Have A Happy Facebook New Year…

December 31, 2010



For those of you who have exposed and “laid bare” all of your family treasures, including photographs of your children, and have foolishly linked yourselves to so many marginal “friends,” an ominous holiday anecdote from Zak to you.

Last evening, Sheryl told me that she had “friended” Zak Turango, in accordance with my request.

Zak does not have a Facebook page and, oddly, if not eerily, did not make a request to be Sheryl’s “friend.”

Being curious, however, she retrieved the original “request” for me and, lo and behold, there it was, accompanied by the photograph of a much younger, pre-Zakian “me,” clad in hospital garb, taken while recovering from lifesaving emergency surgery at the Marble Mountain Naval Hospital, Danang, Republic of Vietnam, circa 1969.

It is the photograph that I use on the “About” page of Wildomar Magazine. (Click on the “About” button, above, for context). 

Somehow, Facebook self-generated a “friend” request, connecting my Wildomar Magazine front page, my pseudonym and my photograph, with Sheryl’s personal e-mail address, which I had never previously published.

Apparently, Facebook can now connect you with others by using “tools,” such as “face recognition technology,” without your knowledge or permission.

Please click on the following for more information.


Apparently, according to the article, you can protect yourself and your friends by turning off the capability.

Or can you?

Beyond the potentially sinister capabilities of modern technology that far exceed your skills and abilities to control it, there is still the far more mundane nonsense that occupies, if not obsesses, people’s lives on Facebook.

Silliness was around long before Facebook was created. Even before Bridgette Moore was around, but she is especially proficient at it.

For instance, there is a drama currently being played out locally on Facebook, about a recent newborn addition to a local commercial alpaca herd.

Apparently, as often happens in nature, the mother of this young mammal accidentally stepped on it’s long neck, inflicting potentially mortal injuries.

Adult human beings with an obvious religious bent, probably Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians, and who apparently prefer that other humans should suffer, rather than to permit them safe access to medical marijuana in Wildomar, are “praying” for the healing and recovery of a soulless member of the goat family which is, after all, only a part of the food chain.

To me, nothing diminishes the sacred nature of prayer more than to waste it on the health of a mammal, apparently bred for commercial re-sale.

If you value prayer and believe in its efficacy, there are innumerable soulish humans created in God’s image, that would benefit more from your efforts.

Prior to the introduction of Facebook, I had always suspected that a certain multilevel marketing scheme selling soap products was the “Antichrist,” and that a competing food supplement scheme of that time was the “False Prophet.”

Now I am not so sure.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

If a virtual Zak requests you to be his “friend,” you have my permission to ignore the request.

If my dog, Dolly, gets sick, I will start my own intercessory “prayer chain” on Facebook.

And take her to the vet while you pray.

Water District Merger Postponed….

December 29, 2010


If the EVMWD “brain trust” (two oxymoronic elements, neither of which they possess in copious quantities) hasn’t appropriately tested the aging, admittedly decrepit underground pipes of the EWD, to determine the eventual cost to repair or replace them prior to a  merger, maybe testing the political waters is a reasonable substitute, for the time being.

We’ll take it.

For the time being.

Please click on the following link to confirm:


Perhaps public sentiment from EVMWD’s unconvinced rate payers has gotten their attention.

Perhaps the skepticism of EWD customers that their monthly water rates won’t increase after the merger. How could they not increase?

Whatever the reason, the EVMWD/EWD-induced stampede to push this merger forward has been delayed.

That’s a good thing, for we Wildomar ratepayers.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

This might explain why the Wildomar Magazine “hit count” was “through the roof” yesterday.

I can’t tell who the individual viewers are, but the specific interest in yesterday’s article was extraordinarily robust, according to my stat page.


Zak Retracts And Apologizes….

December 28, 2010



On occasion, Zak gets it wrong.

That being said, the battle for transparency and disclosure continues.

I received an e-mail from José Carvajal, “spokesman” for the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, questioning my quote in the previous article regarding his having floated a “turd” that the proposed merger of the two water districts would be profitable within five years.

After scouring the necrotic recesses of my stroke-damaged cranium, I realized that I had been speaking to EVMWD District 5 Director-elect Andy Morris when the profitability turd was floated before Zak.

What makes the correction so disturbing is that it was not a statement put forth by someone paid to do so, instead, it came from the lips of the person who may vote on the issue, depending on the date of the meeting and Morris’s swearing-in date.

Hopefully, Morris will recognize that it is his obligation to represent the economic interests of this district, and not the residents of Director Judy Guglielmana’s or Harv Ryan’s districts.

I have already apologized for my “mis-memory,”  in a responsive, private e-mail to José and wanted to do so as well on the front page of Wildomar Magazine.

To be fair and equitable to him.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Wildomar’s Newly Installed Facial Egg….

December 27, 2010


Without checking for the appropriate appointment protocol, Wildomar’s staff and elected officials have embarrassed themselves, if not the city,  in their naïve appointment of the equally naïve Wildomar Councilmember Ben Benoit to the Southern California Association of Government (“SCAG”).

According to Zak’s informed sources, the appointment to SCAG is not Wildomar’s appointment to make.

Rather, the subcommittee seat occupied by Sheryl Ade, is currently declared vacant and will eventually be filled by an appointment by the Executive Committee of the Western Riverside Council of Governments (“WRCOG”).

Please click on the link and scroll down to the City of Wildomar to confirm.


The Executive Committee is not required to make, or accept, an appointment from Wildomar.

In a grown-up, political world, protocol matters.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

By the process of elimination, notice, if you will, who’s Riverside County Supervisor father is not on the Executive Committee of WRCOG.

“Misleading” Comment…..

December 27, 2010


Steve Fetbrandt, arguably the Lake Elsinore-Wildomar Patch’s premier reporter accurately quotes your’s truly’s recent comments to him in today’s Patch article on opposition to the proposed water district merger.

Please click on a link for the entire article.


His writing reminds me of a former Californian reporter by the name of José Carvajal for its accuracy and incisiveness.

However, José took the job of Public Information Officer for the Lake Elsinore Unified School District as it probably paid better than being a reporter. Fair enough.

Sadly, however, José recently moved to the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District to be their “spokeshole.”

Which brings us front and center to today’s Patch article.

First, José, I understand that when you take  “The Man’s” money, you have to carry, ironically, The Man’s water for him.

That being said, to characterize my fact-based comments as “misleading,” sadly reduces my respect for you, downward to  the baser level of your predecessor spokeshole, Greg Morrison.

In a hopefully meaningful exercise for the readers of Wildomar Magazine, let’s discuss what’s been said, as follows:

“In the days following the meeting, foes continued to argue that the plan is awash in murky water, including inadequate information, dubious facts and suspect financial analysis.

“People don’t want to pay extra for new pipes,” said Gil Rasmussen, a Wildomar resident, EVMWD customer and merger opponent. “EWD hasn’t done its work and now it’s apparently caught up with them.”

Rasmussen believes it could cost upward of $24 million to rebuild EWD’s system. The $6.7 million would cover only the first phase, he said.

“The bottom line is that I’m not gonna pay a … penny to pick up the costs for the little water district,” Rasmussen said. “It’s their problem, not ours.”

 My comments regarding the $24,000,000 to replace the entire system is based upon information provided by the paid consultant speaking for the little water District during a break in the merger meeting.

My question to him was what would be the total exposure to the EVMWD ratepayers, if the entire aging, decrepit EWD system required replacement?

 The consultant’s response was $24,000,000.

Based upon my formal training as a Risk Manager, that is the figure that the EVMWD must anticipate, should this merger go forward.

And, José, if you recall, as I spoke at the merger meeting, my request was that a formal study be conducted by the various water districts to properly quantify, if possible, that exposure.

Not an unreasonable request, given the potential exposure.

José’s follow-on statement makes my point.

Jose Carvajal, public information officer for EVMWD, said the $24-million figure is misleading.

That figure is if the EWD system completely failed tomorrow and we had to replace the entire system,” he said. “That’s really not likely to happen. The $6 million is for the more immediate problems.”

Obviously then, according to Carvajal, there are “less immediate problems” as well.

No one can say for certain, not José Carvajal, nor Greg Morrison, nor EWD Board Pres. Jeff George, can tell us when the entire system might fail.

Or not.

Further, at last Wednesday evening’s Wildomar City Council meeting, Carvajal EVMWD Director-elect Andy Morris tried to float  a “turd” past me by stating that the EVMWD believes that the merger with the little water District will show a profit within five years.

Do the math with me, as follows:

1500 customers times $40 current average bill per month times 12 months times five years equals $3.6 million.

However, since most commercial operations can only achieve 5 to 6% net profit, “profitability,” even if 10% per year, would only net $360,000 in profitability.

According to my calculations, it will take more than 18 years to offset the cost of replacing the “known” substandard water lines.

Of course, if EVMWD raises everyone’s water rates, including yours, to amortize the known repair expense of $6.7 million, it will take less years to recapture it.

Or, am I misleading again?

I am calling on both John Lloyd and Andy Morris, since we’re not certain who will be voting on the merger, to properly represent Wildomar’s, and Murrieta’s, ratepayers by voting against this merger, unless, and until a properly conducted study on the exposure to the EVMWD  ratepayers is completed and published, before  this questionable merger should go forward.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


My Kids Are Not To Blame For….

December 26, 2010


Although my gifted son, Timothy Rasmussen, and his equally gifted writing partner, my son-in-law, Vince Di Meglio, broke into the Hollywood “big-time” with the “second draft” of their original screenplay, which  took the very successful” Meet The Fockers” (sequel to the original “Meet The Parents” movie) off the shelf of movie death and into full-blown production, they had nothing to do with the current release of “Little Fockers,” currently showing in local theaters.

Please click on the following link, under “Writers,” for confirmation regarding “Meet the Fockers.


I sense that, in recent conversations with my son, they are not unhappy about not being attached to this sequel. Oft times, just one more sequel is a blatant studio attempt to cash in on a popular “brand,” such as the “Fockers.”

During their “brainstorming” stage of development, I suggested that the Focker family should actually be the Fokker family, who were “on the run” from their World War II Nazi aircraft manufacturing legacy. Alas, not to mention fortunately, that idea didn’t “fly.”

Before you laugh, one of my suggestions netted the boys a writing gig with the director of “Wedding Crashers” worth a significant chunk of change. (As a gesture of gratitude, I received a new TV and a DVR).

And some bragging rights.

In fact, if you rent the “License to Wed” movie, which Tim and Vince also wrote, and click on the “extra scenes”, you will find the original animated, opening scene, which was deleted by the studio editors, at the last moment, to shorten the film. The entire scene was based on my boy’s inclusion of my creative suggestion.

At the very least, as Tim told me, one of my creative ideas, out of many lame ones, is actually incorporated into a Hollywood-produced DVD.

Therefore, in the interest of full disclosure, I also deny having anything to do with “Little Fockers.”

On a more personal note, Tim tells me that their “indie” production of “Smother,” starring Diane Keaton, is enjoying an appreciative and burgeoning following through Netflix.

What makes Smother personal is that my kids write about what they know and the premise of Smother is a compilation based upon attributes of each of their mothers, played by Diane Keaton, but set in the context of one mother who was stuck in a dying marriage with yours truly, played by veteran actor Ken Howard.

Take a moment to enjoy, if you will, a brief trailer from Smother.


Then, if you enjoyed that, or are just curious, and you’re a subscribing member of Netflix, put it on your movie queue and look forward to an evening of quirky movie entertainment.

Unlike the studios, Tim and Vince made this movie for artistic reasons only. This is not an inducement for increased rentals, through Netflix, for reasons of any anticipated re$idual$.

It’s just an unusual twist on my “Brush with Fame” series.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Local Paper Learns What Zak Already…..

December 25, 2010


Years ago, when Zak Turango was the “prime contributor” for Elsinore Magazine, the issue of allowing comments from readers was heatedly discussed with EM Publisher Bill Reimbold, thinking that it would induce more people read the Magazine.

Bill flatly stated that he would never permit open discussion. 

According to Reimbold, based on his previous experience with discussion forums on the CosmoAccess Forum, moderated by a local Internet Service Provider, John Purpura.  the commentary and “conversations” always went wildly off-topic.

As a result, Reimbold declared he would never permit “anonymous idiots” to wrest control of “his” public conversation away from the direction he wanted it to go.

Having learned that lesson from Reimbold, Zak has rarely permitted comments from his readers.

The few times that I’ve done so, (to date, there have only been 44 comments received by Wildomar Magazine), many of which were negative attacks on the “mythical” publisher, Zak Turango, ended badly.

And added nothing to the “public conversation.”

And confirmed Reimbold’s wisdom.

It is, nevertheless, the policy of Wildomar Magazine, to provide an email address for any reader to register their thoughts directly with Publisher Zak Turango. And I usually respond directly to the e-mail.

However, since that does not provide the instant gratification of seeing one’s posted commentary, at least until the moderator can delete it, it is rarely used.

 According to a recent Californian Note from the Editor, Kent Davy, the Californian is changing its “online” policy regarding publishing comments to their articles.

Please click on the following link to see for yourself:


Obviously, the new policy is not sitting well with the “anonymous idiots.” So far, 181 (and counting) of them have generally reacted adversely to the new policy that will “stifle” their “parasitic creativity,” an oxymoron.

Of course, any of them could easily become “bloggers” on their own, but that would require them to produce content that others would sufficiently care  to read.

Not always an easy thing to do.

Congratulations to the Californian editorial staff for learning, and embracing, the “Reimboldian” wisdom.

You’ll be a better newspaper for it.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

” Goin’ Wildomar” Road Rage Incident…..

December 23, 2010



Thank God, and Sheryl Ade, for it.

Today’s Californian reports on the change of direction for the Temecula-based congregation of Mountain View Community Church, that once considered Wildomar it’s “Promised Land.”

And, in the process, reveals telling information about the past, present and future of Wildomar.


And of those who so easily stamp their daily secular activities, common to most of us, with the imprimatur of God Himself.

Please click on the following link to a Press Enterprise article from January 30, 2007, for your “historical” context:


If you would, please compare the pastor’s posture in the two photographs of him accompanying each article for contrast.

Interesting body language, no?

First of all, a word of thanks to Wildomar City Manager Frank Oviedo, and his staff, for his competent, professional, and appropriate handling of the environmental concerns of the community, in light of the aspirations of this “growth-oriented” congregation.

Clearly, the scope of the proposed church campus would have required an Environmental Impact Report, with significant mitigations to their impacts required to be agreed to, prior to turning over a single scoop of dirt.

As  it always did for a similar mega-church, Cornerstone Comunity church.

Even at the County level.

Whatever the cost to analyze and mitigate the impacts of building on the largely vertical 80 acre parcel, that cost was always the economic responsibility of the church.

They must  have understood that when they purchased the land.

That being said, manifesting a disturbing similarity to the leadership of Cornerstone Community Church, Mountain View was likely hoping for a sympathetic “waiver” of mitigation requirements from Wildomar’s elected officials in order to realize the “promise” of imposing their ambitious project onto an ill-suited parcel of land.

And, it is also likely that Mountain View had observed Cornerstone’s own ill-suited Parking Lot/Sports Field project  be approved by the “pro-church” Council majority, and then, ultimately withdrawn by Cornerstone, under the legitimate threat of  CEQA litigation from nearby concerned homeowners.

One of the most important quotes in the article is the following: “Wells said, what with the estimated $100,000 price tag for the report, the six months to a year it could take to put it together, and the possibility the proposal could be rejected by Wildomar elected officials after all that, church leaders decided to go another route.”

The citizens of Wildomar should recognize that the primary “elected” official that they feared most was Sheryl Ade, who was the most vocal official in challenging the deficiencies in Cornerstone’s ill-prepared project.  Bob Cashman voted with her on a procedural issue that would have forced a re-examination of  the Cornerstone project, but that was defeated on a 2-3 vote.

Mountain View would have had nothing to fear from the then rock-solid, “pro-church” majority voting bloc of Scott Farnam, Marsha Swanson and “Cornerstone member” Bridgette Moore, had their application come before the Wildomar City Council.

Naturally, they did not know of the future, (shouldn’t God have told them to be patient and wait for Benoit and Walker?) and now present, makeup of the current City Council, sans Ade, whose makeup is even more “pro-church,” if that were possible.

Had they waited, the Californian’s article may have been a far different read.

Thank God for Sheryl’s “tough, but fair” reputation, when it comes to land-use issues, for any development, and be it religious or secular.

One can only imagine the traffic chaos on Baxter Road and the I/15 freeway on ramps on Sunday afternoons if two mega churches, Cornerstone and Mountain View, ended their Sunday morning services at the same time.

Hunger-crazed churchgoers, vying for the same traffic lane, would have created a new buzzphrase, “Goin’ Wildomar”  in the pop lexicon.

Similar to “going Postal.”

In any event, Mountain View Community Church has voluntarily chosen to take a different path to their Promised Land, apparently which has been moved to the commercial flatlands of Temecula, sparing a still-rural Wildomar a land-use ordeal.

And that, in Zak’s opinion,  is the best mitigation of all.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Wildomar has also apparently dodged a “homeless shelter.” (See “Wildomar You Are On Notice…” Published February 09, 2010, in the February 2010 archives of Wildomar Magazine).

It Was An Odd Night In Wildomar….

December 23, 2010



The Wildomar City Council no longer represents a deliberative body, empowered to make important decisions on behalf of the electorate. It now resembles a  high school environment.

Finally, we can now refer to the ultimate Homecoming Queen, Bridgette Moore, as “former Mayor” Bridgette Moore. Lest you think that I make this stuff up, Bridgette stated publicly, in her final comments at the council meeting last evening, that she was happy to pass on her “throne” to Swanson.

But it isn’t a throne, Bridgette. Not yours. Not anybody’s.

Being Mayor, for the record, is an honorary title bestowed by peer Council colleagues on a rotating basis. And, had not Wildomar Magazine illuminated her deep personal “needs,” it is, in Zak’s opinion, likely that Bridgette would have found a way to manipulate another year for herself on “her”  throne.

Nevertheless, Mayor Pro Tem Marsha Swanson will be the mayor next year. Of course, that outcome was already somehow already known to the Chamber of Commerce/Rotary “clique” before the meeting.

Otherwise, how would Henry Sylvestre, Chamber of Commerce representative, have oddly announced that Swanson would be giving a “state of the city” speech (usually a mayoral function) at the next Chamber breakfast in January 2011, before the vote was taken? 

These people cannot connect their own dots. Fortunately, for his curious readers, Zak can.

The oddness continued  with the appointments to the various committees and regional boards. 

Ben Benoit, forgetting that some of us were watching his public demeanor, sitting, as if he were the Christ child in a  Christmas crèche “so tender and mild, as all of the local committee appointments were made.

However, when the various regional committees, such as WRCOG “Western Riverside Counsel of Governments,” and the RCTC “Riverside County Transportation Committee” and the SCAG “Southern California Association of Governments” appointments were mentioned, his demeanor changed and he aggressively stated “I want that one.”

And that one.

And that one.

Oddly, He got every one of them.

These regional subcommittees will be a great place for Ben to rub shoulders with other politicos, including his father, to further develop his personal political resume.

Most “normal” young men can’t wait to get out of their father’s shadow.

Ben basks in his.

However, the piece de resistance of civic oddity occurred with the election of Mayor Pro Tem. In this format, City Clerk Debbie Lee explained that, when nominations were opened, a nominee did not require a “second” to be considered.

As soon as the nominations were opened, BFF Bridgette swiftly nominated BFF Ben to be the next Mayor Pro Tem. Subsequently, Bob Cashman  nominated himself.

After a brief pause, similar in brevity to the meaningless “Moment of Silence” imposed upon us at the start of every Council meeting, the City Clerk closed the nominations and the Queen called for the vote.

Oddly, but get used to it folks, there was no deliberation. With “pre-arrangement,” there is no need for deliberation.

No one bothered to ask Benoit, not to mention one another, what benefit his appointment by his Council colleagues as Mayor Pro Tem would be  to the City of Wildomar?

More importantly, since a senior Councilmember, who has never been Mayor Pro Tem, expressed a desire to be appointed to the position, no one on the Council asked Cashman, not to mention one another, what benefit his appointment by his Council colleagues as Mayor Pro Tem would be  to the City of Wildomar.

Seniority alone, by most normal standards, should have been sufficient for at least a few seconds of thoughtful consideration of Cashman’s nomination.

But not on Wildomar’s playground. Not for a moment was there any deliberation or consideration given to Cashman’s nomination.

Instead, the Queen called for the vote, first for Ben’s elevation. There were four automatic, enthusiastic “ayes.” Cashman remained momentarily silent.

 In reality, he did not vote.

And then, in the next “odd” and uncomfortable moment, the outgoing Queen called for a vote, rather than getting a clarifying response from Cashman on his silence (did he abstain?), by those  “opposed.” All eyes in the room swung to the end of the Council dais to observe the awkward and distressed Cashman squirming to find his voice.

Since the majority had already voted for Ben to be Homecoming Princess for the next year, Cashman knew “it was over.” He understood that a subsequent vote on his nomination would be 1-4 against him.

Rather than endure the humiliation, he changed his “almost-a-vote” from “silent”  to “aye” for Ben.

I don’t know what troubles me more. The lack of deliberation and consideration for a senior Councilmember’s desire for a particular post over a first-time, first-term councilmember, or the sense of “pre-arrangement,” to elevate an inexperienced, failed “bedroom-business” operator to this honorary position. 

The only awkward impediment to the Queen’s desires was Cashman’s self-nomination. (Apparently, Cashman missed the pre-meeting).

Swiftly disposed of.

Despite the applause by the citizens of Wildomar present to observe the meeting, only Zak Turango sat unmoved and unmoving, saving his hands for something more important, like resting on this  keyboard.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

This is not a game. This is “our” government. (Zak Turango,2010)

A Round For Wildomar, Barkeep!!….

December 20, 2010



Yet once again.

So far, I like the celerity with which the newly-established news medium, Patch, publishes the news, “when it happens.” Now I won’t have to wait until 9:30 at night, to walk down the hallway in my underwear, to check on the news articles on the Californian, for grist for my commentary mill.

At 12 o’clock noon today, my zakturango@excite.com Inbox was notified of “breaking news” on the Patch, recounting news of the ruling by a Riverside County judge in favor of the City of Wildomar vs. Wildomar Patients Compassionate Group.

Please click on the following link to read it.


The most ominous statement in the article, for Wildomar’s harried budget, is William Sump’s quote, “His group plans to appeal the ruling.”

Please click on the following link to confirm that Sump is serious about continuous litigation:


Scroll down to the last entry dated today, 12/20/10, and see that the Appeals Court has stayed the City of Riverside’s injunction against another medical collective with which Sump is involved. Each ruling by the Appellate Court builds an ultimately insurmountable precedent.

And now, the Press Enterprise  adds to the tapestry of quotes:


Unless you believe, deep within your heart, and are willing to bet the community jewels that Medical Marijuana collectives will not ultimately win the cultural battle for “safe access” for suffering users, now would be the best time to approach Sump’s group and negotiate a reasonable ordinance to end the expensive litigation.

That is what an adult leader would do but you didn’t re-elect her.

 You’ve elected children to the council, who will play well with the other children on the council.

Or, you can raise your morally satisfying glass of “budget on the rocks” to the proprietor of this gin joint and call for another round.

Because, win or lose, Wildomar’s finite budget resources are being drained by legal fees for lawyers

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.