Posts Tagged Sharon Kennedy
We may not always have agreed with the liberal activism of Fullerton’s Ralph Kennedy, but there’s no doubt that the engineer-turned-civil-rights-activist was the real deal – a committed believer in social justice who was willing to take unpopular stands on behalf of the causes for which he advocated.
In its obituary of him in 1998, the Los Angeles Times wrote: “He was one of those rare people who saw things as they should be. He wasn’t willing to sit in his comfort while others in the world were suffering. He always felt like he needed to dig in and do something to bring about justice, to take action, to risk his own comfort in order to make things better.”
But Kennedy’s two children – Sharon Kennedy, who is publisher of the Fullerton Observer, which Ralph and his wife, Natalie, founded in the 1970s; and Rusty Kennedy, head of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, which claims to advocate for concepts similar to those advocated by the elder Kennedys – are frauds. Their actions (or inaction, really) following the brutal slaying of Kelly Thomas by Fullerton police thugs shows how they have become lapdogs for the political establishment, which is the very opposite of the behavior displayed by their Dad. Unfortunately, modern liberals usually defend government power and abuse — they don’t stand up for the poor and downtrodden any more.
The Observer has run various news stories about the Thomas killing at the hands of cops, but the stories read like articles hatched in the Fullerton PD’s press department. There is no sense of outrage and an unconscionable reliance on official explanations and official sources. (It’s as if Ralph Kennedy, known as a crusader against housing discrimination, took at face value the official government explanations of why black folks were treated as second-class citizens in the old days. “Don’t worry, folks, Gov. George Wallace and his able team of government officials will get to the bottom of it!”) The Observer, promoting the lame efforts of Rusty and his commission, runs a story that declares: “The Orange County Human Relations Commission is responding to community requests for help in the tragic beating death of Kelly Thomas. On behalf of the Commission, Rusty Kennedy endorsed the idea of an outside, independent investigation of police practices and procedures in the case and more broadly across the department. He gave City Manager Joe Felz an evaluation of Michael Gennaco for the LA County Office of Independent Review. The Commission has worked with Gennaco in hate crime cases and most recently in setting up an OIR in Orange County, which is now staffed by Stephen Connelly, one of Gennaco’s proteges.”
The Observer and Kennedy should be denouncing this brutal attack as a hate crime and staging sit-ins and other demonstrations. Instead, they are joining the official whitewash and telling us to trust these not-so-outside investigations. Connelly has not produced a single serious investigation since he became the head of the supposedly independent commission that operates basically at the behest of the Sheriff. You might as well ask Dick Jones to produce an outside investigation.
Fortunately, this blog is filling in the role that lapdog players such as the Fullerton Observer play. Fortunately, Orange County residents are starting to learn that the Human Relations Commission is a way for limousine liberals to live large on other people’s money while pretending to stand up for the principles that true liberals such as Ralph Kennedy actually stood up for.
Previously we noted the Fullerton Observer’s legal maneuvering in an attempt to add itself to the city payroll. Last week we found out that Sharon Kennedy’s court filing had been met with objections by both the Orange County Register and the City of Fullerton.
The City’s objection is based on the same points we brought up a few weeks ago – namely, the Observer is not printed within the city, it is not printed weekly and it doesn’t have a bona fide list of paying subscribers as required by law. That’s three strikes for the Observer.
The city calls into question Sharon Kennedy’s own filing, where we learn that the Observer boasts a whopping 598 paid subscribers and a monthly online distribution that rivals FFFF’s daily hits.
Next we have an objection filed by OC Register attorneys, which finds fault with the notice that Kennedy filed for her own hearing. The Register sums up the problem by saying “It is ironic that the Petitioner [Fullerton Observer] is seeking to publish important legal notices, yet cannot even publish its own Notice correctly.”
Kennedy pushed out her hearing to the end of July. I suspect she will drop it all together rather than suffer further embarrassment.
Bottom line: Kennedy’s dying cause here is to get the Fullerton Observer onto the city payroll. We’ve already demonstrated the paper’s inability to criticize city staff, engage in any kind of investigative journalism within city hall or participate objective reporting all while claiming that it is a legitimate newspaper. It’s hard to imagine any of these conditions improving should Kennedy’s paper wind up on the taxpayer’s dole.
A Friend sent in an interesting newspaper clipping this week. It looks like Sharon Kennedy is trying to obligate the city of Fullerton to pay her Observer rag for posting public notices.
Back in March the city council decided to stop paying local newspapers to print public notices in order to prevent layoffs. An obscure set of state laws deem that Fullerton has no local “newspaper of record” and thus is not required to waste money on ad space in the back of newspapers for notices that could just be posted on the Internet.
But now it appears that Kennedy is anxious to latch on to the city teat and get her hands on the $40,000 per year that the city is currently saving. She will appear before a judge next month in hopes that her wretched rag will be bestowed with some judicial legitimacy.
Unfortunately Kennedy has failed to read the very simple laws that define a newspaper of general circulation.
For one, the paper has to be printed at least weekly. The Observer is printed bi-weekly and monthly during the summer.
Second, it has to be physically printed inside the city. The Observer is printed elsewhere.
Third, it must have “substantial distribution to paid subscribers.” The Observer is free.
And finally, the paper must have “maintained a minimum coverage of local or telegraphic news and intelligence of a general character of not less than 25 percent of its total.” We’ve said it before: most of the stuff printed in the Observer is opinion disguised as news.
If Kennedy succeeds in her wacky court case, it will force the city to pay her for publishing public notices. Perhaps the city will dispatch someone to the hearing to make sure she doesn’t get away with it.
Here’s a painful pill for those Yellowing Observers who offer up their criticisms about the accuracy of our blog.
Today the tattered Fullerton Observer released its Mid March bird cage liner with a front page story on the 4th district Supervisorial race. The story inexplicably claimed that candidates Harry Sidhu, Rose Espinosa and Richard Faher had dropped out of the race. Ay, caramba! Not even close! Jebus, how did that happen?
Actually, when you come to think about it, the screw up is not all that unusual for the Observer where news, editorial, and incompetency are often shot through Sharon Kennedy’s particle accelerator in opposite directions.
Anyway, the Observer elves got hard at work right away making the fix, albeit on-line:
Good Lord. And Sharon Kennedy says we are widely discredited. Hoo boy!
It should be pointed out that the Friends here at FFFF have published 721 blog posts in the last 18 months; and had my bloggers coughed up any thing this errant I would have introduced corporal punishment into our editorial board meetings.
Helen Logan of Fullerton sent us the following note regarding a “community opinion” printed in the latest edition of the Fullerton Observer:
The Fullerton Observer’s letters to the editor policy allows the editor to only identify the author with his or her initials and the city he or she lives in, if there is a good reason for requesting anonymity from the editor, Sharon Kennedy. Why the need for anonymity for the above innocuous letter? Who in Fullerton fears retribution from angered Haitian shop owners or militias?
I sought the answers to my questions in a separate Observer article titled “Haiti Supplies to Survivors & a Brief History”. Only one sentence, replete with syntax and spelling errors, mentioned distribution problems arose and survivors had to wait a few days to get these supplies.
The poor research and writing of the Fullerton Observer’s articles and its lack of journalistic ethics reveals this newspaper to be nothing more than a collection of opinions. This newspaper and its editor lack credibility.
The Fullerton Observer touts itself as Fullerton’s only independent newspaper. I thank those other newspapers that are dependent on investigative reporting from real journalists and their valid editors for giving me insight into the facts.
I just came across this youtube clip from last summer. It is about our congresswoman Loretta Sanchez and her performance at some sort of “prayer vigil” organized last August, ostensibly to supplicate the Good Lord for the provision of universal health care.
As you can see, Loretta’s not real interested in praying, or even in keeping her big bazoo shut, but rather in the worst kind of political self-promotion. But Ms. Motormouth and her relationship with the Almighty is not the main topic here.
Instead I direct your attention to the promoters of this alleged “prayer vigil,” the Orange County Congregational Community Organization, known as OCCCO. Sound vaguely familiar? Last summer some of its members popped up out of the blue at a city council meeting to speak in favor of the proposed Redevelopment expansion. FFFF subsequently discovered that Pam Keller’s “Fullerton Collaborative” had bestowed $26,000 on the OCCCO for “community organizing.” Fullerton Harpoon wrote about this stuff here. The blog has already noted that Collaborative director (and Fullerton City Councilwoman) Pam Keller is a paid employee of the Fullerton School District.
You can see by the video that despite the presence of a somebody who looks likes he’s got a mitre on his head (A bishop?) these folks are really all about politics, too.
Apparently some folks in Fullerton such as Sharon Kennedy see nothing wrong with this happy intertwine of religion and the politics of cash, the laundering of government funds that ultimately find their way into overt political causes, and finally with the obvious attempt by Pam Keller to use the tangled network to help promote fraudulent and misguided “economic development” policy by the City. Actually these people seem to like the web.
I don’t like it, and neither should you. There is an insidious process going on here and it ain’t good.
Well Friends, here they are – the 2009 Fringie Winners. You don’t really deserve this sort of punishment inflicted on you, but…well, hell, maybe you do! The competition was spirited in many of the categories. And by spirited I mean mind-numbingly depressing. And I’m just a dog! I had to take long breaks several times during the nomination and judging to water the fire hydrants along Brea Boulevard.
1. In the category of Least Distinguished Journalist it really wasn’t even close. The OC Register’s Frank Mickadeit took it going away for his complete lack of journalistic integrity. In the end the judges just didn’t feel that Sharon Kennedy or Barbara Giasone even really qualified as journalists. Martin Wisckol was given credit for showing up on the blog even tho’ it was merely to defend his embarrassing whoring for Ackerman, Inc.
2. In the category of the Worst Bureaucratic SNAFU, the judges were clearly impressed by not only the scope of the Poisoned Park disaster and its ongoing potential for more o’ same, but by city staff’s ability to avoid any and all responsibility for the multi-million dollar mess. Bravo, Mr. City Manager, you’re finally catching up with your predecessor, and that’s saying a lot!
3. Worst Vote of 2009. Bankhead, Jones, and Keller for the win of course, with their undying support of the Redevelopment expansion. And by win, of course, I mean disastrous loss for everyone outside the Redevelopment Department.
4. In the category of Scariest Ghost of Fullerton Past, we had an eerily close call. Yet despite the frightening surprise visitation from my former broomstick-wielding mistress Jan Flory, the judges were absolutely horrified by the noxious vapor of Linda LeQuire, conjured up by Ackerman Inc. out of some fetid and accursed burial ground, to smear Chris Norby. It didn’t work, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.
5. In the category of Stupidest Statement Made in Public we again had a tough decision. In a year when Dick Jones said so many idiotic things and Pam Keller claimed (with a perfectly straight face) to be a “fiscal conservative,” a dark horse nominee grabbed the brass ring. And by dark horse nominee I mean the daffy, loud-mouthed nincompoop member of “Pam’s Posse” and her crazy-funny “why Pam should be mayor” rhetorical ramble through the brambles. Go ahead and watchit. We dares ya!
6. In the Government Small Change Adds Up category the award goes to the Roscoe’s Famous Nuisance Noise Study, a wonderful example of ill-conceived bureaucratic waste on a small scale that makes us really worried about the big stuff.
7. The Most Entertaining and/or Disturbing Image of 2009. Barney Wewak for the win. Aw, c’mon, was there ever any doubt? The picture even has a dog in it. Arf!
8. Best Vote 2009. This one was pretty easy for the judges since by the time they got around to this category they had inhaled copious amounts of medicinal weed acquired from the Dick & MaryJane Jones Dispensary. Our old friend Sharon Quirk-Silva gets a double victory for seeing the proverbial light on the God-awful McDonald’s relocation; and also for opposing that fraudulent Redevelopment expansion.
9. Our final category is the Most Awful Political Candidate of 2009, and it goes to none other than Chris Norby for his abortive County Clerk campaign. Rarely had the judges seen such a blatant fixation on public sector job preservation and such a mismatch of skill set to position. The campaign slogan “Preserving Your Vital Records” was so insipid and so lame I have to lift my leg on it. Again. There. Clean up in aisle #9! Well deserved Fringie, indeed!
Finally, the Judging Committee decided to award three special Fringies in 2009 in order to recognize excessively, aesthetically unattractive behavior on the part of some of our political personalities.
10. Special Fringie #1. The call by Pam Keller for a City-run blog – with no bloggers - was such a wonderful monument to fatuousness and political tone-deafness that as a statement and an act it really was in a class by itself. You can enjoy our original post here and listen to Keller’s statement. Well done, Pam! You excelled yourself.
11. Special Fringie #2. Well of course we had to acknowledge Linda Ackerwoman whose scampaign in the 72nd must be considered positively evil (yes the judges said evil!) by any normal person. This creature did not qualify in the most Awful Political Candidate category since the whole operation seemed more like a jail break than a campaign. Who knows how many hundreds of simoleons per vote this cipher and her Sacramento-organized goons wasted. Oh well. It least it wasn’t our dough!
12. Special Fringie #3. The judges believed that they would have been remiss without a tip o’ the Fringed cap to Congresscritter-for-life Ed Royce, the rat who managed to swim away from the giant suction-vortex of the sinking S.S. Ackerman and happily scampered up the waiting rope ladder onto the S.S. Norby. Well done little rodent!
And so friends, that concludes the 2009 Fringie Awards. We hope you have enjoyed them as much as we have enjoyed bringing them to you. And if you didn’t, tough.
Here’s looking forward to a new year filled with wonderful material from our favorite folks in Fullerton!
Okay we bought this gift in 2008, and we’ve already given it to you a couple of times, but like my former landlord used to say all the time: “still good!”
Here is one of our first pieces of anti-Dick Jones propaganda from the 2008 clowncil campaign. It really is still good. We took some grief from the staus quo lackeys and defenders like Sharon Kennedy, who actually went on to endorse this jackass; and from the 2009 Fringie award-winner Frank Mickadeit who was too busy ass-kissing Repuglican ass to acknowledge the problem of Doc Heehaw’s gaping, deep-fried brayings.
Anyway, enjoy this brilliant piece of political invective that uses the target’s own febrile rants as the basis of its humor.
As you Friends may well imagine, this category is chock-full of worthy nominees. In fact, choosing them was a real challenge. 2009 was an excellent year for journalistic incompetence, and our nominees each qualified for slightly different reasons. The nominees for Least Distinguished “Journalist” are:
1. Sharon Kennedy. She is nominated for her reprehensible tactic of forwarding Chris Norby’s anti-Redevelopment essays on to City Hall, where a staffer wrote responses and Don Bankhead, between pudding breaks, signed them. Hardly the actions of a responsible journalist. Which is why we put the word in quotation marks in our title.
2. Barbara Giasone. Barbara distinguished herself last year by snagging the coveted Wurlitzer Prize. This year she earns a Fringie nomination by an entire year’s worth of vapid vacuity. Just think of it. The Earth has accomplished a full orbit of the Sun and Babs has not made a single journalist contribution to the folks of Fullerton. An accomplishment crying out for recognition.
3. Frank Mickadeit. This homunculus receives his nomination for outstanding and relentless ass-kissing of the Repuglican elite – formerly people like Mike Carona, but this year Ackerman, Inc., as he slavishly passed along all of Dick Ackerman’s bullshit to the dwindling number of OC Register readers.
4. Lastly, lets not forget Mickadeit’s Register colleague Martin Wisckol, who seems to suffer from the same sick infatuation with the Repuglican clique’s collective posterior that infects Mickadeit. This year Wisckol distinguished himself by acting as Ackerman, Inc. press agent, doing so from the very beginning of the Ackerwoman scampaign. Our intrepid reporter even contacted the Ackerwoman in France as soon as the Duvall deal went down. Later he passed along her lame “businesswoman” resume as a matter of fact, not invention. Suspicious minds smelled collusion. Suspicious minds were right.
For dyed-in-the-wool government apologists like Dick Jones, Jan Flory, Dick Ackerman, Sharon Kennedy, Don Bankhead, et al., Redevelopment blunders are conveniently overlooked, when possible; when not possible, some lame defense is mounted, such as: mistakes were made (passive voice obligatory) but we learned and moved on; hindsight is 20/20 (Molly McClanahan’s motto vivendi); the problem was not too much Redevelopment, but too little!
But when any reasonable person contemplates the collection of Redevelopment disasters along Harbor Blvd. between Valencia Drive and the old Union Pacific overpass, the only conclusion he or she could draw is that the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency should have been shuttered years ago, and the perpetrators of the manifest failures crowded onto a small raft and set adrift with the Japanese Current.
We have already described in nauseating detail the “Paseo Park” debacle; and the Allen Hotel fiasco; we haven’t yet had time to talk about the “El Sombrero” pocket park give away (we will).
But instead of wasting too many perfectly good words, we will share with you Friends a Redevelopment pictorial essay with just a little piquant commentary.
First there’s the strip center known as Gregg’s Plaza. Brick veneer, of course. Even the veneer is so disgusted it’s trying to jump off the building.
Across the street is the Allen Furniture Store. When they got their rehab loan somebody forgot to tell them that a storefront is a storefront – not a jailhouse. So why are there bars on the dinky little windows? And pink stucco?
Jumping back across the street we re-introduce ourselves to the egregious Allen Hotel, perhaps the biggest Redevelopment boondoggle of all, a mess that we have already admirably documented, here. As we noted then, the add-on was unspeakably awful (and expensive). The front is, well, pretty awful, too.
What was sold, in part, as an “historic preservation” project ended up violating just about every standard in the book. The original windows were ripped out and replaced with vinyl sashes; the transoms were destroyed and replaced with sheets of plastic and surface applied strips supposed to simulate leaded glass.
Across Harbor we discover the “El Sombrero Plaza,” another sock in the face to any Fullerton windshield tourist. Forget the stupidity of the sideways orientation and the Mission Revival On Acid stylings (which attain a kind of crazy Mariachi deliciousness); this development included the give away of part the adjacent public green space so they have parking for a restaurant. The owner never did develop a restaurant, of course (more on that story later).
And finally we come to exhausted collapse at another one of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency’s low points. And by low point we mean the complete, unmitigated disaster of the Union Pacific Park, ably chronicled here; and in a whole series here, here, and here.
The poisoned park: dead as a doornail. An aesthetic, pratical, and policy disaster. And no one has ever stood up to take responsibility for the total waste of millions of dollars.
Well, there you have it, Friends. Redevelopment in action; Redevelopment creating blight, not eradicating it. No accountability. None. Zero. Zilch. And some people wonder why FFFF has sued to keep Redevelopment from expanding.