Culver City Observer -

Big Brother is Watching, But Not in Culver City…Yeah Right


By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

Have you read or heard about Operation Stingray? For those not in the loop or in the process of being cleared by the FBI for non-classified rumors, Stingray supposedly identifies itself to be the telephone company’s tower, but in reality it sends the police all data that you broadcast on your cell phone. Don’t worry. As of this time my source on the Culver City Police Department said, “We don’t use Stingray.” This person is so believably honest that if I were told it was snowing here in Culver City, I would immediately go to Hertz and rent a sled with a dog team.

Maria, aka the wild gypsy lady, just showed me what the folks in Sacramento are trying to get on this November’s ballot. SBX 72 cost $11.14 billion; AB 2686 cost $9.25 billion; SB 927 cost $9.2 billion; SB 848 cost $6.82 billion; AB 1331 cost $6.5 billion; AB 1445 cost $5.8 billion; and SB 1370 cost $5.1 billion. These seven bond proposals have to do with water and related issues.

Somebody blabbed to the head of the taxing authority that Neil has $500 in a sock that is four feet below the surface in a planter by the red rose bush, and now an employee with a back hoe will dig up the six-foot brick wall and try to find my secret rainy day fund. Did I mention the various ways government is planning to separate us from our money? I will soon.

My goodness, can you believe it’s been almost 11 years since Friends of the Library had the logo contest? Wendy Zeitlin was the grand prize winner with the “inquisitive worm.” The worm, to use a military term, is still on active duty and still doing a great job. The executive board award winner was Gabriella Colbasso. I gave the president’s award to Sandra Coopersmith. The Culver City Julian Dixon Library award went to Carmelita Bell. The Culver City mayor’s award went to Ya-Nan Chou. The newsletter logo award went to Paul Nielson. Children 11 and over award went to Shelby Jones and children 10 and under to Emma Niles. Special thanks to the judges: Bill Heagy, Ken Lock, Diane and Herb Rosenberg and Lee Welinsky.

What are you doing on August 16, 2014? It’s a Saturday and starting at 6 p.m. you can enjoy Lynyrd Skynrd Tribute at 556 Lake Park Drive, Simi Valley – – and it’s free!!!

Do you remember – oh, about four, maybe five years ago – when the Los Angeles Times was using the Public Records Act to ask for the names of all deputy sheriffs in Los Angeles County? It took a while for the courts to rule, and guess what? The crazy fears were just that – baseless fears. Perhaps you recall the judge reviewed over 9,000 names before deciding only two deputies could be left off. One was in prison and for the other, no reason was given.

Just recently the California Supreme Court ruled that citizens have the right to know the names of police officers involved in on-duty shootings. The case stemmed from the death of Douglas Zerby in Long Beach, who was unarmed with only a garden hose nozzle, and was mowed down.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at by placing Rubenstein in that website’s search box.


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