Comment of the Month, Plus A Taxpayer Funded Movie!

Here is a recent comment from one of our Friends, Just Off Euclid, in response to watching another one of those super-expensive “State of the City” videos that we buy to make City Hall and the politicians therein, look good.

Thanks for sharing that nauseating bit of municipal self-promotion. I note:

Whitaker sitting in front of Laguna Lake where untold millions of gallons of prime MWD water were lost with no apology, no accountability, no responsibility. Fitzgerald brazenly bragging about the moronic stairs to nowhere. Donwtown stakeholders are committed she says. Committed to what? Profit at our expense. Sebourn, with his ass parked in the Corporate Yard as the streets of Fullerton crumble; “we’re ready” he boasts. ready for what?

And then the images of the vast Joe Felz/Karen Haluza stack n’ pack tenement blocks. Who is the target audience for that? Developers, I guess.

Jesus. How much did this bullshit cost?

We don’t know how much it cost. Not yet anyway. But here are some invoices that indicate the cost of 2015 and 2016 productions:

Kneadle 2 | Kneadle | Barron AV 2 | Pipeline Digital 2-2 | Pipeline Digital 2 | Pipeline Digital 1

A March for Science, Road Closures and the ACLU

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.

Mad scientists

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?

 

Fullerton Parking – State ADU Edition

You! I need your gas taxes & vehicle license fees… so stop driving.

Tomorrow the planning commission is going to be dealing with more parking issues. Or shall I say they’re going to be talking about something they have no control over because the State already stepped on them.

Back on 27 September 2016 Governor Moonbean signed SB 1069 into law. SB 1069 deals with “Additional Dwelling Units” or in the common vernacular “back houses”. You know the units as they’re the ones that get added behind a house so a homeowner can rent their second/third/fifth property to two groups of people as opposed to one. Charitably they’re known as “Granny Units” and uncharitably as “‘Mommy why is the creepy man staring at me all the time’ Units”.

The merits or pitfalls of these units notwithstanding, as we now legally have to allow for them all over town, this particular piece of legislation includes the following nugget:

Cities must waive parking requirements for ADUs that are entirely contained within existing structures, or that are within one-half mile of public transit, one block of a car-share vehicle, or in a historic district.

Within one-half mile of public transit. Okay, so let’s put that into context. Here’s a map of Fullerton to which I’ve added the major bus lines of OCTA in blue.

At least OCTA doesn’t go near the nicer houses.

Using the Google Maps Distance Tool I can say that 1/2 mile would mean that Fullerton cannot require additional parking for ADUs anywhere approximately South of North Court. Likewise no new parking requirements would be allowed 1/2 mile East or West of Euclid or State College for ADUs. I’d worry about the neighborhood by CSUF but with CollegeTown coming back (courtesy of Japanese Chat Girls) that’s the least of their worries.

I loathe writing about roads and parking, truly I do yet unfortunately our elected betters seem to not understand human nature and thus the issues constantly come up.

This no required parking if within a half-mile of public transit is because allegedly the low-income take public transit unlike those who write these stupid laws. The poor take so much public transit that we subsidize the snot out of buses, streetcars, trolleys and hubs such as ARTIC. The poor love their public transit so much that we keep having to exempt streets from overnight parking in the lower-income apartments thanks to their under-parked nature. Why if only the folks in those low-income apartments could find parking for all of the public transit that they love to take we wouldn’t need to exempt so many streets.

Add this newest parking issue to the quiver of arrows that will be used to kill the overnight parking ban. As an aside I wonder how many new AirBnB rentals will be built here in Fullerton thanks to this “affordable housing” bill.

An Insult to a Fallen Brother

Photo from Behind the Badge

While on his way to work back in 1975 one of F.P.D.’s own, officer Jerry Hatch, was killed by a drunk driver. Skip ahead a few decades and we have signs on the 91FRWY to honor him. Last July F.P.D. held a special event to honor Officer Hatch with his family and former colleagues.

This is because F.P.D. cares about their brethren. They likewise care about Drunk Driving based on the praise their officers receive when they get awards from M.A.D.D..

Which beggars the question of why was F.P.D. so willing to spit on Officer Hatch’s memory by allowing favors, politics or whatever it was to get in the way of doing their jobs on the morning of 09 November 2016? Why would they send the message that drunk driving is A-O.K. so long as the driver is connected enough?

For all of their continuous grandstanding they were perfectly fine with letting an “alleged” drunk driver walk in the hopes that he didn’t mow down another of their brethren.

On the fateful morning of 09 November 2016, good friend of former Mayor Fitzgerald and all around guy, Joe Felz left our quaint city to spend time with his family. Owing to why Mr. Felz actually separated himself from his position (the 10th highest paid City Manager in California) it’s a bit of a surprise to learn that his family doesn’t reside in the Fullerton Jail.

Amazingly we have a District Attorney who magically found evidence for charges four months after an incident that Fullerton P.D. couldn’t find on the scene. F.P.D. even managed to phone their friend, Chief Danny Hughes, for help and couldn’t find even a citable offense under Sappy McTree or Felz’s missing mud-flap.

Fullerton gives out hundreds of D.U.I. tickets each year. What with 62 liquor licenses in the Downtown Fullerton area alone that’s not as impressive a feat as we’d imagine but F.P.D. is proud of their D.U.I. tickets.

If one looks at the headlines from the Public Relations firm Behind the Badge, which the City of Fullerton pays $50,000+/year, you would think we take drunk driving very, very seriously.

The point is clear that our city and our Fullerton Police Department claim to care deeply about Drunk Driving.

Behind the Badge likewise takes D.U.I.s seriously but are nothing more than a mouthpiece for F.P.D as evidence by the results when one searches “Felz” on their site:

Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

B.t.B. wrote several pieces about Officer Hatch but have remained completely silent on the entire Felz affair. It’s not news, just good news.

Just for the sake or irony let us look at one more link from our paid P.R. flacks over at Behind the Badge:

Vargas: Political correctness puts public at risk when PD cancels DUI checkpoint – 06 May 2016

It’s a good thing we never let politics get in the way of the job.

 

Haluza’s BID Bid Bites Dust

Haluza

On Tuesday night our esteemed City Council, a clan that can never say no to a bad idea, reviewed Community Development Director Karen Haluza’s Big Plan to begin the process to create a downtown BID. For the uninitiated, BID stands for Business Improvement District. FFFF already gave the Friends a heads up, here.

To remind you, a BID means a new property lax levy. In downtown the lion’s share of any tax is going to go to the cops, whose performance shutting down the booze culture gives zero confidence that more money in their direction is money well spent. The rest of the loot would probably be wasted on stupid, footling projects that give work to Haluza’s crack staff. Here’s an example of the sort of nonsense that gave our planners the warm and fuzzies before Redevelopment was abolished.

Anyway, the Council got an earful from a few property owners – including one who vehemently denied being notified of the hearing. FFFF will soon be highlighting the comments of this gentleman who poignantly observed that his property income is his retirement income, and, pointing to the uniformed Heroes in the back of the room trenchantly noted that nobody was talking about taking their retirement away.

Our lobbyist-councilperson Jennifer Fitzgerald, who no doubt oversaw this wretched swindle in the first place as a way to keep her bar-owner pals from having to pay to clean up their own mess, moved to continue the item indefinitely. The others didn’t have a whole lot to say, which is typical.

My belief is that we have not seen the last of this obnoxious dodge, a way for the city to get somebody else to pay for their disastrous bar-on-every corner policy.

Kelly Thomas Jury Foreman Plays Victim; Gets No Sympathy As John & Ken Rip Him A New One

Yesterday a strange creature crawled out of the ooze – a fellow named “Roy” (fake name), who claimed to be the jury foreman in the 2013 Kelly Thomas murder trial.

This pathetic SOB sent in a request for a hearing on the John and Ken radio show to set the record straight about the verdict. Why now? Apparently he and his fellow pumpkins on the jury have been subjected to all sorts of mean social media ridicule and threats (he says), even after three years. It didn’t take John and Ken long to get sick of this whiner’s attempt to dodge, deflect and then diminish what the cops did to a skinny, sick, homeless guy.

You know “Roy” is soon to get his ass handed to him when he describes, Lou Ponsi-like, the brutal assault as a “scuffle,”

“Roy” doesn’t recognize Ramos trying to intimidate Kelly, and it doesn’t bother him a bit that Wolfe actually struck the blow that caused Kelly to run – a perfectly natural move for someone who has been threatened and hit with a cop club.  Those provocations were really at the heart of the episode: the entire drama was caused, deliberately, by Ramos and Wolfe.

It is particularly nauseating to listen to this moron explain away Cicinelli pulverizing Kelly’s face as a necessary tactic against the struggling homeless man; and then declaring that Kelly died not of facial injury anyhow, but by “chest compression” whatever the Hell this dimwit thinks that means. The fact is that the blood inhaled from Kelly’s severe facial injuries caused asphyxiation at the same time the cops sat on his chest.

And of course this human vegetable ignores the aftermath – the Fullerton cops willfully ignored the unconscious guy who was dying in the gutter – as they got their little scrapes band-aided by paramedics.

File this one under “better to keep your mouth shut asshole, and just go away.”

Lets Talk About 600 W. Commonwealth

And My Field-trip to Fact-Check Red Oak Investments

This coming Tuesday the Fullerton City Council has a packed agenda and the most noise I’ve heard over the agenda is regarding the Red Oak Development. For the uninitiated that is the “Mixed-Use” Apartment complex that is being proposed at 600 W. Commonwealth where the Chevy dealership once sat.

Bad Luck O’ the Irish

I’ve written about this project elsewhere but I really want to dive into some of the rhetoric of Red Oak Investments.

When this project was in front of the planning commission back in September the spokesman for Red Oak, Alex Wong said the following:

“This project creates rich, new open spaces that are usable and accessible by the public. The courtyard on Chestnut is very similar in dimension and character to the charming courtyard that is in front of the Dripp Cafe and Stadtgarten. Very similar situation but twin courtyards that match each other on both sides of Williamson are coincidentally are very similar to the situation we have at Wilshire and Pomona, the plaza by the museum. And those are really special spaces. This is a private development but it is proposing to create public spaces that are usable both the people that live there and people who are also in the neighborhood whether they’re working or living there.”

I almost fell out of my chair laughing at this comment and spoke up in the public comments that these “public courtyards” wouldn’t stay public. I also called out the fact that the “open courtyard” at Stadtgarten is behind a wall and through a private entrance which isn’t exactly public nor open. This was false advertising at best and deceptive at worst. (more…)

How Much Mixed-Use Do We Need?

Looking Askance at the “Need” Argument

If you build it…

The City of Fullerton is the process, through the planning commission, of bringing another abomination of a project back to life. What was once “Amerige Court” will now be “Amerige Commons”.

The key reason that the Amerige Commons project is being resurrected is because we allegedly need it. Need being the operative word thanks to our supposed housing and retail shortfall. Or so says the city. Again. Again. And yet again. I’m starting to wonder what the word need even means anymore in this town. Or any town for that matter.

City folk say that our residential vacancy rate is X% and to the city that alone correlates need. In a market economy you would look at what’s selling and adjust to reflect the market. Therefore if single family homes are the fastest sellers you would work to build more single family homes. If you wanted to court a younger population you would build in their price-range. However we’re talking about government and not a market economy and in this case the only sales that matter are the votes of our council members and the developers locked most of those sales up years ago.

If we take the city planners seriously we are forced to focus on the need issue so what do we really need here in Fullerton? (more…)