Friday, January 21, 2011

Fullerton Observer lost in the twilight zone

I have a hard time reading periodicals that swing wildly in all directions, hoping to strike a blow on a non-existent foe.  The January issue of the Fullerton Observer is such a periodical.

Chevron stands in the way of  Chevron
The Fullerton Observer's January 2011 has an odd front headline that is causing a lot of people to scratch their heads.

The actual headline, Chevron Stands in the Way of City Receiving Funds to Save Coyote Hills as a Park, is wholly inaccurate.  Chevron is not standing in the way of the City receiving funds.  Chevron is exercising its constitutional right in its law suit with the City after the City failed to follow through on the terms of their mutual agreement.

The headline and article lead the reader to believe that the City would receive the funds and that it would somehow help the City.  Actually the funds would be given to the seller, Chevron, not to the buyer for far less than fair-market value. 

Lastly, it is completely reasonable for any property owner to seek just compensation for the sale of their property.  Why do so many people continue to believe that Chevron should just give up their land and their rights simply because they are a big wealthy corporation? 

If that logic were applied across the economic spectrum of business, Microsoft would give everyone in Fullerton Windows 7 for free and Disney would give all of us free passes.  It wouldn't take long for Microsoft and Disneyland to go belly up, much like Fullerton will if we don't get our collective heads together and fix City Hall. 

At left is a letter from Pacific Coast Homes that explained to OCTA why the deal wouldn't work for Chevron (click images to view).  Don't forget, it was the City who backed out of the deal, not Chevron's Pacific Coast Homes. 


Chevron's property is our only hope
Another headline, Coyote Hills Has A Regional Park, is a letter to the Observer by David Hoonsbeen that pushes more open space propaganda.  Mr. Hoonsbeen letter makes a common, but incorrect, argument that Fullerton lacks open space. 

Just a few feet from Chevron's West Coyote Hills property sits Clark Regional Park.  It is a great park with a large lake, hill top vista, athletic fields, and a museum.  It is an amazing park that many seem to brush aside.

Also in north Fullerton is Craig Regional Park.  Craig is another great public facility with a lake and tons of trails.  On any given day, take a look at the tree tops and you might see one of the many owls napping. 

There are many other smaller parks in the region that are also ignored to lend to the perception that Fullerton and the northern OC cities are somehow park-deficient.  The reality is that we are park-rich! 

Then come the comparisons to south OC.  The comparison is apples to oranges.  Much of south OC is/was owned by the Irvine Company, Rancho Mission Viejo, or other large holding companies.  As a condition of their developments these companies must pay certain park fees or actually build parks.  The Irvine Company and Rancho Mission Viejo have both been generous with their gifts which has helped stem some of the criticism for their massive housing projects. 

In the case of Chevron's West Coyote Hills, Chevron was going to give the City of Fullerton more than half of their land for open space and park purposes.  When was the last time another developer was so generous in Fullerton? 

The open space answer
Since the City of Fullerton is so good at bulldozing private property around Valencia and Highland where they have evicted hundreds of very low-income residents to make way for moderate income housing, why doesn't the City take their bulldozers from and direct their attention on those big homes the Fullerton has hiding in the hills?  Seriously though, I would not be surprised if the following decades brought us expansions of redevelopment into middle class neighborhoods to make way for even more open space.   

It seems that many open space advocates want you to give up your rights and property without just compensation. 

The sad truth
Because some feel deprived of parks, their jealousy has caused them to toss grenades in every direction.  Those self-initiated and finite inadequacies have pitted neighbor against neighbor when we should be coming together to recognize the rights of individuals and companies.  We all have a right to the use and enjoyment of our own property without the influence of big money, emotional diatribes, or fear mongering.  The Fifth Amendment guarantees us that we shall not "...be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

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Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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