City Hall

Matthew Leslie

 

It’s an ugly day when a municipality sues its own residents in an effort to seize back digital files left unguarded on its own website.* By now readers should be aware that the City of Fullerton is suing the publishers of the Friends for Fullerton’s Future (FFFF) blog over the blog’s publication of numerous files obtained without authorization, but without evident illegal activity–despite claims by the city attorney–from a Dropbox folder (mis)managed by the city itself. A court has already refused the city’s request to have the servers and computers associated with the bloggers seized and examined, and the order the city did obtain at the same hearing enjoining FFFF from further publishing the materials in question has just today been stayed by an appeals court.

The Fullerton City Council is wasting its time and our money on a lawsuit that will almost certainly be decided against the city on free speech grounds. Courts have long held against lawsuits that constitute prior restraint when it comes to a free press, and there is no reason to think the city’s case will end any differently. Just yesterday The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed an amicus brief in support of FFFF. The RCFP characterizes the suit as “A brazen misuse of computer crime laws against journalists.” (Speaking of laws, if FFFF did break the law by accessing the files in question, why have they not been criminally charged for doing so?)

The decision to sue FFFF and its some of its named bloggers was made in closed session on September 17, but only reported this past Tuesday when the City Attorney during a meeting of the City Council finally acknowledged what should have been reported over a month and a half ago.  At the time the Fullerton City Council’s unanimous vote to initiate legal proceedings against FFFF for publishing stories referencing city employee personnel files might have seemed the responsible thing to do, on some level, in order to protect the privacy of the employees and diminish the chances of the city itself being sued by them for its own abysmal failure to secure such sensitive files in the first place. Either way, they ought have known that their chances of prevailing were slim, and ought to have had legal counsel tell them so.

Readers can decide for themselves whether or not they approve of FFFF’s tactics, but there is no denying that they have exposed some questionable practices by city management. Our government shouldn’t use litigation to shield itself from public scrutiny, especially when it is transparency itself that is in question. Suing to save face is an irresponsible use of public funds. A full hearing of the case is scheduled for November 21, but it’s hard to imagine that the case will ultimately stop publication of any files at this point. The city should cut its losses and drop the case now.

*(For coverage of the case see Spencer Custodio’s reporting in the Voice of OC)

Diane Vena

On 9/17/19, Fullerton City Council Will Vote Whether Put On 2020 Ballot The Issue Of Banning Safe and Sane Fireworks In Fullerton

These are the reasons I gave them for wanting to ban safe and sane fireworks and thereby urging them to vote to put it in the ballot:

I strongly feel that safe and sane fireworks should not be allowed in Fullerton for the following reasons:
• They are not allowed in most Orange County cities.
• Rather than being done on private property as required, they are used on sidewalks and in the street. Travel on streets requires driving over them.
• They disturb people and frighten pets/wildlife.
• Many people do not clean up after the use of these legal fireworks. Those that do, still leave a residue of chemicals, poisons, powder, etc. which end up being washed down the gutters into the ocean.
• They are unhealthful for the environment and people/animals/wildlife because of the smoke, chemicals, and poisons.
• There is no good way to dispose of them that is not harmful to the environment.
• Even used correctly, injuries and fires can occur.
• There are alternatives for group fundraising that are humanely and environmentally responsible.
• Banning them would make it easier for the police to monitor the use of illegal fireworks as NO fireworks would be allowed in the city.
At this very important time of climate change crisis, all of our decisions and actions must be examined in order to choose and act responsibly, humanely, and safely.

Please let the Council know your wishes prior to and at this meeting.

City of Fullerton
cityoffullerton.com

Mayor & City Council
303 W. Commonwealth Avenue |
Fullerton, CA 92832
council@cityoffullerton.com
(714) 738-6311

Mayor Jesus Silva
jesuss@cityoffullerton.com
714-738-6311

Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Fitzgerald
jenniferf@cityoffullerton.com

Council Member Jan Flory
council@cityoffullerton.com

Council Member Bruce Whitaker
council@cityoffullerton.com
714-981-8474

Council Member Ahmad Zahra
ahmadz@cityoffullerton.com

Matthew Leslie

https://old.reddit.com/r/orangecounty/comments/cdsa1e/bouncer_beats_and_stomps_on_defenseless_patron_on/

Eleven hours ago someone on the site Reddit posted a disturbing video of what appears to be a Fullerton bar bouncer beating and stomping on someone in an area identified as somewhere outside of the Slidebar. The video title refers to the person being beaten as a defenseless bar patron. No other details are provided about the circumstances surrounding what appears to be a mini melee in the public parking lots bordering the pedestrian pathway between Commonwealth Ave. and E. Santa Fe Ave. Businesses directly north of this lot include Stubrik’s, The Slidebar, Hopskotch, and Bourbon Street. Commenters on a separate thread about the video wrote that the bouncers were from The Slidebar, but there is no conformation yet available of these assertions.

Several years ago the Fullerton City Council finally acknowledged that the bar scene downtown was out of control, and instituted a series of reforms that included requiring bars to provide security personnel, but the actions of this person, who certainly appears to be dressed as a security guard, are outrageous, and represent a danger to the people of Fullerton.

 

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