Friday, August 19, 2011

Do government agencies share information?


Not very well according to a new book out by the National Defense Intelligence College and made available through the National Technical Information Service.  The only thing more obscure than these two federal agencies which few outside the walls of federal institutions have ever heard of, might be this book.

Some in-the-know government agents have put their minds together to look at the way intelligences agencies interact.  Since 9/11 the intel community has struggled to work with one another and divulge information to law enforcement. 

The book is a collage of essays and analysis of various operations around the world.

So, why bring up this book here and now?  For starters, the text on the cover, "CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?"  Those words were spoken by Rodney King after surviving a beating by LAPD officers and the riots that ensued after the officers were acquitted.  King walked away with $3.8-million.

Now, in the aftermath of Kelly Thomas's death at the hands of several Fullerton Police officers, I'm wondering how well the Fullerton Police Department, the Orange County District Attorney's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the City's hired consultant will share their intel with one another. 

Maybe if the parties involve would just talk to one another, it would be a good start.  However, we are not hearing much of anything from anyone.  Are the Fullerton Officers at the scene on July 5th cooperating with ALL of the investigations?  Are the agencies sharing information with each other?  Are other "incidents" involving the FPD being investigated by the OCDA or FBI? 

Lastly, something the book doesn't address is sharing information with the public. 

Go ahead and keep us in the dark; we'll see how long that lasts!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fullerton PD, it will get worse before it gets better

Just when you think things couldn't get worse for the Fullerton Police Department more police corruption is uncovered.

Acting Police Chief Captain Hamilton has ordered an internal affairs investigation into the arrest of Veth Mam.  Mam is the person who recorded Fullerton Police officer Kenton Hampton approach him.  Hampton is then seen smacking the cell phone to the ground.  Someone picks up the phone and continues to record Hampton attack Mam and then arrest him.

According to the Orange County Register "(Hamilton) became very concerned because upon initial investigation, it appears we may have arrested the wrong guy that night," Goodrich said. "During our examination of the video, it appears that Mam was not the person who assaulted the first officer earlier in the video, but that's what the investigation is going to look into."

Welcome to Fullerton.

If the story involved the LAPD or LA County Sheriffs it wouldn't be much of an indicator of the department since those departments have several thousand officers.  If you have 10 bad cops, you still have a great department.

Fullerton is blessed (or cursed) with 144 officers, including those on leave.  A rough count of the officers that have been implicated in recent months in various allegations of police corruption while on and off duty, both proven and unproven, indicates that about 10% of the sworn personnel could be tainted in some way.

And just to put the numbers in perspective, 10% of the LAPD would equal about 1,000 of the nearly 10,000 officers employed. 

Even if we cut the estimated percentage of Fullerton officers involved in some sort of misconduct to 5% of the department, it is still too high.

So, as the Fullerton PD tree is shaken even harder, how many more bad apples will fall?  Better yet, who will be left with their badge untarnished?  And most importantly, how high up the chain of command does the corruption run?  I hope recently hired consultant Michael Gennaco will be able to tell us sooner rather than later. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Illegal taxes and misappropriations? Give the man a raise!

After putting a spot light on what the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer's Association has characterized as an illegal water tax and then discovering rampant misappropriations of earmarked funds, its frustrating to learn that City Manager Joe Felz is up for a raise.

According to the August 16, 2011 City Council agenda and associated staff report, Felz will get a salary of $201,000, for his salary, $41,000 for retirement costs, and $24,000 for benefits. It's not clear if the "benefits" include Felz's $625.00 per month car allowance.  Felz currently earns $166,250 per year.

Felz is the most approachable and humble city manager I have met but does that mean we should be giving him a MASSIVE raise in the midst of multiple crises?

Let’s recap.





I’m all for giving our new city manager time to right these many wrongs but I think pay should be based on actual performance and not intentions or platitudes.  


Dear Joe,
If you want a raise, close the budget deficit, end the illegal “franchise tax” on water, end the practice of misappropriating public funds, and put a stop to police corruption.

You know the timing couldn't be worse and think about how this will reflect on the City of Fullerton.  Please do the right thing and reject the raise. 

Is Redevelopment About to Expand?

It sure looks that way. 

Among the Agenda items for Tuesday night's City Council meeting is Item #18, a MOU between the Cities of Fullerton, Buean Park, La Habra, Brea, Placentia, Yorba Linda, County of Orange, and the Orange County Workforce Investment Board is paving the way for a North Orange County Economic Development Partnership. 

That's a mouth full.

It looks like maybe this new agency could dodge some of Sacramento's pay-to-play redevelopment taxes recently enacted.

It also creates a much larger muscle for the redevelopment community to flex.  As it stands, three council members could end the Fullerton Redevelopment agency with a simple vote.  This new agency would be nearly impossible to dismantle once in place.

There is a bunch of fluff and superfluous wording that sells conservatives on a regional investment strategy.  And with Dick Jones, Don Bankhead, and Pat McKinley on the council, you can rest assured the MOU will pass.

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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