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, January 21, 2009

Election 2007: Who really won the elections and where is "60 Minutes"?

"I've been lucky ... in cards and lucky in love. To have the love of a young, beautiful woman is a very special thing."

---- Former Bolingbrook Police Department sergeant, Drew Peterson to MSNBC about his new live-in girlfriend. His current wife, Stacey, also young and beautiful has been missing for over a year.


Riverside and Greyhound Bus Lines might have brokered a deal to keep Greyhound inside the city limits.

Riverside's Mayor Ron Loveridge is going to give the annual state of the city address to his peeps which appears to be mostly groups like the Greater Chamber of Commerce or anyone who can afford a table during this economic downturn. There's a steerage section in the back of the auditorium at the Riverside Convention Center for those who don't buy tables that some people know about but many people don't. The address by the city's at-large elected representative shouldn't be for sale to a limited number of people and groups that can afford it but it is.

The Chamber is strange in that it's supposed to advocate for businesses but if you're the wrong type of business, it will pretty much sell you down the river by advocating for the city to seize your property through eminent domain as it did for many businesses on Market Street near the Fox Plaza. Were these businesses, many owned by families of color, shocked to be treated like this by a business advocacy group? It would be human nature if they were, not to mention being shocked that the Riverside Downtown Partnership would join in on that especially since many of these ousted businesses contributed business taxes to this organization annually and saw very little return on that investment because the lion share of that money was spent renovating the downtown pedestrian mall before over $10 million was spent doing that job last year.

The great speech takes place during an event that takes place on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 11 a.m.

Some city residents weigh in on the state of the city.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Gloria Frazier, 58, who lives near North High School, said too much construction is going on.

"It's becoming too crowded," Frazier said.

Her friend Dorothy Comeaux, 60, said police don't patrol her Eastside neighborhood enough.

"They need to come around more," she said.

Both of them said they enjoy the water aerobics class at the Goeske Senior Center and Comeaux said she'd like to see more such programs for senior citizens.

Frazier said one thing that has impressed her is how the city cleans up graffiti shortly after it appears.

Karla Garcia, 24, who lives in La Sierra, moved to Riverside two years ago from Corona.

"I really like downtown," she said, citing the Mission Inn and restaurants and shops that she frequents.

Garcia said she strongly dislikes the city's red-light traffic cameras, though she hasn't been ticketed.

"I just think that they're unfair," she said.

If she had the power, Garcia said, she would put additional educational after-school programs in place to keep children busy in a meaningful way.

The Riverside Police Department was asked by the Human Resources Board to report to the board on issues pertaining to the retention rates of its female vs male officers. After the department determined that its attrition rates for its female officers were considerably higher than those for its male officers, the Audit and Compliance Bureau (which now doubles as the Public Information office) decided to perform an inhouse audit. The Human Resources Board became interested in the issue several months ago, which appeared to leave Human Resources Director Rhonda Strout and her assistant, Jeremy Hammond a bit nonplussed.

About nine women were hired in the past year before they entered into the academy but the department lost two during that program. The other ones were doing well and had passed through their field training program, according to the police department and were out on their own.

Riverside saw its highest murder rate in five years during the same year it's frozen positions in the police department on both the civilian and sworn side including at the supervisory level. No need to be concerned about this because last June, Asst. City Manager Tom DeSantis assured the city council and the public that the department was "fully staffed".

Inside Riverside ran this rather unique piece on how its author believes that Councilman Mike Gardner may have benefited from voters' fraud during Election 2007 without producing one iota of information about what this allegation would be based on even as he accuses the reporter of a weekly newspaper of jumping to "bizarre" conclusions.

It kind of leaves you scratching your head in contrast to some of the much better researched and informative articles this blogger has run on what's been going on in Riverside County including the Sheriff's Department last year. The articles on Riverside politics haven't been nearly as strong and the points, not nearly as well argued and in some cases like this one, downright strange.

That contrast is clearly seen in this latest posting which includes allegations that Gardner who squeaked to victory in 2007 benefited from illegally cast votes. Then this individual goes further and claims that so did Ward Seven candidate, Terry Frizzel even though she lost to the incumbent of that ward. Why? Because they both had narrow victories or in Frizzel's case, losses? Because people who aren't part of the "insiders club" of Riverside politics campaigned for them? Because they weren't packed to the gills in their campaign coffers by either the development firms or the labor unions belonging to CLEAR? Because they should have left well enough alone and not run in the first place? Because City Hall (and city council meetings) are for those who come by invitation only?

That would be a shame really. Elections are so much more interesting than coronations. And some of the issues that were highlighted fairly well in Inside Riverside during the past year, were instituted by the fact that the local government of the county as well as Moreno Valley had become too much of an insiders' club. That was definitely true inside the Sheriff's Department.

What's also seemed so strange about this posting, is that this is far from being any kind of breaking story. Actually, most people originally read about it as detailed in this article published by Inland Empire Weekly in 2007. For those who read the article, you'll find that its author, David Silva actually wrote a fairly balanced story. That's why it was difficult to understand why Silva's "conclusion" was "bizarre" because he didn't really have one.

The first thought to come to mind was oh my! The second was oh dear! By its end, I was thinking, where is "60 Minutes" to get to the bottom of what's clearly been under the radar for two whole years.

It would make perfect drama for the family hour on Sunday night.

The cast of characters in this drama includes a "law and order at all costs" prosecutor who never filed charges in this alleged voters' fraud case which the blogger didn't mention. It also includes the "all cops are evil" police commissioner who not only serves on the "anti-cop" Community Police Review Commission (and this is actually its proper name) that sustains less than 5% of allegations against police officers but has a son who works as an officer on the Riverside Police Department. Which the blogger didn't mention. In fact, if he knew Beeman at all, he would realize that she's a strong supporter of the police department in Riverside and really not "anti-cop".

We also have the "matriarch of Riverside's nut jobs" (and yes, name calling can be a useful substitute for a good argument) who nearly unseated Councilman Steve Adams (who's "earthy style" even alienated members of the Riverside Police Officers' Association at one point during Election 2007) while spending about 1/30th of the money that he did during Election 2007. And Save-Riverside seems much more evil this time around than the last time, perhaps because this organization might be stepping on the toes of one of his candidates this time around rather than just the "local dictator". It was an interesting if somewhat off-the-wall and belated mood piece and it remains to be seen whether or not it will result in an investigation of Election 2007 will be conducted by the "powers that be" of the elections in both of these wards. I guess that's up to those folks to decide or not.

It will be interesting to see how this all turns out as it looks like even before the filing deadline that Election 2009 might be one for the books and the articles at that venue and others might be one reason why. The plethora of different input on the elections is what makes them fascinating.

Election 2009, coming to a venue near you whether you are ready or not.

Redlands voted again to raise its water and sewer rates to pay its bills.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Council members agreed with several residents who spoke out at a public hearing that it is a tough time to increase rates, but it is a necessity to ensure the city can deliver healthy water.

Resident Mario Saucedo wondered whether the increase could be deferred a year or so because cash-strapped residents on fixed incomes may have to choose between water, food and prescription medicines.

Nonpotable water rates will dip, from $1.10 per hundred cubic feet to 96 cents in 2009 and then rise to 99 cents in 2010.

The city wants to promote water conservation by more aggressively educating consumers about ultra-low-flow toilet rebates, high-efficiency clothes washer rebates, irrigation-timer rebates and other options.

City Clerk Lorrie Poyzer said 183 residents sent in letters opposing both the water and wastewater rate increases, and another 48 opposed only the water rate increases.

Did San Bernardino County violate the Brown Act?

Were jurors in the federal corruption trial of former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona subjected to intimidation? Two jurors including the only woman said yes and complained to the judge that they were pressured to vote in favor of Carona.

(excerpt, Los Angeles Times)

The revelations provide a glimpse into the strained and sometimes awkward deliberations that unfolded inside the jury room before the panel returned its verdict Friday and acquitted Carona on five felonies. The former sheriff was convicted on a single count of witness tampering, also a felony.

In an interview Wednesday, Marcia Deatherage -- the lone woman on the federal court panel -- said she was one of the jurors who told U.S. District Judge Andrew J. Guilford that she felt intimidated, and that most of the pressure came from a single juror who she said refused to consider Carona guilty on any of the charges.

"This guy very candidly stood up and said 'I don't even know why the government even brought the case,' " she recalled Wednesday. "He felt Carona was not guilty of anything. It kind of set a tone for an upset in the jury room. He was kind of a bully. . . . Without him as a juror, I think we would have had more counts we would have found [Carona] guilty on."

But the jury's foreman, who asked that his name not be used because of the high-profile nature of the case, said he did not recall any hint of intimidation during the jury's deliberations. The juror who Deatherage said she found intimidating could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Former Bolingbrook Police Department Sgt. Drew Peterson talks about his new girlfriend who has moved in with him with her two children.

(excerpt, MSNBC)

Miller asked if Peterson had given Raines an engagement ring. Drew said no, but that he had given her a pair of earrings for Christmas. A jeweler friend will be consulted about an engagement ring at some point, he said.

"We'll have to see how life folds out," he said of their wedding plans.

Peterson told the interviewer that his gal pal is a little scared.

"She's not scared of me. She's scared of the media," he said.

Miller asked about problems Christina has had with her ex-boyfriend and the father of her children, "two different guys," he said."Yea, two different guys," Peterson said. "Both have been abusive to her in the past, and now she's with me."

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