The Mishegas and the Desmadre: Eye-popping news as Anaheim Simmers! (Bulletin 1)


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The Mishegas and the Desmadre:  Anaheim Bulletin issue 1

This issue:

  • The Pérez Family WINS, the war against illegal Anaheim foreclosures continues!  Celebration tonight!
  • Council Candidates John Leos and Duane Roberts call for MORE DEBATES!
  • Lorri Galloway’s statement against abuse of “exotic animals” i.e. Elephants.
  • Ricardo Toro describes “The Awakening of an Anaheim Resident” i.e. himself.

Pérez Family VICTORY!

The struggle of Anaheim’s Pérez family (along with their Occupy allies) to avoid eviction, fight their illegal foreclosure, and stay in their home while making reasonable payments as they always have, has succeeded, as our colleague Gabriel San Roman reports in the Weekly:

“Occupy LA, Occupy Whittier and Occupy Anaheim mobilized and occupied this home for almost two weeks,” Carlos Marroquin of Occupy LA said this morning during a press conference held on the lawn of the house. “We engaged with U.S. Bank representatives and Ocwen financial services. Yesterday we learned, after several days of contacting officials with both financial institutions, that they are no longer interested in evicting this family,” he added.

“They sent a loan modification package and have decided to work with the family to keep them in their home.”   Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, as servicers of the loan, promises that a letter regarding a stay on eviction will be forthcoming shortly…

And so tonight, Sunday at 7, we are CELEBRATING in front of the Pérez home, at the place we’ve been occupying and holding strategy meeting for all this time.  (1205 Ralston, corner of Romneya, just west of Harbor!)  I’ll be playing piano.  But the struggle of course is just beginning, and we’ll be strategizing  on how to stop some of the other 180 foreclosures in that neighborhood, many if not most of which also entail fraudulent bank activity.

This victory, for the Pérez family, should not have been so difficult.  It shouldn’t have been as hard for them to find help fighting as it was.  It shouldn’t have taken members of Occupy LA to 1) put in hundreds of unpaid hours researching, poring through documents, and contacting institutions, politicians, and the press, and 2) camping in the front yard to bring attention and cramp the sheriffs’ eviction style.  It shouldn’t have required such an impeccably lovable family with three service members to get the public’s sympathy when there are dozens of other families in the same unjust predicament who might be less photogenic.

We want to get the City of Anaheim involved in somehow doing what Occupy volunteers did – this really involves protecting Anaheim citizens and taxpayers from illegal activity – the illegal activity of banks and lending institutions – and it involves protecting the very fabric of the community.  Next year California’s new foreclosure overhaul law will be implemented, but until then the City should look into the possibility of a Foreclosure Moratorium.  If that’s not possible, there should at least be SOME City staff who can offer the help that untrained Occupy volunteers have provided this time around.

Here’s a little twist – on Friday City workers came by the house and told Eleuteria (the non-English-speaking mother) that she needed to remove all tents and signs from her front yard.  So down came the tents and signs, at the insistence of the very law-abiding matriarch.  Well, I say, tents fine – apparently we don’t need them any more, and there MIGHT be an ordinance against camping out front.  But signs down?  In the middle of election season?

What do you all think?  I think they should put a lot of the signs back up, this is a freedom of speech issue, who cares if a few of the neighbors don’t like it?  Many of them have their own political signs up, and the family themselves were intending to put up the campaign signs of the Council candidates who have taken an interest in their plight and helped them – Duane Roberts and John Leos.  But I think they should make some new ones:  At least one declaring victory, at least one letting local people know where to come to get help fighting their foreclosures, and one saying “La Lucha Continua!”

Picture by Gabriel.

Anaheim Council Race Needs More Debates, say 2 candidates!

Anaheim Transparency Candidate John Leos Wants Debate

ANAHEIM (September 22, 2012) — City Council candidate John Leos wants public debate in Anaheim so voters will be better informed about their choice in November. Leos has worked for a more open and transparent Anaheim City government over the last year by asking for the “Anaheim Transparency, Disclosure and Accountability Reform Act.”

“Many Anaheim residents feel disconnected from City voting decisions. The lack of debate and public discussion feeds into the perception that Anaheim residents work to benefit a few political insiders instead of the City Council working for the residents. Can you imagine a successful company where employees do their own thing and keep it hidden from the boss? In Anaheim, the City works for us. We’re the boss and we have the duty to evaluate their activities — especially when lobbyists are eyeing lucrative City contracts for clients,” says Leos. ”We shouldn’t have just one debate or forum, but many. Let Anaheim residents fully engage and get a real feel for the candidates.”

www.JohnLeos.com

And Candidate Duane Roberts Echoes Leos’ Call:

“There seems to be one primary reason why so few debates are taking place in Anaheim this year. The Walt Disney Company, Chamber of Commerce, and other big business interests that maintain a tight grip on City Hall are fully aware an overwhelming majority of residents in this town are mad as hell. They genuinely fear free and open debates will lead to the election of insurgent candidates who will better serve the needs of the people than the ones they have decided to back. From their perspective, it’s much preferable to have no debates because silence maintains and preserves the status quo.

“Whether people realize it or not, the candidates of Walt Disney Company, Chamber of Commerce, and other big business interests CAN be defeated at the ballot box. With social media, blogs, email, and cellphone text messaging, candidates who have no funds are now on a completely level playing field with the ones they finance. It’s only a matter of time before residents figure this out and begin voting according to what a candidate stands for, not on how much money they raised. Once this happens–and it will eventually–moneyed interests will no longer dominate the affairs at City Hall.”

Duane Roberts for Anaheim City Council.

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Councilwoman Lorri Galloway writes to us on her Proposed Exotic Animal Ban, which will dominate this Tuesday’s council meeting:

Protecting Animals in Anaheim

It’s easy to become disillusioned by political discourse, but every now and then there’s an issue that crosses all partisan boundaries; something that all decent human beings can agree on: stopping cruelty to animals. I strongly believe that there is no place for using wild animals for entertainment in Anaheim, and have proposed a ban of exotic animal acts.

This is NOT a ban on circuses. Exotic animal acts are only about 10% of the show. This ban will not prohibit domesticated animal acts such as horses, ponies, dogs, etc. There are many successful circuses that entertain children and families without exotic animals.

Forcing wild animals to perform unnatural tricks requires barbaric training methods. Elephants are beaten with a menacing device called a bull hook. Bull hooks are heavy batons with a sharp steel hook on the end. Elephants, whose sensitive skin can feel the sting of an insect bite, must learn to obey or get hurt. Electric prods are used to force obedience. Circus workers have been caught on tape time and again hitting elephants for doing nothing more than reaching out to a friend chained next to them, or for taking a half-step too slowly.

Exotic cats are whipped and spend the vast majority of their lives in transport barely bigger than their bodies. Elephants, in travelling circuses, spend most of their lives chained in boxcars. This is not any kind of life for animals who are meant to roam freely.

The laws that exist to regulate animals have failed them. California law mandates that animals be fit to perform. Anaheim’s Municipal Code prohibits the exhibition of sick or injured animals; requires veterinary care to keep an animal healthy and that every precaution be taken to make sure that animals do not suffer.

Who can forget the sad image of Sarah, the elephant who collapsed while Ringling was in Anaheim last year? Veterinary experts recommended that Sarah be removed from the road, yet she was allowed perform. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which regulates circuses on the federal level, had just cited Ringling for failing to provide adequate veterinary care to an ailing Sarah.

Ringling recently paid a record fine of $270,000 – the largest penalty ever imposed on a circus – to settle numerous violations of the minimal federal standards of animal care. Citations have included failure to provide veterinary care and failure to provide sufficient space and adequate exercise for animals. More than two dozen elephants have died while in Ringling’s care, including four babies.

Elephants have a life cycle that is very similar to humans. They live approximately 70 years. Baby elephants are very dependent on their mothers up to age 10 and begin their adulthood at around 20 years old.

Ringling Bros. defends their 140-year old business as a part of American history and that they bring millions of dollars to cities they perform in, as well as provide hundreds of jobs. They warn against listening to the “fanatical” stories of animal rights defenders. However, most of the stories and pictures of animal abuse have come directly from regretful employees who have worked or trained animals in these circuses.

More than a dozen California humane agencies have called for a boycott of circuses that use wild animals. People everywhere are outraged to see photos of baby elephants tied down and beaten to break their spirits and force them to learn unnatural tricks like standing on their heads or dancing with all four feet on a drum. These infants, who should still be nursing, have been torn, screaming and crying, from their frantic mothers.

Throughout history, civilizations have made changes that did not come easily; however, these changes have made a better world. There will come a time when it will never be acceptable to captivate and forcibly train wild animals for sole purposes of human enjoyment and profit. Let it come sooner than later.

Lorri Galloway
Anaheim Councilmember

And frequent Orange Juice Commenter Ricardo Toro describes his recent:

“Awakening of an Anaheim Resident”

(Ricardo at top left)

As a fairly content resident of Anaheim, until the July 24 riots took place, I did not closely follow the city politics. When I voted for council candidates, my choices were very limited. Most of the propaganda I received was for candidates connected to the GOP, including the ones supported by unions. I ended up voting based on gender (women), ethnicity (Latino), and union support, except the very few times when a candidate ran as a Democrat.  My other civic participation was to attend the neighborhood council, in which the issue of funding improvement projects was limited to the availability of the federal CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funds.

Attending the council meeting that took place at the High School was an eye opener. I got an education on the city’s social, political and economic forces. The resort industry funds candidates that, once elected, approve most of their projects. The city revenues are generously allocated to the most affluent section of the city, who vote more than the less affluent. It is not a coincidence that the majority of the council member lives in Anaheim Hills.

I learned that the conservatives are not a monolithic block. Mayor Tait came across as open-minded and compassionate. The other conservatives as callous and mean spirited, uncritically supporting the resort industry. I learned that a former mayor has turned into a lobbyist, and practically controls the city through the “resort” council members.

I observed the overwhelming frustration of those of us who do not feel represented by the three corporatist linked council members. It was not only anger at the police related events, but mostly at being excluded from the political and economic power. This is reflected in the living conditions of many sections of the flatland, especially in the barrios. Requests for neighborhood improvements take a long time to be considered and approved. The Miraloma community center and park took years to get funding, which was mostly CDBG. A middle class neighborhood like Rio Vista, has requested help for years to do something about the rundown and blighted local shopping center.

I have been waiting for the candidates running for the two council spots to tell us their agenda, on specifics such as:

1) District elections. If they favor them, when, and how many districts?

2) Resort Area. How would they balance the business and city interests? How would the less affluent section of the city better benefit from the resort’s revenues, other than graffiti abatement? How would they limit/curtail the influence of the resort’s business interests in the city council?

3) Neighborhoods sustainable development : a) In the absence of federal CDBG funds, how improvement projects can be funded, in areas other than the Hills? b) How could the home foreclosures or high unemployment be mitigated by the city ; c) what programs they have in mind for the at risk -youth, and curbing the influence of gangs, other than using excessive police force?

4) Education. Do they support the $1 Disneyland “gate tax” proposal for school purposes?  (It can start in 2014.)

5) Environment. a)Is the ARTIC Transportation Project a pork barrel for consultants and lobbyists, or an environmentally viable component of mass transportation? b) Is the Outdoor corridor mostly recreational or also a feasible practical outlet for the densely populated areas? Is the power company supplying electricity to the city meeting environmental standards?

I hope that the registration drives in the flatland will make a difference this time. I also hope that no Resort corporate linked candidate is elected.  Si se puede!

- Ricardo Toro.

 

 


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County. Performs regularly with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem, and at regular concerts at the Huntington Beach Central Library.