Archive | June, 2016

Sutter county grand jury reports fraud in pension fund

29 Jun

A couple of days ago I wrote a letter to the newspaper about CARD, in which I complained they are not fulfilling their mission, instead letting local non-profits and clubs do their job. They’ve recently backed out of funding the city’s Fourth of July celebration, saying they don’t have three thousand bucks to put into it. Among other local non-profit recreation groups, I mentioned my son’s hockey league, North Valley Hockey.  

I already knew, there’d been an embezzlement in the club. Even though their kids had “aged out” and gone off to college like my kid, the principal players who originally set up the league in an old cold storage warehouse in Hamilton City had kept close tabs on the club and this embezzlement came up about a week ago in the chatter. As they found out more about it, they brought in both Chico PD and Glenn County Sheriff.  

Today the story appeared on the front page of the local section in the Enterprise Record.

The problem – they’d elected a treasurer from among themselves, and then they didn’t keep close enough tabs on her. And, they changed a policy that had been in place when my kid was in the league – instead of having three members approve expenditures, they just gave the treasurer a debit card. She had access to their funds without any supervision.

I was shocked they’d do that, but you know how people are. I’ll say it – a lot of people would trust Satan – and I mean, he could be red and have goat’s legs and be wearing a hat that says, “Yup, I’m Satan” – and they’d let him do whatever he wanted if he promised to do all the work too. Treasurer is a real pain in the ass, lots of paperwork, a sword hanging over your head if there’s a mistake. Who would want that kind of responsibility? Well, usually people who want to  take advantage.

For years the league had a dedicated volunteer treasurer, the grandfather of one of the kids.  He did everything very professionally, he was even sort of a nag. He wasn’t too candy-ass to collect fees off “deadbeats,” that’s for sure. But he was very old, a retired guy with an elderly mother, a wife, lots of kids and grandkids to spend time with. None of whom played hockey anymore. I knew the time would come he’d want to leave, and I knew it would be like ripping the needle off the “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” record.

He tried to retire when our kid was in the league, and he thought he had a good candidate to replace him in one of the parents, a woman who did the books for a  very big local agency. Guess who – Jennifer Hennessy! I kept my mouth shut, but at the very same time, I was going Repo-man grab with her over the city’s books – she didn’t want to show them. She didn’t last long with the league either – way more work than she had imagined, she was actually expected to collect money off people, I don’t think she was ready for that. Shortly after she quit the league position, she got into some hot water Downtown. She resigned just ahead of Brian Nakamura’s weed  whacker, and moved to the butt-ass town of Temecula. And our old accountant was again stuck with the league’s books.

He’s the one who made up the three-member check signing rule, and I always assumed that was standard procedure.  As soon as the old parents went ahead and stepped aside for a new board, the old rules went right along with them, and the treasurer was given her ticket to Perdition – a debit card that allowed access to all the league’s funds and no supervision from anybody but those two little people that stand on your right and left shoulder arguing over your attentions.

Yeah, that’s right, this lady will fry. Her kids will be humiliated.  She might even  go to jail, I don’t know. 

Meanwhile Jennifer Hennessy, who was once allowed to hire the consultant who gave her an evaluation, and then give herself a $14,000 raise for a job well done, is off scot-free, even  though a lot of people around here would like to see some sort of investigation into what kind of recipes she was using Downtown.

And here below, Territorial Dispatch reporter Lou Binninger describes the same sort of shenanigans in Sutter County, with no accountability – idiot Marysvillians approved their own screwing in the election a couple of weeks ago.


Lou Binninger, Territorial Dispatch


The Sutter County Grand Jury (SCGJ) may release its complete 2015-16 report this week. A portion posted a few weeks ago caused a stir. (See Sutter County website for Grand Jury Report 2015-16) The initial offering has people asking important questions? What difference will this GJ report make? Will the 2004 supervisors and county administrator be held criminally responsible for breaking the law, financially benefitting from doing so and damaging the taxpayers?  The GJ accuses 2004 supervisors Jim Whiteaker, Casey Kroon, Dennis Nelson, Larry Munger and the late Dan Silva of violating numerous government codes in August 2004 when the board deceptively increased county pensions 35% and made the benefits retroactive to the date of hire. County Administrative Officer (CAO) Larry Combs managed the scheme. The impact on the taxpayers is severe. In 2001, there was a $28,707,894 surplus in the county’s retirement fund. By 2014, the surplus had become an unfunded debt of $110,802,083, a $140 million financial collapse in 14 years. In 2004, District Attorney Carl Adams was part of the idea to self-deal massive retroactive pension increases to supervisors and department heads. But when Combs realized they had to include all employees, not just leadership, they were stuck. So, all employees benefitted to make the plan legal. Will District Attorney Amanda Hopper prosecute the accused? It is the State Attorney General’s role to pursue county wrong-doing if DA Hopper contacts them. This avoids any look of politics or bias on her part. However, the AG’s office has been less than stellar when Sutter County asked for help in the past. And, state capitol ranks are managed by government unions that control pensions. The chances of the AG taking action on behalf of taxpayers being defrauded by pension schemes are slim. Some may wonder where the SCGJ has been until now. After Auditor-Controller Robert Stark’s Internal Auditor and the Grand Jury discovered that the County Treasurer had cooked the books to hide losses on county investments ents DA Carl Adams and CAO Larry Combs exerted more control over the GJ. Combs did not like the idea of the treasurer miscue becoming public knowledge. Where once Grand Jurors were sent to training conferences to instruct them on their authority, their tasks etc., that all stopped. Adams said he would do the training and Combs would set the parameters on what the jurors would look at in the county budgets. This overreach violated the independence of the GJ. The undue pressure and influence led to controlling where the juries looked, what they saw and what it meant. Many jurors only serve one year. It is a challenging learning curve. Few jurors would have the governance expertise, thus the courage to take on the DA and CAO if they did not operate independently of them? What happens when the DA and CAO need investigating? That’s the problem. The governance of the county was corrupted. The next step was to remove funding for the Internal Auditor position. Current Supervisor Barbara LeVake was Chairman of the Board that abolished the Internal Auditor. Meanwhile, Adams brought criminal charges against Auditor-Controller Stark and his assistant Ronda Putman for doing their job of questioning financial policies and procedures. By neutralizing the GJ, defunding the Internal Auditor and judicially bullying the Auditor-Controller, DA Adams, CAO Combs and the supervisors were essentially getting the keys and removing the security guards at the bank. Sutter County residents should read the full GJ report when it is posted. Then, they have till November 8 to review the candidates competing for office. Voters should look at whom and what groups are funding the campaigns. Who are the employee unions backing? The Grand Jury has performed its job in exposing greed, corruption, and a heist of the treasury by county leaders and the unions. It is up to citizens to remove those who are part of the problem and elect others who can be trusted to make reforms.

What is “entitlement”? CARD director rents Lakeside Pavilion to aquatic center supporters for less than a third of the regular rate

27 Jun

Entitlement – (according to Google) – the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

Our economy is sinking into another recession because public workers are getting too entitled.

At Chico Area Recreation District, we have Director Ann Willmann, who makes over $100,000 a year but feels entitled to 70 percent of her salary at age 55 even though she pays nothing from that $100,000+ salary toward that pension. That’s a good example of “sense of entitlement”, but she takes it even further. Willmann seems to feel she is allowed to rent CARD facilities to her friends at cheaper rates than she would give them to the public at large. 

I told you about the event held at Park Pavilion by a non-profit group called “Everybody, Good Body.”

Later I e-mailed Willmann to ask her how much EBGB paid for the pavilion.  She responded,

“Hi Juanita, the group paid $500 for their 5 hour rental. Thank you, Ann”

I thought that sounded cheap, but there is no rate schedule on CARD’s website.  A couple of years ago I inquired about the fees for the much less grandiose CARD center on Vallombrosa, and  got this response from facilities director Ed Johnson:

CARD Center, Main Room

$500 deposit that is refundable to you

·         Friday or Sunday (hall for 15 hours plus table and chairs that we set up and use of the kitchen ) $1200 separate from the deposit

·         Saturday (hall for 15 hours plus table and chairs that we set up and use of the kitchen ) $1700 separate from the deposit

·         Monday thru Thursday it is an hourly rental and is $125 per hour

Arts and craft room and Room 3

                $100 Deposit that is refundable to you

                $30 per hour and provides only tables and chairs

So I asked Johnson about the pavilion, and was not surprised when he came back with this response:

It is a $500 deposit that is refundable to you. For a Saturday it is $3400 separate from the deposit and for a Friday or a Sunday it is $2800 separate from the deposit. We can do an hourly rate which is the same deposit and has a minimum of 8 hours and that is $225 per hour.

Lakeside is $225 Per hour weekdays and weeknights. There is no discounted rate for this building.

I wondered why EBGB got a discount, so forwarded the information to Willmann and asked her about the $100/hour rate with no minimum given to EBGB.

Hi Juanita, I authorized the $100 hr/fee. As CARD’s general manager, I have the discretion to adjust facility rental rates for use by community agencies and organizations particularly when they have objectives and purposes similar to and compatible with those of CARD. If there are no pending inquires for use of a facility or no programming taking place, we would recognize the opportunity for some revenue where otherwise there would have been none.

I asked Willmann for communications she’d received from representatives of EBGB, she only had the one e-mail from Chico Swim Association’s Brad Geise, who runs Aquajets. Willmann’s son swims for Aquajets, so they’re pretty friendly.

Hi Ann,

 Hope all is well with you.

 Any slight chance we might be able to hold the EBHB social event at Lakeside Pav?


I saw that Geise did not request a discount, and asked Willmann whose idea that was.  I also asked her, if my group requested use of the “pav,” and there was no other scheduled event, would we receive a discounted rate?

Hi Juanita, a discount was requested in the follow up phone call with staff.

We would evaluate any groups request the same.

They did not pay a deposit, however did provide a certificate of insurance. Ann

How does this woman expect to run an organization the size of CARD if she is making up the rules as she goes along? Why isn’t there a rate schedule available to the public? Does she give applicants a look up and down and decide on the spot how much she will shake out of them? 

But her friends get a facility that has a minimum charge of $1800 for $500, with no $500 deposit. Why doesn’t she just make the rates affordable for everybody, all the time?

That’s “entitlement” kids, that sense of privilege that sets the “right kind of people” apart from the rest of us.


Strap yourselves in, this is complicated

22 Jun

There has been so much to talk about lately, it’s hard to know how to start.

I’ve been having a conversation with Chico Area Recreation District director Ann Willmann about rental policies for CARD facilities. CARD owns a lot of stuff, not just play fields, but buildings that are supposed to be available for public use, with a fee schedule. One such building is the CARD Center, appropriately located near the center of Chico and also near the center of the recreation district’s legal boundaries.  Besides housing CARD operations, the CARD center had been a popular place for private parties, mostly weddings, as well as public events like the “Pancakes for Peace” fundraiser held for many years by the Chico Peace and Justice Center. In fact, for many years, the center parking lot was packed for some or another event every good weather weekend from early Spring to late Fall. I had friends who got married there, it was affordable to working people.

A few years ago I noticed the center wasn’t being used as much.  I also noticed it was a meeting place for the homeless – all along Vallombrosa between Mangrove and Arbutus, every public green space was covered with a little encampment of creepy people, laying filthy and half naked with scroungy dogs, drinking, acting generally scurvy.  Yeah, at the last wedding I attended at the CARD center, there were a bunch of homeless people milling in the crowd, they were really drunk, they went down to the creek and went skinny dipping as the bride’s family tried to usher the guests back into the building.

That whole area got really bad. The post office annex closed between 10pm and 7am, citing “security concerns.”

A year or so ago, CARD board member Tom Lando made a public appeal to Chico PD to help keep the vagrants from camping, crapping and generally carousing around the CARD center.  I don’t know how far that went because quickly thereafter the board made a unanimous decision to move CARD meetings to California Park Lakeside Pavilion. California Park sits at the outermost edge of the district, and the pavilion is located deep within this bastion of private property, loud red “NO TRESPASSING” signs displayed prominently on any patch of grass not directly connected to a private home. I don’t know when exactly the board purchased the pavilion, but I would have loved to be at the meeting to hear how they rationalized the purchase. I’m going to guess somebody made a pitch about how much they could make renting the place out for fancy weddings.

Which would seem to be a breach of the district’s policy and mission, to provide affordable recreation options and facilities for everybody. They have also cited concerns about some projects in past, saying they didn’t want to compete with private businesses. How does the pavilion fit their mission?

“Fancy” just isn’t a word for Chico. Chico has long been an anti-snob town, a place where jeans and work shirts have been considered far more stylish than three piece suits and Ferragamo shirts. But we’ve got a new class of people here in town – public workers who make more than five families put together.  These people have been pushing a “class up this burg” movement. Tom Lando is one of the people behind this push – as retired city manager, he makes one of the biggest pensions that adds up to our city’s 90 million dollar plus pension deficit.

Lando has cried aloud that Chico doesn’t have a fancy sports stadium. He said he ran a survey that said taxpayers would support such a venture, but he wouldn’t publish the results for the rest of us.  Lando wants a tax of some sort to pay for this stadium. He once said, it wouldn’t add up to more than a dollar on the average lunch tab.

Wow, would somebody do that math for me? He’s saying, the tax increase would amount to a dollar on the average lunch tab? How much does he pay for lunch?

People like Lando think Chico needs to grow up and be fancy.  They want richer people to move here, to pay higher property taxes, to support their pensions, is what.

I’d say, they all need to grow up, and pay for their own retirement at age 55 on 70 – 90 percent of their highest year’s income.

Lando was also the guy who brought in the Memo Of Understanding that linked city salaries to “revenue increases but not decreases.”  Then council-member Larry Wahl told me he signed that MOU because he didn’t understand it.  Council proceeded to approve all those subdivisions that are still taking a giant crap all over our local economy. With that late 90’s building boom, Lando’s salary went from around $60,000 to over $100,000 in just a few years. But when things went bust, none of those salaries went down, due to the simple but legally binding wording in that two sentence memo. Today the city manager makes about $200,000/year, and pays only 9 percent toward his own pension.

And that’s what happened when the public  became aware of the MOU during that hot and heavy two or three years that bankruptcy was breathing down our collective neck.  Yes, it was outrageous – I wish people would pay attention more often. But, the public was lulled back to sleep with the following agreement – sure, we’d hold the line on the raises from now on, but the city would pay a whopping share of the “employee share” of pensions and benefits. For many years, it was the entire share for management and public safety workers.

You remember that whole conversation, don’t you? How there was the “employee share” and the “employer share”, and the “EMPC”, or, “employer-paid member contribution”. That means, we paid their share, get that? For those employees we were paying not only “our” share but theirs as well. Only the last couple of years has management and public  safety begun to pay toward their own pensions. At first, only 4 percent, now 9 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Excuse me – big fucking deal – why aren’t they paying the 50 percent mandated of new hires?  Excuse me again – did I say 50? I say, they pay it all themselves, and if they’re real good, we start picking up a small percentage.  But this practice of getting something you didn’t pay for – ENTITLEMENT – has got to stop.

According to Ann Willmann, her friends are ENTITLED to rent publicly owned facilities under her supervision for less than the public would pay.

Bill Cosby, the comedian, used to tell long, involved stories, and then say, “I told you that story so I could tell you this one…” There is where I will have to leave you for today, I’ll try to get back asap.



Short Attention Span Theater – we have the government we deserve in Chico

18 Jun

I’ve just been having a frustrating conversation with a friend about public participation. 

Sorry if I have been rude, Friend.

Friend tried to explain to me how overwhelmed most people are in their lives, they can’t pay attention.

That just got my skivvies in a bunch. I pay attention, and let me tell you, I got stuff going on.  I won’t bore you with my epic problems of the past months, but through it all, my close friends have been annoyed with my constant complaining about what the city and county and various local agencies are doing. My husband keeps telling me the government stuff is stressing me out, I should concentrate more on what’s going on at home. At least we can do something about our private problems, he says.

I have a hard time keeping it all under my hat.  Every morning, when I give my dog her insulin shot, I have to mentally prepare – “don’t think bad thoughts, don’t think bad thoughts…” as I skewer that needle into a lump of flesh behind her collar.   She lays on the floor behind me as I read the paper, read e-mails, she can hear me grumbling about stuff. I have to be careful or she’ll slip into the bedroom and stick her head under my husband’s side of the bed. I can feel the tension in her neck, makes it hard to get loose skin, sometimes she lets out a yelp and a half.

What bugs me is how people are so quick to use any excuse to stick their head in the sand, but they still expect to be allowed to complain when something finally gets under their skin.  I won’t mention names, but I’ve watched the local gadflies make big stinks about stuff, after a few months, the stink dies down, and the problem still exists.  All that blab about volunteers for the park – the park still looks like shit. The work they did at the One Mile parking lot last year has become completely overgrown with non-native invasive plants again. An area they did earlier this year is also going back to a mess.   Whole sections of the park are sub-code – if it was your yard, you’d get a notice to clean it up or pay the city to do it. 

And this conversation about keeping public restrooms open has been going on for two years now. Meanwhile, the million dollar One Mile restroom is pretty hit and miss – here’s the conundrum – if it is open, will it be usable? 

Short Attention Span Theater.

I’m going to tell you Esplanade lovers – don’t go back to sleep! Isn’t it pretty obvious, they’ve shelved the roundabouts until after the election? I’m hoping Cheryl King and friends are quietly looking for somebody to run for council, but I’m not going to bank on it.  

I’d like to see somebody run for CARD. Why don’t I do it? I would if I had some support – I ain’t going into those meetings without a posse anymore.  If they pass their bond, it means the people of Chico are completely gone fishing.

Tony St Amant said it in this morning’s paper – we have the government we deserve.



Pic of the Day, Chico California

10 Jun
Gotta love this town!

Gotta love this town!

I have a sense of humor just like the next guy. I am not too uptight to laugh at a fart joke.  

But property crime kind of bothers me. If somebody scrawled something like this on my fence, I’d call the cops and report it as vandalism.  

Hold it there – after a second thought, I wouldn’t bother calling Chico PD. I’d put a game camera on my property and find out who is doing it for myself. Chico PD is fairly worthless, you should really ask yourself – is it worth getting involved with those idiots?

Did you know, they demand overtime to patrol the Downtown area? I just don’t know what to think of that. Well, yes I do – I’d call it “insubordination” and show them the exit, telling them not to let the screen door hit them on the ass.

But, council has their hands tied, seeing as the majority were elected with Chico Police Association money, or money channeled through ex-chief Mike Maloney’s PAC. Mark Sorensen tried to deny he was paid for by the cops – read the election reports, it’s all there.  Big developers and cops own your mayor.

I would have sent this into the Enterprise Records “Hot Shots” pics, but you know, David Little is so uptight, you couldn’t pull a needle out of his ass with a tractor. He is down on any kind of body humor.   He once sent back one of my letters because I’d used the word “crap”.  He said, “we don’t print ‘crap’…well, I mean, we don’t print the word ‘crap’…”  I guess there’s some sort of humor there.  

Anyhoo, there’s your ‘Pic of the Day’ for Chico, California.



Somebody needs to run for Tom Lando’s CARD seat in November

7 Jun

When I was a little kid, a teacher told my classmates and I that if we could convince every person in America to give us a penny, we’d never have to work again.  Even a fraction of the population, he said, could make us very rich.  All we had to do was talk them into giving it to us – simple enough?

Well, I could also form an assessment district. Like Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control, or Chico Area Recreation District. Did you know – Paradise and Oroville have cemetery districts.

When you live in an assessment district, that means these agencies can stick a fee on your property taxes. These fees require a vote, but usually, just property owners, and – get a load of this – votes are “weighted” depending on how much property is owned by the individual/company/group. That’s fair, really, since the larger property owners will pay more. 

Ballots are sent by mail, looking like junk mail, and there’s no requirement that these agencies advertise or notify anybody ahead of time.   So watch your mail box – CARD is thinking about putting a property assessment in your mail box.

I wonder how many are returned and how many end up in the trash. I wonder a lot of stuff. I wonder how many homeowners have their property taxes paid by their mortgage lender, and therefore never bother to look at the itemized bill. I wonder how many people just send the check without looking.  I wonder how many people just grit their teeth and pay it, afraid to ask any questions,  cause every question just makes their heart beat harder, their blood pressure push higher, their hair fall out faster.

I’ll tell you two things that are on a ballot in November – two seats up for grabs at CARD.  One of them is currently being smothered under the elitist ass of one Tom Lando.  Mr. Lando had an agenda when he took his CARD seat – appointed, because nobody else bothered to run.  Lando’s agenda was to raise taxes, using CARD’s assessment powers to bring in more revenues to pay CalPERS every increasing demands.

See, Lando is a retired public employee – former manager of the City of Chico, in  fact.  As such, he yanks in one of the biggest pensions that ever inflicted  liability on our fair city – over $135,000/year, almost $12,000/month, in pension.  

If CalPERS goes bust, Lando is out, you heard me – almost $12,000/month. So, it’s absolutely reasonable to assume that this guy would do just about anything to keep the money pouring into CalPERS. 

You’ve heard the old Yiddish proverb:  When the fish stinks, it’s the head of the fish that stinks.  Tom Lando is your stinking fish head, you need to wrap him in newspaper and put him in the bin next November.  In order to do so, we will need a viable candidate. 



CARD still talking about a parcel tax or property assessment to build aquatic center – now they say they might fix Shapiro instead, but they’re going to get a tax one way or the other

5 Jun

While I’ve been chasing the elusive new non-profit group formed to discuss building a “megacility” in Chico, Chico Area Recreation District has put their “Aquatic Facility Advisory Committee” to bed.  But, even after having had to reduce staff to make ends meet, the  board is still talking about floating a parcel tax or property assessment to build an aquatic center.   According to the Enterprise Record and CARD board member Tom Lando, the board is finally talking out loud about an  alternative –  “rebuilding and expanding Shapiro Pool.”  That discussion has fallen along the wayside for too long – in 2009 a consultant told them that pool was in bad need of attention.

I don’t believe Lando, or Sneed or Mulowney are sincere about fixing Shapiro. They have been pursuing the aquatic center, along with ex-CARD staffer and board member Jerry Hughes.  In the article below, Lando admits, “ I think the community needs a facility including a decent pool,” Lando said.

wow, “a facility including a decent pool…”   Is he talking about a “megacility“?

I’ve been in touch with CARD director Ann Willmann about the “event” sponsored by at Lakeside Pavilion. EBHB is a “non-profit” made up of a couple of out-of-town consultants and a board of local folks who’ve been involved with Chico Swim Association/Aqua Jets.  I asked Willmann how much they paid to use the Pavilion. It took her a week to respond,

“Hi Juanita, the group paid $500 for their 5 hour rental. Thank you, Ann”

I replied, asking her where I could find the rental information for the Pavilion – the CARD website only posts a picture of it and says it’s available, there’s no rate schedule or description of exactly what you get. She never got back to me on that inquiry, so I e-mailed CARD “facilities manager” Ed Johnson.

Hi Mr. Johnson,

 I would like the rates for rental of Lakeside Pavilion, weekdays, per hour, deposit, etc.

 At your convenience, thank you for your anticipated response, Juanita Sumner

He also took forever to get back to me, I had to e-mail him again before I got this response.

Lakeside Prices are as fallows. [sic]

 It is a $500 deposit that is refundable to you. For a Saturday it is $3400 separate from the deposit and for a Friday or a Sunday it is $2800 separate from the deposit. We can do an hourly rate which is the same deposit and has a minimum of 8 hours and that is $225 per hour. Sorry for the delay in getting the too you have a great Friday.

Was I not clear? I thought I asked him for week day rates.   A friend of mine who I’d cc’d had to ask again.

Mr. Johnson,  I don’t see rates for weekdays or weeknights at Lakeside Pavilion.  Do you have a published rate card anywhere?

To which he replied,

“Lakeside is $225 Per hour weekdays and weeknights. There is no discounted rate for this building.

My friend didn’t know what to make of what seemed like evasiveness – or what, incompetence? – on the part of the facilities manager. I think we both asked pretty clear questions – did he read our e-mails before responding?  But I had my answer – the regular rate is $225, and there’s an 8 hour, or $1800 minimum, but EBHB was allowed to use it for $100/hour for five hours.

What gives? If I wanted to rent that place you know they’d stick it to me. Look at those rates.  Whose friend do you have to be to get it for $100/hour, no minimum? Sounds like a good question for Ann Willmann.

Hi Ms. Willman, 

I contacted Ed Johnson, who told me that rental for the Pavilion during the week is $225/hour.  He also mentioned a minimum of eight hours, but I’m not sure if that applies to week nights or just weekends.
I’d like to know, who authorized the rental of the Pavilion for $100/hour for Everybody Healthy Body?  Did the board approve this, and if so, where can I find the minutes to that meeting? 
When and where can I view communications between Everybody, Healthy Body, and CARD?

Thank you again for your anticipated cooperation, Juanita Sumner

We’ll see if she gets back to me.

Aquatic center still a question for CARD

Staff Reports

CHICO >> Even with the budget’s positives and negatives, the Chico Area Recreation and Park District board still faces its biggest decision: Whether to pursue an aquatics center.

Long in its master plan and recommended by an ad hoc committee, an aquatics center is still a question mark for the board.

Director Tom Lando said last week he was still wrestling with building a proposed aquatic center or rebuilding and expanding Shapiro Pool, which the board ha s closed down last year because of age and repair problems. Earlier this year, a consultant and an ad hoc committee offered recommendations on an aquatics center. The consultant’s recommendation included a 30- meter by 25- yard pool, while many on the committee wanted a 50- meter pool.

Any of the several prop o sa l de si g n s wou ld mean additional costs to CARD. None of the proposals or designs offered by the consultant would bring in enough revenue to cover operational and maintenance costs.

As far as paying for the construction of an aquatics center, a consultant suggested choosing between a set per- parcel tax or a ‘ benefits assessment” tax on property owners based on property valuation. Those affected would either vote on the measures in a general election or by a mailed ballot, respectively.

Preparing for either option would cost CARD about $ 65,000 for consultant services, General Manager Ann Willmann said.

“ I think the community needs a facility including a decent pool,” Lando said. And, if CARD wasn’t going to pursue a new aquatic center, he wanted to see more money helping with the renovation of Shapiro Pool or to the Humboldt Neighborhood skateboard park renovation.

Lando said he also thought the board should pursue the update of the master plan with all the big projects it has been discussing, not all of which are included in the current plan.

Taxpayers pay about three times the “employee” share of benefits and pension

5 Jun

What a week! I’ll ask  you a question people around here have asked for ages – is it hot enough for you?

I bet you’ve been thinking about your electric bill.   A couple of months ago, I got a notice from California Public Utilities shill Cody Naylor, inviting me to a sort of private (not noticed to the public) meeting regarding implementation of “time of use” rates, for everybody, starting in 2018.  “Time of use” means, the price of your electricity rides the stock market all day, between 10 am and 7 pm. Meaning, you pay whatever electricity is selling for, at  that moment.  Right now you can volunteer for time of use, and PG&E will give you reduced rates the rest of the day. But forget about using any of your major appliances during the day – like local Fascist Mark Stemen once sniggered at me – “get used to doing your laundry in the middle of the night Juanita!” 

Well, what about my refrigerator Mark? Where’s the social equity, Mark, when people like you, on a public salary, are able to run their air conditioner all day, damn the torpedoes, while those of living on normal salaries are balancing our PG&E with our food bills? Don’t cook in the house!

Naylor had sent me the notice, telling me he hoped I’d spread the word!  What a liar – they didn’t want people to come, are you kidding. When I complained that they weren’t running ads in the paper or sending notices in bills, Naylor’s co-shill, Claudia Portillo (Office of the Rat-out Advocate) just handed me a pile of limp excuses.  She said the utilities (this was shoved into a Cal Water rate increase meeting) missed their printing deadline and the CPUC doesn’t have the money (!?!)

The utility was originally supposed to send the public hearing notice as a bill insert. However, they were unable to meet their printing deadline to include it with customer bills. Normally the customer notice is sent only once as either a bill insert (most common), or a separate mailer (used by Cal Water for these PPHs). Unfortunately, TV and radio ads are not used because of the high costs which are allowed to be passed on to ratepayers. This is also the reason notices are usually only sent once. The CPUC keeps the costs and their passing through to ratepayers in mind when working with the utility company on customer notifications.

As a government agency, the CPUC has a very limited budget and usually cannot afford to pay for ads. However, it is customary for the CPUC’s media office to write and distribute press releases regarding these types of public hearings to various media outlets. This is done in the hopes that a media outlet will be interested and pass along the information to its audience voluntarily, at no cost to the CPUC or ratepayers.

They don’t want to pass the costs of noticing on to the ratepayers? What kind of bullshit is that? Can you believe she eats with that mouth?

Well, nevermind all that – did you get the notice for the next rate increase proposal from PG&E? This isn’t about “real time pricing,” this is just another rate increase, period.  I got the notice in my most recent bill – “operate, maintain and upgrade” systems, bs bs bs.  They mean, pay off their pension debt.

When I asked Ms. Portillo and Mr. Naylor about their pensions, Portillo sent me some interesting links.

There I found this pdf – “Facts at a Glance”

Click to access facts-at-a-glance.pdf

The first fact that caught my glance was there at the bottom – taxpayers (“employers”)  pay about three times what the employees pay for their own benefits. 

I  know I’ve been bitching alot about the homeless and the crimes they commit. Here we have a whole class of people who are ripping us off, and we’re just sitting here allowing it. 

Democracy is an expensive date

2 Jun

So, Joe Montes is really running for Congress? Really? Cause his city council campaign was a joke.  He dropped out without a fight, saying he’d been told, by parties he would not name, that he would just steal votes from Coolidge and Fillmer. Rolled over like a turd in a bowl, what a woos. And now he really expects us to believe he’s got the gagnas to go to Washington? I can’t imagine him doing anything but prolonging the election to November, damn the expenses cause it’s not his money.

And then there’s Jim Reed. After meeting Jim Reed during his 2014 bid for Assembly, I’m convinced he’s  just after some salary or another, any salary over 100 Grand a year would  be fine. Don’t forget that pension.

And then there’s Doug LaMalfa.  Yeah, he’s a big cowboy hat wearing redneck, but you know what – he’s our redneck, and we love him.  At least he’s really  from this area, he’s really a farmer, and he’s got a huge stake to protect. I don’t always agree with him, and he’s certainly not looking out for me, but here’s the bottom line – his interests benefit me, even if only in a trickle down sense. I’d  rather ride his coattails and take his leavings than head down the Road to Perdition with either of the other idiots.

I don’t know what’s going on in the local Republican party, why long time Republicans like Larry Wahl are mad at LaMalfa.   Do they realize – a split vote here means the taxpayers foot for another race in November – all those offices and measures cost 10’s of thousands to put on the ballot every time, Democracy is an expensive date. Or – you know what would be really funny? While Montes and LaMalfa are chasing each other’s tails around a palm tree, Jim Reed steals their clothes and walks triumphantly to Washington. 

Why am I not laughing?

Goddess, what a horrific election. I just checked in with local Repuglicken Jack Lee and he’s backing Donny Trump, speaking as though he’s been waiting for a guy like Trump to come along for-ev-er .

We have the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and then there’s Bernie Sanders sitting in his leaky dinghy with his SEIU thugs, offering us a ride into the perfect storm.  God Bless America!

I mailed my ballot in a couple of weeks ago. I voted for Cruz knowing he couldn’t win. I can’t support Sanders, he’s the unions’ bitch. The other two – well, we’ll get one of them, but not with my vote.  

The interesting race was US Senator. I had to do some research – I googled, “who has the best chance of beating that fascist/racist bitch Kamala Harris?”  And up popped LA Democrat Loretta Sanchez, so I voted for her.  She’s a Reagan Democrat – isn’t that the same as a Republican?  Not sure, but I didn’t find anything disgusting enough about her to stop me, so I dotted in the little circle next to her name.

I voted yes on E. The county makes the dumbest proclamations for their pet groups, let’s just make a proclamation not to frack. Their big argument against this measure is that fracking hasn’t been done in Butte County, that it isn’t profitable, so will never be done.  That’s weak – they need to promise that it will never be allowed,  simple as that. I hope this one passes. Anybody who doesn’t get it should watch “Nothing But Trouble” with Dan Akroyd and John Candy.

I finally decided to vote no on G and H.   I’m sick of the supervisors spending so much $taff time into what seems to be a personal agenda for a couple of people. I wish they’d pay attention to other matters.  According to the current Butte County Community Health Assessment Report, “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently declared national epidemics for both prescription opioid and heroin overdoses – noting that prescription opioids have become a pathway to street heroin use over the past decade . These declarations are especially concerning for Butte County as our age-adjusted drug induced death rate is roughly 3 times as high as for the state of California overall, ranking 56th out of 58 counties…”  

I would call their ridiculous persecution of property owners a poor remake of “Reefer Madness”.  Read that community health report, and send a copy to your supervisor –

There was also a state measure to punish legislators by taking away their pay, etc, but it was not clear enough what types of things the legislators would be punished for. The whole thing was too sketchy, I voted no.

I hope everybody will make the effort to vote, one way or another. I don’t care if you go out and cancel every one of my votes, I just like the Democracy Dance.  I like to live in a vibrant and active community, and there’s nothing quite so communal as passing laws and electing leaders that regulate each others’ lives. 




Remember – for every cockroach you see, there’s 20 more in the wall

1 Jun

California Public Employees’ Retirement System – CalPERS – is not suffering from simple incompetence, now we find out they are downright corrupt. The Chief Executive Officer has been convicted and sentenced to four and a half years in prison for “accepting more than $ 200,000 in bribes and trying to steer investments to help an associate.”

In a story the Enterprise Record saw fit to bury,

Federico Buenrostro admitted that he accepted cash, a trip around the world, and even allowed his associate to pay for his wedding at Lake Tahoe. A 66 year old man? What an idiot. 66 year old  men are supposed to have better judgement.  How did this man get the job in the first place? 

His associate, who committed suicide  under the pressure of the investigation, was a former investment manager and even a former CalPERS board member. These are the kind of people Jerry “The Moonbeam” Brown hires to run our state finances.  

You know, Jerry’s been investigated for stuff like this himself.

Four and a half years?  Apparently they gave him a “plea deal” – “the U. S. attorney’s office asked for a four- year term, citing Buenrostro’s cooperation in the case against Villalobos.”  That seems outrageous to me.  “As part of his plea deal, Buenrostro acknowledged giving Villalobos access to confidential investment information and forging letters that allowed firms connected with Villalobos to collect a $ 14 million commission on $ 3 billion worth of pension fund investments.”

The US Attorney admitted, “ This was one of the most startling and serious cases of public corruption in the history of the state of California…,” he said. “ That being said, Mr. Buenrostro did come for ward and admit to what he had done.”

Why is Charles Manson in prison? He’s admitted his role in the Tate-LaBianca killings, and wow, that seems to be enough to the US Attorney.

And this last detail reminds me of the post I did the other day about the local arsonist who has been arrested so many times for stalking – “Prosecutors sought the shorter sentence despite Buenrostro getting sent to jail when he violated the terms of his probation on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge by making contact with the victim, authorities say. He pleaded no contest in that case in March.”

Is that the woman he married in Lake Tahoe? 

What we are not going to hear is how this stuff is routine at CalPERS and every other state agency.

We are complete jackasses to go on putting up with this. All say “Bray!”