Judith Kaluzny

A candidate for city council who wants development of the Chevron-owned west Coyote Hills showed up at the Saturday meeting of the people who oppose development of Chevron-owned west Coyote Hills.  Another candidate who has been working long and hard to save Coyote Hills said this man had run for office in June in favor of development.

He took exception to her characterization, but after clarifying statements back and forth, Rick Alvarez was clear that while he opposes the building of 760 homes by Chevron on our last open space in north Orange County, he is NOT in favor of keeping that space open.  He wants parking lots, a convention center, a hotel, a golf course.

So, said one worker, you will vote NO on Measure W because you agree it is wrong for Fullerton.  Answer came there none.  Alvarez was offered a NO on Measure W sign.  He did not take one.

Another issue  arose in a conversation I had with the candidate–he was taking the time of significant workers to tell all about his personal environmental endeavors around his house–I asked, “What are you going to do about alcohol downtown?”

“We cannot stop alcohol downtown,” Alvarez said.

Broken concrete trash container observed near the door of the Bank of America downtown on a Sunday morning following the usual Saturday night mayhem in that area.

“Well,” I said, “the city council is sent notice of every application to sell alcohol, and they throw the notices in the trash.”  We were distracted by the business of the day.

Later, I interrupted his touting of his personal home environmental concerns to a key organizer of the project at hand to bring up my subject again.

“Have you done a ride along with the police?” he asked.  “Well, I…”  “Have you done a ride-  along,” he demanded.  “I…”  “HAVE YOU DONE A RIDE-ALONG!?”

“No,” I said.

“Do you go into the bars?”  I hesitated.  “Do you go into the bars? “ Again, “DO YOU GO INTO THE BARS?  Have you seen the Crips and the Bloods?”  “No,” I said, “ but I have heard…”

“Well,” he said, “I did a ride along.  From 6:00m p. m. until 3:00 a. m.  It was supposed to be until 2:00 a. m. but there was a stabbing with a knife near the train station at 2:00 a. m., so it was 3:00 a. m. before all the paperwork was done.”  He seemed quite pleased that a stabbing kept him an extra hour.

He did hear me say my concern about the city trying to get the businesses downtown to pay for the maintenance of this eight square block area being $1,600,000.

“Those people there should pay for it!” he said.  That’s what Mayor Quirk once said:  “The people should pay for the privilege of doing business downtown.”

Upon my taking umbrage at the idea that in addition to the costs of repairing broken windows, cleaning up vomit, broken bottles, I should pay for the fallout of what the city council created, he insisted that he meant only that the bar owners should pay.

“How can you constitutionally do that?” I asked.

He said the bars should be asked to voluntarily contribute to…what, I wasn’t sure; some process that would lead to …  I am not sure what; I think hiring more police officers.  I said we already hired four officers for downtown.  He insisted  only two officers are assigned to downtown.

“It is not enough.  There are 5,000 people there on a Saturday night.”

But Mr. Alvarez was clear that unless the bars voluntarily do this…whatever it is… pretty soon no one will come to downtown Fullerton and they will be out of business.

This candidate did not even ask where I lived nor what was my experience.  I could have told him about the woman down the street, close to the Fullerton police department, where the police have refused to come when she calls about someone trying to break into her garage.  They have told her, “It is your fault for living there.”

I’ll email him my former post on this blog, “A Walk On the Wild Side.”

Today there is a smashed alcohol bottle on my corner, the corner at Chapman Avenue and Malden Avenues.  But that is only Saturday, from Friday.  We’ll see what Saturday night brings.

For full disclosure it should be noted that the editor of this blog is highly involved in the campaign of Jane Rands for Fullerton City Council.