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Comments by ThePetard

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Posted on April 13 at 8:09 a.m.

Perhaps AZ2SB overlooked the fact that Judge Ochoa is Latino, as is Armijo. How would living in Montecito and being "white" have helped this corrupt political hack? It's amazing how quick some people are to pop their head up above the weeds "whacka-mole" style and scream racism -- their lack of cultural intelligence obviously exceeds their ability to recognize and comprehend Latino names!

My experience with Judge Ochoa is that he is a straight-forward, no nonsense, call-it-the-way-it-is, fair-minded judge.

The real truth here is Armijo took undue advantage of his position with former Supv. Centeno, and exposed himself as nothing more than another corrupt political official. Too bad he can't find a job around here -- but, let's no forget that he did it to himself!

On Former Government Aide Asks for Leniency

Posted on November 8 at 6:45 a.m.

For 'contactjohn', you're making a quantum leap into judging someone as guilty before they've even been tried on the charges! Have you forgotten one of your first high school civics lessons that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty? Why do you jump to such premature conclusions? We don't know the evidence -- or lack of it -- at all yet.

On Accused Mesa Murderer on Trial

Posted on April 20 at 7:33 a.m.

There people go again - jumping to their own conclusions in the absence of evidence to support their suppositions. The Judge ruled that the Hot Work Permit statutes did not apply to weedcutters! There is a reason for that - weedcutters don't start fires! There is no evidence whatsoever that the defendants started the fire or had anything whatsoever to do with it. It was reported that they were off the mountain almost two hours before any fire or smoke was discovered, and the judge agreed with the defense that weedcutters don't start fires and are not within the definition of hot tools.

This was a Hail-Mary-type grandstand play by then Acting DA Josh Lynn to grab headlines for his campaign for DA. It royally backfired on him. Say g'bye, Josh!

It's also too bad the fire investigators didn't conduct a thorough investigation, as it appears that once the two defendants self-reported that they were cutting weeds in the area, the whole investigation focused on them to the exclusion of any other possibilities. Amateurish sleuthing, me thinks!

Now, why don't the investigators and the prosecutors go back and do it right so that whomever really was responsible for the fire is brought to justice.

Once again, Josh Lynn hoisted himself on His Own Petard! Is that the kind of DA we want to elect in June?

On Jesusita Fire Defendants Win Major Victory in Court Ruling

Posted on February 27 at 6:44 p.m.

I'm amazed that John Locke doesn't know the difference between the city and the county! This article is about the City Fire Department and the City Council, not the county. Yes, similar cuts are taking place on the county side, but Sir John got it wrong this time. And, he's usually so right.....so what happened, huh?

On Fire Station on Cutting Block

Posted on February 10 at 10:23 a.m.

Well, Well, Well! Finally, it appears that Queen Wendy is getting her come-uppance via the $900K arbuitration award to Jerry Roberts. Though she is in the habit of appealing nearly every court decision or court order in the past in this "controlled news" matter, her appeal to this fine city is rapidly wearing out.

What is it about the following statements she doesn't understand? "We don't believe you any longer and your credibility in this town is toast." "We don't want you deciding what news we get to read and how it is slanted." "We don't like what you did in trying to go after local retailers who pulled their ads from the N-P." " We don't like the fact that you are clogging up our court system at taxpayer's expense with all of your frivolous and vindictive viciousness." "We're tired of story after story in the N-P about birds, fish, horses, cows, turtles, penguins, Siberian tigers, yellow-throated warblers, and toads."

Oh yes, while speaking of toads, "Though we are quite a liberal and empathetic community, we don't like the fact that your libidinous male concubine has not figured out that most of the citizenry has got his number as a has-been food-gulping and wine- guzzling opinionater posing as a (self-proclaimed) connaisseur and radio talk show-off (only on your radio station), who has attached his frozen-smile corpulent self to your bulging purse."

Wendy needs to start reading the hand-writing on the wall.......her onerous ownership of the N-P has been a sordid chapter in our beloved city, and her carpet-bagging litigation war against one of journalism's finest and most-respected managing editors, is despicable.

She needs to pack her bags, sell the newspaper, and sail off into the sunset on her 150 foot yacht. Maybe she can try living in Monaco.... I read recently that there is another Santa Barbarian who likes filing frivolous lawsuits against the people and ruler of that principality who can tell her all about how the court system works there.

She has hoisted herself on her own Petard! Shame, Shame, Shame!

On Roberts Beats McCaw, $900,000 - $0

Posted on December 14 at 2:19 p.m.

A common mistake made by law enforcement and prosecutors is to develop a theory at the beginning of a case and thereafter do everything else to support that theory -- to the exclusion of all other possibilities. In this tragic case, the two citizens working to improve the trail self-reported themselves as having been cutting weeds in the area two hours before the fire started. Aha...a "theory" pops up and thereafter evolves.

There is no way a weed whacker caused a spark that then took two-plus hours to erupt into a fire.That is why the law only requires someone working with so-called "hot tools" to stick around afterward for 30 minutes for fire safety reasons -- but this was not a hot tool.

The Petard

On DA Explains Jesusita Fire Charges

Posted on December 14 at 9:50 a.m.

Let's not forget, that "acting DA" Joshua Lynn is running for the permanent DA job! Such candidates seek all the publicity they can get......and if it isn't there, they try to create it! Lynn has a reputation of being blustery, abrasive, crude, insensitive, and combative with the defense bar in this county, and is also not well liked by many of his own DA office colleagues because of those traits.

The Acting DA waited months to bring these charges even though he knew from Day One of the fire what had happened. These two men -- honest family men and service-minded citizens -- self-reported that they had been in the area and the tools they had been using. If they had committed a crime, why did it take so many months to charge them? One guess is that no one could find a crime they had committed, or authorities could not establish that their trail work had caused the fire -- and still cannot. It appears the Acting DA politically decided that a permit was needed and that a weed whacker was a "hot tool". Balderdash. Both were faulty political decisions and a travesty that could ruin two men's lives and those of their families.

Here we have two young men doing a volunteer service to the people by clearing brush from a much-hiked trail. Yes, they were using gas-powered weed whackers -- but then so does everyone else, even the city, county, and state trail crews. Other volunteers who have done this work for years cannot recall anyone ever having to get a "hot tool" permit for such work. And when you examine the law, this is no surprise. Hot tools are torches, acetylene cutting tools, etc. -- not weed whackers for which no permit is required.

I think the evidence and the timing of this announcement strongly suggest that Lynn merely waited until he could get some political advantage from filing such charges.

The Petard

On DA Explains Jesusita Fire Charges

Posted on September 13 at 12:26 p.m.

Josh Lynn for DA? You gotta be kiddin'!! Sure, he may be a real hotshot in the courtroom, but does he have the political skills, tactfulness, and diplomacy to serve in such a high-level and sensitive position? As "Justice" pointed out above, one of the candidates has "a bad attitude and poor demeanor - often a snide, smart-aleck in court", and frequently, those behaviours are prevalent outside the courtroom as well. Guess who he's referring to.

As most of us who have been around a while know, skill at doing the job is not necessarily the best qualification for becoming the boss. In fact, it may be a detriment, as many bosses think they can do the job better than their subordinates and cannot resist the tendency to egotistically micro-manage. And, those with a hot temper, who also micromanage, and who were shortchanged in the tact and diplomacy departments, create the kind of toxic workplaces that cause companies and government agencies to unravel into dysfunctionality.

From what I have heard about Lynn, he has bordered upon becoming physical, or threatened to become so, with defense attorneys and such antics are a regular part of his schtick. I also understand that he's known for having a quick and hot temper, for belittling those who disagree with him, and that he can be very vindictive. Sooner or later, officials like him get their come-uppance. Let's just hope he doesn't get his at the taxpayer's (or voter's) multi-million dollar expense as former DA Tom Sneddon did. Don't forget that there's a reason Sneddon has endorsed Lynn -- remember the old adage about "birds of a feather".

On DA Stanley Drops From Race, Endorses New Contender

Posted on August 21 at 10:28 a.m.

Has anyone checked for a possible covert relationship between Mr. Ford and CIT? In other parts of the country, and I seem to recall it happening also down in Orange County, financial managers who do things like this usually have a reason for doing so -- and it's not to make money for the district.

When the bonds being purchased do not conform to exisiting investment policies, and the purchasing officer keeps going back to the same company in spite of the policy violations, it gets even more suspicious.

And, if you add to that formula the fact that the CFO/Acting GM tries to convince the city to hold onto the bonds to avoid a $400K loss when a potential $1.5 Million loss is looming, it cries out for scrutiny. I'll put my money on there being something wrong!

Why aren't the water district directors calling for an audit of Ford's investments on behalf of the district, examining his own lifestyle, checking for favors provided to him by CIT or its agents, and investigating why he started doing this and kept it up for so many years. How about comparing these CIT purchases with other investments made by him. Are there any patterns (or anomolies) there? Well, maybe the answer to that is that the Board of Directors may not have been doing their jobs in overseeing and approving his actions in advance, or keeping an eye on the family jewels . So much for fiduciary responsibilities!

Yep, folks, ya got trouble right here in River City!

On Hold 'Em or Fold 'Em?

Posted on August 21 at 9:39 a.m.

Craig Smith's blog in Edhat this morning raised questions about the propriety of fast food joints placing "tip jars" at their counters when the employees have really not performed any personalized service to a customer other than bagging their food and taking their money. Craig decried the idea as incredulously expanding the whole concept of tipping into the ridiculous realm.

It occured to me in reading Nick's column above that City Council is planning somewhat the same approach to the panhandling problem and their new aggressive panhandling ordinance, as Craig described in his "tip jar" treatise this morning. Our city leaders want to link this ordinance to a new program of placing fixed donation receptacles (i.e. "tip jars") around the city where panhandlers hang out awaiting their next opportunity to play pecuniary predator. The city would then have the citizenry deposit money in these "tip jars" to allegedly help fund various social services catering to the homeless in lieu of a direct donation to the panhandler.

This is one of the most ridiculous ideas I've heard in a long time! Especially so when one considers that the social services currently available to the homeless are basically impotent with a few exceptions, such as those delivered by Ken Williams at the County level. Also, are we to think that these curbside "tip jars" are not going to be looted, vandalized, dismantled, and otherwise rendered bankrupt? My guess is that the city will have to start repairing them or replacing stolen ones within days after installation. Or, might we perhaps see the city diverting these pennies, nickels, and dimes to other programs to compensate for the tough budget times just as they have down at the harbor.

And, this new ordinance is even more ludicrous! Aggressive panhandlers will be fined up to $1,000 and/or get 6 months in jail if arrested and convicted. Talk about clogging up the courts and the jail. But then there must be more cops on the street to enforce the new ordinance. Where will they come from? Besides, what panhandler can afford that kind of fine? So, they will get put into a jail that is already the defendant in a decades old lawsuit for gross overcrowding -- but they will get a warm place to sleep at night and three meals a day at county expense rather than city. Hmmmm, now that's creative budgeting by the city!

With something as absurd as the city's plan is, it's no wonder that the downtown business owners are very reluctant to participate. Their collective wisdom far exceeds that of our elected leaders. I rate this new program right up there with the "Blue Liners", the "Bulbouters" and the "Roundabouters".
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I don't have the answer to the panhandling problem, nor to the homeless problem -- but it is obvious that the city doesn't either!

Once again, our illustrious leaders have hoisted themselves on their own Petard!

On Homeless Deaths Hit 20

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