Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Head of SCAG is a Former Soviet Planner?

Suddenly it all makes sense. All this time I've been resisting the urge to compare SCAG with the excesses of the grim planning regimes of the Soviet Union. Too easy I thought. Cliched, and what would it really reveal except the same two-dimensional nonsense that anyone could have read in the 1950s? Nope, you won't get any Cold War rhetoric from Eric Maundry!

But sometimes the truth is right there in front of you, and all you need to learn to do is recognize it. No matter how unbelievable it might seem.

This from a blog called Orange Punch, which is run by the Orange County Register:

From Steven Greenhut: No joke! SCAG's new leader was a Soviet planner
This is too good to be true. I have a habit of comparing myriad local and state planners to Soviet planners, given that their ideas seem so similar at times. Recently, I wrote a column about the planners at SCAG, the appropriately named Southern California Association of Governments. I say appropriately, because a dictionary definition of scag is heroin, and these folks are addicted to central planning and tax dollars.

Well, the new head of SCAG, replacing Mark Pisano, is Hasan Ikhrata. Check out this from his bio: "Hasan also worked abroad for the Government of USSR, Mosco Metro Corporation, where he conducted subway ridership forecasting, engineering design and analysis of TDM programs for the Moscow Subway system. Hasan holds a bachelor's degree from Moscow University in the former Soviet Union and master's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles."

At least now it will be easier to refer to the "Soviet Planner" in charge of Southern California's premiere planning agency!

You might remember Mr. Ikhrata as the rather imperious gentleman who showed up at our City Council meeting a couple weeks back to argue in favor of Sierra Madre remaining a member of SCAG. And in the process got his south end handed to him by the three Councilmembers there who actually represent the interests of the people who elected them.

Ikhrata's somewhat bizarre performance is reprised on the Neuroblast Films site.

So I guess this raises a few questions. Does this make Joe Mosca and John Buchanan apparatchiks? Bart Doyle a Commissar? The BIA and CAR the KGB? Did Ikhrata make the trains in Moscow run on time like Mussolini did in Rome? And what will this mean for the Metro Gold Line?

Not quite sure how to deal with all of this new information.

Steven Greenhut's excellent opinion piece on SCAG can be accessed here.

52 comments:

  1. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

    Good stuff on Orange Punch.

    Great find, Sir Eric. I'm going over to Neuroblast and watch that clip again!

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  2. LOL
    Go watch Neuroblast's YouTube clip.
    Hysterical.
    Don Watts and MaryAnn MacGillivray! If you're reading this, go over and watch this clip.
    You were great!

    SCAG......LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL
    JOE MOSCA.....LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL
    JOHN BUCHANAN.....LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

    Thanks, Sir Eric. This is funnier than Saturday Night Live.

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  3. Unbelievable doesn't do it. This is mindbending. What a joke
    these people are.

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  4. Let's see, we have the guy from El Centro and now this guy.
    Why are we still involved with SCAG? Of COG?

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  5. His accent sounded familiar.
    Unbelievable.

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  6. This is great. Bigwigs from all over the state are showing up at your City Council meetings. How do you guys pull this one off? The new "American Idol" of local politics?

    "Film at 11" facetime, I guess

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  7. OK, I see. A transit guy running SCAG on behalf of SB 375.

    Can you move the town further away from the freeway?

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  8. We have three super heroes,
    Kurt, MaryAnn and Don!

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  9. Who better to press forward the SB375 boondoggle than a patriarch from the old country?
    After all, the BIACARSCAGS are just trying to help us, and help the planet.

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  10. SCAG_ED is on twitter
    Prepare yourself - the kissing up is pretty fierce...
    http://twitter.com/scag_Ed

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  11. Someone get on Twitter and Tweet this:

    ZIMMERMAN, MACGILLIVRAY and WATTS!

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  12. 8:50 - El Centro? You mean the town with 30% unemployment? Yeah, now that is a real Scagville.

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  13. 9:34 - I think for SCAG Sierra Madre is the canary in the mine. A lot of towns are sick to death of the RHNA crap they are forced to endure, and the deluge of new housing requirements that is on the horizon courtesy of SB375 has a lot of 'burghs worried. That's why Commissar Iggy and his merry droogs showed up. Because if we go, a lot of towns could follow. There are a lot of people in local governments that are considering making that leap as well. It could be the only way small cities can resist the Sacramento led dictatorship of the plannertariat.

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  14. And resist we must. It's a matter of self preservation now. The developer/realtor parasites have gone beyond greedy and are starting to be life threatening. How are any of us going to get along without water? Those are some stupid parasites, because they're going to kill their own hosts.

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  15. Commissar Iggy doesn't care about such issues. Unless he delivers land for building to the BIA he will be transported to Siberia and plugged by his vengeful masters.

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  16. Sir Eric you are truly the ONLY American Media writer who has called a politician a Soviet involved/backed/educated scum, BASED on research. You proved that the TRUTH must be told based on the truth, not on emotion and lies and fear. Thank you again for these FACTS. How interesting. Please do not stoop low and put this mans face into the costume of Stalin. We have enough politicians with no class telling lie after lie, because they do not care and they are getting paid off. So many people do not know who or what to believe. Thank you for your undisputed research, and for the YouTube clip.And, we know Don, Mary Ann, and Kurt and YOU truly care. Thank you over and over.

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  17. A planner from the former Soviet Union is now the guy running SCAG? Wow. I mean, why not? Can you think of someone with a more qualified background?

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  18. Great,SCAG hires an old used bureaucrat from the failed Soviet Union who apparently couldn't make it in the new Russia.You can see where this bunch is coming from ...Comrades!

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  19. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlNQtGZX6e0&feature=channel_page

    Why do Joe Mosca and John Buchanan promote and fight for SCAG and COG?

    Sir Eric and others have proven SCAG and COG do not operate with our best interests their focus.

    We'll vote out Mosca in 2010, perhaps we should recall Buchanan? Seeing as, these two, do not represent the best interests of the residents of Sierra Madre?

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  20. If we can get a 4 to 1 majority on the City Council, maybe we should just let Johnny B sit and stew. That way he can blab and fulminate all he wants with absolutely no chance of getting his idiocy passed.

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  21. Yes, that would be okay, Mr. F. except for old windbag Buchanan pontificates about nothing for at least an hour every meeting. I'm sure other members of the council would like to get home at a reasonable hour.

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  22. Sarge, I have noticed that Buch is referring to himself as keeping his words brief though there "are those who will be surprised" or some such. Makes me wonder if he doesn't check ye old tattler from time to time.
    Any efforts at brevity on his part are a long shot, but very welcome..

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  23. Mr. Finewine, I suspect Mr. Buchanan has a very romantic picture of himself, as a hero going down with the ship. Unfortunately, that can involve lots of self important justifications and proclamations, and he's got to work very, very hard to make sure he himself believes his rap. He's green, as in the dust Crater at the top of Baldwin, and that takes some powerful denial to put together. No doubt Mr. Mosca assists in maintaining the delusions.

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  24. Couldn't a 4 to 1 majority turn off his microphone after two minutes? Maybe the justification could be to prevent global warming. Save the ice caps, or something like that.

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  25. You might be on to something 2:21.
    If John B would just skip to saying the main idea he has about something, the meetings would be shorter. Less electronic energy used to record and in the playbacks, less electricity used in city hall!
    Oooohhh, maybe he doesn't want less electricity used.

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  26. maybe we could just circulate a petition of channel 3 watchers to limit buchanan to 2 minuets.
    sort of a recall to impose a time limit?
    let's ask sandy levin if we could do that?

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  27. You do know John has quite a vigorous counter strategy for things like that. Be careful what you wish for because you might hear him say:

    "That would be embarrassing."

    The city is still reverberating from the last time he dropped THAT bomb!

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  28. I know MaryAnn likes to let the public talk at public comment,she doesn't use a time clock.
    Although I'll bet she wishes she could use one on Joe and John!
    Unlike Joe and John, MaryAnn, Kurt and Don like to hear what the people have to say. They do listen, because they work for us.
    Joe and John work for SCAG and COG, BIA and CAR.

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  29. As much as I like the idea of recalling Buchanan, I bet it would require too much of an educational outreach through the far reaches of the Sierra Madre lets-pretend-people-are-who-they-say-they-are wishful thinking. Instead, let's make sure to evaluate candidates on whether their walk and talk match before we vote. And then, educational outreach about what we find out. People want integrity.

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  30. When Joe, John and Enid ran the show they'd cut people at the podium off all the time when they went over their 2 minutes. Perhaps there would be a karmic justice in John and Joe being given the business that way?

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  31. You notice Neuroblastfilms doesn't have much of John Buchanan?
    There's a reason for that. He would run out of tape.
    Well, there is another reason....nothing Buchanan ever says is of any consequence anyway.

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  32. This debate is a very graphic representation of the difference between a representative democracy (the City Council, in case I need to be specific) and a bureacracy (SCAG). The CC is sitting there talking about representing the people and the worst thing SCAG can think about is what is 90 cities don't get their housing elements approved. I'm sticking with Mary Ann--that might show that the process isn't working. And given the way state government has been operating for awhile now, it might take something like that to give them the slightest little inkling that their programs are lame, useless and counterproductive.

    Fun post today, Sir Eric, even if a little too hilarious.

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  33. So we're talking about a central government dictating development?
    Yeah, Ikharata must feel right at home in California...

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  34. The more I think about this the more I can no longer tolerate Joe and John's allegiance to these State (controlling) organizations.
    MaryAnn, Kurt and Don.....let's just say No, and get out. Additionally, let's join up with other like minded folks who want to stop these bums in SCAG and COG and Sacramento!

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  35. Thought provoking and informative as always Sir Eric, but if you go to the SCAG website and read "about us", and look up the the word mandate, as in their international reference you find a reference to the UN. if you look up "metropolitan planning organization" as described in wikipedia you will see it is for transportation planning to get funds from the federal government, for smooth intermodal transporation plans, not housing...they are inflating the figures by forcing denser populations, not improving humans quality of life or affordable housing. The more housing the more people the more transportation gets for more roads. Where do the RHNA figures
    come into play? What business does a transportation agency have even voicing an opinion regarding housing? Dazed and confused..

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  36. anonymous 7:42 back...


    Okay, Okay, now I had looked at RHNA website before, but has anyone noticed that that website is the same kind, style, layout, as SCAG
    website???

    Again mandated by state housing law, when you search you reach the CA state housing and community development site, there you find the definition of the state housing law...

    It simply states the rules and building codes of new construction...

    I searched RHNA on that site and SCAG is the only one promoting it. It is a plan for the minimum new housing projected in a city..It is SCAG that is promoting and gaining from those figures, I recommend litigation and prosecution for fraud against SCAG at the very least disbandment. What do you think Sierra Madre Tattler readers, go look for yourselves.

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  37. http://www.sacbeee.com/static/weblogs/capitolalertlatest/023357.html

    Click on the link, "California by the Numbers" to get the reports from the Sac Bee on this subject. Then on to a SCAG search. Dowell Myers of USC's School of Policy, Planning and Development is a consultant to SCAG, and it's his formulations that come up with the necessary numbers. The interns at SCAG are USC students. Etc.

    http://www.metrans.org/news/newsletters/200410.pdf

    "Dowell's and John's presentation will focus on some of the challenges WE face to turn opportunities into success." Aug 2009. Discussion about how the recession will affect the projected numbers by the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.

    Their website's "Numbers in the News" section is interesting.

    http://www.ccse.com/powerpoint/

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  38. Instead of mounting an exhausing effort to recall John how about cataloging all the votes, inane comments, etc. that point out how Joe (as a ditto head to John--who is not up for reelection) is totally unsuitable to deserve a single vote. Let's see him get the fewest votes cast in the next election. In the meanwhile, launch a campaign to get other cities to "ditch" the RHNA, "ditch" all the COG-and other SCAG equivalents. Gather a group together to divide up all the CC meetings in the cities in the SCAG and attend, speaking at Community Communications about the need to repudiate SCAG and the RHNA madness.

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  39. Maybe a video of every snit and fit Joe has thrown during City Council meetings, close edited and rapid fire for maximum effect? Make up a few thousand and mail it out to very voter in Sierra Madre.

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  40. Wow, you posters are great!
    Really good research you guys!
    Thanks to all!

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  41. Beloved.
    Now that would be bang for your buck.

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  42. Joe Mosca needs to go down in flames in the next election.
    He doesn't deserve to be on the city council.
    He never has deserved to be on the city council.
    Let's all throw him a worse defeat than we gave Tonja Torres!
    Kurt and Don deserve the votes of every decent citizen in this town. We owe them plenty. They are honest guys.
    I know times are tough, but I hope everyone will contribute generously to these fine men. One has two kids to support and the other guy suffered plenty of financial loss, thanks to the dirts, for his honest representation of the people of Sierra Madre.
    Kurt and Don represent our interests.....keep that in mind when you vote and when you need to write a check to help them out with campaign expenses!
    Joe Mosca and any other dirt they put on the ballot deserves our contempt.

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  43. They had a COG meeting, I believe last week?
    Wonder what happened.
    Wouldn't be surprised if MaryAnn and Don went to that. Perhaps we'll hear at the next council meeting.
    I sure hope Kurt, MaryAnn and Don are as energized as we are here on the Tattler.
    They need to hang tough on this one, especially since some of our posters and Sir Eric came up with some very disturbing facts about these people in SCAG and COG.

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  44. There was a COG meeting last week. Maryann and Don attended. Joe introducted Maryann and Don to people as his invited guests. Now that took major cojones.

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  45. The Mayor of Sierra Madre was HIS guest? Say goodbye to your little pals at COG, Joe. Say hello to your new liaison to the garbage commission gig.

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  46. Mayor MacGillivray and Mayor Pro-Tem Watts were Joe's guests?

    Someone needs to send the Neuroblast clip of Joe having a tantrum last meeting, send it to all the COG people.

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  47. Joe's a con artist!

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  48. What I would like to know is why is it so important for Joe to be in COG/SCAG?
    What's in it for him?
    What's in it for Buchanan?
    Very strange.

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  49. Joe works for COG and SCAG. Not Sierra Madre. That is why yanking his COG ticket is such sweet justice. It goes right to the core of what he really cares about. Sierra Madre for Joe was just a convenient platform to begin his climb up the ladder. Too bad it has just been yanked out from under him.

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  50. I'm glad he got canned by MaryAnn.
    He wasn't representing us and MaryAnn said we need a representitive right now who works for the people.
    He has been horrible to Kurt and Don for years now, he's disrespectful to MaryAnn and now chickens come home to roost.

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  51. When MaryAnn and Don walk into these organization's meetings, our community will be regarded with respect. Our Mayor and our Mayor Pro Tem will be listened to and recognized as thoughtful, committed Americans - that is by those who have the capacity to see those qualities.
    Joe flashes a sunny smile, a perky meet and greet, a chipper bunch of thank yous - and that's all. Without him as our representative we have a chance to get some usefulness out of the SCAG & COG meetings, if there's any usefulness to be got.

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  52. Joe is interested in running for higher office. It's that simple. He moved to Sierra Madre and only a few weeks later, he was running for City Council. Immediately, after he was elected, he showed himself for a turncoat and alienated most of his supporters by casting over-development votes. To compensate for his dwindling base of voter support, he joined COG, SCAG and a few other regional organizations. His misguided hope is that the appointed pols that run those organizations would endorse/support him when he runs for higher office. In my estimation, that's not going to happen. On the one hand, those pols realize that he's a stuffed shirt that will advance their pro-development agenda in Sacramento. On the other hand, they must also realize that he is the perennial loser and it would be a waste of time and money to back him.

    After all, Joe is one of the few Council Members to ever serve in Sierra Madre, who was the subject of a recall campaign. In addition, Joe was passed over not once, but twice in a row as Mayor.

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