Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight!

courtesy of David Simms via CBS

So, shall we all complain at once about the "outrageous" pensions we provide to our firefighters? No? I didn't think so. Two firefighters lost in the Station fire - so far...


What a weekend! The only thing that might have made it more harrowing would have been some actual television coverage of the fires that are
burning around southern California. All our local stations chose to provide us with sports and infomercials instead of giving us coverage of those fast-growing fires that have threatened thousands of homes in Los Angeles County. KCAL Channel 9 is doing a good job providing coverage Sunday night, but dropped the ball along with all it's peers earlier in the weekend. Every one of those stations should have their licenses reviewed!

JPL courtesy of Erik Brandon via CBS

I know the area
of The Station fire very well - it's my old stomping grounds when I was a kid - a long, long time ago. In fact, my best friend - about whom I've written frequently - lived in the Briggs Terrace section of La Crescenta that was threatened over the weekend.

Phoscheck Bomber courtesy Keith Bohanan via CBS

As I type this Sunday night the communications towers and observatory on Mt. Wilson are threatened - one briefer said it's possibl
e we will lose them tonight because that peak is being approached by fire on two sides! If that happens not only will most local television networks go dark, but many police and fire communication networks will be severely hampered. Monday could be very interesting.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today, Sunday, that Freedom Communications, the parent of our very own Orange County Register, will file for bankruptcy later this week. That really doesn't come as much of a surprise - they have been in free-fall for more than a year. If they do, in fact, file for bankruptcy they will join our other print news source, the Tribune Company, in that condition. The Tribune Company is the parent of the Los Angeles Times and Times Comm
unity Newspapers (The Daily Pilot).


Speaking of local new
s, our friends over at The Newport-Mesa Daily Voice announced over the weekend that they are shifting platforms for their fledgling online publication. In fact, they will be using the same platform that is utilized by the Daily Pilot. It will be interesting to see how that move goes.


This week brings us another Costa Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday. Although the meeting may turn out to be brief, among the things to be discussed will be how to replace Planning Commission Vice Chairman Jim Fisler, who resigned last week when he was appointed to the Mesa Consolidated Water District Board of Directors.

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Blogger Bruce Krochman said...


I know that in the context of SoCal ablaze, the fire fighters' pension debate seems trivial, and frankly that is just what the Firefighters' Association wants. Wait until you hear the rancour coming from LA firefighters in their battle with Villaraigosa over furloughs.

But this kind of fear campaign is really just that, a campaign and should be spotlighted as such.

I am still trying to find out the validity of the question I asked about a pension VS increase deal made a few years ago. I have not had a chance to check in with the city manager on that yet.

8/31/2009 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Bruce, I suspect that you didn't really mean to imply that the firefighters are happy about the current fire circumstances... I hope not, anyhow. When we see our firefighters playing handball or pumping iron at the firehouse, or polishing the equipment we tend to forget the tremendous physical challenge these jobs pose. I'm more than willing to cut them some slack because I know, if push comes to shove and they have to drag my flabby old frame out of my house because it's on fire they will do it and do it professionally.

Incidentally, I must remind some of you that I DO NOT post ANONYMOUS comments... pick a name, show us how clever you are, then send it in.

8/31/2009 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...


You are right… poorly articulated on my part.

My comment, "that is just what the Firefighters' Association wants" relates to the diminishment of the fiscal discussion in times of crisis; not that they look forward to crisis.

My point is that we will always have crisis. That is why we employ public safety personnel. That should not, however, mean that any employee group has carte blanch. Nor should those who are pushing for fiscal responsibility with respect to public employee pensions be dismissed as ungrateful for the services they do provide during those crisis.

8/31/2009 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...


I agree with both your last comments. We should not be pressured into making unwise fiscal decisions during contract negotiations - but those negotiations should end up with an arrangement that works for both parties. As to your second comment, I would insert the word "necessarily" between "pensions" and "be"...

8/31/2009 06:51:00 PM  

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