Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cigar Shops Targeted by FDA

FDA Regulation Could Doom Cigar Shops
| December 9, 2011

The cigar industry is trying tostop the Food and Drug Administration from regulating its products, which it fears would result in onerous restrictions and burdensome fees that would drive many retailers and manufacturers out of business. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 gave the FDA authority...CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT REASON.COM

Friday, December 9, 2011

California's cash deficit stands at $21.5 billion

PRESS RELEASE - CALIFORNIA STATE CONTROLLER JOHN CHIANG

SACRAMENTO – State Controller John Chiang today released his monthly report covering California's cash balance, receipts and disbursements in November, showing monthly revenues came in $497.7 million above projections in the state budget.
"While November's totals came in 9 percent above projections, they did not erase the fact that we are still running $1 billion behind in revenues and $2 billion ahead in expenditures," said Chiang.  "Regardless of whether midyear cuts are enacted next week, the Legislature faces a tremendous fiscal challenge when it returns to session next month."
After accounting for November revenues, total year-to-date general fund revenues are now behind the budget's estimates by $1 billion, but expenditures for the year are over projections by $1.95 billion.  The Controller's Office continues to work with the Department of Finance to identify and prepare for any impact on the State's cash outlook.
The State ended last fiscal year with a cash deficit of $8.2 billion. The combined current year cash deficit stands at $21.5 billion.  Those deficits are being covered with $16.1 billion of internal borrowing (temporary loans from special funds) and $5.4 billion of external borrowing.
For more details, read November 2011's financial statement and summary analysis.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

High-Risk Sex Offender in Fullerton



Fullerton Police today (Dec. 7) are making a neighborhood notification in south Fullerton of a full-disclosure sex registrant living in the area.
Officers and detectives are posting and handing out flyers to warn neighbors about a man living at 1325 S. Jefferson in Fullerton.
Fullerton Police Sgt. Andrew Goodrich said that Antoine Denell Jordan, 50, has been living at the house on Jefferson for some time. Police were made aware of his presence last month when Jordan reported to Fullerton PD to register as a sex offender, something he is required to do for the rest of his life. Since then, police have been conducting a background investigation on Jordan, meeting with him face-to-face, and have had him under surveillance.
Jordan was arrested and convicted in the early 1980s of kidnapping and sexually assaulting multiple women at knife-point in the area of USC in Los Angeles. He served his time in prison, and was released in 2005. He is no longer on parole, but is subject to registering at the police department in any jurisdiction where he lives.
Police are posting flyers, and handing them out to neighbors in a roughly quarter-mile radius around Jordan’s home. Fullerton Police Acting Chief Kevin Hamilton said, “In the interest of public safety, we are notifying our residents about this full-disclosure sex offender.”
Anyone looking for more information about Jordan can visit the Megan’s Law website at www.meganslaw.ca.gov or contact Sgt Steve Williams at (714) 738-6580.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

UPDATE - FPD Takes Down West Fullerton Tagger

FULLERTON - "On Friday evening our detectives arrested a subject who goes by the tag name of 'Saker'," said Capt. Dan Hughes. "[FPD] rolled back to his house and discovered the items in the attached photo." (see photo at left)

Hughes says he believes "Saker" is responsible for a large amount of graffiti in West Fullerton.

"He is associated with a tagging crew called Lost For Life Krew (LFLK). We have gathered additional suspect information."

This is the third arrest in as many weeks by FPD of suspected taggers who have caused thousands of dollars in damage to public and private property. 

FPD asks that if you see any crime being committed, including tagging, to call 911 immediately.  You can also report graffiti to the City's 24-hour Graffiti Hotline at (714) 738-3108.    You can also email GraffitiH@ci.fullerton.ca.us or enter a graffiti removal request here.

***UPDATE***
In an email from Captain Dan Hughes late Monday, he said the initiating officers are Detective James Bolden and Sergeant Jeff Stuart.  Bolden and Stuart are assigned to Fullerton's gang unit with Bolden also assigned to investigate tagging crimes in West Fullerton. 

The suspect whose moniker is "Saker" is a juvenile.  That means their name is not going to be released unless they are tried as an adult.

According to Hughes, Detective Bolden was patrolling in the area of Gilbert Park with Sergeant Jeff Stuart.
 
"They saw the 16 yr old juvenile," says Hughes "at Gilbert Park and were aware of him due to previous graffiti investigations."

Detectives located a graffiti instrument on him and arrested him.  

Hughes also said that, since the juvenile was on probation and subject to search and seizure, a search of his residence was conducted and the additional items in the photograph were located.  

Detectives believe that LFLK is a Fullerton based tagging crew with about 8 members.

The investigation is ongoing and Captain Hughes declined to comment further saying he didn't want to jeopardize the case. 

Where is Fullerton's Independent Advocate?

Fullerton water rate payers are becoming increasingly weary and suspicious of politicians and managers who have relied on the City's Water Fund to help offset the rising labor costs at City Hall. 

Inflation is at about 3.15% on average for 2011 and keeping up with it is challenging in a recession. Being somewhat predictable, we can manage to keep pace with it and plan for future investments in the water system.

However, Fullerton, much like Los Angeles, relies on the water rate payers to help offset and pad the ever-rising costs of labor. That's not fair.

So who at City Hall can Fullerton's water customers turn to when the City Council is dazzled by brilliance and baffled by BS?

No one.  There is no one left in City Hall to turn to when City staff draft a report - true or not - that paints a grim picture of the City if rates are not immediately increased.

To counter the misleading and false emergency to generate cash-flow which will be used to make up for poor fiscal management and planning, some communities, Los Angeles included, have turned to independent advocates or rate payer advocates.

The problem is that the advocate, which might be a single individual or a committee, is appointed by the very people who have their hands in the cookie jar thus making the advocate less than independent.

Fullerton is special.  Not because of the large number of schools or the inexcusable level of apparent police corruption but because Fullerton already has an independent advocate.  The Fullerton Association of Concerned Tax Payers (FACT) was created in 1996 after the last recall effort of 1993-1994 when the City Council voted to create a utility tax.  FACT founder, Bruce Whitaker, was elected to the Fullerton City Council in November 2010.  Time and again, FACT has fought for Fullerton taxpayers.  Current FACT president Jack Dean took over the organization in 2003 and has since launched http://www.pensiontsunami.com/.

FACT has helped residents, business owners, and taxpayers tackle the issue of excessive and unnecessary taxation.  FACT has a close relationship with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers' Association (HJTA) which came together recently and challenged Fullerton's illegal and unnecessary in-lieu franchise fee which skims 10% of the total revenue from the Water Fund.  Some say the "fee" is nothing more than robbing Peter (the Water Fund and water consumers) to pay Paul (employee salaries, pensions, and benefits).

FACT has saved Fullerton taxpayers more than $150-million since its work to repeal the utility tax. 

FACT was the sole Plaintiff in lawsuits against the Gray Davis administration and, later the Schwarzenegger administration to block the issuance of pension obligation bonds of $2 billion and just under $1 billion respectively.  The second lawsuit was successful at the Sacramento Superior Court and later at the Court of Appeals and has since provided protection against the State issuing bonded indebtedness without voter approval.

FACT remains the only guardian against unfair and unwarranted taxation, whether disguised as a fee or buried in your utility bill. 

If you are having a hard time digesting City-imposed fees and taxes, and if you are tired of the lip service of politicians, please support the Fullerton Association of Concerned Taxpayers - your ONLY independant advocate in Fullerton.

Monday, December 5, 2011

FPD Takes Down West Fullerton Tagger

FULLERTON - "On Friday evening our detectives arrested a subject who goes by the tag name of 'Saker'," said Capt. Dan Hughes. "[FPD] rolled back to his house and discovered the items in the attached photo." (see photo at left)

Hughes says he believes "Saker" is responsible for a large amount of graffiti in West Fullerton.

"He is associated with a tagging crew called Lost For Life Krew (LFLK). We have gathered additional suspect information."

This is the third arrest in as many weeks by FPD of suspected taggers who have caused thousands of dollars in damage to public and private property. 

FPD asks that if you see any crime being committed, including tagging, to call 911 immediately.  You can also report graffiti to the City's 24-hour Graffiti Hotline at (714) 738-3108.    You can also email GraffitiH@ci.fullerton.ca.us or enter a graffiti removal request here.

Fullerton Mayor Dick Jones Doesn't Work for Fullerton Voters

FULLERTON - “I don’t work for you!” shouted Fullerton Mayor Dick Jones at the October 18, 2011 City Council Meeting.  The Mayor’s statement was directed at a Fullerton resident and voter who pointed out that the Council works for the voters.

On Tuesday, November 1, the Fullerton City Council approved the employee associations’ MOU.  In it, the City agreed to end the 2009 across-the-board 5% salary reduction which took the Fullerton Fire Department almost a year longer than any other of Fullerton’s employee bargaining units to agree to. 

Clearly this is not a raise, but a reinstatement of employees’ full salaries. That gives me little comfort however, because the effect on the City’s budget is the same as a raise. 

The current budget (FY2011-12) allocated 80% ($53,433,457) of the General Fund’s $66,641,741 to Fullerton’s public safety.   85% (31,740,804) of the Police budget and 87% ($14,803,561) of the Fire budget covers the salaries and benefits of public safety employees.   Combined, police and fire employee salaries and benefits account for 69.8% of Fullerton’s General Fund.  All of these percentages seem very high. 

Even the City’s own Administrative Services Manager, Julia James, pointed out these costs in her April 26, 2011 report to the City Council.  She said, “the Proposed Budget for 2011­‑12 and 2012-13 projects a General Operating Funds deficit of over $8 million over the next two years due primarily to increased employee retirement and group insurance costs.

James goes on in the same report and explains how the City plans to make up the $8-million shortfall. “Unfortunately, expenditures continue to outpace revenues despite the extensive cost cutting measures implemented in the last budget year.  As the majority of increases relate to employee benefits it is anticipated that the budget deficit will be closed primarily through employee negotiations in the coming months.

After these failed negotiations and other questionable increased revenue estimates, the City will still have a multi-million dollar deficit.  

Considering Mayor Jones’ public outburst, the Fullerton City Council has shown taxpayers and voters who they really work for, the public employee unions. 

As Fullerton’s City Council continues to ignore the multi-million dollar deficit and shirk their fiduciary responsibility, I find even more reason to recall Mayor Dick Jones, former police captain turned council member Don Bankhead, and former police chief turned council member Pat McKinley.


L to R: Bruce Whitaker, Don Bankhead, F. Dick Jones, Pat McKinley,
and Sharon Quirk-Silva (Photo courtesy of TheFullertonian.com)
 



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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