A few weeks ago the Daily Titan published an article about how, in a few years, Fullerton is going to be running in the red. Deep red. City projections point to being upside down $19 million between 2024 and 2028. Now that’s not very good, is it?
Here’s the grim forecast:
Naturally, the article quickly devolved into a vehicle for advocating the hiring of more people and paying them more, replete with completely fraudulent comparative pay statistics. On hand were Ahmad Zahra and his helper Shana Charles to bleat about unfilled positions and service deficits, always the first opening salvo in a new tax proposal – like the one Zahra pushed hard in 2020.
Doug Chaffee, the senile Fourth District Supervisor of Orange County and a former Fullerton mayor contributed this gem to the conversation: “I think I would have been a little heavier on keeping our staff because they are the lifeblood of the city. They do the work.” Uh, huh. He failed to mention his own inept culpability in mismanaging Fullerton’s budget for years.
Hilariously, Zahra seems to think the phrase “economic development” has some sort of talismanic quality, as if there were anything City Hall could do to produce it. It never worked during the heyday of Redevelopment and it won’t do anything now. It’s just a shiny distraction that can’t even pay for the bumblers who are paid, and paid very well, to pursue it.
What economic development really means is a focus on increasing tax revenue to pay for the salaries and benefits of public employees and their bloated, guaranteed pensions. It would be refreshing if just once elected folks thought about less about raising revenue and more about living within budgetary constraints.
Mayor Fred Jung calmly opined that Fullerton has adequate reserves to handle the tsunami of red ink coming his way, but this is not reassuring. Fullerton went through the same crimson bath during the Fitzgerald/Chaffee/Quirk-Silva/Flory/Zahra regime, and anybody who thinks Fullerton is better off for the deficit spending it is a damn fool.
As a public service to Fullertonions, we here at FFFF like to keep folks apprised of who’s who in the political zoo.
And so, with 5 days left for November 2022 City Council election filing, we present those who have “pulled papers” in order to qualify for the ballot. Here’s the current list:
In D5 we see Shana Charles, whom we have already introduced, here. This individual is part of the academic healthy neighborhoods mafia who mobilize Latinas to babble about things about which they are completely ignorant. She is buddies with the egregious Ahmad Zahra, which tells you all you want to know about her. She will try to mobilize the hard-core lefties over CSUF way, but are there really that many of them?
Doctor Shana has an opponent, a person called Arnel Dino. Mr. Dino is on the Fullerton Planning Commission, a common stepping stone for the City Council. I’m not familiar with this individual but I will be.
Over in D3 we have Zahra himself, a guy who has tried to cash in regurgitating boohoo generalities and photobombing every picture taken in Fullerton. In 4 years he has accomplished nothing except hiding his own arrest and charge for battery and vandalism against a woman. Even his emergency vote to allow weed stores within 100 feet of a school was later rescinded.
A potential opponent for Zahra is a fellow named Oscar Valadez. I haven’t learned much about this man, but I have been told he works for his long-time Fullerton family business. That alone makes him supremely more qualified than Zahra who apparently has been unemployed since being on the City Council. A guy who pays taxes, employs people, and has a family? Hmm.
At the bottom of the list we find somebody named “Tony Castro” who pulled papers the very day after Mr. Valadez. That makes one wonder. Nobody I have spoken to knows anything about this individual which leads me to smell a rat. Or in this case, a rata. It’s an old trick to find a patsy to enter a political campaign to split off an opponents votes, in this case, possibly Latino voters. Who would benefit from this? Why, the ethically-challenged Zahra, of course. So we’ll be keeping an eye on Tony Castro and will let the Friends know what’s going on.
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.
We’ve asked our infamous commentator “T-REX” to share his ancient wisdom with our readers. After agreeing to provide T-REX with two large broom handles stolen from Fullerton Public Works, the Friends are proud to present the first in a regular series of dino related thoughts.
TODAY T-REX GET PHONE CALL FROM LADY AT HIGH SCHOOL.
LADY SAY MANY OOO-MANS WORRIES ABOUT “CONSERVATIVE PROVOCATEUR” AND SCHOOL FOR LITTLE OOO-MANS CLOSE EARLY.
T-REX THINK THIS SILLY. OOO-MANS USED TO WORRY ABOUT CONSERVATIVE ROCKS FALLING ON HEAD OR CONSERVATIVE SHARK EATING DANGLINGLY BITS.
SOMETIMES OOO-MANS WORRY ABOUT CONSERVATIVE DARK, BUT OOO-MANS MAKE CONSERVATIVE FIRE, SO NOT WORRY NO MORE.
MAYBE OOO-MANS WORRY TOO MUCH. MAYBE THEY FOCUS ON CONSERVATIVE READING AND CONSERVATIVE MATH FOR LITTLE ONES. MAYBE BEING TOO CONSERVATIVE AND CLOSING SCHOOL EARLY IS STUPID IDEA THAT TEACH LITTLE OOO-MANS TO BE AFRAID.
MAYBE YOU REACH OUT WITH THOSE BIG OOO-MANS ARMS INSTEAD OF HIDING IN CAVE OR CACKLING LIKE RABID CHICKEN.
The CSUF Republicans have invited controversial conservative pundit Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus Halloween evening, creating quite a bit of anxiety for CSU educrats, liberal activists and local police.
Why? Here’s what happened when Yiannopoulos tried to speak at UC Berkley earlier this year:
That’s a lot of potential chaos for Fullerton, and local agencies seem to be planning for the worst case scenario. Nearby Acacia Elementary School has announced that it will be sending kids home early that day. Some CSUF students have said they are afraid to go to school. The Fullerton Police Department is working with “local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies” to plan security for the event.
Perhaps stoking the flames, student and faculty groups have denounced the event and called for the school to prevent Yiannopoulos from speaking. These efforts seem to embolden Yiannopoulos’ followers, driving media attention leading up to the event and reinforcing his assertion that conservatives’ right to free speech on campus is being threatened.
Anyway, here’s hoping that Fullerton residents won’t have to rely on the FPD’s finesse in tactfully de-escalating a Halloween riot.
Recently we have been introduced to the mind of Ms. Mildred Garcia, current President of CSUF and champion of the downtrodden minorities everywhere. Her record in support of “diversity” is no doubt impeccable and she will surely find a place waiting for her in a properly diverse Heaven. In the meantime there’s that old saying about doing well by doing good.
President Garcia pulls in a tidy $450,000 per year courtesy of the taxpayers, and not only that, she, as befits her office, gets to live on a palatial estate – the old Chapman “El Dorado Ranch.” Here’s a shot not from the famous FFFF Spook Drone.
Of course the apologists for the social justice crusader will argue that the estate is needed to host fancy parties for all those high roller, big donors.
It would be interesting to see how Ms. Garcia characterizes her estate living on her income tax forms, but something tells me that this type of quotidian annoyance is taken care of by the taxpayers, including utilities, landscaping and painting that tennis court.
Of course that’s the real point of this post – not Garcia’s tired, old diversity screed pitched at 35,000 gullible kids, half of whom enter her university as unable to read a coherent sentence as Garcia is to construct one. The real point is to remember next time you hear someone boohooing about the underfunded CSU system to point the boohooer in the direction of Millie’s Mansion.
Yesterday a Friend passed along a letter from CSUF president Mildred Garcia, in which she uses her administrative position (and the state’s computer systems) to distribute a politically-charged screed to 40,000 impressionable CSUF students. We’ve reproduced it for your entertainment here:
Dear Titan family:
Welcome back and Happy New Academic Year! It’s wonderful to see our faculty, staff, and students breathing life back into our campus community. Each of you bring such energy to the University and a love for teaching, learning, and listening that empowers all Titans to Reach Higher in our classrooms and throughout our diverse communities.
We are at a moment in history when the marketplace of ideas that we at Cal State Fullerton promote and protect through equity, inclusion, and civil discourse has the power to heal and lead a wounded nation.
The last time we were all together, we witnessed the transformative power of upholding these and other core tenets with what was arguably the greatest achievement of our now 60-year history: the commencement of our largest graduating class — nearly 11,000 diverse Titans, the majority of whom were low-income students and/or the first in their family to put on a college graduation cap.
For years, I’ve made it a practice to read what’s written on the backs of those caps; I find the messages not only inspiring, but also indicative of the collective mood of our nation through the words of the young people who will soon be leading it.
As a woman of color, a Godmother and Tía, a proud American, and most of all, as president of a University founded on the very principles of equity and inclusion that have recently come under attack in ways this nation hasn’t seen in half a century, I am proud that at this past commencement a rising tide of peaceful resistance was evident in the words of our graduates’ speeches, in the spirit of their families’ cheers, and of course, on the backs of their graduation caps.
“Nevertheless,” the back of one young woman’s cap said, “she persisted.”
“Love Trumps Hate,” another said in rainbow letters.
“Mis padres cruzaron la frontera,” one read in Spanish, “para que yo pudiera cruzar este escenario.” “My parents crossed the border so I could cross this stage.”
These American themes of justice and hope in the face of bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia reminded me of a movement I took part in during my own youth, and given the progress we made as a nation in the decades since, I find it tragic that someone can look at a mob of neo-Nazis chanting hateful slogans on a college campus and claim that some of them are “very fine people,” or that the murderous violence their hatred sparked can be blamed on “many sides.”
This kind of language and leadership has unearthed a dark reality and emboldened the worst among us. Most recently, this culminated in Charlottesville, and when I saw a diverse group of student counter-protestors huddled together in the face of an oncoming sea of white supremacists, I couldn’t help but think of our own courageous students and a quote that was central to my Convocation Address last week: “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
Fellow Titans, just as that time had come for Martin Luther King, Jr. when he first said those words in 1967, it has come for us now. As the faculty, staff, and students of the largest university in the most diverse system of higher education in the country, it is time for us to wield the power of our collective voice to let the world know that we stand firmly and proudly on the right side of history with our immigrant brothers and sisters who made this country great long before it was a campaign slogan; with our undocumented students who have nothing to do with how they came to America and everything to do with what it means to be an American; with our Muslim faculty, staff and students who face travel bans that may impede their work and education; with African American students around the nation who attend classes in buildings named after Confederate generals who fought to keep them out of those buildings; with our LGBTQ community who fear losing their well-earned rights; and with our Caucasian Titans who remain deeply embedded in Cal State Fullerton’s definition of diversity and whose presence and voice is integral to who we are and what we aim to become.
As a public university that fosters a learning environment in which diverse perspectives from both sides of the political aisle are central to our mission, we are in a unique position to lead the country during this pivotal moment of history. We will do so by upholding the First Amendment rights enshrined in our constitution while also supporting those who may be hurt, scared, or offended by that speech, recognizing that our rich diversity is our most prized asset and that intolerance in any form is an affront to all of us. Paramount to this endeavor is safeguarding the physical safety of all faculty, staff, and students by providing a violence-free academic environment grounded in the mutually respectful exchange of ideas from all sides.
We may face offensive language from individuals with whom we strongly disagree. Our commitment to uphold their right to speak should be matched only by our determination to challenge them through civil discourse, peaceful protest, and the hope that education — the truest and longest-standing cure for hatred and violence — sparks a transformation in them that could be surmised with a quote from Nelson Mandela on the back of one of our graduate’s caps:
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
Welcome home, fellow Titans. Let’s embrace the work ahead, the challenges our nation faces, and most importantly, each other.
OK, we get it. Diversity good, political violence bad. Who can disagree with that?
As you scroll through the anti-Trump rhetoric, you may notice one glaring omission. Garcia neglected to denounce the hatred and political violence that occurred on her own campus, by her own employee, Professor Eric Canin. If you recall, Canin was recently allowed to return to teaching after being briefly suspended for assaulting a student over a political disagreement.
Looking back, it seems that Garcia has never uttered a word publicly about the attack. Her failure to acknowledge and denounce this specific threat to the her students certainly calls into question her ability to “heal and lead” any kind of transformation. In that context, her entire diatribe is both insincere and hypocritical.
But hey, why focus on addressing violence inflicted by your own employee when you can talk about Nazis instead?
Remember that CSUF professor who was accused of assaulting a student during a heated political argument in February? He actually managed to get himself fired over the incident… no small feat for a government employee. Surely the school’s careful and expensive termination of Eric Canin would stick, particularly after multiple investigations confirmed that he did indeed strike a student, right?
Here’s the article from the Daily Titan spelling out the re-instatement. You have admire the nonsensical gobbledygook with which a system created and designed to protect public employees can shroud some simple facts, i.e. in some unfortunate manner Canin’s hand made contact with someone’s face.
It looks like an unrepentant Dr. Canin will return to CSUF for the fall semester. Students wary of Canin’s penchant for pugilism may take comfort knowing that Canin’s physical presence on campus will be severely limited, as he has been consigned to teaching two online classes. Ironically one of the classes is called “Culture and Communication” wherein I suppose Canin does not espouse physical rebuke as any sort of effective communication tool.
On Saturday the city will shut down several public streets for an event called the “March for Science.” It’s the local version of a nationwide protest of federal budget cuts to scientific research. While the event organizers claim that it is non-partisan, critics say its the nerdy version of yet another anti-Trump protest.
Naturally the city bureaucrats were eager to accommodate to the public’s expression via a gathering on the city hall lawn and a march through downtown streets, right? Of course not. The City of Fullerton declined the assembly. Organizers were told to come up with $12,000 for city fees, a $2 million insurance policy and provide 90 days notice before starting the march.
What were these fees supposed to pay for? $8,000 went towards some sort of a traffic control plan and $4,000 was earmarked for police fees. Specifics costs were unavailable, but we can read between the lines: it’s $12,000 to put up plastic barricades and have some cops stand around, collecting overtime.
The ACLU got involved and lit up the city for charging excess fees they claim were intended to “discourage community members from exercising their First Amendment rights.”
Predictably, the ACLU communique prompted a change of heart at city hall. City management found a way to drastically reduce fees to a mere $175. The march will proceed as planned, without most of the ridiculously expensive bureaucratic requirements.
The moral of this story, of course, is that city hall’s default reaction to 1st amendment activity is to put up artificial financial/administrative barricades and prevent the unwashed masses from organizing and criticizing government. Around here, if you can’t bring in a lawyer to assert your rights, you’re nobody. That sounds familiar.
On the other hand, I am reminded of a peaceful Fullerton march that occurred in 2011 without lawyers, city approval, plastic barricades, insurance policies, traffic control, fat cops on overtime or any sort of certificate of authenticity. How did that happen?