Dr. Vicki Calhoun, easily the best choice for OC Board of Education.

Matthew Leslie

The Fullerton Rag endorses Dr. Vicki Calhoun for the 4th District seat on the Orange County Board of Education. Despite a field of four candidates for this often overlooked office, the choice of Dr. Calhoun should be an easy one for voters, by process of elimination alone. We will consider the many reasons not to vote for her competitors below, but let’s begin with a little background about why Dr. Calhoun is the best candidate for this important post.

Born and raised in Fullerton, Dr. Calhoun attended local schools, including Maple Elementary and Fullerton College, before earning her B.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University. She also did something most people can only dream about—she toured with a major rock and roll band, singing backup for, among others, the Red Hot Chili Peppers (look, and listen, for her in the Knock Me Down video).

She went back to school, ultimately earning a doctorate in Education with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership. Her dedication to education has lead her to her current occupations of counseling students at the community college level and at-risk youth for a prominent local non-profit. She has held seats on the Fullerton College Foundation and the Fullerton Public Library Board of Trustees.

Dr. Calhoun’s candidacy is motivated by her commitment to help provide the best public education possible to the children of Orange County. I’m not sure the same can be said for the other three candidates in the race. Let’s take a look at who else is running…

Paulette Chaffee (a.k.a. Paulette Marshall Chaffee), wife of 4th District Supervisor Doug Chaffee. A lawyer, Ms. Chaffee made national news in 2018 when she was caught on video and subsequently charged with stealing campaign signs (from private property) critical of her carpetbagging run for Fullerton City Council. Can anyone seriously claim that she set a good example for children with her behavior (and why is she even running for this office anyway)?

Tim Shaw, member of the LaHabra City Council, his ballot designation includes “Professor,” but his website lists his profession as “the Government Affairs Director for the Pacific West Association of REALTORS®” (as well as teaching at Rio Hondo college). If you want more charter schools, vote for Tim Shaw, because The California Charter Schools PAC is sending out numerous mailers supporting his candidacy, with major funding from members of the uber rich Walton family, better known for paying starvation wages to their Wal-Mart employees, then sending them to apply for taxpayer funded benefits. Want your schools to look more like Wal-Mart?

Jordan Brandman, member of the Anaheim City Council, previously served as an Anaheim Union High School District Board member. On the Anaheim City Council he is well known for stalling the transition to district-based elections for years, at the expense of millions in taxpayer legal fees. A pittance, however, compared to his support for huge local tax subsidies for hotels and a rock bottom price for a sale of Anaheim Stadium to Angels owner Arte Moreno.

Vote Dr. Vicki instead.


The best choice.


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 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

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

Mayor Jesus Silva

Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Fitzgerald

Council Member Jan Flory

Council Member Bruce Whitaker

Council Member Ahmad Zahra

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