Fullerton’s Veritable Serpico Problem

Serpico

Fullerton, like most departments, has a problem reminiscent of Serpico and this problem is years in the making. This problem is part of the story of the sordid “Culture of Corruption” that was documented after the Kelly Thomas beating. This veritable Serpico problem is a cancer within the system where once in uniform even good people turn a blind eye to corruption and stand idle as their unions and water carriers work to stomp on both people working towards and laws aimed at transparency.

For those unfamiliar with Frank Serpico he was an officer in the NYPD who stood up against widespread corruption and suffered for this crime against the Blue Wall of Silence. When he was shot in the face in the line of duty his fellow officers went so far as refusing to call for help.

This reverse Serpico problem is the common issue of Officers refusing to speak out, refusing to stand up and refusing to be good ethical humans for fear of reprisals from their brothers and sisters in blue.

Today I want to tell a story that should have been told some time ago – the tale of how ethics can get you fired at Fullerton PD.

I’d like to tell you about one Corporal Paul Irish.

You see, Corporal Irish was fired for dishonesty. A year or so ago I spoke to Paul and I was given copies of the files related to his termination. Honestly I didn’t know what to do with what he gave me and I sort of let it sit waiting for the time to really dig into it. Life, kids, you know the drill. That box sat in my garage patiently waiting for me to have time. Skip ahead and, well, the city cost me my job recently and I find myself with more time on my hands. So I got to reading.

To sum up hundreds of pages of paperwork — what Corporal Irish DID was, allegedly, tell his supervisors he was giving a talk on seat belt safety when he actually gave a talk on ethics. When they hammered him for his dishonesty on what his talk was about they ran a full investigation into the issue which ultimately led to his termination for more alleged dishonesty.

The transcript of the talk is [HERE] and the actual audio as recorded by Corporal Irish is here;

According to the information I have seen, these are the charges for which Corporal Irish was fired:

PSB #2014-72​IA Investigation
Corporal Paul Irish
Potential Policy Violations:
​340.3.5 (g) – within policy
​340.3.5 (h)
​340.3.5 (i)
​340.3.5 (l)
​340.3.5 (n)
​340.3.5 (z)
Recommendation to Staff: Not within policy – Termination Approved

FPD Manual Conduct

That’s a bunch of jargon so I’ll allow the Fullerton Police Department’s Policy Manual chapter on Conduct explain all that legal speak:

(h)Knowingly making false, misleading or malicious statements that are reasonably calculated to harm or destroy the reputation, authority or official standing of the Department or members thereof.

(i)The falsification of any work-related records, the making of misleading entries or statements with the intent to deceive, or the willful and unauthorized destruction and/or mutilation of any department record, book, paper or document.

(l)Any knowing or negligent violation of the provisions of the department manual, operating procedures or other written directive of an authorized supervisor. Employees shall familiarize themselves with and be responsible for compliance with each of the above and the Department shall make each available to the employees.

(n)Criminal, dishonest, infamous or disgraceful conduct adversely affecting the employee/employer relationship, whether on or off duty.

(z)Any other on-duty or off-duty conduct which any employee knows or reasonably should know is unbecoming a member of the Department or which is contrary to good order, efficiency or morale, or which tends to reflect unfavorably upon the Department or its members.

Remember, this all stems from Corporal Irish giving a talk on ethics that his supervisors didn’t approve of him giving and being mad at being “lied to” about said briefing.

Here’s the pertinent part of the Hearing Officers Report:

Irish Allegations

This should be put into some context with current events in order to explain the aforementioned Serpico problem. When some cops are fired for seemingly trivial issues while others are given a pass for egregious conduct it sets bad examples. It tells Officers who to follow, which lies are okay and where things stand in regards to the Blue Wall of Silence. This is how a cancer grows in a department. A blind and subservient government is how it remains untreated and metastasizes.

This year, thanks to this blog, we learned that Fullerton PD and Fullerton City Hall worked to enter into an agreement in order to shield Lieutenant Kathryn Hamel from the disclosure of her crimes. The city was willing to stop investigations in order to protect her, the wife of Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel, from any sustained findings of dishonesty which would have made her crimes public records under the CA law known as SB1421.

Currently there is an also an officer, Jeff Corbett, being charged with a felony for falsifying his reports as related to the drinking and driving of former Fullerton City Manager Joe Felz in November 2016. That Sergeant was only terminated after a friend of this blog filed a citizen complaint which triggered an investigation which led to a sustained finding of dishonesty. Only AFTER that investigation was concluded in September of 2017 did FPD open their own investigation and terminate Corbett.

These are current issues at the Fullerton Police Department as ignored by our current City Council, City Hall and police brass.

The hearings over Irish’s termination went through 2016 and well into 2017 while Sergeant Corbett was being given a pass for clearly violating department policy during the Felz incident. This is at best an inconsistent application of policy and a strong indicator of favoritism in the department – ergo, cancer.

If you think I’m being hyperbolic about comparing Paul Irish to Frank Serpico in premise, in the notion that the Department will crush one of their own to cover their corruption or incompetence – remember that I’m being sued, along with David Curlee and this blog, for allegedly clicking links and posting stories that showed police misconduct. Stories that showed the Kathryn Hamel deal. A story about a pervert cop at Fullerton High School that FPD and City Hall wanted kept secret. The city has never disputed those stories, or others – they’ve just demanded we remove the truth from this site while defaming us as thieves and hackers.

Your tax dollars are being used to punish us not because we allegedly clicked links and thus broke a federal law in the process. We’re being sued because we, yet again, embarrassed Fullerton PD by pointing out corruption and malfeasance and my records requests, if fulfilled as required by law, would embarrass them further. They’re using your money and the courts to intimidate and attempt to silence us because we again stepped out of line. We got in the way of the Blue Wall of Silence and both those in uniform and those in charge at City Hall are too self-interested and too cowardly to stand up for what is right. Too worried about their pensions, campaign dollars and cronyism to be ethical. They preach integrity and practice treachery.

Sadly the tale of Paul Irish is just another in a long line of such stories. A story of the government using it’s weight to silence dissent. A story about government arrogance crushing a voice even when it comes in the form of an officer talking about the things the Police Department hypocritically displays on their own walls. Ethics used during times of convenience are no ethics at all.

No Public Input on the Police Chief

Well folks, Fullerton is at it again. On Tuesday, without any public input, the City Council is slated to appoint Interim Police Chief Robert Dunn as the “Permanent” Chief for the Fullerton Police Department.

I put “Permanent” in quotes because Chiefs tend to leave in disgrace often around these parts.

The position of Police Chief wasn’t put out for applicants despite 5 people applying the last time around. Nope, this time not only is the city not looking to recruit from outside of the city, or even open it up to other in-city employees – they’re shoving it onto the consent calendar.

Dunn - Consent Calender Hire

For the uninitiated I’ll quote a previous post on this very blog about such items.

A typical definition of a consent calendar would be as follows:

Under parliamentary rules governing City Council meetings, Consent Calendar items are reserved for items that are deemed to be non-controversial. They allow a City Council to save the bulk of it’s meeting time for issues in which there is a need for a serious public debate.

So that means that Fullerton’s council thinks that hiring somebody for the position of the Chief of Police for between 5-11 years is non-controversial and not worth discussing.

They don’t even want to have a token discussion on this issue. Not only do we never get oversight, we don’t even get The Performance wall of local government.

Based on some recent stories we’ve seen we might beg to differ about this being something that should be vetted in public. But alas, we at FFFF actually care about transparency and integrity from our government officials which are things this council is adamantly against.

While this doesn’t come as a surprise, it’s actually worse than the last time we hired a new “permanent” Chief. That time city staff actually wrote the questions for council to ask in closed session.

Let us not kid ourselves, even if this was a public hearing our bootlicking council would never a tough question or make demands that would upset their union benefactors.

As per usual, this group of “public servants” just wants to do everything in the dark. Maybe some day we’ll get some openness, honesty and transparency in the city of Fullerton. But don’t count on it.

Nothing to See Here

Your Voice Means Nothing to City Hall

Nextdoor Water Rate Increase Notice

Last month Fullerton requested feedback via Nextdoor and elsewhere from citizens regarding the raising of our water rates because our city is incompetent and decided not to repair infrastructure over the last several decades and now the bill is coming due by way of broken and rotting pipes.

So what we paid for already we need to pay for again and this time they pinky swear they mean to fix things. For realsies.

Those of you familiar with this blog should know about the “7 Walls of Local Government” which is quite possibly one of the best series of posts on local government ever committed to words in the modern era. If you’re unfamiliar go give it a read and then come back.

The 7 Walls, to many people, is simply theoretical so I wanted to offer this Fullerton water rate issue as an example of the walls in practice.

So here we have a form of Local Government Wall #3 –The Performance.

With the current rate hike under consideration the city claimed that they wanted feedback and in order for your “protest” to be counted you needed to sign a letter and email or send it in to the city. One person per household or parcel so hopefully you weren’t a renter or had more than one opinion in your domicile.

Just emails wouldn’t count, social media posts wouldn’t count and ACTUALLY SPEAKING AGAINST the increase at council wouldn’t count. To quote the city’s own FAQ:

“However, oral comments at the Public Hearing will not qualify as a formal protest of the proposed rate action unless accompanied by a written protest setting forth the required information.”

Gee, it’s almost like they wanted to limit it as much as possible all while claiming to be doing far beyond the bare minimum that’s legally required by law.

But they totally cared about your opinions or so they’d like you to believe and even told council.

Being one to not trust bureaucrats I challenged them on the premise and requested what they did with the “protests” they received up to and during the council meeting in question.

Here is the response:

Water Rate Increase Protests

They “were received, recorded and read by Public Works” and council only got a “response letter”.

That “response letter” was prepared early in order to be included in the agenda packet for the city council meeting on 04 June 2019 and was released to the public at approximately 6:15pm on 30 May 2019.

What this means is that council never received your protest prior to voting and thus those making the decision to raise your rates never heard what you had to say before voting.

Better yet – staff RESPONDED TO your “protest” possibly before you even made it. Any protest that came in after 30 May 2019 and before the item closed on Tuesday was just totally ignored. (more…)

What Happened at Beechwood School?

An emergency parent meeting was called at Beechwood school last night to explain that a teacher had been placed on administrative leave and that the police department was conducting an investigation into…well, something they’re not allowed to tell us about. The Chief was adamant that there was no evidence that a crime was committed or that any students were involved, which makes you wonder what he’s “investigating” in the first place.

It’s interesting to watch Superintendent Hovey and interim Police Chief Hughes struggle with a new-found interest in transparency, releasing only enough information to scare people about what the teacher might have done. Parents in the room didn’t seem to appreciate the lack of detail. One mother even came to tears trying to figure out if anything had happened to her own child (25 minutes in).

An attentive resident brought us this video of the meeting:

UPDATE: School Board Trustee Chris Thompson posted this comment addressing the question of what the board currently knows about the investigation:

I do not mind being held accountable. For clarity’s sake, I have NOT been briefed on any aspect of this story beyond the information which has been made publicly available in the meeting posted here. I have made it clear to Dr. Hovey that I believe that fact is inhibiting my ability to do my job as a trustee. Dr. Hovey informed me that he had been advised by the district’s law firm as to what information he could and could not give to the board members. He did confirm that he knows more than we do. As the law firm’s primary role is to limit the districts liability, there is no surprise there. Unfortunately, my role is to be 1/5th of an independently elected body whose job it is to ensure that our district does the right and smart thing, and I cannot very well do that if I am “managed” by the district’s lawyer. I believe that the theory is that if the board members are informed of the details of the investigation prior to the conclusion of the investigation that our impartiality will be brought into question if any decisions need to be made by the board as a result of the investigation. I don’t buy it. The people elected us to oversee this government entity and the entity itself is preventing us from knowing the details of what is going on within our own walls. At the risk of sounding self-important, I thought we were in charge.

Having said that, I would not personally use the phrase cover-up at this point. I will not quietly sit by uninformed for any extended length of time. This situation is three days old and we are talking about an elementary school. The individual who is the focus of whatever it is we are investigating has been administratively removed from the classroom and we are being told that there is zero evidence of any direct impact to children. My first step is really what I am doing here. Making it known publicly that I think it is a mistake to withhold the details of the investigation from the board.

Ostensibly, the board would be able to offer some comfort to the community…or some guidance to management about we believe we should proceed. I have no idea if I even agree that there should be an investigation.

As a final comment, I want make it clear that I believe it is exceedingly likely that both Mitch Hovey and Dan Hughes are doing what they believe to be best for the children and the community. I also believe that it is my job to review all of the knowable circumstances in order to determine whether I concur with Dr. Hovey’s actions. I have no way of doing that now.

Chris Thompson

Come join the Revolution, Matt

After my piece here last week defending Shawn Nelson and the noble profession of defense attorney, I was criticized on Red County by Matt Cunningham, who runs that Web site. I could respond point by point, but there’s no use in doing that.

Instead, I’ve just been thinking how sorry I am that he, and so many over at Red County, are not joining what I call the Third Conservative Revolution. There’s still time, boys, to jump on board.

The First Conservative Revolution was, of course, Barry Goldwater’s run in 1964 against the ogre LBJ. Barry campaigned for sharply cutting government and restoring the Constitution.

I still remembering voting for Barry in my 4th grade class when I was nine, in those mock elections schools have. I was reflecting my parents’ views, of course. My late mother once told me how much her father, my grandfather, loathed FDR and his socialist New Deal. So I guess conservatism is in my blood.

The Second Conservative Revolution was the Reagan Revolution. I was in the U.S. Army for the first part, but by 1982 I had been honorably discharged and was in Washington, D.C. First I was assistant editor of “Conservative Digest,” then editor of “The American Sentinal,” then editorial page editor at “The Washinton Times” – all conservative publications. We worked to win the Cold War, sharply cut government and restore the Constitution.

To quote Wordsworth: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!”

I’ll bet that’s the feeling the youngsters are getting nowadays as they back Ron Paul.

Alas, both previous revolutions were hampered by conservatives, including me, supporting a strong military during the Cold War. It was hard to cut budgets and deficits with defense spending so high.

But then the Berlin Wall fell and there was no reason for any conservative to oppose large defense cuts. During the Cold War, tradeoffs were made: “Back a strong military and we’ll fund your favorite domestic programs.” That no longer was needed.

Unfortunately, Reagan didn’t have a third term. Instead, we got George H.W. Bush, who promised, “Read my lips! No new Taxes!” – then, once in office, raised taxes. The economy crashed and we got Clinton.

In 1996, Republicans nominated Bob Dole, whom conservatives long had dubbed “the tax collector for the welfare state” for his obsession with raising taxes, such as the the “waitress tax” that took money from the gals’ tips. What a cad. Clinton won again.

In both 1992 and 1996, Pat Buchanan raised a stir in the GOP primaries, even winning the New Hampshire primary in 1996 with his calls for large cuts in spending and taxing, and for bring American troops home. It was a kind of proto-Ron Paul Revolution.

In 2000, Republicans nominated George W. Bush, with his promise of a “humble” foreign policy and limited government. Well, like his father, he gave us the opposite of what he solemnly pledged. Enough said on that.

Obama promised “Change you can believe in,” but we got no change from Bush.

So no wonder people are upset, especially young folks who are doing the dying in the pointless Bush-Obama wars and will spend the rest of their lives paying off the Bush-Obama war debts, domestic debts, and bailout debts.

Enter the Third Conservative Revolution. It’s a combination of the Ron Paul Revolution of recent years and the recent Tea Party excitement.

There’s always an affection between the very young and the very old. That’s why the avuncular Ron Paul, at 75, is a hit with the kids. He’s also authentic, as the existentialists used to say. There’s no guile in him. WYSYWIG – what you see is what you get. Unlike most Republican supporters of the Bush-Obama wars, who never served in the military — such as Dick “Five Deferments” Cheney — Ron Paul was a flight surgeon in U.S. Air Force.

So, it’s not surprising that, at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, Ron Paul won a straw poll, with 31% of the vote. In second place, at 22%, was the socialist Mitt Romney, whose Mittcare has proved a complete disaster in Massachusetts, but is the model for the Obamacare that Republicans now oppose (rightly).

Ron Paul is the future of the Republican Party — if it wants a future. More important, his ideas are surging just when we need them to saved America from Bush-Obama socialism.

Which brings me to Shawn Nelson’s candidacy for O.C. Supervisor. It’s also part of this Third Conservative Revolution. He’s an authentic, tested conservative who has voted against waste and dumb programs while on the city council in Fullerton. He’s endorsed by the man he wants to succeed, former supervisor and new Assemblyman Chris Norby, who also has a strong record of voting against waste and protecting taxpayers.

The next four years on the Board of Supervisors are going to be the most trying since the bankruptcy 15 years ago. It could even be worse, as back then the state and national economies were in a strong recovery and could pull O.C. out of its problems. Today, the federal and state economies are not recovering, precisely because Ron Paul’s policies – sound money, tax cuts, spending cuts, restoring the Constitution – are not being heeded.

I’ll leave the last words to The Bard, in this YouTube of “The Times They Are A’Changin’.” It’s good advice for anybody not yet ready to “lend your hand” to the Ron Paul Revolution and the Shawn Nelson campaign:

There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlUSwcuY29I&feature=player_embedded

John Seiler, an editorial writer with The Orange County Register for 19 years, is a reporter and analyst for CalWatchDog.com. His email: [email protected].

On the Agenda – February 2nd, 2010

At first glance the agenda looks a little short, like someone forgot to add a few items to it, however, don’t be fooled!

Let’s take a look at the list of issues on the table.

In closed session, council will be negotiating with the employee associations (or unions, if you prefer).  Item 2 of the closed session is labeled as “PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT” and is regarding the Director of Community Development as well as the Director of Administrative Services.

When they finally let us in for the meeting, the good-ol boy’s will be presented with their favorite and most difficult duty – Miss Fullerton Contestants.  Let’s see if the guys can keep their hands to themselves.

North Orange County Community College District and FAST (Ne Elite Level Swimmers and Coach) will also be presenting.

After everyone gives Council a piece of their mind in the Public Comments, we hop right into the Consent Calendar which includes last meeting’s minutes, acceptance of donations to the police department, and grant funding for tree planting at Laguna Lake.

Next , item 4 addresses the Richman Court Relocation Assistance Program.  If anyone has any experience with relocation plans from either prospective, please jump in.  I would imagine that this program will get equally screwed up as most government programs, but that is just another useless opinion.  This will use $118,000 from the federal HOME Investment Partnership Program funds

The appointment of representatives to advisory bodies comes in on item 5.  I’m not sure who can be appointed but this looks like an opportunity for some crony to get their hands into another honey pot

Coming in as item 6 on the agenda is a discussion of moving the Public Comments to the END of the meetings.  I guess they want to make their decisions prior to hearing from us.  This has BAD IDEA written all over it.  I think council should be well aware of the community’s sentiments regarding an agenda item BEFORE they discuss and vote on anything

If you felt jaded by Bankhead’s self appointment as Mayor (with help from his old friend Doc Jones and Shawn “I must recues myself” Nelson), you need not worry.  The topic will come up again as item 7 and we will get to hear again about how the mayor get’s the job.  It seems pointless to have the debate when the same people who were on the council when Bankhead was made mayor –again- are still on it.  Why would they feel differently now about how the mayor is chosen?

There is a “comprehensive” list of projects that the City would like to get funded through federal sources.  Item 8 is a list of capital projects that are submitted to Fullerton ’s federal representatives for funding consideration as part of the annual federal appropriation cycle.  Here is the kicker: staff recommends that Council ask Ed Royce for federal money specifically for the Boy’s and Girl’s Club/Senior Center.  Maybe the Club and the Senior Center should be relocated to make room for the Orange County Fliers and their new stadium.   The other item on the list (that’s right, there are just these two items) is the slope stabilization on Harbor Boulevard .  But why does the slope need stabilization you ask?  It would appear that someone at City Hall allowed the slope to be graded as it currently is when Harbor Boulevard was realigned and reconstructed twenty-plus years ago.  I’m not sure when it was done, but I am quite certain that a 1:1 slope with no sidewalks, trails, channels, or retaining walls was a bad idea in anyone’s book.  At one time Harbor Boulevard was Highway 101 and received funding from state and federal sources.  Maybe the city can blame the state or feds for the slopes.  Maybe the U.S. Army Corps (USACE), which operates the damn, can chip in.  I know USACE has done collaborative work with other local agencies, why not Fullerton .  Hey Royce!  Can you call someone at the L.A. District to get some help?  Or maybe FEMA…  Maybe not.

Sorry for the rant.

Item 9 is concerned with tow services provided to the City.  Local businesses and homeowner associations may be impacted by new municipal codes covering impounds made on private property.

Lastly, item 10 is a resolution of support for the City of Placentia .  This has to do with OCTA’s bright idea to get all of the grade separations going at the same time for fear they might loose federal funding.  As legitimate as that fear might be, tying up several miles of north-south routes is a terrible idea.  There are several possible solutions which I haven’t heard considered yet.  Let’s see if OCTA can figure this one out.

On February 16th in the Police Department’s Mural Room at 5:00 PM their will be a study session on the Housing Policy Review followed by the regular meeting at 6:30 PM in the Council Chambers.

If I missed or glossed over something, please let us know.  If I’m wrong, let me know.  Otherwise, stay tuned for any breaking developments…

Ground Zero of Fullerton Redevelopment Failure

For dyed-in-the-wool government apologists like Dick Jones, Jan Flory, Dick Ackerman, Sharon Kennedy, Don Bankhead, et al., Redevelopment blunders are conveniently overlooked, when possible; when not possible, some lame defense is mounted, such as: mistakes were made (passive voice obligatory) but we learned and moved on; hindsight is 20/20 (Molly McClanahan’s motto vivendi); the problem was not too much Redevelopment, but too little!

But when any reasonable person contemplates the collection of Redevelopment disasters along Harbor Blvd. between Valencia Drive and the old Union Pacific overpass, the only conclusion he or she could draw is that the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency should have been shuttered years ago, and the perpetrators of the manifest failures crowded onto a small raft and set adrift with the Japanese Current.

We have already described in nauseating detail the “Paseo Park” debacle; and the Allen Hotel fiasco; we haven’t yet had time to talk about the “El Sombrero” pocket park give away (we will).

But instead of wasting too many perfectly good words, we will share with you Friends a Redevelopment pictorial essay with just a little piquant commentary.

First there’s the strip center known as Gregg’s Plaza. Brick veneer, of course. Even the veneer is so disgusted it’s trying to jump off the building.

The standards of the RDRC were established early.
The standards of the RDRC were established early.
Pop goes the brick veneer...
Pop goes the brick veneer...

Across the street is the Allen Furniture Store. When they got their rehab loan somebody forgot to tell them that a storefront is a storefront – not a jailhouse. So why are there bars on the dinky little windows? And pink stucco?

Stone walls do not a prison make; nor iron bars a cage...
Stone walls do not a prison make; nor iron bars a cage...

Jumping back across the street we re-introduce ourselves to the egregious Allen Hotel, perhaps the biggest Redevelopment boondoggle of all, a mess that we have already admirably documented, here. As we noted then, the add-on was unspeakably awful (and expensive). The front is, well, pretty awful, too.

The once and present tenement...
The once and present tenement...
It could have been worse. Well, no, it couldn't...
It could have been worse. Well, no, it couldn't...

What was sold, in part, as an “historic preservation” project ended up violating just about every standard in the book. The original windows were ripped out and replaced with vinyl sashes; the transoms were destroyed and replaced with sheets of plastic and surface applied strips supposed to simulate leaded glass.

Just say something. They'll believe anything...
Just say something. They'll believe anything...

Across Harbor we discover the “El Sombrero Plaza,” another sock in the face to any Fullerton windshield tourist. Forget the stupidity of the sideways orientation and the Mission Revival On Acid stylings (which attain a kind of crazy Mariachi deliciousness); this development included the give away of part the adjacent public green space so they have parking for a restaurant. The owner never did develop a restaurant, of course (more on that story later).

Ay, caramba!
Ay, caramba!
The extra parking that was supposed to be for a restaurant is now used for a storage container!
The extra parking that was supposed to be for a restaurant is now used for a storage container!

And finally we come to exhausted collapse at another one of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency’s low points. And by low point we mean the complete, unmitigated disaster of the Union Pacific Park, ably chronicled here; and in a whole series here, here, and here.

Maybe the less said, the better...
Maybe the less said, the better...

The poisoned park: dead as a doornail. An aesthetic, pratical, and policy disaster. And no one has ever stood up to take responsibility for the total waste of millions of dollars.

Embarrassing from the beginning. How many $100,000 pensioneers had their fingers in this pie?
Embarrassing from the beginning. How many $100,000 pensioners had their fingers in this pie?

Well, there you have it, Friends. Redevelopment in action; Redevelopment creating blight, not eradicating it. No accountability. None. Zero. Zilch. And some people wonder why FFFF has sued to keep Redevelopment from expanding.

OC Register Digs Into FFFF’s School Laptop Post, Misses the Point

ocregister-laptop
OC Register Front Page - Saturday September 19, 2009

The OC Register ran a story today on our previous laptop post in which a mother came forward to warn parents about the dangers of FSD’s school laptop program.

Overall the reporter gave a fair assessment to both sides of the controversy, although the article made the mother out to be naive about her duties as a parent to watch her children closely. Those who actually read the mother’s statement on this blog know this to be completely false.

The mother accepted responsibility for wrongly believing the school administrators when they told her that the laptops were safe. In her own words:

I felt stupid for being so naïve in thinking that a child should have a laptop with access to whatever she could dream of. I felt safe in believing that a school district would have the best firewalls to protect my child like they promised that firewalls do. I do believe that parents have a responsibility to watch over their children, and this generation requires a new kind of vigilance, but I also believe that a school has the responsibility to be honest in their abilities to protect our children as well.

Had the district been truthful about the risks associated with the laptops, perhaps this incident could have been avoided. This tragedy acts as yet another example of government employees and electeds distorting or concealing the truth to further their own personal agendas, to the detriment of the public whom they are supposed to serve.

Bottom line: These laptops are not safe for kids to use without direct supervision at all times. That includes all the kids accessing neighborhood wireless on the playground, in front of school, at the bus stop,  at Starbucks or in their own bedrooms. So now the question is, how does a parent monitor a kid with a laptop 24/7?

For most parents, it’s nearly impossible.

Hope University Architectural Gems At Risk

Now that's worth keeping...
Now that's worth keeping...

We have it on good authority that when Hope University hightails it from Fullerton to points south, the Exaggerated Modern buildings on their erstwhile campus may be in danger. How come? Because the very entity that built them in the 1960s – CSUF –  is said to be eager to reacquire the property. Based on their recent architectural efforts, a massively overbuilt campus, plus the need to house more students like sardines, the future isn’t too hopeful for the buildings on the Hope U. campus.

Whoa, dudes. Time for class!
Whoa, dudes. Time for class!

The complex of buildings that originally served CSUF as graduate student housing, bookstore, and cinema with their glass walls and soaring roofs have been recognized by many for their architectural value – but never by a governmental entity – and in government land planning thats all that really counts. They have not been recognized by the City, the County, or the State as an historical resource and at present have nothing standing between them and a possible wrecking ball except Fullerton Friends willing to work to preserve them.

Who wants to live in a student warehouse? Nobody.
Who wants to live in a student warehouse? Nobody, that's who.

If we set aside the irony of the CSUF buying back property they once owned, and focus on the aesthetic importance and the sound construction used and the opportunity for creative re-use, we can only conclude that these buildings are worth saving!

Please call State Assemblyman Mike Duvall (714/672-4734) immediately to let him know what you think; e-mail Fullerton City Council members ([email protected]) to let them know that this complex of buildings deserves to be an historic district. Don’t forget to call Chris Norby, County Supervisor at 714/834-3440 to ask for his support.

If you are a member of the heritage group be sure to tell your board that you want these gems of modern architecture preserved – unlike the buildings currently being demolished on Chapman Avenue to make way for the “Jefferson Commons” monstrosity.

WORKING TOGETHER WE CAN SAVE THIS RESOURCE FOR THE PEOPLE OF FULLERTON, ORANGE COUNTY, AND CALIFORNIA!

Wow. Style and substance. Don't see that much anymore...
Wow. Style and substance. Don't see that much anymore...

P.S. We have asked our Arts & Architecture Department to develop an educational post to define just what “Exaggerated Modern” is. We hope (no university) you will stay tuned.

In the way of some more Big Plans?
In the way of some more Big Plans?