1. The Silence on Measure E is OVER
NOTE: I was forwarded a copy of a website I don’t willingly read, given their total lack of influence over any opinion of merit, but given the subject matter they called me out for, I will respond.
It seems the other Anaheim Insider objects to an email I sent out, in which I pretty much mocked Kris Murray for an elitist and empty offer made in a Measure E mailing to exempt some Anaheim residents from the impacts of voting for an insane Charter Change that residents did not ask for, so that her special friends can make money.
That email was so well received that I was asked to turn it into an Op Ed for a number of outlets, and the result of one of those pieces is seen here below.
Prior to reacting to the extreme hypocrisy of Murray’s empty offer, I had not spoken up on Measure E. Unlike those who prefer dictating to the rest of the City based on what works for THEM, I prefer letting the voters speak. However, should the Measure pass, Murray will be challenged to provide proof that any one segment of our community is more deserving of “protection” than another.
One could argue that the hills are more flammable than my redwood home that has been drying out in the California sunshine for 105 years. I would challenge that while it may take slightly longer to ignite, my home and those of my neighbors are irreplaceable, while the hills have been burning off and generating re-growth since life was breathed into Adam.
Is Anaheim Insider to make that judgment call? Can Murray offer protection for areas of the City she deems “make sense” when the City has clearly failed beyond description to stop even the most blatant illegal use of fireworks in recent years?
But there was an especially disgusting reference made by Anaheim Insider, chiding me for wanting to protect the well being of much beloved Pembroke Welsh Corgis who have no choice over their endurance of the war zone that descends upon my Central Anaheim neighborhood for literally WEEKS surrounding the July 4th holiday.
This has gone far beyond something I can simply remove them from for a weekend. Their misery is symbolic of the City of Anaheim’s utter and complete impotence to enforce the laws currently on the books regarding illegal use of pyrotechnics, and since the explosions and smoke hang over the offending households to signal, “Hey law enforcement! The Douchebags are HERE!” It is not like they are difficult to spot.
If there is any justice in the afterlife, Anaheim Insider’s lack of compassion for animals who are unable to choose their environment should buy him a special spot in Hell, appropriate given its Germanic root word Halla or “one who covers up or hides something.” What a special brand of miscreant Anaheim Insider must be, to consider the torment for WEEKS of innocent animals could somehow equate to an acceptable form of profitable entertainment. One of the lower life forms on the internet just dropped even further below the bar of humanity. Congratulations.
For the record, other communities who reintroduced “safe and sane” products found it did NOT provide an outlet for the enjoyment of legal fireworks that reduced illegal use. Instead it offered COVER for the greater use of illegal product beside the legal ones!
To date the “safe and sane” people have not shown us any proof that their use reduces unsafe use of illegal products, so all we have to lob at each other are word bombs and opinions, and of course Anaheim Insider believes his bought and paid for opinions trump those of real Anaheim residents with a viewpoint to share.
Thanks to the constant and abusive use of pyrotechnics in my area I have grown to hate what had once offered a pleasant childhood memory, understanding both their toxicity to humans, their documented affects on the well being of innocent household pets unable to escape the torment, as well as their danger to homes and wildlife and open space. So I resent the Hell out of TNT muscling their way into Anaheim and demanding ballot space for an issue entirely lacking any organic demand from local residents.
While it may have happened, I have not ever witnessed a single resident approaching Council at Public Comments to ask if we could please bring back fireworks. I find it especially offensive that something that so completely disrupts the peaceful enjoyment of my home can be forced on me by an out of town corporate interest throwing around money to buy their way back into a profitable market, while the SAME people resist with all their might putting on a ballot a measure requested by real Anaheim residents being affected far beyond the “right” to release carcinogens, fire hazards, and noise pollution into my environment against my will.
Yet I said nothing, because I believe in allowing voters to make those choices, rather than force my opinions on them. Anaheim Insider might try that sometime. But then I guess he doesn’t have as much of a problem being disturbed from, where is it…Laguna Beach?
2. Measure E and U
As we approach Independence Day, we are reminded of Kings and Queens and the elitist nobility our forefathers (and foremothers) fought against, in order to create a nation in which all men (and women) are created equal. The problem is that once those men and women begin donating to campaigns they do not remain equal! Welcome to Anaheim, CA during an election year!
In that egalitarian spirit of “all for one” the Measure E campaign produced a targeted mailing, aimed at our neighbors in nearby Anaheim Hills. It depicted trusted Community Leaders like Council member Kris Murray, political polyp Steven Albert Chavez Lodge, and the always-present (as long as there is money to be grafted) Todd Ament, in his dual role as both the head of the Chamber of Commerce, and Chair of the Charter Review Committee.
Of course if Ament is also acting as a paid lobbyist for the measure, he might have some explaining to do. The Charter Review Committee was exempted from Form 700 disclosure, but no commission or board, even an Ad Hoc one, is exempt from Conflict of Interest policies, and even laundering funds through Hiltchak won’t save Ament’s bacon.
So far the Committee shows a ton of funding by TNT fireworks, but are apparently saving their disclosure of payments for later. I am a patient woman, I can wait.
But back to the mailing;
Our civic leaders are seen on the glossy mail piece, assuring soccer moms in 92807 and 92808 that it is perfectly safe for them to vote for Measure E, as “Anaheim Hills” would be exempted from impacts of fireworks, their noise, dangers, and the nervous breakdown of beloved household pets!
We have helpfully provided you with that mailing here.
In this mailing, Murray said, “I believe the City Council will unanimously support keeping all fireworks illegal in Anaheim Hills even after Measure E passes, to ensure sensitive hillside neighborhoods remain safe.”
Murray now has two uphill (so to speak) battles, the first being to convince a Superior Court Judge to allow an affirmative vote in violation of the Brown Act, since she is not supposed to gather consensus in advance of a Public Meeting. No, letting Todd Ament or Jeff Flint do it isn’t legal either.
The other is how she will keep those sparklers and Picollo Petes from finding their way up Santa Ana Canyon Road and into the hands of her next door neighbors, or the spinning “flowers” from being hockey-sticked onto nearby roofs by the same youth who offer the lively kick of M-80s going off at 1 am in my own Central Anaheim ‘hood.
The Measure E mailer joins Murray’s impossible-to-enforce exemption offer with a pledge by the master of credibility, Steven Albert Chavez Lodge! Here Lodge tells voters;
“Every 4th of July, we struggle in Anaheim Hills to raise funds for our parade and professional fireworks display.”
Note that Lodge’s status as an authentic Anaheim power player is based on his being in town for a whopping three whole Independence Days now. Nothing says institutional memory quite like the guy who just got here. But I am interrupting. Please, Steve, continue;
“In recent years we’ve come close to having to cancel traditional Anaheim Hills Independence Day community events due to funding shortfalls. That’s why the Anaheim Hills Community Council supports Measure E. Measure E will legalize safe and sane fireworks in areas of Anaheim where they make sense” (ie not where any of the people on the mailer live or anywhere near those receiving the mailer live) “while keeping all fireworks except professional displays illegal in Anaheim Hills. That makes sense.”
Steven Chavez Lodge Vice President, Anaheim Hills Community Council
Given Lodge’s open account for Council in 2016, did he consider the downside of telling voters he is an abject failure as a fundraiser, unable to rally support for something as popular as the Hills fireworks and parade spectacular? Worse, that he will backfill his poor administrative skills on the misery of flatlands voters who will be cursing his name while coughing up black smoke? Go Team Lodge!
I admit that at first I wondered if these had been photoshopped for a joke! The “highly trained professional” behind the Measure E campaign produced an epic fail on a number of levels, not the least being an overabundance of eye makeup. When one puts out a mailer that says, “Vote for this because you don’t have to live with the results,” it means Jeff Flint has found Anaheim to be a tougher sell than the Charter Review Committee that was pre-programmed with Todd Ament as Chair.
The other fail is Kris Murray failing to check with her otherwise careful campaign people before allowing herself to be portrayed as an elitist with a hey-nonny, by offering the lure of the crack cocaine of non-profit funding for the same areas she is (falsely) exempting from impacts. Good luck getting a single vote for Murray west of the riverbed from any voter that sees this mailer, and trust me, the images are already going viral. You’re welcome, Kris. Come to think of it, those east of the riverbed may drop support for her, since either she is dumb as a rock or she believes them to be.
As the very vocal leader of the contingent who insists all areas of the City receive equal representation, Murray’s sending out a mailer insisting some areas are simply “more equal” than others aids neither Measure E’s campaign, or their anti-District campaign. Murray campaign for re-election takes the hit too.
It also backfires upticket for the same reason the Masters of the Universe had hoped it would succeed. We know that voters tend to take a positive or negative view of other Measures around one they are most passionate about, thus professionals will create ”Vote Yes on the Proposition For A Cost-Free Orphanage and Butterfly Sanctuary” hoping to also pull along a useless bond that might not ordinarily pass. If Measure E is tanking so badly they have to proactively offer to exempt the City’s most high propensity voting block from its impacts, kiss goodbye the other Charter Amendments around it.
Measure D enjoys a very active NO campaign, and has been panned as a personal attack against a wildly popular Mayor citizens have seen being publicly attacked. And given Jordan Brandman’s September work at “administrative clean up” which was a clear attempt to silence the Mayor for asking too many questions, I hope voters see his name and question Measure C, despite its opposition catching on too late to file an argument against.
I can only hope the damage also takes out Measure C, and there will be a rebuttal posted on that soon as well. I could be mistaken, it won’t be the first time, nor the last, but I do believe that voters have caught on to the Curt Scouts and their messaging, and I don’t think Anaheim trusts anything coming from that camp anymore.
Like the Cleveland mothers who coined the term “safe and Sane in 1908 while marching against the fireworks that had injured or killed area children, Anaheim banned commercial fireworks a long time ago, when the idiots playing with matches began outnumbering the responsible citizens trying to celebrate safely. Anaheim becomes such a horrific war zone for a month every summer that I would warrant locals might well tax ourselves additionally to get MORE patrols to enforce the current laws on the books forbidding illegal pyrotechnics.
Communities that tried bringing back fireworks are regretting it. Some bowed to the pressure of an industry that found themselves and their profits banished with the same social stigma as cigarettes, and fought back with lobbyists in big campaign years. Others foolishly tried to provide an outlet to curb the illegal fireworks being snuck over from Mexico, or more recently Nevada. OK let’s be honest, the second group just didn’t want to admit to being part of the first group.
I would be interested in whether either of those groups ever tried to exempt some of their residents from the effects of voting.
The good news is by putting that elitist nonsense in writing, the other thing Anaheim won’t be living with the impacts of much longer is Murray herself.
3. A Moment of Inspiration
Here is an idea.
I sincerely hope that Measure E does not pass, but if the voters speak, then let’s honor that intent, safely, not with empty offers to exempt anyone as special, but by ensuring all areas of the City have equal access to the “fun” offered by the lobbyist using the Chamber of Commerce office as a staging platform.
Let’s find some open spaces where fireworks can be enjoyed safely. Perhaps the Fire Chief can offer a map of locations far from any structures that might be damaged. We might use a high school parking lot, the upper floor of the Gardenwalk, or the entirety of the Platinum Triangle. You know, places with no people.
Charities could make deals for the pre-selected open space, “leasing” from the property owners, or schools could use the space to backfill ASB accounts. They can charge a fee per person to get in, say $5 for a safe place away from homes to enjoy those sparklers.
Meanwhile those who are making money hand over fist on the booths selling those heavy metal cancer agents, can split the money with our fire department and Police Department, to enforce the ever loving crud out of laws forbidding the illegal bottle rockets and M-80s that plague our neighborhoods, sending our pets to shiver terrified under any furniture they can squeeze under, beginning in mid-June and running through the end of July.
I am not sure when the holiday was converted to ”Happy Independence Month,” but my Pembroke Welsh Corgis are clearly not happy that the King lost that particular war.
And then let’s call our leaders on their elitist attitudes that find it perfectly acceptable to dump their unwanted activities in OUR neighborhoods, while profiting from the impacts of what they have exempted themselves from!
4. More about Fireworks
By the way, for more information regarding just HOW those pretty fireworks colors come to life, a number of scientific studies have been done on the heavy metals that are lit on fire to produce the “oohhh,” and “aaah” raining down upon the backyard vegetable gardens, swing sets, and dogs dishes of Anaheim. We have helpfully shared links to those studies here, for your education.
Note that while Disney has reduced the use of black powder for launching the big effects, there is still no known source of those pretty colors other than to ignite heavy metals known to be toxic to humans, and let them float down upon participants. And while following up on the rants of one verbally abusive gadfly in an effort to silence him, I did confirm that NOBODY at City of Anaheim or County of Orange regulates, or requires environmental documents for, the professional pyrotechnics displays that Jordan Brandman once described to me as “the sound of cash registers ringing in Anaheim.” Indeed the same SCAQMD that is so concerned about fire pits on the beach, specifically exempted pyrotechnics from review!
All references to licensing or permits are related to the safe storage or transport of the materials to prevent explosions on the ground prior to the intended explosions in the air. I would encourage our readers to check the materials lists here, they are fairly universal for fireworks, including those made in the US instead of China! Think twice about that before handing your kid a stick of dynamite and cancerous metals. Is there another way we might celebrate our Independence?
Disney Pioneers Innovative Fireworks Technology
Not usually known for championing environmental causes, the Walt Disney Company has pioneered new technology using environmentally benign compressed air instead of gunpowder to launch fireworks. Disney puts on hundreds of dazzling fireworks displays every year at its various resort properties in the U.S. and Europe, but hopes its new technology will have beneficial impact on the pyrotechnics industry worldwide. The company has made the details of new patents it has filed for the technology available to the pyrotechnics industry at large with the hope that other companies will also green up their offerings.
Fireworks Can Be Toxic to Humans
Depending on the effect sought, fireworks produce smoke and dust that contain various heavy metals, sulfur-coal compounds and other noxious chemicals. Barium, for instance, is used to produce brilliant green colors in fireworks displays, despite being poisonous and radioactive. Copper compounds are used to produce blue colors, even though they contain dioxin, which has been linked to cancer. Cadmium, lithium, antimony, rubidium, strontium, lead and potassium nitrate are also commonly used to produce different effects, even though they can cause a host of respiratory and other health problems.
CA laws regarding CONSUMER FIREWORKS
Firecrackers, skyrockets, rockets, roman candles, chasers, all wire & wooden stick sparklers, surprise items, friction items, torpedoes, items resembling food, fireworks containing arsenic, phosphorus, thiocyanates magnesium
(magnesium alloys permitted), mercury salts, picrates or picric acid, gallates or gallic acid, chlorates, (except those of alkali or earth metals), boron, titanium (except larger than 100 mesh), zirconium, gunpowder, and fireworks kits.
Fireworks must be classified and registered by the State Fire Marshal. State seal of registration must be applied to all classified fireworks. Labeling, record keeping, transportation, manufacturing and storage safety requirements specified in law.
Employees may be registered with the State Fire Marshal.
LAW NUMBER: State Health and Safety Code, Part 2, Chapter 1, Section 12500 et seq.
California Admin Code, Title 19, subchapter 6*