Saturday, February 25, 2012

North OC Conservative Coallition - Mark Your Calendar

The non-partisan North Orange County Conservative Coallition invites YOU...

NOCCC Upcoming Events
Please Mark Your Calendars and Plan To Join Us!
Thursday, March 15, 7pm at the Foxfire in Anaheim Hills

Do you know how many of our national and state laws and policies are actually not constitutional? Knowledge is power!

Please join us to meet and hear special guest speaker Professor John Eastman. Dr. Eastman is the Director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and former Dean of Chapman University School of Law.

With guest emcee Constitutional Law Attorney Karen Lugo, founder of Libertas-West Project, contributing editor for FamilySecurityMatters.org and Assistant Director for the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.

Thursday, April 12, 7pm at the Foxfire in Anaheim Hills

Get to know the candidates before you vote! All local candidates are invited to be introduced and a forum will be held for some races.

OC Register columnist Brian Calle will be our guest emcee and moderator. Brian is a Senior Fellow at the Claremont Institute, President of the Young Executives of America and editor of FreedomPolitics.com. Stay tuned for more information.

*We will also have important information on Precinct walking for your favorite candidate.

Citizen candidates wanted! Ever considered running for local office?

North Orange County has some excellent elected representatives, but it is always a good idea to embrace, mentor and support qualified residents who have the desire to step up to serve their community. This election season, GOP Central Committee, City Councils and School Boards all have open seats in Anaheim, Brea, La Habra, Orange, Placentia, Villa Park and Yorba Linda. North Orange County Conservative Coalition participants are among the most involved and informed folks in our county. If you ever thought you could be the one to make a difference and you would like more information, please email karladowning@aol.com.

Do you really know our U.S. Constitution?

Hillsdale College is offering a convenient online course - Constitution 101: “The Meaning and History of the Constitution”. The course launched Monday, February 20, but you are not too late to explore the site at your convenience and access materials.
  • Click the "Sign In" button at the top of the page
  • Enter your email address under the "Already Registered?" section.
  • Each lecture is pre-recorded and will be available to view at your convenience.
  • You will receive an email each week informing you that new material, including the lecture (Monday) and Q&A session (Thursday), is available.
Please email constitution@hillsdale.edu with any questions you may have.

Friday, February 24, 2012

$62.1 BILLION - CalPERS Unfunded Liability

SACRAMENTO – State Controller John Chiang today released a new actuarial report showing the 30-year cost of providing health and dental benefits for state retirees is $62.1 billion.

"Even as California continues its struggle to get back on firm fiscal footing, we must begin to address our obligation to pay health and dental benefits for current and retired state employees," Chiang said.  "Even slight amounts set aside will help lessen the impact on future generations, and ensure that we fulfill our responsibilities to the state workforce and our taxpayers."

The unfunded obligation as of June 30, 2011, grew $2.2 billion from the $59.9 billion obligation identified as of June 30 2010.  The accrued liability grew less than expected due to favorable healthcare claim experiences linked to a combination of fewer claims, less expensive claims, less utilization of services, and the implementation of new California Public Employees' Retirement System’s (CalPERS) health programs designed to reduce costs.  

While state pensions are pre-funded, allowing investment returns to reduce liabilities, California pays for retiree health benefits on a "pay-as-you-go" basis, or the minimum amount needed to fund the costs as they are due.  The latest actuarial report estimates California’s obligation for retiree health and dental benefits, also referred to as Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB), based on two different funding scenarios:
  • The current pay-as-you-go policy results in an actuarial unfunded obligation of $62.1 billion, which represents the total the State would need to pay for future retiree health benefits earned as of June 30, 2011, by current and future state retirees.  Based on this unfunded obligation, California should pay $4.7 billion in 2011-12 to pay for present and future retiree health benefits. In the 2011-12 Budget Act, the State provided $1.71 billion to only cover current retirees' health and dental benefits.
  • If the State shifted to fully pre-funding the costs of future benefits, the actuarial unfunded obligation would be cut by more than $21 billion to $40.7 billion.  Under a full pre-funding approach, the State would set aside money in a separate trust solely for future retirement health care benefits.  The investment income generated by the trust would be used to reduce the costs to the State and its employees of paying for future benefits. To take advantage of the tremendous cost savings resulting from fully-prefunding, the State would need to contribute $3.3 billion in 2011-12, or $1.6 billion more than the State currently pays.
Recognizing that fully funding the health and dental benefits obligation is unlikely given the State's tight budget, Controller Chiang noted that even incremental steps toward pre-funding the obligation would significantly reduce the State’s liability (see chart ).  For example, if the State pre-funded just 10 percent of its obligation, it would only need to pay $160 million more than its current pay-as-you-go contribution.  However, that additional payment would shave $2.7 billion off of the State's unfunded liability.

Pre-funding 25% of its obligations would cost the State $400 million more than the pay-as-you-go contribution, but would reduce the total unfunded liability by $6.54 billion.

In 2004, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 45 (GASB 45) required states and local governments to publicly disclose the future costs of paying for post-employment benefits other than pensions for current state retirees and employees.  Chiang commissioned California’s first report shortly after taking office in 2007.  This report is the fifth to be issued under his administration.

While GASB 45 does not require states to fully fund its obligations, all three credit rating agencies have urged states to at least have a funding plan in place to avoid any future downgrades.

The actuarial report  and a chart  showing how much pre-funding would cut future costs can be found on the Controller's website at www.sco.ca.gov.

Would You Like to Help Shape Your City's Budget?

The Participatory Budgeting Project is a New York based non-profit organization that is attempting to get community groups involved in their local agency budget process. 
We work with elected officials, public agencies, and community groups in the US and Canada to implement participatory budgeting - a process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.
With residents and business owners in agreement that the City has neglected the aging infrastructure, many are asking how they can get involved to get Fullerton on the right track.  This may be part of the answer.

Go to http://www.participatorybudgeting.org/ and read more about the Participatory Budgeting Project.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

From Vallejo to Stockton, Is Fullerton Next?

A friend sent this to me and I thought it sounds a lot like Fullerton's future...

California's new municipal bankruptcy law could be put to the test in its first trial, as the rumor mill is churning that the city of Stockton is preparing to file for bankruptcy. You may recall that under AB 506, a city is now required to deal with a "neutral evaluator" for at least 60 days before seeking bankruptcy court protection. That being said, this mediation process can be avoided if a municipality declares a financial emergency.

It is being reported that Stockton will take the first steps toward seeking bankruptcy protection from its creditors at its next council meeting on Tuesday, February 28th. Mayor Ann Johnston reportedly commented, "Stay tuned." The Record reports that "While city administrators remained silent on any plans, it became an open secret Wednesday. The Downtown Stockton Alliance board of directors in a public meeting discussed the city's bankruptcy timetable."

 Notably, it was only last month that the city's mayor was quoted as saying Stockton wanted to avoid Vallejo's fate, with Johnston stating, "We're not moving in that direction whatsoever." In preparation for what's to come on Tuesday's meeting, City Manager Bob Deis is scheduled to provide a briefing tomorrow on the city's fiscal status.

Ultimately, talks of insolvency have been in the pipeline for quite awhile in the struggling city. Stockton's financial woes have been a persistent headline and severe cuts, especially to public safety, have made the city's dire budget position a sore point, as the city was ranked as having the eighth-highest violent crime rate in the country in 2010. Notably, a state of fiscal emergency has been declared twice since 2010 so that cuts could be imposed on city employees.

If bankruptcy talks proceed, Stockton would become the largest city in the nation to file for bankruptcy. Startlingly, it would be the biggest bankruptcy since Vallejo's in 2008. All eyes will be on Stockton in the next few days as key moves are debated and decided.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Assemblymember Chris Norby Speaks


Thursday, February 23
The California Republican Assembly (CRA) of Fullerton is proud to welcome Assemblymember Chris Norby to the Sizzler in Fullerton (1401 N. Harbor Blvd.). 

Assemblymember Norby will be giving an insider's perspective and update on Sacramento.

The public is welcome to attend this FREE meeting. 

Dinner (optional, on your own) is at 6:15PM and Assemblymember Norby will begin speaking at 7PM. 

Please bring your questions about Sacramento, education, redevelopment, his voting record, or anything else on your mind. 

This is a great way to meet your neighbors and civic leaders.
Discussion is encouraged but not required.

Should Mello-Roos Payments be Tax Deductible?

(From Assemblymember Jim Silva)
Assemblymember Jim Silva (R -Huntington Beach) introduced legislation that would ease some of the tax burden of owning or buying property.

Assembly Bill 1552 codifies Mello-Roos fees as tax deductible. Since 1982, Mello-Roos fees have been used by some neighborhood communities as a way to fund projects without using traditional property taxes, which are limited by Proposition 13.
Recently, the Franchise Tax Board introduced a campaign to make income tax filings and deductions more complicated by seeking to eliminate a property owner's ability to deduct local benefit taxes for maintenance or other repairs, a common use of Mello-Roos fees.
This new policy will affect millions of homeowners across California and will cumulatively increase property taxes by as much as $140 million.
"The state is always looking for ways to capture more and more taxpayer money and this is a new low. By going after Mello-Roos fees, the state is actually taxing a tax. It is another way to go after Californians' wallets and must be stopped," Silva said.
Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers' Association, commented, "In the middle of the worst foreclosure crisis in 70 years, we must do everything possible to ensure homeowners retain the property tax deductions they've been receiving for the last 30 years. I support AB 1552 and applaud Assemblyman Silva for stepping up and fighting this blatant money grab."

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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