount one of the most memorable events of 2016 – the carpetbagging candidacy for State Senate of Sukhee Kang, the former dismal Irvine councilman who, uninvited, declared his candidacy THEN moved to Fullerton to make it legit. He bought a mini-mansion on a golf course. He had an Irvine flunky named Dan Chemilewski try to make the thing appear normal and kosher, but that failed.
In the end, Sukhee spent a ton of money, almost all of it his own. The more he spent, the worse it got. And on election day he lost to a guy named Josh Newman by three points – a remarkable disaster that left almost every Democrat in Orange County – and the state – quickly looking for the exit.
Friends For Fullerton’s Future was born on November 6, 2008, and this will be our farewell post. We will be setting the blog a sail for now, into the deepest oceans of the blogosphere. It will remain online as a testament to what we stood for and didn’t stand for, to our principles or lack thereof, and to those principles which were worthy enough for a fight of our time, our knowledge and of our lives.
This farewell post is dedicated to my Friend and Hero Zach Reed who was born October 17, 1992. His mother Stacy and stepfather Dave Miranda loved Zach just as his twin 15 year old sisters Daily and Brooke and his older brother Cody did. Zach was a Troy High School Warrior just like me, but Zach was much braver and courageous than I. Zach was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma (bone cancer) at 18 and fought every day and night for peace and happiness for the last 3 years of his life.
Zach’s doctors tried almost every known manufactured drug after nasty drug, but nothing helped Zach like cannabis did. Cannabis helped Zach eat, sleep, relax, and most importantly relieved his piercing aches and pain. Cannabis pills, rubs, cookies, buds, tinctures, anything that contained THC helped ease Zach’s pain and brought him a little happiness.
About a year ago, I heard about Zach’s need for cannabis through a mutual Friend and contacted him immediately. As a medical marijuana farmer, I was able to grow six plants and ended up with many more flowers than anyone would need in six years. Zach needed help from friends who had extra flowers; help to get get a medicinal flower that came from a plant that grows in back yards or in closets from a seed that comes from a flower from another plant…light, water and care- virtually free and that’s the way it should be!
The last time I saw Zach was after the November election results were certified. We were sitting in my truck eating Taco Bell. Zach turned to me and asked why I looked sad. While explaining to him about the election results, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Tony, you tried your best, you fought hard, maybe it’s time to move on”.
Friends, Zach was right…maybe it is time to move on. Thank you Bloggers, Friends, Contributors, Readers and to all those who have come here at one time or another. Thank you for all your encouragement, time and knowledge that you have given and for learning and understanding things that we never knew or thought about before.
Remember it’s never too late to be smart. Cheers!
Tony “admin” Bushala
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Fullerton Councilman Travis Kiger has a new campaign video worth watching, which shows him to be the non-politician everyday guy he really is. He is running to hold the seat gained after the recall of Council members Jones, Bankhead, and McKinley. 66% of the vote put Kiger into the seat of Dick Jones, whose term ended months later, and Travis now needs to run as the incumbent to remain on the Council. I do not think he is going to have a problem with challengers, his is an easy win.
The other easy seat is incumbent Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Whitaker, who was elected to City Council in 2010, and was the only Fullerton leader to take an immediate role in trying to get information about the Kelly Thomas beating. His efforts were blocked at every turn by staff in what can only be called insubordination. Whitaker is extremely well liked, and together with his formidable partnership with wife Linda, the couple is a fixture in Fullerton.
Last night the OC GOP Central Committee endorsed incumbent Fullerton City Councilmembers Bruce Whitaker and Travis Kiger for re-election in November.
From a practical standpoint that’s good news for Whitaker and Kiger. The party still carries a lot of weight in Fullerton elections as demonstrated by leland Wilson’s blow-out of Jan Flory in 2002, and even Pat McKinley’s razor-thin victory over Doug Chaffee in 2010.
On Tuesday the City Council is scheduled to discuss what they want to do about the embarrassing fact that the City charged an illegal 10% tax on our water bill for fifteen years, amassing a total rip-off that easily topped $25,000,000. The funds were deposited in General Fund and mostly went to pay for salaries and pensions of City employees that had absolutely nothing to do with the acquisition and transmission of water – the ostensible purpose of the levy. It even went to pay for four-star hotels for Councilmembers’ League of City junkets.
Some folks think reparations are due, in some fashion, to the rate payers that got ripped off. But how? A check in the mail? Lowered rates in the future? Repayment from the General Fund to the Water Fund?
The City doesn’t have $25 mil laying around, and rebates in the future for past indiscretions would certainly create inequities. Going back just a few years for reparations may be a logical and practical step. Repayment from the General Fund over time may be the only recourse and would certainly address the original purpose of the “in-lieu fee” which was the cost of delivering water to the people and businesses of Fullerton. However it should be pointed out that the the 10% that was raked off was never connected to the true cost of the water in the first place.
Another question to be dealt with is what is an applicable rate for miscellaneous City costs that are currently unrecompensed by the Water Fund? There isn’t much unaccounted for, and the “consultant” for the Water rate Ad Hoc Committee tried to cook up some phony percentage between 6 and 7 based largely on the cost of the City charging the Water Fund rent!
This raises all sorts of embarrassing questions about why the Water Utility was not permitted to acquire all this valuable real estate in the first place, dirt cheap, if now it is to be treated as a separate entity; and how a landlord can negotiate rent with his tenant when they are both one and the same person. In any case there is a new council that is a lot less likely to cave in to this sort of nonsense than the old stumblebums.
In any case, I want to mention a couple of things. First, the perpetrators of the scam need to be identified and chastised for their complicity in the tax: they would be all of the former councilmen of the last 15 years who let this happen; the city managers Jim Armstrong, Chris Meyer, and Joe Felz, who participated in the scheme and who either knew or should have known it was illegal; and let’s not forget Richard Jones, Esq., the City Attorney, who was there every single step of the way and damn well knew it was illegal. Second, Joe Felz’ obvious strategy of stalling and temporizing on this issue, aided and abetted by the Three Hollow Logs and Sharon Quirk, protracted the rip-off by another full year and compounded the problem even more, even as they knew the jig was up.
It should be interesting to see if any of our aspiring council candidates show up to share their wisdom on this subject.
On Sunday I had the opportunity to witness an amazing display of principle and courage. As many of you know, our neighbors to the south in Anaheim had the misfortune of yet another police killing of 25-year-old Manuel Diaz who was unarmed. Diaz is the 7th person killed by Anaheim cops this year. The killing sparked neighborhood protests, one of which I attended outside the Anaheim police station.
A group of anarchist protesters armed with short sticks approached police on horses in front of the police station where Anaheim Crusader Teresa Smith was standing and protesting. Teressa’s son, Cesar Cruz, was another victim who died at the hands of the APD in 2009. She’s been protesting and advocating for peace and justice every Sunday outside the Anaheim police station for the past two years.
The anarchists were carrying short broom sticks and had their faces covered with bandannas. As they approached, Teressa told the angry group of anarchist to put down the sticks and protest peacefully. Marlena Carrillo and Shelly Kearney with Kelly’s Army showed up to support Teressa and also encouraged the angry protesters to stand down.
The angry group calmed down and the rest of the protest went peacefully from that point on. No broken windows, no rocks or bottles, although the police did arrest several people for no apparent reason.
Sunday’s protest ended peacefully despite the ARMY of cops there prepared to maim and kill. That’s a direct result of the courage of a group of principled women who were driven by peace to advocate for peace.
As it streamed into my one-room cabin out on Screech Owl Road, last night’s Fullerton City Council meeting was a joy to watch. After three or four decades of watching nattering imbeciles following the direction of staff like stringed mannequins, we finally got to see a rare treat: a Fullerton council that is decisive, in charge and most importantly – accountable.
Let’s take the meeting itself – a special meeting called by Travis Kiger to address critical issues including the nagging problem of city spokesholes peddling self-serving disinformation; the thirty million dollar housing bond that was being used by the Three Dim Bulbs to hand out millions in patronage to their pals; and the issue of releasing the much-discussed phone call that claimed Kelly Thomas was trying to break into cars, and that led, ultimately to his murder. Doug Chaffee agendized his request that the Council take direct responsibility for the hiring and subsequent activities of the new chief of police – a clear indictment of how your City Manager Joe Felz has mismanaged oversight of the police department during its final descent into the Quagmire of Corruption. The very fact that a council member called this meeting, and not city staff, is revelatory. Former councils simply received their instructions and voted aye every couple of weeks – like clockwork. Not any more.
The Council approved an ordinance to take responsibility for the police department. They did it decisively and courageously. Only Sharon Quirk shied away from taking that authority from the ineffectual Felz.
On the subject of releasing the call from the downtown bar, the council voted unanimously to make redacted versions of the audio and transcript public, demonstrating that to this council, unlike its predecessor, pointless and stupid obfuscation is no longer going to be tolerated by the public’s elected representatives.
For years I’ve been shouting at my computer screen as the puppet-like figureheads of the entrenched, sclerotic regime wasted, stole, diverted, covered up, and insulted. Last night I was audibly cheering in support as the council ushered in a new era of accountability, competence, and intelligent government. No one heard me out on Screech Owl Road except a passing coyote and a sleepy iguana. But I was satisfied.