Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sleeping Beauty and Christmas

Today's image (courtesy of Google images) shows the Sleeping Beauty's castle under construction, prior to opening of Disneyland. The Mouse recently announced they have re-opened the Castle aftrer retooling the interior scenes to reflect the original imagery of the movie. They have also included an "accessible experience" which allows visitors to enjoy the scenes without climbing the flights of stairs. I look forward to seeing it opened again while visiting my favorite place prior to "Candlelight". For those who did not get that coveted invite, there is always the Nutcracker Tree Lighting at Downtown's Center Street Promenade on Saturday afternnon/evening, with snow trucked in againt this year, and the Anaheim Arts Council is again hosting art projects for the kids. I highly recommend the event, it is a great neighborhood kind of experience, and it is FREE.

A piece of trivia I just read today, apparently of all of Walt's princesses that could have been chosen for a castle depiction, Sleeping Beauty was the movie in production at the time, and therefore the blonde got the castle. So for those who think Disney's shameless marketing is new, Walt was doing it early on, and God bless him for it, today that shameless marketing pays for those wonderful firemen who worked their tails off last week. Fitzgerald and Anaheim HOME be buggered, I love the Mouse.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Farmer's Market Today

In celebration of Thanksgiving, the Downtown Farmer's Market will be TODAY from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm, with a great chance to pick up fresh ingredients for your holiday feast!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

From the OC Register, Mayor Thom Dies

Former Anaheim Mayor Bill Thom dies
November 24th, 2008, 5:21 pm · Post a Comment · posted by Martin Wisckol, Politics reporter
William J. Thom was mayor of Anaheim 1976-1978 and then served as chairman of the Democratic Party of Orange County in 1979 and 1980. He died last week at the age of 78, and a funeral service is scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow, according to current DPOC Chairman Frank Barbaro.
“He was very colorful, very funny,” said Barbaro, who also served a stint as DPOC chairman immediately before Thom held the post. “He was the consummate politician…. He was always extremely well dressed and well groomed.”
The funeral service is scheduled for St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church, 120 N. Janss St., Anaheim, according to former DPOC Chairman John Hanna. The phone number for the church is 714-956-3110.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Came Early!

For those who have been praying for My Mother In Law, thank you. After nearly losing her this weekend she rallied and seems to be out of the woods. Thanks to a procedure Saturday morning they were able to reinflate her collapsed lungs, and since she was breathing on her own they could take her off the meds that left her essentially incompetent. Now even her digestive system is kicking in, she is sitting up and running the world from her hospital bed! If she can stay healthy and continue to heal, the oncologist can start low doses of chemo next week and begin beating back the cancer. So we have a race for time, get her better enough to fight the cancer before the side effects of the cancer take her under again. So please keep praying, but for now we are all breathing, including Mom, and that is a miracle! I for one am VERY ready for Thanksgiving, much, much, much to be thankful for!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cup of Coffee and an Old House

I absolutely love this e-magazine that sends me updated emails once a month. The owner is a period designer with a real passion for restoration and preservation, rather than the "let me make a bigger commision by replacing everything" types. So this morning I give them a shameless plug and invite you to spend a Saturday morning doing nothing but surfing the site.
Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fun Stuff in Anaheim Tonight!

Having a much more positive afternoon after lunch with a friend. Amazing how one's outlook can change with just one afternoon not devoted to oncology. Thanks Chris.

And looking for the positive, we have multiple opportunities for great stuff to do in Anaheim tonight. Stephanie Hales Panlillio and her Trucor team invite us all to an Open House to review the completion of her new projects from 4:30 to 6:30 today. The homes are located at:

1231 W. Center
12225 W. Center
1219 W. Center

Some are relocations, and I believe one is new construction to reflect the surrounding Five Points neighborhood. While there, stop to admire Bill Taormina's new/old Five Points Flatiron building, soon to be a Ruby's Restaurant! The big pergola thing in the parking lot will shelter car hops and classic car shows! Also if you are there take note of the unfortunate tagging, and get the contact info for the new grafitti program Bill wants to start. One of these days I will have my camera ready and get a photo to post here.

Then stop by Farmer's Market on Center Street Promenade to enjoy their new hours, and grab some good eats to take to the Colony Potluck. This month it is at the Garner's home, the turn of the century Grim House, at 194 N. Vintage Lane. The team of sisters buys distressed historic homes, returns them to their former glory, and then sets them free on a new life with new owners. God bless them, this is about their 5th or 6th rehab in the Colony, and the place is going to be amazing when they are done. A fun group, I recommend attending. Just bring a dish to share, and your favorite beverage, at 7pm, and no you do not have to live in the Colony to attend.

My Daily Scream of Futility

A challenge. Watch this without shivers running up your spine.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Council Recap

I finally got a break from the hospital, and got to watch the City Council meeting on the internet. Dear God, do we really have to listen to 4 more years of that nasally, petulant whine?

Anyway, the deal with SADI did not address any of the details of the affordable housing project; it merely allowed Lisa Stipkovitch to continue to negotiate the details, which is fair. But this is one I will be watching in the future.

It was highly appropriate that City Council honored the CERT class last night, as they were put to the test during this firestorm. Sadly, Fitzgerald of Anaheim HOME went on a rant about how cowardly some of the off duty firemen were to not come to work, and Mayor Pringle had to point out that many of them live in other communities and could not get in on the freeways. I guess nobody caught the irony of the fact that many of our Police, Fire, and City office Staff do choose to live elsewhere. Why is that? Hats off to our Police Chief for actually living in the City he serves, and he and his wife are very involved in community activities, which is greatly appreciated. I see them at all kinds of events, where I do not see other Department heads, because many of them are sitting on the freeway after 5 pm, heading for their south county homes. Seems like folks should be proud enough of the work they are doing to live close to the decisions they make. But that is just me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Eyes and Ears on City Council

My mother in law has now developed pneumonia (not a good thing with cancer) and will be having another surgery in the morning to try to alleviate her pain. I will not be at City Council to see if they bump SADI's profits, but I would encourage others to go and watch what happens. I will watch the meeting later on the net, and will report in on what happens. But anyone who wants to go and perhaps even say a few words about the fact that we are again dealing with a developer who already came back to the taxpayer trough for their last development, when others like Mercy or Jamboree are willing to do these projects for the usual 15-85 split.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Help Our Neighbors

To donate to fire disaster relief, contact the Red Cross at

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Corona Fire Jumps to Anaheim Hills

The Yorba Linda/Corona fire has now jumped the 91 freeway, and is burning along Santa Ana Canyon Road in Anaheim Hills. 241 Toll Road is affected, and drivers are abandoning their vehicles to try walking out of the area. Weir Canyon Road is also involved, and we are all advised to stay out of the area and let emergency crews work. Gridlock is impeding the ability to evacuate residents. The Downtown Community Center has been opened as an emergency evacuation center, located at Center Street and Anaheim Blvd. Colony residents should avoid Anaheim Blvd and allow folks to get into the shelter. All residents are advised to stay inside, out of the streets, and close windows. Conserve water and energy to allow emergency services to access power and water pressure.

UPDATE: 4:30 pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ANAHEIM FIRES INFORMATION ANAHEIM, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2008, 3:25 p.m.) – The City of Anaheim Fire Department is calling for mandatory evacuations. BOUNDARIES: 91 freeway on the north 241 freeway on the east Weir Canyon Road or Serrano Avenue to the west And all homes to the north of Marblehead Way AND Mohler Drive on the north Del Giorgio Road on the west Canyon Rim Road on the south Deer Canyon Park and Fairmont Park to the east Approximately 4,500 homes and 12,600 residents have been asked to evacuate. SHELTER AND RECEPTION Those evacuated can report to the care and reception facility at the Downtown Community Center, located at 250 E. Center Street, Anaheim, CA 92805 (cross street Anaheim Blvd.). SHELETER AND CARE Katella High School (2200 E. Wagner), Anaheim High School (811 W. Lincoln), and Loara High School (1765 Euclid) are open as care and shelter facilities. The Annabella Hotel is also offering rooms to displaced residents at a discounted rate. The Annabella Hotel phone number is 714-905-1050. ANIMAL SHELTER Horses only- Rancho Del Rio stables are excepting horses 1314 Sandersen Avenue Anaheim 714-535-3510 As a precaution, the Fire Department is asking all homes and businesses to reduce their water use in the hill and canyon areas in Anaheim, east of the 55 freeway. Please visit _www.anaheim.net_ (blocked:: , tune in to channel 3 (local only) or call 714-765-4333 for continual updates. Contacts: Maria Sabol PIO, Anaheim Fire Department 714-620-6234 Ruth Ruiz PIO, City of Anaheim 714-420-7797 cell

Friday, November 14, 2008

City Council Spending Our Money Again!

There is a City Council meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, November 18. On the Agenda for the Redevelopment Agency is the following:

Approve and authorize the Executive Director to execute an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with SADI, LLC, in substantial form, for the development of an affordable multi-family housing project on the corner of Manchester and Orangewood Avenue.

Now y'all may recall that the last time SADI LLC came before RDA for an affordable housing project, it was that stucco monstrosity over at Elm Street Commons. Richard Chavez, backed by Lorri Galloway, pulled that project for discussion, and bumped the developer's profit from the standard 15% that every other developer gets, to an unprecedented 50% profit! All this (over Mayor Curt's objections) while Galloway admonished the developer to be sure to acknowledge how cooperative Council had been to them! If you will recall, Lorri Galloway recently received a substantial donation of Independent Expenditure during her campaign from "Elm Street", which popped for those ugly billboards all over town, and a hefty mailer.

So the questions for next Tuesday are:

A) Can Galloway even vote on this if she recently received an IE from the developer?
B) Will Galloway try to give away the farm again for this project?
C) Why do we continue to deal with private developers like SADI who demand higher profit margins, when non-profits like Mercy Housing do a fabulous job and agree to the standard 15% profit margin?

I for one intend to be there to ask, and will certainly report back here. Anyone care to tag along?

On a personal note, my beloved Mother In Law, Marianna Ward, has been diagnosed with advanced stage 3 cancer which has metastasized, and prayers are welcome and appreciated. I will be dramatically scaling back a lot of my volunteer work, and frankly much of my work-work for a while. If you are here looking for info on Marianna, I have begun a new blog at However, if I gave up watching City Council to watch my Mother In Law she would have my head, so I will somehow find the time for community activism. But I could use some help with extra eyes and ears during the challenges my family is dealing with, so if I can count on the community to give me a head's up for upcoming events, or dirty deals, it would help me immensely. Thanks.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Hours and a Special Offer for Farmer's Market!

This just in from the DAA:

New Farmer's Market Hours noon to 8 pm Thursdays! Center Street Promenade!

Come down to the Downtown Anaheim Association office during Farmers' with proof of Anaheim residence to get your $1 off (with any $5purchase) coupon!!Pick up some of my farm-fresh favorites:Yummy berries (blue, rasp & black), fresh dill roasted red pepper sourdough bread, red potatoes, vine ripened tomatoes, french crepes,organic avocados & Korean BBQ Chicken.Also, if you haven't been down in the last week or 2, there are somereally cool new non-agricultural vendors... Here's some of my favs...Knit beanies, mineral make-up, Peruvian art/handbags, cool trendyclothes, tie dye clothes, hand blown glass, hand-made jewelry, cuddlyblankets and amazing scented bath/skin products.We have a crazy unicyclist Noon-5pm, then an awesome blues/classic rock solo artist is performing from 5pm-7:30pm.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Economic Conference Wednesday Nov 12

The Anaheim Chamber of Commerce is hosting an Economic Conference with a look at where Anaheim is going in the future, and how we will get there. The Conference starts at 9 am Wednesday, at the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel. See the Chamber's website for details at Plan to stay for the Awards Luncheon as the Chamber recognizes Anaheim's businesses and their contributions to our community.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Fight's Not Over so Let's Stay Busy Until We Know!

Interesting. The Anaheim battle is not quite over. While it is likely that the incumbents will retain their seats, it turns out there are just under 240,000 absentee ballots still at the Registrar's office, and only about 19,000 of them have been hand counted yet. That does not include the paper provisional ballots that had higher than usual numbers as folks (like me) decided to opt for paper rather than wait in line for a machine. You can follow the progress of the counting at Nobody knows how many of those uncounted ballots are from Anaheim, so the race is still anyone's guess. But one can still hope for a total upset, right?

In the meantime, we can all focus on making Anaheim a better place to live outside of the government by participating in community events:

Our own Downtown Farmer's Market now enjoys expanded hours and you can do your shopping for local produce, handcrafts, etc from noon to 8 pm, so those who work somewhere other than SBC or City Hall can enjoy too!

While you are down on Center Street Promenade, pop across the street to celebrate art in Anaheim. The Anaheim Arts Council is hosting their Art in Public Places Awards, 5:30 pm on November 6, (that would be tonight) in the Anaheim City Council Chambers.

Anaheim Cultural and Heritage Commision is hosting "Celebrando el Arte", with a reception at the Downtown Community Center, on Friday November 7 at 5:30 pm. The DTCC is on Center between Anaheim Blvd and Olive.

Also on Friday night is a Casino Night fundraiser for the Police Activites League, at the Hotel Menage (nice place) Call Georgina Meza at 714-493-4631.

Special thanks to Andrea Manes' column in the Anaheim Bulletin, you don't think I look this stuff up myself, do you?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

How Does It All Add Up?

The numbers are crunched, and the election has been called. Sidhu and Galloway retained their seats, my teenage daughter can have major surgery without my knowing why she is hemmoraging, but at least chickens can turn around in their cages. Sigh. While I spend the rest of the day tackling some therapeutic baking (chocolate fixes everything) you might want to see how the city voted. Here are the results by Precinct or Zip Code.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Looking to the Future

HUBRIS: noun, exaggerated pride or self-confidence

While elected officials have a tendency toward hubris, it seems first term Anaheim Councilmembers are especially prone to the condition. When newly surrounded by those who bow, scrape, fetch and carry, while told how amazingly wise and wonderful you are, it is hard not to buy into your own PR. While this is amazingly apparent during this election cycle, we have seen it in previous elections.

Back in 1998, Bob Zemel thought he was the coolest kid on the GOP block. Seeing himself cut from the cloth of B-1 Bob Dornan, he believed himself cool enough to take on the wildly popular Tom Daly. He got creamed. Why didn’t Bobby Z play it safe and run for his virtually assured seat on City Council? Hubris. Where is he now? Heck if I know.

1998 was the year of hubris, as Lou Lopez swam in the arrogance pool, believing himself well known enough to parlay his reputation as an Anaheim cop for a run at County Supervisor. Not a bad move, since Anaheim was entirely in the 4th District back then. But in doing so he abdicated the throne of Anaheim City Council, only to be beaten by Cynthia Coad. Where is Lou now? Possibly having coffee with Bob Zemel.

In 2006, Richard Chavez, the darling of the unions, ran a lazy campaign for re-election. Dear Richard had roughly $40k on hand for the last stretch of the election, money enough if he was running somewhere like Mission Viejo, but nothing near enough for a city the size of Anaheim. Richard could easily have amassed $200k over his term, but didn’t bother. Why? Hubris. Richard’s arrogance led him to believe that his name recognition would allow him to carry Bill Dalati, a man who publicly switched parties on the City Hall steps. Richard tried to prop up the very candidate who drew votes away from him. In the end, manly Richard got beat by a girl, as Lucille Kring proved that name recognition and shoe leather beats union affiliation, by 200 votes.

Following in the heels of now-convicted-felon Richard Chavez, Lorri Galloway should have been building her own war chest. But again, hubris convinced her that having her name in the paper and her photo on the city website was sufficient. Ultimately, she fell prey to the belief that everyone knows her, everyone loves her, and everyone admires that tired red suit.

At the end of the reporting period she had less than $10k on hand, and a whopping $50k in debt. A sure sign of hubris, convinced that her union buddies would walk precincts till their fireman shoes fell off, it has left her open to a challenge. Now she finds herself behind the 8-ball as Gail Eastman and Harry Sidhu threaten to change the face of City Council.

What does all this hubris over all these years have in common? When the chips are down, and these candidates realize that their names are not enough to pull off a win, they become beholden to the Independent Expenditures of others, usually those “friends” who have benefited from your last 4 years in office, or those who wish to become your friend in the next four years. Look to any last minute expenditure and play follow the money.

This election has taught me much, about human nature, and the nature of money, and yes, hubris. It has taught me that things at City Hall are rarely as they seem, and it has taught me that nobody is watching the everyday business of these people who accept mass mailings and TV commercials from their buddies. If we are lucky, we catch the deal and expose it in time for the election, but all too often, it flies under the radar, until come time for the next election, nobody puts two and two together to come up with a developer and a favor.

Thus the rant. While I have my hopes for Tuesday’s election, I have no assurance that the very embodiment of hubris will not be returned to a seat on Anaheim’s City Council. While I am fairly confident that at least one newcomer to the seat will not succumb to the disease that has afflicted so many of the brethren, I am interested in how alliances form and deals play out. Rather than wait for the next election and back track the dirty deals and political favors, from here on out this blog, in addtion to reporting neighborhood picnics and hootnannys, will be committed to keeping up with the comings and goings and who is scratching whose backs. What makes me think I am qualified to cover City Hall as some sort of answer to Anaheim’s need for a political watchdog? Hubris I guess.