Friday, July 1, 2011

Water Rate Update

Thursday evening the Water Rate Ad Hoc Committee voted and made some recommendations.

First, the Committee rescinded our May 23rd recommendation to the City Council to use Alternative A which would have raised ALL rates 7.8% or more.  All would feel the pain evenly. 

Second, the committee voted to recommend “Alternative B”.  The Committee briefing describes Alternative B as an “Alternative rate structure using 1983 Rate Study meter equivalents for all fixed charges, increasing fixed charge revenue from 12% to 18% and adjustments to commodity charges to better reflect cost of service.”

I voted NO and Mr. Jack Dean abstained from recommending Alternative B. Regardless, Alternative B was passed.

Third, I moved to recommend that the City Council exempt from the water franchise tax all new revenue generated from this new rate structure to ensure that ALL new revenue goes strictly back into the water system.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.  There appeared to be too much opposition for recommending that the council abolish the hidden tax.

Speaking to the THREE members of the public who came to the meeting, I explained that 10%-11% (depends on who you talk to and which document they look at) of the money we pay for our water bill does not go into the water system and that the money, $2.5 million FY2010, goes into the General Fund.  The General Fund does not contribute any money to the Capital Improvement Program (infrastructure) but does pay for things like parks, fire, police, special club memberships for the city, and other oddities.  Similarly, the Paramedic Fee does not go exclusively to paramedics- it goes into the General Fund. 

The end results of the Water Rate Ad Hoc Committee work are recommendations to the City Council.  Whether or not they agree with our recommendations, we will see on July 19th at the Public Hearing. 

Hearing Alert! - Costly Regulations Threaten Recreational Fishing

At an August 3rd-4th Sacramento hearing of the California Fish and Game Commission, the Fish and Game Department will be introducing unprecedented and costly regulations that threaten the very existence of fresh water recreational fishing, an industry that stocks California lakes and ponds and supplies your favorite restaurant and grocery store with fresh and affordable fish.

What's more, recreational fishermen will be shocked to learn that they may be required to hold a fishing license at privately owned and stocked fishing lakes!

If you are a recreational fisherman, lake operator, fish farmer or just a concerned citizen, please visit our website at www.SaveCalFishing.org to learn how you can have your voice heard at this important hearing!

You can also download a hearing flyer that you can post at your favorite bait and tackle shop, lake, or share it with a fellow fisherman. Fishing clubs and lake operators are encouraged to post the flyer on their websites. In addition, please visit our website's "Take Action" page to learn what more you can do to protect recreational fishing.

With the second highest unemployment rate in the nation California can't afford to lose more jobs, drive up the cost of California grown fish, and deny Californians access to recreational fishing!

Protect Recreational Fishing by Having Your Voice Heard - Attend this Important Meeting!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fullerton School Board Member Sets Record Straight

Fullerton School Board Member Chris Thompson was given an opportunity to refute claims made in the Fullerton Observer.  Those visiting this blog know I take them to task just about as often as they can print issues.  Thompson's remarks are at FullertonStories.com, a local website.

Thompson speaks openly and plainly about the teachers' association which he feels is causing more harm to students than good. 

Although I'm a card-carrying member of the California Teachers Association (CTA), I completely agree with Thompson's notion that the CTA spent $211 million dollars "with a primary mission of supporting candidates and causes dedicated to protecting the worst teachers in the state."

It has been my experience that the CTA is a huge distraction from what teachers are supposed to do- TEACH! 

Thompson has his work cut out for him.  Concerned about where my neighborhood elementary school was headed, I pulled my children out and have chosen to send them to a private school.  It isn't cheap but it gives me a piece of mind knowing that my children are in small classes with a very close group of families. 

I was frustrated with what I call "an eccentric multi-age classroom" that seems to be all the rage.  In some circles these multi-age classrooms are wonderful options for their children to blossom.  I, however, look at it as extremely difficult working environment for the teachers and a poor learning environment for the older children.  There were other issues as well, such as the significant amount of time preparing to take state exams instead of teaching; exam prep and teaching are not the same thing.

Back to Chris...  I know Chris Thompson can come across sounding mean or harsh sometimes, but consider the battle he is waging on our behalf and you may understand his frustration and ire.  I admire Thompson's willingness to speak up and speak out when the rest of the Board is complacent handing out awards. 

It's too bad the Fullerton Joint High School District doesn't have a trustee with that same fire to do what is right.

My message to Chris Thompson is simple:  Keep fighting!  You work for us and you have not forgotten. Thank you!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fullerton Water Rate Meeting this Thursday

A last-minute meeting has been called for the Water Rate Study Ad Hoc Committee.

I was contacted by city staff last week with the announcement that a meeting was needed to tie up some loose ends. 

They asked for members' availability this week but no email announcement confirming the date or time was ever sent out.  I found out about this meeting through the City's Public Notice webpage.

So, in case you didn't get the notice...

Water Rate Study Ad Hoc Committee meeting, Thursday June 3 at 4:00PM in the Fullerton City Council Chambers (303 W. Commonwealth Ave.).

THE PUBLIC IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND AND SPEAK ABOUT YOUR CONCERNS. 

Taliban: Extreme evil through extreme tactics

There is a heartbreaking story coming out of Afghanistan telling of the Taliban using an 8-year old little girl as a homicide bomber.  It is believed that the child had no idea what was in the bag she was carrying.  She was the only casualty.

You can read more about this sad story HERE.

Little girls should be drawing and dancing.  They should be playing and having fun.  Sadly, evil knows no bounds. 

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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