Blog Posts - September 2011

Thoughts on things that make you say ‘Ow’

By Emilio, on Sep 19, 2011

This is one of Steve Bankhead’s “Historic” Op-Ed’s. Mr. Bankhead was kind enough to give the Fishing Report permission to reprint a Register-Pajaronian Opinion of March 11, 2011.

Thoughts on things that make you say ‘Ow’

Friday, Mar 11th, 2011

 In his March 8 letter to the editor, Elias Alonzo complained of a “duo of City Council members in alignment with an aging old guard and elitist attempt to prevent the development of a 2,000-job business park.”

That would be the proposed Manabe-Ow project. It’s unfortunate that in his haste, Mr. Alonzo neglected to mention the fact he’s a longtime lobbyist for Ow family developments.

Mr. Alonzo’s letter concluded by saying Watsonville will survive the “onslaught” of these two council members and their arthritic allies, saying progress will be made “one funeral at a time.”

That created the disturbing image of a political clique checking obituaries for names of the community’s old guard, eagerly awaiting the day that enough will be gone to leave them free to have their way with the city.

I doubt there are plans for them to speed the dying process. Come to think of it, though, their fluoridation of our water might increase the incidence of osteoporosis. A flurry of broken hips among us old coots might help fast track the new guard’s agenda.

The “duo” alluded to in the Alonzo letter are council members Nancy Bilicich and Emilio Martinez. They’re the same unruly scamps who refused to march in step with other council members on fluoridation. As for his accusation of them attempting to prevent  job development, apparently haste can also cause a person to confuse facts. I doubt anybody wants to prevent this project, except possibly Wetlands Watch or the Sierra Club, due to its location in a slough area. If any developer can conjure jobs from the site, more strength to them.


By Emilio, on Sep 14, 2011

Rumor has it that Zuniga’s Restaurant at the Airport is closing. Let’s hope it re-opens soon. Maybe the city can find a way to make it profitable.


The City Council meeting last night turned out to be a “love fest” as Assembly Member Luis Aljeo noted. He was using his cell phone most of the time he was there visiting. I had to agree as we all voted unanimously on the same Plan to Redistrict after I motioned and council member Manuel Bersamin seconded. Some council members chided that it was rare to see Bersamin and I agree on something. We did have a spat a few minutes before when he continued to lecture and criticize both Council Member Nancy Bilicich I for comments we made; he has a tendency to respond to almost anything we say in a degrading and lecturing tone. So I called him out on it and maybe he will cease that type of conduct but if not, we will continue to spar.

Lowell Hurst seemed to spend an eternity telling everybody what he had done since the last time the city council met, prompting Council Member Oscar Rios to say, when Lowell finally took a breath “There is life after retirement” drawing some chuckles. I think Lowell is already campaigning, but at least he didn’t bore us with a Will Rogers quote again. 

Second Street Resident and anti-Fluoride Crusader Nick Bulaich showed up, as he always does, and continues to pound the question to Manuel Bersamin who headed the Fluoride Ad-Hoc Committee to identify which hydrofluoric acid prevents toot-decay. Bulaich called Manuel a “Mintiroso” which translates to “liar”. Manuel didn’t respond much, but afterward Oscar Rios said that he grew up in San Francisco, where they fluoridate their water and it tastes good. And, that he had somebody ask him to bring him some water from S.F. because of the good taste. I wondered if he knew that fluoride does not have a taste.


By Emilio, on Sep 13, 2011


Did you read today in the Register-Pajaronian that Mayor Dodge submitted an 11th hour city Redistricting Plan? The city shelled out around $30,000 to an attorney, appointed a Redistricting Committee to conduct due diligence and provide a recommendation based on their findings, but they don’t get to see Mayor Daniel Dodge’s plan? Mayor Daniel Dodge responded that there is no “hidden agenda”. Circumventing the Redistricting Committee questions Mayor Dodge’s statement, but doesn’t it make the Redistricting Committee process look like a sham and mockery?


Hidden Agenda or not, Mayor Dodge it also seems has legally theorized that he and City Manager Carlos Palacios are the only ones that have the authority to decide which matters to place on the Agenda for city council meetings. He wrote me a lengthy memo stating his position. I responded that we need a legal opinion from City Attorney Alan Smith of the intent and purpose of the City Charter which clearly states that the Mayor’s position is “symbolic” and that the mayor does not have veto power. Also, voter approval is required before making any amendments to the City Charter. City Attorney Smith wrote, in essence, that he would not provide a legal “opinion” but rather an observation.  How do you define “Hidden Agenda”?


By Emilio, on Sep 12, 2011


It was bound to happen. A group of “concerned” citizens are going one step further and asking District Attorney Bob Lee to conduct an investigation based on the Grand Jury’s findings.


By Emilio, on Sep 11, 2011


Let’s never forget the 2,977 people who perished and the unknown amount of heroes that emerged on that day, the 11th of September 2001.


I am proud to be an American. I love my country. I salute the American Flag at every given opportunity. I am thankful and grateful to our Veterans, and those serving in the Armed Forces today because all of these Brave Women and Men have made our country The Land of The Free.    


By Emilio, on Sep 9, 2011


If I was a parolee living in Watsonville and keeping up with local periodicals, I would consider taking an extended vacation. It seems that the Watsonville Police Department is taking an aggressive approach to checking up on people who are on parole especially those with gang ties. Almost on a daily basis, our police department’s gang task force is making arrests.


By Emilio, on Sep 7, 2011

Have our Strawberry Festivals been generating additional income to our city’s coffers or has it been operating in the Red and a financial liability? This question has become additionally prevalent when records provided by the city verified that the city used approximately $19,000 in “Petty Cash” to operate this year’s Strawberry Festival, and that after the Festival the City Council was asked to approve this this expenditure without any explanation. Sounds like Grand Jury fodder to me.


At our previous city council meeting I inquired about 4 checks totaling over $20,000 for “Petty Cash”.  I received a response from our Finance Director explaining that $10,450.00 of it was to pay 3 bands that performed at this year’s Strawberry Festival. Banda Autentica de Jerez was paid with 70 one-hundred dollar bills, Los Grandes de Tijuana was paid with 30 one-hundred dollar bills, and Mariachi Salinas de Martin Alcantar was paid with 4 one-hundred dollar bills and one fifty dollar bill.


The response prompted these additional questions to City Manager Carlos Palacios:

·         Why couldn’t these bands accept checks?


·         Other bands played at the Strawberry Festival. Were they also paid with cash money?



·         The check, #182454, in the amount of $18,650 for the bands, Sodas, Parking and Sales was issued on July 27th, which is 10 days prior to the festival. When was the check cashed and who had the care, custody and control of the cash for the days preceding payment?

·         Who handed out the 104 One-Hundred Dollar Bills and the one Fifty Dollar Bill to the Bands, on what date and to which individuals (names)?


·          When was it agreed with the Bands that they would be paid with cash money?



Can you imagine how maybe conversations went when 104 one-hundred dollar bills were being handed out?

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