The Fire Fighter Fire Storm


Fallen_Firefighters_Memorial,_Engine_Co._No._27,_HollywoodLocal Control – Is Pinole Getting it Wrong?

There has been an on going tug of war between Fire Fighters Local 1230 and the City Pinole.
I recently received some comments/observations/opinions, which I had not published.
The author of those comments wishes to remain anonymous but has agreed to allow me to post his comments/observations/opinions.
These comments/opinions/observations are those of the author only.



Fire Chief (1) Retired Fire Chief (1)
Fire Chief’s Executive Secretary Vacant
Assistant Chief Emergency Operations Vacant
Assistant Chief Support Services Vacant
Assistant Chief Administrative Services Vacant
Training Division Vacant
Training Chief Vacant
EMS Chief Vacant
Communication Division Vacant
Communication Manager Vacant
Facilities Management Division Vacant
Facilities Manager Vacant
Information Services Vacant
I.S. Manager Vacant
Logistics Division Vacant
Logistics Manager Vacant
Fire Prevention Bureau Vacant
Fire Marshal Vacant
Code Enforcement Vacant
Engineering Services Vacant
Exterior Hazard Control Vacant
Investigations Vacant
Public Information Vacant
Public Education Vacant

Costing MORE to Stay Stand Alone

FY 2014/2015


$3,800,219 (Stand Alone)



Hemet: Council contracts with county ending city’s fire department

Rodeo Reopens Station 75 with Grant Money



Whole Foods Coming to Pinole?

The following article has been submitted to Life as I Know It by Pinole citizen, Tony Gutierrez. The comments and viewpoints expressed are those of Mr. Gutierrez.

wholefoods-academiabarilla Whole Foods in Pinole Anyone?

During a discussion of a CEQA Approval at the September 2nd City Council Meeting for two properties owned by the City, known as Gateway West (Plot of Land next to the Bowling Alley Across the Street from Kaiser) and Gateway East (Plot of Land next to Kaiser and along the Freeway Exit off of I-80), Council Member Green told the Pinole City Council that he had been approached by a second developer interested in purchasing the two properties. Apparently, City Manager Belinda Espinosa as well as City Attorney Ben Reyes had been notified by this second developer as well.

Well, just the next day, this second developer showed up and spoke at the Oversight Board Meeting (Board to the Successor Agency to the Former Redevelopment Agency) and asked if they could apply to purchase the two parcels of land. This developer also said that he was representing Whole Foods of Berkeley.

The initial Developer who is represented by Thomas Properties to date have not disclosed to the Public who they represent and what kind of store they would like to put on the parcels of land. All that is known is that it is a grocery outlet (probably not Safeway or Lucky’s because Safeway has plans to build a second store in Hercules and both Hercules and Pinole already have a Lucky’s store).

In any event the Whole Foods developer would potentially bring in $20 Million in sales receipts of which 15% would be returned back to the City Coffers. The initial developer would potentially bring in $3 Million in sales receipts and once again the City of Pinole would only receive approximately 15% of this. What followed was a testy exchange, with Council Member Green advocating to the Council that it would be prudent to entertain the proposal of the second developer because this was in the best interest of the City of Pinole.   Little Did Phil Green know that he would be faced with hostile and condescending comments from Council Members Long, Murray, Swearingen, as well as from Mayor Banuelos.

At the next City Council Meeting, September 16, 2014 at 6:00 PM you have an opportunity to voice your opinion prior to a closed session with Thomas Properties to continue ongoing negotiations that have taken place for over a year now. Also Thomas Properties will also be making a presentation on what they would like to put on the two parcels if they are allowed to purchase the properties.

It is not clear if the properties can be sold by the City of Pinole until the State of California Department of Finance approves the City of Pinole’s (as the Successor Agency to the Former Redevelopment Agency) Long Range Property Management Plan (LRPMP).

Please come to the next council meeting to voice your opinion and if you cannot make the meeting please call a Council member and ask them to put the needs of the people of Pinole above the petty politics.

Mayor Timothy Banuelos:, (510) 872-9646

Mayor Pro Tem Pete Murray:, (510) 222-1910

Councilmember Phil Green:, (510) 676-6172

Councilmember Debbie Long:, (510) 684-3080

Councilmember Roy Swearingen:, (510) 758-4720

Because I’m Happy


I’m in my Happy Place.

On the heels of a personal and very public attack by my Pinole political nemesis; the real world and the people who matter most in my life, came into clear focus, yep, reality slapped me right upside the head.
My granddaughter’s health became a concern and my sister was facing major surgery, and they needed me.
I suddenly realized how low on my list of priorities this personal attack ranked.

Happiness is the truth. Come along.

I hope your summer was great and spent doing all the things that make you happy, mine was.
I have been enjoying three months at home without traveling for anything but enjoyment.
And I am savoring every minute of it.
Gosh how did I not see that there are a lot of people depending on me? Why didn’t I realize that time is the most valuable commodity one has to offer?
I have become reflective at the age of 69.
I have begun thinking about what I will leave behind.
I am making a conscious decisions to spend time with those I love and share experiences that leave a lasting memory. Because my happiness is about everybody except me.

Fall is in the air, football season is upon us, and I am in my happy place.