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March NUFF Forum: “Fullerton Infrastructure and You”

On March 28th, NUFF members and guests were treated to an informative and engaging presentaton from Joe Felz, Fullerton’s City Manager.

The quality and condition of a city’s infrastructure has a fundamental impact on its quality of life in ways that are both stark and subtle.  Joe provided a detailed and thorough overview of how over the past several years, the City has developed a comprehensive and multi-faceted plan for planning for current and future needs while also making needed repairs to the city’s aging infrastructure.

At the end of the presentation, members of the audience submitted questions, which Joe answered with his usual combination of candor and good humor.

You can download a copy of Joe’s presentation by clicking on the link below:

March NUFF Forum_Fullerton’s Infrastructure and You_Joe Felz Presentation_28Mar16

Thanks again, Joe Felz, for both your willingness to make the time for the March NUFF Forum and for your contributions and continued dedication to the City of Fullerton overall.

Minard and Betsy at March Meeting

Also as part of the March meeting, NUFF was pleased to have the opportunity to recognize another significant contributor to Fullerton’s civic life.

Minard’s many contributions and achievement’s over nearly a half-century of service to both the Fullerton school system and to the larger Fullerton as whole.  The NUFF board emphatically salutes Minard’s commitment, energy, and spirit, and the city of Fullerton is clearly the better for it.

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January NUFF Forum: “College Town – What? Where? Why?”

Information about a significant new plan for Fullerton’s east side was shared at the recent NUFF forum on Monday, January 25th, at the Library in our regular location, the Osborne Memorial Room.

Change and design are never easy; some things are lost while others are gained. As Fullerton grows and gradually changes, the City guides development through plans designed to promote orderly growth, adherence to laws and regulations, and respect for the city’s heritage as well as the interests and needs of the residents. Changes to parts of the City are guided by the General Plan and by Specific Plans, all of which are created over time and with consideration of many inputs.

Due to needs for increased enrollments, traffic mitigation, and housing issues, the City and the universities have been reviewing ways to enhance the area south of these colleges; the area is roughly bordered by Nutwood, Chapman, State College and the 57 Freeway.

At the NUFF forum on January 25th, Karen Haluza, Director of Community Development, Planning Project Manager Heather Allen and representatives from the universities explained the details of the proposed CollegeTown Specific Plan and took questions from the audience following their presentation.

In the original “College Town” plan, City staff had developed a Specific Plan for the area, which was subsequently formally taken up and reviewed by the City of Fullerton Planning Commission in February. If it had been implemented as proposed, the “Collegetown” plan would have a substantial impact on the area around the CSUF campus.  However, based in part on community input at that meeteing, the Collegetown Specific Plan was ultimately not approved as drafted.  Planning staff and the Commission plan to revisit the matter at a later date.

 

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Homelessness: Next Steps for Fullerton?

The topic of the September 21st NUFF Forum was “Homelessness: Next Steps for Fullerton?”

Like virtually every city in California, Fullerton continues to wrestle with how best to address the issue of homelessness. Those in positions of responsibility confront the challenge of how to balance their statutory obligations to promote the safety and prosperity of Fullerton’s residents and businesses against our shared moral obligation to the least fortunate among us. On such a complex issue, there are a range of perspectives and, quite often, high levels of passion. And while even close friends may disagree on the subject, all would agree there are no easy answers.

The September 21st NUFF Forum featured a panel of local leaders who have dealt directly with the issue of homelessness and its many facets: County Supervisor Shawn Nelson, former Assemblywoman and Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva, Officer Mike McCaskill of the Fullerton Police Department, and Maria Mazzenga Avellaneda, Executive Director for Pathways of Hope, a community-based non-profit based in Fullerton.

An informative, spirited moderated panel discussion was followed by questions from the audience.  Of particular interest at the time was the pending vote on a proposed year-round multi-service center for the homeless to be located in Anaheim, which was subsequently approved by the County Board of Supervisors.

Thank you to the panelists for making the time to participate, those who attended who made this NUFF forum a success, and to the Fullerton Library staff who supported the event with their usual mix of resourcefulness and good humor.

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Free Greywater Workshops for the Fullerton Community in September

Greywater, or recycled water that is safe for recycling that comes from baths, sinks, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances, will be the topic of two free workshops sponsored by the City of Fullerton and held at the Fullerton Arboretum as part of a 2-part series beginning on Thursday, September 3rd:

  • Part 1, held on Thursday, September 3rd from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. will cover the ins-and-outs of greywater
  • Part II, on Saturday, September 5th, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. will be a hands-on session where participants will learn how to build and install their own “Laundry-to-Landscape” system.

Greywater Image Square

Karen Haluza, the Community Development Director for the City of Fullerton, explained, “Fullerton residents are committed to water conservation and we’ve had numerous requests asking for ways to reuse the greywater in our homes. By coming to these two workshops, not only will they learn how to reuse the greywater in their homes but they’ll also get to have ‘hands-on’ experience building an inexpensive home system that is within our city codes and regulations.”

Led by instructors, Stephanie Shermoen, a landscape architect and owner of Terrain Integration and Ty Teissere, a member of Greywater Action, these workshops will cover topics including:

  • Overview of water supply system:
    • Ways to reuse greywater
    • Common types of systems
    • General costs and water saving potential
    • Design consideration
    • Greywater sources
    • How a “laundry-to-landscape (L2L)” system works
    • Estimating greywater flow
    • Installing the plumbing and irrigation for the L2L system
    • Estimating the number of plants to irrigate and more

The free workshops will be held at the Fullerton Arboretum at 1900 Associated Road, Fullerton.

Due to limited space, interested attendees will need to RSVP via email at mimacias@fullerton.edu  with a subject title of “Fullerton Greywater Workshop” or by calling (657) 278-3407. The same email and phone number can also be used for more information about the two workshops.

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Water Wise Gardening

What can be done about our water-thirsty lawns and gardens?

Dennis Quinlivan, Fullerton’s landscape superintendent, shared some of his ideas for creating a beautiful garden while cutting back on your water use. Dennis created the stunning landscape in front of the Fullerton Police Department at the corner of Commonwealth and Highland.  With a series of slides that took us through the various phases of the project, Dennis explained site consideration, plant selection, topography design, garden access and many other steps involved in creating more water-wise gardens. Dennis also highlighted other sites he has designed and discussed how best to use drought tolerant plant material and water saving irrigation methods.

Preceding Dennis’s remarks, Dave Schickling, City of Fullerton’s Water Systems Manager, gabe a brief update on how the city is conserving water and what we can do to cut back on water use in our homes.

Door prizes were handed out to a few lucky attendees.

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NUFF Annual Membership Meeting

You are invited to the Neighbors United for Fullerton (NUFF) 2014-2015 annual membership meeting Sunday, July 20th, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the pool facility in the Pinehurst Greens homes. Located at 2318 Oakmont Street, Fullerton, 92831, the nearest cross streets are Brea Blvd. and Ashburn Terrace.  Someone will be at the entrance to point you in the right direction. Note that this is the same location as last year’s annual get-together.

Continuing and prospective members are invited to share some refreshments and meet or get reacquainted with members and guests. The meeting will include a presentation from Mayor Doug Chaffee regarding his vision and plans as well as the challenges facing the city. There will be a vote on our newly updated and revised bylaws. We’re also looking for suggested topics from NUFF members which may be of interest to Fullerton residents.  Please come and share.

Your membership makes it possible to provide informative forums for our community.  Highlights from our 2013-2014 programming included presentations by City Manager Joe Felz, Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson, Fullerton School Superintendents from both districts, a proposed Orange County desalination plant, and a presentation of water-saving landscape projects. Upcoming NUFF events will include the September “Candidate Meet & Greet,” after which NUFF members will vote for candidate endorsements.

Members and those interested in NUFF membership who plan to attend the annual meeting are asked to RSVP to Sunbie Harrell at 714-293-7084 (text or call) or Joyce Mason at 714-879-2084 (call only). You may also email RSVP@nuffpac.org or sunbieharrell@gmail.com. Annual dues of $25 per person may be paid at the annual meeting or remitted in the return envelope enclosed with this letter. 

Thank you for your continued support. It has been an exciting year, and we look forward to seeing you. 

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Creating a Sustainable Home Landscape

In 21st-century Southern California, we are experiencing significant changes in the availability of water and space.  We are surrounded by a built-environment deficient in the regenerative resources of natural wilderness.  Yet there is an instinctive bond between human beings and nature, and a well-designed landscape can be responsive to its inhabitants in powerful ways.

At the March 24 NUFF Forum, Mike Sullivan, a licensed landscape architect and Fullerton resident, will discuss “Everything You Didn’t Know You Wanted to Know about Creating a Sustainable Landscape.”  Mike will share what he has learned about creating environments that meet our needs for both beauty and practicality.  We will see exciting examples of how nature and technology can work together to create new self-supporting, aesthetically pleasing, sustainable gardens.

By wisely using items such as recycled and repurposed materials, regionally adaptive plants, edible plants, rainwater harvesting, and solar energy, we can improve our home environments.

With more than 25 years of experience, Mike has lots to tell.  He will show slides of beautiful spaces he has designed over many years, including award-winning landscapes in SoCal as well as international projects of distinction.  Mike’s sense of humor and knowledge of his field will surely entertain, educate and inspire.

The NUFF Forum will be held in the Osborne Room, Fullerton Public Library, at 6:45 PM on Monday March 24.

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Is Desalination Right for OC?

As you may know, Southern California will eventually face a water crisis. Excessive use of water by agriculture, industry, and residential communities deplete our groundwater faster than it can recharge. Furthermore, issues with water imported from the Sacramento delta and the Colorado River combine to exacerbate the situation; and the current dry winters only add to the existing problem.

Is desalination a viable alternative for supplying water for our thirsty economy and lifestyle?

A publicly funded, private desalination plant has been proposed for Huntington Beach by Poseidon Resources.  If allowed, this would be the largest facility of its type in North America. Is this plan technologically, fiscally, and environmentally responsible?  What are the costs?  How will energy be provided to operate the facility?  What happens to marine life in the short- and long term?

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Issues in the OC: Supervisor Shawn Nelson

What are the major issues facing the OC today? Orange County Supervisors Chair Shawn Nelson will answer this and other questions at a free public forum Monday, Nov. 18 presented by Neighbors United for Fullerton (NUFF) in the Osborne Room of the Fullerton Public Library, 353 West Commonwealth, 6:45 to 8:30 p.m.

Nelson, elected to the OC Board of Supervisors in 2010, will offer insights on countywide challenges, how the county government is responding, and what lies ahead. Following his presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions related to the topics.

A longtime Fullerton resident, Supervisor Nelson served on the Fullerton City Council from 2002 to 2010, serving twice as Mayor, and has been active in numerous civic and youth athletics organizations.  In his capacity as Supervisor, he is also a member of the audit oversight committee (Chair), Orange County Transportation Authority (Vice-Chair), Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink), Orange County Council of Governments, Orange County Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, South Coast Air Quality Management District, Southern California Association of Governments, Southern California Water Committee and the Transportation Corridor Agency.

Supervisor Nelson has been an outspoken advocate for fiscal restraint and accountability, and he has written about his interest in improving transportation options, notably bikeways in our district.  He has expressed concerns about High Speed Rail and has opposed implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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State of Fullerton Schools

Superintendent Robert Pletka of Fullerton School District and Superintendent  George Giokaris of Fullerton Joint Union High School District will be presenting on the state of schools in the Fullerton School District and Fullerton Joint Union High School District.

Come learn about the state of Fullerton’s schools and Common Core tests to be introduce in the 2013-2014 school year and other topics regarding Fullerton elementary, junior high schools and high schools.