Our 4th District County Supervisor, Doug “Bud” Chaffee probably figured he’d receive some token Republican competition in a re-election campaign this year. Another dud opponent in a district going blue for good.
What he probably didn’t expect was competition from members of his own party. FFFF has already chronicled the backroom ambitions of Ahmad Zahra whose only legitimate interest is getting name recognition.
Well, now he has a another opponent: Democrat Sunny Park of Buena Park’s City Council. Ms. Park has put out notices ‘n everything, so it’s a real deal. Whether she too, is in it for name recognition, is highly likely. There are less than 5 months to the June 7 Primary so good luck, Sunny.
The fact that Chaffee is being challenged by members of his own tribe suggest a deep dissatisfaction with his feeble presence at the County where he seems to be nothing but a puppet of Republican crook, Supervisor Andrew Do. Chaffee’s vulnerable.
And finally, an amusing coincidence vis-a-vis Park and Chaffee. During her first campaign Sunny was busted stealing campaign signs pronouncing her a carpetbagger; and of course Bud Chaffee’s wifie, Paulette, was caught stealing signs naming her a carpetbagger, too!
Sunny lawyered up and took her case to a jury who hanged itself 10-2 for acquittal. Pilferin’ Paulette pleaded guilty to petty theft, paid Tony Bushala $20, and did some piddling “community service” which she may or may not have used for photo ops.
It must be real hard when you have to spend all your time brandishing you brand, especially when you’ve been in office three years and accomplished nothing. What to do? Run for higher office!
And so Fullerton’s own Ahmad Zahra is said to be setting his sights on our old friend, lackluster 4th District County Supervisor Doug Chaffee, whose accomplishments down on the County Farm are as threadbare as Zahra’s on our City Council.
Word has trickled up to our Political Snooping Unit that Zahra has been actively seeking support and endorsements for such a quixotic effort. How this will work out will remain to be seen, but it is rumored that the Democratic Party of OC isn’t real happy with Chaffee, who gives every appearance of being the abject and senile OC Board of Supervisor Chair, Andrew Do.
I can see all sorts of amusement value in this sort of thing and maybe it will come to pass. It seems like an effort designed to promote his name for the Fall 2020 Fullerton council election. Chaffee has money and can always get lot’s more from County lobbyists and other assorted bagmen. And he, like the other Supervisors abuse the law about using public money for political outreach.
Zahra, on the other hand, has no money, no job in which to earn any, and except for his few hundred social media dupes, no following. Not much hope there, but hope proverbially springs eternal.
Chaffee has accomplished as little at the County as he did on the Fullerton City Council, which is to say, nothing. But at least his record with law enforcement is more or less unimpeachable – if you don’t count helping his wife stash stolen campaign signs. Zahra has a bigger problem.
Arrested and charged with battery and vandalism in September, 2020, Zahra says the case was dropped. But a leak out of the DAs office presents the story of a guilty plea, community service and a record wiped clean and/or sealed. That last part can be disputed, but the first part is undeniable even thought the Fullerton cops and City Attorney Dick Jones have suppressed evidence of the arrest and booking – just like they did with the case of former drunk driving City Manager, Joe Felz.
Well, on the positive side one or more Democrat challengers to Chaffee’s shaky throne might induce a decent conservative (if such a creature hasn’t disappeared with the unicorns and the hippogriffs) into the mix and keep Chaffee from getting 50% of the primary vote, causing a General Election runoff.
Last Wednesday, Elizabeth Hansburg quit the Fullerton Planning Commission.
FFFF has already introduced Ms. Hansburg to the Friends, noting her involvement in the drive to cover Fullerton in penitentiary-like apartment blocks. Her “non-profit” is used to provide Astroturf support for developers of huge housing projects and of course donations from said developers are always welcome.
Ms. Hansburg was also part of the shadowing clan that developed a new housing plan that almost nobody knew anything about until it was conceptually presented the the City Council. The idea was (and is) to achieve the preposterous new housing unit needs count – 13,000 -proffered by SCAG, the Southern California Association of Government – an unelected agency run by and for bureaucrats and their Big Ideas.
Well, anyhow, Hansburg has had enough. Here’s her petulant good-bye speech at the end of the meeting in which she attacks the City Council, bemoans the loss of her beloved fellow 5th Columnists in City Hall, and of course praises the contemptible camera hog and credit thief, Ahmad Zahra.
Self-righteous, indignant, know-it-all. Hansburg went out of her way to promote God-awful projects that were intrusive, obnoxious, and promised a tsunami of negative impacts on our neighborhoods including more parking disasters.
Good riddance. This is exactly the sort of person that causes regular folks to be wary of self-proclaimed “experts” and the bureaucracies they love so dearly. Now she can peddle her services to developers free from legitimate charges of conflict of interest.
Some folks might think that continuing conversation about Jesus Quirk-Silva’s and Ahmad Zahra’s aquaponic farm/event center scheme would be like smacking a dead mackerel.
Well, here at FFFF we believe it’s never a bad idea to remind the public of hare-brained proposals made by bureaucrats and supported by bobble-headed politicians.
So to recap: last spring the Fullerton City Council deliberated on a scheme to create an aquaponic farm on the site of the abandoned Union Pacific Park site. The problem was that the exclusive negotiating deal was with a guy who had no financial wherewithal and proposed an event center on the site – just like he had done in Anaheim and Aliso Viejo. Staff even dredged up a last minute “partner” to sell the deal. The idea was rejected, but not for lack of trying.
And we have just received word from down south in Aliso Viejo about the negative impacts of an identical operation there, Renewable Farms, run by the same people.
Let’s hear from a MV resident to a concerned Fullerton resident:
My name is Dena LeCave and I am a resident of Aliso Viejo. While looking into information and press on Renewable Farms I came across a story from the Fullerton Observer regarding the aforementioned. I wish to congratulate you on terminating your contract with Renewable Farms. As a long time resident of the city of Aliso Viejo, 20+ years, I am astonished and horrified by what our city council has allowed to happen to my community, neighborhood and particularly our quality of life since Renewable Farms started hosting wedding receptions on the vacant land behind our home. We live less than 50 yards from the event center for Renewable Farms and they host weddings every single Saturday night and have been doing so since May. The noise, lights, music and constant yelling goes on for 7+ hours. The city has done little to alleviate the problem and has instead hamstringed us by making these events private by the City, meaning we have almost no recourse in getting them to quiet down. I do not wish to take up your time, I’m sure you’re quite busy, but if you would like to further discuss our situation you may email me back or call me. Thank you, and have a good day.
Ms. Le Cave’s words have the ring of truth, all right, and they certainly would have applied to the proposal in Fullerton – problems that show the complete lack of concern, disdain even, that our staff shows for this neighborhood. And then of course there was the attitude shown by Quirk-Silva and Zahra about the residents who would have suffered the negative impacts of this proposal, without so much as a by-your-leave. Their current concern over public input on the park site is extremely recent and undisputedly hypocritical.
And of course the deal would have illegally converted a public park into a private, fenced and gated place to hold events, and incidentally an aquaponic facility, effectively giving away parkland – something our City Attorney Dick Jones just got caught approving in Westminster. Of course there was no parking, no business plan and nothing but a site plan to recommend it to the Council, so naturally Quirk-Silva and Zahra latched on to it like a couple of lamprey eels.
We here at FFFF have never thought of Jesus Quirk Silva as a very bright fellow, but he seems to have learned at least one thing on the Fullerton City Council. And that lesson came courtesy of former councilwoman-for-hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald.
That lesson is simple: it’s more fun to try to peddle influence based on your elected position than it is to hold down a day job.
And so Mr. Quirk Silva has embarked on a new potential career path – away from teaching multiplication to slack-jawed pre-pubescents, and into the exiting realm of lobbying local governments.
Quirk Silva’s “employer” is Adan Ortega, of Ortega Associates, who you may remember as the desperate Fullerton MWD director who was replaced by Fred Jung, and who then tried to get appointed as a representative from the city of San Fernando.
I fully expect Quirk-Silva to attempt to follow in the footsteps of Fitzgerald, although he can barely utter a coherent sentence.
Now why does any of this matter, really? Because government ought to be about governing, not about being a bagman between special interests, other lobbyists, developers, and your colleagues on local boards and councils.
As a Fullerton Councilman, Quirk Silva doesn’t have that much juice, but he could be pulled and persuaded very easily. More importantly, his wife, Sharon Quirk Silva, is a state Assemblywoman, and as such actually does command respect for how she might be able to move something along in Sacramento.
And now back to Ortega. FFFF sources have indicated that he was attempting to break into the legalized marijuana biz here in Fullerton as a lobbyist, but got caught up in the interminable incompetence of the last city council, and the reluctance of the new council to go down the happy MJ trail. The same sources suggest that a cartel of cannabis interests from Long Beach is still very interested in reviving the issue in Fullerton.
The Jesus has been a long-time, big-time cheerleader for legalized dispensaries in Fullerton, so there are several loose strings as yet not quite tied together.
Starring former Fullerton City Manager, Joe Burt Felz who got drunk on Election Night 2016, drove over a tree, and tried to escape from his own cops. There is something sort of pathetic about Felz, errand boy and water bearer for Jennifer Fitzgerald, saying over and over that his turn blinker wasn’t working and how he became befuddled, until one of his own policemen tells him to stop yammering about it.
As one of the cops said: “it’s the Chief’s call.” Subsequently Chief Danny “Gallahad” Hughes lied to the Council about the affair even as Felz tried to quietly pay for the tree and move on.
The City of Fullerton tried for years to keep this under wraps because it implicated our MADD rewarded police themselves in incompetent and illegal activity. FFFF sued the City to get the videos, and in retribution two bloggers were personally sued by the City for legal activity, a lawsuit that cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands and that finally exonerated David Curlee and Joshua Ferguson.
After a night of election celebrating, former Fullerton City Manager, Joe Felz, drove home drunk as the proverbial skunk, ran off the road and over a tree, then tried to drive off before being apprehended by his own cops.
The ensuing cover up cost a cop his job, gave the FPD yet another black eye, and eventually entangled the City in a losing a retaliatory lawsuit against FFFF and bloggers Joshua Ferguson, David Curlee.
Partial videos have finally been released, although the dash cam videos have not. Of course this is not a surprising omission given that the cop in charge at the scene -Sergeant Corbett – did his level best to obscure images the still-inebriated Felz; the dash cams would undoubtedly show the the not-too flattering images of Felz hit-and-run and his comical attempt to escape the long arm of the law.
Parking in Cal State Fullerton is a mess, and it seems that even efforts to alleviate it (like the opening of two parking garages) only makes the situation worse.
Back in 2016, when the City was busy pushing College Town, the promise of addressing the parking problem was the method the city used to try to overcome local resistance (even if their plan amounted to nothing more than the creation of a “Parking Management Plan”, that is, a plan to plan to deal with the problem). Even in the fall of 2021, with reduced attendance on campus due to COVID 19, the campus is offering free parking as an incentive for people to get vaccinated. And when the pandemic finally ends, we will likely see the return of off campus student parking as far south as Orangethorpe and as far East as Raymond.
With the massive parking shortfall, the idea of approving a high density development with almost no parking would be an absolute non-starter. Or, at least, it would be in a sane world.
On September 29, 2021, the Fullerton Planning Commission approved, on a 3-2 vote, the application of Core Spaces to re-zone the property at 2601-2751 East Chapman Avenue (the portion of Chapman running East of Commonwealth to the 57 Freeway) and a allow for the development of a mixed use 420 unit, apartment complex consisting of studio and one through four bedroom units.
All told, there will be an anticipated 1,251 new residents in the City of Fullerton once approved and built. The total number of parking spaces for those new residents is just 273 (with additional spaces for guest parking and the ground floor mixed use). And, no, I did not forget to add a zero.
This isn’t even remotely close to the parking requirements set forth in Table 15.17.070.H of the Fullerton Municipal Code, which requires 1 ¾ spaces for each studio apartment, 2 for each one bedroom, 2 ½ for each two bedroom and 3 for each 3 bedroom apartment. The total required parking spaces should be in excess of one thousand, and its not even a third of that.
Given the absolutely massive shortfall in available spaces, the Planning Commission should have had an extremely solid rationale for their decision. Unfortunately, the decision amounts to little more than the claim that caring about parking spaces is “boomer” thinking, and totally, like, not with it, man:
The notion that the driving a car is a thing of the past will come as a surprise to most of the residents of Fullerton near the Cal State Fullerton campus (myself included), not to mention the students at Cal State Fullerton themselves, who are still clogging up the streets near campus even with the temporary reduction in in-person attendance due to COVID protocols
Pictured: The cars that today’s College Students totally don’t drive.
Currently, over 70% of college age Americans hold a driver’s license and, while that number is lower than in decades past, it still amounts to far more students who will want to drive than parking spaces being offered. In fact, if just half of the licensed students in the Core Communities project choose to drive on campus (a generously low assumption), the proposed parking structure is still about 250 parking spaces below what would be needed, and that’s just for the residents; the available space for the lower level commercial development is grossly underutilized and pretty much destined to failure, as the number of spaces are less than the property across the street owned by Cameron Irons. Incidentally, Mr. Irons was present at the Planning Commission meeting and he insisted the number of parking spaces was perfectly adequate for this development even while acknowledging the same amount of commercial spaces for his own venture doomed the restaurants in his building to failure.
Core Communities insists that they would not be proposing such a low number of spaces if they didn’t believe it would work, but their optimistic appraisals are contradicted by their own prior developments. For example, their facebook page for the Hub at Tuscon basically advises students to not even bother asking for a lease for a parking space as they are all booked and have been for years. Students at the Hub at East Lansing have also complained about the lack of parking (among other issues). And both of those complexes were built in neighborhoods with very high walkability scores. East Fullerton is still highly car dependent, there’s no bars, minimal shopping options, and not nearly enough restaurants to accommodate the students during meal hours.
The Planning Commissioners seem to be aware of this but insist that this is fine, the creation of this development without adequate spaces is a good thing because it will force kids to leave their cars at home.
And there you have it. This Hub project is nothing more than enforced social engineering masquerading as free enterprise. Creation of this development without adequate parking isn’t fair to the students who need the spaces, nor is it fair to the resident who will be forced to deal with the additional vehicles. And it is contrary to the law, meaning the exception being created is not fair to every other apartment complex builder in this City (hell, even Red Oak, which itself had fewer spaces than required by law, is a virtual parking lot compared to this development). This project benefits nobody except the people who intend to build it and it should be rejected by the City Council on November 2.
Our City bureaucrats want to waste $2,000,000 in public funds to build a trail from Highland Avenue to Independence Park along the old Union Pacific right-of-way. The idea they say, is to link the Transportation Center to “parks.”Of course we all know that the existing “trail” east of Highland doesn’t even make it to the Transportation Center, and is deficient as a multimodal facility; and we know that the Poison Park that nobody outside City Hall ever wanted is a moribund, attractive nuisance with such a sketchy history that the City has fenced it off for 15 years.
And recently a murder occurred at the end of the so-called trail, raising legitimate questions about the safety of future trail users, if there are any.
One of our critics has tenaciously clung to the theory that a trail will attract users, thereby mitigating the safety issues along this swath of industrial buildings, junk yards, cut-rate auto related businesses, metal plating and asphalt concerns. Naturally our critic, like all knee-jerk liberals applied some theory to a practical situation he knew nothing about.
And so, Friends, I am sharing some current images of the right-of-way, to illustrate the idiocy of building a rec trail through this area. Enjoy