Tag Archives: Downtown Fullerton

The Dysfunction of Downtown Fullerton

Friends for Fullerton’s Future just received a disturbing story accompanied by a photograph that seems to encapsulate the Downtown Fullerton experience:

Hey, FFFF, I wanted to send along a story about what happened to me a few weeks ago. About 2 am a friend and I were walking along the north side of Commonwealth. Across the street we could see some kind of free-for-all going on. Then the crowd ran off leaving two people lying on the ground. By the time we crossed over to see what the damage was, the Fullerton police had arrived. The two people, a guy and a woman, were bloodied and obviously beaten. One of the cops saw me observing the scene and asked if I wanted to be arrested.

Rather than provide information about what we had seen, we decided to move on. But before we left I turned around and took this picture showing the woman pleading with four cops who appeared indifferent to whatever physical abuse she had suffered.

Sad. 

Yes, Friend, it is sad. Our “leaders” have created, nurtured, and encouraged a culture of mayhem where sometimes it’s hard to tell the victim from the perpetrator and where the cops are seemingly anesthetized to the weekly blood bath.

Downtown Fullerton

Enjoy Downtown While it Lasts

Downtown Fullerton

Fullerton’s City Council last Tuesday, as expected, voted to change the rules governing how bars operate in the city in order to facilitate having more bars and making them more profitable.

The crux of the change is that it was too hard for staff to do their jobs, and for the Police Chief to stop rubber stamping permits, so the city needed to change the rules. This time they mean to enforce them unlike the last decade+ they promise… kind of… well not really.

Not one council member got an answer of who was in violation of what rules they were changing and why it was so hard for community development, code enforcement and the police to use a checklist to sort it out and in fact Ted White’s answers on how Conditional Use Permits work negated his own arguments of the Title 15 change. But again, council was too inept and/or lazy to follow the logic of the change or to ask any real questions per the norm.

The council ALSO voted to launch a pilot program, which we all know will be permanent, for paid parking in downtown. This is a data driven program tracking who comes and goes how often and how long they stay based on license plate data. As we heard at the meeting the whole point was data, data, data and more data. You will be tracked and your data will likely be sold. It’s so data driven that the vendor, staff and council want you to punch in where you park even when you don’t have to pay for parking – just because you WANT to be tracked.

Data Breach

When council asked who owned the servers the vendor claimed it was a “cloud based server” and that’s where the questions stopped. We don’t know what data is kept, where it is kept, which servers are used or who our travel data is being sold to – all because council couldn’t be bothered to ask.

It was a pathetic meeting full of incompetence, malfeasance and laughable gaffs. The Other Dick Jones™ got torn into by both Fitzgerald and Zahra for how they can/can’t handle an agenda item and when the city clerk offered helpful info the council just blanker her. It was probably the worst example of governing I’ve seen in years.

Individually the council members didn’t do themselves any favors in the integrity or intelligence departments. Continue reading

Fullerton Puts Favoritism over Fire Safety

We’ve received, via a Public Records Request, some of Community Development Director Ted White’s text messages with downtown bar owner Joe Florentine. It looks like Mr. White is working for Florentine which explains a lot:

Ted White Florentine Texts a Ted White Florentine Texts b

To clear this up, those “issues” that Mr. Florentine is talking about include all of his violations of the municipal code and his Conditional Use Permit – specifically his illegal refusal to install fire sprinklers.

Florentines CUP Fire Sprinklers

Florentine is in gross violation and Ted White is pushing a big change to the municipal code through council in order to facilitate Florentine’s bad behavior.

While Mr. White likes to talk about how hard his job is, how impossible enforcement is and how outdated it is to look at “lumens” regarding lighting – he doesn’t admit that fire safety isn’t on his list of priorities – nor is actually doing his job.

Florentine’s properties on the corner of Harbor and Commonwealth, the largest bar / nightclub in all of Downtown Fullerton, as far as we can tell, is the ONLY business given a pass on fire and life safety issues.

We also have it on good authority that Mr. White tried to illegally INCREASE the occupancy at Florentine’s properties, in violation of the law, while ignoring the fire sprinkler issue that has been ignored by staff for 10+ years. Why? Why potentially put more people at risk?

And Mr. White isn’t alone in his belief that one man is above the rules and laws in Fullerton.

Every single year the Fullerton Police Chief, currently Robert Dunn, issues Florentine a Live Entertainment Permit threatening to enforce the applicable laws/permits. And every year the Chief does nothing but wield his rubber stamp for downtown law breakers. This is worse than the old joke of the UN saying “Stop! Or we’ll yell ‘Stop!’ again!” because our Chief can’t even be bothered to use the “S” word. Continue reading

Arson at the Melody Inn?

We here at FFFF over the years have pointed out the Florentine sidewalk theft and more recently the sham of city oversight in Florentine’s decade+ refusal to install fire sprinklers.

Those stories led a reader to send us a video that may make that fire sprinkler issue way worse in context. It’s a story about what allegedly happened at Florentine’s Melody Inn back in 1989 in Downtown Fullerton.

Give it a watch and let us know what you think.

Downtown Rules Apply or They Don’t

welcome-to-fullerton

I’m in Downtown Fullerton as I type this post. Specifically I’m at an office space some friends and I are thinking about renting for our podcasts, the same office space I used for the live video on Flory’s appointment. I’m here because I wanted to reshoot that video owing to the technical and delivery problems of my first ham-handed efforts and I wanted to see how practical this space is for our purposes at night.

I knew the train schedules and checked the sound levels with a decibel meter for quality and started figuring out some of the technical things I wanted or needed to change. Then 8pm hit and I encountered something I hadn’t really planned around – live music emanating from across the transportation center.

Let’s get to brass tacks here; it was coming from the Slidebar – a favorite punching bag of commenters here on FFFF and some of the people I know around town. But this is a problem for me because generally I LIKE the Slidebar. I know Jeremy and he’s always been civil with me. I know Josh and he allowed me to take photos inside the bar back when I shot bands for a hobby. I have little desire to bother people I have no beef with personally and who have been cool with me historically.

SlidebarMotto

When I go after things I try to focus on issues and the people I think are causing the problems. I spill a lot of digital ink railing against Fitzgerald, Silva, now Zahra and so forth because I think they’re bad leaders and corrupt politicians – but I try to leave their personal businesses and family lives out of my posts, comments and claims as best I can because that’s not where my interests rest unless those things prove to be connected to some form of political corruption, grandstanding or malfeasance.

But tonight I got irritated. I got irritated because this city plays favorites and that favoritism, while common everywhere, shouldn’t exist from government and shouldn’t impinge on my ability to do my work in an office I want to rent. Further, the city lies about basic provable things because they think nobody will bother to call them out on their nonsense. I saw this when Fitzgerald ran all over Fullerton claiming our budget was balanced. I saw this when the city lied about Red Oak’s bonafides to convince the council to approve a zone change. I saw it and heard it again tonight.

Continue reading

Fullerton Might Just Hate Your Business

Closed for Business

I often laugh when government hacks and bureaucrats claim that a city, body or agency is “open for business” or other such nonsense platitudes. The idea that we’re customers and not captives to their regulatory whims is patently ridiculous. But this idea of being open for business by virtue of stealing from you slightly less, or because you favor one entity over others never seems to fade.

By way of example I’ll offer the last Planning Commission meeting, as written about here, where city staff tried to make the case that because rules and regulations relating to Downtown Fullerton were too onerous and hard to enforce the city needs to do away with them and replace them with rules more favorable to bars pretending to be restaurants. All to be more agreeable with the needs and wishes of our Downtown denizens. Ted White, our Community Development Direct, made this laughable claim and a few others I’m going to be discussing at some length in future posts as I take it all apart. The more I’ve been thinking about this last meeting the one thing that strikes me as most irritating is that the city is only worried about Downtown rules being too onerous and problematic. There are countless parts of our Municipal code which are outdated, unenforced and unenforceable and yet Downtown seems to be the only area of constant focus for nigh onto forever.

The actual issue and thing people need to understand is that Mr. White and his cohorts, who only answer to the City Manager who himself only answers to Council who themselves are owned by special interests and moneyed business owners and don’t really care about we citizens, don’t really care if rules are too onerous or burdensome or just plain ridiculous. Let us turn the wayback machine on and look at the FilmLA sponsored claptrap that made it through the Economic Development Commission (with nary a soul bothering to read the ordinance before voting Aye) and then all the way through to being approved by our anti-business council.

FilmLABullshit

Do you see what I saw when I was on EDC and arguing to take this ordinance apart?

You need a permit to take even still photos ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY if they are “commercial” and nowhere does the city define “commercial”.

Doing some advertising? Photos for Yelp? Pictures on your website? Are you a fashion or beauty vlogger? Taking real estate photos?

Congrats. That might all be “commercial” because the city refused then and still refuses today to define the term commercial for the sake of the ordinance. I know because I asked them to define it and they wouldn’t. Ok, so you need a permit which isn’t too onerous I suppose to most people.

BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE. Continue reading

Fullerton to Build DTF Love Shack Hotel

In the continuing stream of solutions to questions no one asked, one of the last actions taken by the current lame duck City Council tomorrow will be the approval of an “exclusive negotiating agreement” to build a boutique hotel in the Fullerton Transportation Center.

As everyone knows, Downtown Fullerton needs three things to be more successful:

  1. Less Parking
  2. More alcohol
  3. More places to have sex

Well, here we go! A triple threat project that eliminates 200 parking spaces, probably includes at least one bar, and will be within stumbling distance for hundreds of coeds each weekend who find the alley behind Zings too piss soaked to properly canoodle.

No word if the proposed Love Shack will have vibrating mattresses, but being immediately adjacent to  one of the busiest freight rail corridors in the country ought to provide plenty of stimulation.

We think the BNSF 2:30AM heading out to Albuquerque will be particularly popular with those who are DTF.

Choo-Choo. All aboard!

Felz Gets a Trial Date

I’ll drink to that!

It’s been almost one year since former Fullerton City manager, Joe Felz, embarked on his infamous Wild Ride after an evening of drinking at election night parties in the Downtown Fullerton gin mills he worked so tirelessly to protect.

We all know how the drive home went wrong: Felz lost control of his vehicle on Glenwood Drive, drove over a tree, and tried to get away – in violation of the law. We also know that the Fullerton cops gave Joe a free pass and a ride home, many believe on the instructions of outgoing Cop-in-Charge, Danny “Gallahad” Hughes. That would be a crime, too – obstruction of justice, which is exactly what is asserted by District Attorney investigator, Abraham Santos.

Anyway, Felz has been charged with drunk driving by the DA, but the collusion to protect the City Manager has not been addressed and it never will be. That would set a very bad precedent, wouldn’t it?

On January 16, 2018 it looks like Wild Ride Felz is going to get his day in court as he has pleaded innocent to the charges. And since there is no evidence of his inebriation we all reckon the deal will be “dry reckless” driving, and case closed.


Rest assured, FFFF will be present to record and report the court proceedings.