April 12th 2014
That’s Life©1966 #509 (4-11-14)

Posted under That's Life Columns

Feel Free to Email:Tedhick@gmail.com


4-11-14 must mean something?

*Today at work was fun.  I unplugged the copier and put a sign on it that said “Now voice activated”…then just sat back and watched the magic unfold.


Brave Punks Rob Helpless Women breakinig news moving

            The Dixon Police Department has its own take on the women being assaulted and robbed at gun point over by Northwest Park by some black dude with face covering dreadlocks. My sage advice is for women walking by themselves not to carry or show a purse in the first place. Secondly, arm yourself with pepper spray a small framed 38 special, a can of wasp and hornet spray (that shoots out 20 feet and you can gas them before they get out of the car) or a nine iron…and for God’s sake take the stupid ear buds out of your ears so you can hear what’s going on around you.


           According to Dixon Police Chief, Jon Cox, “It’s a shame it has come to this but unfortunately this is the way the world is today.” He said he advises women not to make themselves an easy target, try not to walk alone if they don’t have to and always be aware of their surroundings. This is the same advice he gives his 20 something daughter. He is an advocate of the “chemical sprays” but they will only work he added if people have the mindset to use them at the proper time. He added the bad guy act while to good people are still thinking about what’s going on.

            Chief Cox also said that’s one reason he doesn’t recommend firearms for self protection at home for most people. When push comes to shove most people will not pull the trigger to possibly end another’s life and while they are thinking about it tables can be turned and you can get hurt with your own weapon. He did acknowledge that a lot of bikers, most hunters and a lot of veterans probably wouldn’t have that problem. (All of the women in our family and extended family know how to use firearms and shoot on a fairly regular basis. To protect themselves or their families they will pull the trigger…and they will hit what they aim for…probably a couple of times.)

            Your first words should you should yell are, “Stop and don’t take another step closer,” then if you fear for your life in light of recent events, take whatever action you deem necessary…and make sure to tell police when they arrived you were “afraid for my life.” That will justify about whatever you decide to do.

Ladies: Be brave and be assertive don’t put up with this crap. A guy jumps out of a car and starts towards you, if you can, drop the bastard in his tracks if he gets to you before you can get away.

I was getting my hair cut when we heard about and on lady there said, “It’s a sad state of affairs its come to this, but with this city actively recruiting more than our share of  low income, crime producing housing it was inventible I guess.” This seems to be a valid assumption. Look at Fairfield and Vacaville that are now not much different that Vallejo.

            The same goes for home burglaries and “invasions”. I’m just waiting for one of these dumb clucks, who think our “country bumpkins” are easy pickings, to pick the wrong (or right depending on your point of view) house. Like a veteran, a member of one of the biker clubs, the American Legion or VFW or a current service person or a cop. The police advise against using deadly force. The group I just mentioned prefers the use of deadly force to protect their lives and the lives of their families. Somehow these dirt balls never seem to choose the wrong house…but it’s just a matter of time.


            Remember if push comes to shove and you have to do what you gotta do the first words out of your mouth to law enforcement is “I was afraid for my life and the lives of my family. I was afraid they were going to kill us and I saw (or thought I saw) a weapon.”

I’m not giving legal advice here but if they are in your home no jury in the world would convict you of anything for protecting yourself and your loved ones…I don’t think it’s really even illegal. You have a right to defend yourself and your family and use deadly force if necessary. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

            You gotta be a little careful though, don’t want to whack a Jehovah’s Witness, mail person or the UPS guy.



Grandparents/Parents Beware

wmoney guy

            I had a call from one of the elderly icons of Dixon last week who told me she had just received a call saying her grandson was in jail in Mexico…and because that was a remote possibility she listened for a minute. The caller said he was in deep trouble and she needed to wire bail money immediately. She asked, “Is this a scam?” She was told, “Of course not, we are just trying to help”. She then told the caller she would have his dad call immediately to help out…and they hung up on her…This is the second time she’s been hit with the same scam. Her advice, like mine is do nothing over the phone. No charities, no nothing. If it is an emergency get their number and call them back. If your gut still tells you something isn’t right, call the police and have them work with you to get the answers…Don’t be stupid. Don’t give them anything. Scammers make millions taking money from too trusting seniors and stupid dumb people each year… Try not to be either one.


Margaret And Mickey


Margaret Schroeder and Mickey Rooney both lived to be 93 and died within days of each other. In their own ways they had a huge impact on those around them.

Margaret was married once for a long time. Mickey was married eight times…No match there. They both lived a life that started with no: TV, computers, modern plumbing, phones, satellites, segregation, cell phones, air conditioning…etc. How many things can you think of that didn’t exist before 1920?

            Mrs. Schroeder was a kick. Mickey was a kick to but with a capitol D. He entertained millions and earned and blew millions more. Mrs. Schroeder helped hundreds, maybe thousands.

            Mrs. Schroeder was a real kick. A few years ago she called and asked if we wanted some stuff for Toys for Tots. She said they were going to disband an organization because the “old women didn’t want to do anything anymore”…She was in her late 80’s at the time. We dove hunted on their ranch for some 35+ years and I remember once asking her if we should not hunt at sunrise on opening morning. She said, “No; go ahead.  I don’t mind hearing the gun shots. They remind me of the old days when we would have a group come and hunt and then stay for breakfast”. I asked her about the neighbors even though none were really close and she replied, “If it bothers them it’s their problem…this is our land.” Her late husband, Elmer, was also a great supporter from the time we arrived here in the 60’s when I was editor of the Dixon Tribune. They lived in the Schroeder house in which he was born. It was built in 1873. He backed me every time I ran for election hoping I would “balance out the crooks”. We loved the Schroeder family and we still do…They come from pioneer stock and have anchored the ag community for generations. The current batch of Schroeders from this branch are cut from the same mold…We are happy to call them our friends.



It Was Cow Tipping…?


            When I was young and even when we first moved here in the 60’s a lot of talk went on about “cow tipping”. No, you didn’t give them money for any extra milk they gave you. Supposedly when a cow is sound asleep you can rush it, push on it on its side and knock it flat to the ground. Then, you laugh like loons and run.

Putting a new spin on an old urban legend is the San Francisco version called “car tipping”. The city rascals are taking the little “Smart cars,” which weighs about 1,500 pounds, and tipping them up on end or over…by hand.

          Don’t think this is completely a new thing. Back in the early 60’s when I was in high school we had a math teacher who was an ass. I was with six football players who turned his Volkswagen Bug car sideways in his carport…don’t know if they ever got it out…Guess the smart cars aren’t as smart as they thought or they could turn themselves back over…or photograph who done them wrong.

         We don’t condone that kind of behavior here of course…but you gotta admit it’s funny as hell.


 Believe It Or Not


            This really sucks… The U.S. Post Office is coming out with a stamp honoring Harvey Milk. If you live in Dixon you might want to get in line early as I’m sure they will be in big demand. It will first be issued on May 22, which is also Harvey Milk Day. If anyone needs help with what to do with them after you get one, I can tell you how and where to stick them…but I ain’t licking one. The U.S. Postal Service released the design of the new stamp commemorating the gay rights activist and American politician, Harvey Milk, on Monday. It will be the first to feature an openly gay politician. Milk made history when he won a spot on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in in 1977, becoming the first elected official to openly identify as being gay. He made history again when he was the first openly gay elected official assassinated. This happened  the following year when Dan White, another city supervisor who had recently stepped down but wanted his job back, got PO’d, and shot him. He was also the subject of the 2008 biographical film Milk, starring Sean Penn.

The stamp, which was first revealed in Linn’s Stamp News, will feature a black-and-white photo of the politician along with his name and the rainbow colors which represent the LGBT pride flag.


What we are going to do is ask our congressman, John Garamendi to have the post office come out with a stamp honoring someone who has really done something for a lot of people and who should have a day and even a park named after him. As a former elected official who once the youngest elected person in the state, and the first non-gay BLT person to demand my rights…I think I stand a good chance.

Notice how Harv has the GLBTQ flag on his stamp. We put my flag on mine. This is a real usable, legal stamp and I’ve ordered 20 of them for proof. The release date on my stamp is today and is not yet available at the local post office. I’m sure they will immediately become collector’s items.


The True Story Of The Chicken Gun.



Too funny not to share! Sometimes it does take a rocket scientist! Scientists at NASA built a gun specifically to launch standard four pound dead chickens at the windshields of airliners, military jets and the space shuttle, all traveling at maximum velocity. The idea is to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.    
            British engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains.  Arrangements were made, and a gun was sent, along with several frozen chicken rounds, to the British engineers. 
            When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer’s back-rest in two, and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin, like an arrow shot from a bow. 
            The horrified Brits sent NASA the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the US scientists for suggestions. NASA responded with a one-line memo — “Defrost the chicken.”  (True Story)


More Things For Thought…Some Spitters.


*I used to date a girl who thought making out in the backseat of a Honda was her civic duty.

*The news just carried a story about a nun giving birth so now its official…a nun is getting more action than I am!

*My entire working knowledge of automotive repair can be summarized by that children’s song “the wheels on the bus”.

*Definition of a slut: A desirable woman who has sex with someone other than yourself.

*Don’t you just love how people say they are “expecting” a baby…as though it may be something else like a penguin or a lawnmower?

*Judging by their knives the Swiss Army is comprised of mostly bartenders and fix-it men.

*When I was in the first grade and I’d tell my parents what we’d done in school that day they’d act amazed…and I’d think “shouldn’t you know this crap already?”

*If a cannibal ate a comedian that would lead to some funny crap.

*Ya know if tomatoes are a fruit…that makes ketchup a smoothie!

*All the staff of the sperm bank assembled in the parking lot for a fire drill several minutes before the alarm went off…it was a premature evacuation.

*You’re the reason I get out of bed in the morning…that, and I have to pee.

*I’m going to the gym now.  I don’t say this to impress anyone…I just want you to know where to send the ambulance.  

*Condoleeza Rice’s less successful sister is apartmentleeza rice.

*The headlines read “Police find two nude corpses in bank vault”…I can only think of one reason for that, safe sex.

*Bruce Willis says he’s going to keep playing the same movie roles…you know what they say about old habits.

*People in sleeping bags are the soft tacos of the bear world.

*I’m really tired of women coming up with all sort of excuses not to mess around…like “I’m tired” or “I have a headache” or “I’m your sister-in-law”.  

*Next time I get in a fight with the wife I’m gonna go tighten all the lids on the jars.

*They found Richard III’s skeleton buried in a parking lot…the time stamp on his ticket stub shows he owes $8,772,964.

*My granddaughter just asked how to spell “bourbon”…she’s either asking Santa to be good to grandpa or writing to child services.

*Why is there “head and shoulders” shampoo…who’s shampooing their shoulders?

*Sent the wife a text asking if the plumber came to fix the leak and if our 5 year old grandson spent the day with her…she sent a text back “he’s naked on the couch”…I was afraid to ask which one! 

*Grilled cheese is just regular cheese…except it’s been forced to account for its whereabouts last nite between 9:00 and 11:30pm.

*Someday someone is going to call me “sir”…without adding, “I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

*My neighbor is a micro biologist…we’ve never seen him.

*I’m not a racist.  I hate all races equally…but especially the 100 meter dash.

*Some people age like wine…others like *milk.

*Has anyone besides me noticed that at this point you can get more gas for a $5 bill at taco bell than you can at a gas station?

*The sign at the zoo said “please don’t touch the animals”…so I put away the book of poetry I was reading to them.

“I’ll be back!” Is what Arnold Schwarzenegger said as he put on a two-man horse costume…Mooan.


2013 Lab at Easter


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April 12th 2014
Dixon Overlords – A Lack of Humanity

Posted under Mike Ceremello's Viewpoint & That's Life Columns

Did you treat yourselves to another night of proof that our current city council is made up of unfeeling, insensitive control freaks with minimal intelligence as well as intellect?  In case you missed it, it will once again be my pleasure to keep you informed.  To confirm my contentions, you have to go no further than your computer to bring up the city’s website where you can view the meeting in part or entirety.

 As I don’t have the space to address all of the disgusting attributes of this one meeting, this will be the first of two articles focused on just how warped this council has become.  For those of you who thought Dane Besneatte’s use of his title as vice mayor was in poor taste or just completely wrong, that issue has been left in the dust by the three abusers of the youth of morality, righteousness, and common sense.  So here goes.

wwwwpissed off 

We will start with Jose Hermasillo’s appeal of the planning commission decision to deny his variance application.  I began thinking of how attorneys purposefully twist or spin the facts to justify their position in defending their client.  When I got up to speak, I proved that the five point requirement for a variance could easily be met.  Only Thom “Darth” Bogue picked up on this, as Dane didn’t have to as he had already pointed out the issue of unfairness in forcing Hermasillo to move a fence he hadn’t put in and to which city staff hadn’t objected during their inspections of the property during a remodel.

 Rather than the city accepting responsibility for their error of omission, Mayor BJ decided to attack Hermasillo personally after Jose presented the council with numerous pictures of CITY PROPERTY which did not meet setback requirements in place since 1963.  Jack stated, “Obviously you have more time than I do …” to survey other sites.  Well Jack, if you weren’t off to Washington, D.C. on a taxpayer funded junket on the citizens’ dime, maybe you would have the time.  Nothing like playing the big man when you are just another cog in the machine, a loose nut with little purpose.


This just goes to show you exactly what Jack Batchelor is about.  He cares little for the citizen of Dixon unless he is one of his allies, campaign contributors, or some other stepping stone.  Jack, as the mayor you are supposed to be finding ways to help the residents of town rather than attempting to make them jump through stupid hoops.  Ever wonder why a ten foot setback is the appropriate distance?  Would you have a person move a fence if it was 9 ½ feet back?  What is so necessary about consistency and uniformity in a town where a simple drive can show you its dreaded non-conformity?  That non-conformity is small town charm, something the General Plan says we are supposed to cherish and defend.

 Then we have the Dodo Bird again opening his stupid little beak.  He tells Hermasillo that he should take the realtor to court, thanks to Jack’s adequate coaching in that direction.  The question for both Dodo and BJ is why should a citizen have to spend his money to correct YOUR city staff’s screw ups?  If you believe so strongly in this, why don’t you raise the funds through your ROT-ARY organization to help this guy out or open your government pensioned fat wallets and pay for it yourselves?  Primarily you don’t do it because you both are long-winded baboons or buffoons who are truly hypocrites.

 This could have been easily resolved by just granting this guy a variance and the problem would have gone away.  It was already known that this council doesn’t support the freedom of citizens to make the decision where to locate a side yard fence on their property.  But then Jerry Has-None has to open his mouth and usurp Dodo’s title as the dumbest guy on the council.  None, as in no brains or manly paraphenalia, made the stupid comment that it was ludicrous to allow people to put their fences wherever they wanted.  They already have and you would realize that if you ever actually walked through this town.


I warned Mr. None that if he continued to mispronounce my name, I would reciprocate and slap him so hard with his dropped glove that he would wish he had never been audacious enough to even run for a position totally over his pea brained head.  I have no respect for a person, nor is it mandated that I have just because he has a title or won an election, when that person couldn’t put together a coherent argument if someone had it on a teleprompter in front of him.  Luckily for None, I gave him the correct argument but he ignorantly continued down his blind path.

 Maybe Jerry could provide us with the necessity of adhering to this worthless ordinance, with so many examples existing of fences which aren’t in compliance due to being “grandfathered in” or otherwise ignored because they are on city property or part of some big development the city approved?  Hey, None, how about telling us about all of the accidents or problems associated with fences located right next to the property line?  Maybe you could get the clueless Ginger Emerson to help you as she can’t seem to see the value in allowing residents to make their own choices rather than being forced to be sheep.

 Emerson needs to understand that simply because the majority of citizens go along with a bad law, it doesn’t make it right.  Perhaps she never heard of slavery?  What about Prohibition?  Prostitution is legal in one State’s several counties and now we see recreational marijuana being legalized.  What’s next: the legalization of gay marriage?  Obviously laws are put in place but not carved in stone.  Freedom is the only thing ever removed until choice is given back.  In addition, no one is forcing anyone to smoke, drink, or do something against their will even if these things are permitted.  But the placement of a fence on one’s own property shouldn’t be up to a corporate city to decide.


Once again, Dane, Darth, and I had voted to change this ordinance to allow residents to make up their own minds.  It appears that the only way common sense and sanity will resume on this council is with the removal of Jack Batchelor, Jerry None, and the Dodo.  But that time is not upon us yet …

* * * * *

The next item on the agenda was another appeal public hearing because Matthew Turne felt that there are too many liquor licenses already in Dixon for the take out sale of beer, wine, and hard liquor.  It was unfortunate that this hearing devolved into another competitor based “keep them out” session rather than a simple decision to endorse the free market.  I was extremely disappointed in Darth’s logic, final decision, and personal reasons for voting to uphold the appeal which failed on a three to two vote with the consistently hypocritical, oxymoron comments of None being Darth’s only support.

 At least Jerry was consistent in his vote against giving variances.  If you actually believe the law should be followed, we would have only 4 establishments selling liquor in Dixon.  Wal-Mart and Safeway would not have made the cut.  You see, the California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control (the ABC) believes that only 4 such licenses should be allowed per census tract.  Dixon had 12 and now has 13.  All the ABC requires is a finding of “necessity”.

 While it might be easy to tell a small business owner such as Michael’s Market that they can’t sell part of their normal inventory, how do you do that to a big boy like Sam Walton or Safeway?  Some say Wal-Mart should have never been allowed to come to Dixon.  So you really think passing up a half million dollars or more in sales tax revenue makes sense?  God, I am glad you people don’t run for office.

 Here you have the old Thornton’s Jewelry store, formerly Sacramento Savings bank, sitting empty for two years and you don’t want it occupied because you would rather wait until a better business expresses interest?  You pay the property tax and upkeep for the property owner, then you can make that decision and not before.

 While I agree with the owner of the Discount Liquor store just down from Safeway about the improper notification of residents or business owners in the vicinity, and I agree that this will cannibalize his sales, I must support the business’ entry into our town just as I would any competitor for any other established business.  The first problem is the city staff’s and not the applicants.  The second problem is what the free market is all about.  Simply because they open and offer the products I want doesn’t mean I will shop there if prices are too high.

 Unlike Bogue, or Batchelor, I do not make my judgments based on who donates money to my campaign.  I have my principles and I do not deviate from them.  Batchelor went against this appeal because one of his principles is to never negate an advisory body’s recommendation, such as the planning commission.  Gee Jack, you didn’t seem to have any problem ignoring the wastewater committee’s recommendation and even voted to dissolve the group because they didn’t give you what you wanted, your pet project.  Oops … rather inconsistent there, bud.

 So this is what your council has become.  Morons like Has-None, claiming he was for “smart growth” and “all for growth given my 30 years in the building trades” while claiming this is not smart growth and too much of the same.  So Jerry, we shouldn’t allow any upscale business such as a Nugget Supermarket or the Elephant Bar restaurant to locate in Dixon because we already have enough food stores and restaurants?  You are a true idiot.

 Darth has proven that he is nothing but a base politician.  When you challenge me with questions regarding big business, don’t let my hesitation in answering confuse you into thinking I don’t have an answer.  I had so many answers, I was trying to determine which one would answer the direction of your question and I did.  Your final comment about the business not creating additional revenues demonstrates your knowledge of economics is equivalent to the president, Barack Insane Obama.  Your false premise is that only the exact same products would be sold.  While substitution of some goods may occur as well as some purchase of the same product, the applicant told you this store would stock “craft brews” as well as high end wines.  People won’t shop there simply because it is a fancy looking building and you should know that.

 All I can say is the “dark side” of ignorance must be extremely tempting …

* * * * *

Two final items and reminders.  First, the public should not forget that the final sewer rate increase is scheduled for a vote on April 22nd.  The council could do the wise thing and hear a presentation from In-Pipe Technologies before voting, but then no one ever accused this council of having a mote of wisdom.


The second is the death of a “real person”, Shirley McNeece, on April 6th.  Her memorial service will be held at the LDS church on Lincoln on April 15th at noon.  She was a friend and supporter of mine as well as a thinking person.

 This type of rarity should be missed.  I hope you had the opportunity to make her acquaintance …




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April 4th 2014
That’s Life©1966 #508 (4-4-14)

Posted under That's Life Columns

Feel Free to Email:Tedhick@gmail.com


Today we freeze, Monday we roast…welcome to Northern California…the land of veggies, fruits and nuts, frostbite and heat stroke…

BTW…It’s Turkey hunting season here.  If you see someone wearing camouflage be sure to walk right into them…so they know it’s working.


You are A Part Of The Three Most Questionable, Costly And

Biggest Blunders in this City’s History…Why is this So?

 Copy of 10a


Ask anyone in the photo above how they justify a $6.1million hole to walk under the RR tracks and not allow for emergency vehicles. 

# 1…Eric wrote: “Can’t wait to see what my ole buddy Ted Hickman has to say about the train that just had both vehicle crossings blocked for well over 20 mins… Darn good thing there were not any emergency vehicles trying to get to a person in need… good example of the recent article Ted wrote on this very thing happening.” This was posted on Facebook recently for the world to see just days after my article last week. I was complaining about the current city council’s unauthorized use of $6.1million dollars to build an underground walkway, where one was neither wanted nor needed by the citizens of this city. They did so using taxpayer’s money including a big chunk set aside for an overpass which would had given not only people a way over the tracks but a way for emergency vehicles access to either side of town when the tracks were blocked.

Eric followed up with: “I really hope there is a more extensive “comment” in this coming week’s article Ted… and knowing you my friend it would not surprise me to see a full article. I enjoy how you point out the obvious and state the facts regardless of who is right or wrong and of course the sometimes ‘subliminal’ humor that more than some just don’t seem to get…. even when it is explained some still don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying by any means or in any way that this subject of the RxR crossings/underpass/ overpass is funny, because it is anything but funny. It should become a very serious topic of discussion in the coming months at any and all city council meetings, local news papers and between friends, families, neighbors, etc. I predict that there will eventually be a number of fundraisers and such, along with applications being filled out for grants and loans from government sources so our town gets what it should have had a long time ago… and that is a railroad overpass. Time will tell….”

I guess nobody died last week because fire and ambulance couldn’t get across the tracks…but they could have…but somebody may eventually. With the Pulte subdivision and the new out of place senior housing, plus everybody on the southeast side of the tracks…it’s just a matter of time until a heart and railroad track blockage happen at the same time. Then we will probably be sued and we, the taxpayers, will have to pay for the arrogance and stupidity of the current city council. The question is why?

#2…Even though the city council has been given a much cheaper  ($12 a year per home) and more environmentally friendly way of solving the sewage problem they have decided, once again without going to the voters, to spend $30+ million dollars to build what will be an obsolete “solution”. The result will be the doubling of sewage ratesthe question is why?

#3…Your water rates will triple in the future…again if you live on the wrong side of the tracks…that’s many in the north and northwest quadrant of the city. Instead of having professionals take care of procuring and selling water to us (not, us meaning us because we are lucky to have Cal Water) the city wants to take on the water business by itself…without going to the voters once again…and once again the question is why?

The only logical reasons I’ve heard from several segments of the community is  to look at the $50,000 plus contributions that was given by unions to elect the current three man majority of the council…Anyone else have any other plausible reason for such outrageous actions? I guess they figured if the president could do mandates without approval of the people…It’s spread right down to a little city like Dixon…I mean WTF folks…really WTF. How much longer are you the voters going to put up with this three man cadre running amok with our tax dollars, thumbing their noses at the taxpayers and voters and doing anything they wish?

 You don’t see or hear me criticizing the council very often because serving 12 years on it personally I have respect for the job done right…but this newly elected group apparently has the California Democratic Senate as role models and have dedicated themselves to prove…power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely…BTW…anyone not agreeing these three items ($36+ million and counting in taxpayers dollars) were worthy of public approval by the ballot before this council mandated it? Let me know and I’ll print your opinion.




From The Email Bag

Ted: This weekend is the “Black Expo” in Sacramento where thousands will gather and over 100 booths will be present to promote black stuff. What do you think would happen if I put on a “White Expo”?Jim  B. Dixon

Ted: If you did so it would probably be labeled as racist and you would probably be denied a permit.)



You Really Want Something To Fret About?


breakinig news moving

            With all of our day-to-day struggles just to make ends meet and live with every day stresses and problems comes something to make you re-think your priorities…Ebola.

Stuck on the back pages of most newspaper, if they published it at all was this little note from Guinea…The Ebola virus has reared its ugly head again. Ebola the world’s most deadly virus, for which there is no cure and a 90 per cent fatality rate…is active again. It has killed at least 80 people so far and infected…no one knows how many. Now it’s spread to two other neighboring countries. So this is bad huh? But its way on the other side of the world, why should we worry about that along with all of our other problems? Google or Wikipedia (photo) it if you dare.

I’ll tell you why. Conakry, the city of 2 million people where the victims have been taken has an international airport. It could be here in a matter of hours…if the UCD monkey farm doesn’t have it in stock already. Sick people there are staying away from the hospitals and friends and relatives of those infected may have spread it to the slums of Guinea, one of the poorest countries in the world…you do the math and possible ramifications. The WHO, and the UN need to get a handle on this NOW. Today it’s their problem tomorrow it could be ours for real…think about that while you’re mad for having to wait in line at Starbucks.


More Food For Thought


*70% of the planet is covered in water…the other 30% is covered in idiots.

*Every year on Valentine’s Day I put a big smile on my wife’s face…by taking down the Christmas tree.

*With the government shutdown they closed the national parks…what did they do at the Grand Canyon?  Pull a tarp over it?

*Pretty sure that the guy that named them “walkie-talkies” got fired…before he could name other government equipment.

*Why do they hang wanted posters in the post office…we’re not crime fighters, we’re just buying stamps.

*Yesterday my boss asked why I was tardy…I said “I don’t think you’re supposed to call people that anymore.”

*Told the wife Hooters is an owl-rescue sanctuary and I’m doing important volunteer work there.

*Wile E. Coyote’s Amazon reviews of Acme products are really quite scathing.

*It’s just a matter of time until they add “syndrome” after my name.

*In a perfect world the term “Axe body spray” would only be used to refer to blood spatter patterns.

*They were called “jumpolines” until your sister got one.  

*I’m always so confused when the announcer says just before a TV show I want to watch “for mature audiences only”…can I watch it or not?

*A woman’s magazine told me I should compliment my wife’s booty so I told her I was glad it wasn’t hairy…I need a place to stay.

*My wife and I play a variation of trivial pursuit a lot…it’s where she ignores me until I correctly guess what I did wrong.

*The worst part of seeing a spider in the shower was the way the little thing covered its eyes when it saw me!

*It has been widely rumored that a positive pregnancy test will cure hiccups.

*Got home pretty drunk.  Put the turkey in the oven then went upstairs and made love to the wife.  Woke up next to the turkey…I’m afraid to look in the oven.

*My dad passed away several years ago but now on every holiday or birthday when the whole family gets together I think “you lucky bastard!”

*I do a spot-on impression of a middle-aged man not living up to his full potential.

*The noblest of all dogs is the hot dog…it feeds the hand that bites it.

*If you’re going to call the cops every time you spot me in your bushes I don’t hold out much hope for this relationship.

*Stretching is an important part of keeping fit. Stretch out flat on your back like I do.  Then stretch your eyelids over your eyes. Then stretch a blanket over your body.

*”Twas the day before lent, and when it was done, not a creature was sober, not even a nun.”

*If I had to guess where it all went to hell I would have to say it was the day I learned “elemenopee” wasn’t one big awesome letter.

*God is everywhere and knows everything…sounds a lot like my ex-wife. 

*A Chihuahua is actually just a barking cat.

*My decision to have children was based solely on the fact that I was just so tired of seeing movies in their entirety and I craved constant interruption.

*If a picture is worth a thousand words then why does everyone only buy playboy magazine for the articles?

*It’s not going to be the alcohol or other vices that kill me…it will be my inability to know when I should or shouldn’t laugh at something.

*Life tip: Use a large flour tortilla as a lap napkin…keep your clothes clean and you can still eat all the crap you spill.


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April 4th 2014
Are local water levels low?

Posted under That's Life Columns

Just Look at Berryessa photos

By Ted Hickman, IV Outdoor Editor



wglory hole 2011  AABbc2014 Screenshot_2013-12-31-18-34-23_1


Photo #1: The satalite image is in the public domain because it is a screenshot from NASA’s globe software World Wind using a public domain layer. The lake is huge but looks small from space.

Photo #2: “Glory Hole” when lake was full in 2011

Photo # 3: Photo of the Glory Hole taken by Sean Kett about a month ago from the road side.


            Many new people to this area may not know that about a half-an-hour away that was, at one time, the second biggest lake in California. It is located just northwest of Dixon in the notch in the foothills that you can see from here. You want to see how low the water in this area is? You want to see where your Bud Light starts its journey and much of the area’s agriculture/irrigation water comes from?

            Lake Berryessa is only accessible a couple of ways with the most popular being right through the middle of the of town of Winters right up to the big dam where the infamous “Glory Hole” is located. The huge cement hole was put in place to allow for overflow when the lake reached capacity.

            If you’ve never been there it is a short drive for the family to see this huge lake that you could drive around and end up in Napa. It edges a little bit in Solano and Yolo counties but the main part of the lake is in Napa County. It’s hard to drive around the lake without seeing deer, wild turkeys and who knows what else as far as wildlife goes…eagles, osprey, wild pig, bob cat, mountain lions and even bears live in the areas surrounding the lake…as do rattlesnakes.

            There are many public access spots for fishing, camping, boating and swimming.

The following information is from Wikipedia the free online information source…

Lake Berryessa is the largest lake in Napa County, California. This reservoir is formed by the Monticello Dam, which provides water and hydroelectricity to the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The lake was named for the first European settlers in the Berryessa Valley, José Jesús and Sexto “Sisto” Berrelleza (a Basque surname, Anglicized to Berreyesa then later respelled Berryessa), who were granted Rancho Las Putas in 1843.

Prior to its inundation, the valley was an agricultural region, whose soils were considered among the finest in the country. The main town in the valley, Monticello, was abandoned in order to construct the reservoir. This abandonment was chronicled by the photographers Dorothea Lange and Pirkle Jones in their book Death of a Valley. Construction of Monticello Dam was begun in 1953,[3] completed in 1958, and the reservoir filled by 1963, creating what at the time was the second-largest reservoir in California after Shasta Lake. The Monticello Dam with Lake Berryessa, Putah Diversion Dam with Lake Solano, and associated water distribution systems and lands are known collectively as the Solano Project, which is distinct from other federal water projects in California such as the Central Valley Project.

The lake has been heavily used for recreational purposes and encompases over 20,000 acres (80 km²) when full. The reservoir is approximately 15.5 miles (25 km) long, but only 3 miles (5 km) wide. It has approximately 165 miles (265 km) of shoreline. It has a seaplane landing area that is open to the public. One of the larger islands supported a small plane landing area, but was closed in the early 1970s after the FAA issued a safety report.

Near the dam on the southeast side of the reservoir is an open bell-mouth spillway, 72 feet (22 m) in diameter, which is known as the Glory Hole. The pipe has a straight drop of 200 feet (61 m)[4] and the diameter shrinks down to about 28 feet (8.5 m). The spillway has a maximum capacity of 48.000 cfs (1360 cms). In 1997 a woman died by being sucked into the spillway.[4]

The lake was the site of one of the infamous Zodiac murders on September 27, 1969.

Max. length 15.5 mi (24.9 km)[2]
Max. width 3 mi (4.8 km)
Surface area 20,700 acres (8,400 ha)[1]
Max. depth 275 ft (84 m)
Water volume 1,602,000 acre·ft (1.976 km3)[1]
Shore length1 165 mi (266 km)
Surface elevation 443 ft (135 m)

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April 4th 2014
…Dirty Dixon

Posted under Mike Ceremello's Viewpoint

breakinig news moving


Another dirty, despicable, devious and downright disgusting demonstration of despotic dictatorial direction and directives has been disclosed and discovered due to diligence demanding divulgence of data.  In other words, a public records’ request shows just how your corrupt city government has been working.  If you keep turning over stones at city hall, you find the worms, cockroaches, and other primordial ooze who run this city for their benefit because their minds are so small there is nary a chance of independent thought.  The subject is the activated sludge project and all of those involved.

 It is not simply the Dixon city council or its miserable excuse for a mayor, as this goes well beyond the bounds of his solitary and bellicose belligerence.  Much as was done in the past by former city manager Warren Salmons, it appears that Nancy Huston was even worse in purposely hiding, or perhaps she was put up to it by the mayor, information from not only the city council but the citizens’ wastewater committee chaired by Batchelor buddy Herb Cross.

Let’s not stop there with potential scenarios which have reached as far as the State Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board and their equally incompetent executive director Pamela Creedon.  How do you continue to defend an activated sludge project as the best practical treatment method when there is a different proven technology which actually removes constituents of concern from the waste water stream before it even gets to our plant?  Given that those with the most to gain, the city’s consultant Stantec, have attempted to discredit a much cheaper solution, it is easy to use that old phrase “follow the money” to understand why the public always gets screwed in the end.

 My conjectures are based on the following facts.daddy warbucks

 One, in an email dated March 10, 2014 from Stantec’s Joe DiGiorgio, he lists several concerns including the objection that In-Pipe did not answer all of their questions back in 2010.  One of DiGiorgio’s main concerns was a discharge of toxic chemicals into the system would destroy the biota and create a problem further downstream at the plant.  To bring this home to you, it is like you staying inside your house because there is a remote possibility you might get struck by lightning if you ventured out.

 There was an exchange of emails from August 23 and 25, 2010 between In-Pipe and Stantec’s, then known as ECO:Logic, senior process engineer Akram Botrous.  Botrous has a PhD along with other professional engineering accreditation and he stated succinctly “These papers are way over my head.”  He asked four questions for clarification from Jim Zaiser, who was with JBI Water and Waste Water Equipment.  Zaiser answered all four in detail.  If there were other “unanswered” questions, why did the conversation stall?  Why didn’t Stantec ask them?

 As DiGiorgio claims in his March 10th email that “Their responses below look quite detailed but some important issues of concern that we’d need fully specified before we could recommend such an approach remained unanswered …”, so what are the questions and why has it taken four years to get the light focused?  As Thom “Darth” Bogue asked for an item on a future agenda with a presentation from In-Pipe, it looks like DiGiorgio and his comrades will get their long awaited chance to ask those questions.

 What must be asked is why was the council of 2010 not informed of this option?  Who was making the “policy” decisions and even deciding who gets to see what?  Why was the citizens waste water committee kept in the dark?  Was it collusion between Huston, Batchelor, Cross, and DiGiorgio?  All of them want this activated sludge project and its $30 million price tag.


 Two, I have emails from the executives of In-Pipe in response to a question from my editor, Dave Scholl.  The question asked was “This part of your email string implies Stantec is a roadblock in Canada as well.  Is that correct?”  and was generated by this statement: “Actually I found my discussions with Canada very interesting yesterday.  Calgary is looking at IPTC and Stantec is not being cooperative with the client so we are working directly with Calgary. This spills over to a couple of other accounts including the City of Olds which is a very long standing client of IPTC.”  The obvious question is just how altruistic do you think Stantec is in attempting to come up with workable solutions for any town?

 Let’s face it.  Stantec has been our city’s waste water consultant for years.  They were here when the stupid solution of spending $40 million to pump effluent south of town was proposed along with a tripling of your sewer fees.  Stantec did not recommend putting in monitoring wells around the plant, the waste water committee did.  Stantec analyzed the data and has stated that there is evidence for higher limits based on the water quality directly below the plant.  That went no where and it should have ended the Water Board’s demands.  Want to know why it didn’t?  There is no money to be made when you do nothing.

 I have personally worked with Joe DiGiorgio during my stint on the waste water committee and while I was on the council.  I found him to be honest and a realist.  Part of being a realist is knowing where your bread is buttered and by whom.  I can’t blame him for promoting projects for his firm any more than I could fault Warren Salmons for taking advantage of the Courville councils for his bloated salary.  That is why it pays to have the citizens who actually pay the bills making the decisions as to what is or is not necessary.

wwwwpissed off

 Councils don’t say no for a variety of reasons.  There is sheer laziness which translates into a knowledge gap making a wise decision impractical as profoundly demonstrated by both Dodo Bird and Has-None.  Councils take their advice from consultants and staff, with the consultant standing to benefit in millions and the staff guaranteeing themselves work by providing oversight.  So once again the burden falls on the regular rate paying citizen from whom the city government and their minions hide the details.

 Three, how is it that an email on March 10th from John Williams of In-Pipe was sent to the entire council yet only Thom Bogue bothered to read and understand it.  I attempted to contact Dane Besneatte to ask him that question, but the lights were on with nobody home at his office with his vehicle parked outside.  I would try to talk to the Dodo and Has-None but their personal animosity expressed by others as “I won’t vote for anything that Ceremello supports or brings to us” adequately demonstrates the futility of such action.  Ignorance seems to be their higher calling.

 Batchelor is little different although his reasons are.  Jack is much like the bureaucrats at the State who like to be involved in the “big deal”.  The Jack Hole is a prime example of a waste of money project which will turn into a further black Jack hole of a money pit when Batchelor promotes the underpasses on A Street and North First Street to accommodate an unneeded train stop in town.  When was the last time you saw BJ promote anything which actually saved the citizens of Dixon a dime?

 Four, I had a personal conversation with Bob Pontureri of the State Revolving Fund.  Pontureri has technical background and is part of the State Water Board so he is not solely a financial analyst or financier.  From our talk it was obvious that the Water Board’s influence, Stantec’s arguments, and the wielding of power in making loans totaling hundreds of millions of dollars are all more important than common sense.

 Pontureri first questioned climate.  My answer was it works from Alaska to Malaysia.  Then Bob stated, “it may not work on a larger scale”.  In-Pipe treats 300 million gallons a day and some facilities are more than double the size of Dixon’s.  Finally, he says activated sludge is a proven process and everyone else is doing it.  Hardly an open mind directed toward finding optimal solutions.  My final comment to him?  Don’t make the loan as we are going to take away the funding source.

 At this point you might be saying to yourself, how can Mike be so sure this alternative will work or be enough to address the concerns of the city.  I can say only this: activated sludge doesn’t address boron and is an unnecessary precursor to even more expensive treatment.  Where activated sludge takes out only nitrates from the influent in much the same way that the In-Pipe system does, it does it at a cost 25 times higher to our citizens.

 I find it most illuminating that the city council just recently passed an ordinance regulating FOG, fats oils and greases (not the guys at the custom motorcycle shop).  Turns out that the genius Genus Bacillus which In-Pipe uses, gobbles this stuff up.  Yet we aren’t looking at it as a solution to anything.

 As I am a numbers kind of guy, I like proof of what a system is removing.  In-Pipe’s technology combined with “ferrate” treatment at Lake Apopka outside of Orlando Florida removed 98.7% of phosphorus and 96% of nitrogen by converting the former to biomass and the latter to gas.  I don’t have corresponding figures for activated sludge but nitrogen removal through biologic activity was the primary goal.  If you eliminate the majority of nitrogen, nitrates, and nitrites before they even hit the plant, what is the need for activated sludge?  As we have eliminated the concerns about sodium and chloride thanks to all of you who removed your salt discharging water softeners, we really shouldn’t need to do anything but rebuild the headworks, put up a new lab building, and replace or rehabilitate pipes.  And we, the current rate payers, have already paid our share for those things.

 Now you need to ask yourselves some easy questions to answer.  Why is it that your council isn’t exploring all the options before deciding the appropriate course?  Why is it that items pertinent to the appropriate decision are being hidden from the policy makers, the council and the now dissolved advisory committee?  Why raise rates prior to hearing from this company who has State regulators everywhere but in California supporting what they do?

 For every one question I have for In-Pipe, as I am no blind supporter for anything, I have three for city staff and government.  I look forward to their presentation.  It should be enlightening from a great many perspectives.  All five councilmen should have demanded this long ago. 

 It may seem that it is extremely difficult for the average citizen to get involved and have an impact.  It isn’t that difficult to use a little common sense to decipher the lies continuing to come out of city hall.  It is even easier to get started as there are those of us in the community willing to help you.

 You just have to get out of your chair …wwwwmike

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March 29th 2014
That’s Life©1966 #507 (3-28-14)

Posted under That's Life Columns

Feel Free to Email:Tedhick@gmail.com


*I just stopped by the Apple store to use the restroom…Ipeed…

*Some guy just asked me where a pay phone was…

I told him 1987.


Lions Club Dinner Dance April 12


                If you only attend one other affair each year besides the Dixon Game Club’s crab feed make sure it’s the Dixon Lions Club dinner dance coming on April 12th at the fairgrounds. The cost is $135 per couple but it gets you a steak dinner and a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize…plus other stuff.

The theme this year is “Grease” so dig out the old poodle skirts, saddle oxfords and go prepared for a good time. This organization supports many local activities including being a 47 year supporter and contributor to the Dixon Toys for Tots programs. The event is usually a sell out so call Jason Dudley at 707-372-1853 or contact any Lions club member for a ticket ASAP.


Another Crooked Demo Bites The Dust


            (I didn’t get this from our Senator Wolk or Assembly person Yamada or Gov. Brown’s office)…State Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco is the third big Democrat in recent months to be busted and cuffed by the FBI on corruption charges. He joins his other two elected Democratic friends, probably going on a contrived leave too, soaking the taxpayers for their elected salaries while they await proof against them in court of their wrong doing. You can thank the senior democrat leader, Herr Steinberg, for taking care of his felonious friends not demanding they resign…Looks like Yee’s chances getting elected to a high state office just took a slight downturn in the polls…but this is California, so who knows…Maybe now he’ll have better name recognition. Yee the big Asian hero and leading gun control advocate was also charged with  conspiracy to “traffic firearms”…Wow!

We’ve Got Our Own Problems…

Dangerous Toxic Trains A Coming


            Besides hearing rumors the FPPC, (which is now handing out fines like candy at Halloween to Steinberg and his buddies) has been asked to investigate the last Dixon City Council elections (and candidates) for unreported union involvement…a real and present danger has raised its ugly head here once again.

Since the 1960’s when I first started actively, and loudly, complaining about the possibility of a catastrophic train wreck things have just gotten worse. For the 12 years I was on the council I had the fire and police departments develop plans for evacuation and rescue in the event of a train wreck and a chemical spill. The real threat then was no one ever knew what was in the zillions of gallons of stuff that went through town unless you could read what was posted on each tanker. Don’t know if that’s changed and don’t know if law enforcement or fire have a clue what is coming thru here daily basis or the dangers that will be coming shortly. Forget the stupid “shelter in place” warning that someone thought was such a clever idea. We need the system to simply say get the hell out of town or staying in your house and closed the windows…period…nothing else, why you ask?

The Valero Benicia Refinery is proposing to off load, at that facility, (coming through here to get there) 70,000 barrels of crude oil a day by train. Critics (smart people not employed by Valero) have raised concerns about rail safety and the possibility of the high flammable Bakken crude from North Dakota coming our way…and the use of Canadian tar sands oil. 70,000 barrels (that equals roughly 2,940,000 gallons a day)…anyone know exactly how many gallons that is? Anybody know what could happened if one of these rolling toxic time bombs decided to take a spill here?


This all goes back to my original point that in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when I served on the city council I did everything ion my power to try and get the city to build an OVERPASS so emergency vehicles could have rapid access to both sides of town. A fund was even started and over $1,000,000 was set aside to accomplish this with grants and additional state and federal safety funding being sought. As it stands now your current council and mayor, with its usual disregard for the public, without asking the taxpayers, blew not only that million but another 5.1 million to build a hole to nowhere downtown NOT BIG ENOUGH for emergency vehicles to get through.

So what happens when and if there’s a train wreck? You’ll probably get a dumb “shelter in place” (in English its stay in your home or where ever you are) or get the hell out of town. If you live on the southeast side of town you can suffocate or burn while you wait for rescue equipment to go out in the country and try and find an opening across the rails. Of course if it’s one of those really long trains you may only have to wait until Vacaville or Rio Vista can get here…nice huh? We NEED AN OVERPASS now more than ever…what the hell is wrong with our elected officials? Ask them when you see them why they chose to blow over $6 million of your tax dollars on a hole to nowhere as opposed to building an over pass that could have done the same thing and provided emergency vehicle access.


More Things To Ponder


*It’s hard to read my e-mails and change the baby’s diaper at the same time…I probably should have waited ’til I reached a red light.
*I’ve never really known the proper etiquette…how long is you supposed to wait between naps?

*”I love you” can be the most beautiful words you can hear from someone you truly care about…right after “I got this round”.

*In terms of spelling difficulty I find the word “average” is somewhere between easy and hard.

*I react to the term “open bar” the same way my dog reacts when seeing me put on my coat and grabbing the leash.

*If pedicures were called “toe jobs”…men would be lining up.

*To make a mistake is human….to admit a mistake is stupid.

*An old girlfriend once told me I’d never find another girl like her…I don’t think she expected the high fives and the happy dance I did.

*The only thing we have to fear is fear itself…and when a woman asks if you notice anything different.

*Whenever I weigh myself I suck my gut in….it doesn’t make me weigh less but I can read the numbers.

*I’ve been making the same mistakes for so long now I may as well just call them traditions.

A special bond is formed between two people when you share a glance that says “what an a**hole” about a third person.

*Playing monopoly in India is just like regular monopoly…except you spend rupees instead of dollars and instead of hotels you build call centers.

*My daughter-in-law told me she was just sick of stupid people…I had to tell her she was going to feel crappy for a long time, they’re everywhere.

*Women do not want to hear what you think…they want to hear what they think only in a deeper voice.

*I asked my neighbor if I could borrow a skrewdriver.  He asked “regular or Phillips?”…”neither. Grey goose and Tropicana.”

*When Santa’s helpers take pictures of themselves with their phones…is it called an “Elfie?”

*I told my doctor my back was bothering me and he said “get a bar and hang”…so lately I’ve been hanging out in a bar and I must admit I feel much better.

*I’m absolutely sure that zebra’s didn’t earn those things!

*I sleep best in the nude…why doesn’t the flight attendant understand that?

*Dear Satan:  God hasn’t healed my dyslexia yet so I’m looking for alternate help.  Please send some pamphlets…oh, yes, say hi to Rudolph for me.

*My mother used to make raisin/oatmeal cookies that looked exactly like chocolate chip cookies…one of the main reasons I have trust issues.

*Only in America would they name a state after a bucket of fried chicken.

*Arguing with really strong-minded political or religious people is like trying to explain quantum mechanics to a potato.

*You do know there are things higher than kites…right?

*Some dumb ass told me that because I only write in small letters I must be a communist…they hate capitalism.

*My friend David just had his id stolen…….now we just call him Dav…think about it.


Garage Door Guys


            We had a real estate client who had a garage door come off its hinges and called a Sacramento company to get an estimate on repairs. They said they could get to it in “days” and the cost would be in the hundreds. I remembered a place in Vacaville once that we used years ago but couldn’t remember the name. When we went to Costco I stopped by and got a card from them. He call, got same day service at about a quarter of the cost he was quoted by the other firm.  We had a lady call us last week when her spring sprung in the middle of the night and scared the hell out of them so I called the same Company R.W. Garage Door on Davis Street. They said they would be there and have it fixed within 24 hours…and they did…and at a reasonable price again. So like Jake’s Plumbing, Independent Auto, Atkinson Storage, C-21 Real Estate and all of the other good honest places I told you would provide honest goods or services, you can ad this company. Their phone number is 707-446-9214. If something is wrong with yours get it fixed before it gets worse and you need a whole new door. In the recent case in point the wires were too thin, the rollers were metal instead of plastic and the springs were sprung…they fixed everything instead of trying to sell her a whole new door.



Veteran Of The Year Done All Wrong


            Here’s another gripe I have about the way things should be done. The “Veteran of the Year Award” the Dixon Chamber of Commerce gives out each year is done all wrong and everyone involved knows it is. The last few years the recipients have been excellent but the public thinks the Vet of the year is nominated by the public and chosen by a committee like the Citizen of the Year. Nope, that’s not the way it is done.

Every other year the American Legion and then the VFW take turns to pick one of their own for the award.  In the years I served as a vice commander with the Legion I pretty much got everyone to agree the award nominations should be thrown open to the public and a committee of the Legion/VFW and Chamber folks (the same ones who do the citizen of the year picking) should do the selection…The Legion agreed, the Chamber doesn’t care and the VFW likes things they way they are now…




Case in point; the guy I’ve written about a couple of times…Emmett Spraktes. This guy is a warrior, fighter, paramedic, retired CHP with a public service and military background to be admired by all Americans…and he lives right here in Dixon and I believe is a member of both vet groups… Hey Chamber…here’s a veteran of the year? Want to revise your protocol and let the public make nominations along with the veteran’s groups? If not then change the award to say either it’s the Legion’s or the VFW’s Vet of the year…not the community’s.


 A truism…?




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March 29th 2014
The Art Of Lying

Posted under Mike Ceremello's Viewpoint


Your mayor is a compulsive and addicted liar.  A fool who must have his way at all costs.  Don’t believe me?  Go to the city’s website and watch the video of last Tuesday night’s meeting.  Go to item 12.2 specifically and see for yourself.  Joseph Goebbels would be so proud.  “If you tell a lie often enough, it will become the truth.”  Jack has even convinced himself that his lies are the truth.  Not me.


So Jack Batchelor has the unmitigated gall to repeat his scare tactic statements again at this meeting.  Attempting to convince Dane Besneatte to provide him his third vote to continue this folly of a $28.5 million project which we were told by the one company which bid on it would come in at quite a bit less, Batchelor again stated that if the people are foolish enough to reject this activated sludge project at the polls in rolling back rates by either referendum or initiative, that “the State will come in, take over our sewage treatment plant, and do it any way.”  Really, Jack?

 Now I know that you could take the brains of all three of those other councilmen sitting on the dais with the mayor, combine them, and you still wouldn’t have a whole lot to work with but give me a break.  Do you really need me to give you the specific retort that even the Dodo Bird should have been able to ask?  When and where has the State Water Quality Control Board ever taken over a city’s treatment plant and done this?

 wwwwpissed off

Not that I would put it past this pansy patsy putrescent piece of pusillanimous potentate known as the mayor to contact the water board himself and ask them to do just that, but the fact of the matter is the State has no more ability to take over treatment plants than it has to run its educational system.  Our schools have been out of compliance for ten years, the State could have taken them over after five, and yet we are still muddling along.  Why?  Because there are so many of them failing for one thing.

 I know that most of you have never looked at an agenda for a State Water Board meeting.  On it, they list all of the out of compliance systems within their region they are going to address at their current meeting.  I have seen lists which go on for pages.  What did they do in Clear Lake when the system didn’t meet the requirements of the law?  The State refused to allow any more connections.  The State never threatened to take the system over and probably eventually fined the operators while doing nothing more.

 jumping jack

Once again Batchelor lied about no additional growth occurring in Dixon without this project.  Once again, not one person on the dais spoke up.  We currently use 1.3 million gallons per day of our allowed capacity of 1.9 million gallons.  The 1.9 million is allowed under the current cease and desist order.  Yet Batchelor is attempting to scare people with this patently false bogeyman.  Guess what, Jack?  Many of us don’t want growth, any growth, and many more don’t want your idea of growth which is “stack and pack” housing next to a Jackhole train station.

 Another in perpetuity perpetuated lie is that final effluent limits don’t need to be considered in going forward with this project.  Of course they do unless you like throwing away $30 million of other people’s money, which BJ, Dodo, and Has None obviously don’t give a damn.  If final effluent limits are set high enough, nothing needs to be done because we, as a city, will be able to come in under them.  This seems to escape all of these idiots.  I have to wonder what water they have been drinking to poison their minds.  Maybe sewer water?

 I also loved the debate between Batchelor and Dane, with the mayor doing his best brow beating banter in an attempt to discredit Besneatte’s solid arguments.  Jack compared this to the Northeast Quadrant well fiasco where the city couldn’t find a driller available for the job.  Dane correctly compared it to the hiring of our new attorney firm.


Where staff pointed out that six other firms had dropped out because Stantec, our long time consultant, appeared to have the inside track, Jack ignored this in claiming the others just had too much work and weren’t willing to spend the money to put together the proposal.  Dane countered that Meyers Nave could have been viewed as having the inside track to retaining the city attorney’s spot because of their long association with the city.  Other attorney’s firms have plenty of business and are always looking for more.

 Jack always defends the current contractor as if they are the only ones who can do the job.  We have Recology doing our garbage service because he gets campaign contributions from them and is friends with the father of the manager of the company.  We would still have Solano Irrigation District running our water system if he had his way.  Jack doesn’t care about costs because they are minor to him, an elitist, arrogant tyrant.

At least I can say Dane Besneatte is listening and thinking.  Dane realizes that as soon as the rates are increased, the referendum to stop the increase will begin collecting signatures.  When the referendum is successful, it will be placed for a vote on the November ballot.  I have heard that the Dixon Positive Action Committee, Worm Slimons and former city clerk Janice Beaman, will be positively trying to stick it to you with a campaign against rolling back rates.  Not much they or Batchelor say is true so I am enthusiastically looking forward to debating or berating them.

 So Dane got that much.  After successfully arguing that the city should wait until the citizen’s actions of referendum and initiative have been completed, he caves in at the very end in backing a $520,000 budget amendment to start various phases of the project.  As he said, “I am still in favor of the project but not at $28.5 million.”  Dane didn’t want to potentially waste $2.5 million which was on the table but half a million is okay?

 It wouldn’t have made a difference of but a month anyway as Jerry “Has None” Castañon would be available to break the tie vote at that meeting.  Another non-thinker, Has None has a lot of none including no brain.  It will be interesting to see what happens when Thom Bogue gets his agenda item to discuss new technology designed to clean up our water supply through biologic action at a cost of $3600 per month.  I wonder if Dane will still like his sludge project after this option is explored?  Dodo? … why bother.


I will say that although Bogue said very little on the subject, he again voted consistently “NO”.  Thom, or Darth as I prefer to call him, might be turning from the dark side as he gets back to one of his basic tenets: explore all options.  How many times have I pushed this only to be rejected by the so called professionals who are either under the thumb of the mayor or, in the case of consultants, expecting to make a buck off of the city’s troubles?  The question which really needs an answer though is why does a councilman have to do staff’s work in finding and exploring all of the potential solutions?  Bravo Bogue.

 Dixon is a sick little town, thanks to the likes of the Courvilles and Batchelors, and their blind supporters such as the McCluskeys, Crosses, and other Rot-ary amoeba.  Now we have the Dixon Positive Action nonsense.  Even their name is a lie.

To demonstrate how fragile our city is in making any progress to divest ourselves of the control these people have over us, their intention is to run a candidate, such as current treasurer Scott Pederson, who will vote to give our water system back to Solano Irrigation District.  Without Bogue, who is running for county supervisor, both seats open are supporters of the city operating its own water system.  Dodo has proficiently demonstrated his stupidity and lack of finesse in getting the public to “think” he is working in their best interests.  Does this clown really believe he will be the eventual mayor of Dixon?  Who is going to tell him what needs to be done?  Who will be his puppeteer once Batchelor is gone?

I will again tell you that Dixon is a product of these miscreants.  We are business unfriendly.  We go after those who criticize our government.  We make you pay.  This town would be a true gem if those in charge would just go away.


You want to know what to do?  You send them a loud message.  We have to wait a month to collect signatures.  I have asked repeatedly for volunteers to help the Dixon chapter which will organize this undertaking.  My phone number is still 678-8575.  I want to make this as quick and painless as possible, at least for those who don’t want to pay for another useless project which will be the gateway to something far more costly. 

The fact is we are not polluting anything.  Rather than a council who will stand up and say “NO!!” emphatically to the State when they have proof, we have a council who wants to “collaborate” with the enemy, an enemy which they will join and become through their own deformation.  What is so difficult about saying “No”?

Larry Simmons told the council that they “were like a Caterpillar tractor going straight ahead” no matter what the public said because they refuse to listen.  They refuse to listen to the people who submitted over 2100 protests.  The mayor argued this figure’s accuracy and Besneatte continues to believe that two thirds didn’t protest because they wanted this project and the increase.  We didn’t get to the other 3000 parcel owners because the Dixon Chapter is a small organization.  Why do you think Batchelor doesn’t want to put things on the ballot such as this or his “priority development” Agenda 21 nonsense?

We are tired of your intractability, Mr. Mayor.  Maybe this is your life experience in how to run a bureaucracy.  The citizens of Dixon are not your cows to milk or sheep to fleece.


You will learn that shortly …

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March 22nd 2014
That’s Life©1966 #506 (3-21-14)

Posted under That's Life Columns

Feel Free to Email:Tedhick@gmail.com


*Two thieves broke into the NBA arena in Sacramento and stole $240…they took 2 hot dogs, some nachos and a beer.


Thank The Stupid City For Train Noise



(The photo is a Goggle Earth shot of the actual Dixon tracks and the sound wall.)

Years ago all of us on the north and west-southwest side of town rarely heard the sounds of trains passing by unless a strong south wind was blowing. It started gradually a long time ago and now we have a nightly roar…even louder in a strong south wind. We became so accustomed to it we didn’t pay any attention until my sister (from Florida) visited last year and had trouble sleeping because of the continuous train noise at night…then we noticed she was right…it never used to be that way.

            Rather than go to the city or SP for some lame explanation I looked for the cause myself…and I found it. The city, in all of its wisdom, built a “sound wall” on the east side of the tracks all along Porter Road to protect the relatively fewer number of houses on the east/southeast side of town from the train noise.

What it did in effect it bounce the noise up and over to where it sound likes the trains are roaring through Northwest Park and our bedrooms…all night, every night. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Do I expect anyone to do anything about it just because thousands of people are affected by this? Yeah right. I imagine it is a correctable problem and your city council could do something about it if they wanted too…after all they are building a 6.1+ million dollar  hole under the railroad tracks to nowhere, downtown, that will benefit no one. So they could do the right thing and solve the noise pollution if they wanted to don’t you think? Will they even consider it?  Yeah right again…Like that’s going to happen.


I Have A Selfish Prayer



Last week I wrote about a local hero, Silver Star recipient, Emmett Spraktes and his book “Selfish Prayer” which I told you can be purchased at the Vet’s Hall on North First Street, Dixon Storage, Dixon Florist and online.

I’ve always had kind of a selfish prayer of my own. I’ve may have made a few enemies over the years and I have my own little personal list of who I would want beside me in a bar fight or a surprise attack. Up to now it has been Greg Coppes and some of his biker buddies, followed by Aaron Wilson a big sheriff’s deputy, big John Kett, Lacy Lockwood of Oklahoma (got to have friends away from home too) and little Dixon police officer Ray Mince (just for the local legal intimidation factor).

I’ve added Emmett because it dawned on me not only does this guy have cajones, but he is willing to pull the trigger and mess someone up, but if they do get to me he can patch me up and put in an IV on the way to Kaiser…smart thinking huh?

This guy is a warrior, fighter, paramedic with a public service, CHP and military background to be admired by all Americans…and he lives right here in Dixon.

Hey Chamber…here’s your veteran of the year? If you haven’t got and read his book yet you should. Above is a picture of his book cover and Emmett receiving accolades from some guy who was our governor.


Our Proud Ca. Justice System


This is another one of these things which is really hard to believe …according to published reports Dennis Stanworth, 72, of Vallejo tried to plead guilty to killing his 90 year old mother by hitting her in the head with a brick and then slitting her throat. He called police last year to report the killing, admitted to everything including burying her in his backyard. He later dug up the body and put in a garbage can filled with dirt…He, probably thanks to his attorney, has been found incompetent to stand trial…yeah he can’t think straight huh? That’s according to the Solano County Superior Court and the DA’s office.

                This isn’t the real kicker. He was previously convicted of the murder of two Pinole girls by shooting them in the head and raping one of them. He asked for the death penalty but was spared the gas chamber in 1972 by the stupid California Supreme Court ruling outlawing the capitol punishment. His sentence was reduced to life but was somehow paroled in 1990 and had to register as a sex offender for his punishment…The plus side to the death penalty is this clown wouldn’t have been around to kill mom and con the courts once more. What B.S.


If I can Figure This Out Why Can’t They? 




I might not be the brightest bulb on the tree but instead of spending billions of dollars to take our much needed water and ship even more of it to the south with two new proposed tunnels, why not take a different approach.

            I’m saying for probably about the same money cut a deal with Oregon and Washington. They always seem to have more water than they need and flooding is always a problem. Why not build an aqueduct from Washington, through Oregon, to Lake Shasta and Lake Orville. Those two states get rid of unwanted water when needed and we keep our two biggest reservoirs filled…then when and if we have excess water we can help fill the swimming pools and toilets of our neighbors down south…Makes sense huh? You listening Gov.?


 More Stuff For Thought


*I named my new dog “herpes”…because he would never heel.

*If we were meant to pop out of bed in the morning we’d all sleep in toasters.

*The Red Cross called and asked if I could help with the floods in the Middle East…I said I’d love to but my hose only reaches the end of my driveway.

*The vast majority of pope’s die while being pope…it’s friggin’ dangerous…good move, Benedict! 

*Girls, don’t die a virgin…seriously, there are terrorists waiting for you up there! 

*We have nothing to fear except fear itself…and toddlers asking “why?”

*Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is to realize the other person is a complete idiot.

*I was playing golf the other day and this moron hit a wicked slice that almost took my head off….when I told him of the near miss he said “sorry! I didn’t have time to yell ‘fore’’…funny, he had plenty of time to yell “crap!”

*A cocktail party…an event where a man gets stiff, a woman gets tight and they go home to find that neither is either.

*When a girl tells a guy she’s a perfect 38 she expects him to grasp what she’s talking about.

*I’ve taken so many showers to fight temptation that now every time it rains me excited.

*Hey guys, bet the woman in your life she can’t use both of her elbows to touch her bellybutton…you can thank me later.

*Do midgets still start their childhood stories off with “when I was small”…?

*High school never taught me how to do my taxes, balance my checkbook, deal with a child, or even how to jump start a car…but I’m just soooo glad to know the damn Pythagorean Theorem and the ins and outs of Dante’s inferno.

*Apparently this dude at the mall was just tying his shoe and didn’t want to play leapfrog…sorry.

*I’m on a quest around the country to find Bigfoot…originally I started out to find cheap gas but I decided to keep my goals realistic.

*I woke up this morning to my neighbor mowing his lawn.  I was gonna get up and yell at him but I thought, screw it, he can mow around me.  

*Today I got a new car, lots of cash and several bottles of liquor all for free…it’s like this gun is magic! 

*There are several stages to a beard….stubble, sexy, sea captain, prisoner of war, homeless person and wizard.

*I just got gas for $1.29…too bad it was from taco bell.

*Have you ever loved someone so much you’ve wanted to keep them hidden from the world and have them all to yourself…well, apparently it’s called kidnapping.

*Wanna come over to my place and watch porn on my 60-inch flat screen mirror?


Ramblings of a ReTIRED Mind


I was thinking about how a status symbol of today is those cell phones that everyone has clipped onto their belt or purse.  I can’t afford one.  So, I’m wearing my garage door opener.

 I also made a cover for my hearing aid and now I have what they call blue teeth, I think.

 You know, I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn’t like me anyway.

 I was thinking that women should put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans!

 I was thinking about old age and decided that old age is ‘when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it.’

 I thought about making a fitness movie for folks my age, and call it ‘Pumping Rust’.

 I’ve gotten that dreaded furniture disease.  That’s when your chest is falling into your drawers!

 When people see a cat’s litter box, they always say, ‘Oh, have you got a cat?’  Just once I want to say, ‘No, it’s for company!’

 Employment application blanks always ask who is to be notified in case of an emergency.  I think you should write, ‘A Good Doctor’!

 I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older.  Then, it dawned on me.  They were cramming for their finals.

As for me, I’m just hoping God grades on the curve.

 Enjoy Your Days & Love Your Life, Because Life is a journey to be savored.

Birds of a feather flock together . . . .and then poop on your car.

The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends. 

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

 He who hesitates… is probably right. 

Did you ever notice: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are XL. 

If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame. 

The sole purpose of a child’s middle name is so he can tell when he’s really in trouble.. 

A penny saved is a government oversight.

Did you ever notice: When you put the 2 words ‘The’ and ‘IRS’ together it spells ‘Theirs…’ 

Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me, I want people to know ‘why’ I look this way.  I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.

When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of Algebra.

You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.  Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

Lord, Keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.


 Its just a matter of time until the dirtbags pick the…


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March 22nd 2014
Dixon Game Club will hold a

Posted under Feature Stories from the IV & Hunting/Fishing Articles & Outdoors & That's Life Columns

Dixon Game Club will hold a…

“Get your hunting license” class


Whether you are a youngster trying to get a hunting license for the first time or an adult in need of a “hunter safety certificate” you will need to sign up for the upcoming hunter safety class. A previous California hunter’s license used to be sufficient in other states to obtain a non-resident hunting license. Now many states require the actual safety certificate. So if you are planning to hunt out of state this year you need to check and see what the requirements are. This class will be one of the few chances you’ll have to obtain this necessary certificate.

There will be a  California Department of Fish & Wildlife sanctioned “Hunter Safety Class” on April 5th and 6th, 2014.  The class will be held at the Dixon Game Club building 250 West Mayes Street in Dixon. The class will start at 8 am on April 5, and end around 3 pm, and on April 6 class will start at 8 and end around noon.  Students must attend both days in order to participate in the class. You can’t get a California hunting license without a hunter safety certificate. 

Cost of the class is $10. Anyone interested in attending should call (707) 678-9155 to reserve a spot because space is limited and reservations will be filled on a first come, first served basis. When you call leave your name and a contact number. An instructor will then return your call and schedule your reserved spot for the class.


Also, The Dixon Game Club is looking for youth 15 years old and younger with shooting experience to participate in a “Sporting Clay Shoot” to be held on July 6, 2014, at the Birds Landing Shooting Club. Anyone interested can send their name, age and contact info to the Dixon Game Club at 250 West Mayes Street, Dixon, Ca. 95620, before June 15, 2014.  The club will sponsor young shooters for cost of the event which is $40 per shooter.  If you have any questions, you may call the club house at (707) 678-9155, leave a message and someone will get back to you ASAP.


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March 21st 2014
Simplification – One More Time

Posted under That's Life Columns

Mustached and musty or just plain nasty … the truth is the truth … when resisted, it hurts …
when considered, it enlightens … the choice is as always yours.

I have gotten feedback that my last column was a bit less explicit in details about the fencing issue than was necessary to understand its implications toward your loss of freedom and the duplicity of allowing some to do what others can’t.  But first good news and after, we end with good news …

* * * * *

All you can eat lamb is back at the Vet’s Hall this next Friday, March 28th.  I had intended on telling you earlier but kept getting bogged down by less tasteful and downright unsavory council chitlins.  I went to the first lamb fest, but before I could get there, (another meeting of course), they ran out of lamb ribs.  They still had plenty of leg of lamb which was beyond delicious. 

This was the best attended dinner event I have witnessed at the Vets’ Hall.  A good mixture of the who’s who of Dixon and other real people of no less value.  For little advertising of the event, the word was out.  Whether it was Superior Farms who donated the lamb at cost or Steve Dornbach who did the cooking, some got the message.  If you think you don’t like lamb, you need to give this a try.  It will change your mind as well as provide needed funding for the Vets.

* * * * *

For those of you who have volunteered to help collect signatures for the referendum and initiative respectively stopping the sewer rate increase and rolling it back, we are still waiting on the city to pass the final resolution increasing rates.  Once that is done, the initiative can be drawn up and submitted to the city attorney.  The referendum, however, will be immediately ready to go forward upon council action. 

The city attorney, Doug White, has said the March 25th council meeting may not have the item on it as originally planned and now this has been confirmed.  It seems that one councilman will be absent.  Given that a 3 to 1 vote is still over the 2/3 needed according to Health and Safety code, there is no reason to wait.  Or is there? 

Is this just another attempt to frustrate the citizens who want to vote on this?  There is a deadline to get this on the November ballot.  Just one more proof for whom the clowns on the dais work against.  We can force a special election or should I say the council will be responsible for this unnecessary cost?  If you are interested in walking and helping to collect signatures, give me a call at 678-8575.  For those who have already called, thank you.

* * * * *

One last item before we get to the heart of this column.  I have been told that I am self promoting in my attempt to have Jack Batchelor recalled as the self-indulgent, obnoxious, arrogant ass of a mayor as he personally has defined the role.  I guess the same would apply to Dodo Bird and Has-None as both of them have proven their animosity toward citizen involvement and the constitutions they swore an oath to uphold.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Yes, I could have done a better job than Batchelor if I was blindfolded.  Find me a better candidate and I won’t even contemplate the job.  I simply want the job done right.  If Chris Duncan was available, I would gladly step aside.  Besides, there are two seats for council coming up.  Those seats won’t solve anything as long as the toddler’s triad of temerity continues.  Batchelor needs to go … plain and simple …

* * * * *

Now to the real entree of this musing, the “screening” ordinance or the rules for building fences in Dixon.  I want to make this very simple this time.  This all began with Adam Hairston replacing a fence on his property on the northeast corner of East Mayes and 3rd Street. 

Hairston looked at the neighboring properties, one being former mayor Marime Burton’s directly to the southwest, and observed many other homes with side yard fences immediately adjacent to the sidewalk.  Hairston wanted more room in his backyard for his kids’ play so he decided to move the fence to the sidewalk.  Enter someone from city staff who observed his action and decided this was against the fencing code which demands that all new fences be set back 10 feet.  The basic problem here is “grand fathering”. 

What is legal for others to have, supposedly because the fences were put in before a certain date, is now illegal for others even though it matches what exists close by.  Safety issues aside, and I haven’t heard of one accident created by a person backing out of his or her garage, the real issue here is aesthetics or how something looks.  Community development director Dave Dowswell admitted that during his report at the last council meeting.  So now, the real question is who gets to be the fence “fashion police”? 

To solve the problem, the city held a number of planning commission meetings before it headed to the council.  The fairness aspect came up time and again.  The simple solution would have been to allow any resident to place a side yard fence any where they desired.  That is too easy and it takes control away from those who thrive on telling others what they can and can not do. 

Originally the planning commission was only going to look at the older sections of town.  When they started hearing that there were other homes in newer areas who also wanted this freedom, they expanded their discussion to all of Dixon.  Dowswell, rather than allowing home owners to make their own determinations, brought back an “irregularly shaped” lots section which the planning commission considered and approved. 

By this time, I had lost hope of the planning commission making a correct decision based on private property rights or personal freedom.  I knew this was coming before the council of which I was a member.  As the planning commission is only an advisory commission, I wasn’t planning on taking their advice.  As it turned out, neither were Thom Bogue or Dane Besneatte which they confirmed at the latest council meeting on this subject. 

So the three of us listened to Dowswell give his staff report.  Bogue even suggested that we just allow people to put their fences wherever.  The rest of us, minus Batchelor, didn’t say anything because we were in agreement and were waiting to hear from the public.  Ginger Emerson provided us with some pictures of a property which weren’t applicable to what we were discussing.  After viewing the pictures, with Ginger in front of me at the dais, I told her that the fence in question wasn’t even a “side yard” fence. 

When we got back to making a decision, I asked twice if having the odd shaped lots section would allow people to put their fence all the way to the sidewalk.  Dowswell answered affirmatively both times. He felt my question was related only to the odd shaped lots whereas I felt my question was related to all properties within the city.  I believed the solution to three years of arguing was found: let people put their fences where they want.  I should have known better. 

Now enter Jose Hermasillo, who lives in an older section of town and has purchased his first home.  Hermasillo bought the home from a real estate company who had work done on the house including putting in a new side yard fence.  The fence was some five feet from the sidewalk.  When renovation is done to a home, permits are required in most cases and inspections are done by city staff.  Yet somehow the inspectors didn’t inspect the placement of the fence. 

Jose had parked a big rig truck in his backyard.  His neighbor complained because of its proximity to her vegetable garden.  Recovering from cancer, she felt the chemicals which might leak would affect her or her garden.  So she complained to the city.  Now city staff came out and told Hermasillo that not only must the truck go, but his fence must be moved back five feet to comply.  Directly across the street is a home whose side has no fence or side yard to speak of and is located a scant three feet from the sidewalk. 

In an attempt to rectify this situation, Thom Bogue brings the “screening” ordinance back for amendment to what was originally intended by the majority of three when we voted on it on July 24, 2012.  At the January meeting, Bogue somehow forgot how to express himself leaving the clueless Dodo and Has-None in that same condition after the discussion.  Hermasillo was told to take it back to the planning commission for a variance. 

At the last council meeting, it was made plenty clear to all present that the intention at the July 2012 meeting was to allow citizens the freedom to decide whether they wanted a back yard or a side yard.  Hermasillo didn’t bother to show up. Instead he appealed the planning commission’s decision to be heard at perhaps the next meeting.  Maybe this time Dodo and Has-None will grasp the concept of private property and the taking of it by the local government, THEM, by demanding fences be placed in a certain position. 

The point is it isn’t up to government to tell you what “looks right” or “feels right”.  I can guarantee you that older cities with beautiful mansions didn’t dictate to the property owners what architectural style should be used.  Even in Dixon, this wasn’t done much before 1960.  That is why you have such an interesting assortment of homes in the older neighborhoods and the cookie cutter approach elsewhere.  Maybe you like everything to look alike.  That is your prerogative.  You just don’t have the right to force it on others …

* * * * *

smoking dog

A final bit of good news.  I attended Tuesday night’s planning commission meeting and was dismayed by the statements Commissioner Ron Mulligan had about the proposed “smoke and gift shop” in the Schroeder’s North First Street building directly across from Ron DuPratt’s Ford.  Mulligan said that although he personally has a problem with tobacco use, what was being proposed was to sell legal products to consenting adults.  “If the public doesn’t want it, they can vote with their feet.”  Absolutely correct. 

On the other hand, Sylvia Gil-Blanco is determined to be the next Yvonne McCluskey in saying “we need to be selective about what we let in.”  Absolutely incorrect. 

We don’t get to keep out Home Depot because they might compete with Ace Hardware.  We don’t get to say no to another liquor store because a group of seven decides we already have enough.  We are not Obama and his administration deciding on who succeeds and who fails.  That is up to the free market to determine.

Considering the main objection was to selling kid’s items along with tobacco, subjecting them to becoming acquainted with the evils of this noxious substance, why haven’t we shut down Safeway, Wal-Mart, and CVS Pharmacy who already have all of these products available inside the same store?  Are they “grand fathered” in or is there something irregular upon which we are granting another variance?

Mulligan understands what only Chris Duncan on the planning commission gets.  It is not government’s place to find excuses to keep legal business out based on personal preferences.  When you are on the commission, or the council, you make decisions for everyone who then get to make the decision for themselves.  It is called granting personal responsibility and accountability upon the public.  You can either be the nanny to your citizens or their Lincoln, freeing them to make their own choices.

IMG_6620 This will never be understood by the tyrants on the council.  They prefer playing dictator.  You have elected Stalin, Mao, and Hitler rather than Jefferson, Franklin, and Milton Friedman.  And you are paying the price …

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