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Z107.7 – Let the Hype and Distortions Begin

By   /   November 29, 2012  /   43 Comments

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I have been called by numerous citizens telling me that at 7:00 AM a very accurate and meaningful news story was aired by Z107.7 about last nights Water Board meeting as reported by Dan Stork.

These same citizens then tell me the online version of that story is very different than what Dan Stork reported.

I also heard the 7:00 AM story and thought that it was very accurate. I then went to the Z107.7 website and was simply dumbfounded by what Z107.7 is reporting on the air as compared to what someone at Z107.7 is writing as news on the website. How the tone of the news at Z107.7 can change in 3 hours is a testimony to special interests at work.

Gary Daigneault wants to have his “Theatre” built to the tune of 11 million in workable dollars for a 31 million dollar debt. We then have a city that has as of yet failed to step up to the plate of public safety by assisting in the funding of our fire department. Last night we had a Water Board delay the transfer of fire services to the county due to citizen input. Some if not many citizens believe it is time for the city to pony up some money for the fire department that the city has not provided a dime to for 25 years.

The very idea of the city shelling out 23 cents for every dollar it collects in general tax revenue is anathema to the likes of Gary Daigneault and Richard Warne. Heaven forbid that the city of 29 Palms pays it fair share for public safety as do the citizens of Yucca Valley and the unincorporated areas of Joshua Tree and Landers and Wonder Valley.

Should the city actually step up to its primary responsibility of providing minimum police and fire protection then these special interest groups face losing money for their pet projects. Such proposals as low income housing along with a “Theatre” complex that only Gary Daigneault and his select few desire, to signs and sheep that support a restaurant instead of the city, the list is long and to be honest saddening.

The point of this story is simple – do not believe the hype that Z107.7 will be putting out in the next few weeks. They/he has a personal interest in making your believe that getting 1/2 of your current fire protection level at the same cost you pay today for two stations and six firefighters is a good deal, after all he has a “Theatre” to build and your safety does not have a place until intermission of the next play.



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  • Published: 2 years ago on November 29, 2012
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  • Last Modified: December 2, 2012 @ 2:23 pm
  • Filed Under: News

About the author

Steve Spear

Former 29 Palms City Council member from 2002 through 2010. Graduate of Villanova University with a BA majoring in criminal justice. Served in the United States Marine Corps from 1977 through 1990 attaining the rank of Major in the Marine Corps Reserves.


  1. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    The Z107.7 wesite’s report on the Water Board meeting is accurate in my opinion.

  2. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    Okay larry,

    So why is the on air version different than the on line version? Did Dan Stork not see the same old cronies and city critics or did he see something else?

    Point being here Larry is Z107.7 can report whatever they wish to report but to have two versions of the truth out there at the same time sort of cuts into the credibility factor especially when the Z107.7 story is compared against the Desert Trail story as Dan points out.

    Oops! I forgot he and I and the others are just plain old city critics.

    You will never cease to amaze me.

    • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

      It’s called editing for the time and space available. I think even Dan will agree on that.

      • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

        Okay, whatever you say Larry.

        I can see how the sentence “Among those speakers were City Council Member-elect Cora Heiser and several frequent critics of city government.” would eat up a whole bunch of air time that Dan Stork did not want to say in his own words as played on the air so Gary just added them into the written version of what Dan had to say.

        Yep, I got it now thanks for that insight.

  3. Paparrazi Paparrazi says:

    Steve I was interested in hearing your comparison of the disputed facts between the aired report on z107.7 and the posted version. Instead it reads as a an opportunistic excuse to bash Gary. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s inexcusable to spend taxpayers money with such reckless abandon on such a self serving indulgent project. I don’t think your going find any converts on this forum but I’d still like to see the conflicting statements, that is, if you’d be willing to follow thru with posting them for us. Thanks

    • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

      I think a little honesty is called for….. I do not think anyone other than Gary or I think that what either of us have to say is anything more than opinion. Neither of us are neutral observers. We both have a dog in the hunt. We both have egos as big as Texas. The only difference is I am willing to admit it.

  4. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    Hi Papa,

    Dan beat me to posting the different versions with his story:

    “When you spell “truth” it has no “I” in it”

    Dan did a good job illustrating what the Z107.7 reporter said on the air which was Dan Stork, what was written on the Z107.7 website which I believe to be Gary Daigneault, what Dan reported, and finally what the local newspaper The Desert Trail reported.

    Three of the stories are accurate and recognize that citizens can speak against what a city does or does not do. Then there is that one story that uses the term “frequent critics” which I as well as others think was unwarranted.

    Trust me I do not want to get involved with Z107.7 ever again however when bias appears in what is a self proclaimed “news” organization I have to call it as I see it.

    Z107.7 owner Gary Daigneault has an interest in supporting the position of city staff which at this time is to avoid assuming any responsibility for fire protection within the city.

    Z107.7 is entitled to their opinion and is entitled to “spin” anything anyway they wish. With that said it does not mean that citizens such as myself or those that called me have to allow those reports to be taken as accurate and to then also not challenge those statements.

    We will see – I hope Dan answered your question with his story.

    • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

      Steve, I’m continually amazed at how you take offence at the phrase “frequent critic”. What in the world is wrong with that? Your feelings are too sensitive.

      • Steve_In_29 Steve_In_29 says:

        Larry as one of those “frequent critics” I too take offense to the term. It is an attempt by Gary to try to marginalize anyone who doesn’t agree with his PP plans for a theater large enough to house his inflated ego.

        If the City is going down a wrong path and wasting tax payer money it is NOT “criticism” to point that out, it is participating in a DEMOCRACY and reminding the “elected officials” that they are supposed to look after the interests of the entire town and not just the art crowd.

    • Steve, speaking of Spin, the Sun Runner has a short interview with Gary concerning Theatre 29. Gary talks like it is owned by his group and he gives no attribution to the city.

      Moreover, Gary’s spin is quite obvious in terms of PP. Because of the bond debt and controversy, his spin is damage control. The interview is near the back of the Sun Runner by the movie critic.

      It’s outrageous Gary pretends that Theatre 29 owns the city theater and his plans to expand is silent on the city’s role. Gary has a long, long nose.

      He is ungrateful… .

    • Paparrazi Paparrazi says:

      Understood Steve √

  5. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    Not really – I consider myself a champion of the city not a critic. I spent eight years on the council and actually accomplished some stuff. Newer and better trash service and a new General Plan. What has the city accomplished lately that helped all of the city Larry? Please let us know.

    The city has an opportunity right now to excel and shine but the reports that I am getting from, as Gary would say, “reliable” sources is city staff is circling the wagons and planning on stopping any move by the city to save our local Fire Department and will actively seek to default on their responsibility for public safety to the county. Do you have other information other than your normal I am sure that staff and the council are deep in thought of how to resolve this issue?

    Would not the Z107.7 little missive sounded a whole bunch different had he said “and nine city champions stood to speak about how much better our city could be should the city decide to support our local fire department?”

    Do you get it now Larry? The use of pejoratives to label people is a very old tactic and it is one dog that will not hunt in this battle.

    • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

      Steve, I don’t have contacts at city hall.

      • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

        Larry, your business partner does…. Its almost like a teenage crush. If I was Mrs. Warne I would be concerned that Richard has a suitor.

        You think maybe Jack gets a might bit too into the personal space of the City Manager? Viewed from the point of a citizen, it appears that relationship might have gone beyond handshakes and occasional lunches.

        I’m thinking they are passing notes and you may be being CCed.

  6. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    Okay then you have no contacts. Then please don’t tell us they are working on the problem because you don’t know. I do have connections and contacts and so far it ain’t pretty.

    Thanks Larry for your input.

    • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

      I’m going on the principle that my elected officials are working for the best interests of the citizens of 29 Palms. You seem to be saying that they are not. Is that a fair observation?

      • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

        You are correct Larry except for one very key point.

        You have no idea as to how the city council and the staff interact and I do.

        All of the city council should act in the best interests of the city but they do not.

        I caveat that statement with the fact that few council members actually understand and comprehend the issues at hand. They defer to city staff for guidance because they are afraid of liability as presented to them by the city attorney.

        Why do you think that a sheepish city council is anything worth supporting?

        I vote for leaders not sheep. I vote for individuals that direct city staff what to do Larry – I want leaders!

        • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

          You must be talking about Cora. What is her solution to this situation?

          • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

            You are so out of touch that I leave you with your graces. Do you not think I have contact with my prior city council peers? Jeesh!

            BTW – what the hell is your proposal? You demand much of others yet offer nothing of your own. Or is it that your only opinion is that of whatever city staff may offer when they get around to offering it?

            • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

              Steve, You either don’t read posts other than your own or your memory is failing. I proposed here on CT about a week ago that the city make up the FY 2014 shortfall to the Fire Department (under the TPWD) out of the 11/12 million emergency funds of the city and have another ballot put before the voters by the TPWD. You thought that was a good idea. But I really would like to know what Cora has in mind.

            • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

              I thought you had said that, I just wanted to get it confirmed.

              I think you need to ask Cora what she thinks. Maybe she will answer you unlike the city that seems to remain very silent so far on this matter.

              But they are deep in study so I understand.

              I am sure you caught Corbin today with his deep thoughts of three fire stations and such on the Z107.7 Up Close show.


            • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

              Clever reply Steve. Missed the Close Up show. I heard you were on it also. What did you have to say?

            • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

              What the hell is this the Larry and Steve Show??? LOL

            • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

              Dan, neither you nor Steve have offered a detailed solution to the problem that I remember other than say “the city has to step up to the plate”. Get specific..

            • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

              Larry you must read only your own posts or are getting forgetful!

              JPA my man JPA!

            • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

              Ask Gary – he did an outstanding job today with Corbin, Spear, and Chambers.

              I know that some may find that hard to believe that I would say Gary did a good job but he did and I will never deny the truth and he and I actually joked with each other and agreed with each other – Waz up Wid Dat!

            • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

              Hi, No reply button to your last. I do remember now that you mentioned Joint Power Authority. How much would that cost the city and is that with the County or the TPWD?

            • Chancey Chambers Chancey Chambers says:


              According to the 29 Fire budget estimate, I believe another agency would have to provide at least $ 280,941.00 in fiscal year 13-14 to maintain the same level of service we have today for an additional year. Hope this helps.

  7. Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

    As some of you may know I spoke with Gary Daigneault on the air today during his Up Close Show.

    It was a good discourse and I must say that he was very, very, objective and fair. We even joked a bit.

    He and I agreed on air that we believe that keeping our own Fire Department is a cause worth working towards.

    Thank you Gary for seeking out what my thoughts were and thank you for showing that professionalism – thanks!

    Steve Spear

      • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

        Hi Larry we are running out of room that is for sure.

        Perhaps we should move the comments to the most recent story that I just posted.

        Thanks Chance for the monetary info. I had provided an estimate of I think $130,000 today on the Up Close show but I was only guessing.

        I heard you come on right after me and I as well as the rest of the city appreciate you having the exact number and of course your thoughts on this matter.

  8. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    Larry wrote,
    Dan, neither you nor Steve have offered a detailed solution to the problem that I remember other than say “the city has to step up to the plate”. Get specific..

    Larry, Are you serious? How many Larry Briggs are you guys?? Maybe you haven’t read my posts on the fire department issue… I’ve only have been posting alternatives and solutions for several months… Are you having problems with long term memory retention?

    Now as for specifics… I believe we have online agreed that the best solution would be a Joint Powers Agency (JPA) between the 29WD, the City of 29 and County Rep.

    As I am only a citizen and not a elected official it would be presumptuous of me to dictate the language of a Joint Power Agreement.

    It is my opinion that the interests of each constituency can be represented with a JPA. Additional required funding too can be allocated from each members general fund at a rate representative of the percentage of use of the Fire Department. In other words all citizens within the JPA service area pay a base $80 per year. That covers lets say (and I am guessing) 70% of the cost of service…. Let us assume that fire service calls within the JPA are 10% county and 90% city of Twentynine Palms… in that case 29 Palms would be required under the agreement to provide 90% of that additional 30% funding requirement and the county 10%…. seems pretty simple and honestly quite fair.

    Now one of the biggest complaints by the city as it has been stated to me that the city does not like the way the fire department is managed.. Well with a JPA this would allow the city a great deal of management control.

    These are my own personal ideas… others might see it differently.

    So Larry…. I do not want to hear that I haven’t given you detailed ideas on the Fire Department take over. Like I said we have discussed this both on this site and in person over the months so I am now questioning either your memory or your identity…

    • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

      Thanks Dan. Sounds doable. And thanks to Chancey for the FY13/14 figures. Bytheway, thant’s the first time I’ve seen Dan’s explanation here.

      • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

        OK so what is your idea Larry?

        • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

          For the 4th, 5th or 6th time my idea is to have the city pay the fy 13/14 shortfall out of the 11/12 million dollar emergency monies (rainy day/ earthquake, flash flood) funds and also put a new proposition on the ballot for the voting public. One thing to consider in all these plans is the increase in costs for future years. Thake for example the yearly increases for the county police protection. Also the increased costs for wages and benefits for the firefighters. Also the management setup under a JPA where you could have the city, county and water district’s boards of directors voting on changes, pay increases, etc. As Steve would say: just a thought.

          • Larry, I guess you did have a plan.

            Why would the TPWD want to be involved under a JPA? They want to focus on the business of managing the water district and providing water to it ratepayers.

            Every thing is impermanent. It’s time for all parties to come together and transfer fire protection to the city. It is the fair thing to do. Then the city could actually be a real city.

            • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

              Hi Branson,

              I kind of have to disagree with you on a total transfer.

              It is a very sticky problem to do that given that there are people in Desert Heights that pay that $80.00 a year in a parcel assessment which from what I understand the Fire Department still needs that money.

              Also, Desert Heights bonded themselves to build that Lear Station I think 20 years ago and they are the citizens that actually paid for that station and it is outside of the city limits.

              A JPA is a workable proposal that can keep everyone’s best interests in regards to public safety intact.

              I think Larry, Dan, myself, and probably several others have proposed some type of idea as to some course of action to follow.

              I am not saying that one proposal is better than any other at this point. But I do know that if we allow our Fire Department to go defunct it will be the biggest mistake this city ever made. It would be a close second to PP in my estimation.

              What is simply confounding at this point is the total lack of any information from city staff.

              I know they read this blog everyday and they read the newspaper and they very well know that this matter of our Fire Department is growing in interest everyday and yet no press release no nothing.

              But it is an idea Branson and that is what this problem is going to take to get solved people offering ideas. The only question is will city staff listen to them and will the city council direct city staff to save our Fire Department? I have no idea.

  9. Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

    Well that we are all in agreement, How about that we should all get with our respective peer groups and pitch this thing?

    I propose that we join in common purpose as a committee to promote the idea of this Joint Powers Agency.

    • Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

      Have you cleared this with Cora?

      • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

        Very funny Larry but I will play too – have you cleared your idea with Richard Warne?

        He may not want you talking outside of the talking points.

        Just saying.

      • Dan OBrien Dan OBrien says:

        I think this is more in line of what our mutual friend Col. Phil Cisneros talked about at the last Water Board Meeting…..

        Besides…. What the hell are you doing in keeping bringing up Cora for…. Are we going to have to throw a bucket of cold water on you or something?? I’m starting to think you might be a dirty old man or who knows what else.

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