Tragic: Three University Of California Campuses Rank As The Most Dangerous In The USA

13 10 2018

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The seemingly-innocent and idyllic University of California, Santa Barbara—perhaps the only college campus located directly on one of the world’s great oceans—has been ranked at the very top of a listing  of “America’s Most Dangerous Universities.”  Its sister campuses of UCLA and Berkeley rank as #2 and #19 respectively.[2]  This tragic “honor” demands immediate attention, remedies, “fixes,” and careful and unending scrutiny by all who care deeply about the University of California and its ten campuses.[3]

Instead of attacking the messenger or the study’s findings—and in keeping with the words that appear on the University of California’s seal, “Let There Be Light”—positive, proactive steps must be taken immediately to address the critical problems. Neither these three nor any other U.C. campuses should appear on this or any similar listings ever again. Actions must be taken now before life-changing or -ending tragedies occur.

The University and each of its campuses owe this to their students, parents, alumni, faculty members and other employees, the communities in which they are located, and to all Californians whom they serve. Clearly, the vast number of American universities have never appeared on this or any other similar listings. They must be doing something right; and arguably they can provide valuable lessons and guidance to the University of California, UCSB, UCLA and Berkeley.

Indeed, UCLA’s archrival in sports, the ghetto-bound University of Southern California, did not make the list.  Leadership is needed now, more than ever before.  It counts for nothing that UCLA was considered the most difficult American university to get into, for its entering freshman class in the fall of 2018.  Similarly, all of the U.C.’s Nobel Prize winners mean nothing if the campuses are not safe for students, faculty, visitors and the like.

University of California

 

© 2018, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]   See https://insurify.com/insights/ivory-tower-incidents-americas-most-dangerous-universities/ (“Ivory Tower Incidents: America’s Most Dangerous Universities”) [Ivory Tower Incidents-America_s Most Dangerous Universities-Insurify]

[3]  See, e.g.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_California (“University of California”)

On a personal note, the author attended all three U.C. campuses; he has degrees from two of them, UCLA and Berkeley; and he has been deeply involved with UCSB—where he served as Vice President of the Freshman Class, President of the Sophomore Class, and Vice President of the student body.  Also, he has served on the Board of Directors of the UCSB Alumni Association (1980-86), and as a Trustee of the UCSB Foundation (1987-1990); and his family members are UCSB graduates.





Disasters In Montecito: Get Out Now!

26 03 2018

 

Richard Schultz By Richard Schultz[1]

 

Richard Schultz, recently widowed, anticipated a quiet, uneventful winter at his home in Montecito, California.  Instead, he found himself confronted by two terrifying natural disasters—first, The Thomas Fire, the worst in California’s history that burned 273,000 acres and more than 200 homes in Montecito; then, the subsequent mudslides in Montecito, which left 21 people dead and at least two missing.

 

My house in Montecito is north of East Mountain Drive, adjacent to the burning Los Padres National Forest. The Sun is obliterated by thick smoke; and the few people who are still on the village streets, wear masks. I don’t want to leave my home. I don’t want any more upheaval in my life.

December 10

Voluntary Evacuation has suddenly turned into Mandatory Evacuation. Five burly firemen from Montecito appear at my house; six more from another fire department join them an hour later. Both groups are happy to see my portable gas-powered pool pump equipment; and they lay it all poolside, with 250 feet of my fire hose in tidy rows.

I put a “carry-on“ bag on my bed and start throwing medicine, checkbooks and some clothing into it.  (I’m not thinking clearly)  I wonder where I should go.

“Go!  Get out now!”  The firemen tell me.

Nothing is said about where to go, what to take, how long I’ll need to be away—just “leave.”

The phone rings.  I debate whether to answer, but I do and find it is an informed friend inviting me to stay with her family for a few days until it is safe to return to my house. The timing of her call is miraculous.  I hastily accept and drive to her home in Santa Barbara.  I stay for one day, two days, ten days . . . thirteen days before I can return home.

December 23

I am afraid to see what is left.  The low plastic lights along the driveway are burned, melted.  Black soot is everywhere.  My house is still there!  It’s dripping wet and smells of smoke: the windows are dirty with soot.  My wide Rosemary hedge and irrigation system along my driveway are burned, lost.  My pool is nearly empty except for a few inches of thick black water in the bottom.

Four men are dismantling nozzle holding metal tripods that were set around the house, and replacing padded porch furniture previously moved away from the house.  One man is taking pictures of my wet house.  I ask, and they tell me they are not firemen; they work for my homeowners insurance company.  The company’s own fire trucks had been on my property, and they had helped the firemen to save my home.

No one can tell me what has happened to my portable pool pump.  I’m not sure that I care at this point.

I go inside to see that upholstered furniture has been moved to the center of the living room.  I see black soot shoe smudges starting at the front door.  I follow them upstairs.

Two bank envelopes full of cash and my .38 caliber pistol are missing.  I wonder why I did not take those with me.

My home is otherwise intact.  I am so grateful I cannot bring myself to complain to the men on the scene.  I thank them all profusely for their efforts to save my home.

January 9

I’m not leaving.

It’s another Mandatory Evacuation, but I’ve told the sheriff I’m going to stick it out at my home.  I know the risk; I know the burned Los Padres hillside behind me has nothing left living to hold the earth and debris in place.  The deluge predicted tonight is expected to cause mudslides.

All of my neighbors within sight have evacuated.  But weary from the fire evacuation, I decide to remove my cars from the garage, and have my gardener help me acquire enough sandbags to protect all of my doors and swimming pool, which I had cleaned and re-filled.  I make a quick trip to the supermarket for a huge load of groceries, and as much drinking water as I can buy.

The raging, powerful rain flood and mudslide came that night as predicted.  The deluge is reported to be brief and noisy, but as a 90-year-old with severe hearing loss, I simply sleep through the entire event.  I wake up to utter silence, and the lack of human motion in Montecito.

This was the beginning of 19 days of sensory deprivation.

That morning I hear no traffic of any kind in Montecito, no sound—it is like a ghost town. Then came my reality: no electricity, no running water, no natural gas, no dial tone, no Internet, no TV, no newspaper, and no mail.  My sole means of communication was my “flip phone”—that is, while my battery lasts.  It is like camping out in luxury shelter with a view.

Two sheriff deputies on patrol find me in my home after several days as a single “holdout.”  They ask me about drinking water; I show them what I have.  They return with a 12-pack of bottled water and a bag of food.  They advise me to evacuate.

My knowledge of what was happening in Montecito and the outside world comes solely from my 4 adult children and close friends, all living in other cities and states, who have my cell phone number.  How long will this last without electricity?

After about a week, the electric flickers on periodically.  I keep my cell phone plugged in and use my electric oven to take the chill off.  I scoop water from my swimming pool for washing and to keep my toilet flushing.

The county sheriff, knowing that I am a hold out, checks in on me every 3 or 4 days, often leaving me with more bottled water and always urging me to evacuate.

Then Montecito begins the slow process of recovering from this double disaster.  Only from my cell phone informants do I learn that the streets and areas most damaged from the mud and debris are to be given priority in the cleanup.  Early on, 2 missing persons are found dead in mud and debris.  My property, adjacent to the National Forest, is high on the foothills making it among the last to be restored.

Along with tree trunks, enormous piles of brush and boulders the size of small cars, large sections of existing water mains and natural gas pipes have not only been exposed, but some are grossly displaced by the mudslide even to distant locations.  All of this results in numerous streets being made impassible. Restoration of utilities will be a slow; a methodical process extending 20-plus days into February.

I am getting cold, running out of fresh food and optimism.  With no human contact, entertainment or direct news, I am beginning to revert to an alternate reality.  I have finished reading 5 new books that were Christmas presents, and am now into my library and “The Life and Works of Vladimir Lenin.”  I find myself starting to reminisce, initially over my wife’s recent death, followed by unresolved childhood, adolescent and adult events.  I am stuck within my own mind.  Could this be “Mindfulness?”  These troubling thoughts are not something I can share with folks on the other end of my cell phone.

January 19

My dial tone finally returns.  I still have no running water, natural gas, Internet, or television.  I have rationed my bottled water wisely, but no fresh food and still no human contact.  For me, Montecito is still silent except for the thumping sounds of overhead helicopters.  My existence is starting to becoming disorienting!

My children and friends report to me by phone about a burst of progress in the restoration of utilities, but with warnings of contamination and safety issues.  Water explosions come in spurts from my open faucets.

January 27

Mandatory Evacuation is lifted.  Though still without natural gas or Internet service, I have survived these two terrible sequential Montecito tragedies.

. . .

Will there be more?

 

Montecito mudslides

 

© 2018, Richard Schultz

 


[1]  Richard Schultz is a guest commenter at this blog.  He is a retired doctor from Michigan, who has written numerous articles and books.





Jerry Perenchio: Kind And Caring

31 05 2017

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

His name was Andrew Jerrold Perenchio, or simply “Jerry.”  He was a billionaire and a true Hollywood mogul, who shunned publicity and personal attention, and valued his privacy.  This occurred despite the fact that he built enormous economic wealth and power in the American and global entertainment industries, where fame and public attention are coveted and celebrities are lionized and fawned over.[2]

He was my next-door neighbor growing up on Glenroy Avenue, south of the fabled Sunset Boulevard, a mile west of the UCLA campus in Westwood, a suburb of Los Angeles.  He lived there with his lovely first wife Robin, their baby son John—who was born when I was in my first year of high school—and his wife’s two daughters from a previous marriage.  My mother loved Robin, who was very kind to her.

I went away to college at UCSB and later graduated from UCLA.  I was president of the Sophomore Class at Santa Barbara, and an SAE; and Jerry had been president of the same class at UCLA, and also a member of the nation’s largest national fraternity.  He put on theatrical concerts in college, and I was a concert promoter too.[3]  Jerry introduced me to Lou Robin, who was a concert promoter extraordinaire, and later the manager of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash for 30 years[4]; and I bought talent from him.

Both Jerry and my father urged me to go to law school, which I did at Berkeley, before spending two years as an Army officer assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.[5]  After leaving the military, I became counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill, and later chief of staff to the late Senator Edward W. Brooke, the first African-American senator since Reconstruction after our Civil War, with Barack Obama being the third.[6]

We planned a fundraising concert in Boston for the Senator’s reelection, and I called Jerry about getting talent.  He arranged for the wonderful Johnny Mathis[7], among others; and he personally paid for an old stage manager friend of his, Phil Stein, to oversee everything.[8]  The evening went perfectly and was an enormous success, thanks to Jerry’s generosity, caring and guidance.

When I contemplated leaving the Senate, he and I talked about me working for him.  He was launching a membership TV enterprise nationally; and my first job was to head a marketing crew of more than 20 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as I recall.  I flew out to LA from Washington to spend a weekend with him, talking about our future.  Unbeknownst to me,  we would spend the entire weekend with the great Burt Lancaster, watching football games at Jerry’s house in Bel Air, playing golf at the Bel Air Country Club, and having dinner at Burt’s rented house on the beach in Malibu with Jerry’s second wife and Burt’s partner at the time.[9]

The weekend was a success, and Jerry offered me the job; however, he was very frank and told me upfront that he would fire me if I did not measure up to his expectations.  My marriage was “shaky,” and I had two wonderful little kids; and I would have to be traveling two-thirds of every month, and I could not take the risk of losing my job after I had moved my young family from Washington to L.A.  Rather than leave him hanging, I thought about friends of mine who might fit the bill, and were single and not otherwise encumbered.

There had been a “clique” of very talented young officers at the Pentagon’s Officers Athletic Club; and one of them was an Air Force officer named Al Horn.  From the military, he had gone to Harvard Business School, and was working for Procter & Gamble.  He was tough; and I recommended him to Jerry, and the rest is history.  Al became Jerry’s right arm when he and Norman Lear combined their efforts; and later Al ran the Warner Bros. studio, and today he is chairman of the Walt Disney Studios.[10]  I entered the private practice of law, as a partner of the Washington law firm, and then struck out on my own.

When I was finishing up at UCLA, I lived in Malibu, where Topanga Canyon empties into the Pacific Ocean.  I rented a funky one-room apartment on the sand, and met some wonderful surfers and watermen, who remained my friends for life.  As the years passed, and I brought my kids west to California for vacations, I decided to rent small apartments from such friends, to give my kids a sense of really living in California as I had known it.   After one of the storms hit the California coast, a small damaged house on a priceless lot next to where we lived part-time became available and I bought it for $475,000.

I planned to tear it down, and build something new; and while the planning was underway, a violent El Niño storm hit Malibu.[11]  I got a call in Washington from my local architect in Malibu, saying that a house up the street had been washed out to sea.  About two hours later, he called back to say that mine had been swept to sea as well.  When I arrived in California, the lot was bare, even though heavy wood pilings had been driven deep into the sand to support the little house that had been there.

Because of the damage to structures in Malibu, the permitting process to build anything new on the ocean was horrendous.  I hired an internationally-recognized architect, William Turnbull[12], to design a multi-unit structure for the property; and I personally made a pitch to the California Coastal Commission, right after movie mogul David Geffen’s attorney had pulled his application for changes to the seawall at his ocean-front Malibu home.  I was given the go-ahead by one vote; and the project required more than 40 separate permits to be built.

In the final analysis, my “dream home” became an unmitigated nightmare.  I was trying to build it from Washington, D.C., all the while trusting people in California who were “picking my pockets.”  A small bank in Massachusetts had financed the project; and when both the bank and I refused to put any more money into it, the bank alone had “invested” about $3.5 million.  The delays and cost overruns were monumental.  The bank gave me a year to buy it out for $1.6 million, or walk away from the project.

I talked with Jerry about it, because he had completed colossal work on his new mansion in Bel Air, as well as work on his golf course and houses in Malibu, down the street from my property.  He offered to help, and said that his trusted builder might be able to finish the project but I would have to sell it once the work was done.  I was so sick and tired of it that I could scream.  In the final analysis, I thanked him and always appreciated Jerry’s interest in helping.

Fast forward, and my wonderful son was getting his MBA and JD at Pepperdine University in Malibu, up the hill from where we had lived; and he told me that he was thinking about practicing law.  I told him “never”[13], and put him in touch with Jerry—for whom he began working at Univision while still a student, before he worked there full time.  Ultimately, when Jerry sold Univision, my son had become a Senior Vice President; and he loved working for Jerry.  Needless to say, Jerry could not have been nicer and more supportive.

My parents met in grade school in Minneapolis; and my mother came to California first, with her parents when she was a young girl.  My father followed later; and they lived in Hollywood after they were married, before building their home in Westwood, and they knew famous movie stars, etc.  They always told me not to get involved with those in the business, whom they described as “phonies.”  Years later, Jerry told me something similar: that they were not “nice.”  Hollywood is a rough-and-tumble town, much like our nation’s capital; and the narcissistic “phonies” of both towns seem to adore each other.

In the final analysis, yes, Jerry Perenchio was a tough Hollywood mogul, and a legend.  But  he was very kind and caring too, qualities that not everyone saw in him.  It was as if they were sometimes “hidden under a bushel.”  As I have written about Ed Brooke:

I am sad that [he] is gone. He is missed. He was not perfect; no one is. Yet, he made a difference. . . .  And I will always remember [him].[14]

The same thing is true of Jerry, in spades.  He was very special—whether he had any money or not.  I will always be deeply indebted to him for the kindness and caring that he showed to my son and me throughout his life.

May God continue to bless him . . .

Jerry Perenchio

© 2017, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/documents/TimothyD.NaegeleResume.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  This article contains personal remembrances of Jerry; and I will not attempt to recount his considerable accomplishments, which are well documented by others.

See, e.g.https://www.google.com/amp/www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-me-andrew-jerrold-perenchio-snap-20170524-story,amp.html (“Pioneering media mogul and L.A. philanthropist Jerry Perenchio dies at 86”) and http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jerry-perenchio-dead-univision-head-hollywood-dealmaker-was-86-970780 (“Jerry Perenchio, Consummate Hollywood Dealmaker and Former Univision Head, Dies at 86”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6317743/Most-expensive-Bel-Air-estate-featured-Beverly-Hillbillies-market-245million.html (“Most expensive US Bel Air estate featured on ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ is on market for $245million”); see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Perenchio (“Jerry Perenchio”)

[3]  See https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/timothy-d-naegele-resume.pdf

[4]  See, e.g.http://www.uncut.co.uk/features/lou-robin-the-cash-s-concert-promoter-37585

[5]  See infra n.3.

[6]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/ (“Edward W. Brooke Is Dead”)

[7]  Like concerts that I had produced in college (see infra n.3), I remained backstage during the entire program.  Mathis was the last act to appear, since he was the star.  While I was watching the earlier acts, I almost tripped over him in the wings.  He was sitting down watching the other acts, very modestly; and he had not changed into his wardrobe.  I was always struck by his humility, and still am; and I remain a fan of his.

[8]  See, e.g.https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/phil-stein-85690 (“Phil Stein – Broadway Cast & Staff’)

[9]  As I was racing from the office in Washington to catch the flight to L.A., I accidentally left my favorite suit on top of the car in the parking lot at Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia.  I got to the United Airlines gate and remembered it; and I was told that the flight was leaving, and there was no time to retrieve the suit.  Since Jerry was meeting me at LAX, I left the suit; and no one turned it in while I was gone.

Jerry had a meeting with his “mentor” at the Los Angeles Country Club, to which my father had belonged; and he loaned me his classic Mercedes convertible, and I went into Westwood and bought some pants that I wore the entire trip.

See also https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/other-sports/america-at-large-the-man-who-paid-muhammad-ali-2-5m-to-get-whupped-1.3706755 (“America at Large: the man who paid Muhammad Ali $2.5m to get whupped”—”Burt Lancaster, one of [Perenchio’s] oldest friends, was drafted in to do co-commentary and the actor ended up contributing a lot more than he bargained for.  ‘I knew Burt could help promote the fight,’ said Perenchio. ‘He even sparred a round with Ali. Ali slapped him around. Burt’s body was kind of red after that’”)

[10]  See, e.g.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_F._Horn (“Alan F. Horn”) and http://variety.com/2017/film/news/alan-horn-jerry-perenchio-tribute-1202446441/ (“Disney’s Alan Horn Remembers His ‘Brilliant Friend’ Jerry Perenchio”)

[11]  See, e..g.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Niño (“El Niño”)

[12]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/humor-photography-etc/#comment-8666 (“Naegele House, Malibu”); see also http://www.tgharchitects.com/aboutus/history/founder/ (“William Turnbull Jr.“) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Turnbull,_Jr. (“William Turnbull, Jr.“)

[13]  See, e.g.https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/the-state-bar-of-california-is-lawless-and-a-travesty-and-should-be-abolished/ (“The State Bar Of California Is Lawless And A Travesty, And Should Be Abolished”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ [and http://www.twill.info/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/] (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/the-united-states-department-of-injustice/ (“The United States Department of Injustice”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/the-american-legal-system-is-broken-can-it-be-fixed/ (“The American Legal System Is Broken: Can It Be Fixed?”)

[14]  See infra n.6.








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