The Seal Beach Sun has a kind Letter to the Editor. Dave and Rebecca Lara took an activist role in trying to address coyote encounters. Rossmoor is near El Dorado Park (see LOOK BACKS below) and the Naval Weapons Station, both are refuges for coyotes. Rossmoor also has a network of flood control channels. The County assisted in this matter to the fullest extent possible, including improving fences and adding movable grates on flood control tunnel openings. Dave and Rebecca Lara have done a great job of educating the public in order to minimize encounters with coyotes who have adapted to urban environments.
Rossmoor Predator Management Team closes
We have decided to discontinue the Rossmoor Predator Management Team in it’s entirety. This includes the newsletter, website and dog squad. For the past four years, we have had the privilege of helping return lost dogs with our dog squads, providing coyote information, statistics and seeking resolution to coyotes attacks. We truly have enjoyed responding to your telephone calls and emails. Therefore, we wish to thank the following:
Founding Members: Shirley Bailey, Jim and Patty Alexander, Christa Chavez and Ron Singer.
Over the past four years we have been assisted by the following county officials:
John Moorlach, Rick Francis, O.C. Public Work Dept. Ignacio Ochoa, Victor Valdovinos, Don McPeck, Guy Batterton, Eileen Depuy, O.C. Human Relations: Rusty Kennedy & the entire staff, O.C. Animal Care: Ryan Drabek and Staff, Los Alamitos City Council: Troy Edgar, Gerry Mejia, former City Manager Jeffrey Stewart. A Special Thanks to our back-up, Candice Stacy, All Dog Squaders, especially Patty Alexander and Rachel Demarco. With this last newsletter, we have kept our promise of maintaining your privacy by deleting all of our email listings.
Dave and Rebecca Lara
FIVE-YEAR LOOK BACKS
In the November-December issue of Westways, I was featured in a two-page advertisement, “Wherever life takes you, the Auto Club is there.” My car twice experienced an electrical short near my office on my commute home and I needed to be towed. The second tow truck driver asked me to write his boss to affirm the good job he had done in transporting my car. I told him I would do one better. I would write to Tom McKernan, the CEO of the Automobile Club of Southern California. What I did not expect is that testimonial letter would lead to a request to do a photo shoot at El Dorado Park, just west of my District on the other side of the San Gabriel 605 Freeway. This would result in being included in three issues of Westways. Everywhere I went I would be teased by friends. Apparently, everyone in Orange County is a member of the Auto Club! Here is the photo and the narrative resulting from a simple letter of affirmation to express gratitude for a job well done. I still own the car and it is languishing in my garage until the day I can find some time to play with it again.
When John Moorlach’s collectible 1974 Bricklin left him stranded twice in two weeks, he was glad to have his AAA card handy. “I didn’t want just any tow truck for the job. Fortunately, I got the help – and the flatbed – I needed.” Just like John, you can count on AAA to be there when you need them – for automotive assistance, I insurance and financial services, travel planning, discounts and more. Through all life’s travels, we’re always with you.
In his “Perspective – An Insider’s Take on the State of O.C.” column in the OC METRO, William Lobdell caught me off guard with “John Moorlach for governor? — Maybe he’s the jolt to the system that we need right now.”
UC Irvine water polo coach Ted Newland once told me that his players would learn much faster if he could put electrodes on their, ah, most sensitive parts and shock them each time they made a mistake.
“Humans are slow learners unless they feel pain,” Newland says.
With finances, we are very slow learners; many of us live beyond our means.
As a society, we’re worse. The state of California has $51 billion in outstanding debt, and the U.S. is $10.2 trillion in debt.
Coach Newland isn’t the only wise man who’s recently popped into my consciousness. So has John Moorlach, chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Moorlach’s specialty is predicting financial meltdowns, and he’s continually warned us of bleak consequences unless we get government spending under control.
I’m wondering if people are feeling enough pain now to listen to Moorlach. He’s been virtually alone in having the courage to attempt to get government’s financial house in order without caring about what voters, union leaders and fellow politicians think of his plans.
He gained national attention in 1994, when he predicted Orange County’s bankruptcy more than six months before it happened. At the time, almost everyone regarded Moorlach as an alarmist kook.
As supervisor, he’s taken on powerful unions and angry public employees to sharply reduce the county’s spiraling debt. He led the charge to reduce unfunded public retiree benefits from $1.4 billion to $400 million. He’s spearheaded a lawsuit to roll back unfunded, retroactive pension benefits given to county employees that could one day again bankrupt the county. And, predicting the housing downturn, he insisted in 2006 that the county had used up its reserves.
“We’ve got to stop living in denial,” says Moorlach, who sees his foray into politics as part of his life’s purpose. “If we don’t, we’re toast.”
Moorlach’s plan is as old-fashioned as a slide rule: Don’t spend more than you take in. Create a surplus for the rainy day that’s going to come. And if public employee pension and retiree benefits threaten to swamp your budget down the road, show the numbers to union leaders and point out to them that if they want those retirement benefits, the employer needs to be financially viable.
“The unions will love me 30 years from now when their pensions and health benefits are intact,” Moorlach says.
Powerful unions and special interest groups, weak politicians and apathetic voters have allowed this spending spree to continue.
Just as he did in 1994, Moorlach is yelling from the rooftops that we’ve got to act now before our government implodes. And, once again, few people are listening.
I asked Moorlach if he ever despairs at being a lone prophet.
“All you can do is tell people the truth,” he says philosophically.
It’s just my fantasy, but I would love to vote John Moorlach for president of the United States. But how about something more realistic: Moorlach for governor in 2010. The financial crisis that California will be engulfed in might just serve as the electrodes to the voters’, ah, sensitive parts to get them to pay attention to our sage.
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