Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sharpnack Claim Morphs Into A Lawsuit

WAIT!  WHAT'S THIS?
Those of us who pay attention to City Council meetings got a little surprise Tuesday afternoon as the agenda for the Closed Session was read into the record by City Clerk Brenda Green before the council adjourned to a remote conference room to consider the seven items listed.   City Attorney Kimberly Hall Barlow asked the council to add another item to the agenda for discussion that afternoon - the lawsuit filed by former Police Chief Rob Sharpnack against The City of Costa Mesa - which Barlow had just become aware of shortly before the meeting!
BRAND NEW LAWSUIT
The 38 page lawsuit was dated February 12, 2020 and it's unclear whether the lawsuit had actually been served on The City by Tuesday night when Barlow brought it up.  You can read it HERE, if you wish.
NOPE... NOTHING TO REPORT
The City Council approved adding the lawsuit to the Closed Session agenda and they adjourned to deliberate.  When they returned a couple hours later for the regular session Barlow had nothing to report out of the Closed Session - on that or any of the other seven items on the agenda.
SPADONI SPRINGS THE PAPERWORK
In an interesting sidebar - early in the regular meeting, during Public Comments, resident (and former police officer) Mary Spadoni trundled up to the speaker's podium and proceeded to waive the text of the lawsuit at the council.  Apparently she managed to obtain a copy of it via a public records request and posted the link to it on the Facebook page Costa Mesa Sandbox.  By the time Public Comments had ended two people had contacted me about the lawsuit and had retrieved the text from that Facebook page.  One of them shared it with me since I have been blocked from participating on that site.
TRYING TO RIGHT A PERCEIVED WRONG
Some might recall that Spadoni frequently spoke and wrote about information that was eventually included in the initial Claim Sharpnack made against The City.  Much of that is included in the lawsuit.  Clearly, she is an insider in this process and makes no bones about doing her best to defame those she feels are responsible for Sharpnack's situation, including Mayor Katrina Foley, Mayor Pro Tem John Stephens, current City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison, former Acting City Manager Tammy Letourneau and former Acting Assistant City Manager Justin Martin.  The last two now hold positions at the City of Laguna Niguel.
THE TIMING IS CURIOUS
The timing of this lawsuit is very interesting - just two weeks before the Primary Election in which Foley is running for a chance to gain a seat in the State Senate against incumbent John Moorlach and another Democrat challenger, David Min.  Any mud that can be tossed Foley's way will probably go a long way to assuaging the animus felt about her by Spadoni and her pals, particularly if it affects her chances in the upcoming election.
MY SPECIAL INTEREST?
Why am I writing about this?  Well, in his original claim Sharpnack named me as a "witness" - the only non-current or former employer of The City on the list.  It's curious, since I have no first-hand knowledge of any of the circumstances.  Yes, I've written about CMPD issues, including observing about the many, many former police chiefs who have served my city over the past five decades.  This, of course, includes Rob Sharpnack.  I have no idea if I will end up being a part of his lawsuit - I hope not, but we shall see.
HAVE I MENTIONED THAT I HATE POLITICS?
In the meantime, the hit pieces about Foley continue to land in mailboxes all over the the 37th Assembly District and I doubt if it's over with two weeks to go before the election.  And the beat goes on.

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Barrage Of Lies About Foley Continues

ANOTHER HIT PIECE IN THE MAIL THIS WEEK
Many voters, presumably women, received yet another lie-filled hit piece attempting to discredit Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley and impact her run for the State Senate seat currently held by incumbent Republican John Moorlach.  I wrote about the first one last week.  You can read it here if you wish. http://abubblingcauldron.blogspot.com/2020/02/hit-piece-on-foley-is-despicable.html

WE HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED IT, BUT...
We did not receive this particular hit piece, but several friends have and it's been widely shared on social media sites.  It is every bit as despicable as the previous one and clearly demonstrates that Foley's opponents in this race are very worried about her and will stop at nothing to diminish her chances of winning one of the two positions available in the General Election in November by quashing her chances in the Primary Election on March 3rd.
AN INTERESTING SIDEBAR
One interesting sidebar to this race is the venom being spewed on the Facebook site, Costa Mesa Public Square.  Some may recall that my friend, Bruce Krochman, launched this site several years ago as a venue for civilized political discussion.  Apparently unable to keep up with the demands of moderating the comments (I warned him about that in the beginning), he later passed it on to some rabid partisans - frustrated Republicans concerned about the loss of seats in local and state-wide bodies.  Those folks changed the focus and it became the repository of vile, overt partisan rants - despite what their homepage says about welcoming all viewpoints.
I WAS NUMBER 1
Krochman asked me to be participant Number 1 on his site, to which I agreed.  Several months later, as the site grew and it began to dominate my page I bowed out and stopped participating.  Later, as the rhetoric began to take on some unpleasant features, I tried to sign on again, but was rejected.  A year or so later I was begged, twice, by Admin Julie Mercurio, to please sign on again.  I politely declined.  The tone on the site was so dominated by unscrupulous individuals - including some then-current elected officials - that I felt it would be akin to me bashing myself over the head with a 2X4.  And life went on.
NASTY STUFF CONTINUES
However, in light of the uproar about these two anti-Foley mailers, the nasty tone on the site has ramped-up.  A friend who participates there shared some of the recent comments, one of which refers to me as an "ass blogger" and went on to denigrate Foley - the most effective mayor we've had in a couple decades, and the very first directly-elected mayor in City history.
CONSIDER THE SOURCES
I suggest that folks who are in a position to read the bilge published on the CMPS site consider the source of that crap.  Most of them are my fellow Republicans, petrified about the shifting political demographic in our region.  As one commenter on a Facebook thread decrying this latest mailer mentioned today, if you read that last mailer and just turn every accusation presented there 180 degrees you will have Foley's position on the issues.  The liars persist...


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Sunday, February 09, 2020

Hit Piece On Foley Is Despicable

I AM REALLY TICKED-OFF!
Today in my mailbox appeared a hit piece on Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley in an attempt to discredit her with casual voters - those who only pay attention to local politics during an election season.
LIE-FILLED HIT PIECE
This hit piece, paid for by a group called "Keeping Californians Working" in San Rafael, CA, is so blatantly full of lies that it boggles one's mind.  I've provided images of the front, back and inside so you can see the full extent of the lies involved..
LIES AND MISREPRESENTATIONS
On the inside you will see several newspaper headlines, an attempt to link Foley with the bad news each one portrays.  They are called "bad decisions" by Foley.  In fact, in most cases she was not even on the City Council at the time.  In other cases the situation misrepresents the facts.
NEARLY A MILLION BUCKS ON LIES
I'm told the slimeballs who paid for this piece of trash spent nearly $1 million to distribute their falsehoods to Orange County households.  Their desperation about the possibility of Katrina Foley finishing first or second in the upcoming March 3rd Primary Election is obvious.  There are three (3) candidates for State Senate - Incumbent Republican John Moorlach, newcomer Democrat Dave Min from Irvine and Mayor Katrina Foley.
PRESUMING GOP INVOLVEMENT
We presume my Republican Party is responsible for this crap.  They know that Moorlach will have a hard time holding his seat if he has to go head-to-head with Foley, but he can likely crush Min.
MY PARTY HAS LOST IT'S WAY
I don't know what's happened to my party.  The leadership certainly seems to have lost it's way somewhere since Ronald Reagan's tour as President.  Locally, they continue to shoot themselves in the foot and clearly are no longer in tune with the electorate.
CATASTROPHIC INFIGHTING
You will recall a couple years ago when Scott Baugh tried to eviscerate incumbent Congressman Dana Rohrabacher in the primary race.  The terrible stuff that appeared in our mailboxes about those candidates - particularly those criticizing Rohrabacher -  was awful... and it backfired.  Rohrabacher managed to survive the primary election and was paired up against Harley Rouda, a former Republican-turned Democrat.  Then, in the race headed to the General Election, Rohrabacher failed to debate Rouda and ended up losing the seat he had held for 30 years!
MOORLACH IS A GOOD GUY.... BUT....
I like John Moorlach.  He's a smart man and has a record of accomplishment in county government, but he is very outnumbered in the State Senate, where only 10 of 40 Senators are Republicans.  He has almost NO chance of making a difference in Sacramento.  What I DO NOT like is that he's apparently willing to let surrogates act to defame and flat out lie about Foley in order to retain his seat.
I LIKE KATRINA FOLEY
Foley is my friend.  I've watched her as a City Council member and as a Trustee on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Trustees and admired her dedication to our city for two decades.  She is smart, tireless and has a vision for Costa Mesa that is now coming to fruition.  She is a multi-tour mayor, having been elected by her peers, then - in a purely political move - was voted out of that spot.  She then ran for the seat as the first directly-elected mayor in the city's history and crushed then-incumbent and multi-term councilwoman Sandra Genis - one of the perpetrators of her earlier ouster.
I DON'T LIKE THE LIBERAL AGENDA
As a lifelong conservative I am not happy with the way the liberal majority in Sacramento is taking our state.  I disagree with almost every move they make, from the squandering of public funds to declaring California a Sanctuary State - spitting in the eye of the Federal Government, upon who we depend for funding of many projects.  Am I worried about Foley - another liberal politician - facilitating that which I find onerous?  A little.  However, I've watched her work.  She knows how to build consensus.    I will vote for her in the primary election.
WHY THE LIES?
I retired this blog nearly 3 years ago, but this nastiness has so angered me that I felt it was necessary to write about it.  Each of you will have to use your own judgment on this issue... just know that you are being lied to and ask yourselves why...

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Wednesday, February 05, 2020

A DAY OF DRAMA, COAST-TO-COAST

credit Oregon live
FIRST, THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
Tuesday, February 4th, 2020, was an interesting day.  The President of the United States, Donald John Trump, presented us with his State of the Union address in what might be best described as “great theater”.  I watched that entire event and was both amused and disappointed in the behavior of so many of our elected officials.
TENSION FROM THE GET-GO
I watched as The President refused to shake the extended hand of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Upon watching that video clip over and over again, it’s unclear to me if his slight was intentional or not.  He didn’t shake Vice President Mike Pence’s hand, either, as he handed him a copy of his speech.  One thing is certain - that instant in time didn’t do a thing to calm the animosity between the Republicans and Democrats in the chambers.
A GOOD SPEECH AND REPUBLICAN AEROBICS
The speech was a good one, although almost instantly following the delivery many sources pounced on the text and cited phrase after phrase as “lies”.  Very sad.  I was amused when the Republicans, seemingly after every sentence uttered by President Trump, stood in unison and gave him a standing ovation… Up-Down, Up-Down, Up-Down…  
credit PBS
A MEDAL FOR RUSH - AND CONTROVERSY
Also sad was the strained partisanship demonstrated by both sides, even during some very moving introductions of honored guests, including conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh, to whom President Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom - the highest award possible to a civilian - right there on the spot.  He had the First Lady, Melania, affix the medal around Limbaugh’s neck.  That award has ignited a firestorm of criticism of Limbaugh and Trump.
IMPEACHMENT IS OVER
Later today the Senate finally voted on the two articles of impeachment filed by the majority in the House of Representatives and both charges were rejected.  The first was rejected on a 52-48 vote, with Republican Senator Mitt Romney voting with the Democratic majority.  In the second vote he stayed with the Republicans and it resulted in a 53-47 vote.  I’ve tried to watch most of the hearings, but they dragged on and on and on and on, so I didn’t see every single word.  It was a colossal waste of time and resources and very likely did nothing at all to bring our country together - quite the contrary.  
credit CNBC.com
NANCY’S RIP AND TEAR PERFORMANCE
The low light, of course, was the image of Speaker Pelosi, standing behind President Trump as he wrapped up his speech to the applause in the chambers, dramatically ripping up her copy of his speech and slamming the torn sheets down on the desk before her.  It was immature and behavior not worthy of the Speaker of the House.

COSTA MESA COUNCIL MEETING SIMULTANEOUSLY
Simultaneously, my Costa Mesa City Council was going about doing their work, beginning at 4:00 p.m. with a closed session that took longer than expected.  The regular meeting didn’t start until 6:15 and ran smoothly right up to the first and only Public Hearing - the ordinance changes recommended to our codes to accommodate and codify the placement of wireless cell facilities throughout our city.

CELL TOWER ORDINANCE MARATHON
That segment of the meeting took nearly 5 hours, including a very long, unusual Closed Session in which the Council and their lawyers discussed the information presented by more than 30 concerned citizens and others.  By the time this item was completed it was 12:20 a.m. today, Wednesday, February 5th.
MANSOOR BAILS OUT EARLY - AGAIN
One of the most interesting occurrences was the fact that, following the vote on that Public Hearing, Councilman Allan Mansoor decided to just up and leave the meeting before the remainder of the agenda was handled.  This is not the first time he has bailed out early.
STEPHENS UNLOADS
That led to a couple interesting comments at the very end of the meeting, right at 1:00 a.m. this morning.  Mayor Pro Tem John Stephens, clearly miffed at Mansoor’s departure said the following when Mayor Katrina Foley asked if there were any additional Council member Comments:
“Yeah, I gotta comment.  So, for those of you that are here and those of you that might see this on video, It’s very important to show up at council meetings.  I’ve never missed a council meeting.  I’ve come to council meetings during trials, deaths in the family, illness in my family and illness to myself.  It’s very important to stay to the end. It’s very important that, if you have something to say, to make a suggestion, that you make that suggestion.  It’s very easy to say nothing and vote “No” and then leave.  And, it’s not helpful.  And somebody said earlier, that you should go with your gut - that move is gutless.  You all know who I’m talking about.  Have him watch what I said.  I want him to respond.”
FOLLOWED BY FOLEY
Then, as she was about to close the meeting, Mayor Foley said the following: “My comment is that I would like the City Attorney to look at our attendance policy and the salary conditions and bring back a recommendation with regards to council members who don’t show up for the meetings, and whether or not they should continue to receive their pay.”
GENIS AS A JACK-IN-THE-BOX
Yes, indeedy, it was an interesting meeting, to say the least.  During this time Councilwoman Sandra Genis was bouncing up and down like a jack-in-the-box, coat on, papers in hand, trying to get out of the room.

MANSOOR THE DULLARD
I have written about Allan Mansoor ever since he was first elected to the City Council almost 20 years ago.  He was not the sharpest knife in the drawer back then and the edge on his blade has only gotten duller - much duller.  He has a very hard time putting together a coherent sentence and certainly cannot be considered a “thought leader” on the dais.  It will be interesting to see if anything evolves from his early departure (again) this morning.
AM I “BACK”?… PROBABLY NOT

In case you’re wonder if this entry means I’m back…. probably not.  I can no longer stay up all night at a meeting, then go home and write blog entries until dawn.  This meeting was important and I did watch my recording of it over the course of today, Wednesday.  See ya…

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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Cleaning Up The Archives

SOME HISTORY
As some know, I began posting entries in A Bubbling Cauldron in July, 2005 using a "bare bones" blog tool by Earthlink.  Eighteen months later I migrated this activity to the current host - a Google tool called Blogger.  There are more than 3200 entries here on this site.


ABANDONED BY MY OLD HOST
I kept the "Old" A Bubbling Cauldron site open for reference, but have recently been notified by Earthlink that, in the first quarter of 2020, my site will be shut down and will no longer be available. - poof!  That, of course, was disappointing and it forced me to create a new site, which will act as a repository of all those old entries and, quite honestly, should be much easier to use.  So, that creaking sound you heard was the hinges on the door of that seldom-used storage unit, from which I shuffled all that old stuff to the new "old" site, which I cleverly called Old A Bubbling Cauldron.  That's a hot link, so you can go to the new "Old" site by just clicking on it.  Also, the link over on the right is also a hot link, in case you forget how to get there. 

FOREVER, I HOPE
It is my intent to keep the new site open forever, just in case you want to refer to something I wrote between July, 2005 and the end of October, 2006.  Each entry will have it's own URL, so you can link to it individually if you choose.  Keep in mind that these are OLD entries, so much of what appears is dated and much less relevant today.  Also, comments are disabled on this site.  There's no sense to dredge up old stuff.  If you REALLY need to contact me about stuff on this site you can reach me at this address.

HAVE FUN 
So, with fingers tightly crossed, I hope this is the last time I have to deal with all that old stuff.  Thanks, once again, for reading.  And, considering the date, I wish you all a VERY Happy New Year.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

PETRIE-NORRIS HOLDS SOBER LIVING HEARING IN COSTA MESA

WAKE UP!
As most of you who read this blog know, I placed it into a coma many months ago, hoping to spend my time having fun with my wife - traveling and just enjoying ourselves.  However, I withheld the option to resurrect it if something really important seemed to justify it.  I’ve continued to express myself on local issues in Facebook snippets.  This event required slapping the blog awake - the issue is just too darn important to all of us.  So, here we go…
PETRIE-NORRIS HOLDS A HEARING
Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, Chair of the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee, held an informational hearing in the Costa Mesa City Council Chambers today, the subject of which was Substance Abuse Treatment Industry Regulation.  Also on the dais were Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva and State Senator Pat Bates.
MEDIA STARS COVERING THE MEETING
Luke Money, Assistant City Editor of the Daily Pilot, and Teri Sforza, ace reporter on this issue for the Southern California News Group (Orange County Register) both attended.  You can read Luke’s story HERE.  You can read Teri's excellent piece, published Thursday morning, HERE.
NOT TELEVISED, BUT LIVE-STREAMED
This meeting, while not televised by CMTV, was live streamed by members of the State Assembly staff.  The archive of that nearly 3-hour streaming video can be found by navigating at THIS LINK.

EXCELLENT MEETING
From my position in the cheap seats - my old seat in the back row - I thought this was an excellent meeting.  Of the 60 or so attendees, I estimate that around 10 were residents.  The remainder were panelists, staffers or representatives of the sober living industry.  Following opening comments by the Chair and other elected representatives there were four panel presentations.  
IMPACTS?
The first one, long time, highly respected Costa Mesa sober living operator Nancy Clark and former addict and sober living operator Sal Landers shared their stories and wisdom on the issue - The Recovery Experience: How have clients, their families, and providers been impacted?  This discussion took about 40 minutes, including questions by the legislators.  I won’t attempt to cover all their comments - the streaming video is available for your review.  I will say, thought, that the predominant thread through it all was money - the fact that this industry generates lots of money.
REAL TREATMENT?
The second panel - the subject of which was Industry Experts: What is the real treatment? -  consisted of Jennifer Lohse, Vice President and General Counsel, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and Dr. Randolph Holmes, Chair, Public Policy Committee, California Society of Addiction Medicine.  Lohse spoke of the need for establishing mandatory standards for sober living operators.  Holmes emphasized that sober living operators should be licensed, not just certified.
During this segment Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris observed that California is the only state with total lack of oversight of this industry.
WHAT ABOUT BAD OPERATORS?
The third panel consisted of Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley; Tracy Hughes, Senior Deputy District Attorney, Orange County District Attorney’s Office and Jeff Hallock, Assistant Sheriff, Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  The subject of this panel was Law Enforcement: How can we respond to unscrupulous operators?

Foley led off with an explanation of what Costa Mesa has been doing in this regard, augmented by an excellent PowerPoint presentation, which I have provided below.
Hughes explained the current status of enforcement within the District Attorney’s Office, including a discussion of the 7-person task force.  She discussed a couple cases of medical abuses, including one in which multiple unnecessary urine samples that generated $22 million in fraudulent insurance claims.
Hallock spoke of how bad operators, and their practice of curbing clients, has a negative impact on homelessness.  He addressed the growing Fentanyl addiction problem.
The common thread through these presentations was the need for stronger legislation on the subject to improve the ability of states and municipalities to regulate the sober living industry.

JARROD’S LAW
The final panel consisted of  Wendy McEntyre, Public Safety Advocate and founder of Jarrod’s Law and Jacklyn, a young woman who lost her twin brother to malfeasance at a sober living facility.  McEntyre spoke of her son, who died in 2004 in a drug-related incident.  She spoke of the need to change laws to make the State Department of Mental Health more accountable - the need for tougher standards for sober living operators.

HER DEAD TWIN
Jacklyn told us of her twin’s death - the misdiagnosis of his condition and improper treatment and lack of supervision of that treatment that caused his death.  She and McEntyre were on their way to Santa Ana to court on the case.
PUBLIC COMMENTS
During the final segment thirteen (13) people stepped up to address the legislators on this subject.  Unfortunately, Quirk-Silva and Bates left before they could hear the speakers.
The speakers included several parents who had bad experiences with the sober living industry, activists who cover this issue, a lobbiest who shills for the sober living industry, staff members from local and national legislators offices and Huntington Beach councilwoman Barbara Delgieize. 

MY THOUGHTS
Luke Money covered the issue well.  The thoughts I took away from this meeting is the need for stronger legislation and greater oversight to permit greater enforcement of the rules on Bad Operators.  It is clear that greed is driving many of them, not the care of their “clients”.  

NOW LET’S GET THE LEGISLATION NECESSARY
Thanks to Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris for holding this hearing locally, to permit those of us directly impacted by this scourge to attend and participate.  I was pleased and impressed with the presentations.  I was also impressed that the Orange County District Attorney’s Office sent a half-dozen staffers to this hearing - they sat adjacent to me.  Let’s hope the necessary legislation can finally be passed that permits us to exercise the necessary control over this industry.
SNOOZE TIME AGAIN
I'm putting the blog back into a deep sleep again.  Thanks for reading.  You cannot comment here - you'll have to return to my Facebook page if you wish to comment.  Good night, all...