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

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

City council Elections and the Internet

April's on its way out showing not much in the way of showers, but we've seen some record breaking heat in Riverside, with temperatures passing the 100 degree mark two days in a row. Records were shattered in different cities, all because of some big block of high pressure sitting some place near the area that it's roasting. It too shall pass and cooler weather will be back later this week, though there doesn't appear to be any rain in the horizon, not surprising considering we're in the midst of what's called, a "La Nina".

But the weather's been pretty great if a bit hot during the afternoons and the sky's, bright blue.

The home stretch is approaching in the Riverside City Council races, thank goodness. Blogging about them is as always interesting and dreadful at the same time. It's interesting talking to people all over the city, particularly those in the different wards and finding out which issues are most on their minds. It's dreadful because you blog about politics, police and City Hall and you have people trying to antagonize you over your breasts, your bras, undergarments and other things. Because this has exactly what to do with Riverside's politics? Maybe these "insiders" as they pride themselves in calling themselves know something about Riverside the rest of us don't since they introduce these seeming off-topic items into politics. But this election for me will be remembered as much for the online...commentary which has already outdone that vented against me for daring to blog about the District One Riverside County supervisor race last year at this time, as it will be for anything that had anything to do with the actual politics.

Then there's that horrible word that's meant to freak out women everywhere to be called: The Spinster. Which is kind of funny because this is clearly from an individual who subscribes to some very old-fashioned and outdated stereotypes and views of women. What does one's marital status have to do with Riverside politics? Oh right...nothing. And that reminds me of how other sites that receive a lot of nasty harassing and trolling comments hold competitions to determine who's the best of the best when it comes to internet harassers and trolls. And the scoring can be done quantitatively through a point system or qualitative which of course is more subjective.

So here's one that was written within a few days ago. It's not bad, rather tame considering the particular individual involved and has several attributes in its favor which ups its score. Is it original? No, but this person really tried hard to be. So for originality, three points will be given.

Two extra points for inserting a metaphor and a bonus point for inserting a metaphor involving an arachnid.

Although I doubt "us" transfers to the "public" (which actually would be "it") but more likely to one embittered sociopath. So subtract one point for the use of hyperbole and tomfoolery.

That is correct.
FBM must spin spin spin that FBM web to inform us, the public, about our local politicians.
As if our experienced, educated, and successfull incumbents need FBM to explain " Rivercity " politics to us, the public.
FBM chose to be the one, the self-proclaimed " Riverside's best and most prolific blogger " to tell us the " truth " about what is really going in our city.

Hell, I'd rather have Paul Davis explain politics to me than some inexperienced two-bit FBM blogger.

But compare and contrast this comment with one this author wrote in 2006 on my site. If you notice, there's a quirk in punctuation that remains the same three years later in all this guy's postings at Craigslist which makes really easy to spot and identify.

(excerpt, FBM)

Sandalou, your comment " it's just too much fun jerking that pathetically short chain of yours " reveals the heart of your, Mary's and native daughter's anger and envy toward men; and that is that all three of you nits can only dream of what it's like to have a " chain ". Am I right?

This one also gets two points for humor because other Schiavone supporters on Craigslist including the one who talks whether or not I wear a bra and concocted the "dirty dozen" list were trying to distance themselves from this guy after he posted what he thought was my neighborhood online. I guess he didn't take the hint.

Then there's Troll #2, who fancies themselves a staunch supporter of the Schiavone campaign.

Here, he or she tries to claim his or her designation as Keeper of the Craigslist Section, meaning if he doesn't want you there, he or she will harass you off the site. But the post's not a total waste because he or she or "we" (which must be "me, myself and I") also offers up some endorsements. So it will be awarded five points for its utilitarian bent.

Now that FBM has cornered themselves into pleading the 5th to avoid self-incrimination from the FBI, hopefully we don't have to hear their rants on Craigslist anymore, or at least without a signature, and keeping their rants restricted to that FBM blog where they belong.
Now let us get back to the politics at hand shall we.

Re-elect Councilman Andy Melendrez Ward 2
Re-elect Councilman Frank Schiavone Ward 4
Re-elect Councilwoman Nancy Hart Ward 6

What we currently have on our City Council is a team that works with Mayor Ron Loveridge for the City of Riverside.
So it is written, so shall it be done.

Sounds like this person is confusing Moses' promotion of a theological society with the election process. But 10 points for the cinematic reference minus five for not citing the appropriate film.

Last year, I saw similar comments (likely written by the same individuals) and blogged about them here during the county supervisor race that pitted incumbent Bob Buster against challenger, Schiavone. And similar to the election this year, one side's supporters engaged in nasty and anonymous comments and the other did not even though I was pretty critical of the diversionary and often inflammatory campaign tactics from both sides.

And what's interesting is when cyber harassers like the one with the screwy punctuation accuse you of making it all about you, when it's hard not to look at the postings on Craigslist political section especially after one of those nightly circle jerks and not see that over half of them are either addressed to or about "Mary" or "FBM" or on a very good night. The author of the first trollish comment here as stated earlier apparently badgered and harassed other women on Craigslist going back until at least the 2007 election cycle. He usually waits until other people start engaging in that conduct and then jumps almost immediately into the fray to try to outdo them in order to receive positive validation from these individuals for his arduous if non-creative efforts.

Here's another comment about last night's city council meeting by Troll #1 who writes about spinsters and orgasms.

(excerpt, Craigslist)

What a joy to watch last nights Council meeting on TV and only have to listen to one hateful person , I think Tim or Jim Martin.. was his name.
After watching Mary whoever speak many times , it was a surprise to hear she is Supervisor Bob Busters wife. How sad is that ??

I don't know if it's nearly as sad as this guy is, who's devoted probably over 100 vile comments attacking different women. But what's interesting and why this succinct quote is included is because could you imagine this gentleman or any of the other anonymous folks writing similar ilk walking up to the podium of the city council meeting and actually saying any of their comments in public? Of course, it's pretty clear they would never do so. For one thing, they're cowards who can't show what they're really like because they know that the majority of people in this city including voters in Ward Four would be turned off by them. Would this guy for example go up to the podium and say this about Mary Humboldt or Jim Martin? I doubt it.

Yet, this person has a difficult time separating dissent from "hateful" and if you disagree with this person's assertions about the city (which he can't even put his name to), then you're "hateful" and thus subject to abuse and harassment online. That's a very strange and one would think unproductive way to sell your point of view as being the correct one and to also try to win an election.

But when it comes to this guy, the following Lewis Carroll quote applies very well.


"I can't go back to yesterday - because I was a different person then."

Because after all last year, he was included on the endorsement list for Mary Humboldt's husband.

However, the comment that fascinates is from Troll #3 (a frequent contributor at Craigslist especially as of late) that made references to Web sites like and because less than two weeks earlier, I had received an email notification that someone had signed my guest book at one of those sites. I went to check it out and to my surprise, the name in it matched that of a former city employee. I didn't know if this individual was retired so I did inquire and discovered that was the case.

It's not clear it's the same individual but it did cause me a start because it's very odd and it's interesting that several hours before I got that notification of that signing, personal information started appearing on Craigslist that could be traced back to one of those sites. Less than two weeks later, this posting appeared:

You're welcome. I might agree with you.

But you know you are going to get a smart ass comment to your comments. It usually will reiterate the victimization of saps who chose to not wear undergarments and orgasms and don't shower and such. She likes those analogies and defends those people (since she is one of them) to no end.

I don't know where you get the weak father figure and not popular with boys in school - but it's good foddar!

As to where she's from - my best guess is Colorado, St. Scholastica Academy in Canon City, CO to be exact. ( or was it says our journalist for Black Voice is from there - and that's our Mary).

As far as how she makes a living. . . . who knows. I'm guessing it's selling her crap to newspapers, particularly the Black Voice.

Why did she leave? Only Mary knows.

Her obsessions with cops and everyone else - use your imagination!

What struck me also was the reference to "Our Mary" as if the people they harass actually belong to them? Or how someone can denigrate you one posting and then use overly familiar terms like "our" (which again, is "me, myself and I") the next?

Interesting if it's all a coincidence about the reference to the alumna sites. If it's this individual, it would be surprising mostly because when I saw the name except for it being familiar, it mostly drew a blank. But an individual by this name who did work for the city tried to contact a member of the Riverside Coalition for Police Accountability during the Measure II campaign in 2004. It was never exactly clear why an employee for this particular city department would do so given that his association was paying over $30,000 to fight against Measure II. Still, there were a few employees of the Riverside Police Department who did vote for Measure II mostly in protest of the infamous "officer hands tied" campaign.

Anyway, these troll postings likely would qualify for the first round of the Troll Olympics if one would ever be held.

But here's a posting at Craiglist which wasn't a troll posting at all but an observation of what had been going on at that site from another local blogger.


The combination of anonymity and a soapbox is apparently just too much temptation for some people (see below, 4/20ish) to get on and spew poorly-spelled, irrelevant filth into a local politics forum.

I, personally, vote for civility. Regardless of whether we agree with each other on the issues, let us all agree that we are reasonable adults capable of rational, informed discussion. Please? All the yelling and slander do not help us make up our minds in this upcoming election.

Therefore, I shall lead by example. Complete sentences, proper spelling, no ad hominems, and my damned name at the top and bottom of the page. Can I hope that the rest of you shall do the same?

-Justin, from Riding in Riverside

It will be interesting if the Schiavone supporters are up to this. Because they have scared quite a few people away who would like to participate in political discussions there and even speak out at city council meetings. Who on earth would want to speak out to express any dissent or participate in any discussion on a political site if they will be subjected to the harassment? A man runs against their candidate and they attack his child! They don't talk politics, they put together nasty lists, they make sexually graphic comments, they make personal comments that have nothing to do with local politics. And in my case, they actually tried to impersonate me by using my name, which incidentally is a comment tactic used by cyber harassers and stalkers according to most experts.

Because what's clear from these self-proclaimed Schiavone supporters is that they just don't like differences of opinion, or dissent from what they believe is right for everyone. And their way of handling dissent isn't like Justin proposes which is to have discussions but to harass, intimidate and try to get their critics to just shut up so. And if you have followed the postings they have left on Craigslist, you see how desperate that they can get to do so and with more than a month to go before the June 2 deadline for ballots, their postings will probably continue along the same line and worsen if anything.

Because after all, there's an election to be won and this is apparently for whatever reason their chosen battleground.

Here's Ward Six Councilwoman Nancy Hart's Web site up finally, after being a work in progress for a while. And this highlights one of the more positive and useful aspects of the internet during the election process. It allows easy access to information and resources involving political candidates for different elections. You can click a mouse and find out where to volunteer for their campaigns, send donations and where they stand on different civic issues. All this wasn't available more than 10 years ago. It's one more way that voters can inform themselves on the election's candidates, initiatives and the process itself. So the internet can be very good and useful thing.

Here's that all important endorsement list. Included in that list is the rest of the city council and Mayor Ron Loveridge, once again showing that the Dais Club is a closed club for new membership. She was endorsed by most of the city's labor bargaining units including the Riverside Police Officers' Association PAC which is no doubt pleased with her flip-flopped position on the CPRC. She received a lot of individual endorsements including two CPRC commissioners, Ward Four candidate Paul Davis and a long list of familiar names from her prior two races for political office.

She's also attracted donations from Mark Rubin and Doug Jacobs, two developers who have benefited greatly from the city council in place. Even though Jacobs is currently on the "naughty" list, he'll probably be forgiven after the final votes in Election 2009 are counted.

The Press Enterprise did a profile on Ward Two Councilman Andrew Melendrez who's running for reelection.

Don't forget that local elections aren't done for the year! The mayoral race will be conducted later this autumn with the final date of reckoning being the first Tuesday in November. The term will be abbreviated given changes in the election process that were passed by voters several years ago that will be kicking in after this current mayoral contest. The current mayor, Ron Loveridge plans to run in part because he's publicly declared his enthusiasm over running and winning the presidency of the National League of Cities and to be eligible to do so, you have to be an elected official in a city.

Art Gage, the former city councilman, is weighing whether to run against Loveridge but there's still months until candidate have to file so it gives some breathing space to think about it.

March Global Ports which has been developing March Air Force Reserve Base has been disbarred by the Environmental Protection Agency since January. Much controversy has arisen from this entity, a lot deserved, a lot transferred from other entities such as the March Joint Airs Power Commission which didn't want to take any blame for anything.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Aaron Knox, co-manager of the company and an investor in Global Port since late 2008, said in a statement that they are still working with lawyers and the EPA to "put the matter behind us."

In a statement, officials said they didn't raise the issue sooner because they didn't get the first warning letter.

The EPA's suspension and debarment official sent warning letters to March Global Port and Global Port Fueling Services at 14340 Elsworth St., Suite 106, in Moreno Valley on Dec. 4. Another letter was sent Dec. 3 to Joseph Behling.

The warning stemmed from the company's and Behling's admissions to "improperly storing flammable liquids" at its jet-fuel operation at March. The company paid more than $100,000 in fines and pleaded guilty to several misdemeanor charges against it in January 2008. Behling pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges and paid a $16,300 fine.

The letters informed Global Port of its right to appeal the decision within 30 days. The company never did, because it never received the letters, Knox said in a statement.

March Global Port had closed the Moreno Valley office months prior and said it only found out about the debarment when the final notice from the EPA was delivered to the new office in January.

Riverside County is budget strapped and asking its employees for help.

(excerpt, Belo Blog)

County supervisors on Tuesday pressed for cooperation from the 20,000 county workers who face benefit losses and possible furloughs so the county can deal with what officials called a huge drop in property-tax revenue. Payroll costs are one of the county's biggest expenses in from the $3.5 billion county budget.

Supervisors begin department-by-department budget hearings May 4 for the upcoming fiscal year. County officials have required departments to submit budgets based on 10 percent less funding than they received last year.

Of course all county departments save one will have to make greater sacrifices including public safety departments so that District Attorney Rod Pacheco can get his increased budget for the next fiscal year.

And now, the budget shortfall will be worse than expected with up to 10% of the county's workforce facing layoffs.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Major added that officials need to end some of the layoffs that occur because of falling revenues that have led workers and county leaders to debate service cuts every few years. She said the county has spent during flush times and then had to make cuts when revenues fell off before.

"This is not the first time we have been in this situation," she said. "We can't in the next 10 years come back to this situation. I hope we are not putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound."

Officials previously said the county was about $90 million below fiscal year 2008-09 spending levels, mainly because of property tax shortfalls. County spokeswoman Lys Mendez said in the past two weeks estimates of the revenue losses have risen to $100 million.

Combined with a $30 million shortfall in sales taxes that pay for emergency services such as police and fire -- not included in the first estimates -- the shortfall for the county is about $130 million.

Fifth District Supervisor Marion Ashley said Los Angeles also is proposing 10 percent cuts in city services. He said that comes to about $90 per city resident.

"Our situation is at $59.52 per county resident...," said Ashley in explaining the county's budgetary shortfall. "We are going to have some difficult choices here in the next few weeks."

The most difficult job lying ahead is explaining to Pacheco how to put together an annual budget reflecting 10% cuts. After that, everything else even in these fiscally precarious times should be a piece of cake.

Resume of a police chief. In this case, newly hired San Bernardino Police Chief Keith Kilmer.

A shocking development from San Jose. The brand new so-called independent police auditor has resigned from the position.

(excerpt, San Jose Mercury)

The stunning announcement that Chris Constantin was stepping down from the $169,000-a-year job came as community groups were calling for his resignation, and his support on the council appeared to be eroding.

"I'm putting the honor and integrity of San Jose ahead of myself,'' Constantin said. "I hope that by taking this action, the mayor and council can ensure that the process for hiring the independent police auditor is done in a transparent and fair process that reflects the importance of this critical position."

The criticism not only focused on the possibility that Constantin had a conflict of interest because of his brother's role. In addition, city leaders failed to tell a citizens panel that reviewed the appointment of the issue and never asked the city attorney whether a conflict existed. Mayor Chuck Reed also failed to acknowledge Constantin's brother was a San Jose cop when he announced the appointment.

The city will now reopen the search for a new auditor, and Constantin left open the possibility that he may reapply for the job.

Most city and community leaders praised Constantin's decision, but not Reed.

"I regret that he decided to make that decision,'' Reed said.

"But I have a lot of respect for his honor and integrity in making it."

Better late than never. The CPRC and the city continue to be in denial about its conflict of interest issues that plague it, right down to its composition.

The blog, San Jose Revealed analyzes the whole mess.


An analogy: Chris Constantin is the equivalent of a Who Wants to be a Millionaire? contest who gets bounced at $250. He got the easy questions wrong.

For some reason, the Merc in an editorial gives Constantin props for resigning, saying, "On Monday night, Chris Constantin showed good judgment in resigning from the position he had just obtained. Constantin recognized, belatedly, that there was no way he could have succeeded in the job." Herhold echoes this praise in his column.

Bullshit. Constantin, who has been on the West Valley-Mission Board since his (very) early 20's, is highly ambitious and saw the IPA position as a route to bigger things. This was not his waking up on Monday morning saying, "Oh my God! Perhaps having my brother working for the organization I am supposed to monitor might be a conflict!" This was his waking up Monday and hoping it still might all go away. In his ambitious mind, his future lay either with the IPA gig or City Council District 9. Or maybe both. Now it's likely neither because he, perhaps with the acquiescence of the Mayor, glossed over his resume.

When Reed was asked why Constantin's brother wasn't mentioned during the vetting process, he responded:
It was an interesting fact and probably should have been in there. But it was one of a whole series of facts about the man.
God bless the simple sin of omission.

League of Women Voters Forums (PE blog)

The League of Women Voters of Northwest Riverside County is hosting three candidate forums for the Riverside City Council elections. The seats at stake are in wards 2, 4 and 6. Incumbents and challengers in each race have agreed to participate.

Candidates will address the audience and answer questions prepared by the league and from the audience. Each forum will last 90 minutes.

Ward 2: 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Main Library, 3581 Mission Inn Ave.

Ward 4: 7 p.m. April 29 at the Villegas Community Center, 7240 Marguerita Ave.

Ward 6: 7 p.m. May 4 at the La Sierra Library, 4600 La Sierra Ave.

A new campaign against cyber bullying

Okay, this guy's insurance premiums must be through the roof.

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