Bergemon T. Firefly, Pumpkin Monstrosity……

October 31, 2010


In the year 2009, it was Zak “Boppa” Turango’s intention to plant and grow at least one very large pumpkin for my one grandchild, Kent Rasmussen. However, fate intervened with what used to be known, pre-modern medicine, as a “Stroke, by the Hand of God.” Now we know it by the name CVA, or a “cerebrovascular accident.”

By whatever name it is called, it changes one’s pumpkin planting plans. Thus in the year 2009, no pumpkins.

In the year 2010, however, Kent, who also enjoys the nickname given to him by his creative mother, “Bergemon T. Firefly,” (my daughter-in-law also has a very nice man for a family friend, “Uncle Bugsy,” who is neither an uncle nor a mobster) was promised a large pumpkin for Halloween by yours truly, his “Boppa.”

Despite my sometimes confused gardening efforts, I was proud to be able to produce and provide a “slightly larger than basketball-sized” pumpkin, named “Big Max,” so named after his particular pumpkin variety.

This morning, I received a photograph of the following holiday transition for Big Max, from a garden-variety pumpkin to scary jack-o’-lantern.

Folks, life is good:-)


Earlier today, I spoke to my grandson, who will be trick-or-treating this evening as a “Pumpkin Monstrosity.”

Last Friday when he and his other first grade classmates wore their Halloween costumes to school, his little friends could not understand the term “monstrosity” so he resorted to the term “zombie,” which term all, but the most sheltered children understand, given the interest in horror films emanating from Hollywood.

His first grade teacher, Mrs. Beaman, has graciously recognized and addressed Kent’s ability to read above his class level and is providing extracurricular reading assignments to develop those skills.

Should Mrs. Beaman have an opportunity to read Wildomar Magazine, I wanted to express my gratitude on behalf of my grandson. You are a credit to your profession.

Before any readers react negatively to tales of zombies and the “undead,” please consider that, in the same way that we permit children to grow up slowly, eventually finding out that Santa and the Easter Bunny are imaginary, (sorry Ben, but they’re not real) death is such a complex concept for children that it is permissible for them to also grow up slowly by putting a scary but defeatable facade/mask on the evil face of death.

In movies, zombies can be stopped.

In the real, adult world, death cannot. 

Children should have plenty of time to be children before they have to learn the difference.

Kent created his own monster and a storyline to go with his costume. If I got the story right, it seems that after a battle, centuries ago, a pumpkin farmer planted pumpkins right where many of the fallen had been buried. When the pumpkins “came to life,” in some mystical manner, so did a fallen warrior.

Unfortunately for the pumpkin farmer, the reborn warrior also found an old weapon near where he was buried and killed the farmer while the farmer was cooking a pumpkin.

Sounds like  another generation of screenwriters is developing. This time instead of comedy, it will be horror flicks.

It is not nearly as gruesome, however, as some Sunday School stories. How about that shepherd boy, David, taking out a giant named Goliath, with a rock from a slingshot striking him square between the eyes. Fair enough.

But then David beheaded Goliath with his own sword?  Eeeeugh.

I have often felt sorry for Goliath. Perhaps he, too, had a family that missed him. 

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Next year, Kent, we’re going for a bigger pumpkin yet, out of the Dill’s Atlantic Giant  variety.

Boppa’s already shoppin’ online for seeds.


44% of “Absentees” Have Already Voted…

October 31, 2010



According to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters, 407,209 absentee ballots were requested and mailed to voters. As of October 30, 2010, 181,006 ballots had been returned county-wide.

This represents 44% of those requesting absentee ballots that have returned them. So then, no matter what unsavory information might arise regarding any single candidate, they could not change their vote, even if they desired to do so.

If you want to continue to monitor the return rate, please click on the following link to the Registrar’s webpage:

The number of returned ballots should increase one more time, on Monday. The large number of absentee voters will make the first online election update by the Registrar’s office, at 8 PM on November 02, 2010, exciting to watch.

The “first” absentee ballot report, if it contains significant “deficits” in voter counts for any candidate, portend ominous results for that candidate.

It is likely that all of the absentee ballots received through Monday will be counted before the voting precincts open early Tuesday morning. However, since Tuesday is election day, the rest will probably be counted along with the ballots of those of us who go directly to the polls to vote, my preference.

 As a disabled American veteran of the Great Patriotic War in the Republic of Vietnam, I like my little flag sticker that says “I voted.” Heaven knows that I and my brother and sister veterans earned that right.

And I get a chance to personally thank the precinct workers for their volunteer efforts on behalf of our community.

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Finally, Words of Wisdom From…..

October 30, 2010



In a last-minute bid to bring definition and form to his nearly phantom candidacy, Wildomar City Council candidate Tim Walker finally mutters something sensible, bordering on statesmanlike, and without the usual coarse vulgarity, as quoted in today’s Californian:

According to the Californian’s excellent reporter, Mike Williams, in response to William’s query of all candidates regarding political contributions raised and expended, Walker wisely, and succinctly, said this:

“I had no clue it would be this crazy,” Walker said of the fundraising. “I never in my wildest dreams thought you would have to raise that kind of money at the local level.”

Obviously, Walker, and the rest of us, now know what other communities surrounding Wildomar already know.

Money doesn’t talk around here.  

It screams.

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The only antidote to the adverse impacts of unwarranted  influence of “out-of-town political money and machinery” is having  informed citizen voters, who vote with their brains fully engaged.

And, perhaps, the unrelenting political satire and mockery provided by Zak Turango and Wildomar Magazine.

We’ll know next week.

Rock Solid….

October 29, 2010


An unconflicted public servant.

Wildomar Magazine has, for nearly 3 months, been weighing in on Wildomar’s City Council election, offering unique opinions and insights into each of the six candidates vying for three council seats.

And, as of early this morning, there have been 35,000 individual viewers of Wildomar magazine since its inception.

Now that we have reached the weekend before the election, it has become customary, if not actual policy, among the various mediums, such as major newspapers, to back away from “negative” articles and commentary, as it would be unfair for any candidate, lacking sufficient time to respond.

Wildomar Magazine will also honor that journalistic embargo. So Tim Walker, Martha Bridges, Marsha Swanson and Ben Benoit can all breathe a sigh of relief.

That being said, “positive” is still appropriate.

Although many of you have already voted via absentee ballot, those of you who have not, should consider, if you have not done so already, reserving one of your votes for City Councilmember Sheryl Ade.

I, Gil Rasmussen, will be casting my vote for Sheryl Ade.

I first began to take particular notice of Sheryl nearly 3 years ago during the incorporation election and the election of five inaugural City Council members. However, I admit I did not vote for her the first time around, rather voting for Harv Dykstra and Marsha Swanson because I knew them from the days of my involvement in the Ortega Trails.

With the successful vote for cityhood, which I initially opposed and voted against, I decided to create Wildomar Magazine, modeled after, and based on, my previous experience with Elsinore Magazine.

As a result, in early 2008, I dragged Zak Turango’s mythical carcass out of a dusty box of old articles from the Elsinore Magazine Archives and began to comb the local newspapers for up-to-date news articles emanating from Wildomar to provide a launching pad for a story.

As I have mentioned before, Californian reporter Aaron Claverie would often quote Sheryl and her blunt comments. After listening to the “blah-blah-blah” emanating from Lake Elsinore’s Pam Brinley and Kevin Pape, Sheryl’s “to the point” statements were refreshing.

And, to her credit, to this day, she remains the same outspoken advocate for all of the citizens of Wildomar. She does not represent any special interest group.

She is not a member of the Chamber of Commerce, nor is she a Rotarian. She is not a real estate agent so she does  not have a vested interest in seeing miles and miles of red-tiled rooftops in the future for Wildomar.

Despite what her few detractors say, she is not “anti-development.”

Rather, and Zak agrees with her, she believes that developers should fully mitigate all of the impacts to the city as a result of their proposed development, including paying for necessary infrastructure improvements, in exchange for their opportunity to reap a profit from their development in Wildomar.

If a developer does not pay for  their impacts, it is left to you and I to do so.

Hopefully, everyone in Wildomar that votes will reserve one vote for Sheryl.

“All” of the citizens of Wildomar will be glad they did.

I will also be reserving one vote for Kristan Lloyd.

Kristan, represents the best combination of service, among the non-incumbent candidates, to historic Wildomar, given her years of volunteer service to the community, while bringing fresh perspective to the inaugural City Council.  

Rarely a bad thing.

I thought I would save my third vote to use as a “write-in” vote for Lake Elsinore City Council candidate Steve Manos.

A meaningless, wasted vote for a meaningless candidate.

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Zak Apologizes To His Loyal Readers…

October 28, 2010



Last evening, while awaiting the start of the Wildomar City Council meeting, I observed Mayor pro tem Marsha Swanson approaching me, with a folded newspaper under her left arm. Was she coming toward me to swat a phantom fly on my forehead? Is Zak getting paranoid?

Upon reaching me, she gently, yet proudly, handed me a copy of the recent Californian section that contained the “paid” endorsement by the Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors, endorsing Swanson and Ben Benoit. (See the WM article directly below)

 After a simple search of the SRCAR website, it appears that two of the SRCAR’s “Directors” are affiliated with Swanson’s real estate office on Clinton Keith Road, thus rendering any endorsement meaningless, yet still manipulative, due to the inherent conflict of interest in the paid advertisement.

Please click on the following link for your own verification.

Swanson then, also proudly, declared to Zak that she was the one who first encouraged the inexperienced, overtly-ambitious Ben Benoit to run for Wildomar City Council and places no blame whatsoever on Benoit for Benoit’s immediate, crass exploitation of his unwarranted appointment as a Wildomar Planning Commissioner.

Swanson is, by her own admission and resultant actions in securing this bogus endorsement for Benoit and herself, assuming the role of “Puppetmaster” for the post-Farnam Era in Wildomar.

As a result, she will bear significant responsibility for Benoit’s future conduct, ominously foreshadowed in his unthinking meeting with, and  extracting, political contributions from two developers, including Kenneth Robles, whose project was on last evening’s agenda.

If Robles’ project does not make it to the City Council until Benoit is seated, should he secure sufficient votes to be elected, Zak will be there, with video camera, to record, for history, those words of disclosure by Benoit, “Yeah, I took 150 bucks from Robles, so what?

Swanson has all of the same sinister “shadow government” connections with the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary, plus she is a “paid consultant”  to the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District.

Apparently, when Swanson speaks, they all listen.

Fortunately, for Wildomar, Zak Turango hears as well and then writes his opinions for  his reader’s information and contemplation. The truth will eventually manifest  in a Wildomar Magazine world.

Perhaps Zak was swayed by his knowledge of Farnam’s well-known, unsavory “lifestyle,” in addition to the physical assault received at the hands of Farnam on December 08, 2009. Thus, when Farnam appointed Benoit to the Planning Commission, Zak assumed the obvious. However, as a result of yesterday evening, with Swanson’s disclosure and boast about Benoit, Zak had to recalibrate his thoughts in order to comprehend the heretofore unexplored depth and breadth of this political manipulation.

As a result, and in order to ameliorate the damage done to Zak’s reputation for stopping before he got the whole story, Zak will be refunding  50% of any paid subscription to Wildomar Magazine in the next 30 days.

The refund will be issued in scrip, which becomes legal tender only when the Blue Ribbon Committee, formed to advise the City Council on what decision regarding parks our elected officials should make, since they apparently cannot make their own decisions (other than who should run for office), releases their findings/recommendations.

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Real Estate Agents Support……

October 27, 2010



Since Zak only reads the Californian online, apparently he missed a full page advertisement placed on the backpage of a recent local edition by a group of real estate agents “endorsing” Ben Benoit and Marsha Swanson.

However, last evening as I was speaking with a friend from Temecula, he told me of what he has seen in his newspaper. (I tried to find a copy of the ad online, for the reader’s illumination but, alas, I could not).

While Swanson’s endorsement is understandable, given that she is a real estate agent herself, Benoit’s inclusion, since he is a computer geek, must be based upon something else.

Could it be his recent statement during a candidate’s interview that, “he would probably find himself on the side of Moore and Swanson on many issues?

Zak guesses, based on the above statement, that the phrase “thoughtful deliberation” on any complex issue brought before the Council, would not be one of  Benoit’s natural instincts, should he be elected to the council, as he has boasted.

All Benoit will have to do, prior to voting, is watch Bridgette Moore and Marsha Swanson for their nodding heads to know how to vote.

The one thing that real estate agents (who do not build businesses; rather, they succeed, as an industry, only when the overall economy is good) know that they need, and always unabashedly support, is “inventory, inventory, inventory.” 

Especially, lots and lots of new houses in densely-packed housing tracts, as proposed in the Sunset Ridge and Baxter Crossing projects.

They discreetly couch their unfettered economic lusts in coded phrases such as being “builder friendly” and “Wildomar needs rooftops to bring commercial development.”

Which is why real estate agents would cough up money to pay for a newspaper ad to endorse this particular  computer geek.

Unfortunately, the top graphic “says it all” about Benoit.

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Oddly, Benoit has not boasted of this endorsement on his Facebook page or his website. I wonder why not?

Pardon Me, While I…..

October 25, 2010




1. Waste time; be slow.
2. Move slowly and idly.

It has now been two weeks since the Wildomar City Council failed to demonstrate civic leadership by voting for the least complicated method to re-fund and save our soon-to-be penniless park system.

Zak predicts prophetically that the above photograph will soon accurately depict Marna O’Brien Park unless the current City Council assumes the adult leadership role to which they were elected 2 years ago.

Instead of voting immediately to put a replacement $28 per parcel tax assessment on the first/next ballot, presumably next spring and then, work to energize the community to secure a 66.6 %  vote majority (a daunting task to be sure, with no guarantee of success), the Council chose to dawdle by forming  a “blue-ribbon committee” in order, in my opinion, to “spread the blame,” should a park assessment measure fail.

Could it be that Wildomar’s very own teenybopper-ish Mayor, Bridgette Moore fears the negative impact of running for re-election in 2012 in a parkless Wildomar?

Read the following from Wikipedia for a realistic definition of what a Blue Ribbon committee should consist.

Blue-ribbon panel (sometimes called a blue ribbon commission) is an informal term generally used to describe a group of exceptional persons appointed to investigate or study a given question. The term generally connotes a degree of independence from political influence or other authority, and such panels usually have no direct authority of their own. Their value comes from their ability to use their expertise to issue findings or recommendations which can then be used by those with decision-making power to act.”

Today’s Californian records the current state of civic inadequacy.

Please click on the link for your edification.

Having read the list of names of the 11 of 15 members selected so far, few, if any, are “exceptional” as a result of their “expertise” in securing the passage of Park  Assessments. Who would have that kind of expertise, in any event?

John Lloyd was involved in the passage of the current park assessment, but that one time effort only bestows some level of “experience,” but not necessarily “expertise.”

And the fact that, two weeks after the decision to institute a blue ribbon panel, four volunteer members are still lacking from specific groups suggests that the formulators of the protocol themselves lack any “expertise” in setting up that committee and may have been “too cute by half” in determining which disparate, overly-diverse groups should participate through a single individual representative.

Pray tell, what “expertise” the hospital and medical industry would provide regarding a park assessment? Zak would prefer that they invest their energies into improving the local hospital.

The following is an excerpt taken from the Agenda Packet for the next City Council meeting outlining the decision-making process/protocol to be utilized by the blue ribbon committee:

2.The Issues:

a.What Happened?

b.Saving the Parks

i. Now

ii. Forever

3.What is the Plan?

a.Meetings, Dates, Events

4.What are the types of Long Term Funding

a.50.1% Vote…Special Benefit

b.66.6% Vote…General Benefit”

At the end of next month, or whenever, the recommendation of the blue ribbon “experts” that they will likely lay  at the feet of the City Council, will be the very same dilemma of two limited options that the City Council avoided  two weeks ago.

In the meantime, much of the community enthusiasm and energy now evident will have been dissipated through dawdling and wasted.

Perhaps someone, anyone, on the council dais will interrupt the dawdling and simply make a motion to put a $28 per parcel park assessment on the next ballot.

It is way past time to “cut to the chase,” not merely “think outside the box.”

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