Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


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Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Mid-week here, there and everywhere

Being a blogger in the Inland Empire for several years, I occasionally get asked how to start a blog from individuals like this reader from the Orangecrest/Mission Grove area did here. For some reason, this guy thinks that if it's not profitable, then starting a blog must be about ego when of course there are plenty of other reasons to blog about Riverside, the Inland Empire not to mention other topics. His attitude doesn't appear to be much different from that of a politician so maybe that's where his talents lie. But there's many reasons to blog, as many reasons as there are blogs, and blogs number in the hundreds of millions on the internet.

It's fascinating for one thing to engage in a technology that didn't exist a decade ago. In fact, a decade or so ago it was not even easy to write a comment like this on the internet. Things including communication have changed a lot in just several decades. In some ways, good and in other ways, not so good especially if you look at the news gathering industry which has incorporated blogging into it even when discussing its own problems.


When I grow up I wanna be just like, let me think . . . . . not Bush....... not Clinton....... I know! I'll just be a blogger - like that person who blogs on Five Before Midnight. Do you think it pays well? Doubt it. Then again, if it doesn't pay and doesn't have "benefits" why in the hell would one do such a thing?

I suppose it's kinda sorta a thing about ego. I mean, if you are talking about something and then you later "hear in the streets" that you are so admired, it must be quite a high don't you think?

Imagine this, I could even blog about things that are, well, of interest but no real drama and twist it around and portray it as something it's not! Imagine the joy in that! Not only do I keep the readers begging for more, I stroke my ego at the same time! Yeah, a blog is where it's at!

That's it. I'm going to start a blog! Now I have to think of a topic. . . . it's got to be negative of course, cuz that apparently is what the people on the streets love.

I think I'll blog about restaurants who don't recycle their used vegetable oil for use in vehicles that burn the same as fuel! Jimminy Crickets! I bet the people on the streets have a comment or two about that one!

It's always interesting to watch people think out loud especially when how they write about how they're thinking is how they write the way they talk. Of course, then there are those who you don't know about until way after that fact like the not-so-nice gentleman who stated several times, "I'll pray for you" over and over then said I needed to shower because he could smell my funk coming or something like that. An individual I had never actually met in person and my reaction was like, huh?! And if I did, would he behave like he did online? Would there be a difference between the two or are they one?

Does the good he purportedly does and very well may do justify his behavior to defend that worth? Is that the trade or payment for services rendered? Maybe so, to many people it would work out that way but maybe that's the origin of many of the questions people raise. Is allowing misconduct or looking the other way a price to pay for ensuring public safety? Is it allowable to do so to justify public safety? How far back in the history are these questions answered and what are those answers, both today and in historic context? And how does this play into reassurances that agencies can police themselves, thus there's no real need for civilian oversight.

It's entirely possible that some individuals clearly thought so on all these things and gave him a pass. All you can do is just shrug and chalk it up to it being a stacked deck, a brotherhood, and just keep on blogging, albeit with one eye always looking behind you.

Blogs attract all kinds, positive and negative and there's not much you can do about the latter. That's especially true for women bloggers, that's true about just about any topic which can be blogged about as one female blogger discovered when she was harassed on her own knitting blog.

This individual came up with some really good ideas for blogging, restaurants and alternative fuel research. There's much potential there.

A restaurant blog is a brilliant idea and would probably prove to be quite popular especially in light of legislation in California to ban trans-fats from restaurant menus. Also that's an awesome idea to blog about the failure to fully explore and utilize alternative fuels so that when petroleum runs out in about 2060, all society's machinery won't suddenly come to a grinding halt. Both topics would provide rewards for him.

So why do I blog? In part because of both the positive and negative feedback that I've received and learning a lot about different issues. However, if you're looking for an ego kick, then blogging may not be the path for you. Not unless you like being called a bitch, cunt, skank, whore and other nice terms for example. You have to get used to that and it's very difficult to do so. You can't ever feel safe in your own city and you have to realize that there's no one that can change that.

If this unidentified individual takes on alternative fuels and the restaurant industry let alone both of them, he should be prepare for both forms of responses and if it's ego that's driving him to blog, he'll probably quit after a couple of months and take up another hobby. The first time, you're called a whore, a bitch, a cunt, a skank or have your clothing that you wear described in detail and where you wore it, is a bit of a shock. The other times, it sinks in that there's people out there who may even hate you and your blog maybe enough to really scare you or even harm you. Or pray that harm comes to you.

And as far as "people on the streets", there's another term for them and it's "registered voter". Something for people who look down on those individuals including this person to keep in mind. Some elected officials in Riverside also made that mistake of looking down on the voters and those voters turned around and collectively handed them their pink slips.

As stated, a lot of things happen when you blog, like happened in a blog started by Sharon Gilbert who works for San Bernardino County.

What's interesting is that even though she criticized the county's CEO, Mark Uffer, she began getting really positive comments on Uffer in recent weeks. But guess what? All three visitors shared an IP address in Highland, California where Uffer lives. Is it Uffer? Hard to say given how big Highland is and that this city also includes one of the individuals who cyberharassed me a couple years ago and made derogatory comments about my mother's uterus. Highland must be a happening place.

A book burning of sorts came to one of Riverside's very own libraries.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Flames were licking the top of the Cesar Chavez autobiography "La Causa," Cramer said Wednesday as she motioned to a triangle of burned carpet on the floor near shelves of books in the neatly appointed library.

"It was not pleasant to see that, but at that moment we needed to take care of the situation," Cramer said.

Arson investigators do not know why someone burned the book Monday afternoon in the library on Mission Inn Avenue, said city fire Capt. Dirk Jensen. No arrests had been made as of Tuesday.

This arson took place during Banned Books Week, an annual event held by the American Library Association which performs educational outreach on this issue of censorship.

The U.S. Marine sergeants who refused to testify against former Marine sergeant and Riverside Police Department Jose Luis Nazario, jr. have now refused to testify against each other during their respective court martial hearings.

(excerpt, Los Angeles Times)

Now Nelson is refusing to testify against Weemer, and Weemer's attorney said today that his client would refuse to testify against Nelson. The two are being tried separately here on charges of murder and dereliction of duty, which could lead to life sentences.

Nelson refused to testify Tuesday despite an assurance from the military judge that a grant of immunity would prevent his testimony from being used against him.

"Nelson is totally, absolutely critical to the Weemer case," said Capt. Nick Gannon, one of the prosecutors.

The federal prosecutor in Nazario's case made a similar complaint in late August when Weemer and Nelson refused to testify against Nazario -- refusing to repeat statements they made to investigators early in the case, in which they said Nazario had ordered them to kill the prisoners.

Today, at the request of Marine prosecutors, the military judge, Lt. Col. Thomas Sanzi, delayed Weemer's court-martial until Jan. 12 in hopes that Nelson's court-martial would be finished by then and that he would testify against Weemer.

But Paul Hackett, one of Weemer's attorneys, told Sanzi that it is unlikely that Weemer or Nelson would ever testify because they fear such testimony could lead federal prosecutors to charge them in federal court once they leave the Marine Corps.

"We certainly know now that the federal government would like to do that because they did that to Sgt. Nazario," Hackett said. He said any attorney who would allow a client to testify in such a situation "would be out of their minds."

Riverside will stop charging residents for half of the cost of installing speed bumps if the city agrees that they are needed. This could save the residents about $2,000 in costs.

Guess who's coming back from exile? San Bernardino County Assessor Bill Postmus returns from his 10-week medical leave back into his job. But will he answer questions?

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Assessor's office spokesman Ted Lehrer said Postmus would address the supervisors' demand that he appear before the board when he returns.

"It's his decision whether he's willing to address rumors," Lehrer said, referring to the allegations of drug abuse.

During the leave, Postmus himself seldom has been available for comment.

His 10-week medical leave was announced July 23, which means Postmus should be back to work this week. Lehrer said last week that Postmus would return in early October, possibly on the first.

But on Monday, he said Postmus intends to return to work sometime between Oct. 10 and 20.

Lehrer said the extra time off is because Postmus is being cautious with his health.

"Assessor Postmus would like to confer with his physician to ensure the conditions are appropriate," Lehrer said.

But alas for Postmus, those questions will still be coming. The line starts there.

Norco Councilman Hal Clark has died at the age of 66. The number of commuters using the service has gone down as unemployment increases as does gasoline prices causing some drivers to switch to carpooling or public transit.

The Press Enterprise Editorial Boards says Yes on O for Hemet to be able to pay for its public safety services.


Yes, the city could cut other services instead, but that would mean essentially wiping out all city services but public safety. Without the utility tax, Hemet would need to cut its general fund budget by 15 percent -- and all but 19 percent of that budget now goes to police and fire protection. There is no credible way to make substantial budget cuts without touching the city's largest expenditures.

Granted, many residents are skeptical of the City Council's spending decisions. The city has spent $47,000 since 2005 on retirement gifts for Hemet workers. The council this year paid a third of a million dollars to change city managers. And during the summer, the city spent $1,400 to furnish a temporary home for the new city manager.

But those expenses represent at most hundreds of thousands of dollars, while the city's shortfall ranges in the millions of dollars. Even without those costs, Hemet would be in a fiscal bind.

Still, such spending has created public distrust, so the city needs to ensure strong accountability. The initiative requires annual audits to monitor the use of the tax money. But the council should also approve a plan for an independent, seven-member citizens committee to evaluate and report on Measure O spending. The council is slated to decide on that issue on Oct. 14.

No one likes paying more taxes, but gutting police and fire protection is not acceptable, either. So Hemet voters should say yes to Measure O.

Express toll service on the 91 freeway will be dropping $0.50 in price.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy who was charged with the attempted murder of his wife and another man appeared in court. He was charged with multiple felonies for among other things, ordering his wife at knife point to castrate the man that she was with.

(excerpt, Los Angeles Times)

According to prosecutors, the bloody attack occurred about 10 p.m. Sunday when McClain's wife told him she was leaving him for the younger man, whom she met while working at a leasing office in an Irvine apartment complex. After learning this, the deputy had his 31-year-old wife take him to meet the man at his apartment, prosecutors said.

After arriving, the deputy led the victims to a back kitchenette area in the leasing office, where he started to argue with them and physically attack them, authorities said.

"McClain is accused of taking out a knife and forcing both victims to undress," according to the district attorney's statement. McClain also disrobed, authorities said.

"While at knife point, McClain is accused of unsuccessfully ordering [his wife] to orally copulate both him and [the other man]," the statement read. McClain then ordered his wife to castrate the younger man, which she feigned doing, authorities said. The young man did, however, sustain puncture wounds to his groin area, Irvine police said.

After slashing the man's face, prosecutors said, McClain fled the scene, forcing his wife to go with him.

McClain then forcibly sodomized his wife, chopped off her hair with the knife, and ultimately drove her back to their Irvine home, prosecutors allege.

About 5 a.m. Monday, the wife was able to leave the house with her and her husband's four children and drive to a nearby hospital to get treatment, authorities said.

The Dallas Police Department released a dash camera video of its latest officer-involved shooting.

The fallout from the controversial fatal tasing of a mentally ill man in New York City has begun. The lieutenant involved in the case who was placed on desk duty has killed himself..

NYPD Lt. Michael Piggott who ordered the use of the taser died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

(excerpt, New York Daily News)

Pigott, who left behind a suicide note, apparently broke into another officer's locker and used a 9mm handgun stored there, sources said. Pigott was alone in the locker room, and his body was discovered by another cop, police said.

"He was very distraught and upset about what had happened," a police source said. "He had gone to the department's medical services and been told to take a few days off to rest up. But no one saw this coming. It is very tragic."

Pigott turned 46 today. He was stripped of his gun and badge and placed on desk duty after the fatal confrontation in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Here are some free workshops that you can attend if you are concerned about saving your home from foreclosure. They are sponsored by Riverside, the Fair Housing Counsel of Riverside County and various county agencies.

Ward One: Oct. 1, 6-8:30 p.m. at University Heights Middle School 1155 Massachusetts Ave.

Ward Two: Oct. 8, 6 to 8:30 p.m. at UCR Extension, Room "e" 1200 University

Ward Three: Oct. 6, 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Janet Goeske Senior Center 5257 Sierra St.

The meetings for the other four wards take place later later in October, November and December.

Also coming in the next several months are community meetings to provide information on how the Community Development Block Grant funding will be spent for each ward.

Riverside Against Drugs is on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 6-9p.m. at Fritz Ford.

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