Apparently, comments I made in the local paper’s web site (see this blog entry for more info) has caused some to accusing me of being a political insider. Here’s an excerpt of a conversation:
Daniel Seagondollar: I always enjoy reading diatribe from propaganda shills like Harley. They always start with “I was on the fence.” As though they were trying to be fair and then set off on a one sided slander rant about their opposition. In my review I haven’t found a single point in the past two years where Harley has espoused anything but total support for the Wal-Mart. Now that position is fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but why can’t people just be honest? I’m witnessing both sides of this issue present ridiculously pathological arguments that aren’t revelant. This issue isn’t about fresh vegetables or Joshua trees it’s just a question about giving special privileges to big business.
Dan Harley: Wow Daniel Seagondollar ! I must say that I’m a bit flattered that someone who isn’t in law enforcement would spend two years doing research on me. Do you want an autograph?
I’m sorry to admit that your opinions doesn’t mean nearly as much to me as mine apparently does to you. Also, I wouldn’t think calling people names like a little fourth grader would be very productive. Then again, that tends to be your style and to each their own…
What baffles me is why you make enemies out of people for no reason. Perhaps one day you will realize that you are your own worst enemy.
Daniel Seagondollar: Dan Harley, I know who my enemies are and they hide behind lies to feather their own nest. You and the rest of the clowns playing small town politics have one enemy, the truth. If stating the truth makes enemies I’ll stand guilty as charged with pride.
You can see the original conversation here : ( click here)
It’s obvious that Mr. Seagondollar and I aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on a few things, and that’s unfortunate.
This is a copy of my post in the Daily Press regarding an article relating to the Measure D issue, which is sometimes known as the Walmart initiative:
My opinion regarding Measure D will likely be unpopular with those who express their opinions here online, but I feel several things need to be said. Initially, I was on the fence but this changed after objectively listening to both sides. I commend the efforts of The Citizens for Smart Growth (CSG) and I respect their opinions. However, I also believe it prudent to point out the flaws in several of their claims and the claims of those who are against Measure D and/or Wal-Mart expansion in Apple Valley.
Contrary to what a few want everyone else to believe, the Super Wal-Mart will not lead to the total destruction of Apple Valley. Before it was constructed, the current Wal-Mart faced similar opposition with claims of economic destruction and the liking. Afterwards, the sky didn’t suddenly turn black. The Sun or Moon didn’t fall from the sky. The Earth didn’t open up and swallow all the small businesses in Apple Valley. As it turns out, Apple Valley’s Wal-Mart was a benefit to many as it eliminated much of the need to drive to Victorville for shopping. In turn, much of the former opposition shops there regularly too. I believe much of the same will happen after the Super Wal-Mart opens.
CSG claims they are grass roots and lack financial support to fight against the big nasty Wal-Mart money machine. The fact is anti-Wal-Mart sentiment has been heavily financed and supported by special interest for a very long time, and CSG is the tail end of it all.
Attorney Cory Briggs has been very instrumental in stopping or slowing down every Wal-Mart development across California. In my opinion, Mr. Briggs is the primary reason why Wal-Mart has taken so many years to develop the property in question. Although there’s no official claims, it’s safe to assume that United Food Commercial Workers (UFCW) has invested heavily into Mr. Brigg’s law practice as UFCW has the most to lose because Super Wal-Mart competes directly with their union shop stores, such as Albertsons, Ralphs, Food For Less and Stater Bros.
So why has CSG raised a pitiful amount of money? How come Mr. Briggs and UFCW have seemingly disappeared when the moral compass of our community is on the line? How come there hasn’t been a single dime invested by UFCW into CSG to fight Wal-Mart against Measure D? The fact is, it doesn’t look good for the “NO” crowd if they can’t raise a couple thousand dollars in a community of over 70,000. Mr. Briggs and UFCW probably know it’s a lost battle and/or disagree with the principles of CSG and have moved on.
What I find amusing is CSG boasting about former councilmember Bob Sagona’s support. What they don’t want everyone to know is HE VOTED IN FAVOR OF IT THREE TIMES WHILE HE WAS A COUNCILMEMBER. Then again, this is typical of Mr. Sagona’s flip flopping track record and demonstrates why he lost his incumbent council seat during a non-controversial election cycle. Keep in mind that the planning commission and town council are unanimous in favor of supporting Measure D, which includes Barbara Stanton who probably has the most to lose politically for supporting this.
CSG alludes that our community is selling out to Wal-Mart’s deep pockets. The fact is we ALREADY SOLD OUT… The fact is Wal-Mart has been a part of this community for many years. The fact is Wal-Mart is one of the largest non-government employers in the HighDesert and the largest employer in Apple Valley. The fact is having Wal-Mart in Apple Valley IS NOT a bad thing but actually turns out to be a GOOD thing. The fact is if Measure D fails, this may lead to Wal-Mart eventually taking their 1,600+ employees and their massive sales tax revenue to another community that is more receptive, which will be incredibly devastating to Apple Valley.
Another fact that CSG and others want everyone to overlook is Super Wal-Marts being super magnets for shoppers. Much of the reason why an entire shopping center, a Super Target and a Lowes was opened is the expectation of the Super Wal-Mart to have been opened several years ago. That shopping center at full capacity can mean hundreds more jobs and millions more in sales tax revenue on top of those directly employed by Wal-Mart. Without the Super Wal-Mart, there will be a great big empty lot across the street from a great big empty shopping center for years to come because developers and retailers will think twice about expanding into Apple Valley.
Perhaps contrary to what I’ve said so far, I should mention that I’m not a big fan of how Wal-Mart conducts business. They have a stellar track record of destroying small businesses, driving manufacturing jobs overseas, etc. and certainly earned the reputation of being an evil company. Personally, I see Measure D as choosing the lesser of the two evils. The Super Wal-Mart operating at Thunderbird and Dale Evans will be a lot less evil for Apple Valley than the alternative.
Here’s a link to the original article: [ click here ]
The Daily Press reported another fatality on Highway 395. See here:
I elected to post my thoughts on Calrtrans Devore Interchange Facebook page. Here’s the content of my post:
Since you elected to delete my previous post, allow me to get right to my point with this post. Here’s an article in the local paper:
This FATAL accident was in YOUR DIVISION. As you also know, this is just one of many along that stretch of roadway. Your management continues to ignore widening Hwy 395, which is badly needed. Over many years, I’ve asked several of your representatives the same simple question .. “Why?” I receive the same answer. “We don’t have enough money…” Yet, your division chooses to dump hundreds of millions of dollars on this project in which a previous project at the same location was completed just a few years ago.
I’m done with trying to speak with your representatives on this issues and will put my effort into making the public of your division’s ignorance. It is time you stop killing people...
Here’s the continuing response and communications:
Dan – Your posts on the Devore Interchange Project about highway 395 and spending should be directed to Caltrans staff/management. The Facebook page you have posted on is managed by the contractor team – not Caltrans – to provide the public detours, closures and other project information. Caltrans District 8 has their own Facebook page to bring up your issues. If you do have questions about construction-related activities for the Devore Project, then go ahead and post and we will respond.
@Robert – I want be sure you know that all of my communications with CalTrans (and their contractors) are being documented.
As for contacting CalTrans staff/management, that has been done many times but to no avail as staff/management continues to respond with there’s no funds available for significant construction projects along Highway 395. How such issues are related is somehow the same CalTrans division found $280,000,000 to fund the Devore Interchange project (and pay you for your work) and fund another project further north on I-15 collectively totaling over half a billion dollars if the top of my head estimates are accurate, yet there’s still no money available to deal with the obvious dangers along Hwy 395.
Perhaps the aforementioned dilemma is beyond your ability to answer, which is typical of any CalTrans employee and/or contractor. So how about I throw you a softball question, which should be withing the realm of your project to answer.
Q: How come CalTrans is working on the Devore Interchange just a few years after a previous major project at the same location was completed?
I await your response or he response from someone who has the authority to respond.
We are required to document all project communications. We send a weekly report to Caltrans, which included your previous post. I will contact Caltrans about your questions and ask them to respond directly. Who have you been in contact with at Caltrans that has not responded in the past?
I appreciate you informing that my communications will be directed to CalTrans staff/management as required. Perhaps someone will finally do something to save some lives.
My contacts with CalTrans regarding the Highway 395 issues has been over many years. Mostly with public relations representatives whom in my opinion know little more than the projects they were promoting and/or required to provide the same standard answer. In my opinion, going through the typical channels does not work. Calling a Caltrans representative to receive a standard answer will not fix this problem.
One example is the gentleman (I forgot his name) who came through my Rotary Club promoting your project. He barely knew enough about the project to make a legible presentation. He was torn apart during the Q & A after some very basic and simple questions. A member of my club asked about the previous construction project, which the response was he wasn’t aware of it.
The representative’s response made most all who attended the presentation very disturbed to say the least. It prompted me to become more vocal via the Internet to gain public awareness.
Also keep in mind that this is nothing personal. I know well enough that you and most all who you work with project don’t have enough information to see the big picture. You’re given enough information to pain a rosy picture for the general public to absorb. The problem is I’m much more observant and aware than your target audience. I too have contracted with government agencies and I’m well aware of how funds and be wastefully allocated. Furthermore, I’m fed up with this particular division’s continued ignorance of a very serious and deadly problem on a roadway which they directly manage.
The standard answer is no longer enough. It is time for action.
I wil update this post as CalTrans responds to my inquiries. I will love to hear your thoughts on this. DCH II
For whatever reason, CalTrans seems to have pulled all the stop signs out with their public relations for the Devore Interchange. For a long time, my issue with CalTrans is how they waste money one some projects yet never seem to have enough money to fix some real and very serious problems with our public road systems.
Below is a copy of the Facebook communications I recently had with what is probably someone with CalTrans public relations overseeing the I-15 Devore Interchange Project, which I thought I should preserve and share withe the public:
I wished there was a button that says “disgusted” instead of “like” because that’s my opinion of this project.
Your public relations puppets came thorough our Rotary Club several months ago and couldn’t answer some simple questions. For one, why is CalTrans sinking more money into a construction project on Devore AGAIN when a project was just completed there a few years ago? Your PR guy didn’t know there was a previous project, which made him look like a horses’ ass in front of some very dignified local citizens.
My concern is why hundreds of millions of dollars are being sunk into projects on I-15 when widening Highway 395 has once again been passed over. How many more people have to die before it gets someone’s attention? Please don’t insult my intelligence by telling me that there’s no money, because there’s certainly enough money to fund this project shortly after a previous project at the same location was just completed.
Devore Interchange Project > Dan Harley: Thank you for your comment, Dan. Unfortunately, due to the use of profanity, your post does not comply with our Facebook Policy and will be removed. We encourage you to give us a call at (855) I15-I215/415-4215 to speak one-on-one with a project representative or email us at email@example.com.
Dan Harley > Devore Interchange Project
To Whom This May Concern,
First of all, thank you for responding to my post and my apologies for offending you or your staff by referencing them to being a horses’ ass. Since my Facebook policies are more flexible than yours, I went ahead and copied our conversation to my blog. Please see link below:
As for contacting one of your project representatives… In all due respect, it would not be worth the time to dial the phone number which you provided. Keep in mind that I had already made conversation with one of your representatives, who knew little more than the information provided to him regarding the current Devore Interchange project. He had no knowledge of the previous project nor any knowledge of the dangers of Highway 395. To make a call and receive the same blank answers would be a waste of my time as well as the time of your representative.
On the other hand, it would be more prudent for me to take the information I currently have and make it public. If you review my background, you will see that I’m a very capable Internet marketing consultant who can easily make something go viral if I so choose to put the effort into it. So, I should go ahead and put light on certain critical CalTrans roadway issues because it’s obvious that you and your staff are too busy to care.
If my opinion is mistaken and your staff sincerely wants to talk to me, then please feel free to call me at: 760-247-4814.
Thank you for your time and concern,
Dan Harley, Jr.
I will continue adding to this post if Caltrans chooses to respond.
Leave me your thought… DCH II
A must see while in Hanoi is the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater. This is a water puppet show that has roots dating back hundreds and possibly thousands of years. This world renowned and internationally awarded show is in the heart of Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem District. The video was taken when the family watched a show during our trip in 2013:
Over the years of visiting Hanoi, I have watched The French Quarter transform from a rather uninteresting place to a very posh location that is a must see when in Hanoi. High ticket shopping, such as Gucci, Bass and other stores are located here. Some excellent coffee shops and restaurants also encircle the Hanoi Opera House, which is the center of this area.
The video covers my wife and I visiting the French Quarter during our trip in 2013:
One thing that seemingly everyone who stays in Hanoi long enough will encounter is what a friend of mine refers to as the “Hanoi Cough.” This is a real bad cough that is a result of breathing the smog infested air of Hanoi. This cough could be merely a scratchy throat to full blown bronchitis (which is what happened to me during the 2013 trip to Hanoi).
This video is of me describing what happened and how I’m getting past the Hanoi cough:
Something we take for granted in more developed countries is electricity. Rarely do we have have power outages (unless we forget to pay the bill). However, this is a common in Vietnam and especially Hanoi. This short video is how my family dealt with a power outage during our trip:
This video depicts my wife and I enjoying a visit to Hoan Kiem Lake and having lunch at City View Cafe, which neither of us have ever done before. A very pleasant time and is now an everlasting memory thanks to this video. Enjoy!