Friday, February 18, 2011

University Double Standard

You might recall my series of posts regarding Cal State Fullerton President Milton A. Gordon and the Cal State Fullerton student-reporter Ally Bordas who was slammed and censored by CSUF Media Relations Director Christopher Bugbee.

Recently in the news was another story that points to the blatant hypocrisy that exists within the wall of California's universities.  CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CBS, and others have all covered the story of the UC San Diego student-run newspaper, the Koala, Volume 6, Issue 1, wherein an editor calls a student-body VP a "Fat Whore" with a picture of a penis and scrotum in her face.  (--GRAPHIC WARNING - view The Koala here GRAPHIC WARNING--)

Unlike UCSD, where administrators have said the editor has the right to free speech and artistic expression, CSUF's administration doesn't want anyone to speak ill of their over-paid president, Milton A. Gordon.   

I suppose if CSUF student-reporters would like to speak the truth and point out facts about the university's over-paid administration, they need only to use graphic profanity.  I, on the other hand, do not need to resort to such tactics.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Gordon took a couple of pay cuts from $311,944 in 2008 and $302,042 in 2009 to $294,615.  The cut amounts to a whopping 5.5% which doesn't mean much considering he lives, rent-free, at the publicly-owned El Dorado Ranch mansion in Fullerton.  I haven't looked into it but I'm guessing he has a state-owned car and maybe even a driver.  Regardless of the latter, Gordon enjoys the sweet life that the rest of us pay for through taxes and students through ever-increasing fees and tuition.   

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fullerton CRA Invites You...


Fullerton Republican Assembly Cordially invite you 
to attend our February Dinner meeting!
________________________________________________


Advocates for Faith & Freedom
Robert Tyler
Constitutional Attorney


“California in Chaos: Our Strategy to fight back!”

Date: Thursday, February 17th
Time: Dinner 6:15 pm – 7pm (on your own) - Meeting 7:00 pm -8:30 pm
Location: Sizzler Restaurant 1401 North Harbor Blvd., Harbor/Brea Blvds, Fullerton 92835

Advocates for Faith & Freedom (www.faith-freedom.com) is a 501c3 Legal Defense firm, specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental & churches rights and other civil liberties. They work diligently without charge to provide their clients with the necessary legal support to affect a positive change in law & culture.

Questions: Please contact Zonya Townsend (714) 525-9441 or zonya3townsend@aol.com

Monday, February 14, 2011

Exit Redevelopment, Enter Housing Authority

Like the phoenix rising up from the ashes of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency, the Fullerton Housing Authority is born.

The February 15th Fullerton City Council Agenda contains an item that would create a new city government bureaucracy in which to shelter the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency’s funds from the State of California. 

The staff report attached to the agenda suggests that the Orange County Housing Authority would likely gain control of the City’s $33-million currently allocated for housing if Governor Brown’s budget cuts include dismantling the powerful redevelopment agencies. 

City staff are concerned that the City will loose local control should the County control the money.  For years, the City of Fullerton has passed the buck on local control to quasi-governmental agencies like the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). 

SCAG develops rules, guidelines, and policies for its members to follow as part of a master plan.  SCAG is all about light rail, transportation centers, building up- not out, and environmental causes.  SCAG gained some legitimacy when the Federal government declared the organization to be a metropolitan planning organization.  SCAG would turn Fullerton into a mini Downtown Los Angeles if they could. …but I digress.

Back to my point.  The City of Fullerton has been using the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency to conduct business which no public agency should be conducting such as land development (as opposed to economic development).  The Fullerton Redevelopment Agency is tens of millions of dollars in debt thanks to the issuance of tax bonds.  And while spending money to buy up businesses and apartments for nefarious purposes, property taxes are diverted from public safety, education, and the infrastructure. 

Now the same people who gave us a $29,000,000 tax bond (estimated to cost taxpayers $50-million) last year seek to continue to shelter public funds but in a new government agency to be called the Fullerton Housing Authority -because they don’t want to give up local control!  Why worry about local control this late in the game?

As I have said repeatedly, there is nothing that the City of Fullerton cannot do as a city without having a redevelopment agency -except issue tax bonds without taxpayer/voter approval. 

Here is an excerpt from the staff report of what the Housing Authority may do:
“The City Council may adopt a resolution declaring there is a need for a housing authority if it finds either of the following: 1) that unsanitary and unsafe inhabited dwelling accommodations exist in the City, or 2) that there is a shortage of safe or sanitary dwelling accommodations in the city available to persons of low income at rental rates they can afford.”

The report goes on to advise council members that they should become the Housing Authority Commissioners.  The report doesn’t mention it but I wonder how much these new commissioners will be paid for their service?

As our fearless leader says in every speech, “Let me be clear…”.  Let me be clear that there are housing issues that need to be dealt with.  However, a housing authority is just another department to manage with more overhead.  There is an existing department, Community Development, which could and should handle housing issues. 

The staff report mentions that about half of all renter households are over paying for what they can afford.  If a government agency was to continuously accommodated renters based on their respective incomes, what would be the incentive for renters to be more productive with their time?  In other words, if the city provides housing to accommodate an annual salary of $20,000, then where is my motivation to earn $30,000?  Without individuals progressively improving their financial growth and productivity, we will continue to have an economic recession.  And eventually, a handful of wealthy aristocrats will have to provide for the masses, not unlike the lords and serfs of the dark ages. 

Finally, I leave you with “staff’s” summary of the situation:
“In response to the Governor s proposed budget the formation of a local housing authority will provide the City with the opportunity to maintain local control of the existing affordable housing fund balances and allow the City to provide for the development of affordable housing within the City s boundaries Under the proposed State budget the housing funds would go directly to the Orange County Housing Authority where local control would be lost and development of affordable housing in the City would have an uncertain future and risk not meeting its RHNA obligations In response to the proposed budget staff is requesting that the City Council consider approval of establishing the Fullerton Housing Authority in order to safeguard the City s ability to provide affordable housing opportunities.”

Sunday, February 13, 2011

True Grit (2010) and The Green Hornet

I finally got to see both of these movies and have about 10 minutes between tasks, just enough time to share my thoughts on both.

True Grit is a great story.  The original John Wayne portrayal of Ruben "Rooster" Cogburn was, in my opinion, one of John Wayne's greatest ever.  Much of Wayne's career was spent acting like- well, John Wayne.  It didn't matter if he was fighting the injuns or the Japs, he was amazingly the same character.  True Grit however forced him or perhaps challenged him to step out of his norm and try something else.  The original film still stands as a classic Western. 

Needless to say, when Jeff Bridges put on the boots, he put on a character unlike any he had ever played before.  There was zero John Wayne and yet Rooster Cogburn was alive and well on the silver screen once more.  Jeff Bridges is truly one of the greatest character actors of my time, perhaps of all time.  His scenes drag you right into the campsite where you can smell the whiskey on his breath.  As great of a performance as Jeff Bridges gave us, his leading lady, Hailee Steinfeld, was no less enduring.  Playing the part of a young teen filled with relentless desire to bring to justice her father's murderer, she stays true to the story and lends credibility where the original may have fell a little short.

True Grit (2010) was by far the best movie of 2010.

The Green Hornet was great fun.  As silly as most of it was, I enjoyed the action and story line.  The idea that the Green Hornet wasn't much of a hero, except by dumb luck and the skill of Kato, brought home the humor.  The Green Hornet is everything Superman and Spiderman lack.  I see more Green Hornet movies in our future...

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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