Pounding A Round Peg Into…

March 31, 2011


 As Wildomar is finding out.

This morning’s Press Enterprise records the final outcome of an agreement between the County and Wildomar resulting from another successful lawsuit by one individual in Wildomar.

Please click on the following link:


Although the new agreement by the County to reduce the cost of public safety services  in an amount equal to the County payments, originally provided to Wildomar as an assist for it to become a city, is a dollar for dollar exchange, it does seem to reveal the weakness of the original financial arrangements by the County that were the underpinnings of incorporation for the former unincorporated community of Wildomar.

And which have not withstood legal challenges.

For context, Zak was originally opposed to incorporation and voted against it, believing that becoming a city in declining economic times, might result in a financial failure and resultant “devolvement,” the actual term for returning to  County governance.

This is why former City Councilmember Sheryl Ade displayed the political wisdom and fearlessness in advocating the approval of a Medical Marijuana Ordinance. Rather than spending Wildomar’s limited finances on litigation, Ade preferred to impose some reasonable controls on the local collective.

Unfortunately, Councilmember Bridgette Moore and her Religious Right-wing “friends” were not so wise in opposing the ordinance. And, as a result, have wasted more than $100,000 in legal fees.

Ironically, Councilmember Timothy Walker, whose rabid anti-marijuana collective public rant and campaign got him elected to a four-year term, may be around long enough to vote on the devolvement of the City of Wildomar.

We can all stop complaining about the lawsuits from Gerard St. Marie and Steve Beutz. It is obvious that they opposed incorporation from the beginning of the process, which is their right. That their arguments and lawsuits have had merit, is reflected in their seemingly unending string of courtroom victories.

If Measure D fails to pass on June 07, 2011, and the three neighborhood parks are closed as a result, it may only be a foreshadowing of the ultimate demise of the City of Wildomar as an independent government entity.

Wildomar needed the steady guidance and mature leadership of Sheryl Ade. Unfortunately, the voters of Wildomar went instead for the cheerleading squad from the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce continuation high school.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Wildomar’s Resident Astronomer Published…

March 30, 2011


Wildomar’s John Garrett, our favorite astronomer, was recently a guest contributor in the Skeptical Science, an online science blog, which is, according to Zak’s scientific sources, “highly respected by climate scientists, has many scientists as contributors,  is frequently referred to by climate scientists.”

Please click on the following link to read his article:


Skeptical Science has been nominated for the George Mason University “Climate Change Communicator of the Year,” for  the international category.

Please click on the following link for confirmation:


It is always gratifying to see thoughtful citizens of Wildomar, such as John Garrett, obtain prominence in their particular fields of interest.

Congratulations are in order to John Garrett for having his article published.

Comments, and questions, can be made to garrjohn@gmail.com.

2nd Chapter……

March 28, 2011


I have completed the second chapter of my personal memoir, “Vietnam 1968, A Year For A Lifetime,” which you can read, if you’re so interested, by clicking on the tab at the top of this page,  and clicking on the second link.

I intend to plod along at this pace, until I have reviewed all of the slides taken during that year and plumbing them for memories. It’s a memoir that I am ultimately preparing for my six-year-old grandson, who already knows that his “Boppa” spent time in a war.

I don’t know what that means to a six-year-old child, but eventually, as he grows up, he should come to appreciate my efforts on his behalf. (If I were a golfer, I would be leaving him some old golf clubs; since I’m a better writer than I am a golfer, his legacy will be my written memories).

As always, I will be gratified by your interest as well.

Bell City Council Outraged……

March 28, 2011



The former members of the Bell City Council, most of whom are facing criminal charges for their role in giving their City Manager  an annual salary of nearly $900,000, while taking approximately $100,000 per year for themselves, recently issued a press release, denouncing Lake Elsinore City Councilman Daryl Hickman for his abhorrent racial stereotyping of Vietnamese and Koreans.

The basic thrust of the Bell press release was that, “while we may have “accidentally” abused, and indeed, emptied the wallets of our constituents over several years, at the very least, we did not racially stereotype two entire racial groups in one single, public statement.

That takes  a special talent.”

Apparently, in comments made at the last Lake Elsinore City Council meeting, Hickman suggested creating a fish hatchery in a 20 foot deep “borrow” pit, in the back basin.

If a future hatchery were to be used for raising catfish, Hickman recommended the expertise of the Vietnamese.

On the other hand, if they want to raise shrimp, then, of course, as every one knows, we would defer to the Koreans.

If you want to witness and hear Hickman’s outrageous comments for yourself, click on the following link, put your cursor on the timeline at 1:30:40.


As the server at your favorite Vietnamese or Korean restaurant might say, enjoy!

Ironically, Hickman made the comments in the context of “jobs.”

Since Hickman was recently elected (dare I say by The Worlds Dumbest Voters?) to another four-year term, his “job” is safe for that time period.

You folks are stuck with him.

Comments should be directed to cityhall@lake-elsinore.org

 Hickman continues his reign as “The World’s Dumbest Politician.” (See Wildomar Magazine’s June 2010 Archives for “The World’s Dumbest Politician I’ve Ever Known.” Scroll down to June 22, 2010.)


Let’s see how long we have to wait for his public apology to the Korean and Vietnamese peoples, and to his constituents.

Hickman need not apologize to Zak Turango. He is apparently good for at least two WM articles per year.

Pillar Of Smoke Seen Rising Over….

March 26, 2011


Since cancer seems to be associated with advancing age, seniors should have a heightened awareness and curiosity as to the potential efficacy of the use of marijuana.

One of the reasons for the cultural tsunami of the medicinal use of marijuana, is the growing body of evidence (not the same as absolute proof, but who gets absolute proof in life about anything, anyway) that marijuana contains chemicals that kill certain types of cancer cells.

A thoughtful reader of Wildomar Magazine recently provided Zak with a link to a discussion page about government studies at the National Institutes of Health, looking specifically into whether or not the Creator Himself has gifted mankind with the potential cure for an evil disease.

At the very least, we already know that marijuana can alleviate pain in cancer sufferers, as well as enhance their appetites, making life last longer (eliminating starvation as a cause of death) and more enjoyable.

In response to the e-mail, Zak conducted a Google search on the issue and found the following:


I’ve not taken the time to go to all the links myself, but I wanted to make it simple for Wildomar Magazines curious readers to do so for themselves.

If you do so, and find something noteworthy, please drop a line to zakturango@excite.com.

Political Activism Is Generally For…..

March 26, 2011

Council Member; City of Lake ElsinoreClick here for more info on this contest including known links to other sites (2 Elected)


Why the sudden interest in Lake Elsinore’s City Attorney’s billing practices? Or the similar sudden interest in Lake Elsinore City Manager’s contract extension?

The Lake Elsinore/Wildomar Patch is abuzz with citizen comments regarding current political events in Lake Elsinore, as follows:


A person, including one as wise as Zak Turango, is on potentially thin ice when ascribing motive to a person’s actions.

However, in the context of Connie Soto’s recent clamor for transparency of Lake Elsinore’s elected officials, Wildomar Magazine offers some unsolicited transparency of its own.

Connie Soto was an unsuccessful candidate for the Lake Elsinore City Council in the November 07, 2006 general election.

As you can see from the above record, taken directly from the Riverside County Registrar of Voters website, Soto garnered over 2,100 votes for herself and came within 427 votes of winning a seat on the council.

Actually, for a first-time candidate, that is a very good showing. And would encourage most persons with political aspirations to continue to build on that base of support for a future run for office.

(Three-time loser Steve Manos, Lake Elsinore’s perpetual unsuccessful City Council candidate, would have soiled himself if he would have come that close to winning a seat.)

Based on the above, one could reasonably and plausibly conclude that Connie Soto’s current activism is somehow related to her future political ambitions.

Zak’s ice is feeling pretty thick right about now.

Actually, there is nothing wrong with Soto having political ambitions, as long as the citizens of Lake Elsinore understand that Soto is, after all, a political animal and that they look upon her current efforts with a somewhat jaundiced eye.

Unless the citizens of Lake Elsinore understand that the context of Soto’s current activism is more than likely political, in its genesis and nature, it is possible that their supportive outcries will be exploited into a three vote majority decision on the Council dais, resulting in a costly, unfortunate and unwarranted upheaval in the management and operation of the City of Lake Elsinore.

To the detriment of the citizens of Lake Elsinore.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com

 Zak has been covering Lake Elsinore politics for more than 15 years, so you ignore his insights at your political peril.

It Is Enough Now…..

March 24, 2011



There was a “Welcome Home, Vietnam Veteran” presentation during last evening’s City Council Meeting.

When I first read the City Council agenda, I contemplated not attending, as I’m beginning to have some negative feelings about these type of presentations.

Nevertheless, when I received a telephone call from Mayor Marsha Swanson, asking me to attend, which I thought was gracious of her, since I had been recently critical of her on these pages, I assured her that I would attend.

However, the invitation helped me focus on what is bothering me so I took the opportunity to prepare and deliver a simple commentary on a very complex matter.

Therefore, I am posting my commentary notes for your consideration. For me, personally, as a Vietnam veteran, I think it is time to put such public presentations into the past.

My name is Gil Rasmussen and I am a disabled veteran of the Vietnam War. I served “in country” from September 08, 1968 to September 08, 1969. My last post was the Marble Mountain Naval Hospital in Danang.

I am speaking tonight, as one Vietnam veteran. Other Vietnam veterans may disagree with me as I speak, as is their right. Heaven knows we’ve all earned the right to dissent or disagree with anyone.

 I want to thank Mayor Swanson and the Council for the recognition this evening of Vietnam Veterans. But I’m going to ask, with all due respect, that we, as a city, take steps to put a very troubling time for our country where it belongs, in the long-ago past.

 We cannot change the deplorable treatment of returning veterans during the ‘60s and ‘70s, a very troubled time for America.

 Sadly, even when cultural attitudes shifted and the first instances of “Welcome Home” commemorations began in 1985, it was the thoughtless and insensitive reliance upon the ten-year anniversary of the fall of Saigon in 1975 that triggered the overdue expressions of societal gratitude to Vietnam veterans

If a husband were to forget his anniversary until two weeks after that “special” date, no amount of flowers and candies can ever alter the fact of his tardy remembrance for his spouse.

 In the same way, while commemorations, such as this evening, are laudable and well-intentioned, it’s time to relegate honors for we who are the older, living veterans to Veteran’s Day on September 11 of each year.

 In the same vein, we should limit Memorial Day celebrations, each year, to honor those who have died in battle, its original intended purpose.

 Finally, we must, first and foremost, honor and support the young men and women currently serving in the Armed Forces of our country, and their spouses and families.

 In closing, it is enough now, to contemplate making tonight our last civic, specific recognition of Vietnam Veterans.

 Folks, we’ve all been home for 40 years.

It should be sufficient, for all of us, veteran and non-veteran alike, to bestow honor and be honored again, come next Veteran’s Day.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Go Ask Kevin For Your Park….

March 24, 2011



Zak can’t help but wonder what political planet the Wildomar City Council came from. Parkland on the east side of Wildomar that was “promised” to Wildomar, was  always dependent on the good graces Riverside County Supervisor Bob Buster, who was and has always been extraordinarily generous to and supportive of the City of Wildomar.

Now that the City Council is “running around with their hair on fire,” as they try to desperately hold on to the parks that they have, rather than personally contacting Supervisor Buster’s office to discuss the coveted park site, they have naïvely, as rank political amateurs, made their expectations known in the local newspapers first, before talking directly to Supervisor Buster.

If you haven’t done so, please read the various articles for yourself.





Press Enterprise.


Common courtesy, if not political astuteness, should have guided Mayor Swanson to make a private call on Supervisor Buster to discuss the “possibilities” of transferring the land. This would have given Supervisor Buster the opportunity to discuss Wildomar’s problematic future plans to develop and maintain additional parkland.

As it stands now, if Measure “B”  fails to secure a 66 2/3% “yes” vote to maintain its existing parks, I can’t imagine that the County would want to entrust additional lands to Wildomar, at this time.

If that were the reasonable position of Riverside County, Supervisor Buster should be able to make that argument in person and in private, with Wildomar’s elected officials.

Instead, everything has been prominently played out in the newspapers.

A complicating factor for Wildomar, is that Mayor Swanson, Mayor pro tem Ben Benoit, and Councilmember Bridgette Moore have already publicly offered their political support for Supervisor Buster’s declared opponent in the 2012 election, Kevin Jeffries.

Since Kevin Jeffries has never supported Wildomar to the same extent as has Supervisor Buster, based on his past record, there would be no guarantee of the transfer of the parkland, at the end of the day.

Even if he were to defeat Buster in 2012, an unlikely outcome, it would be nearly 2 years, before he would have any authority or influence on the “promised” transfer of County-owned parkland to Wildomar.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

What a bunch of political bumblers.

Good Question…..

March 24, 2011



Wildomar city Councilmember Bridgette Moore” ended last evening’s City Council meeting with a thoughtful, but badly timed request of staff.

Apparently Moore wants to know the implementation mechanism and consequences of a park shut down, should Measure “D” fail to pass on June 07, 2011. The $28 per year ballot measure which seeks to replace a $28 per year Park assessment, would provide funding to maintain and operate Wildomar’s existing parks, but it will require 66 2/3% of those who vote on June 07, 2011 to vote “Yes” on the issue.

Unfortunately, Moore’s request for a staff report at the next City Council meeting, should have come months earlier, not at the start of City Council surrogate, John Lloyd’s campaign for a two thirds majority vote, come June 7.

Today’s Californian reports the request, as follows:

“Meanwhile, Moore asked for an item to be put on the council agenda that would outline what the city would face should the tax measure be defeated.(Bold by Zak) Organizations such as the Pop Warner youth football league need to know to plan their schedules, she told the council.

“There will literally be hundreds of kids with nowhere to play,” she said.”

If Councilmember Moore and the rest of the Council are not confident of achieving a majority vote on the issue, it should never have been put on the ballot in the first place.

Throw it against the wall and see if it sticks” is not a good model for leadership.

Beyond the wastage of dollars spent on the election itself, an unsuccessful vote will squander the “first/best” opportunity to pass an assessment.

A public demonstration of the City Council’s “fear of failure,” at this time, sends the wrong message to the voting public.

There is still time for the City Council to “pull the plug” on this ballot measure, put the parks into a “hibernation” mode, while the City Council explores all other options for parks.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Walker Speaks…..

March 23, 2011


For some unknown reason, yesterday’s Californian contacted one of the two least civically-involved City Councilmembers for an article on County-owned land that Wildomar covets for an Eastside Park.

Please click on the following to read the article, if you have not done so already:


When Zak first read the article, he was “taken” aback by the harsh edge of Councilmember Walker’s comments regarding Wildomar’s desire to somehow induce Riverside County to transfer ownership of a 26 acre parcel of proposed parkland to Wildomar.

“It was supposed to come to us right after we incorporated,” Councilman Tim Walker said. “They were supposed to deed it to us, and they haven’t done that yet.

Is there a mouse in Walker’s pocket? All of this “we” and “us” verbiage would suggest that Walker was somehow previously involved with Wildomar. Until the marijuana ordinance issue was on the City Council agenda, I don’t recall ever  seeing Walker attend a Wildomar City Council meeting, prior to that meeting.

And the Californian  reportage that Walker “wants the city to take ownership,” further displays Walker’s harsh edge of political naïveté.

If Wildomar approaches Riverside County with that kind of attitude, its efforts will likely be fruitless, at least in the short-term.

In contrast, the comments by Riverside County Supervisor Bob Buster displayed the mature and thoughtful graciousness of Supervisor Buster, who put the matter into its proper political context.

“First District county Supervisor Bob Buster said the property is still earmarked to be a park. Although he wasn’t sure of the technical details on the status of the land, he said he assumes the county has been holding it because of the city’s financial straits, including its lack of money to pay for park operations.”

“I read that they’re not going forward to get the funding to develop and operate (the east-side park), but the land is still there,” he said. “We’re going to keep it for that purpose unless the city tells us otherwise. We’re not going to sell it off or compromise its use. We’re going to maintain it as parkland as long as I’m around.”

Buster’s gracious words reflect his ongoing commitment to Wildomar’s success, despite three out of the five Wildomar City Councilmembers having already publicly jumped on Kevin Jeffries’ campaign to unseat Buster in 2012.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.