Friday, April 29, 2011

Fullerton Water Rates & MWDOC

Here is the latest email blast "eCurrents" from MWDOC, the agency from which the City of Fullerton buys its water. 


Message from the President
By Joan C. Finnegan, MWDOC Board President
On Friday, May 20, 2011, Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), Orange County Water District (OCWD), and the Disneyland Resort will host the fourth annual OC Water Summit at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim. As President of MWDOC, I want to encourage each of you to attend and participate in this year’s summit.
The OC Water Summit is an innovative forum that tackles water supply issues and sets real solutions in motion. The event brings together experts to engage southern California business professionals, water industry stakeholders, elected officials, community leaders, scientists, environmentalists, and others in discussions about the ongoing water supply challenges facing our state and how they impact our economy and quality of life.
This year’s program highlights include:
  • Edward G. Means, Principal Investigator of “The Value of Water,” a study funded by the Water Research Foundation.
  • Curt Schmutte, P.E., Engineering Consultant for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
  • Congressman Tom McClintock, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power.
  • Michael Hiltzik, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Colossus: Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century.
  • Dr. Lucy Jones, Chief Scientist of the US Geological Survey Multi-Hazard Demonstration Project for Southern California
Some of our speakers have contributed articles for this issue of eCurrents that will provide prospective guests with a glimpse of what they will be presenting at the summit. For additional information about the summit or to register online, please visit http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=xr8waecab&et=1105327706317&s=11443&e=001zO9X0Tgvtqw7VPGYssoACEpbNFfmv0j0SJ2a21chI0QN5CWE3QOK1zmP0Sydkwhn9jOOO5kMHZZRKWTbnkhEGO78UPnAlK6FtngeLDTKuPi9uB8bLHPfVg==.
We look forward to seeing you at the OC Water Summit on Friday, May 20, 2011 at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel.



Communicating the Value of Water: A Key Component in Establishing Public Support for Future Investments.
By Edward G. Means, Principal Investigator, Water Research Foundation "The Value of Water" Study
In the modern competitive business environment serving more and more well-informed clientele, today’s water purveyors face an unrelenting challenge of delivering recognized value through the products and services offered by them in providing safe, reliable, affordable, and secure supply of potable water. The ailing infrastructure of the nation adds to the complexity and continually requires greater levels of funding. In a poll of 71 water and wastewater utility managers and other experts, an overwhelming majority identified the need for significant additional financial resource needs to adequately address this challenge as a top issue facing water and wastewater utilities. Currently, very little Government funding is available for such efforts, and most of the utilities need to rely on financial resources from their customer base.
In order to effectively carry out their duties of continuing to deliver safe and good tasting water to their customers, water utilities continuously seek new and effective means to communicate the value of their products and services to their customer’s (general public), the community decision makers (the elected officials), and the significant influences on the decision making process (the media).
Click here to read more about The Value of Water.


Delta Seismic Risks: What is at Stake for California?
By Curt Schmutte, P.E., Engineering Consultant, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is the hub of California’s water system, home to a unique ecosystem and a diverse agricultural and recreational economy. This portion of California’s geography is extremely complex, highly altered, and not sustainable in its current form or function. The problems range from declining health of the Delta fish species, on-going island subsidence, potential levee failures due to earthquakes, upstream and in-Delta diversions, predicted sea level rise, water quality degradation, and urbanization.
Significant portions of Southern California’s water supplies are pumped through the Delta and are vulnerable to long-term outage due to an earthquake. The true level of risk has only been appreciated in recent years through separate efforts by university researchers and government agencies. As the Delta land surface sinks further below sea level due to farming activity, it creates a bigger hole to fill with seawater and increases Delta levee stresses. The levees were never designed to resist soil liquefaction and are very expensive to upgrade. Finally, the chances of a large shaking event striking the Delta are known to be high and increasing according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Click here to read more about Delta Seismic Risks.



California Forward Moves Closer to Finalizing its Government Reform Proposals
By David J. Cordero, MWDOC Director of Government Affairs
Last month, readers of eCurrents were made aware of two government reform efforts out of Sacramento that both placed a particular emphasis on potential changes in the governance and financing of the more than 2,000 independent special districts that exist throughout California. The first entity looking into potential reforms was the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review (AAR). The second was California Forward, a non-profit, bi-partisan organization that was formed in 2008 to advocate for state and local government reforms, with the intention of enacting them into law either through the Legislature or the ballot box.
Representatives from California Forward have traveled throughout the state in recent months holding “Speak Up California” events for community and business leaders, elected officials, non-profit organizations, and other interested parties. These outreach events have provided California Forward with opportunities to make its case for state and local government reform, share its evolving reform framework entitled, “Making California Work Again: Restructuring State-Local Relationships,” and solicit input and secure conceptual “buy in” for its proposals.
California Forward released its final draft framework earlier this month, and a final round of regional meetings around the state (Inland Empire, Los Angeles, San Diego, Bay Area, and the Central Valley) will soon begin to again solicit stakeholder feedback.
Orange County special district and other local government officials will have an opportunity to engage California Forward in a policy dialogue about the organization’s recommendations at the meeting of the Water Advisory Committee of Orange County (WACO) on Friday, May 6, 2011. The meeting is from 7:30-9:00 a.m. in the MWDOC/OCWD Board Room (18700 Ward Street, Fountain Valley).
Click here to read more about California Forward's government reform framework and proposals.
Click here to download a copy of California Forward's reform framework (April 19, 2011), executive summary, and four-page short summary.


MWDOC Releases Draft Urban Water Management Plan
By Warren Greco, MWDOC Policy Analyst
The Municipal Water District or Orange County (MWDOC) is currently in the process of preparing its 2010 Regional Urban Water Management Plan for adoption this summer. The Urban Water Management Plan is a document required under state law to be updated every five years to ensure that water agencies across the state are planning for adequate water supplies to meet existing and future water demands in their service areas. A draft version of MWDOC’s Urban Water Management Plan has been released and can be downloaded here. A public hearing on the plan will be held during MWDOC’s regular monthly Board Meeting on May 18, 2011.
An important new requirement for the 2010 Urban Water Management Plans is the establishment of water conservation targets to achieve a 20 percent reduction in per capita water use by the year 2020, as required under the Water Conservation Act of 2009, commonly referred to as 20 by 2020. In the past year and a half, MWDOC staff has participated in various stakeholder committees charged with drafting the guidelines under the 20 by 2020 law, and we have worked to ensure that all of the water suppliers in Orange County get credit for the significant investments that they have already made in conservation and recycled water.
Click here to read more about MWDOC's Draft Urban Water Management Plan.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Observer's Love Affair with Chevron - A love hate relationship

It doesn't take a reader long to recognize that the Fullerton Observer is a heavily biased publication. 

Each issue seems to surround Chevron, that "evil corporation that wants to destroy our beloved nature."  Some stories are emotional appeals while others raise valid concerns.  

Lacking any valid points,

at least in my opinion, the Mid-April issue is rife with emotional appeals, two of which I would like to explore here. 

First is the cover story with the flow chart.

The big fallacy, or dare I say lie, in the chart is where the project is approved with or maybe without conditions.  The project as it stands has MILLIONS of dollars in conditions.  Those conditions will not go away and neither will the law suit if the City chooses to deny the project again.

There are many other issues with the story and the chart but I'll leave those alone for now.

Next, let's look at the letter from Shirley Gregg titled "A Myth On Steroids, Chevron's 'No Money'" on page 3 of the same issue.

The author says that Chevron has refused to work with OCTA this year and that the agency has earmarked Chevron as "unwilling to negotiate at this time."  She later states that Chevron has communicated with OCTA this year but rejected their offers.

You can stick your fingers in your ears, close your eyes and pretend it ain't so, BUT Chevron sent a letter dated March 22, 2010 to OCTA wherein PCH project manager Jim Pugliese outlines what needs to happen for the County or the City or anyone else to purchase the West Coyote Hills property. 

Pugliese writes:

"...the current allocation amount of about $27 million is not sufficient to acquire, restore and maintain our 510acre property even if it received 100 percent of the funding, which is unlikely considering the property is a habitat island and there are no existing wildlife movement corridors between it and other native habitat areas (e.g. Puente Hills, Chino Hills). It is also unlikely to receive all of the funding because there are over 100 projects competing for funding throughout Orange County.
The issue of liability is another concern. Acquisition would have to include satisfactory indemnification of Pacific Coast Homes for any future liability from future public use of the land. It is not clear OCTA is in a position to offer this guarantee.
Lastly, we have made a pledge to Fullerton residents that after project approval we would open West Coyote Hills for public enjoyment through miles of trails, vista points and a nature center. Based on our conversation, it does not appear that public access is a priority for your program, and we are not prepared to go back on the pledges we have made to the community."
See actual letter at left.  Click images for full view.  To date, no one - OCTA, the City of Fullerton, or anyone else - has offered Chevron terms similar to those outlined in the March 2010 letter.

Ms. Gregg goes onto share her perceived deficit in parks in North Orange County. 

The fact remains North Orange County has plenty of parks.  Just to name a few which are all NORTH of the 91FWY:

State Parks:
Chino Hills State Park
County Parks:
Craig Regional Park
Clark Regional Park (next to WCH)
Carbon Canyon Regional Park
Featherly Regional Park
Yorba Regional Park
George Key Ranch Historical Park
Also listed as a "park" but not picnic worthy is the Yorba Cemetery

City Parks:
Constitution Park, La Habra
Corona Park, La Habra
Descanso Park, La Habra
El Centro-Lions Park, La Habra
Estelli Park, La Habra
Guadalupe Park, La Habra
La Bonita Park, La Habra
Las Lomas Park, La Habra
Loma Norte Park, La Habra
Loma Verde Park, La Habra
Montwood Park, La Habra
Oeste Park, La Habra
Old Reservoir Park, La Habra
Old Settlers Park, La Habra
Osornio Park, La Habra
Portola Park, La Habra
Richards Park, La Habra

Terraza Park, La Habra
Town Center Park, La Habra
San Miguel De Allende Park, La Habra
Vista Grande Park, La Habra
Vista Del Valle (Westridge) Park, La Habra
Vista Del Valle Park,  La Habra
Arovista Park, Brea
Brea Junior High School Park, Brea
Brea Sports Park, Brea
City Hall Park, Brea
Country Hills Park, Brea
Founder's Park, Brea
Greenbriar Par, Brea
Lagos De Moreno Park, Brea
Olinda Oil Museum and Trail, Brea
Olinda Ranch Park, Brea
Tamarack Park, Brea
Tri-City Park Maintained by the cities of Brea, Fullerton and
PlacentiaWoodcrest Park, Brea
Arroyo Park, Yorba Linda
Box Canyon Park, Yorba Linda
Brush Canyon Park, Yorba Linda
Bryant Ranch School Park, Yorba Linda
Dominguez Trailside Park, Yorba Linda
Eastside Community Park, Yorba Linda
Fairmont Knolls Park, Yorba Linda
Hurless Barton Park, Yorba Linda
Jean Woodard Park, Yorba Linda

Jessamyn West Park, Yorba Linda
Kingsbriar Park, Yorba Linda
Las Palomas Tennis Park, Yorba Linda
Phillip S. Paxton Equestrian Center, Yorba Linda
Rio Del Oro, Yorba Linda
Roland Bigonger Park, Yorba Linda
San Antonio Park, Yorba Linda
Shapell Park, Yorba Linda
Travis Ranch Park, Yorba Linda
Veterans Park, Yorba Linda
Yorba Linda Middle School Park, Yorba Linda
George Bellis Park, Buena Park
Lindbergh Mini Park, Buena Park
Smith-Murphy Park, Buena Park
Acacia Park, Fullerton
Adlena Park, Fullerton
Bastanchury Park, Fullerton
Brea Dam Park, Fullerton
Byerrum Park, Fullerton
Fern Drive Park, Fullerton
Ford Park, Fullerton
Hiltscher Park, Fullerton
Laguna Lake Park, Fullerton
Mountain View Park, Fullerton
Nicolas Park, Fullerton
Olive Park, Fullerton
Pacific Drive Park, Fullerton
Plaza Park, Fullerton
Pooch Park, Fullerton
Rolling Hills Park, Fullerton
Skate Park (at Independence Park) , Fullerton
Trail Rest Park, Fullerton
Woodcrest Park, Fullerton
Koch Park, Placentia
Pearson Park, Placentia
Tuffree Park, Placentia
Kraemer Park, Placentia
Parque de Los Vaqueros, Placentia
Parque del Arroyo Verde, Placentia
RiverDale Park, Anaheim

*Recreational trails were not included in the list.

Did I miss any?  I tried to exclude buildings and golf courses though many consider those to be "parks".

122 PARKS NORTH OF THE 91FWY!

How many parks do we need before we have enough?

City of Fullerton's Proposed Budget Unveiled - $274.9-Million to be spent

The City of Fullerton unveiled the proposed budget for fiscal year 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.

The budget appears to be largely a rearrangement of the deck chairs with no real cuts proposed.  There are proposed cuts in certain projected spending to help make up for significant increases in employee benefits.


There were no explanations about the benefits increasing which Councilmember Whitaker took issue with. 

Councilmember Quirk-Silva reminded staff that last year there were several ideas proposed for generating revenue and increasing fees such as the tow franchise which will be heard by the Council later this year.  Quirk-Silva expressed appreciation that the tow franchise was moving forward but would like to know about the other measure proposed last year.

One of my major concerns continues to be the infrastructure.  As Public Works Director Hoppe pointed out, we still have a nearly $150 million dollar paving deficit to deal with.  The current paving plan does not adequately address this nor does this proposed budget.  I hope the council members and City Manager Joe Felz will give serious consideration and address our infrastructure with this budget.

Below are the summaries for the proposed budget. (click on image to read)  The big question remaining in my mind is how does $274.9 million in taxpayer expenditures next year benefit my family, my neighborhood, and the quality of life in my community?


The City Official Who "Gets It" - Al Zelinka

"Al Zelinka, is the community development director for the City of Fullerton, California. Prior to joining the City of Fullerton, Zelinka was vice president of RBF Consulting and served as principal of RBF Consulting's urban design studio. For the past 20 years, Zelinka has played an active part in more than 150 projects (20 of which have received awards) and has practiced planning and delivered presentations or training in more than 28 states (plus the District of Columbia). He is the coauthor of two APA publications, SafeScape and Placemaking on a Budget. Zelinka received a master of regional planning from Cornell University."

The Cornell grad is a shift from the usual bureaucratic appointments by an otherwise largely failed City Council.   

Last night was the first time I felt that someone at City Hall "gets it".  Not that there aren't a few very talented folks down there but anyone who has had to develop a piece of property in Fullerton knows the frustration and expense associated with the process.

Speaking to the residents and selection committee at last night's DCCSP public meeting Zelinka said something that hit straight to the core of Fullerton's problem with private investment and development.  With about 30, maybe 40, people in the room, Zelinka said "We need to get government out of the way!" 

Holy Hot Tamale!  That was my message during the 2010 City Council election! 

Zelinka is the first to realize and, more importantly, vocalize that City Hall with its commissions and council is actually hindering growth, development, and investment.  For years, perhaps decades, Fullerton has been a difficult place for developers to work.  Between the NIMBYs (not-in-my-backyard), a disjointed development code, and a void of leadership few have been willing to invest here.

Zelinka went on to explain that the specific plan which is to be created by the public through various workshops will create a framework for expediting development.

The way it has been explained to me is like approving which Lego's you will allow to be used upfront and then, anyone using those Lego's gets a quick approval.  I realize that is overly simplified but the concept is the same.

Some of the public comments included a strong desire for NEW architecture.  I truly hope those with that or similar opinions and concerns stay engaged in this discussion so that we don't end up looking like Irvine with the same beige stucco facades that seem to be creeping into downtowns across the U.S.

I was not a fan of this project from the start, mostly over concerns of the costs to taxpayers for condemnation and the potential for suppressing property rights. 

Although I still have those concerns, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.  That is, if Chevron can request and have their property rezoned then why not the downtown...even if the downtown zone change is initiated by the City of Fullerton.

A major component of the plan is to address the roads and properties fronting certain arteries (corridors) leading into the Downtown "core".  This is where I see our tax dollars being invested first and foremost.  It is also where the largest segment of Fullerton's residents will be adversely affected if it isn't done right.  It will require YOUR input to make it a good plan that is uniquely Fullerton.

With Al Zelinka's clear vision of getting government out of the way, I am optimistic that he and other City regulators will know when (and how) to step aside and allow growth to take place without heavy handed tactics or the use (and abuse) of public funds.

Fullerton just might survive...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Subdivision Map Act: A One Day Seminar Near You!


2011 Class Locations                                  REGISTER HERE


LAFAYETTE | Thurs., Apr. 28, 2011
Lafayette Library and Learning Center

SAN MATEO | Thurs., May 12, 2011
San Mateo County Event Center

STOCKTON | Thurs., May 26, 2011
Best Western Plus Heritage Inn
  
MARINA | Thurs., June 23, 2011
Marina Airport Conference Room
  
SANTA MARIA | Thurs., July 28, 2011
Santa Maria Minami Community Center
  
COLTON | Thurs., Sept. 15, 2011
Frank A. Gonzales Center
  
FRESNO | Thurs., Sept. 22, 2011
Pardini’s Catering & Banquets
  
BURBANK | Thurs., Oct. 27, 2011
Burbank Moose Lodge
  
SAN DIEGO | Thurs., Nov. 17, 2011
San Diego Concourse

Fullerton City Council Special Meeting Tonight - The Budget

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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