Saturday, February 25, 2012

Your Community: Col. Pete Stiglich

Photo by Joe McGarity


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The Fantom Penguin presents another interview in the Your Community series, introducing the community to people in important leadership positions.  This publication, as a matter of policy, does not endorse any candidate, but rather offers them an opportunity to share their stories in their own words.  This week:  Republican congressional candidate Col. Pete Stiglich.

“I’m a native Californian and spent my early years here in California and then we moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  And I went to college there and graduated with a degree in education and taught school back east in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for three and a half years.  At the end of that period I decided to follow in my father’s footsteps.  My father was a World War II veteran and started out in the Army Air Corps and eventually went into the United States Air Force and retired as a Lt. Colonel.  I felt a passion to serve my country and decided after three and a half years of teaching that it was time to apply to officer training school with the United States Air Force and see if they would have me as an officer, which they did do.  And I was accepted into officer training school; went to San Antonio, Texas for training and came out a brand new 2nd lieutenant back in 1980, which was a great time to enter into the United States Air Force or the military in general because our brand new Commander in Chief was President Ronald Reagan and it was an honor and a pleasure to serve for him for 26 years in the United States Air Force.”

“Well, obviously in the military when you become an officer, a commissioned officer, they don’t waste much time in terms of putting you in charge and giving you a lot of responsibility.  That’s an expectation they have of any officer whether you’re a young 2nd lieutenant or you’re a four-star general.  You’re generally in charge of some office, some squadron, some large organization.  Usually you have a budget that you must manage.  Those budgets increase as you move up in rank.  So for me my area of specialty was in acquisition, weapon system acquisition.  And that’s a very broad area, but anything that the United States Air Force (and in some of my assignments the other services were included in my responsibilities) that was what I was in charge of.  Whether it be running a base level contracting squadron at Keesler Air Force Base for example to working inside a contractors facility doing contract administration, making sure that we were getting, we the American taxpayer and the war fighters were getting the absolute best war fighting product we could at the best price and the best quality.  I had command experience in Loral Corporation in Yonkers, New York; Boeing in Newark, Ohio.  I can’t even remember them all.  I spent a year with General Dynamics in San Diego with their advanced cruise missile program.  And then my last assignment as a full colonel was running the contract administration office at the Lockheed Martin facility in Sunnyvale, California and there I had about 100 military and civilian employees that worked for me doing contract administration for several hundred billion dollars worth of government contracts not just military, not just Air Force but also NASA and NOAA as well.”

“I think more than ever before our nation, our state needs to get back to what you often hear the term ‘citizen legislators’.  I think this whole career-mindedness of we’ve got to have these long-term politicians leading the way is faulty and I keep hoping and praying that all Americans wake up and say, ‘Look, it’s time to clean house.  It’s time to get our priorities right.  It’s time to make sure we’re focusing on what’s best for America.’  And I think we’re on our way there.  It’s just going to take us a while to get our priorities back the way they should be to get this country moving forward again in the right direction.”

“I’m running to try to take some of this politics stuff, if it’s possible, out of politics.  It’s become such a game.  It’s become such a special interest driven affair and I don’t think we need to have that.  I don’t think it’s healthy for our political system and I think the evidence is where the State of California is today, broke and losing employers, employment opportunities, losing its population and the same with the nation as a whole.”

What will it take to accomplish that?

“Well, I have just a quick and easy one is I happen to be a supporter of term limits, always have been.  I would much prefer that the voters would on their own choose to turn out politicians on a regular basis because I think it’s healthy.  I’ve already taken a promise that I will not serve more than four terms if elected which would be a total of eight years in the U. S. House of Representatives.  It’s not that I won’t do a good job, it’s just that after eight years you ought to be able to have made an impact and then, you know, you start to tire.  You don’t have the same kind of passion that you did when you first started.  And I also like to believe that along the lines behind me is the next good conservative, male or female, that’s  ready to take over and keep moving that ball forward.  It shouldn’t ought to be dependent on one man or one woman for 26, 27, 28 years like our current congressman that’s been in there to carry that ball forever.  I don’t think that’s healthy for the system.  So, I think term limits are important and I will support those to the hilt always.”

“Another thing I’ve also gone on record about is I do have a military retirement pension and it’s a nice pension.  I’m not a rich man by any means but it’s comfortable and I’m sure a lot of Americans would love to have my pension.  If elected I will not take a pension in Washington.  That’s absurd.  And Congressman Herger should turn down the pension that he’s going to get out of service to the nation in Washington as well.  He’s a millionaire, multi-millionaire by his own right.  Why would he want to double-dip and take the American taxpayers’ money is beyond me.  So, if I’m elected no pension for me out of Washington.  In fact, I’d do away with all pensions and I’d implement term limits in Washington.  I think that’s one way of getting people’s attention and getting them focused on the things that are really important.”


 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Guy Paints

Photo by Joe McGarity

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This week’s Fantom Penguin story is brought to you by TraderPenguin.com.  Specializing in books and music by Northstate creators, your purchase supports the Fantom Penguin.  TraderPenguin.com.

You probably haven’t seen him, but if you live in the Redding area, you’ve probably seen his work.  Although usually a whirlwind of activity leaving a trail of paint in his wake, the Fantom Penguin was briefly able to slow down artist Guy Haley long enough to conduct an interview.

“For seventeen years I was a sheet metal fabricator.  I pretty much started in New Jersey installing in basements and worked my way up to moving out to Reno and being a fabricator.  It was a lot easier to work in the shop than it was out in the field.”

“I got to practice a little bit of my artistic abilities in there by custom fabricating a lot of copper pieces and architectural treatment.  That was fun.”

“Pretty much, when I lost the sheet metal job I didn’t have anything else to do except for my artwork.  I ended up painting a mural for my lady’s birthday present and then after that I ended up doing windows and then that turned into murals.  Actually, it went from windows to canvases because I just couldn’t get enough of painting and then it turned into murals and for the past year I think I’ve had a project or two going every week.”

“Well, there’s Leatherby’s.  That was one of my first murals in there.  I do their windows for a lot of the holidays, but I did ‘The Leather Bees’ inside there.  I’ve also painted out in Shasta Lake City at the Queen of Dragons.  The big Mossbrae Falls mural is mine.  Let’s see, the Darkside every month pretty much I do a holiday picture and I’ve been here for three years and Darkside was my first customer.  Down here on Pine Street, Trusted Friends, there’s a dragon poking out of the wall and on the backside of the building there’s the ‘Trusted Safari’.  There’s a life-size elephant and life-size giraffe.  Dude, that one was a lot of fun.”

And the Beadman.

“Beadman, yes, I did the Beadman windows as well all the way around there, all the dragons and stuff like that.  And pretty much for the holiday window pictures I did that whole area down there on Park Marina including Tortuga Bay.  So it was kinda like if you saw blue trees it was me.”

Is there anything about your art that people don’t understand or that you get questions about?

“Yeah, everybody thinks I do it and I don’t believe that I do.  Ever since I was a little kid and I knew how to draw, I knew it came from somewhere outside of me.   I could always look at something and be able to just draw it.  But I go someplace when I do that.  And it wasn’t until later on in life that I found God in my own understanding and I believe my ability lies opening up and just letting whatever that power or whatever it is do the creating.  Lots of times I don’t know what the picture is going to be, like here.  When I start I just pick a color.  I get a color and go.  I’ve got no training.  I have no idea what colors go together.  They just end up that way and I can’t take credit for that.  So yeah, I don’t take credit for it I also don’t take any blame.  So, if there’s anything you see of mine that you don’t like, don’t talk to me about it.”

And you’re also being displayed at the cWc Studios currently.

“Yes, I have several pictures hanging down there all acrylic paintings and one sculpture, copper sculpture and also doing a mural on the upstairs sure to say something to everyone.”

“I got out of the sheet metal business because I had two heat strokes and so living here in Redding is not really good for me in the summer.  I generally don’t even come out in the summer until the sun has gone down for a while and it’s kinda cooled down at night.  As soon as it hits 70 – 75 it’s too hot for me to work, especially with the sun so you see me a lot at night.  I’ve always been a nighttime person.  When the sun goes down at night, I wake up.  I know there lots of people out there that are like me but you have to conform to this world and get up at 6:00 in the morning and do all that.  That was no fun and now I don’t have to do that anymore.  I like night times, most definitely.  I think everybody carries a certain amount of energy around with them during the day, all their tension and all whatever’s going on and it permeates everything and when most of the people go to bed at night I think they take their energy with them and it leaves the cool night air and it’s just beautiful.  I like the night.”

Is there anything you’d like to paint that you haven’t painted yet?

“I would like to do a Wizard of Oz somewhere, my version of the Wizard of Oz and also maybe a Sgt. Pepper’s somewhere, you know, a little Beatles tribute.  I like anything that is perspective work, to fool your eyes.  I like seeing people’s reactions to that and if I can get somebody to walk into a wall, that’s just funny.”

Guy Haley can be found on Facebook as “Art Abounds” or as “Guy Haley”.  He can be reached by phone at (530) 524-8251.  If you forget that number, just look around town.  It’s painted on every mural.”

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Your Community: Gregory Cheadle

Photo by Joe McGarity


This Week’s Fantom Penguin story is brought to you by TraderPenguin.com.  Specializing in books and music by Northstate creators, your purchase supports the Fantom Penguin.

The Fantom Penguin presents another interview in the Your Community series, introducing the community to people in important leadership positions.  This publication, as a matter of policy, does not endorse any candidate, but rather offers them an opportunity to share their stories in their own words.  This week:  Republican congressional candidate Gregory Cheadle.

“This is my very first political campaign.  I’ve not had the desire to enter politics until now.”

“I simply got fed up with politics.  I got fed up with the votes that were taking place by my representative.  I consider him a good friend, but nevertheless I disagree vehemently on the issues, on a vote that he took.  And so that was enough and I just felt as though that the needs for the people were not being met – at all.”

“Well, I’m a real estate broker and I build luxury playhouses.  In addition to that I’m one exam away from a degree in Nursing.  I have a Bachelor’s in Psychology, in Pre-Med.  I have a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an option in Health Care Administration and in ten weeks I graduate from law school.”

“Once I graduate that means I have my Doctor of Jurisprudence and then I’m able to take the Bar.”

“The process so far has been hard work.  With me I literally go door to door talking to people, trying to get their vote and that’s pretty much the bulk of it.  There are some times when I will speak at different places or to different groups and that’s pretty much the process.”

“I think the main issues with me are we have to rein in the size of government.  Government has just become too large and it’s not responsive to anyone.  That’s one thing.  The second thing is we have to somehow control spending.  We’ve got to decrease spending.  Those are the two key issues, reigning in government to keep government from getting so much bigger and then to control spending.  And then if you want to go a little bit further, we’ve got to deal with the Rule of Law.  Thus far in this current administration, the Obama administration, there has been this gross disrespect for the Constitution to the extent that no one from the local government all the way up to the White House gives a rip about the Constitution.   From the local level the different agencies are doing what they want to do whether it’s constitutional or not, the states and now the Fed as well.  So we’ve got to deal with this lack of respect for the Constitution.  We’ve got to come in and have a rule of law because once we establish that there is a rule of law and we follow that rule of law then we have a playing field that we can deal with.  But when we have a playing field where there are no rules then anything goes and that’s the problem that we’re running into now.”

“We’re going to have to get the courts involved, primarily the Supreme Court having speedy decisions saying that these things are not constitutional.  We have laws that are enacted and it’s questionable whether or not they are constitutional.  So a lot of these laws have to have, prior to being enacted, there should be some process whereby they undergo constitutional scrutiny.”

“To get on the ballot . . . I think it’s roughly 40 signatures to get on the ballot, but what happens is that 3,000 are required in order for you not to pay a fee.  So a lot of people instead of going out, doing the hard work collecting signatures, they’ll just pay the fee and be done with it whereas I’m out collecting signatures and meeting with the people.”

That almost sounds like in and of itself it discourages people below a certain income level to even try.

“Well you better believe it discourages people.  It discourages people because there’s a hefty fee to pay.  It also discourages people because it takes a lot of money to find people who are going to sign your petition.  That’s difficult.  It’s not the easiest thing in the world to line up 3,000 people say, ‘Would you sign this?’ and on top of that they have to be registered voters.”

“There’s a lot that people don’t understand so often times I’ll find myself when I’m out in the public going door to door literally educating people on the political process because it varies.  Some people are very astute, others have no clue and so I spend a lot of time educating people on the process.”

“In Congress, this district in particular, it has gone 26 years without a leader.  We need a leader in Congress.  This part of the state and this part of the United States on top of that is so wealthy with respect to resources.  We have water and we have crops.  Those are vital to the nation.  So as a consequence we need a leader in Washington.  We don’t need someone who’s going to be a yes-man or yes-woman to be in Congress and whatever the Republican Party says they just rubber-stamp it.  We need somebody who’s going to get up and say, this is what needs to be done not only for this district but also for the United States as a whole and we’ve not had that and that’s one of the differences that I will make.”

“I think what’s important is that people need to know that someone like myself is not a puppet of the rich.  I am not a poster-boy for the Republican Party.  I stand on principles.  And when it comes to electing anybody, what you have to decide is whether or not that person is going to represent you or is going to represent special interests.  I am not going to represent special interests no more than I’m going to represent the homeless person on the street.  Each and every person will have equal access and will have equal opportunity for me.  I’m not going to put one group over the other.  Everybody is going to be represented.  My job is to represent everybody not just the rich and the filthy rich.  So that’s what’s really important.  And people don’t understand that because often times the people who are running have tons of money and their job and what they’re going to do is foster the interests of those who put them in office.  The people who put me in office are the people not special interests, not corporate interests and not even self-interest, but the people are putting me in office and those are the people I’m going to represent.”




Saturday, February 4, 2012

Anderson Chamber Connects Businesses


Photo by Joe McGarity



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The Fantom Penguin recently stopped by the Anderson Chamber of Commerce for a conversation with Chamber Manager Debe Hopkins.  He asked her if it was safe to assume that people already know what a Chamber of Commerce is and what it does.

“Probably not.  I get a lot of phone calls that have nothing to do with what we do but that’s okay, but it just tells me that probably people don’t.  We’re pretty much a business advocate within a community.  We facilitate networking events and things of that nature so that people can promote their business rather inexpensively.  As you can see, we have cards and brochures of all the different members and it’s a good way for members to interact with other members and just for business people in the community to get to know other business people in the community and make others aware of what they do.”

One of the ways in which the Chamber accomplishes this is through its frequent ‘Greeters’ events.

“That’s what we do every Wednesday morning 8:00 am at a different business.  Again, that’s a networking type of event.  We go to a different business.  All the members or whatever members who attend greeters, they all come there.  They have coffee, you know, donuts -- whatever, some sort of beverage and refreshments and it gives that business a chance to showcase themselves, let everybody know what they do, see where they are and it increases business quite a bit.  A lot of people have increased their business just from the networking that’s available through the chamber.”

“We definitely encourage people to come as guests to see if it’s something they’d like to participate in, but basically it’s members of the chamber and it’s just a good way to network.”

What does it take to become a member of the chamber?

“Basically if you’re a business or an individual actually could join if they like and we have a yearly fee depending on the number of employees.  And that’s pretty much it.  The board has to approve the application, but so far we’ve turned no one down.”

The Fantom Penguin asked Hopkins her opinion of the business climate in Anderson.

“Actually, I think we’re doing pretty darn well considering the shape most cities are in.  There have been some small businesses who haven’t made it through, but I think percentage-wise we’re probably doing better than most of the surrounding cities.  So I think we’re doing alright and the people that are still in business, they’re thriving.  They’re doing well and things are picking up, so I think we’re doing very well here.”

What about the much larger City of Redding just to the north?

“Well, we like to think in terms of ‘We’re all part of the same community.’   We have many Redding members in our chamber and many businesses in Anderson belong to the Redding Chamber.  So, it’s kind of the same only bigger, really.  They have their greeters every Thursday morning.  They do events like we do events.  Whatever we do, they’re doing only bigger.   I definitely . . . and I know the city as well, we try to break down the whole barrier of ‘us and them’.  It’s just we’re all the Northstate.  We’re all one community.”