College Town – Still Not Ready for Prime Time

 

An appropriate mascot

It’s back! Thanks to our tireless activist Joshua Ferguson, who snapped this picture up during a recent visit to City Hall this morning:


College Town originally came up before the Planning Commission on February 10, 2016.  Opposition was so strong to the plan the opposition’s “Our Town Not College Town” signs started springing up faster than mushrooms and the Planning Commission meeting was packed with angry residents opposed to the proposal (full disclosure: I played a significant part in organizing the opposition to that plan). In the end, five members of the Planning Commission agreed that adding 10,000 residents while diverting even more traffic to Chapman by closing a portion of Nutwood was a ridiculously ill conceived the idea and the proposal was tabled.

So what is the new and presumably improved plan for College Town? Your guess is as good as mine, but the early picture isn’t encouraging.

See that website on the picture? The one that says www.collegetownfullerton.com? Go ahead and click the link. Here’s a screen capture of what you found when you checked as of todays’ date:

All of your Nutwoods are belonging to us

According to Google’s English/ Japanese translator the phrase above translates to “Chat lady’s job contents and rewards.” Your guess is as good as mine what that actually means, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean “so tell us what you think about College Town.”

So how did this happen? Apparently, the City registered collegetownfullerton.com back in 2011, but they apparently allowed the domain name to lapse, allowing Chat lady here to swoop in an take over the domain around September 15, 2016.

Everybody supports College Town! Pay raises for everyone!!

A little personal anecdote: back in the 2012-2013 timeframe, the City complied with the notice requirement by sending out notice for around a dozen meetings with a smaller number of invitees (just 2 or so blocks at a time would be notified of each meeting) rather than inviting everyone in the affected area to one single meeting. The “informational” meetings would then be set up in the Chapman Park clubhouse, and they would set up for a full house, even though only a few people would actually show up, which the City used to create the impression that opposition to the concept was non-existent.

As infuriating as that strategy was, I had to at least admire its ingenuity. Personally I would have preferred that the City and Cal State Fullerton actually listened to residents before trying to shove their little sandwich down our throats a second time, but it is at least comforting to see that the Ernst Blofeld-level strategist behind the original campaign has been replaced by Dr. Evil. Off to a heck of a start.

CSUF Republicans allege professor-on-student assault at Trump protest

Members of the Cal State Fullerton GOP club say that an anthropology professor physically attacked students yesterday during an on-campus clash with anti-Trump protestors. The Register and Breitbart have the stories.

It’s too early to tell if any of this is true. But that doesn’t mean we can’t tell you what will happen next.

CSUF administration will announce that they’ve called in an “independent investigator” who is really just an on-call attorney, hired to minimize the school’s liability and facilitate the quiet payoffs of any lawsuits.

The employee will be placed on paid administrative leave until the media and the students become tired of silence and move on to something else. Some sort of internal investigation may occur, but the findings will be hidden from the public and any students who were harmed.

The CSUF police force, part of the same beaurocratic structure that is responsible for this madness, will ultimately find no reason to press criminal charges upon their coworker.

During this excercise, pretense of concern for student safety will be audibly reiterated, but realistically disgarded. The administrators will focus all of their energy balancing the nearly unlimited employment rights of potentially abusive faculty with their need to protect the reputation of the institution that allowed this assault to occur.

Nevertheless, we persevere. Stick around, friends. We’ll keep a close eye on this one.

A Bitter Benefactor

Here’s something funny. CSUF benefactor and Mihaylo business school namesake Steven Mihaylo got into a Twitter tussle with students over college debt and the lack of respect for their elders. Mihaylo ultimately threatened to redirect future donations to CSUF as a result of profane provocations from students. Daily Titan has the story.

Of course, there’s nothing new about an old guy mocking the generations that came after him. Particularly an old guy with a Trump hard-on and his own statue. But college students (of any generation) are not really known for respecting the opinions of their elders (or their bronze busts.) Mihaylo’s indignation and demand for reverence from angsty college students shows that the guy might be out of touch with his own cause.

Local Troublemaker Makes Cover of OC Weekly

Our “millionaire many times over” admin makes the big time last week with a cover story by Brandon Fergeson in the OC Weekly. Here’s how it starts:

Tony Bushala first met Manuel Ramos more than 20 years ago when Bushala played drums with Teatro Cometa, a theater group that performed bilingual one-act plays in Fullerton in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Ramos, who was about 10, was the son of one of the actresses; his uncle, Bushala’s best friend at the time, directed the troupe. Occasionally, Ramos would sit quietly in the audience and watch rehearsals.

Bushala, now 53 and a millionaire many times over, eventually moved on from drumming to managing his father’s extensive properties in Fullerton and elsewhere, becoming a real-estate developer and a vocal opponent of city government. In 2006, Bushala was riding his bicycle when he bumped into Ramos, who was now a hulking, overweight guy in his mid-30s, dressed in the uniform of the Fullerton Police Department.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Ron Paul is Coming to Fullerton TONIGHT!

Well, how about that? The only presidential candidate who opposes imperialist wars, big bank bailouts, the failed drug war, unaccountable federal bureaucracies and the constant creep of government into our personal lives will be addressing a large crowd at Cal State Fullerton tonight (Wednesday) at 7:00 pm.

The event has been moved to CSUF’s Titan Stadium to accommodate the large crowd that is expected. Go here to get a voucher that is supposed to get you in as early as 6:00 pm.

The El Dorado Ranch – Is it Public or Private?

A few weeks ago I gave you a glimpse of the old Chapman property that houses CSUF President Milton Gordon on the public dime up in the hills of Fullerton. I decided to take a spin past the old ranch to see what it looks like.

Clearly this sign warns potential visitors to the El Dorado Ranch that it is “PRIVATE PROPERTY”. However, the sign lies! Or rather the person who placed the sign there is either a liar or is misinformed. The Grant Deed below makes it clear that the property has been granted to a public agency which places the property in the hands of California residents.

So, despite the very official albeit old and faded sign, you and I own the temporary residence of Milton A. Gordon, President of Cal State Fullerton whose salary exceeds $300,000 per year. With all that money he saves living rent free it’s no wonder he left the light on for us.

Cal State Fullerton’s Pension Tsunami Shell Game and Our Kid’s Future

Titan waste

After showing you how management lives in the lap of luxury last week, I received an email from a Friend who brought to my attention a Cal State University system business practice that forces out qualified, lower paid part-time lecturers and untenured faculty, and brings back higher paid, semi retired faculty. The faculty and management at our own Cal State Fullerton know this practice as FERPing. Just the sound of the acronym sounds like something they should apologize for and we haven’t even said what exactly FERPing is.

The Faculty Early Retirement Program, as the name implies, allows faculty to retire early and then come right back to work. On the surface it creates a lower fiscal burden on local university funding which looks like a cost savings for guys like Milton A. Gordon, who gets $302,042 per year while living rent-free at the El Dorado Ranch. The reality is that it costs taxpayers and students more than if the schools utilized the lower paid, part-time faculty who are otherwise forced out under FERP.

Retirement never looked so lucrative. While everyone else must take furloughs or are getting laid off outright, the FERPers receive FREE parking, ALL of their retirement benefits, and 50% of their last salary. That’s part of the reason why your kid’s tuition continues to rise and classes are getting canceled. This Cal State double-dipping program is brought to you by the public employee unions as a result of the spineless leader who is content to live in his rent-free mansion with an inflated salary and the entitlement attitude of senior public employees. Some FERPers have been milking us for more than 5 years!

Here is an example of the compensation structure that FERPers use to determine just how good retirement might be:

Age: 63 1/2 years (CalPERS retirement age percentage factor: 2.5%)
Length of Service: 27 years
Highest Salary: $87,500(during any 12 month period of CalPERS covered employment)(minus $133.33 monthly deduction for Social Security = $1,599.96)
Calculation: 27 years x .025 (age factor percentage) = 67.5% of highest salary
Estimated CalPERS retirement salary: $85,900 x .675 (age factor percentage) = $57,982
Plus estimated FERP salary: (half of faculty base $70,800) $35,400
Total estimated retirement salary plus FERP salary: $93,382

It’s time to wean the leaches off our sweet cream before all we are left with is sour cream for our kids. Email Milton Gordon at [email protected] or you can call him in his CSUF public employee office at (657) 278-3456. Tell Milton Gordon it’s time to act fiscally responsible with our tax dollars.

Below are some links I stumbled over which helped put FERPing in perspective for me:

http://www.fullerton.edu/Emeriti/preretirement.htm
http://collegelife.freedomblogging.com/2009/08/13/cal-state-fullerton-abruptly-begins-canceling-classes/7103/
http://www.calstate.edu/csuleader/2004/040511.htm
http://www.csufresno.edu/aps/forms_policies/retirement_ferp.shtml
http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/aa/personnel/retirement/ferp/

Cal State Fullerton President – Lifestyles of Our Rich Public Employees at the El Dorado Ranch

“It’s good to be king!” Indeed, if you are Cal State Fullerton’s president, Milton Gordon, you are living the good life at the old Chapman family property known as the El Dorado Ranch at 225 West Union Avenue. Gordon’s residence is a sprawling 4+ acre palatial estate sitting high in the Fullerton hills overlooking the commoners eking out a living below and no longer appears to be a working ranch despite its name.

The 8+ room mansion may be slightly dated from the 1950s but the age is compensated for by the 8 bathrooms!   The nearly 6,000-sqft palace was a gift to Cal State Fullerton back in 1989 from C.J. Chapman, Jr., Mary Anne Baine, Elizabeth E. Bowman.  They also gave the Cal State Fullerton Foundation $159,000 for maintenance.  Currently, this enormous public property is valued at $3,351,724 for tax assessment purposes (although the property is exempt from actually incurring property taxes).  I would guess the value to be more like $4,000,000 in a “normal” economy.  The secluded compound is an excellent destination for Fullerton residents and tourists alike to visit although there is no formal docent to guide you.

The real kicker is that the Chapmans stipulated in an agreement with the State that we, the taxpayers, have to house the university president there and maintain the houses and property.  Notice that I said “houses”?  That’s because there is also a guest house on the property to house the president’s assistant.  Nice perk for being an assistant to a university president.

It would have been nice if the Chapmans would have sold the property out-right and used the proceeds for a scholarship endowment.  The money would go to those who need it the most.  Milton A. Gordon is among the highest paid public employees earning $302,042 according to the Sacramento Bee!  I guess it’s hard to afford a Fullerton home on $302,042 per year.

The Chapman family has given and given and given to Orange County residents in one way or another, for many years.  We have all benefited from them in several ways.  Every time I have someone from out of town visit me at my college, I have to specify “Chapman Avenue in ORANGE, NOT FULLERTON.”  Then when I have out-of-towners visit mom, I have to specify, “Chapman Avenue in FULLERTON, NOT ORANGE.”  They still get it wrong…  In 1954 the Chapman’s were nice enough to build that nice university bearing their name where your son or daughter can attend for $18,750 per semester.

Here is an interesting fact: Milton A. Gordon was named CSU Fullerton president in August, 1990. So it seems that the Chapman’s and Gordon timed it just right to get the El Dorado Ranch in the hands of Gordon.  Gordon being a mathematician could do the math and see the sweet deal, leading me to wonder what more there might be to this back story.  For Gordon, it’s still good to be king!

Fullerton Fossils Flog Fabulous Fossils

Recently CSUF President Milton Gordon appeared at the BoS chambers to memorialize the fact CSUF is going to be the custodian of the County’s vast bone collection of long-deceased beasts. Whether this collection includes the remains of such Pleistocene creatures as Harrieticus Weiderisus or Gaddius Vasquezii is unknown.

fossils
Norby and Gordon share pre-Holocene memories...

We note that Dr. Gordon appears a bit bemused. Let’s hope he found his way home.

CSUF FACULTY HOUSING PROJECT HAS EGG ON FACE

A room with a view

It was supposed to be “affordable” housing for CSUF faculty. Well affordable to them – not to the taxpayers who paid for it, we presume. Last winter we ran a post about the “University Heights” boondoggle, and noted that the place was a ghost town. It was already open to any government worker who wanted a house and we wondered aloud when it would be open to anybody.

Living here could stunt your intellectual growth. Not to mention your equity.

The story took another turn last week when it came out that nine of the units were just going to be leased out, perhaps ending any hope of ever establishing a permanent egghead foothold on Elk Hill. The architect of this disaster, one Bill Dickerson of the CSUF Housing Authority, came out from under cover long enough to put his finger on the problem: in a declining real estate market nobody wanted to commit to a cracker box of sticks and stucco on a ground lease. Seems the academics had enough faith in capitalism to shun the slings and arrows of outrageous socialism themselves; and the educrats are left holding their own bag. The Heights sales agent also seems to be pinning his hopes on the next real estate boom.

That's not very good, is it?

As an amusing aside we note that the author of this story was our own beloved stuffed toy and Wurlitzer prize winner, Barbara Giasone, whose paper got the headline wrong – indicating that the units were to go on sale . Not that it really matters. Also, Fullerton Councilman Dick Jones who admitted that he “worked very hard” to bring about this debacle hasn’t said much about it lately.

Jones performs Shakespeare before an appreciative audience...

There is an object lesson here of course that will no doubt be lost on educrats and befuddled local electeds: stay out of the housing business and kill policies that encourage tax-payer purchased housing subsidies for public employees.