A Brief Essay by “Chamber Star”

Don't forget to write...
Don't forget to write...

Loyal friends, we keep inviting Fullerton’s decision makers to come to our blog to give their side of the story when they perpetrate what we feel is a particularly egregious screw-up. None have yet taken up the gauntlet and we really can’t blame them. Who wants to be swarmed by an angry squadron of Friends after a public policy fiasco? Responding directly to the public is ever so much more difficult than reading a script.

Yet our site has been visited, and visited often, by an individual who styles him/herself Chamber Star. We’re not sure what this handle means, precisely, and whether this person is actually even affiliated with Fullerton’s Chamber of Commerce. But since we have unloaded many rounds into the Chamber’s fleshy leadership tissue, we feel pretty confident in assuming that Chamber Star holds some position of authority in that organization. But we could be wrong.

We like Chamber Star because Star’s is the voice of unquestioning support that the City of Fullerton has come to expect from their friends in the Chamber leadership cadre. So much so, in fact, that the Chamber has actually come to embrace the anti-business Redevelopment proposal.

A while back we invited Chamber Star to write a post for our blog so that his/her attitudes and beliefs could be shared with the Friends in order to present a rounder view of life and times in Fullerton. We reproduce Chamber Star’s essay verbatim, below:

First, let me thank FFFF for giving me an opportunity to tell a different side of the story, a different view point, if you will. I hope that when people have read this they will understand a little bit more about the way I feel about Fullerton.

We should all be on the same team: Team Fullerton. We should all want what’s best for our great City and all work for the same goals. We cannot do this if we are pulling in different directions. That’s why the Chamber leaders have taken up a consistent and rather courageous position of supporting the people at City Hall who are always working hard to make Fullerton a great place.

It is very easy to criticize the City staff because their jobs are both difficult and have to be carried out under the critical and often unfair light of public perception. Their skill sets are highly developed to perform complex missions that none of us could do in a hundred years. And yes, the atmosphere can be hostile as is evidenced by this very blog!

Redevelopment in particular is an area that demands great skills of a wide variety. And if mistakes happen (nobody is perfect, including the operators of this blog), we have to remember that redevelopment staff are taking risks for all of us. So I wholeheartedly support Redevelopment in Fullerton and wish to see it expand. If possible we should have it throughout the City. Again, it’s easy for Monday morning quarterbacks to take shots at our fine staff, but not very fair. These are top flight professionals who deserve our respect and support. These folks are helping to develop new business in Fullerton, and raise sales tax receipts so we can afford to hire and keep the very best public servants in the State. And that’s why the Chamber of Commerce supports City staff and Redevelopment. You can’t have all the things you want like municipal auditoriums and graffiti removal and mandated affordable housing without the all-important Redevelopment funds.

And finally I would like to say that I have a lot of confidence in our elected officials. I believe in democracy and believe that we will elect good people who have good judgement. I support them and have confidence in their judgement because if they didn’t have it they probably wouldn’t have gotten elected in the first place. Time and time again they have shown how consistent their judgement and wisdom really is. And our leaders know that they have to work closely with their staff to get what’s best for all of the City. I would also say that many times it is necessary for the City Council to do its business behind closed doors to keep important facts secret. And that’s really for the good of everybody, too.

Thanks again FFFF for letting me share my views. And remember: look forward to the future and not backwards! Fullerton’s best days are still ahead!

Thank you Chamber Star for sharing your views.


Norby Job Prospects Uncertain

Will he work for food?

Termed-out OC 4th District Supervisor Republican Chris Norby has announced his intention to run for the possibly soon-to-be vacant County Clerk job currently held by Democrat Tom Daly. But the road could be rocky as Norby now has two credible candidates challenging him: Hugh Nguyen of the Board Clerk’s office, and Buena Park’s own grandfather figure, Art Brown. Rumors on the street suggest that Daly and fellow Democrat Brown have decided to swap endorsements since Daly has previously announced that he is running for Norby’s job.

Art Brown has staked his claim to the County Clerk job...
Tom Daly is mining for Buena Park votes while Art Brown has staked his claim to the County Clerk job...

It is also rumored that Norby is becoming anxious about his future employment prospects. So much so, in fact, that he was recently seen handing out his business cards to prospective employers in his office. While we can’t verify this, we have discovered this photo on his own website:

Let me know if anything opens up!


More Fun and Games At The Fullerton Observer

The hey, and the hey, and the hey, hey, hey!
Professor Frink speaks: with the insinuating and the smearing, and the hey, hey, hey!

Our dear pals at the Fullerton Observer are at it again. In their latest (August) edition someone named Kevin Frink used the “Council Shorts” feature to take a shot at one of Fullerton’s Friends –  Jack Dean check out page 4. The topic was the hearing on the Redevelopment expansion scam, and here’s what Mr. Frink had to say:

Several residents spoke in opposition

of the proposed action before the council/

redevelopment agency including Mr.

Kiker, Mr. DeWitt and Mr. Dean, the

later representing the Fullerton

Association of Concerned Taxpayers

(FACT), (a group responsible for

extremely dirty and misleading campaign

tactics in past city council and school board campaigns).

We suspect that Frink had coaching from his editor to insinuate a completely gratuitous and unsubstantiated claim about FACT’s political activities. The fact that this parenthetical attack had absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand and is based on on the Observer’s notion that to oppose any statist, pro-government union candidate is tantamount to a crime, just backs up our previous criticisms of the Observer as a hack-run shill for City Hall. Those who have defended the Observer as some sort of journalistic paragon take heed. This is the type of stoogery you are defending.

Meanwhile the Yellowing Sub sinks deeper.

Down periscope! Dive! Dive!
Down periscope! Dive! Dive!

P.S. Could Mr. “Kiker” have been our very own Travis Kiger? If so we have a celebrity in our midst. Travis was that you?

We’ve Got Mail!

Friends, we receive thought-provoking e-mails from time to time, and like the good Friends that we are, we like to share them with you.

We recently received an e-mail from Jeff Oderman, an attorney with the firm of Rutan & Tucker. Mr. Oderman happens to be the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency’s lawyer, and we’ve been pretty diligent about ripping the bandage off this suppurating wound; and one of our more assertive Harpoons even took a poke at him here. We’re not sure if Oderman is complaining about that particular post, or about our whole effort here at FFFF. Clarity of expression doesn’t appear to be a prerequisite for employment at R & T. In either case, Jeff seems none too happy.

Not Jeff Oderman...
Your Honor, I'd like to make one of those legal thingies..

Anyway, from Mr. Oderman:

—– Forwarded Message —-
From:“Oderman, Jeff” <[email protected]>
To:Fullertons Future <[email protected]>
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 5:41:27 AM
Subject:RE: [Friends For Fullerton’s Future] Jeff Oderman: The High Price of Bad Advice

You should check your facts before you publish. You’re entitled to your own opinions, of course, but there is almost not a single truthful factual statement in the entire blog.

Jeffrey M. Oderman
Rutan & Tucker, LLP
611 Anton Boulevard, 14th Floor
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714-641-3441 Direct
714-546-9035 Fax
[email protected]

We’re entitled to our own opinions? Well, Hell, Jeff, that’s mighty big of you. And we thank the boys at the Constitutional Convention, too.

But: “Almost not a single truthful factual statement in the entire blog.” Really? Almost everything is either a lie or wrong? Or both? Hoo Boy! Them’s fightin’ words.

As a firmly attached barnacle on the bottom of the SS Fullerton Redevelopment Agency, Oderman has a pretty sweet gig going, with zero accountability, and we’re pretty sure he wants to keep it that way. Good revenue for the firm and not much real work. But c’mon Jeff, you’re not going to protect your little sinecure by riling up the Friends.

Anyway, in the spirit of self-improvement and public information we have invited Mr. Oderman to favor us with “truthful and factual” corrections to any of our posts to which he objects. We promise to publish anything he sends our way. See, unlike the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency and its minions, we want open and unfettered dialogue – a discussion where the truth will out, and the political flacks and self-interested bureaucrats don’t always have the last, incompetent, and irresponsible word.

We also figure that the more they say the more holes they punch into the bottom of their leaky tub.

Preparing for the Redevelopment regatta...
Preparing for the Redevelopment Regatta...

To Blog or Not To Blog

I think I can, I think I can...

Back not long ago from Savannah, and now off to grab some work in NYC. Next month it’s another airport, another city, another hope that the little TV in the seat in front of me works. I hope the flight attendants don’t get snarky, and I wish one would give me the whole damned bottle of water rather than offering a little cup. I also hope the TSA doesn’t rifle through my bags and take things. So before I make friends with the seat tray table on Jet Blue, I wanted to mention my thoughts on Councilwoman Keller’s suggestion of a city blog.

If the city wants to blog, fine. There’s always room for more blogs in the blogosphere and there’s nothing anyone can do to prevent it. Doesn’t matter to me what format they take, but a blog without comments really isn’t a blog at all. What she describes is a Q&A page tacked onto their existing website.

After all, what makes blogging relevant and exciting is the participation of commenters who can add to a given topic.

For a very long time, it seems there was one primary means of public communication in this town. Whether or not you agreed with The Fullerton Observer, it was pretty much the only deal out there. There wasn’t a regular outlet for the mass dispersal of a differing viewpoint, so then it seems the slogan of Fullerton becomes, “More, more of the same!”  But one day,  along comes the blogosphere. Suddenly there’s a free and easy way to express oneself.  So the Admin starts it. He’s just a basic blogger, not a techie, but it doesn’t matter. He has about 3 decades worth of stuff to say.  More writers join. The sucker takes off. FFFF is horse with wings. It’s linking to other blogs and soon more and more people know about it and people can’t stop clicking on it because it’s saying so many things that people have felt  for a long time.

It’s like someone said, “Okay, you can talk now,” and a torrent came pouring forth. At times it’s articulate, other times it veers into the lunacy of The Three Stooges. It’s not always a happy, jolly place where the birds sing and everyone holds hands in a permanent Stepford trance. No, there are rants, pouts, and the occasional barfing onto the screen. In other words: welcome to the blogosphere. Once you start, there’s no way of stopping.

The lessons for everyone to remember, but most especially those who detract from the blogosphere, are that it’s incorrect to think blogs have less importance and impact than publications in print. It’s also faulty to believe that blogs exist separate from the rest of the world. In fact, they are a reflection of it. All blogs, including FFFF are a vital part of the community. Their voice is as valid  as any other.

Amplified Outdoor Music At The Santa Fe Depot


A few days ago a guy named “Alan” left a nasty-gram on our blog accusing me of being a hypocrite because I fought the amplified music being performed illegally at Roscoe’s Famous Deli while outdoor amplified music was being performed at the Santa Fe Depot.

Well, I really don’t mind being called a hypocrite since I’ve been a called a lot worse things, especially since I started this blog; but I do want Fullerton Friends to know what’s going on.

My brother George and I have a long-term lease on the historic Santa Fe Depot which we restored in 1993. We sublet the old baggage room to our sister Salma who runs the cafe there with her daughter. Salma rents the outdoor patio area (where the music is being played) from the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency. She also has a permit from the Fullerton Police Department for entertainment, although this is not relevant to our lease with her. Any pertinent violations of city code at this site should be cause for revocation of that permit – no argument from me or the Friends. If  anyone is aware of such violations please report them to the landlord – the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency.

And Alan – thanks for stopping by. We appreciate all points of view. Keep ’em coming!

Free Lights Bulbs For Our Friends


No strings attached!
Strings maybe attached....just kidding

Fullerton Electric Co. is giving away free energy efficient light bulbs. The Fullerton Electric Co. is committed to the future of clean and efficient electricity in Fullerton and Orange County.

“We simplify green electricity. Small companies like mine can help make a difference right here in Fullerton. We believe in being proactive.” Owner Don Holly.

If you would like a free light bulb, just email Don at: [email protected] It’s that simple!

Be sure to let Don know you are a Friend for Fullerton’s Future.


Roscoe’s Famous Nuisance Appealed: Showdown at City Council!

Well, somebody had to do it...

So we did it. Friends for Fullerton’s Future has appealed the appalling decision by the Fullerton Planning Commission to grant a bogus “special event” permit to Jack Franklyn’s “Roscoe’s” in order to legitimize his ongoing violation of the City ordinance regarding outdoor amplified music in the C-3 District.

Yeah, baby! Mixed use!
Yeah, baby! Mixed use!

We’ve been over this already so there’s no need to rehash all the details except to say that for some reason the City has been complicit in this ongoing permit-dodging scandal: no permits, no code enforcement, a cooked-up noise study, a phony special event permit. The list goes on and on. Now the City Council will be able to weigh in on the subject. We expect lots of chit-chat but the real issue is so simple: the law says you can’t do it! If you want to change the law, then do it. But not before all the necessary CEQA responsibilities are met. And that means an EIR!

Will it say what we want it to say?
We paid for it. Will it say what we want it to say?