Tuesday, August 9, 2011

July 2011 Council Update

Projects:
Euclid Street Reconstruction - Orangethorpe Avenue to 91 Freeway (Engineering): This project includes replacing deteriorated pavement and access ramps to comply with ADA regulations; installing traffic loops and striping; and replacing damaged curbs and gutters. The project is in the bidding phase, and construction is expected to begin in late August.

Richman Athletic Field Improvements (Engineering): The project was completed at the beginning of June and is in the maintenance period, which ends in September.

West Harbor Alley Improvement -
Amerige Avenue-Wilshire Avenue
(Engineering): In June, Council awarded this $215,175 project to Kormx, Inc. The project includes alley and sidewalk reconstruction, and improvements in landscaping, irrigation, and lighting between the Amerige and Wilshire entrances. Construction is expected to be completed in September.

Fox Block Temporary Parking Lot (Engineering): Construction was completed in June, and the lot is now fully operational.

Sewer Replacement and Road Reconstruction - Chapman Area, west of
Basque Avenue
(Engineering): Kana Pipeline, Inc., has begun installing sewer main and removing concrete at intersection corners. Access ramp installation will follow, as well as sidewalks, curbs, gutters and alley returns. The project is expected to be completed in mid-September.

Tennis Center Renovation (Parks and Recreation): The Fullerton Tennis Center renovation began July 5, and is expected to be completed Oct. 25. A grand opening is planned in November. Court availability will remain open throughout construction.

Hiltscher Trail Improvements (Parks and Recreation): The trail improvements (from
Euclid Street
to
La Mesa Avenue
) began early this month. Improvements will include enhanced trail staging areas, as well as a new trail alignment to create a better flow for different types of users and to cause the least amount of disruption to the neighboring homes. This section of the trail is closed during construction and will reopen in October.

Update on the Fox Theatre (Redevelopment and Economic Development): Work on the seismic retrofit of the Fox Theatre complex continues. Roof tile from the Firestone Building and Tea Room has been removed and cleaned. The tiles will be surveyed to determine which ones can be reused. Removal of the marquee is complete. The ”FOX ” letters were removed from the marquee and will be stored while the new marquee is fabricated during Phase 2 of the restoration project.

SOCO West Parking Structure (Redevelopment and Economic Development): Construction of the parking structure is under way, with shoring activities finished and excavation 80 percent completed.

Programs:
Fourth of July Festival (Parks and Recreation): Attendance in the stadium was estimated at 12,000, with an estimated 20,000 people in the surrounding streets, parks, and at the courthouse to watch the fireworks show. There was one minor incident at the end of the night: A woman fell as she was walking down the steps in the stadium. She landed hard on her left knee and hand. Fullerton Fire Paramedics provided medical attention, and she was taken to Anaheim Regional Hospital for follow-up. Traffic in the surrounding streets was heavy after the event, with no significant incidents reported.

Summer Concerts in the Park (Parks and Recreation): The Summer Concerts in the Park will be held Wednesdays, beginning July 13 and running through Aug. 17. The concerts will offer a variety of music genres from “Southbound” (‘70s and Southern Rock), “HELP” (a Beatles tribute group), “The James Harman Band” (blues), “The Mighty Cash Cats” (a Johnny Cash tribute group), “Yard Sale” (classic rock) and “The Lucky Stars” (country). A different Fullerton restaurant will sell food each week, and free crafts will be provided. Free shuttle service will be available to and from the parking structure at First Evangelical Free Church.

Foreclosure Prevention Workshop (Community Development): On June 11, the Orange County Home Ownership Preservation Collaborative, along with the Shalom Center Tree of Life and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez’s office, partnered to provide a free foreclosure prevention workshop that provided counseling to distressed homeowners by nonprofit housing agencies and lender representatives. Approximately 207 persons attended the event, representing 83 households in Fullerton and local communities. The foreclosure prevention information was presented in English, and Korean and Spanish translators were provided. All attendees first met one-on-one with a housing counselor and then were able to meet one-on-one with their respective lender to discuss their individual situations. Five lenders and four nonprofit agencies participated in the event.

City-wide Clean-up (Maintenance Services): In April, the City Council directed Maintenance Services to implement a city-wide clean-up effort involving several projects. As of June 30, the status of that effort is as follows:

Landscape Projects:
  • The
    Nutwood Avenue
    and
    Lemon Street
    improvements have been completed.
  • The Juanita Cooke Trail survey has been completed and work is under way.
Graffiti Removal:

The three-person graffiti removal crew’s efforts have been augmented by an employee assigned to clean parking structures, who is also removing graffiti as he finds it during his cleaning rounds.
Pothole Repair:

The Street Division repaired potholes at 525 locations in May and June, compared with 335 for the same period in 2010. The Division will continue to use recycled asphalt to augment its regular asphalt purchases, increasing the amount of material available for pothole repair and other paving operations.
Street Sign Replacement:

The Street Division is completing the count and locations of street sign replacement.
Based on current ordering and installation times, installing of all 326 new signs should be completed by September.

Month in Review:
Website Statistics (Redevelopment and Economic Development): In June, the Department’s section on the City website had 1,736 hits.

Unemployment Rates (Redevelopment and Economic Development): Current unemployment rates are as follows: U.S. – 9.1 percent; California – 11.4 percent; Orange County – 8.5 percent; and Fullerton – 9.6 percent. This data was provided by the Orange County Workforce Investment Board.

Fire: In June, the Department had 915 requests for service, up slightly from the 904 requests in June 2010. Of the 915 requests, 673 were for emergency medical aid, 23 were for fires, eight were hazardous materials incidents, and 61 were service calls. Of the medical aid requests, 437 required advanced life support response and 236 required basic life support response. In addition, the Department responded on 84 automatic aid calls, and received 73 automatic aid responses.

Community Development: In June, the Department: issued 292 plan checks and permits; issued 427 building permits; conducted 1,612 building inspections; received 216 code enforcement complaints; handled 733 active code enforcement cases; closed 176 code enforcement complaints; and conducted 848 code enforcement inspections.

Major Building Permits (Community Development): In June, the following major permits were issued: Chick-fil-A Restaurant; parking structure for the Transportation Center; and parking structure for University Housing,
555 N. Commonwealth Ave.

Police: In June, the Department was dispatched to 3,529 calls for service and initiated 2,164 additional contacts. There were 1,055 criminal reports taken and 419 persons arrested for various criminal offenses.

Police Explorers (Police): In the last week of June, eight Fullerton Police Explorers, along with three Police Officers and a Cadet Adviser attended “Camp Superstars” in Lake Arrowhead. Explorers from around Southern California gathered for a week of team building and competition. It was the first chance many of our Explorers ever had to attend such a camp. At the conclusion of the week, Fullerton’s Post earned the “Badge of Honor” trophy, which was awarded for an “exemplary showing of teamwork, sportsmanship and character.”

Source: http://www.cityoffullerton.com/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=7491

How much crime goes unnoticed in Fullerton?

According to the Fullerton Police Departments July Council Update, in June the Department was dispatched to 3,529 calls for service and initiated 2,164 additional contacts. There were 1,055 criminal reports taken and 419 persons arrested for various criminal offenses.  Those statistics make "TheEducation Community" sound like the bad part of L.A.

According to the Fullerton Police iWatch Alert System, one garage (and the car inside), one home, a residential trailer, and on truck were all burglarized.  The iWatch statistics make Fullerton look safer than Irvine!

So where is the truth? 

The truth is that iWatch does not alert subscribers to all crimes, just those that a few people think you should know about. 

Does this practice of filtering mislead the public and give the community a false sense of security?  Yes. 

If the only intent of using the system is to alert subscribers to crime trends in their neighborhood, we have the beginning of something good.  The iWatch Alert System has a long way to go before becoming a real public alert tool.

To help put Fullerton's crime in perspective, we have to quantify the crimes.  Let's look at 2011.

In May, the Department was dispatched to 3,637 calls for service and initiated 2,609 additional contacts. There were 1,101 criminal reports taken and 458 persons arrested for various criminal offenses.

In April, the Department was dispatched to 3,616 calls for service and initiated 2,555 additional contacts. There were 1,190 criminal reports taken and 483 persons arrested for various criminal offenses.

In March, Officers responded to 3,406 calls for service and initiated 3,072 additional contacts. A total of 1,145 criminal reports were taken, and 574 persons were arrested for various criminal offenses.

There were 2,795 calls for service & 1,230 criminal reports taken in February.

January was a bit unusual.  The PD did not report any crimes to the council.  Instead, they noted the following:
  
"Community Policing and Crime Strategy project: In January the Police Department concluded its first six months of an expanded Community Policing and Crime Strategy partnership project. Designed to address crime trends as well as improve communication between the community and the department, this multi-pronged approach to community policing and problem solving has quickly galvanized crime reduction efforts. It places an importance on all Police divisions and City departments working collaboratively on community issues. Examples of this included projects with Habitat for Humanity residents, the Euclid Corridor project, Mercy House and training presented by the Community Development Department on crime prevention through environmental design. Since July, staff has been meeting monthly, placing an emphasis on analysis of crime data, expansion of our in-house crime tracking system, and an increased role for our Crime Analysis Unit. Policing sectors were created by the Watch Commanders to better respond to where most of the crime has been occurring and where most calls for service are generated. Initial focus was on responding to community issues spotlighting crime trends and offenders with a high recidivism rate. Additionally, Lieutenants now serve in geo-policing assignments resulting in better accountability for responding to calls within each of the six policing sectors. As staffing has allowed, we are also redeploying officers to smaller sector areas. An initial comparison of serious crime occurring in 2010 is encouraging. Overall, crime was down 7.9 percent for the six months of this project compared to the first six months of 2010. Significant reductions were in auto burglary, theft from vehicles and crimes of violence,."

Until significant improvements are made, I will consider Fullerton's iWatch to be a beta test.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sexual Assault at Rio Hondo College

Whittier - Two instances of sexual battery were reported by women on the Rio Hondo Campus Friday, August 5, 2010 at approximately 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.:  The first incident occurred at the open air breezeway near the old library tower; the second incident occurred inside the Learning Resource Center near the Assessment Center on the first floor.
 
The alleged perpetrator is identified as a male, possibly Asian, wearing a white tank top with tattoos on both arms.  He approached the victims seeking their signature on a petition, which he carried in a metal case.
 
Should you be approached by this individual or any solicitor who does not have a Rio Hondo College permit, please contact security at (562) 463-3490.

What is the Fullerton Police Department trying to hide?

A couple of years a go I subscribed to the Orange PD's iWatch system because I teach at Santiago Canyon College and feel a duty to be informed and advise my students. 
When Fullerton PD unveiled their system a few months back at a council meeting I wanted to sign up immediately.

Since signing up, I have received a few dozen email alerts of crimes around Fullerton.  On the surface, they are supposed to keep residence aware of the issues in their neighborhoods.  Subscribers can click areas on a map and receive alerts attributed to that particular area. 

A few weeks ago I noticed something odd about the alerts.  All of them were crimes involving cars getting broken into.  In some instances the crimes were automotive vandalism. 

Missing from every single alert were crimes against people, or "crimes persons" as they are known to law enforcement. I went back and reviewed the emails just to make sure.  No, not one alert that involved a robbery, rape, assault, or any other crime against a person.  Why?

Seeking answers, I contacted the Fullerton Police Department's Public Information Officer, Sergeant Andrew Goodrich.  Goodrich said that crimes persons should be included in the alerts and suggested that there were no such crimes in the particular district I had subscribed to.  A quick check of my iWatch settings indicated that I had subscribed to all 39 areas!

Concerned that there was some filtering of data that eliminated reports of rapes and assaults, I asked Goodrich how specific crimes are chosen to be posted.  Here is his response:

"Our RSVPs (retired volunteers) search through a report that is generated specifically for iWatch, and then decide from that report which crimes to report on.  The criteria and direction I give them is to include crimes that they would want to know about if they lived in those neighborhoods.  Robberies and assaults are on this report that is generated.  I will look into why there haven’t been any reported lately, but that’s how we do what we do.



Andrew Goodrich
Sergeant – Community Services / Public Information Officer
Fullerton Police Department
(714) 738-6838
(714) 525-3559 Fax"
There you have it; iWatch does not alert citizens to those crimes which involve people getting hurt. I suppose if people think that the only crimes being committed in Fullerton are car burglaries on the other end of town, they may feel their police department is doing just fine.

If you ever want to see just how lopsided the public reporting is, compare Fire Department service calls to Fullerton Police Department service calls.  The Fire Department openly reports their Downtown workload for paramedics while NOTHING is reported in the crime blotter.  (hat off to Fire Chief Knabe)

It's sad that we cannot trust our own Police Department to keep us informed. 

Fullerton's Trickle-Down Taxation


Last week I asked "Where did all the money go?".  I pointed out the various hands grabbing ear-marked taxes (sewer and sanitation funds) to cover unrelated departmental overhead.  As a follow-up, here is my take on the taxes we pay and the service received.  And let's not forget that we have an $8-million shortfall in our current budget which passed the City Council 4-1, Whitaker the single NO vote. 

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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