Saturday, July 30, 2011

Does New Study Give Fullerton Taxpayers Reason to Worry?


Asphalt patch after water line breaks in the
1800 block of Rolling Hills Dr.

If you have followed me over the last few years or even months, you know I have been banging on the doors of City Hall to get our infrastructure in order.  You don't have to be a land surveyor to see that our roads and water lines are failing.  You don't need to be an economist or accountant to realize that "holding the line", the current budgetary philosophy of Fullerton's leadership, is never going to repair the decades of neglect inflicted. 



How would Fullerton rank in a similar study?  Where as the Bay Area was graded a C, my guess would be Fullerton has earned an F.  The few road projects we tackle are not keeping up with the wear and tare.  Similarly, the water lines are springing dozens and dozens of leaks with no major repairs in sight. 

Some say this is due to inadequate tax collection and the solution is simply to raise taxes.  That's not true.

The Fullerton City Council has made it clear over the years that they are more interested in social engineering and feel-good projects than meaningful maintenance of our existing community.

Their arguments rely on impulse and emotion rather than necessity - wants over needs.  To prove this, just look at the official prioritization of our capital funding:
1) Fire & Police Projects (not salaries or benefits)
2) Redevelopment Projects (includes transportation center, parking structures, downtown-related projects, and other pet projects)
3) Parks & Rec Projects
4) Facility Capital Repairs
5) Sewer, Water, Storm Drain Projects
6) Arterial Street Repair
7) Residential Street Repair
8) Airport Projects

At this rate, we will never be able to adequately repair or replace key elements of our infrastructure and continue to FAIL as a municipal government.  Something needs to change but with the Redevelopment agency rearing its bloated head once again, I don't think anything resembling responsibility or leadership will happen soon.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Municipal Money Laundering? Double Taxes? Misappropriation of Public Funds?

Is the City of Fullerton engaged in some sort of money laundering scheme that includes double taxing residents and misappropriating public funds? 

I think so but you decide.

Monday I will explore these questions and share some unsettling practices within City Hall.  If they aren't illegal, they should be. You'll need a shower after you read it; yes it really is that bad!  In fact, it's much worse than I ever suspected.

(Enter your email on the right side and click SUBSCRIBE)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Press-Enterprise: State looking at regulating private fishing ponds, lakes

By DAVID DANELSKI
The Press-Enterprise


Owners of private pay-to-fish ponds and lakes are stewing over new rules the state is considering that would require them to conduct environmental reviews to determine whether their operations harm local wildlife.

The private fishing holes usually operate on a slim margin, said Craig Elliott, owner of Corona Lake, which charges $22 for a day-long chance to catch catfish, trout, tilapia, crappie or bluegill.

If adopted, he says the rules could force him and other operators out of business.

Read the Press-Enterprise story HERE.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Holding Bars and Bartenders Responsible

It seems that a week doesn't go by without hearing about a drunk Downtown Fullerton patron killing someone after getting behind the wheel.

It is sad and preventable. 

The Fullerton Police Department keeps tabs on the bars by conducting "FIs" or field interrogations.  FIs occur when an officer makes contact with the public by stopping them for traffic violations, jay-walking, or simply loitering about.

One of the lines of questions they ask those they contact is where are they coming from and have they been drinking.  The suspects are encouraged to tell the officer which Downtown bar they came from and how many drinks they were served.  The officers document this information and compile it for future investigations. 

I first learned of this data and the process for obtaining it when Downtown Fullerton's Cherch Lounge was closed down for numerous flagrant violations.  It was the first time I had seen the City take a proactive role in holding bars responsible for their action.  

Too bad the bars aren't scrutinized more; perhaps other lives could be saved.
 
The California Business and Professions Code regulates alcohol sales and consumption throughout the state.  Two laws in particular can and should be applied to Fullerton's bars through stepped up enforcement.

25601.  Every licensee, or agent or employee of a licensee, who keeps, permits to be used, or suffers to be used, in conjunction with a licensed premises, any disorderly house or place in which people abide or to which people resort, to the disturbance of the neighborhood, or in which people abide or to which people resort for purposes which are injurious to the public morals, health, convenience, or safety, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

25602.  (a) Every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage to any habitual or common drunkard or to any obviously intoxicated person is guilty of a misdemeanor.
   (b) No person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section shall be civilly liable to any injured person or the estate of such person for injuries inflicted on that person as a result of intoxication by the consumer of such alcoholic beverage.

Congratulations to Joshua Tatman, PLS 8858

From left: Greg Sebourn, Board Pres. Brian Conley, Joshua
Tatman, and Santiago Canyon College Pres. Dr. Juan
Vazquez, Ph.D.
Joshua Tatman, 23, of Lake Forest is one of the youngest licensed professional land surveyors to ever earn his license.

PLS 8858 (that's his state license number) was honored by the Rancho Santiago Community College District Board of Trustees at last night's Board meeting.  Josh is one of our Instructional Assistant at Santiago Canyon College where he acts as mentor, lab tech, and tutor for the nearly 200 land surveying students that attend classes each year. 

Josh is also a surveyor at OC Survey (a.k.a. the Orange County Surveyor's Office) where he works on boundary projects. 

Josh has earned several land surveying certificates from Santiago Canyon College and hopes to continue his education at Cal State Fullerton and earn a business degree.  Josh also hopes to become a Certified Federal Surveyor, or CFedS.

Congratulations to Joshua Tatman, PLS 8858!!!!

Orange County Doctor Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Billing for Cancer Meds That Were Never Provided

 SANTA ANA, CA—An Orange County cancer doctor was sentenced this morning to 18 months in federal prison for fraudulently submitting bills for approximately $1 million worth of injectable cancer medications that never were provided.

Dr. Glen R. Justice, 66, of Corona del Mar, was sentenced by United States District Judge Cormac J. Carney. Justice pleaded guilty in May 2010 to five counts of health care fraud.

Justice, who ran the Pacific Coast Hematology/Oncology Medical Group in Fountain Valley, defrauded health insurance providers, including the Medicare program, by billing for injectable cancer medications when patients never received those medications. In some instances where patients did receive medications, Justice “upcoded” claims made to health insurance providers by falsely claiming that he administered more expensive injectable medications than were actually given to patients.

The medications involved in the scheme included Neulasta, Neupogen, Procrit/Epogen/Aranesp, and Neumega. Justice’s scheme ran from at least 2004 through October 2009, despite being advised by staff about the improper billing and the execution of a search warrant at his medical group in November 2006. In a plea agreement filed in court, Justice acknowledged that the public and private health insurance providers—including Medicare, Tricare, carriers contracted with the federal government through the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California—suffered losses of between $400,000 and $1 million.

During today’s sentencing hearing, Justice did not contest government allegations that he had violated his plea agreement by continuing to submit fraudulent bills after he signed the agreement in March 2010.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Carney ordered Justice to pay $1,004,689 in restitution.

This case is the product of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Office of Inspector General, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Department of Defense - Office of Inspector General.

Monday, July 25, 2011

TSA Officer Indicted in Series of Thefts from Luggage

LOS ANGELES—A federal grand jury this afternoon indicted an officer with the Transportation Security Administration on theft charges related to watches and a pre-paid debit card that were stolen from the luggage of airline passengers at Los Angeles International Airport.

Paul Yashou, 38, of Torrance, was named in a five-count indictment that charges him with two felony and three misdemeanor theft counts.

The indictment alleges that Yashou stole four watches and the debit card from luggage going through security screening in Terminal 1 at LAX.

The indictment specifically alleges that Yashou stole an IWC GST chrono perpetual calendar moonphase watch valued at approximately $15,000, a Breitling Crosswind watch valued at approximately $5,000, a $1,000 Antima watch, a $1,000 Movado watch, and a $1,000 pre-paid debit card.

The investigation in this case started when the owner of the IWC watch noticed that his watch had been offered for sale on eBay. The investigation revealed that Yashou had sold the watch to the jewelry store that was offering the watch for sale on the Internet.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The two felony counts in the indictment, which relate to the IWC and Breitling watches, each carry a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. The three misdemeanor charges each carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

Yashou will be summoned to appear in United States District Court for an arraignment on August 3.
The case against Yashou was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Airport Police.

CONTACT:
Assistant United States Attorney Meghan A. Blanco
Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section
(213) 894-2253
Release No. 11-102
Source: http://www.fbi.gov/losangeles/press-releases/2011/tsa-officer-indicted-in-series-of-thefts-from-luggage

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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