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share save 120 16 Shouldnt Jack OConnell Pay the State for His Hearst Castle Birthday Party?

Hearst Castle Outdoor Pool 600 Shouldnt Jack OConnell Pay the State for His Hearst Castle Birthday Party?

Hearst Castle Outdoor Neptune Pool

You betcha, former California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell owes the State of California some serious coin. And, he should pay up.

While nearly 70 of California’s state parks fought to escape closure from budget cuts, the crown jewel of the park system – Hearst Castle – waived $611,000 in private event fees over the last decade for select individuals and organizations, including the politically connected.

Hearst Castle, the lavish 165-room estate on a San Simeon hill overlooking the Pacific coast and Highway 1, has been the venue of choice for 125 events since 2002, ranging from weddings to fundraisers, birthday bashes to cocktail parties.

Most of the excused events were hosted by local partnerships, but politics also played a role in deciding who had to pay full price and who didn’t, said Nick Franco, superintendent for the state Department of Parks and Recreation’s San Luis Obispo Coast District.

More than a fifth of the total – $124,450 – was waived for the birthday party of former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and a charity race led by Maria Shriver while she was California’s first lady. The race benefited an international nonprofit, Best Buddies.

Politics as usual where the POLS get a deal and everyone else would have to pay full price for the use of the State Park facility.

The state’s former schools superintendent got a significant discount, too. After leaving office in January 2011, O’Connell hosted a 60th birthday party on two nights, one in October and one in November, which typically would have cost $44,200 for the event permits alone. Hearst Castle did not require the longtime politician to pay the standard fee for two nights of bringing 55 anticipated guests to tour the facilities and swim in the famous Neptune Pool, followed by a reception, said Jim Allen, Hearst Castle’s marketing director.

“I honestly didn’t think about it that deeply,” Franco said. “If I think about it now, I certainly could have charged him that fee – whether or not he would’ve paid it, I don’t know.”

According to Franco, instead of directly paying the state park for his birthday party, O’Connell donated $10,000 to the nonprofit Friends of Hearst Castle – a cooperating association of the California Department of Parks and Recreation that supports the preservation of Hearst Castle and assists with community outreach and education. According to the nonprofit group’s tax forms, O’Connell also donated another $5,000 during the 2011 fiscal year.

O’Connell assumed he had paid full price to host the events, he said, and he wasn’t aware that his $10,000 check was considered a donation rather than a payment to the state park.

“I just sent what was requested,” O’Connell said. “I paid what was asked.”

Anyone want to bet that O’Connell’s donations were out of campaign funds?

Well, were they, Jack?

In any case, O’Connell owes the state at least $29 K.

Pay Up!

share save 120 16 Shouldnt Jack OConnell Pay the State for His Hearst Castle Birthday Party?

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share save 120 16 Trooth.Com – The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part Two

Trooth Website Trooth.Com – The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part Two

From the website Trooth.Com

You remember the FLAP.

A number of Utah oral and maxillofacial surgeons have begun a dentistry turf war with a fellow dentist, Heath Hendrickson, over the extraction of wisdom teeth. The surgeons have sponsored a website (Trooth.com) and a billboard on I-15 in Utah County, Utah.

The oral surgeons who are listed below have a beef with general dentist, Heath Hendrickson, who refers to himself as Dr. Wisdom Teeth.

Last week, I conducted an interview with Utah Oral Surgeon Dr. David Nicholls about Trooth.Com and its public awareness campaign. The interview was posted in four parts.

Part One of my interview with Dr. Nicholls is posted here. Part Two is posted here. Part Three of the interview is here. Part Four is here.

Prior to beginning Dr. Nicholls’ interview, I reached out and attempted to contact all of the oral and maxillofacial surgeons on the Board of Trooth.Com. Dr. Nicholls was the first to contact me and later in the week, Dr. Tate Viehweg of Alpine Surgical Arts consented to an interview.

I continue to seek the other oral surgeon’s comments and there is an open interview request for them.

Dr. Viehweg and I began the interview on Friday and is continuing after a break (that I requested) for the weekend. I will undoubtedly break the interview down into a number of posts, since there is much material.

Part one of the interview is here.

The interview continues:

Flap:

You mentioned that you have had contact with Dr. Hendrickson’s patients in your office. Did he refer the patients to you?

Or, did these patients come to you with post-operative complications?

Viehweg:

These patients found me either on their own, referred from another general dentist, or referred/consulted from/in the hospital emergency room – all with post-operative complications.

Flap:

Without violating patient confidentiality, how many patients of Dr. Hendrickson’s have you seen with post-operative complications?

What were the nature of the complications?

Did you ever discuss the patient cases with Dr. Hendrickson?

Are you aware of any of these patients who have filed complaints with the Utah DOPL? Or, filed or plan to file malpractice lawsuits against Dr. Hendrickson?

Viehweg:

I’ve been at my current practice for 4 years and have seen at least 4 of his patients for post-operative complications including severe post-operative infections and completion of extractions that were only partially removed, although the representation was that the entire tooth had been removed.

Geographically, there are several surgeons closer to his offices that see many more of his post-operative complications than I do.

A huge concern is that he is not readily available to his patients for their post-operative issues-this results in them going to the emergency room out of necessity and the oral and maxillofacial surgeon on call being requested to care for the patient.

To be fair, I see many similar complications from a handful of general dentists near my office who disregard even the most diplomatic of requests that they inform their patients that they are not specialists.

As I stated earlier, I have had limited interaction with Dr. Hendrickson.

I am not specifically aware of any of my patients that were at one time treated by him that are pursuing litigation against him or that have filed a formal complaint with DOPL. I suspect it is only a matter of time, if it hasn’t happened already.

Viehweg:

After reading through all of our e-mails, I need to clarify that the mention of practitioners not being readily available for post-operative and after hours needs was state as he, this should be clarified as THEY are not readily available to THEIR patients for post-operative…

It is a statement in general and not in specific regarding post-procedural care.

Flap:

What has been the response to the Trooth.Com public awareness campaign?

From the public?

From your oral surgery colleagues?

From the general dentists who refer to your surgery practice?

Viehweg:

I have not had any feedback from anyone (public, surgical colleagues, general dentists) since the campaign began.

Flap:

Are you aware that Trooth.Com protesters with signs picketed Dr. Hendrickson’s office on Friday?

If you are, did the Board pay them to picket?

Besides the website, billboard and picketing, will there be more to the Trooth.Com public awareness campaign? Radio ads? Direct Mail campaign?

Viehweg:

I was aware of the picketing at Dr. Hendrickson’s office on Friday. The picketing is part of the Trooth.com campaign to inform the public of the safety issues with which we are concerned.

To my knowledge the billboard, picketing, and the Trooth.com website comprise the bulk of the campaign.

Flap:

Have you read the October 19, 2012 press release issued by Dr. Hendrickson’s attorney?

It says that the Trooth.Com is conducting “a misleading fear and smear publicity campaign.”

Where does Trooth.Com go from here, in light of this comment?

Viehweg:

 I haven’t read the press release.  What is noted in the Trooth.com campaign is factual and intended only to inform the public.

You will need to reach out to Dr. Nichols for confirmation regarding the future of the public safety campaign conducted by Trooth.com.

Flap:

Thank you Dr. Viehweg.

Would you like to make any closing remarks?

Viehweg:

Thank you for this opportunity to share my views. If you have any additional questions, feel free.

The interview came to a close.

It is my understanding that Dr. Wisdom Teeth, Dr. Heath Hendrickson and his wife, added two new members to their family over this past weekend.

Dr. Hendrickson has consented to an interview, when his life has a resumed a less hectic course.

As far as I know, the pickets from Trooth.Com have not returned to Dr. Hendrickson’s dental office.

Stay tuned…..

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share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: October 23, 2012

Romney State of the Race October 23 2012 The Morning Flap: October 23, 2012From 270towin.com

These are my links for October 22nd through October 23rd:

  • 2012: The battle for 7 states – Jonathan Martin – POLITICO.com – RT @jmartpolitico: A grudging consensus in Boca: the 7 states where the election will be decided >
  • Josh Kraushaar’s post on Capitol Hill Insiders | Latest updates on Sulia – Per @mikeallen, this is Romney map. They think they’re up 271-261 (with IA tossup) …
  • Krauthammer: Romney Won Unequivocally; Obama’s Responses Were Petty- I think it’s unequivocal, Romney won. And he didn’t just win tactically, but strategically. Strategically, all he needed to do is basically draw. He needed to continue the momentum he’s had since the first debate, and this will continue it. Tactically, he simply had to get up there and show that he’s a competent man, somebody who you could trust as commander in chief, a who knows every area of the globe and he gave interesting extra details, like the Haqqani network, which gave the impression he knows what he’s talking about. But there is a third level here, and that is what actually happened in the debate.We can argue about the small points and the debating points. Romney went large, Obama went very, very small, shockingly small. Romney made a strategic decision not go after the president on Libya, or Syria, or other areas where Obama could accuse him of being a Bush-like war monger. Now I would have gone after Obama on Libya like a baseball bat, but that’s why Romney has won elections and I’ve never had to even contested them. He decided to stay away from the and I think that might have actually worked for him
  • Obama may have won the Boca debate battle but he knows he is losing the election war to Romney- If you had been on an extended vacation for the past four years, you would have been forgiven for watching this debate and thinking you were viewing a President Mitt Romney being challenged by a pretender called Barack Obama. It’s not that Obama did not have command of foreign policy issues or did not make some telling points against an opponent who was vague at times and occasionally uncertain. But Obama clearly came into the debate believing he had to score points and change the dynamic of the race.In short, Obama started the 90 minutes here in Boca Raton, Florida believing he was losing his bid for re-election.Romney, by contrast, felt he could play things safe. He was a kinder, gentler presence than he was in the second debate in Hempstead, New York, when he fought back hard against a hyper Obama desperate to make up for his catastrophic performance in the first debate in Denver.By and large, Romney succeeded in Boca. He came across as knowledgeable and reasonable and made no mistakes. In short, he passed the commander-in-chief test. Having proved in the first debate he had the backbone, policy expertise and determination to try to tackle America’s economic woes, tonight he showed that he was a plausile commander-in-chief.It was not an especially high bar, but he cleared it.
  • A Perfectly Plausible President- Mitt Romney needed to pass the usual tests for Republican presidential candidates in his debate Monday night with President Obama.There was the Ford test (alternatively known as the Palin/Cain/Perry test): Would Mr. Romney say something so obviously misinformed, so manifestly silly, so revealingly ignorant as to disqualify him from serious consideration as a prospective commander-in-chief? He said nothing of the sort.There was the Goldwater test (unfairly named, but reputations are stubborn things): Did Mr. Romney make pronouncements so belligerent as to make ordinary people fear for their children’s safety—or at least provide David Axelrod a chance to make it seem as if he did? He did not, though that won’t stop Mr. Axelrod from trying.And there was the Bush test (not unfairly named but mistakenly understood to mean ideology when it ought to be about consistency): Would Mr. Romney find a deft way to define his foreign policy as something other than a retread of the 43rd president—but also as something defensible, distinctive, and (not least) identifiably Republican?On this score, Mr. Romney succeeded, too, if only in a manner coyly calculated to raise the hackles of every conservative who has harbored doubts all along about the Massachusetts governor.
  • Obama wins final debate, but does it matter?- Three debates down and two weeks of campaigning to go.A forceful President Barack Obama put Republican challenger Mitt Romney on the defensive on foreign policy on Monday night, with analysts and an immediate poll giving him the victory in their final debate just 15 days before the November 6 vote.Now the candidates hit the road for the final sprint to Election Day, focusing on the handful of battleground states considered still up for grabs and therefore vital to both their chances in a razor’s edge race.Obama kicks off his “America Forward” tour on Tuesday with events in Florida and Ohio, where he will be joined by Vice President Joe Biden, while Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, campaign in Nevada and Colorado.On Monday, Obama displayed the experience of a commander-in-chief in explaining U.S. policy under his leadership and attacking the views and proposals of Romney, a former Massachusetts governor with less experience on international issues.

    Romney ended up supporting most of the Obama administration’s steps involving hotspots, such as the civil war in Syria, and preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, giving the president the advantage in a debate in which his GOP rival needed to question foreign policy of the past four years.

    Analysts agreed that Obama won on points, but questioned if the result would have a big impact on voters and the race as a whole.

  • Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-22 – Flap’s California Blog – Flap’s California Blog @ Flap Twitter Digest for 2012-10-22
  • Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-22 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012-10-22 #tcot
  • My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-22 – Locum Tenens (Temporary) Dentist – Gregory Cole, D.D.S. – My Daily Twitter Digest for 2012-10-22
  • Obama and Romney duke it out on foreign policy – Right Turn – The Washington Post – RT @JRubinBlogger: Romney nails Obama on apology tour, education, Iran.. Obama major gaffe on navy .. Romney sails on
  • CA-26: Early Vote By Mail Report Favoring GOP’s Tony Strickland – CA-26: Early Vote By Mail Report Favoring GOP’s Tony Strickland #tcot
  • Trooth.Com – The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part One – Flap’s Blog – – The Tate Viehweg DMD Interview Part One #tcot
  • Day By Day October 22, 2012 – Try Hard – Flap’s Blog – Day By Day October 22, 2012 – Try Hard #tcot
  • Untitled (http://www.rgj.com/needlogin?type=login&redirecturl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rgj.com%2Farticle%2F2012102) – Untitled (… #tcot
  • The Morning Flap: October 22, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: October 22, 2012 #tcot
share save 120 16 The Morning Flap: October 23, 2012

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share save 120 16 Day By Day October 23, 2012   Foreigner

Day By Day 102312 Day By Day October 23, 2012   Foreigner

Day By Day by Chris Muir

The foreign policy Presidential debate last night broke NO new ground.

Mitt Romney looked and was ill.

President Obama was the aggressor and had to be as it is perceived he is trailing in his re-election race. Obama won on points.

Mitt Romney did what he had to do – not look like a radical, Barry Goldwater type. He succeeded and the campaign continues into the last two weeks.

The key battleground states at this point are Wisconsin, Iowa, and Colorado. I will have more on this and a new Electoral College map soon.

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share save 120 16 Flaps Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012 10 22
share save 120 16 Flaps Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2012 10 22

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