The Heavy-Handed Federal……

August 30, 2012

 

 

…. BUREAUCRACY

One of the debates that will be front and center in this current presidential election season is the overregulation of private enterprise by our federal government.

Case in point; my bright and energetic daughter, Melissa, is involved in the creation of her own photography business. She’s not the usual wedding photographer, with a camera and a bag full of lenses. Instead, she works with realtors who list expensive, “high-end” properties, providing digital photographs of their properties for sale on their online multiple listing service (“MLS”) activities. She also takes still photographs of movie sets.

If you’re interested, please click on the following link:

http://melissadphotography.com/Home.html

Melissa has branched out and has become connected to a small company of remote control helicopter operators who can put her camera in the air for stunning overhead shots of a particular property, which also uniquely displays the house in the context of it’s landscaped yards.

Generally, the camera and helicopter set-up flies no higher than 50 feet above the ground.

However, she recently was deprived of the ability to earn a $600 commission for similar work on a movie set because the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) will not permit any intrusion into their “airspace,” without an expensive and time-consuming permit process, eliminating the opportunity for her creative work and income.

Bear in mind, I would agree that airspace intrusion would be a proper  concern for the FAA, such as  if another idiot connected enough helium balloons to his chaise lounge in order to float into the flight path of planes arriving at Los Angeles international Airport. But flying a remote control helicopter  no more than 50 feet above ground (and nowhere near an airport) convinces me that the bureaucratic idiots employed by the FAA may be the ones inhaling helium.

Please click on the following link to “Lawn Chair Larry” for context:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Walters

Hopefully, my daughter is getting a lesson on the inherent conflict between private enterprise and an increasingly oppressive government bureaucracy.

Hopefully, this next election will initiate the process of cutting our intrusive federal government down to size.

On a local note, I’m working on an article about our own bungling bureaucrats, just so you don’t think I’m changing my focus from Wildomar to Washington.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

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Angry E-Mail From “Outside” the Bridgetteville….

August 28, 2012

…BUBBLE

If you weren’t aware, the City of Wildomar (“Bridgeteville”) is dominated by a small and insular “bubble,” which is centered primarily on the compulsive and obsessive public life of Bridgette Moore.

Command and Control of the bubble is facilitated through the pages of Facebook.

For example, the intra-bubble communication of the upcoming Community Visioning Session was first announced on various Facebook pages, including the city’s own Facebook page but not on the city’s official website, ensuring that the “inner circle” of Bridgette’s friends and supporters got the word before anyone else.

Nevertheless, despite their best efforts to restrain dissident commentary, occasionally messages from beyond the bubble are able to penetrate Wildomar’s civic consciousness.

Yesterday morning, in response to the Baxter Road overpass traffic nightmare, the following, unsolicited e-mail was received at the editorial offices of Wildomar Magazine:

From:  XXXXXXXX96@yahoo.com.
Subject: The stop sign on Baxter
Date:  08/27/12 09:38 AM
To: zakturango@excite.com

“What a joke. The city of Wildomar really didn’t think this through.They took a smooth flowing traffic area and made it a disaster.  There has never been a line of more than 2 cars waiting to exit the SB freeway onto Baxter Road. All the sign did was back up East bound traffic on Baxter. It was ridiculous this morning at around 8:40am. I drove up to be the 20th car in line for the stop sign, and with no other cross traffic, it made no sense.

Now I am reading another stop sign will be put in on the NB exit. This has got to be some kind of joke. Either the City of Wildomar needs to do better research or they need to fire the ones who implemented such a bad idea. Apparently, they aren’t taking their job seriously anyway.”

If there is anyway a meeting will be held to oppose this ridiculous change. COUNT ME IN!!!!

The photograph at the top of this article was provided by the author of this e-mail.

“Nuff said.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

Obviously, not everyone is happy in Bridgetteville.

 NOTICE: The next ad hoc “traffic meeting” can be held during PUBLIC COMMENTS at the next regularly scheduled City Council meeting in September.


Ambush On The Bridgitteville Overpass…

August 27, 2012

 

… LIKE IT WASN’T EVEN THERE

Since I was curious about the enhanced liability to the City of Wildomar as result of their failure to provide adequate warnings of the newly installed stop signs on the western end of the Baxter Road overpass, I personally monitored the bridge intersection for 30 minutes this morning, from 6:30 AM to 7 AM.

During that 30 minute period, I observe 13 unmitigated “blow-throughs,” where the drivers weren’t scofflaws, but they were entirely clueless as to the presence of a stop sign.

It is likely that most of these folks have driven this particular pathway for several hundred times in their morning commutes and obviously had no idea that a stop sign and a painted line on the roadway had been surreptitiously added to their commute. Some of the drivers were “soccer moms,” driving their children to school. In one instance, a large 5 ton bobtail delivery truck failed to stop. 

Had that heavy, commercial vehicle struck a passenger vehicle, it is likely that there would have been a fatal injuries in the passenger car.

These were not drivers who suddenly realized the error of their way and who attempted to stop in the middle of the intersection. These folks did not appear to lift their foot from the accelerator pedal to the slightest extent.

Why is it the “Bridgetteville Overpass?”

Wildomar city councilmember Bridgette Moore seemed to “squeal” the loudest when the representative from Riverside County announced the installation of stop signs on the overpass. Since “basking in reflected glory” appears to be a major personality component for Bridgette, and since she is a senior member of the Wildomar City Council, it is only fair and appropriate to attribute the bureaucratic dysfunction of city staff to her for her lack of adult leadership.

Since she has recently updated her re-election webpage to include her acceptance into yet another civic organization, we would encourage her to participate in that one particular civic organization to which she was elected, the Wildomar City Council, and actually provide some healthy leadership, where it matters most.

Bridgette Moore should be on the phone this morning to the city staff, compelling them to erect some warning signs on the Baxter Road overpass in order to prevent a looming tragedy.

Failure to do so, if an accident occurs, would reflect an absence of political morality.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.


The Bungling Bureaucrats Of….

August 26, 2012

  

…BRIDGETTEVILLE

When the Riverside County representative notified the Wildomar City Council that Caltrans would be installing stop signs on the Baxter Road. overpass, the adolescents that comprise our City Council squeaked and squealed with delight, never once questioning the Riverside County representative as to how Caltrans would “roll out” the installation of the signage and how they would manage it to preserve the health and safety of local drivers.

As of this morning, the western half of the overpass now sports a stop sign and a little paint on the road. What is glaringly absent is any flashing lights and signage warning of the new traffic controls. As a result, there is already evidence of drivers failing to stop for the stop sign that they didn’t expect.

Please click on the following link for a reasonable solution:

http://www.tapconet.com/store/products/blinker_led_signs/solutions/stop-sign-intersections.aspx

In fact, this evening, at approximately 8:30 PM, I went over to the location to monitor traffic. In the span of 10 minutes, I observed at least six vehicles heading east/west, who failed to stop for the stop sign.

Apparently, stop signs are planned for the eastern half of the overpass. How poorly planned, can the bungling bureaucrats of Caltrans, Riverside County Transportation Department, and the City of Wildomar (hereinafter “Bridgetteville”) be, such that they would send out a crew with the necessary equipment to bore two holes in the Wildomar hardpan, not to mention the painting equipment required to paint the stop limit line on the asphalt, rather than to install all stop signs at the same time, with the requisite flashing signage to notify all drivers of the new signs? (Must have something to do with public employee union work rules.)

Four-way stop signs on the Baxter Road overpass, will be child’s play compared to the installation of a four-way stop sign at Sellers Road on Bundy Canyon Road as the work progresses on the Canyon Plaza gas station.

I can’t wait until the first Sunday morning after the installation of the Eastside stop signs, to monitor the traffic trying to  exit from Cornerstone Community Church. My guess is that Bridgette Moore will be getting an earful from her fellow congregants when that happens.

Comments made to zakturango@excite.com.

Perhaps Bridgette Moore should slow down as she flits from flower to flower, like a narcissistic butterfly, and attempt to govern on behalf of her constituents by contemplating the adverse potential ill-conceived stop sign installations.

As a longtime claims investigator, in my opinion, the City of Wildomar has a significant liability exposure for the Baxter Road overpass.

In the meantime, morally speaking, the first T-bone accident at that location, will be on the Wildomar city Council and staff.


Where The Hell Is Wildomar’s….

August 24, 2012

 

…OLD TOWN?

Ironically, the most visible and recognizable piece of Wildomar’s history (the David A. Brown House) has wheels under it. If the history of Wildomar mattered, this house would have been relocated, and preserved, a long time ago.

The Southern California Association of Governments (“SCAG”), through their Compass Blueprint Development Project grant program, has provided a grant of up to $125,000 to the city of Wildomar for the defined purpose to “identify the historic “Old Town” area of Wildomar in the center of the City near Central and Palomar.”

Please click on the city’s press release of last year for context:

http://www.cityofwildomar.org/uploads/files/press-releases/Press%20Release%20Compass%20Blue%20Print.pdf

In reality, after incorporation in 2008, the original discussion relative to the Compass Blueprint program was to identify and develop a “town center,” not an “old town.”

A “Community Visioning Session” has been scheduled for September 22, 2012, according to a flyer published on the City of Wildomar’s website titled, “Create a Vision for Wildomar’s Old Town.”

Please click on the following link to view the flyer for yourself:

http://www.cityofwildomar.org/uploads/files/notices/Wildomar-Visioning-Meeting.pdf

Unfortunately for the history buffs, there is no “historic” old town in Wildomar to identify.

It probably never existed.

Most of the historic free-standing buildings,  have long since disappeared, generally through fire or disuse.

Unlike Temecula or Murrieta, who each had a recognizable core of historic buildings with which to develop their version of “Old Town,” Wildomar is an unremarkable collection of unremarkable street intersections.

Should the central core of Wildomar be Palomar at Central?

Palomar at Gruwell?

Central at Grand?

Clinton Keith at Palomar?

Unfortunately, for those interested in attending the Community Visioning Session,  the “brainstorming session” will be artificially limited to “jotting down your ideas for the Wildomar Old Town Vision.”

It appears that the “die has been cast” by someone’s preconceived idea for the future of Wildomar.

In fact, there is already a theme for the vision, to whit; “Building on our history to create a heart for our community.”

Fortunately, for those interested in attending and participating in the Community Visioning Session, there  are guidelines/ rules for this process.

Current City Councilmembers and current Planning Commissioners may attend the Session to observe, but they cannot overtly participate in the discussions, as they will be the appointed and elected officials who will ultimately convene as Planning Commissioners and city councilmembers to deliberate and vote on the implementation of the Community Vision.

As result, and despite the propaganda-like efforts of the undisclosed creator of the flyer on the city’s website, the creation of a Knott’s Berry Farm in Wildomar is not a foregone conclusion.

At the conclusion of the Community Visioning Session, it may turn out that the “heart of the community” is a forward-looking strategy for the modest development of a pleasant community core that will enhance the future of Wildomar.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

This community event was originally posted only on the city’s Facebook page, providing notification only to those citizens who monitor the social network. However, after some scathing commentary directed at city staff by a community activist, this meeting is now being advertised in a more community-friendly venue.

If you want to read the scathing comments, please click on the following to the city’s Facebook page, as follows:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/cityof.wildomar


Wildomar Magazine Ranked 13,342,852nd…

August 22, 2012

… OUT OF 30,000,000 WEBSITES WORLDWIDE

While a bit bored this morning, and browsing through the Internet in search of Martha Bridges’ new “Wildomar Watcher” blog site, I happened upon this Internet rating website:

http://www.webstatsdomain.com/domains/wildomarmagazine.wordpress.com/

Although the current value of Wildomar Magazine is estimated to be $1,180 USD, it’s value to me for having an average of 176 people per day reading my opinions and satirical commentary on Wildomar Magazine, with a total readership, since inception, of 136,033 readers, is priceless.

In addition, notice if you will, that the “Google safe browsing” and “average antivirus” is considered “safe” and that my “child safety rating” is “excellent.”

Depending on the success of their promotional efforts for the upcoming $28 per year parcel tax measure (Measure Z), I am contemplating retaining the services of a public relations consulting firm, such as the Lew Edwards Group, so that I can become the 13,342,850th-ranked domain, worldwide.  (Not a task  for the fainthearted).

Unfortunately, I would have to be willing to spend my last dime in order to do so.

Just like the Wildomar City Council was/is.

Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

 When I find Martha’s blog site, I will post a link to it.


Argument In Favor of Measure….

August 21, 2012

 

…Z

In an ironic twist of fate, the powers-that-be have assigned the letter “Z” to Wildomar’s proposed $28 per year parcel tax measure, likely foreshadowing the future amount of revenue willingly provided by the voters of Wildomar, namely $$Zero dollars for parks.

Despite authorizing the expenditure of an additional $35,500 for the professional consulting services of the Lew Edwards Group (hereinafter “Edwards”), the following, rather amateurish Argument in Favor of Measure Zero is presented for your contemplation, with my commentary interlaced in blue italics:

 Argument in Favor of Measure Z

How can a city exist without parks? How can we let Wildomar become known as “the City without a single city park?”

Unfortunately, the opening argument is a false premise. The City Council has been presented with a plausible alternative to the current status of Marna O’Brien Park, whether or not Measure Zero attains a 66 2/3% majority vote necessary for its enactment. (For that matter,  scroll down to an earlier article on the issue provided by Wildomar Magazine).

By moving City Hall into prefabricated buildings located at  Marna O’Brien Park, Wildomar can re-allocate a significant portion of the $120,000 per year in unrecoverable lease payments into the care and upkeep of the park.

Do something about it!

Some of us are trying to save our park, by offering real-world solutions, but the Wildomar City Council isn’t listening.

Maybe they will after November 06, 2012.

Vote YES on Z to Save Wildomar Community Parks.

Wildomar has already closed two local community parks. Without Measure Z , Wildomar will have to close Marna O’Brien Park, leaving Wildomar without a city city park.

Windsong Park and Heritage/Regency Park are not “community” parks. Rather, they are neighborhood parks, which have no parking facilities nor any restroom facilities.

In any event, their closure is the responsibility of the Wildomar City Council, specifically Incumbent Councilmember Bridgette Moore, for whom parks have been her “signature issue,”  but apparently only if on her terms.

For some unknown reason, Bridgette has been unwilling to embrace the relocation of City Hall to Marna O’Brien Park, which will ultimately save the Marna O’Brien Park for the citizens of Wildomar.

 YES on Z will provide locally controlled funds to keep Wildomar’s parks open and address our local park priorities-with funds that are required by law to stay local and can’t be seized by Sacramento.

This particular ” red herring” is a contrivance developed by the Oakland-based (not that far from Sacramento) consultant, Edwards, and is a part of their telephone survey “premise” that 90-98% of the people they spoke to allegedly supported.

For context, the Edwards survey question, was as follows: “Regardless of your opinion of the measure, after I mention each one, please tell me how important that provision or use of funds is to you personally;

1) Requiring that all funds are used locally. (98% against)
2) Guaranteeing that no funds are taken by Sacramento.” (90% against)

Naturally, such leading questions would likely provoke a deep response.

What hurts the survey’s credibility is the preamble, “Regardless of your opinion of the measure.”

I guess, after all, the telephone survey wasn’t about a park tax measure in Wildomar. Rather, it was about 300 Wildomarian’s opinions regarding tax policy and tax practices emanating from Sacramento, a completely different and separate issue.

And the City Council wasted $22,500 for that questionable methodology and conclusion?

YES on Z requires that every dime from Measure Z is used locally to save Wildomar community parks.

Unfortunately, if Measure Z fails to attain the 66 2/3% threshold required, that “requirement” will be rendered moot.

YES on Z maintains safe playground equipment
YES on Z maintains clean public restrooms
YES on Z restores park security patrols and safe lighting
YES on Z removes park graffiti
YES on Z maintains sports fields
YES on Z requires mandatory independent financial audits

Each of the above will be achieved when City Hall is re-located to Marna O’Brien Park.

Local community parks give local kids a healthy, safe place to play when they are not in school.

YES on Z includes tough Accountability Provisions and Safeguards.

As does any current city financial  activity.

YES on Z requires independent financial audits to ensure that funds are spent Saving Wildomar Community Parks only.

As does any current city financial  activity.

In these tough economic times, local community parks offer one of the few affordable options for recreation.

Therein lies the “root” of the problem for Measure Z.

The Wildomar City Council squandered their “best opportunity” for the passage of a parcel tax in June 2011. Had they engaged the Edwards group last year, rather than relying upon a blue-ribbon committee of amateurs, who were led astray by a consulting group seeking future employment to administrate a Mello Roos/Community Facilities District, they would not be attempting a parcel tax in a far tougher economic and political environment than existed in June 2011.

The current adverse political environment is one of their own creation.

YES on Z would ensure local families and residents can enjoy the inexpensive, healthy entertainment and recreation that local community parks provide.

Join residents, business and community leaders in supporting YES on Z to SAVE WILDOMAR COMMUNITY PARKS.

All funds are required by law to be used locally and cannot be taken to Sacramento.

But those funds can be “given” to any park-related consultant and/or  subcontractor , the City Council may deem desirable.

Vote YES on Z

 Do so, if you believe there are no alternatives to a parcel tax.

 My guess is that 40% of the voters will still vote no .

 Comments can be made to zakturango@excite.com.

The argument was signed by the following:
Ben Benoit, Mayor of Wildomar
Tom Tisdale, Retired Cal Fire, Riverside County Fire Department
Stan Crippen, Trustee, Lake Elsinore Unified School District
Craig MacKenzie, Chairman of the Board, Wildomar Chamber of Commerce
Tim Underdown, Men’s Auxiliary President, VFW Post 1508

I think would be fair to name this group, the Baby Blue Ribbon Committee, for foolishly lending their names, prestige, and support to such a flawed process and argument.