Friday, November 14, 2014

• A Bit of Real News and a Bit of FaceBook Drama

Let's start with something real.

Earlier in the week I bumped into Ken Mayes at Windsong Park. I had just driven by Marna O'Brien Park and seen that the Freedom Swing (the wheelchair swing) was not up. So I asked him about it. For those that don't know, Ken spends a vast amount of time researching things regarding our parks and I respect the effort, and his interest, even though we often don't agree on things.

He forwarded me a copy of a playground equipment report from an October 19th inspection.

October 19, 2014   
City of Wildomar 
Attn: Les Chapman 
23873 Clinton Keith Road Suite 201 Wildomar CA  92595 
Re: Playground Inspection of Wheelchair Swing  

Dear Mr. Chapman,  I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to provide inspection services to your City.   Enclosed you will find the playground inspection reports for the wheelchair swing at Marna O’Brien Park.   

Today, Mr. Dante Jackson and I looked at installation of a wheelchair swing to determine if the swing itself meet playgrounds standards.  The details of the inspection are located in the attached checklist report.  Unfortunately, it appears that during installation the swing structure was installed too close to the existing swing structure.  This has created an intrusion into the existing swing structure’s use zone.  The use zones are identified with green string which was measured out today during the inspection and is viewable in the attached reports images.    

Of major concern is the surfacing protection material.  The material appears to be located directly on a concrete pad and does not appear to be of sufficient depth.  A surfacing impact attenuation (head drop) test should be performed in the event that this material is going to be kept.    

At this time, the wheelchair swing does NOT meet playground safety standards and will require some repairs, relocation and surfacing impact testing prior to being utilized.  As Mr. Jackson and I departed today, one of your staff members was on site to remove the structure.    

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 310.947.9348 or via email at   

Steven C. Wilmes, PHR, CPSI, RSSP, ARM-P CEO

(The entire report is 13 pages and filled with pictures. Those interested in it, need to request a copy from the city.)

I'm a big "credit where credit is due" guy and Ken Mayes expressed concerns, over many issues with the swing, including the material under it, at various city meetings.

At this point, I want to point out the obvious. No one is trying to discredit Ashley Fox's idea for the swing or her tremendous efforts in raising the money for it. If you've read Wildomar Rap this year, you've seen that I'm a big supporter of hers. She did great. 

Also, it must be noted that the swing has been repeatedly vandalized, something I had been concerned with and had written about it after it was installed.

I asked Assistant City Manager, Dan York, what should I make of the report. He told me that part of the issue is that, though the swing meets requirements in the state that it was produced in (Ohio I believe) our California safety laws are different. There are a few adjustments to it that he has on the drawing board, and until they get it sorted out, the swing had to be taken down.

They also need to reorder a few pieces from it that have been stolen.

You can see where the padding has been stripped away in places.

It's a shame that we live in a world where people have to destroy things that benefit the community, but that is our reality, and we are going to have to make the swing safe for operation and from vandals when it's not in use. Dan York is the right man for the job. He'll find the best answer, and we'll see the fix soon.

•    •    •

Now time for the FaceBook drama.

First, let me say, that without the first version of the Wildomar FaceBook page, I probably wouldn't have gotten involved in the city. I also wouldn't have met many of my neighbors and others in the city either. 

That said, those of you that stay away from the Wildomar FaceBook pages (there are more than you can count these days), or facebook in general, are doing yourself a huge favor.

The Wildomar facebook pages are often filled with: things for sale; inane topics like "Why did KFC close"; or idle gossip and child level name calling. 

Imagine the dog head tilt look I gave a few people in the lobby of City Hall before the last City Council meeting, when I was asked something like... "Did you bring your gloves with you?" Followed by chuckles.
Ummm... errrr... what?

Contrary to popular opinion, I don't live on the internet, and since early Summer, I've left the various Wildomar group pages, since I find they are about a 90% waste of time (No Offense Sheila, Michelle or Kevin).

Check out the screenshot that my wife took of part of the conversation in question.

Hey Michelle, when it's in written form it's libel. When it's spoken, that's when it's slander.

Apparently, the accusation is that someone took down some of Gary Andre's campaign signs, then after the election put them back up. I guess to make it appear that he didn't take them down or something. 

Imagine my delight in reading my name associated with criminal activity. At least they didn't accuse me of child molestation or bank robbery... yet!

This topic had a thread of nearly 100 posts before it got deleted... still not nearly as many as the KFC thread or the Walmart thread. I am not part of that group so I didn't even know it existed. My wife is part of the FaceBook group in question, and did take a ton of screenshots with her Samsung Note II —I just didn't care enough to read through that dreck. 

Suffice to say, that having some failed local politician calling me out by name was the highlight of my day. I can't imagine how depraved a person would have to be, to blithely cast out such erroneous and libelous accusations. 


The only "sick bunch of people" are the ones that LOST yet again. They have nothing of value going on in their lives, and instead of looking for ways to help the community, they look for ways to sue and divide it. Nice life.

As I told a few people. I can't imagine even thinking of such a stupid caper, much less actually doing such a thing. I then said, "If I had been 14, then I might have done it". When I was 14, it was 1979 and there were no CCTV's around. But I'm not a teenager, I'm a grown man with functioning reasoning skills.

Even if, EVEN IF... I thought of something as daft as that, I know the laws and have NOT forgotten the trouble that former DA Zellerbach got into for similar actions. For the longest time, I've assumed that there is a camera on every corner, and there is NO way I'd risk my good name on something so dumb. 

I'm sure I'll be getting a formal apology from Sheryl Ade any moment now. 
Hardy Har Har... I kill me sometimes.

It would take class to apologize... but someone with class wouldn't have made such an inane remark in the first place. As I was telling someone, that kind of comment was no surprise. It's what she does.

If, however, she would have posted something like: "Just wanted to congratulate the three top vote getters for a well run campaign. The electorate has spoken and even if Gary Andre and Israel Leija's votes had been combined... they still would have come in 4th. Best wishes." That would have been a surprise.

Thankfully she didn't post that kind of reasoned comment.  The utter shock from reading such a thing would have been enough to stop my heart mid beat.


If people choose to comment. Stay away from personal attacks... especially the agent orange or draft dodger card, or the concubine card (including any variation thereof). The air in Hemet tends to thin the skin of people. So show some respect or I'll delete your comment. 
•      •       

If at first you don't succeed... just pretend that you did succeed and slander all those that tell you otherwise.


  1. This explains why I haven't seen you on the facebook site. I almost quit the Wildomar site but decided it's best to learn how to filter what I read and keep the connection with the community. I do get frustrated by frequent references to something that was removed. It's like trying to read highly redacted material.

    I'm also surprised to see you accused of nefarious activity. I take such public accusations seriously in that I seriously evaluate those making the accusations. But, anyone speaking on the Internet is creating statements that should walked back sooner or later. For example, this week's news got me recalling our climate conversations. Words like

    "You could remove ALL of California, all 38,000,000 of us (which is less than half of 1% of the world's population) and it would still have next to NO impact when China and India are constantly expanding, with plans to build more than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide.
    Sorry envirosexualists,..."

    The commitment by China this week to reach peak emissions in 16 years is big, especially if you look at the nature of our energy economy. China, like the US, is a titanic that has to start turning now if it's to miss the collision. Actually, China has been turning for some time. Its investments in renewable energy increased by 40% between 2008 and 2012 and resulted in 2013 generating 378 gigawatts via renewables compared to our 172 gigawatts. The "what about
    China argument" should be put to rest.


    1. I'm the first guy to admit when I'm wrong... or at least in the first wave of guys. :)

      Or that my information may be surface level. There are few things that I've delved into deep enough to have a conversation on the nuts and bolts of things. That's why I try to formulate arguments that are more general in scope.

      My contention has long been that mankind is facing tangible, in your face, things like pollution and over population. To me, those should be slotted far ahead of things like climate change.

      It's obviously a weighty subject, and I can't imagine myself ever being able to be more than a spectator of learned men discussing it. It would be great to find reputable people to discuss the subject, like a televised presidential debate, where dispassionate points of view are discussed. Where no one hears words like "denier" or "it was a cold day in July:.

      As for my copy written term... envirosexualist... I use that on the hot heads on Yahoo News comment sections. I'm imagining that you've run into people that you agree with on the issues, but cannot stand their delivery or comportment. It's at times like that when I go to the Ad Hominem card. Though I can see that I jumped the gun by using it in a Wildomar Rap blog.

      It's always good to chat with you John.
      Hope you have a good day.

      And I have one of those Torch Cactus plants ready to give you too.

  2. Oddly, there really are denialists out there. I've encountered so many who reason from a conclusion. Though in climate science, the practitioners trend conservative and Tea Party, I consider it a human flaw and can see it across the political spectrum. The key difference is climate science denial is mainstream. Some are activists in the denial, and many more are merely surrounded by reinforcing media. I could give you a long list of names and examples.

    And yes, I would love the Torch Cactus. I have one contact on FB who knows you, and since I was going to contact her anyway to confirm whether you were moving campaign signs around, I'll ask her how we can connect to exchange the item. Looking forward to it.



Let's hear what you have to say... for other inquiries try the email listed under "view my complete profile" but if you want to discuss a blog topic, I'll only do it in this comment section, not by email.

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