Frankly, I don’t feel much like writing anything today. And it seems harder to find positive themes these days. But, we never seem to run out of bad news; that’s always a dependable source.

With the tenth anniversary of the Shariah 9-11 attack on the twin towers approaching I’m sure government agencies are taking extra precautions. By this time prudent Americans should all have taken special measures in anticipation of national emergencies. Those who haven’t should begin soon because the variety of probable disasters (by official assessment)has never been greater. Without exception, government agencies responsible for the health, safety, and defense of our country have been alerting us to these dangers for more than a decade, telling us to be prepared for major disasters.

I was contacted by a high-level official in charge of an emergency management agency a while ago. I was told that a main concern had to do with a nuclear attack on the City of Los Angeles. This didn’t surprise me because LA is among the top 10 cities targeted by our Jihadist friends. Nuclear weapons and materials have been distributed throughout the world for a long time, thanks to Russia, North Korea, and evil men like Dr. A.Q. Kahn, the Pakistani thief (and national hero). Such an attack anywhere in the US will effect all of us in a major way. It will directly and immediately effect all financial merkets, food distribution, and public safety and order. It will being out the very best in us, and the very worst.

There are other terrorist threats, including chemical, biological attacks, etc., each of which can result in famine, disease, social disorder, and war. Be prepared by at least storing the recommended basic supplies of water (one glallon per per person per day)and food (minimum of 72 hours-worth)and necessary medications. We all know how quickly stores will be depleted of these supplies when disaster causes panic. You don’t have do everything at once, but make preparations regularly, little by little. Your life and the lives and welfare of your family members (according to our own government experts) are at risk.

Look for the emergency preparations page, soon.



“All the world's a stage”, says the Bard. Last night’s council meeting resembled a circus stage, with City Clerk Clay Westling unable to explain why months have gone by without producing the minutes, Mayor Washburn struggling to finally tell the truth about asking for an appeal of Planning Commission’s non-decision of the Verizon cellular tower, and Councilguys Brooks and Sipes weeping over their failed attempt to fire our city counsel (for avowed personal reasons). In theatrical terms this was a melodrama. Don’t miss the re-run on Channel 10, 6:30.
There was something there for everyone! Oh, I almost forgot a cameo part played by Bob Stroh where he attempts to blame the Gazette for stories he attributes to the now defunct Fillmore Herald. You can view Bob’s last videotaped public performance here: where he creeps across the floor towards my chair, camera to his face, to sneak a picture of me. We are considering adding some spooky music and posting it on YouTube. Bob’s a real crack-up.



The Gazette had a difficult time last week. To begin with, we lost all internet communications from 8 a.m. until after noon, due to our provider up-dating its code. We were not informed of the up-date, and our router could not handle the change. After this, another provider in Texas suffered the loss of a major piece of hardware which took us down again. Anyway, we survived to get the paper out.

* * *

I received a call from an indignant reader concerning a story on page 2, headlined “Representative Gallegly Votes to “’Cut, Cap and End Medicare”’ In the confusion of last week we neglected to check the source and failed to notice that there was no byline.

In short, we were snookered. The story was false. Congressman Gallegly certainly did not “vote to end Medicare”, and the Gazette has supported Gallegly since the first year he ran for office. We regret the oversight.

* * *

I am disgusted to learn that two pieces of graffiti have sullied the Fillmore environment for more than a week without being removed. One is an elaborate stencil of Ollie the Aztec, complete with veil. Ollie is prominently displaying his funny face on the eastern wall of the bank building across the street from city hall.
Question: Why hasn’t this been painted-over? It’s an impertinent advertisement for the stupidity of being in a criminal gang. Where are you City Manager Quiring?

* * *

Moving right along, I have also noticed that the bicycle storage unit in the city parking lot, across the street (south) from city hall also has some prominent gang graffiti on it. Our city manager must see this on her afternoon walks, as others do. Why hasn’t this been removed? Why advertise a stupid criminal presence in town? Another city manager failure.

* * *

My next negative observation involves our appointed Mayor, Gayle Washburn.

Having to tolerate rank incompetence is one thing, tolerating an obviously clumsy lie is quite another.

The Gazette will have a more complete story next week concerning the now infamous attempt by Washburn, and council members Brooks and Sipes, to appeal a non-existent decision of the city’s Planning Commission. That attempt, and Washburn’s slurs against the city’s most competent commission, caused three long-serving commissioners to resign in protest. Washburn now claims that the event never happened (see “The Bottom Line”, this page). She says (Brooks and Sipes included) they never requested to have the cell phone tower decision appealed. This is contrary to all evidence, including personal “ear-witnesses”, and the records of the San Francisco law firm of Mackenzie & Albritton LLP. The denial is also contrary to the approved minutes of the meeting in question. Any such attempt to appeal the Commission’s approval of the tower is unlawful according to the Federal Telecommunications Act, as stated in the law firm’s letter dated July 11, 2011. The letter states, “Without considering the impact on due process, the Mayor announced an intent on behalf of Council to appeal the Planning Commission approval before the Planning Commission had even heard the matter, which usurped the Planning Commission’s authority, and demonstrated bias against the project...”

The Gazette is awaiting documentation from Mackenzie & Albritton which corroborates the accusation against Washburn, Brooks, and Sipes. We hope to have the full story next week. At that time we will document the words and actions of these three Katzenjammers and compare them to established facts.

Washburn also characterized the Commission’s remarks as “theatrics” proven, in her mind, by the fact that the Gazette videotaped the reading of the letters of resignation. Note to the Mayor: the city videotapes all council meetings as well.

It’s too late for a recall. The next best thing would be to hose-out that Augean stable located at 500 Central Avenue.

Final note: This week marks the Fillmore Gazette’s 22nd anniversary.


The City of Fillmore has lost another talented employee. Patrick Maynard worked full time for the city, in several capacities, for six years. His title of Disaster Coordinator obscures the multi-faceted responsibilities he had for critically important city functions. He was one of those multi-tasking people upon whose expertise much of the efficiency of city government rests. Under the city’s new austerity program, involving the layoff of 12 employees, his position was eliminated. Offered a new position as a city technician, with significantly less pay, negotiations over a period of days went nowhere and prompted him to move on. He will, however, maintain a position as tech consultant on an as-needed basis.

Patrick was appointed captain on the fire department two years ago. His duties with the city included creating, operating and maintaining the city’s essential communications network. He was the city’s Public Information Officer responsible for all press releases, all graphic design, and maintaining all city websites. He was also responsible for film permitting, which brought in more than $60,000 last year.

An EMT, Patrick did extensive triage training for the fire department and gave five classes for the El Dorado Mobile Home Park (Block Capt. Group). He significantly up-graded the city’s Channel 10 TV station, set up permanent camera equipment for council meetings, and around the city, created the communications network for the fire department and maintained all hardware for those systems. He set up the city’s emergency policies and training programs. In other words, Patrick Maynard was an indispensable civil servant whose lost services will greatly diminish city safety and efficiency. He was also an incredibly reliable volunteer who always anticipated the need.

A life-long Fillmore resident, Patrick told me that he enjoyed his work with the city, learned a lot, and hated to see it go.

We hate to see you go, as well, Patrick. I wish you luck, but I know you don’t need it. Thanks for your years of service.


Fillmore lost another great long-term employee with the resignation of Angela Mumme, the city’s Human Resources Officer. Angela served in many different positions, including Deputy City Clerk and as Risk Manager. She was offered the position of Deputy Clerk again, but could not, as she had explained for more than a year, attend late council meetings. I didn’t have the opportunity to interview Angela, but her reputation for diligence and excellence over 12 years speaks for itself.

We will all miss you, Angela.


And so it goes with our city hall, rapidly - downhill.

Think RECALL – while we still have a city hall.


Our fearless city council majority continues its gravity-defying efforts to run city’s business. Having run-off most of our long-time staff and employees, eliminated most of our institutional memory and talent, alienated all city employees, and squandered our financial recourses, they have now prompted three Planning Commissioners to resign.

At the whim of Councilman Jamey Brooks, Planning Commissioner Diane McCall was not reappointed to the Commission a few months ago. This move had to be motivated by personal reasons because Ms. McCall was a much valued commissioner, and Brooks and his bench buddy Brian Sipes simply informed the Commission, through the mayor, that “It is time for a change.” No other excuse for not reappointing this experienced, hard-working volunteer, who worked so well with the other commissioners, was given. No members of other commissions were touched, and no Planning Commissioners were consulted about any change. Were some sensitive council feelings hurt here? Inquiring minds seek an answer.

This meeting also witnessed the resignation of Planning Commissioners Vance Johnson and Douglas Tucker. Johnson read his and Tucker’s letters of resignation to the council (see Gazette video). This followed the resignation of the CP’s Chair, Mark Austin, at the last scheduled PC meeting. These resignations resulted from anger, disgust, and deep frustration with the city council majority’s freewheeling incompetence. Arguably the best planning commission in Fillmore’s history has been broken-up by council stupidity. I don’t say this to be mean, just to be factual. Our city council, with the exception of Steve Conaway, doesn’t know what it’s doing, and Fillmore is paying the price.

We’ve all heard of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. This is the case of the council that couldn’t think straight.

Only two scenarios will save this town from more long-term damage: a recall election, or the election of three new council members having integrity, intelligence, experience, and a little humility.

Heck, at this point I’ll settle for the humility.


My search for positive news is, once again, proving fruitless.

I’ve lost confidence in the majority of American people to make the right decisions, whether economic, military, institutional, social, or (fundamental to it all) moral.

We are apparently about to sell the world’s best, most sophisticated tank, the M1A1 Abrams, to Egypt. Egypt will soon be completely under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood and will turn against the US when the money runs out. So far only Rep. Allen West is “strongly opposed” to this crazy idea, which will certainly “seriously jeopardize the safety and security of the state of Israel.” Should anyone have to explain why this is a bad idea? The answer to that question is yes, and that’s the real problem. Obama is doing his best to destroy, by bits and pieces, our only friend in the Middle East, Israel. This is the leadership that 54 percent of American voters have given us – an ignorant, ideological community organizer. We deserve what we’re getting.


California has become the first state to mandate gay history lessons in public schools. “In public school classrooms across the state students will soon be taught a subject that hasn't been part of the curriculum before: gay history, the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”

Every American citizen has a legal right, to be free from persecution for their socio-religious beliefs. We’ve even passed so-called hate laws to add additional protection in these cases (especially sex-related cases). By the same token the rest (98 percent in this issue) have a right to be free from forced government indoctrination of our children in the area of sexual preference. I would not want my children, especially young children, to learn anything about these issues; and they would not normally have any interest in them. Teaching this is tantamount to child sexual molestation.

Regardless of what California’s radically liberal lawmakers may believe, homosexuality, in particular, is and has always been anathema to traditional Judeo-Christian teaching. All of this recent official acceptance and promotion (since 1973) of aberrant sexual practices is alien to mostly all of our cultural tradition during the past 2,000-plus years.

By all means let the gay and lesbian population do as they wish in peace, without harassment. Equal justice under law also mandates that the traditional Judeo-Christian morals should be actively protected against assault. This new law is a frontal assault against traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs. It should be fought head-on as such. I am amazed that so few have spoken out against this attack to date.

It’s past time for a major promotion of home schooling. It’s time to reject public education in California. After this outrage I can no longer support it.

Bob Stroh
Bob Stroh
Enlarge Photo

Last night’s city council meeting was both dramatic and anticlimactic.

I owe Mayor Walker an apology for stating in last week’s editorial that it appeared she was packing-up, selling her house, and headed out of state. I was wrong in assuming she was leaving the state, or the county, or city, for that matter. She took it upon herself to speak as a private citizen at last night’s meeting and bitterly criticize my carelessness in not verifying. She said she had no plans to leave the city. Therefore my concerns about who might be appointed to her seat on the council in the event she decided to leave were irrelevant.

For jumping to the conclusion that she would change her present city residency after selling her house I apologize. I learned of the sale of her house on press day and failed to check my facts. Again, I apologize. I will be sure to verify my facts in the future.

* * *

I guess this mistake lit my old nemesis Bob Stroh’s fuse. We haven’t heard from Bob in a long time, but he has apparently used this absence to distil and compress his once notorious vitriol.

Prior to the opening of the meeting he ambushed me by sneaking up and pointing a camera in my face and taking several photos. By “in my face” I mean within three or four inches. I returned the favor, and he skulked away to his seat.

During the public comments time, Bob excoriated my reputation as he has done so many times before. Bob has always had difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction during his diatribes. When I make a mistake Bob sees it as a lie, a filthy lie.

But when Bob lies about me it’s no mistake. One whopper I can never forget was when he completely lost it, referring to “my favorite abortion center.” Making such a scurrilous remark about someone who professes to be pro-life makes it the more outrageous. But, Bob did apologize that time, a couple of weeks later, in one medium, after posting in two. Of course, I have to forgive him, as I do once again for last night’s irrational tantrum.

Press the Play button above to see Bob Stroh.

There is a live wire running through all of this emotion and name-calling. It began with the local political group I dubbed the Katzenjammers. This is a tightly knit, highly focused, well organized and financed group of like-minded friends and acquaintances who set out to “take back our town”. Commendable for awakening community interest in city government, it has proved to be a financial and civic disaster. It began in earnest when the north Fillmore Specific Plan, showing nearly 1,000 homes first appeared in a half-page rendering in the Gazette. This led them to Measures H and I which they won. Then it was an exhausting fight over our new water treatment plant, which they lost. It goes on and on, past our hoped-for Business Park, etc.

Highest on its list of objectives was replacing city officials and employees whom they found to disagree with their agenda. A Katzenjammer majority succeeded in taking over the city council. Thereafter, we began to lose the most talented and experienced city officials and employees and all of their historical knowledge. After eliminating virtually all opposition (city manager, city engineer, city finance director, city clerk, etc. and three council members, they brought in interim and temporary replacements, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. They even criticized city legal counsel, after he reduced his fees by 20 percent to help in this fiscal emergency. They caused three fine planning commissioners to resign in protest. To this, Mayor Washburn said, “I don’t understand the animosity”. Councilman Brooks characterized the resignations as a political ploy. How clueless can they be?

They created a true mess, especially with the budget. They also created serious and expensive problems Vis ‘a vis state and federal laws and regulations, which must still be dealt with.

Without cause or reason even long-time professional firms dealing with city business were let go. A councilman dismisses a great Planning Commissioner arbitrarily, saying “time for new blood.” They bring in a new manager who every employee publically condemns as incompetent, and do nothing. They fought and criticized even the most beneficial programs (water plant) and financial arrangements (sales tax contract worth millions) without understanding what they were doing. Even today, recently, complaints are made about the tax contract which was lawful from the beginning (contrary to Bob Stroh’s opinion) by the court, and which will soon bring in $2Million. So, they hunger for that much needed money, but defame the city officials who created the contract. It was illegal, they said, it was even “immoral” they said, they’re now eagerly on the take.

The Katzenjammer issue is too long to relate here, but I am working at a detailed story to be published in the Gazette soon. A reasonable person will be shocked by the stubborn stupidity, malice, arrogance and incompetence of the Katzenjammers, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars their foolishness has cost the City of Fillmore.

I’m considering discontinuing all coverage of city council meetings if three good council members cannot be elected in November of 2012, or if a recall fails to materialize. These are the only two ways Fillmore can balance the council and replace our present city manager.

Consider this a preview of coming attractions.


Apparently all union employees working for the City of Fillmore called in sick today (Wednesday). No doubt this is to call attention to the fact that the city council majority has stubbornly refused to take any action at all to redress the serious, publically enumerated complaints about City Manager Yvonne Quiring’s failed management style. Two letters of no confidence have been read into record on two separate occasions by distinguished former Mayor Scott Lee. Councilman Brooks piped-in (last council meeting) “You reap what you sow.” Intelligent citizens ask “What are you talking about?” And the band plays on.

The virtual collapse of city revenues and budget, the disappearance of the city’s once vaunted 40 percent revenue surplus, widespread employee furloughs and layoffs, and hostility caused by council incompetence, has brought the city to a new low.

The grossly unprofessional, unlawful, and disrespectful treatment by the city council majority of the Fillmore Planning Commission caused Commissioner Mark Austin to resign following the last public meeting. Several more Commissioners are expected to follow suit. Mayor Gayle Washburn, Council members Jamey Brooks, Patti Walker, and Brian Sipes precipitated this expected mass resignation by acting to reject a decision of the Commission prior to any formal discussion or decision on the issue of a cellular tower along the railroad tracks. The council has treated, perhaps our most professional and competent Commission, with complete disrespect and disdain.

You picked a fine time to leave us Patti. It appears that Councilmember Patti Walker is packing-up, selling her house (see photo) and heading out of California. That’s like leaving the scene of a serious accident.

The big question now: What bozo will the reigning Katzenjammer regime appoint to fill the seat? Or, maybe we can find someone with common sense and an armadillo-like hide to enter the special election in November?

The rumors are truly frightening.

Think Recall!


One of the numerous facts which quickens my concern for the survival of our republic is simply the intellectual vacuum which abides within federal, state, and local authority. For various reasons, including a toxic blend of arrogance and ignorance, greed, an insatiable lust for power, and an absence of anything remotely resembling traditional Judeo-Christian character, these kings of the communal dunghill are killing our country.

Take last night’s council meeting for a colorful example. People of Fillmore, look at who you have voted to lead city government! They (excepting only Councilmembers Conaway and Walker) now preside over a broken system, which they themselves have broken.

By this time any rational, honest observer must recognize that the Katzenjammer disease has metastasized, killing-off virtually every talented, experienced long-term employee in sight. Remember all of those temporary, interim folks brought in to patch-up the pieces? First went our city manager, replaced with someone so managerially incapable that (after a single (and first) year at her previous job, had her contract bought out for more than $300,000. But, our own interim, provisional, rent-a-manager, and Patti Walker snookered Councilman Conaway out of the scheduled trip to interview her previous employers. This resulted in the hiring of our present manager, who apparently finds managing an insurmountable challenge.

We would do well to recall the managing talents of former City Manager Roy Payne, or Tom Ristau, who were always ready to answer questions and guide meetings.

Last night, with Conaway absent, Councilfolks Brooks, Sipes, and appointed Mayor Washburn (all members of the Katzenjammer coalition) under the sometimes drowsy prompting of our new city manager, managed to insult our Planning Commission members and reject the legal advice of our City Attorney, thus exposing the city to fresh litigation by formally requesting an appeal of a Planning Commission decision to approve a cellular tower on the property of Super Seal and Stripe, adjacent to the railroad tracks.

The City of Fillmore is undergoing a management disaster at this time. Our council majority is utterly incompetent, and should be voted out. Our city manager has managed to alienate ALL employees, as shown by two (2) letters of no confidence this past year. Our budget, roiled by alien hands, has only recently come together, with disasterous results. The thousands of dollars spent to redesign the budget were wasted.

Now we have Brooks, Sipes, and Washburn, insulting our Planning Commissioners by deciding to veto (in anticipation) a decision which the commission had not yet approved.

Commissioner Mark Austin was absolutely correct in observing (shortly before resigning from the Commission) “...I hope the City of Fillmore in this next election wakes up and sees what’s going on with city instead of sitting in the back and bitching about what’s going on in this community. They [should] step forward and remove some of these council members who are causing some of this. There’s a chance in November to do it, so wake up Fillmore!”

Most of the Katzenjammers were voted in by the skin of their teeth. I would ask those who voted for them, what have they done to keep all of those promises? Have they made things better, or worse?

How do we explain the hostile stupidity of Councilguy Jamey Brooks, when, pondering the many city employees losing their jobs, he stated “I feel bad for the reap what you sow...I think the town was mismanaged in the past...this started years ago.” This is the pipsqueak that roared. “Mismanaged in the past”! What the hell are you talking about? – Until you and your idiot friends arrived (led by failed former mayor Gary Creagle) Fillmore was a THRIVING, PROSPEROUS city, with a 40 percent SURPLUS! Thriving, until we caught the Katzenjammer disease.



As we look at larger and larger scales of government things only grow worse.

The State of California has spent itself into near oblivion, and wants even more of our money in taxes for more spending. If I had fewer commitments in this state I would have left long ago – and my children are fifth generation Californians.


Now, for the greatest governmental disaster of all, our federal government.

Incompetence at every level, driven by huge surges of socialistic, anti-Judeo-Christian tradition, resulting in anti-family, pro-abortion, acidic facilitation of same-sex “marriage”, confiscatory taxation, weakened defense, and a determined failure to defend our borders or provide practical “civil defense.” An openly gay military was facilitated by long-standing and deeply seditious leadership at the highest level, taking advantage of the fact that insubordination is not tolerated. Military whistleblowers are rare, and rarely survive. This outrage was promoted and approved only at the highest levels, against the objections of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and thousands of hotly expressed objections from active and retired flag officers and enlisted men of every service. This was a treacherous betrayal of unprecedented proportions which will never be accepted by the rank and file without massive disruption of unit cohesion.

Why do we continue to belong to that “parliament of weasels” called the United Nations, or that ridiculous paper tiger called NATO?

With the nuclear catastrophe in Japan, and floods and fires in America, is it too much to expect that the federal government would have secured our nuclear facilities against fires and floods such as are happening at Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, and Los Alamos? Is it really that difficult to clear a fire space around a threatened nuclear plant, or build a concrete barrier against flooding at another?

Have we become too stupid and naive as a nationality to survive in this world of unprecedented and lethal instability? The voters of the City of Fillmore, the State of California, and the nation of the United States of America will reveal the answer in November.


Pray for the residents of Minot, North Dakota. They are facing the greatest flood in that state’s history. MINOT FLOOD: Disastrous. Unstoppable. Historic. Unprecedented...

Well, another budget workshop concluded last night. The tedious work of cutting programs and jobs continues. Some of the cuts suggested by City Manager Quiring seemed unworthy of the time spent on them. For example, it was estimated that $1,300 would be saved by turning off the water to the city hall fountain. After a discussion which reminded everyone of the income derived from weddings and parties at the city park, it was unanimously decided to keep the water flowing.

Also on the chopping block was north Fillmore’s “Storefront” complex which is presided over by retired sheriff’s deputy Max Pina. All council members but Mayor Gayle Washburn wanted to avoid any cuts to this much-used city asset. Washburn asked for an hour-by-hour assessment of costs at mid-term. With the loss of one gang officer, any cuts of Storefront services would seem to be counter-productive.

I’m just learning of a broad survey of Orange County executive salaries; maybe it’s broader than a single county. Many, if not most, of the salaries were found to be “excessive” but not “abusive”. I believe the salary for our new city manager is excessive, especially since she requires an assistant (two assistants?) to do the job when very little is going on. I believe California Assemblymen make less than $100,000 per year. Our manager (in a city of only 14,000) makes a total of about $230,000. Remember all the emotional fuss Councilman Jamey Brooks made about excessive salaries? And who can forget his now infamous June 3, 2008 proclamation before council: "Last year at this time, the city manager had sharply criticized my motives for being up here so I just want to make my motives crystal clear tonight. I have not come for peace, I have come with a sword. I HAVE COME TO CREATE DIVISION, if it doesn't exist, but I think division already exists."

He also opined that Fillmore’s city manager should not make more than $85,000 per year. Jamey’s conservative passion seems to have melted away after he was elected. Where are his outbursts of protest about excessive salaries now, when our city manager is making more than California State Senators, State Assemblymen, U.S. Senators, and the Vice President of the United States? Do I really have to say that this is NUTS!?


I was going to write a column this week but was sidelined at the last minute, which is the time I usually write this column.

I was just going to comment on several Drudge postings, such as:

New Egypt? 7,000 civilians jailed since Mubarak fell...

Protesters burn American flag during Obama visit to Puerto Rico -- a U.S. territory...

China refuses to help US investigate counterfeit weapons parts...

Mexican narco gangster reveals the underworld...

US Army finally ditches beret...

Metal Thieves Stripping Critical Parts From Fire Sprinkler Systems...Gay judge's same-sex marriage ruling upheld...

And the Stuxnet virus.

But, doing it this way really saves time and space!

Next week I promise to really annoy somebody.

Be well.


It’s been a few weeks since I last scribbled some thoughts in this column. I guess it’s time for me to scratch around a little today.

City council received an “Organizational Review” from Bryce Consulting last night, for which (I believe) it paid something in the neighborhood of $30,000. Originally, this firm was asked to undertake a “classification and organizational” structure study. Had our present council majority not spent the last four years chasing away virtually all of the city’s most knowledgeable and talented employees, this study would not have been necessary, and the city would have saved $30,000.

It’s interesting to note that our new city manager is putting in for an assistant. Why is this necessary when so little is on the agenda? It seems like the Review’s recommendations load-up management while cutting-down staff. Hmm – beginning to sound like our school board.

If either former managers Roy Payne or Tom Ristau were still guiding city government, any staff reductions, necessitated by the severe city deficit, would have been handled smoothly and efficiently.

I was struck by the fact that a suggestion had to be made to have either a council member or our new city manager personally visit with individual staff members to evaluate job duties to determine what “adjustments” might be made. Both Payne and Ristau knew staff personally and the scope of their work.

These determinations were not completed before the report was released. In several cases (the deletion of Disaster Coordinator being one) any recommendation would be foolish without an understanding of the scope and efficiency of the position involved. In this case our Disaster Coordinator happens to be one of the hardest working and talented multi-tasking individuals on the city staff. His extraordinary range of technical responsibilities (and creative volunteer tasks) speak for themselves.

But, employee cuts must happen to redress our dangerous deficit. I just fail to understand how this report helps; an experienced city manager should know how to reorganize employees without the assistance of an expensive Organizational Review.

As usual, Councilman Jamey Brooks proved to be an annoying embarrassment as he snipped at Councilman Steve Conaway like a spoiled attack Yorkie. Little Caesar never seems to know how to behave himself. Following Conaway’s methodical questioning of City Manager Quiring on budget issues, Brooks quickly intervened with an unprovoked “If I can get a word in edgewise...” Or he appears incensed at the suggestion that the manager might walk through an investigation of individual employees’ job duties. She’s far too busy to do that, he complaind. Brooks needs to be collared with one of those funnel-like things used to prevent self-inflicted damage – in this case, further damage to his reputation.

Bad boy! No biscuit!

Nothing was reported concerning the status of former Fire Chief Pete Egedi or his threatened lawsuit against the city for reinstatement. Following a 3-year investigation for alleged criminal conduct, the Ventura County District Attorney dropped all charges.


The reality this week is that I am recovering from a bad cold. Will post another aggravating editorial next week. Until then, maintain your aggravation.


It may be another sign of aging, but I am dealing with a persistent and growing reluctance to engage city hall for what seems like unending and fruitless confrontation with our Katzenjammers.

But dealing with city hall doesn’t explain the depth of my lethargy. State, national, and world affairs team-up to pull me close to a state of quasi depression. I find myself in search of some good news, a little relief from screaming reality. Show me some good news, I dare you.

Am I being unreasonably negative? Let’s see.

The City of Fillmore is broke; its famous 40 percent surplus long gone. The Katzenjammers have succeeded in chasing-off most of the best and brightest employees. We have hired a manager whose one-year experience with her previous employer was so catastrophic that they paid more than $300,000 to buy-out her contract. Her performance here has been so bad that after her first year all city employees delivered two angry letters of no confidence. We have the worst city council in city history, yet the band plays on.

Our state is bankrupt. Of the recent revenue increase of $6 billion half is expected to be spent instead of paying-off part of the $12 billion debt. Taxes are strangling small business while the tax noose is expected to tighten. Our schools are mostly failures, turning out (of those who don’t drop out) ignorant, self-indulgent entitlement sponges. A huge percentage of Californians are out of work, approaching the level of the Great Depression, if accurately measured.

Our nation has been turned over to the most inexperienced, dangerous, socialistic spendthrift ideologue in presidential history. He has seeded government with the thickest cloud of equally dangerous, Constitution-hating, big government radicals in memory. Our military has been methodically degraded, humiliated, and demoralized by our Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by mandating acceptance of openly homosexual service members, and their offensive, immoral behavior. Our president welcomes this insult despite the absolute moral and practical objections of 3,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition, and the consistent prohibition of America’s entire history. If homosexuals compose about two percent of America’s population, it stands to reason they must never have exceeded one percent of our military population, if that. And that one percent has always been clandestine. Despite this, 99 percent of the normal rank and file are to be demoralized by the unimpeachable conduct and presence of one percent – without having had a legitimate vote in the matter. Who has done this, and why? Military cohesion, say our fifth column homophiles, sucks. God protect the moral integrity of our fighting men and military women; their lives depend upon it.

Our nation is fighting two wars, and contributing to others (Libya) while it is becoming clear that Muslim nations want no part of democracy (see Egypt, etc.) or Western ways. Some do, indeed. Most do not. What they want most of all is our money, until we have been bled and spent our way out – then China and Sharia will reap the benefits (Afghanistan is said to have trillions in mineral deposits). And, schizophrenic, back-stabbing Muslim “friends” like Pakistan will launch more Jihad during our absence. The only Arab “Spring” to be found will be found in a detonating mechanism beside the road.

I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but hope, as they say, is neither a strategy nor a goal.

God bless our troops, and keep them strong, physically and morally. The Lord rebuke and defeat those intent on defiling the cohesion they must depend upon for victory.

We are a nation which has lost its way. I guess that’s what I find most depressing.


The strategy launched by President Bush to capture or kill the terrorist Osama bin Laden has finally proved successful. After being hidden and protected by our Pakistani “friends” for at least 5 years, a stones-throw away from Pakistan’s “West Point”, he was introduced to US SEALS and summarily terminated with maximum prejudice. It’s not true, however, that Osama’s last words were “Oh crap!”

It’s amazing to witness the extraordinary confusion being so quickly spun out of this triumphant mission. The bottom line here is that Democrats, including the president, the vice president and his minions, are incapable of dealing with military and security matters. They are also utterly incapable of initiating successful missions like this, or maximizing the beneficial results.

Obama takes credit for this brilliantly successful event even though he opposed all of President Bush’s tactics which finally led to this result. Waterboarding was denounced as an evil form of torture, though it provided the information which led to the killing of bin Laden, and though our Navy SEALS each undergo waterboarding as a part of their training. Everything Bush used to further the search for bin Laden was condemned by Democrats, especially candidate Obama; but success has proven those tactics were the correct way to proceed, and Bush has been given no official recognition to date.

Today, the White House announced that photos of the body of bin Laden will not be published. I predict they will eventually be leaked (WikiLeaks?) to the public. We have a right to see this evidence. Dainty Democrats argue that these photos will offend the sensitivities of hundreds of millions of evil Muslim believers (those for whom bin Laden was a hero, and now martyr). The “good” Muslim believers (those allegedly opposed to terrorism and bin Laden’s work) are silent, as usual. They are certainly not cheering in the streets of Cairo, or in Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Iran, Turkey, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, or 40 other Muslim countries (despite what some governments may say).

Muslim “sensitivities”? Really? These are the people who videotaped the beheading of Daniel Pearl and untold numbers of others, who desecrated the bodies of American workers and hung them on a bridge, who stoned to death a 14-year-old girl, after she was raped by her cousin, for daring to report the crime! I could go on for weeks about radical Jihadist “sensitivities”. More immediately relevant, recall what the expressions must have been on the faces of those forced to jump to their deaths from the twin towers on 9/11, Osama’s terrorist “masterpiece”. All, innocent human beings with families and friends. All God’s children.

Jihadists are demons doing the Devil’s murderous work. Like the Devil, they will be damned. The photos of bin Laden’s corps should be shown to the world to remind Jihadists that, however long the battle must continue, the civilized world will never falter in the fight; Jihadists will fail as bin Laden has failed. They can run and hide, in the mountains or under the bed, but they will always be found and destroyed. Dhimmitude and Sharia law will always be repugnant to free societies.

Free people throughout the world should salute President Bush today for his successful strategy and relentless pursuit of these killers. I join with President Bush in commending our outstanding military and intelligence services that are responsible for the ignominious death of Osama bin Laden, demonic butcher of the innocent.
Here is a statement from former President Bush concerning this recent victory: “Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude. This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”


First, an announcement.
Two weeks ago the Gazette reported that the swimming pool had to be drained in order to repair a serious leak. The technicians charged with taking care of the pool reported that about 10,000 gallons a day had been leaking from the new pool for up to one year. We were later told that this figure was greatly exaggerated. We have yet to learn how much water was actually lost during that time, but we did learn that the leak was caused by a piece of rebar which had accidentally been driven through a pipe under the pool during construction.

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I’m truly disgusted with the budget performance of our school board and administration.

Some solutions have been proffered by Superintendent Sweeney, and Finance Director Bush, all involving job cuts. Why not have our top-heavy, pay-heavy, administration share the pain by cutting-back on those juicy salaries? Why should teachers, principals, and classified employees bear the entire brunt of severe budget cuts?

Teacher’s aids, librarians, and many other once-essential school employees are now a distant memory. Making up the difference now are many hard-working, multi-tasking (and unappreciated) individuals. Kimberly Rivers has incorporated an idea for balancing the budget without eliminating more essential jobs into her “School Matters” blog located here


Our new multi-million-dollar swimming pool lies empty. Plagued with serious problems from its inglorious opening day, it has now been revealed that our pool has been leaking about 10,000 gallons per day for approximately a year. No wonder keeping the chemical balance has been such a challenge. What would your water bill be if you were using 10,000 gallons per day?

The next question occurring to inquiring minds should be, where did all that water go? What kind of inevitable damage has this heavy release done? How much has been spent to correct pool problems since opening day?

Many more questions need to be answered about our pool, which has been operating deeply in the red since its first month of operation, which, in turn, has necessitated its closure for several months.

I believe the story of our beautiful new “aquatic complex” will prove to be the greatest scandal in Fillmore’s scandal rich history.

From the beginning, it appeared we may have built the wrong pool. This seems likely because it is not properly designed for swimming lesions. I thought something was wrong the day I witnessed instructors attempting to teach 52 children how to swim with floating devices, crowded into about 10 feet at the shallow end. The children’s water park area also had to be torn-up to correct design mistakes. For a brand new swimming complex, the list of serious, persistent, and expensive problems is long.

Our city manager needs to reveal the names of those in charge. We need to know, with specificity, what is wrong and who is responsible.

Remember all those promises of “taking back our city” and providing truly open government? Now is a good time to see if those Katzenjammers were serious.


Frankly, I’m tired today, and will just expand a few of the issues so well expressed by Robert Spencer adjacent to this column.

Spencer is one of the most articulate experts on militant (and non-militant) Islam today. A very courageous man, he is the author of several fine books on the subject of the Koran, Muslim jihad, and Islamic history. I strongly recommend Spencer’s books, especially The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades). The front cover of this book highlights 5 blurbs: “Islam teaches that Muslims must wage war to impose Islamic law on non-Muslim states; American Muslim groups are engaged in a huge cover-up of Islamic doctrine and history; Today’s jihad terrorists have the same motives and goals as the Muslims who fought the Crusaders; The Crusades were defensive conflicts [a delayed response to centuries of Muslim aggression]; and, Muslim persecution of Christians has continued for 13 centuries-and still goes on.” These are historical facts. Nothing but bloody disaster will be accomplished by ignoring these facts, or by politically correct naiveté. To quote Spencer again “What is known today as the ‘Islamic world’ was created by a series of brutal conquests of non-Muslim lands”. We cannot believe all of the talk about peaceful Islam because the few peaceful parts of the Koran are abrogated by (Koran 2:106) because they were written before those demanding war on non-believers. “...the violent verses of the ninth sura, including the Verse of the Sword (9:5) abrogate the peaceful verses, because they were revealed later in Muhammad’s prophetic career: In fact, most Muslim authorities agree that the ninth sura was the very last section of the Koran to be revealed.”

I also believe that the Koran can be shown to be the antithesis of the Christian Bible, starting with the denial of Christ’s divinity, a faith proudly proclaiming its love of death, instead of the Christian ideal of love, forgiveness, and freedom.

Islam believes that the Koran is the pure, literal, perfect, and final word of God, and as such, can never be “interpreted” differently than that which has been received historically. The Hadith (stories of Muhammad’s life) is also believed to be the perfect, eternal word of Allah, and therefore can never be changed.

Islam provides a license to kill anyone perceived guilty of heretical thoughts, words, or deeds, and it is done throughout the world, every day. Muslim believers can, with Koranic authority, take essentially any act against any non-believer which, in their minds, will promote or defend Islam. This is a license to not only to kill, but to deceive as well. That most Western Muslim believers do not take such devious or violent action against non-believers is not to say that they cannot justify doing so in the future. Think of the many murders inflicted by Muslim believers who were in positions of trust. Those Muslim believers who deny any of the Koran’s violent parts are themselves considered heretics by hundreds of millions of Islamic fundamentalists. Actually, it is heretical to be anything less than a Muslim fundamentalist – fundamentalism is the worldwide norm, not the exception, though, as Spencer says, Islam is not monolithic. It is deadly heresy (according to the Koran) to refuse to believe the plain, “perfect” language of the Koran. Examples of this satanic, religiously-driven murder are abundant (see recent story of a couple and 3 children (including infant) murdered in their sleep by a throat-cutting Palestinian – later celebrated in Gaza).
While the recent Koran burning by that fool “reverend” Terry Jones may be morally unconscionable, it pales in comparison with the Muslim murders of many innocent non-Muslim U.N. workers in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Americans should not, however, limit legitimate means of Constitutional free speech. We should make it clear that Christians condemn jihadist murder because we do not believe in the faith that promotes it. Also, that our Bible is the written word of God, not, as some uninformed Muslim advocate recently proclaimed, only a book written by man, which can be burned with less disrespect.

Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad, Stealth Jihad and The Complete Infidel's Guide to the Koran (all from Regnery-a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).


I’m running slower than usual today. So, just a few pieces of information and a couple of suggestions to assist anyone beginning disaster preparations.

Living in an active earthquake zone as all Californians do there are a couple of very basic issues we need to acknowledge. The first is drinking water and water for washing. All authorities agree we need at least one gallon of water per person, per day. We should assume, even if not probable, that we could be completely cut-off from city water. Many of our city water mains are very old and fragile. Many would fail in a strong quake.

Virtually every home and public building has two sources of drinkable water – the tank behind every toilet, and the water in our water heaters. But, it’s a lot easier to open a bottle of water. So, store a sufficient quantity of drinking water and replenish when necessary. We can live a long time without food, only a few days without water.

Official sources recommend 72 hours of food and water. If you plan to live only 72 hours after a major disaster (act of God or man-made) then this advice will suffice. If your plans are more ambitious, prepare for a longer period of time.

Read the history of Katrina, not the official reports, but the history as written by those who suffered through that catastrophe. This will inform you that if you are well prepared those who didn’t prepare will accuse you of “hoarding.” It never fails. And, they will, sooner or later, desire to share your preps whether you like it or not. So, it’s a good idea to facilitate a defense of your food and water. Reliable neighbors can help here. You Christians out there know that you have a duty to share with others, as long as your own family is not endangered; remember the nursery story of The Little Red Hen? How about the story of the Grasshopper and the Ant? (This lesson goes back thousands of years. Human nature doesn’t change. It’s also the issue of how many people should be let into the lifeboat. Get to know those neighbors with whom you can safely rely upon for mutual assistance. Have a plan for survival, other than relying of the incompetence of government. Let your trusted friends and relatives know about the plan.

A quick list of additional things you should have: Medications; first aid articles; at least one good flashlight; food you don’t have to cook; blankets or sleeping bags; a wrench to shut off the gas line; baby food, etc.; and the list can go on for pages. Have plans to stay in place (most likely) and for moving from the area if necessary. Have a “bug-out bag” ready.

Every emergency agency in America, public and private, has urged us to prepare for catastrophic disasters expected to occur in the near future. Fillmore learned about destruction after the Northridge quake. Less warned against is terrorism. If the country is attacked by weapons of mass destruction (biological, chemical, nuclear, dirty bomb) etc., it is a certainty that all freeways, highways, and roadways, will be clogged with traffic of every sort. Los Angeles, a very likely target of Islamic Jihadist attack, will disgorge millions of its residents. Knowing how single vehicle accidents disrupt our freeways every day, think of the mayhem which will result from the detonation of a weapon of mass destruction anywhere in Los Angeles County. Add to this the methodical mayhem expected from street and motorcycle gang predators, and the widespread panic of people desperately trying to evacuate the effected area.

Be well, and prepare for the worst. More thoughts on disaster preps later.


A couple of weeks ago I learned that certain people sharply disagreed with the conclusions of a recent editorial. Learning of displeasure of this sort was about as surprising as a weatherman learning of a passing cloud. What was surprising, however, was that the people in question lacked the intestinal fortitude to express that disagreement to my face. There was no honor in this girlish ambush. Christians have a duty to forgive, but not to forget. You may forgive the barracks thief, but only a fool would trust him after he is caught. Any other dissenters out there should know that I will never avoid stating my opinion on a controversial issue in order to avoid condemnation.

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I had intended to put up some information and suggestions on the subject of emergency preparations this week. This is something I’ve been interested in for years. Among my very few and abiding concerns is being placed in a deadly or dangerous situation without being prepared, that is a state of helplessness. This can sometimes happen when we really have no choice. More often than not we don’t have to be helpless, with a little common sense preparation. Maybe next week I will enumerate those basic preps. An abundance of emergency preparation literature is widely available, including the Red Cross, Homeland Security, etc. Just always remember that drinking water should come first.

The Japanese people were promised, during construction of their nuclear power plants, that in the event of a disaster water would be provided to everyone in need, within 3 days. As the 3-day timeline passed recently, 2 million citizens were still without water. They had relied upon government promises. Government promises are fiction.

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Be alarmed about how our Secretary of Defense has sabotaged our military recently. See: “Military training material on gays kissing behavior” here: . God, family, country – in that order only.


I was saddened to learn of the death this week of Manuel “Vic” Victoria Jr. He was among the first persons I met when I arrived in Fillmore 22 years ago. He had his shoe shop in the Masonic Lodge building next to the Gazette, at the corner of Central and Sespe Avenues. The Northridge quake which destroyed that landmark building devastated his business which he later moved to his residence. Vic lost a great many treasured artifacts and things he had collected over the years when his shop was destroyed.

Vic was a very congenial and interesting man. He was also a true “mountain man”, someone who knew the terrain of Ventura County like very few others. For decades he led hikes into the back country. I was fortunate to participate in an overnight hike up Pine Creek many years ago. His knowledge of nature and its creatures was acquired during a lifetime of exploring the wilderness. I vividly recall his strength as a hiker. It was hard to keep up with the unrelenting pace he set. Vic was also a skilled mason who built the home he lived in for decades.

Vic introduced many city folks to the wonder of the outdoors.

Rest in peace Vic. You will remain a rich part of Fillmore history.


Publishing a small weekly community newspaper is like no other work. It is a strange sort of undertaking. More than 25 years in this business has impressed that fact deep into my psyche. If you’re a person in need of many friends you would be unhappy in this job. If you are thin-skinned, with an aversion to religious and political controversy, this work would quickly wear you down, especially in a small town environment. You are uniquely on your own.

You learn a lot about humanity in this job, and humility as well when you absorb the social atmosphere peculiar to the town. You learn that very few residents really contribute to community success in a meaningful, dependable way. Most just attach themselves, and go along for the ride until the carrier dies out. You learn that the town is a true microcosm of the nation, with all its good and bad, weakness and strength. You grow to deeply respect the opportunity to freely state your opinion, sometimes in the face of withering dissent, as nowhere else in the world.

Among the hard lessons I’ve learned is, what appears to be deep is often shallow, and some things, at first appearing to be bad, have merit. Trust is rare, achieved only with time and trial. Over the years I’ve learned that energetic amicability is often untrustworthy, a sort of friendly usury for political, social, or professional profit. Maybe this is a universal truth. “All that glitters is not gold.”

If it’s true that the quality of your work can be assessed by the greatness of your enemies, with the Katzenjammers in mind I feel like an abject failure. However, with the inclusion of a false friend or two, I feel like a winner, because a treacherous “friend” is the supreme enemy. These are the obsequious, glad-handing Pharisees that poison society. The residue of such an experience is pure contempt, on both sides, and a sense of relief that one didn’t get to know the other person well. But, they can enhance the feeling of professional success if added to the enemies list, after wiping away the disgust. This is another factor driving me to comment on controversial public affairs.

This business can provide a broad understanding of small societies. I think, having published weekly newspapers in three states and five counties, I would someday like to put my findings into a book. Maybe, someday. The big question is: should I identify the players? I recall the immortal words of mankind’s greatest genius: “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” Maybe that should not be so.