Monday, August 01, 2011

Signs, Whines, Wendy & Larry, Moorlach Opines & More

Looking ahead to this week and the Costa Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday. I covered important parts of the agenda in a previous post, but things have gotten even more interesting since then.

In an earlier post I commented on the article in the Orange County Register dealing with the apparent theft of "Cancel the
Layoffs" signs provided by Repair Costa Mesa around town and the hiring of a private investigator to try to get to the bottom of the thefts. The Daily Pilot also ran an article on this subject titled, "Missing signs causing uproar", HERE, which have evoked over 100 comments as I type this. In that article Estancia High School running back Robert Murtha, Jr. is quoted extensively. Jim Scott, Jr., identified as the president emeritus of Costa Mesa United, is quoted as saying, "I've lived in Costa Mesa since the 1960s. This is outside of my bell curve of life in the norm... It's inappropriate because they're kids. Kids should be off limits. They're not voters."

In the comment thread, which you c
an read in its entirety by going to the link above. I've borrowed some of the relevant comments, below, which I've reproduced verbatim - typos and all.

I posted the following entry early in the morning of July 30th:

Geoff West at 1:04 AM July 30, 2011

Based on the quote attributed to Mensinger in this article, may we assume he has personally polled every single Estancia high school football player on this issue? No? Then how does he know none of the kids were involved?

Young Mr. Murtha is learning about political activism these days, just as he did when he stood before the city council and proclaimed the divinity of Mensinger during his nomination for City Council and at a subsequent meeting. As he and his "brothers" are learning on the football field, not every play results in cheers from the crowd. If you're going to be in the game you have to accept responsibility for your actions.

Not quite twelve hours later young Robert Murtha, Jr. posted the following comment in a direct reply to mine:

robmurtha34 at 12:34 PM July 30, 2011

If there's one thing we learn in football, it is to be responsible and be a selfless player and person. If we were guilty, we'd own up to it. This is mainly my point and I'm sure my BROTHERS would back me up in saying simply, WE DON'T CARE! All we want to do is play football. That's where we are most of our day. Now, going back to football. Yes, not every play results in cheers... Probably for the other teams. But here, No matter what if we throw a pic, fumble, or the other team scores, encouraging support and comfort that we'll get 'em next drive come from our crowd. That's the kind of community we have. So why would we return the favor by causing more problems in our city by taking down the signs? No matter who are or what you do in our city, we would never risk our programs reputation over something that doesn't involve us or matters to us. So let's let the adults deal with this problem, and we'll go back to playing football.

Later that evening his father, Robert Murtha, Sr., - apparently fed up with the comment thread so far - posted the following comment:

Murtha at 9:09 PM July 30, 2011

Will you people knock it off! My son, our football players nor the boosters took your stupid signs. Besides, who said you could place these signs in my city anways. Private property is one thing but when the city is covered from head to toe in public areas, that's concidered littering dumb a*@! You don't support Cosat Mesa, you support boosting your egos pointing your fingers and inocent KIDS. And as a parent, this private investigator is lucky I wasn't home. I don't what to see another person in this forum to accuse my boy of any wrong doing. We don't promote this as an organization and as a parent I wouldn't encourage my boy to risk his reputation over you stupid, pathetic signs. I'm not going to go back and forth with you people but I will give you your opportunity to reply. Join me at the council meeting on this Tuesday..... Its about time the rest of the citizens of CM know what your'e all about and how you all accuse my son and his football team because Mr. West like to start S*%T. Now its my turn! I REALLY hope to see you all there..... Unless you're all to coward to come out in public. Call me what you want, but leave my kids out of it. You should be very afraid!

PS. that whole $1.00 per sign was a pretty good made up story. Did you guys hear that E.T. was a real alien and unicorns were spotted at Fairview Park!!! Let the rumors begin.. (its what you people are good at)

He subsequently posted what appears to be an apology for his earlier post:

Murtha at 8:40 AM July 31, 2011

I would like to apologize to all of you for my harsh and strong words. I understand it came accross the wrong way and I have no excuse for my actions. A father's love for his childern can make us all a little crazy at times. I just don't want to see my son and our football players dragged into this. We're all adults here and that's where it needs to stay.

It's true, there is nothing wrong with questioning the kids. Just contact the parents and ask permission first. That's all this is really about.

A few hours later Robert Murtha, Jr., - obviously still upset at this situation and the comment thread - posted this entry:

robmurtha34 at 2:46 PM July 31, 2011

Show us proof that WE did anything to your signs! And once you have the evidence, present it at the meeting this Tuesday. I will be there. Thank You!

Robert Murtha #34

Running Back/ Estancia Eagles

Let me be clear about this. I agree with Jim Scott, Jr. The kids should be off limits. However, this particular group of kids - Estancia football players, including young Mr. Murtha and councilman Steve Mensinger's own son, have been used as pawns in this whole political drama in our city since the evening Mensinger was appointed to the City Council. They, along with some of their coaches and boosters - including Mr. Murtha, Sr. - have showed up at council meetings en masse to provide visible support more than once. It was very clear to all in attendance and watching on television that they, individually and as a group, held Mensinger in high regard - they told us so, for goodness sake!

I don't know the facts about who hired the private investigator and whether specific direction was given to him to interrogate the children. And they are children - young Mr. Murtha is sixteen years old! Certainly, any conversations with minor children should have been done only with the permission of their parents. Yes, Mr. Murtha, Sr., has every right to be upset - as he obviously was. Should he have made the threat in his first post, above? Certainly not - a fact that either he realized later or someone told him he was wrong and subsequently apologized.

The issue here is that these children have been used as willing pawns by Mensinger and Jim Righeimer for months and that's where much of the blame for this situation should be placed. When watching those eager young men speak about Mensinger in terms normally used to describe a deity, it's not hard to imagine them responding to even a subtle - and Mensinger is anything but subtle - comment made about the "illegal signs". I'm not sure how this is going to play out, but, in my opinion, Mr. Murtha, Sr., may wish to have his minor child tone down his rhetoric in this public place and on his Facebook page. If he permits him to participate in these public debates then he cannot complain when his son is criticized.


Councilwoman Wendy Leece has stirred up the troops again, as mentioned earlier, with two items on the agenda Tuesday evening. She then announced on her blog, OC Public Square, HERE, that she will conduct a Town Hall meeting at which she hopes to discuss recent council actions, their impact on public safety, etc. The meeting is scheduled for Monday evening, August 15th, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Avenue - between Lions Park and the Library. (Please be sure to step over the homeless folks as you enter the building)

This should be very interesting for several reasons. First, she's actually looking for input from residents on issues - an aberration to council methodology since the new group was seated in January. That will be a refreshing change.

Second, I wonder how many other council members will attend this Town Hall? If two or more attend it certainly seems that will violate the Brown Act because this is clearly a gathering at which issues under their purview will be discussed. I think the only way they get around that problem is if it's an official, agendized and posted city meeting - which this appears not to be. I also wonder how many Planning or Parks and Recreation Commission members will attend - for the same reason.


While we're talking about public safety issues, in his most recent E-Briefing publication last Friday, City CEO Tom Hatch announced the departure of EMS Coordinator, Larry Grihalva on that date. In his brief announcement Hatch said, "Larry has contributed greatly to the Fire Department and EMS community over the past 10 years. His dedication and expertise has developed the highest quality of patient care by providing firefighters and paramedics the support and resources necessary for optimal field performance."

At a time when our Fire service is in such a state of turmoil, with no clear indication of the direction our council will be taking, the loss of Grihalva is unfortunate and unnecessary. One more scalp on the belt of Jim Righeimer. One that leaves a huge hole in our public safety organization and says volumes about how Righeimer feels about the safety of our residents and visitors.

One more final public safety tidbit. I'm informed by sources in the CMPD that the mobile traffic speed signs that you see occasionally around town when efforts are made to slow the speed of traffic in neighborhoods are no longer being dispatched. It seems that one is broken down and there's not time nor staff to repair it. And, the other is not being utilized because the Community Service Specialists that used to manage that program were laid off. This is only one sign of what Righeimer's 125 person police force is going to be like for us.


Last Saturday morning Orange County Supervisor and Costa Mesa resident John Moorlach appeared on "Money Matters" with Troy Davis on KOCI-FM radio. They talked about national, state and local finances and local politics. Davis provided a written transcript of Moorlach's discussion, HERE. I encourage you to click on that link and read what Moorlach has to say. Here are a couple quotes that may provoke you to read the whole thing:

In response to a question from Davis about problems in the state in which Davis mentioned "pension reform, pension liabilities, unfunded accrued liabilities, et cetera", Davis asked, "Is there hope?"

Moorlach said, "Not much."

Later Davis asks, "What's our number one thing Orange County, the state of California has to do to get healthy?"

Moorlach replied, "Well, the number one thing is you got to defund the unions, and Costa Mesa should be watching that in full glory right now."

He said much more, but those quotes should make you want to read the rest.


One last thing in this long post. There are many, many more people reading this blog these days than ever before. I'm very grateful to those of you who stop here to see what my opinion is on issues. Some of you visit because you trust my presentation of facts and tolerate my opinions. I'm grateful for that. Others stop here so they can have one more place to rant. That's fine with me - I welcome your participation and appreciate the attempts by most of you to keep the comments here civil and instructive.

That being said, recently a couple commenters - maybe the same person using two different names - attempted to goad me into responding to some drivel recently posted by a blogger at a different site who is either so frustrated by recent literary failures or so full of himself - maybe both - that he thinks he can demand a response. Don't go looking for those comments - I didn't post them.

I'm very, very grateful for your comments - pro and con - and always welcome your suggestions and observations about how things are presented here. I also welcome your tips about things you see going on in this little slice of heaven we share. I cannot be everywhere and cannot begin to cover every story adequately - I'm just one old fella with too much time on his hands - but I'll continue to try to do my best.


Slide on down to my previous post. See that picture of the portly old gent with the lovely bride-to-be on his arm? That's me. I'm the only person making decisions about what appears here. I write about what interests me and/or what I feel needs attention. I don't write on a deadline - from anyone - and I don't write on command - from anyone. I'll give you the facts as I understand them and I'll give you my opinion about those issues. If what I write makes you want to know more about issues, well, that's been my goal since the beginning. Thanks for stopping here. Please come again.

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Anonymous Danny Boy said...

So...Mesinger didn't pay the football players a $1 a sign. I guess oxygen doesn't exsist either cause' no one see's it. Bully Mensinger has a "documented" history of abuse of the system. Flowers were thrown away put out to honor Huy AND Mensinger just happened to there at city hall that very moment. Bully Mensinger has his car vandalized but fails to call the police? The entire Housing Community Department is shoved into the 2nd floor to shield the City Council from employee's eyes. Fifth floor lobby renovation going strong. Half the furniture has already been removed to make way for the new furniture- If I recall Mensinger denied this was happening. Lastly, the sprucing up of Tom Hatch's office- good will? Or a chance to install security camera's per Mensinger's suggestion? The list goes on and one. Bully Mensinger thinks he owns City Hall and is taking all citizens hostage. Sad.

8/01/2011 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

If riggslieter Mensinger has anything to do with the sign removal and it turns out either the Murtha father or son did too, what can the rest of us expect from das Riggmarshal and his underlings?

i.e. if they throw alleged "friends" under the bus, why should the people of Costa Mesa believe ANYTHING they say?

8/01/2011 06:53:00 AM  
Anonymous My, My said...

I suspect security cameras are being installed to protect city hall from people like you Danny Boy. You sound a tad agitated.

8/01/2011 09:26:00 AM  
Anonymous add to the convo... said...

Guilty Guilty Guilty!!!!

8/01/2011 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous PTAMOM said...

Hey, I try to keep it civil and respect other people's right to voice their opinion even if I disagree. My venonm comes form the fact that we get shut down by COuncil when we try and tell them what is on our mind. Where else do we have a voice?
The OC Register and the Pilot print things that should be put in a trash can. There should be no place to voice hatred. Just give your opinion and don't get personal because you disagree.
I call our council majority stupid not because they are personally stupid, but because I believe what they are doing is stupid. Mensinger brings much of the criticism on himself by being so rude and oafish to others with whom he may disagree. My son has prayed that he is somewhere and gets a chest bump from him. Mensy will get a leasson in UFC chest bumping from the light heavy weight division. I tell him to be the gentleman he always is outside the ring and he promises he will remain that way unless Mensy bumps him in a threatening manor in front of witnesses.
Mr. West, your forum is the best and most respected place to post. I wish my husband were still living so he could see what you are doing.

8/01/2011 09:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Mil R D said...

I hope the investigator gets this thing wrapped soon so we can get to the truth. Personally, I don't trust the council.

8/01/2011 09:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Danny Boy said...

My My- don't try and bully me. It won't work on this forum.

8/01/2011 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

If students are involved in sign removal and they lose or never get a scholarship to college because of this, will the "adults" involved be paying their tuition?

8/01/2011 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger feral390 said...

I truly envy people who live in nice safe well maintained normal cities where their elected representatives actually represent them and where every day doesn't bring a new round of accusations, meddling, and mind games.

8/01/2011 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous No Big Deal here said...

I don't see many signs over on the Eastside. The couple I do see are at the homes of people who are against everything in the neighborhood.

Having a Union paid gun carrying person visit homes of kids is unacceptable.

It will be interesting to see which stooge the Unions choose to prop up in the next election.

I have come to find the Union behavior in this City entertaining, although I feel for the families they choose to attack.

8/01/2011 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous columbo said...

uh, just one more thing sir, I couldn't help but notice, you know, the wife she points these things out to me, and , well. the thing is sir, I really need to ask you if you don't mind: Asphinctersayswhat?
Well thank you sir, that clears is up, I thought so.

8/01/2011 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous acalious said...

No Big Deal here said...

I don't see many signs over on the Eastside. The couple I do see are at the homes of people who are against everything in the neighborhood.

There were plenty. Maybe you stole them?
Many Eastside and westside residents have had their signs removed and/or vandalized.

8/01/2011 01:07:00 PM  
Anonymous JH said...

PI has a list of student's names and addresses. Sounds like a FERPA violation and needs to be investigated by LE.

8/01/2011 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Tough Pill to Swollow said...

I was thinking … now that Nick is appointed to the OC Fair Board, he is a public official, and is now subject to the same attacks he has been encouraging against Costa Mesa Council Members.

So, who will start the investigation, on things like:
• How much is Nick paid?
• How much Union money has been wasted on TV Ads, Internet & Signs?
• Does Nick live in a gated community in Coto?
• Is Nick putting an addition on his house?
• Is everyone working on his house in a Union?
• Is the rumor true that Nick had fallen out of favor with OC labor, and is using the City of Costa Mesa to save face with the rank & file?
• Did Nick hire Jennifer Muir because she is such a hotty?
Time to give Nick some of his own medicine!

8/01/2011 01:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Lunatic Fringe ... I know you're out there said...

Acalios, yes, there are missing signs. I saw the perps wearing blue. Pease start investigating CMPD at once. You can get the rest of the tin foil hat wearing folks to help you, just say something mean about a Council Member, like Geoff West does, then you too will have a following of lunatic fringe haters.

8/01/2011 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Tough Pill to Swollow said...
"I was thinking … now that Nick is appointed to the OC Fair Board, he is a public official, and is now subject to the same attacks he has been encouraging against Costa Mesa Council Members.."


If someone other than riggslieter Menssy is appointed to something, we must attack them. Attacking another distracts from the investigation into possible unlawful acts by council members.


Fair Board does not equal City Council. Riggshills must do better or be sent to the Russian front.

8/01/2011 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous smsitiza said...

JH said...

PI has a list of student's names and addresses. Sounds like a FERPA violation and needs to be investigated by LE.

How do you know that?

He could have obtained a year book very easily.

Maybe he went to a game?

Obtaining the players names and addresses would be about as hard as finding a massage parlor near harbor blvd & fair dr.

8/01/2011 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

JH, clearly you don't know what you are talking about. If you have a son that is a student and he is in jail for stealing signs, the jail is not in violation of FERPA because they have your sons name.

FYI, FERPA does allow for public release of student information. Here are a few examples:

Names in a playbill, the annual yearbook and team lists with the names and weight and height of its members, etc.

Back to your original statement. This clearly has nothing to do with FERPA and you are grasping at straws.

If someone stole these signs from public property, then the criminals responsible for such actions need to be caught regardless if they are in high school or not.

8/01/2011 05:47:00 PM  
Anonymous FERPA my ass said...

Oh people are upset over FERPA? I have a better one for you- BROWN.

8/01/2011 09:14:00 PM  
Anonymous PTAMOM said...

I can't help but think some of these posts are by the same person trying to seem like they are a crowd. Notice how closely the time of the postings are? I guess if they had a job they wouldn't spend so much time on the computer. I know, because I don't have a job (wish I did).
It seems logical that we should all be touting our city to everyone instead of airing our dirty laundry. The council majority seems more intent on making headlines for their own name recognition. How embarrassing for us all.

8/01/2011 09:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

Re the link to the KOCI interview of John Moorlach:

1.) John Moorlach: “The majority of legislators in Sacramento, the state senators, the state assembly men, they are funded and were put into their positions by public employee union funding. And so when you control your employers, then you have a field day in creating your benefits.”

2.) John Moorlach: "Well, the number one thing is you got to defund the unions."

Sure unions of worker bees band together to gain influence, John, but then don’t the employers? There are unions of businesses like the BIA (Building Industry Association) that are so powerful that politicians risk political death if they cross them. Are you intimating that these bands of businesses are angels that workers can trust?

And do you really think we should defund unions? Isn’t there a moral hazard here, John? Would you be surprised if businesses regressed to the days when they got away with thinking so little of workers that they, for example, would lock in the seamstresses of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory with no provision for escape from fire? Here’s a witness to the horrible deaths of 146 young women, including two 14-year olds:

“Horrified and helpless, the crowds — I among them — looked up at the burning building, saw girl after girl appear at the reddened windows, pause for a terrified moment, and then leap to the pavement below, to land as mangled, bloody pulp. This went on for what seemed a ghastly eternity. Occasionally a girl who had hesitated too long was licked by pursuing flames and, screaming with clothing and hair ablaze, plunged like a living torch to the street. Life nets held by the firemen were torn by the impact of the falling bodies.” (From Wikipedia, )

This was 100 years ago, within the lifetime of my parents and maybe yours. Businessmen haven’t changed in that span; the bottom line would still drive decisions in the direction the Triangle Shirtwaist factory owners took.

146 women and girls, John. Think about it. Now what were you saying about defunding unions?

8/01/2011 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous sign collection out sourced said...

My worry is that menacing is using his power stroke to impress these youg men that are so easily impressed and lead down a path of costly egos. Many a cult has had a leader that targets youth with the alure of power.
On another note, How much money did they make on games ,food ,woodbridge cross county, and the golf tourney. Seems like they should be doing ok in the money dept. only a $1 for signs. The city gets 15. The city is loosing $14 everytime someonne beats them to it. Another revenue source lost. OH, wait , It was out sourced at a loss. hahaa

8/01/2011 11:28:00 PM  
Anonymous JH said...

"If someone stole these signs from public property, then the criminals responsible for such actions.."

hmm.. if someone stole personal unauthorized signs from public property the police should waste their time investigating.. this makes sense to you doesn't it? You must be one of those law only applies when it's in my favor folks.

"FERPA my ass said...

Oh people are upset over FERPA? I have a better one for you- BROWN."

And to you protecting kids is less important than meeting regulations. I guess We know what side of the fence you've firmly placed yourself on. One day you may grow up and have kids then you will be able to relate to these parents trying to protect their kids.

Geoff that's some fan base you got there. Careful riling them up one of them might go off the deep end.

Hopefully the feds are watching this blog. Who knows, they might catch someone tossing bricks through windows.

8/02/2011 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Sure, Moorlach wants to "defund" unions.

Even though Moorlach asked Chriss Street to resign as tax collector around 4 years ago this month, did JM ever APOLOGIZE to the people of Orange County for foisting that petard upon us in the first place?

8/02/2011 07:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Dan Sanderson said...

JH: We sure should protect our kids, Let's keep them away from bad influences, drugs, gangs and other things that can lead them down the wrong path. Of course, this certainly includes Jim Jones types like Mensinger. Sounds to me like all of you that follow his lead have already drank the Coolaid.
This guy has failed at everything he has attempted in life, so he now has to lead kids too young to know better. He should be ashamed of himself. Steve: Go stand in the corner until you learn to behave.

8/02/2011 09:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

JH, it's legal to post signs on public property on the weekends (public parkways etc.). It sounds like you did not know that. Well, now you do. Check with the sign law if you don't believe me. Anyone taking someone else's sign from public property on the weekend is stealing whether its you or me or a high school student.

You are still clueless as to what FERPA is. FERPA does not protect criminals. So don't try standing up for all of our 14 year old graffiti taggers on the west side saying the police violated their FERPA rights.

By the way, you are a lousy parent if you let your kids steal things by the way.

8/02/2011 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

JH wrote:
"Hopefully the feds are watching this blog. Who knows, they might catch someone tossing bricks through windows."

Look no further than the DAIS, sans Leece.

Or who knows- maybe Rigg-youth is involved.

8/02/2011 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Nunya said...

And to you protecting kids is less important than meeting regulations.

Protect them from what? Being asked questions?
Maybe Mensy shouldn't have paraded the kids around at political functions wearing vote riggy shirts.

Hopefully the feds are watching this blog. Who knows, they might catch someone tossing bricks through windows.

I think the fab 4 realize if they try another brick trick they may be apprehended.

8/02/2011 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous History lesson said...

Tom Egan,

You have topped yourself on this one. You should flesh out your history lesson a bit, and include the other relavant facts - the ones that provide the needed context. Since you did not, in your effort to demonize Moorlach, I will:

100 years ago there were no worker safety laws at all. No OSHA, no CalOSHA, no workers compensation, nothing of the sort. Unions were necessary to battle the terrible working conditions. The other part you conveniently left out - it often literally was a battle, union thugs against Pinkertons and hired thugs.

Now that the government regulates every aspect of the employer-employee relationship, from wages, to hours, to working conditions - unions are no longer necessary. If employees want to organize, have at it - but collective bargaining laws and mandated union membership in certain workplaces should be eliminated. Unions should have no more power than individual employees.

8/02/2011 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Lay off on the Meatheads said...

Mensniger Meatheads probably swiped the signs when they were told to "volunteer" to clean-up after the 4th of July. No one noticed there stealth-like ninja moves because why bother to camouflage your bright redshirts while doing "community service".

Anyways, what's the big deal with the "CANCEL THE LAYOFFS" signs? I rather see those pop up in my neighborhood, than more "FOR SALE" signs. At least one can take comfort in knowing that your neighbors haven't chosen to abandon this "righted" ship.

Also, the present "sign-collection" up at City Hall should be donated to the Costa Mesa Historical Society for preservation for future generations. So as to reflect upon this most poignant moment in our City's history.

8/02/2011 03:29:00 PM  

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