City Dumps Poison Park on Latino Community

Yes, Friends you heard that right. In the long history of official misfeasance regarding the ill-fated “Union Pacific Park” we’ve seen stupidity, indifference, lack of accountability waste, more stupidity. A project that nobody in the community wanted, but that a fun thing for Parks Director Susan Hunt to play with, and for Redevelopment Monopoly bucks to buy, has been a humiliation for everybody involved; or should be, except that bureuacrats in Fullerton have no shame and no rear-view mirror.

But now we discover, courtesy of a 19 year-old document, something a lot more nefarious than just the usual City Hall incompetence. Consider the following letter written to local property owner Tony Bushala, from then Redevelopment flunky, Ken O’Leary.

Oops.

Here’s a smoking gun. The City had already purchased contaminated property, not bothering to employ a Phase 2 environmental assessment. And they knew that the perp was already cleaning up contamination “in the vicinity.” And yet the City proceeded building a park knowing that soils contamination was an issue surrounding the park, and evidently not giving damn whether their own soil was contaminated. So the park was built for well over a million bucks, then Lo and Behold – the park, by now renamed “Union Pacific Park,” was contaminated too. It was fenced off from the junkies and homeless and borachos that haunted it.

Naturally O’Leary is long gone, as is his boss, the ever-hapless Gary Chalupsky. Gone too are bungling bureaucrats Hunt, F. Paul Dudley, Bob Hodson, and former City Manager, Jim Armstrong, all enjoying six-figure pensions courtesy of you, me, and the people of the communidad who never wanted a park at all.

And now it seems the death march is to continue. Only recently City staff cooked up a lame scheme to put a private event center on the site, masquerading as an “educational” aquaponics farm. This hare-brained idea was ardently supported by Jesus Quirk Silva and Ahmad Zahra, two councilmen immune to common sense; and these two now, all of a sudden, want to start a whole new process to find out what the “community” wants, just like Susan Hunt did over 20 years ago. 

FULLERTON COP INVOLVED IN DUI CRASH?

Still in one piece…

According to sources in the FPD, a Fullerton cop was involved in a La Habra DUI crash in the wee hours of an early July morning. Allegedly, a city vehicle was wrecked.

I can’t confirm this story, but boy, it sure sounds plausible given the department track record of hiring the best and brightest.

Look for the usual stalls: a never ending “internal affairs” look-see; and equally extended “DA investigation:” and then a lengthy and confidential “personnel review.”

I hate it when that happens…

A few years ago, FFFF reported on a city-owned Parks and Rec vehicle that crashed and flipped in the intersection at Highland and Chapman, an incident of which all traces vanished into thin air. If this tale is true we can expect an equally diligent cover-up, this time perhaps involving the La Habra Police Department.

The Dead Kennedys & Others

Now that the City of Fullerton’s retaliatory lawsuit against FFFF bloggers Joshua Ferguson and David Curlee has finally done its inevitable Zeppelin Hindenburg act, some folks who promoted and nurtured the despicable assault on freedom are already trying to rewrite their participation.

Don’t get too close. They bite…

Kimberly Barlow, Esquiress of the lamentable law firm of Jones, Mayer and Gecko is saying she’s just “happy the City got its documents back” another disingenuous swipe at Ferguson and Curlee who never deprived Barlow of anything; her “happiness” is costing us $750,000, at least , but she forgot to tell the reporter this inconvenient fact.

Zahra-Busted
Why is this man smiling?

Ahmad Zahra the hapless, preening poseur, and insufferable boohoo gasbag is now claiming that he was a “fan” of settling this lawsuit, a statement completely unsupported by any fact as the City continued its legal harassment of FFFF.

The track record was poor…

Then there’s Sharon Kennedy, the (former, supposedly) proprietor of the Fullerton Observer. In a comment string at their blog, Kennedy is now denying her involvement defaming our bloggers and pretending that her involvement was strictly objective. Unfortunately for her, the facts suggesst a slimy collaboration with the City and Jones, Mayer and Gecko. Her “expert” who claimed that she hired him, produced an opinion that was a joint statement to the Observer and an official Declaration to the Court in the case. How that happened and who, if anybody remunerated this self-styled expert is unknown – so far, but it looks suspicious as all Hell. Commenters are questioning Kennedy, but she isn’t answering. And naturally, the expert conveniently backed up the long-since debunked statement of the City’s own “expert.”

Kennedy can claim innocence all she wants, but her track record of venom toward this blog and really toward anybody else whose honesty threatens the well-being of government employees is well-known, and the malice might be pretty easy to prove in court if anybody cared to hold her accountable.

Well, the rats can scurry off the SS Jones, Mayer and Gecko as quick as their little legs will hurry them along. But the facts are incontrovertible and somebody, and soon, is going to have to pay the proverbial piper – just like the taxpayers are going to have to pay for the horrible and intentional malice of City Hall and its lawyers.

 

 

City of Fullerton Calls it Quits Against Bloggers/FFFF

ACLU, EFF, RCFP, ACLU SoCal

Yesterday, in a special meeting,  the City of Fullerton officially bowed to the inevitable and settled its retaliatory lawsuit against Joshua Ferguson, David Curlee, and this blog. The vote was 3-2 with Bruce Whitaker, Nick Dunlap and Fred Jung voting to end the bloodletting. Jesus Quirk Silva and Ahmad Zahra, who started the lawsuit and have stubbornly kept it alive, voted no. Whether they were laboring under the sunk cost fallacy or if it was simply a childish aversion to admitting their own culpability in the mess, will never be known.

Zahra-Busted
Why is this man smiling?

It doesn’t happen very often that honest citizens can prevail against their government. In fact it almost never happens – a tribute to the tenacity of the courageous FFFF bloggers and their attorney, Kelly Aviles.

After a year and a half of lies, defamation, obstruction, incompetence, buffoonery, temporizing, more lying and running up huge legal bills the City has given up. Here are the main points:

$60,000 in compensatory damages to Ferguson and Curlee;

A public statement absolving Ferguson and Curlee of any culpability;

Legal fees for Kelly Aviles amounting to $230,000.

The winners here are justice (deliberately stalled, to be sure) and journalistic freedom against prior restraint; and, of course, any people who want to be able to get information that their own government is legally obligated to provide.

The losers, once again, are the taxpayers of Fullerton who are on the hook for $350,000 plus how ever much the legal team of Jones and Mayer have racked up – a sum estimated to be approaching $500,000.

Well, Friends, you can add as well as I can. At least three quarters of a million bucks to pursue this hare-brained retaliation against bloggers whose only desire was to get information from their own city government.

The train of thought was weak but it sure was short…

And so it is particularly amusing to consider the stammering, babbling statement from Jesus Quirk Silva that he was voting against the settlement because of his “fiduciary responsibility” to the people of Fullerton.

Axis of Casual Corruption.

Too bad the other two vindictive and profligate architects of this disaster have conveniently exited from our political stage: Jan Flory has resubmerged herself into whatever nasty swamp will have her; and our former influence peddling Mayor-for-hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald, is fleeing the state entirely, having feasted on the Fullerton carcass until there was no more meat on the bones.

 

Joe Kerr Follow-Up

Lives in a District, but which one?

Friends, as part of our ongoing fight against carpetbaggers, and even worse, perjuring faux-carpetbaggers, we here at FFFF like to follow up on the activities of failed carpetbaggers of all sorts – the legit ‘baggers, and the liar ‘baggers.

Here are some of the villains:

2009 Linda Ackerwoman – State Assembly (Irvine) 1 fake address

2010 Harry Sidhu, 4th District Supervisor (Anaheim Hills) 2 fake addresses

2010 Lorraine Galloway, 4th District Supervisor (Anaheim Hills) 3 fake addresses

2016 Sukhee Kang, State Senate (Irvine) Moved back to Irvine after election, if he ever lived here at all

2018 Joe Kerr, County Supervisor (Coto de Caza) 2 fake addresses

2018 Pilferin’ Paulette Marshall Chaffee. Fullerton CC 5th District (Fullerton 2nd District) 1 fake address

2020 Arunii Thakur, Fullerton 4th District (Fullerton 1st District) 1 fake address

I’d be smiling, too!

Guess what? Our former pal Joe Kerr, the union boss and well-public pensioned resident of 5th District Coto de Caza is running for County Supervisor. Again. In 2018 this miscreant cooked up fake addresses in Brea, and then in Placentia to run in the 4th District. We documented Coto Joe’s misbehaving and put his name at the bottom of our list!

An alert 4th District Friend has dialed in and notified us that Joe has not given up on elective politics and is giving it another go. The why is probably easier to answer now than the where.

Going to his Joe Kerr for County Supervisor website doesn’t inform us about his current declared office – or residence – leading cynical observers to suppose his ultimate dwelling locale is still a matter of convenient political flux. That’s not much of a confidence builder for somebody who is intent on emphasizing his hero-ness.

For once again Joe is touting his courage and leadership skills, honed, no doubt by leading the Orange County Fire Fighters union as it gouged its way deep into our solvency.

Even I beat this loser…

Last time Kerr was beaten by the hapless Bud Chaffee, so whichever district he decides to call home when the time comes, I really have wonder about his chances.

Fullerton’s Nuisance Noise and The Ongoing Saga of Incompetence and Corruption. Part 3

Okay. What have we learned so far about Fullerton’s long and corrupt attempt to avoid addressing the problem of amplified outdoor music?

I’m not going to do my job and you can’t make me…

First we have learned that Fullerton’s “experts” in the Planning and Code Enforcement divisions have been serially uninterested in enforcing their own laws in an effort to appease and placate scofflaw bars in the financial sinkhole known as downtown Fullerton.

Second we have learned that you can’t make government bureaucrats do their jobs if they don’t want to do them.

Stop the noise, consarn it!

Way back in 2009 City Hall knew it had a problem on its hands as the metastasizing and illegal clubs began sharing their good times with everybody else. A “consultant” called Bon Terra was engaged to to a noise study and the City Council, at the time, voted to maintain the existing code that prohibited outdoor music.

But saying something and doing something about it reflects a mammoth void in Fullerton, and the bureaucrats in City Hall don’t give up on an issue until one way or another, they get what they want.

Yes, that is the answer!

And in 2012 they got a friend, Jennifer Fitzgerald, who was more than happy to run interference for people who had no qualms about violating the noise and land-use law.

You can take the douche out of the bag…

And so, over the next seven years, the Noise Nuisance continued, most notably at The Slidebar, a club that was illegally operating without a CUP. And even as the nuisance continued, the City embarked on a campaign to eliminate any restrictions at all. Complaints were invariably batted away by Planning Directors Karen Haluza, Ted White, and Matt Foulkes who, along with our egregious City Attorney, Dick Jones kept citing studies and new plans, and whatever else they could use as a pretext for doing nothing.

Matt Foulkes. The downward spiral is complete.

Finally by 2019, it became apparent that the goal was to permit an acoustic free-for-all in downtown Fullerton.

 

Fullerton’s Nuisance Noise and The Ongoing Saga of Incompetence and Corruption. Part 2

Al Zelinka. Failing to the top.

In the past 10 years or so, Fullerton has had four different planning directors: Al Zelinka, Karen Haluza, Ted White, and most recently an individual named Matt Foulkes. Pop quiz: what else do these folks have in common?

Haluza. The closer you looked, the worse it got.

Time’s up. Answer: none of them enforced the city’s noise ordinances, and each seemed to be dedicated to ignoring zoning and land use regulations in downtown Fullerton. We’ll get to the “why” of it in a later post. For now I want to point out the trajectory of this mess. As scofflaws like Jeremy Popoff’s odious Slidebar and the Florentine Mob’s various enterprises refused to comply with our laws, the Planning Directors noted above began an ongoing project to lower and lower the legal bar until even the lowest nematode could wriggle over it.

Ted White didn’t leave his fingerprints…he thinks…

Now if we contemplate this downward spiral of our “experts” in the Planning Department and Code Enforcement we notice that it hit a virtual rock bottom in January 2019 when Matt Foulkes pretended that he didn’t know what a property owner was and approved the submission of an official document forged by Joe Florentine pretending that he, Florentine, was an “owner.”

Matt Foulkes. The downward spiral is complete.

Of course all of this malfeasance was amply documented here on the FFFF blog. And guess what? Nobody in City Hall cared; or to be more precise, nobody cares, still. See, in Fullerton incompetency and blatant corruption are so common on the part of our City Attorney, Dick Jones and the cadre of drunk, venal and just plain dumb City Managers and staff that our threshold for outrage is as low is almost worn away.

But not quite. Stay tuned for noise. And by noise I mean the noise generated by city staff to ignore, dilute, obfuscate and dodge the Noise Ordinances.

Fullerton’s Nuisance Noise and The Ongoing Saga of Incompetence and Corruption. Part 1

Flory in search of the proverbial yard arm.

FFFF has published lots of posts about the way in which our highly paid “experts” in City Hall have made it their business to run interference for the numerous scofflaw bar and “club” owners downtown when it comes to ignoring annoyances like Conditions of Approval and the municipal code’s Noise Ordinance.

In City Hall, doing the right thing just wasn’t gonna happen…

Both topics have been addressed in the same way: if they can, they simply ignore the situation. The blind eye approach has worked most of time. When it hasn’t, Step 2 is invoked. Step 2 is to diligently pursue making the laws laxer, so lax in fact, that the lawbreaking is no longer lawbreaking. This bureaucratic gambit is really nice because the Planning Department Staff can always claim that something is in the works that will address the situation. Of course that’s a lie. What’s really happening is that the department is trying really hard to come up with a legal absolution so low even the lowest douchebag can slither over it.

You can take the douche out of the bag…

At every step of the way, the scofflaws – Jeremy Popoff of Slidebar fame and the Florentine Mob spring most readily to mind – lubricate the gears of Fullerton’s small town political machine who have seemed ever-ready to support the law breaking.

While we here at FFFF have extensively covered the abuse of CUPs and other land use issues, the history of the ongoing issue of nuisance noise traces a perfect trajectory of incompetence or casual corruption, or most likely, of both.

The story spans three city managers, four planning directors and a whole slew of elected ciphers who would rather defend purveyors of nuisance over the right of their constituents to quiet enjoyment of their property.

 

The LA Times Only Cares About Women When it Helps Their Team

Adan Ortega
If you don’t look like him, he won’t represent you.

The hacks over at the Los Angeles Times are super concerned that Adan Ortega was removed from his non-paying gig as Fullerton’s representative to the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) because he’s a champion of the working classes or some shit. I don’t know, I lost interest in their most recent #MeToo story when I remembered that Fullerton City Council member Ahmad Zahra has been charged with battery against a woman of color and the LA Times has said precisely ZERO about the story.

Their interest in such topics tend to have a very partisan flavor and it’s both predictable and boring.

Because of course they did, the LAT omitted that Ortega is a racist because he’s the fashionable type of racist that the LAT employs and endorses. They also omitted that he’s a grifter who quite literally is a lobbyist in the municipal water industry and therefore is logically conflicted out of putting the residents of Fullerton first in his now former position on the MWD.

Gee, it’s almost like there were good reasons to replace Mr. Ortega outside of the claims being made by the local union hacks. I could point to his $5000/mo consulting gig over in 29 Palms (Page 70) or perhaps that MWD was even a client of his but that would be journalism.

Adan Ortega Conflicts
The list of conflicts goes on and on and on…

Sadly the press was too busy reprinting the talking points of Ortega’s allies to get into the details of a basic google search.

Because of their tedious brand of hackery, the press, largely, should not be taken seriously or at face value until they either admit their biases or start acting like honest reporters. A good place to start would be to report about the news as it relates to ALL elected officials as opposed to just those accused of wrongthink.

By way of example they could avoid talking, relentlessly, about Tito Ortiz not wearing a mask because of the dangers of Covid-19 while simultaneously ignoring that Ahmad Zahra violated social distancing guidelines in order to, allegedly, batter a women of color. Unless of course he allegedly battered her from 6 feet away.

Zahra-Busted
Why is this man smiling?

But of course this won’t happen because journalism is thinly veiled activism and almost nobody wants to agitate against their own allies. They don’t want to lose out on an invite to the socially distanced soirees.

This isn’t an issue isolated to the wasteland of Los Angeles either.

ALL of the other major outlets, both in print and on Tv, who couldn’t get enough of Tito are guilty of the same partisan hackery. The OC Register, to their credit, ran a puff piece talking about how stunning and brave and bravely stunning Zahra is in reference to his being charged with battery but the rest of the gang have been nowhere to be seen. I expected better from the Voice of OC but alas they too have fallen victim to this consensus of reporting conformity.

While City Hall continues to attack us in the courts and pretend we’re not journalists, I’d like you  to remember that we’re the ONLY local source willing to upset the status quo to tell you the truth whether you want to hear it or not.

The Florentine Mob Pulls Out

Sit down and grab some sidewalk, brother…

It’s taken well over thirty years, but apparently the Family of Tony Florentine is calling quits in downtown Fullerton. Normally, such an occasion would be cause for gratitude, reflection, fond memories, etc., etc., ect.

But not in this case.

The reason nobody is indulging in kind reminiscence is simple. Over the years the family has been in on, and accused of some very shady stuff. Forget about shitty food and consider the following fun events, documented right here on the pages of FFFF, even if ignored by City staff, the Fullerton Police Department and the Fullerton Fire Department.

  1. Joe Florentine accused by former employee of torching his own business – The Melody Inn – back in the late 1980s.
  2. Tony Florentine magically converts an outside dining permit into a permanent structure built across a public sidewalk in the early 2000s.
  3. Tony’s bright kid, Joe, illegally converts the family restaurant into an illegal night club in the mid 2000s.
  4. In 2012 Papa Tony files phoney FPPC complaint against Tony Bushala in an effort to help his Gang of Three avoid recall. Complaint denied.
  5. After gaining a CUP to operate as a club, Joe Florentine never installs the fire sprinkler system required of the CUP.
  6. Seeking approval of yet another CUP in 2019-2020 even though the terms of the previous CUP had never been met,  Joe Florentine forged and had notarized an application that by-passed the building owner, thus placing the City in legal jeopardy.
  7. Last spring the Florentines decided they were entitled to remove on-street parking in order to help themselves.

It’s hard to say what other misdeeds and actual crimes have been committed by the Florentines, over the years. Stories abound. But what we know gives us plenty of reason not to consider their departure with any sort of remorse.

And the very continuation of the bad behavior gives us plenty of reason to ruminate on the political climate that permitted the ongoing flagrance and fraud. Decision makers in City Hall have been running interference for, enabling, and diligently looking the other way through this little reign of terror. Does anybody care? The old City Councils never did. Will the new one?