Grand Jury Critical Of Cornerstone……

June 30, 2010



It’s good to hear someone else besides Zak Turango complain about the negative aftermath of inherent conflicts as a result of of how Cornerstone Community Church originally tried to stuff the Wildomar City Council  as we selected city Council members for our first City Council. 

No single political entity, and don’t for a minute  imagine that Cornerstone Community Church is not a political entity, should be able to back financially, through campaign donations and “groupthink” voting to secure a majority of seats on the City Council in a small community like Wildomar.

Zak understands that it is marginally legal, but it just doesn’t look right and the Grand Jury is appropriately critical of the result. Nor is it healthy for a small community, like Wildomar, as most thinking citizens would agree.

For example, Mayor Bridgette Moore is a proud member of Cornerstone and her appointee for Planning Commission was Harv Dykstra, also a Cornerstone member. As I recall, before Cornerstone withdrew its application in the face of a threatened lawsuit by reasonably concerned neighbors,  Moore  unabashedly and almost happily voted in favor of the project. As did Council member Scott Farnam, also a Cornerstone attendee.

To his credit, Commissioner Dykstra had recused himself before the Planning Commission vote on the Cornerstone project but only because he had sold them some doors in the then recent past.

According to the grand jury, each of the Cornerstone members on the City Council should have recused themselves prior to voting on the church project, based on their relationship to the church.

Although the City Attorney for Wildomar, Julie Biggs, had opined that recusal was not legally necessary, Zak thinks that the Grand Jury has a better grasp on the issue of conflict of interest then does the city attorney, whose task it is to determine what is often exquisitely legal, not necessarily what is proper.

In any event, I have linked Wildomar Magazine to the Grand Jury website, where you can read their  report and reach your own conclusions for yourself.

With the upcoming election season looming, and with Cornerstone’s immense “mining” project (See September 2009 Archives) still out there seeking eventual approval, informed voters may have to consider a normally distasteful political element such as considering a candidate’s church affiliation when contemplating their vote for  leaders for the city of Wildomar for the next 4 years.

A 3 vote majority bloc of Cornerstone Community Church members would not be healthy for the entire community of Wildomar.

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Public Service Announcement….

June 30, 2010


As I was perusing my e-mail account this morning, looking to see if a certain early Wildomar City Council candidate had sent her e-mail to Zak, renouncing “expensive” health insurance benefits for herself, in the unlikely event of her actually winning a City Council seat in November, given her outspoken support of the “community killers” in their multiple, expensive lawsuits against the interests of the citizens of Wildomar.

Instead, I found this:

Account Owner
Dear Webmail Subscriber Confirm Your Account. 
Date:06/30/2010 06:43 AM 
Update eFax Username/PIN in my preferences
Dear Webmail Account Owner,

This message is from web mail admin messaging center to all web mail account
owners. We are currently upgrading our data base and e-mail account center. We
are canceling unused web mail email account to create more space for new

To prevent your account from closing you will have to update it below so that
we will know it’s status as a currently used account.


Email Username : ………….
Email Password : …………….
Date of Birth : ……………..

Warning!!! Any account owner that refuses to update his or her account within
Three days of this update notification will lose his or her account

Thank you for using web mail
Support Team
Warning Code :ID67565434″

This is a fraudulent Internet ploy, perhaps from another country, that is intended to get to persons who use the Internet and are easily intimidated, generally senior citizens, into providing important personal information that can be used for identity theft.
Zak’s  response was to prepare a reply with  directions and instructions, via e-mail, instructions that were fraught  with specific sexual connotations.
Then, as my outrage increased, Zak’s e-mail reply was  asking them them for their name and address so Zak could make travel arrangements to assist them with his sexually connotative instructions.

However, as I realized that any e-mail reply would likely go into their database and promote subsequent e-mails, confirming that their scheme had hit upon  an active e-mail account, my anger dissipated and my rational critical thinking skills returned.

Instead, I thought that perhaps by sharing the content of the fraud-based e-mail with my readers, perhaps the knowledge shared might spare one person from responding to this or any similar fraud with their valuable personal information.

As usual, this public service announcement which, as always, comes free of charge and is a part of the “gift that keeps on giving,” Wildomar Magazine.

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Please don’t include any personal information.


Hypocrisy,Thy Moniker Is……

June 26, 2010



Events are moving fast in the topsy-turvy (not to be confused with the upside down tomato plant hanging on my patio)

world of Wildomar litigation.

Apparently the 4th Appeals Court has already rejected the County’s request for reconsideration on their recent decision to overrule the Superior Court decision regarding the assessment for parks in Wildomar.

And now, we hope, as reported, the county will prepare themselves well and take this to the California Supremes (not to be confused with the singing group from Detroit)


and enable those of us who are civic minded and voluntarily voted to support Wildomar’s parks with a modest $28 per year assessment, a majority vote that, one arrogant person, Steve Beutz has overruled.

A lot of folks actually enjoy and support their new city.

Steve Beutz, and his anti-democracy  ilk, be damned.

Like a broken violin with one string, there is one disconsonant note that continues to be played by self-proclaimed candidate for the Wildomar City Council, Martha Bridges.

Once again, she obsessively harps on the issue of “expensive” benefits (everybody’s benefits are expensive) for City Council members, who are considered employees of the city and thus, entitled to health benefits.

A $300 per month stipend does not adequately compensate a hard-working public servant, such as Councilmember Sheryl Ade, for the endless hours of studying and a gazillion (not to be confused with Bridges’ alleged cost of  city-paid health benefits) telephone calls.

Bridges is entitled to grind away on any single issue or any number of issues that she believes might get her elected. Zak, who disagrees with her on this issue, encourages Bridges to be consistent with her own public pronunciamento and has previously challenged her to declare that she will refuse health benefits from the city, should she be elected to a city council seat, only to be met with silence.

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A simple  e-mail from the “Wildomar Watcher,” taking her very own pledge to foreswear health benefits, should she be elected, is all that is necessary to eliminate the current aroma of hypocrisy.

If Martha doesn’t want to take the pledge on Wildomar Magazine, just include it in one of the many comments on healthcare “perks” that we read in the discussion section of the Californian. (See link below).

That being said, Martha’s political naïveté in her outspoken support for Beutz’ lawsuits (while asking you to consider her candidacy) that will hamstring the city’s finances for years to come will ever remain with Martha, as a lingering, wafting, anti-community odor.

It’s The Perry Mason Amateur Hour…

June 26, 2010


The basic reason for having legal counsel is to avoid recent adverse outcomes to litigation being brought by certain persons which profoundly affect the dreams and aspirations of communities like Wildomar.

Today’s Californian reports another win for the “community killers,” led by hobbyist attorney-ishes, Gerard Ste. Marie and Steve Beutz. A check of the California Bar Assn. does not identify them as holding “bar cards.”

According to Wildomar Magazine’s sources, these amateur litigants reside in the same house, share the same brain, and are reportedly supported and encouraged in their destructive efforts by self-proclaimed candidate for Wildomar City Council, Martha Bridges.

There have been and remain several additional litigations still pending and being brought forward in similar fashion.

Occasionally, they are even rewarded by the courts for their  fees and costs, so we mean amateur in the sense that they apparently have their own political agendas, for what ever reason, rather than asserting they are attorneys for hire, whose legal specialty is suing the County of Riverside.

On the other hand, County Counsel exists solely to provide exactly what their name implies; to whit, to provide legal counsel and direction to County officials to assist said officials in making decisions properly and legally in the furtherance of County business to avoid future legal disputes. And, if County decisions result in litigation, to defend and successfully sustain their supposedly thoughtful legal opinions. But not of late.

As a result, and  once again, the beleaguered citizens of Wildomar face renewed uncertainty as to the economic viability of Wildomar, in the face of another appellate decision rendered in favor of amateur litigants.

If Beutz and Ste. Marie are doing this on Zak’s behalf, please stop doing me any favors. I am comfortable with the city of Wildomar’s existence, despite initially voting against its formation, and want to see it succeed.

One of the reasons I opposed cityhood, in the first place, was that I was suspicious of overly optimistic number crunchers, who were paid to promote cityhood through their economic optimism, and that, despite a looming economic downturn that could result in the eventual demise and devolvement of the new city, and that Wildomar would eventually have to return to County status.

So why go to the trouble of building a new city, in the first place?

Zak may have been right about cityhood. However, I did not think that demise and devolvement would come about as result of some admittedly creative individuals, intent on the  destruction of the new city of Wildomar, for their own personal agenda, perhaps,  or possibly for financial  gain. Or, some unhealthy obsession.

Who knows what lurks in the hidden parts of these men’s hearts?

In the final analysis, it doesn’t matter.

Whatever the intent of Beutz and St. Marie, they have once again  prevailed in their litigation  at the Superior Court and Appellate level, repeatedly and handily outmaneuvering the County’s bevy of well-funded attorneys.

So then, who are the amateurs?

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Hickman’s Resolution “Passes”…

June 24, 2010



Unlike the actual and noisy, noxious effusions  emanating from Hickman’s corpus, which reportedly occurs on an occasional basis behind and beneath the Council dais, this resolution is of little effect in the larger national scale of things important to our country.

So why do it in the first place?

Did somebody pull Hickman’s Federalist finger?

Other than to get a free limo ride and some “face time” on a national talk show for  Lake Elsinore Mayor Melissa Melendez,  Hickman’s “leadership” in fomenting division and discord within his community is a waste of time, at the very least.

I can’t believe that I am even wasting “cyber ink,” normally a cheap commodity, on the story but what the hell, it’s an election-year and a good time to try to inflict some early damage on Hickman’s reelection efforts through mockery. And politicians should never underestimate the power of mockery. It’s more effective than simple criticism.

According to Wildomar Magazine sources, Hickman even stupidly (see story below) voted against his own resolution, the first time around. When it was discovered that the vote had been taken in an improper format and had to be redone, Hickman looked to the Mayor for guidance, changed his vote and re-voted in the affirmative.

This “news” tidbit evokes memories for Zak Turango that go back to the days when Hickman would seek direction on how to vote from former Mayor Pam Brinley, Lake Elsinore’s 2nd most corrupt mayor ever.

Sadly, my friend, and usually wise politico, Thomas Buckley joined Hickman and two others, in voting 4-1 for the empty resolution. 

For the record, I have already chastised him to his face.

It appears that only  Council member Amy Bhutta had the proper sense to vote no on the issue. Congratulations to Amy for her  rational vote in an irrational setting.

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The Dumbest Politician I’ve Ever Known….

June 22, 2010



Two-term Lake Elsinore City Councilmember Daryl Hickman has, for years, enjoyed the status of being considered the “Worlds Dumbest Politician” by the former staff writers for  Elsinore Magazine, and that lofty status continues with the staff of Wildomar Magazine.

Would it be for the sick and lame joke that then-Mayor Hickman made at the Wildomar VFW reopening celebration? It was a joke about death, made in the context of a deputy who had just died accidentally while skydiving at Lake Elsinore?

Or would it be for his untrammeled and embarrassing support for the Trevi Entertainment Center? And Thomas Buckley’s bogus recall campaign?

Or should it be for his forgetting that he was only elected for the first time because Councilman Thomas Buckley graciously permitted the unknown, and cheap, Hickman to piggyback on Buckley’s expensive and obviously effective election signs?

Generally speaking, it is considered appropriate and even classy to remember who “brought you to the dance,” even if you honestly later disagree with that person on issues.

Hickman once mouthed the initials “F.U.,” across the dais to Buckley’s face, after gloatingly voting against RDA Chair Buckley’s proposed downtown redevelopment project.

And that is class, 3rd class.

And now, in a community where at least 38% of the local population  is Hispanic, Hickman takes the lead in promoting a meaningless municipal resolution in support of  Arizona’s SB 1070, according to today’s Press Enterprise.

Hickman is quoted as saying “he believes that most Lake Elsinore residents support the Arizona law. At least, he said, “Everybody I’ve talked to.”

It doesn’t seem to Zak that Hickman’s style of political polling is very scientific. Or smart.

Rather, it seems to Zak that Hickman has confused his own personal political opinion about a federal issue with his obligations as a local municipal leader, obligations owed to an entire community, whatever their ethnic makeup.

And, Hickman’s thinking, which is in eerily similar to that misguided bunch in Menifee, recently debating, then dodging, the same issue, is just plain dumb.

Let’s all plan on doing our part to make certain that Hickman is not rewarded with a 3rd term on the Lake Elsinore City Council in November.

That would make some people think Elsinore ‘s voters are dumb.

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Hickman and Zak go way back. Following a particularly robust City Council meeting, and after some humorous criticism of Hickman in the pages of Elsinore Magazine, Hickman accosted Zak on the steps of the Lake Elsinore Cultural Center in a threatening manner, saying, “Hey buddy, I come from the street.”

Zak immediately acknowledged Hickman’s “street creds,” but only if Hickman was talking about one named “Sesame.”

Stick A Fork In Voting “At-Large”….

June 21, 2010


There are usually two problems with activism in a community like Menifee.

The first problem is that an activist group has good intentions but apparently represents a very small, vocal of remnant of the community. According to today’s Californian, such a minority group has failed to secure sufficient signatures on their petitions to put the issue of voting for the Council “At Large” on the ballot.

As a result, the failed petitioners are going to themselves petition the Menifee City Council and ask the council to voluntarily put the issue on the ballot for them, which seems somewhat unfair.

Sometimes, perceived community apathy is just a “no” answer dressed up as “I don’t want to get involved by signing your petition. I just came to Albertson’s to get some groceries.”

The second problem is that the vocal minority, if they don’t get their desired response from us City Council, will continue to whine and bemoan their fate. This is not good for community building.

Get over your issue  ’cause it’s over. Enjoy your districts. Work on building your city.

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Father’s Day, 2010…..

June 20, 2010




I have been unable to hug  my father since March 17, 1957, when he suddenly died as a result of a brain aneurysm. It seems the older I get, the more I miss him.

I often find myself thinking of how he would react to modern technology and the evolution of automobiles. He was a good and faithful Chevy man; I think his last new car was a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, which turned out to be a “lemon.” They were so simple then. What could go wrong under a nearly empty hood?

I believe my fascination for things military was a result of my father’s fascination with World War II and, perhaps, some “survivors guilt,” on his part.

 Although he was an ordained Christian minister by the age of 21,  he was drafted in 1944, and despite his conscientious objector status, he entered the Army as a medic. 

Army Private Roy Rasmussen was willing to save lives, but not take them in 1944.

As you can tell from the M-16 in my hands,  Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Gil Rasmussen did not have the same moral issues in 1968.

Because my father believed so profoundly in his committment to serve Jesus, other young soldiers in training, on their way to Europe, facing their own mortality, knew of his devotion and would come to my father in the barracks, seeking God.

Eventually, my father ended up conducting crowded, informal religious services in the barracks. Perhaps, being a chaplain mght have made more sense.

Unfortunately, the Army did not approve of young soldiers thinking about Jesus and having hope of surviving the war. They would rather that the young soldiers only thought about their training to kill the enemy.

Hope could be a distraction.

So the Army did what the Army did with what they considered to be religious zealots. They discharged them from the Army and sent them home. My father’s company commander, when the order for discharge was given, pulled my father aside to express his regrets to my father for the actions taken by the Army, in his case.

Years after his passing, I was given this photograph by the widow of one of his cousins, who apparently took this picture during his medic training in Texas in 1944. The Battle of the Bulge was going” full blast” (I don’t think there was a “half blast”  selection available, at the time) when this photograph was taken.  Those were serious times.

After receiving the photograph, I Photoshopped it to connect it with one of my own photos, taken in October 1968 in Vietnam. We were both 21 years of age when our photos were taken. My father was a man of small stature so I stretched the photo a bit to make him appear taller than I.

It is what little boys do when all they have for a father is photographs.

And memories.

Every few years on Father’s Day, I find myself missing him more than on other Father’s Days.

Today is one of those days.

If your father is alive, make every effort to see him, tell him you love him, wish him a Happy Father’s day and give him an extra good hug on behalf of all  of us who don’t have a living  father to hug.

You’ll be glad you did.

And so will he.

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Zak Fearlessly Calls It “Greedy”…

June 18, 2010

….. WHO GETS THE OTHER $14-$19 ?

One of the reasons that Zak spends little time contemplating his life without having the compulsion to attend a formal church , is stuff like this.

Since when does anyone in purported ministry to young people, take money out of their usually empty jeans pockets of teenagers for what amounts to a  motivational seminar dressed up like a church service?

Back in the day, when Zak was a young teenager, I used to attend gospel concerts at the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium, where the headliners were Hovey Lister and the Statesman Brothers Quartet and the Blackwood Brothers Quartet. I understood that it was Christian entertainment, based on gospel singing (long before Praise Bands became the rage) and I happily paid for my ticket to enter a public venue for my own personal Christian enjoyment.

And I was certainly aware, even at that young age, that the members of the various quartets  enjoyed a personal, financial benefit for their talent and artistry.

But when you charge teens for a purported church ministry, it begs the question.

After $6 is funneled to World Vision, a respectable organization, who gets the rest of the $14-$19?

If you recall the story from Scripture where Jesus entered the temple and drove the money changers and temple vendor’s animals out of the sacred temple, the small leather whip in his hands likely stung the backs of the money changers and vendors as much as did their animals, as they fled His holy rage.

Since this “church” is likely to be a tax exempt, nonprofit religious organization, there is no way to find out.

Instead, Wildomar Magazine is left with it’s reasonable query hanging like a wayward participle. (Editor’s note: Zak often initially opens his WM articles with a dangling participle. When challenged, I defend my error by calling it an “intended art form.” And then I correct it).

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Zak will bill your e-mail account $20 for the first page of your comment plus an additional $2 per line for shipping and handling.

Or, if you purchase the Billy Mays Memorial package, we will double our offer and you can send two comments for $19.99 and we will pay the shipping and handling charges.

Proof That There Is a God In Heaven With A Sense of Humor…

June 17, 2010


For years, Zak had to rely on the incident of a small church, destroyed years ago, in rural Georgia, after being struck by a tornado during the worship service as proof that “the rain falls on the just and the unjust.” suffering Job wrote that to demonstrate that God’s people who believe they are somehow “bulletproof,” as a result of their connection to God, are not.

Zak has always believed that God has an unusual sense of humor, even going so far as to accusing Him of spinning my life around for His own amusement. But I thought that was an unfair accusation on my part, so I recanted and apologized to Him. Thankfully, He is a gracious deity.

However, whenever a so-called church “leader” begins to act out his grandiose midnight musings, musings generally caused by eating a fat-laden chicken dinner just before going to bed, the  Big Guy in the Sky has a simple solution to pastoral overreaching.


‘Nuff said.

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But only if you are trying to to get a message to You Know Who. 

I suspect He is a regular reader Of Wildomar Magazine . I can’t tell for certain but sometimes you just get “that” feeling, if you know what I mean.