Friday, March 12, 2010

The Church Of Sustainability

I have to tell you something, I have fallen in love with a website called New Geography. You can keep your new cars or fancy country club memberships, for me its all about being able to go somewhere on the internet where you cannot only find some down home truth, but done in a joyous and iconoclastic kind of way. And that is what you get on New Geography almost daily.

Now one thing we have covered here on the The Tattler (Sierra Madre's #1 News Resource, as noted in this week's Sierra Madre Weekly), have had a few conversations about "greenwash." The phenomenon know as Greenwash is where the language of the environmental movement has been co-opted by some of the worst polluters imaginable, and then used to promote products responsible for the very sins this language was crafted to resist. Car companies now promote their products as green, and oil companies like to promote themselves as being the saviors of all of God's little creatures. My favorite example locally is when Southern California Edison sends a gentleman to our City Council meetings to chat about environmentally sensitive topics like solar panels and turning your lights off when you go to bed. Yet big power producing companies such as Edison are amongst the worst offenders when it comes to the production of greenhouse gases. All those coal fired electricity plants out in the desert ain't exactly begonias.

And, of course, our friends in the big development profession are no slouches when it comes to this sort of thing, either. After all, isn't the very heart of SB 375 the notion that the true ultimate in ways of saving the world is through the initiation of a massive new wave of condominium construction? Now in a realistic and scientifically reasoned sort of way, this is nonsense. A massive new statewide building spree would only exacerbate the problem as densely packed settlements are also large producers of greenhouse gas. And then you need to also consider all the extra electricity that would have to be produced to power the miles and miles of newly stacked "mixed use transportation friendly" boxes SB 375 calls for. And then there is the water question.

In a great piece on the New Geography site, Rick Harrison, in an article that not coincidentally has the same title as the one I am typing, weighs in on greenwash. And the term that he roasts to a delicious golden brown is "sustainability." It is a wonderful little piece, made more so by the fact that Rick actually built his career on writing and advocating that very thing, sustainability. And he is not happy about what they have done to his song.

Land planning today has become like a religion that requires unwavering devotion. But those who embrace only one approach as the ultimate mega-metropolis design to solve all social ills are fools: There is no singular solution for land development. Not the New Urbanism, not Smart Growth,not Prefurbia. Good planning is not about pointing fingers. It is easy to blame the automobile, blame developers, and blame government. But it is yp to those people responsible for growth - stakeholders such as the developer, builders, city staff and council- to determine the best possible path that will result in a legacy for future generations instead of a blighted project that served to fill the bank account of the developer.

All this brings us back to the term "sustainability." The dictionary defines it as "Capable of being continued with minimal long-term effect on the environment." Here is the problem: The dictionary does not include the long term affect on economics (affordability) and living standards. Did we create something great for the ducks, but an eventual blighted neighborhood, or a gentrified one exclusively for the wealthy?

The good thing here is that planning in Sierra Madre has already created the very walkable, bike-able, livable, and sustainable community that so many of the utopians in the SB 375 claque keep yammering about. The low density easy urban design of our organic little town already has many of the advantages and amenities that others can only dream of bringing to their communities. All we need to do know is the stop these folks and their low watt hirelings from destroying it.

But, of course, that really isn't the point for the big developers. The whole"green" thing is just a marketing tool designed to wedge their products into desirable communities like Sierra Madre. And that those who are truly concerned about such things as maintaining environmentally blessed towns such as ours are just a nuisance that needs to be marginalized and pushed aside so they can get their work done.

The only green the greenwashing corporate concerns and their employees really care about is the kind that can be made from turning cities like into something we would rather not see. And they will do or say anything to get it.


  1. People who work and LOBBY for energy companies should not be on Sierra Madre's City Council.

    1. Joe Mosca---lobbyist for Sempre Energy
    2. John Buchanan----lobbyist for Edison Co.

    The companies they represent are out to make big bucks off the "greenwash" issue.

    Don't fall for it.

  2. Didn't George Orwell write about something like this a few times? The only
    thing that stands between power and what they want are those very
    inconvenient things known as voters.

  3. AB32 and SB375 will pull the plug on California now on life support!

    Stick a fork in us, we're well done.......unless we encourage people like Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray and Mayor Pro-Tem, Don Watts to help organize small and mid size cities of California to fight this madness.

    Anyone in Sierra Madre who does not support Don Watts, John Crawford and Pat Alcorn is basically committing financial suicide, not just for yourself, but your family and future generations.
    I pray Sierra Madreans are waking up to the truth.

  4. Landplanning today is an industry unto itself. Colleges offer degrees in it; every city Planning & Development department has some. My sister wanted to add a bedroom to her home on five acres in the desert. It bordered on an unpaved "planned" street; it was going to cost her $200K in addition to the cost of one bedroom because she was going to be compelled to "curb" her property because a street was "planned" in future zoning. 20 Years later the zoning hasn't produced the development the "Planners" planned and my sister no longer needs the bedroom. So much for planning in the desert.

  5. Pretty good definition of this little town:
    "Capable of being continued with minimal long-term effect on the environment."
    That would be truer before StoneCrater and Stone whatever they're going to name the old Stonehouse property - trying to change their luck no doubt - and we might need to worry about the water connection that Bart Doyle worked on passing for a decade, and Joe Mosca voted for his first night in office....
    Other than those three things (are there more?), we're ahead of the pack in sustainability.

  6. When those luxury hillside projects were approved, did anybody calculate the water usage of all those new mansions and their grounds?

  7. Make Joe Mosca the Mayor and this city is toast. The Sacramento laws are written, the regional organizations have the plans, and the wrecking ball is tuned, warmed up, and ready to swing. All he'll have to do is push the button. Joe is just a developer go fer in penny loafers.

  8. John Crawford, you are putting Sierra Madre into perspective! We are self-sustaining! We are walkable! We are bikable! We support our elementary and middle schools! We are fighting against Greenwash to maintain our already green community! How ironic.

    Vote Alcorn, Crawford and Watts to help Mayor MacGillivray continue the Greening of Sierra Madre. Not Moran, Mosca and Walsh to help Buchanan GREENWASH our town.

  9. Great comment, 8:42

  10. We have already achieved what the SB 375
    people would destroy. We can't let that
    happen to Sierra Madre.

  11. Clever campaign tactic Mr. Crawford. Write an article without slamming any of you fellow candidates and then let your minions do your dirty work for you with their comments. Out of control paranoia continues.

  12. "...any of you fellows candidates..."

    If you are getting criticism here perhaps you should attempt to reach out and assauge the grievances of those who so chastise you. Rather than a source of, well, paranoia, perhaps you should see this as a resource? Thoughtfully provided research that can help you both tune your message and make yourself more appealing to a wider audience? Everybody gets criticism in a political race. It is how elections are done in a democracy. Running for office is certainly not something the thin-skinned, overly sensitive, or insecure should attempt. Suck it up, big guy. Hold your head high and show a little pride.

  13. What is a minion? Is it a small onion?

  14. 9:33

    Oh...Poor baby. The Truth hurts, doesn't it? Especially, when it applies to you.

    Once again, the juvenile Dirts, who still relate everything in life to high school, playground politics are crying because their lies and bullying no longer gets them what they want.

    The best they can do is attack the messenger(s), and it still doesn't work. You can't argue the facts so you personally attack them as paranoid, etc.

    Guess what Dirts, We Don't Like You! You Are NOT Welcome here! You Are Bad People With NO Redeeming Qualities! You Have NOTHING Positive to Offer Society!

  15. Please, let's everyone join
    hands and sing with me:

    "Everything is beautiful
    In its own way..."

    God bless Ray Stevens.

    Funny how you never heard
    this kind of criticism
    when The Cumquat was in
    gear. Suddenly the dirts
    are sensitive. My my.

  16. 9:33 is not being very NICE.
    Surely 9:33 could not be one of the BE NICE supporters?

  17. 9:33 am

    The posters here, both those who live in Sierra Madre, like I do, and those who live in other surrounding cities, have been criticizing you DIRTS and your EVIL AGENDA for over a year. You deserve the criticism.
    You have agendas that are selfish and just wrong.
    Many of you gambled and made investments that didn't pan out, because the people didn't share your "vision" for Sierra Madre.
    Many of you are lobbyists for developers, realtors, Sacramento crooked politicians and their bs agendas.
    I will continue to criticize you all every chance I get. It is my right as a free citizen of this country.

  18. When I first met John Buchanan, he introduced himself as an "attorney", only after a little while did he fess up that he worked for SoCal Edison, but it wasn't until a few months later after I voted for him, I found out he was primarily a Human Resorces attorney, which is valuable, but not to Sierra Madre city business.

    I didn't vote for him the 2nd time, I learned my lesson about new guys who move into town and rapidly join every organization and mostly those that benefit their employer.

    from now on, I'm looking at our Council candidates about their professions and if there employer provides free time to lobbyists or management employees to volunteer in the community, especially those opportunities that further the community image or interests of the employer, like Santa Anita Race Track, Sempra Energy or SoCal Edison

    that's exactly what real estate agencies and associations preach to their agents, get involved and disrupte any attempt by citizens that counter real estate sales commissions. and that is what has spearheaded Josh Moran's motives to run for office here, and he had the gall to file eletion papers only a day after moving into town, which hasn't been exactly prove, there was a rumor that Moran only has a "fake" residence here, I bet he's moved back to Monrovia a week after he loses his election bid, I can' vote for a real estate agent to have a clear head and balnaced when it comes to real estate in town, it's all about sales commission baby...

    I think that 9:33 anon is a closet Susan Henderson or at least a the spokesperson for paranoid frantic, factitious fantasy reporting with the MV paper, out to get me....oh lawdy don't persecute me just because I lied to everybody in Sierra Madre about my history to hide the fact that as an employee, I embellzed funds from the Democratic Party

    lol, what kind of paranoid person would post on this forum and use "paranoia" as a gotcha?

    that's like Josh Moran, who attacks other candidates in his puke fest tirade, well Josh calls others "decisive" what a clown. it's hard to take him seriously because its' so obvious with him, it's about money

    at least with Joe Mosca and John B, it's all about themselves, a political resume or their employer's interest or some blowhard attempt to sound pompous, condsending and often quite rude to residents while speaking at Council

    Ms. Walsh hasn't made sense to me, she speaks as if she doesn't have a clue what the Council does, has done or is even currently doing. She's makes suggestions for improvements that have already been put in place, hence she dwells on issues that are only important to her and her supporters from the downtown condo development crowd.

  19. Obviously the Downtown Investment Club supporter at 9:33 has chosen to ignore the potential impacts of that huge waste of our money known as the Downtown Specific Plan, or has never gone up to the top of Baldwin to feast his or her eyes on the destruction of the land there, or over to East Grandview to take in the loss of Stonehouse, or for that matter, obviously has not followed city councils for the last 4 years.

  20. Speaking of "tactics" and "minions" let's see if we can remember in how many ways the Dirts slandered people over the years.

    I'll start.

    I remember some terribly crude statements made about Fay Angus and Kurt Zimmerman that are so distasteful as to not be repeatable in polite company. Statements, by the way, that were defended by John Buchanan.

    As I recall, Buchanan declared in the Star News that slandering people was just political satire. Now Buchanan's "tactic" is to have his "minions", Moran and Walsh, decrying the loss of civility in Sierra Madre.

    Talk about HYPOCRITES!

  21. I think 9:33 is doing everyone a favor. We know how the DIrts drag everything down to the personal insult level, and can never stay on topic. That post is a fine example of the pointless animosity that the Dirts specialize in.

  22. I think the poster in question is sad. The Police have arrested a lot of his signs for loitering on city property.

  23. also neuroblast fanMarch 12, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    If anybody hasn't seen it yet, check out Neuroblast's video:
    John Buchanans Website Endorsement Causes Outrage
    The Dirts have never been nice.

  24. How Green is My Mansion?

  25. 10:51 Buchanan also endorsed the Cumquat on the front page of the Pasadena Star News. Ugly memory, that one.

  26. We need to change the residency requirements. It seems six months before the election, residence impostors show up out of no-where to run for office, with money from groups like the SGV Young Democrats, Arcadia Realestate Association, and money funneled to them via local realtors.
    Minimum candidate residency should be two to three years. The "spring sparrows" that show up knowing nothing about what is really going on.

  27. show no interest in Sierra Madre except how to exploit the town

  28. The term for such late arrivals to our political scene is carpetbagger. Rent-
    a-stooge would be another one.

  29. I wish Josh Moran and/or his mother, the realtor would stop putting up his political signs in illegal places.

  30. I have noticed that when Josh's signs are placed on a lawn, the grass all aound the sign dies and turns brown. Have you seen that?

  31. Yes, 12:07

    They are bad luck. Bad luck to a good hunting dog.

  32. I had filet minion Monday night. It was my birthday and my children took me to the Only Place for dinner.

  33. Nice Nancy says she is retired but she says she is the Acting Dirctors of the County's AIDS service. HUH?
    Is that an oxymoraon RETIRED ACTING DIRECTOR

    She is backed by Buchanan who is big growth and says she is for sensible growth.

    She wants the city to fix the old Skilled Nursing Facility which is private property.

    She wants to bring in fresh businesses. Will she move out the existing ones? What
    is wrong with the ones that are here?

    Pursue every revenue source...does this mean she wants parking meters, parcel taxes, and higher fees?

    Finally she wants to sensibly integrate Measure V into the planning process.. Wake up woman ...Measure V is the law. IT is the planning process. And by the way we don't get to vote on new buildings in town. We only will get to vote on anything which will exceed the 2-30 13 standards.

    Nancy you have been drinking too much Kool Aid.

  34. Hey 11:42 The Moron moved to town the day before he drew papers to run for the CIty COuncil. He was not even a registed voter in Sierra Madre when he spoke against Measure V or the ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas. CARPETBAGGER

  35. 9;33. Paranoia and paranoid are two of the DIRTS' favorite words.

    Councilman Zimmerman, for example, was branded a "paranoid" because he predicted that with the passage of the downtown specific plan or DSP that there would be massive condo development in the downtown. Right after his prediction, it was revealed that developers had submitted plans to build 50+ condos across from city hall and 70+ condos at the Howie's market site. Passage of the DSP would have greatly facilitated condo development at both locations and at other locations in the downtown.

  36. 9:33 is trying to get the message removed so he/she can say the Moderator deletes messages that present the other side of issues and candidates! Did you notice how carefully worded and provocative the message was? You can be sure a copy of this and many other troll messages to come will be maintained in the troll's files until they are able to prove their point! NOT!! This blog has a policy and it will continue to follow that policy. Offensive troll posts and inappropriate language will continue to be deleted.

  37. 12:53

    ....and destroyed are property values along with property tax revenues.

    Interesting how property values in Sierra Madre have remained relatively stable in spite of the current economy and real estate market. I believe killing the DSP and the passage of Measure V are responsible for this fact.

  38. The Soviet Union used words like "paranoid" to discredit dissidents during the Stalin era. Then again, if you live in Sierra Madre and you're not paranoid about what the developers want to do to this town, then you must be heavily medicated. All you need to do is look at One Carter to see what a bunch of irresponsible idiots they are.

  39. Lest we forget, the reason we refer to those miscreants as "Dirts" is because of a website set up by Bart Doyle, Beth Buck, Miguel Perez and Lisa Spigai-Perez used to smear people, called DowntownDirt.

  40. John Crawford.........thought you should know that you and or your committee are in violation of Section 84305 of the FPPC regulations.

  41. Dr. Werner Von BraunMarch 12, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    You are all wrong. A min ion is an especially small subatomic particle that navigates the space around an atom.

  42. Nonsense. The John Crawford for Sierra Madre City Council campaign is fully registered. You're grasping at straws here, dude.

  43. did somebody write that the grass around Josh's signs always turns brown?

    probably a dog peeing on Josh's signs, probably the same dog that Joe Mosca "borrowed" for his campaign photo.

    leave it to simple con Joe to stoop to remedial politics 101 and use a animal as a "prop" for his political campaign.

    it speaks volumes about Josh's creditablity, even among his friends that you don't see Moran signs at many residents, it's got to irk some residents that Josh...used to live here....moved away to Monrovia and became a realtor and then advocated boycotts of Sierra Madre resident business owners.....and the moved back to Sierra Madre and within hours he submittted his name for Council...sleeeezzzzeee

    i wonder if the peeing dogs will be cited by our Code Enforcement officers?

  44. Ooooh! 1:59 Is that a big Gotcha?!! LMAO

    Gee, what kind of fine goes along with that? The same type of fines that Enid Joffe and Bart Doyle had to pay for lack of financial disclosure, or the type that Bart Doyle was slammed with for his conflict of interest vote while serving on the Council.

    You're pathetic!

  45. We must remain vigilant in our quest to rid our lovely town of so called do-gooders, they do not have our best interests at heart, they want to tear down every existng structure and replace it with new structures that have no charm, and call that progress. Run them out of town with a hot poker, let them do their evil somewhere else. I pray to God Almighty for their demise, banish them to hell! Keep your hands off my

  46. FPPC Section 84305 Prohibitions deals with Slate Mailer Disclosure Requirements. John Crawford for City Council is not a slate - although it could be called a movement right here on the Group W bench. Nice try. Don't forget for a moment we speak truth and back it up with powerful friends and supporters!

  47. Oh that's right. Bart Doyle voted on an under-grounding program for utility lines on North Baldwin that had a financial benefit for Bart's property. Instead of recusing himself, he voted on it, knowing full well he had broken the law....and to my understanding was fined $2,000 by the FPPC.

    Enid Joffe has also paid thousands of dollars in fines to the FPPC.

    Care to make political hay out of that Dirt Bag?

  48. A slate? I only see one name on his material.

  49. truth is your accepted perception...there is no truth here

  50. I think the only slate we have here is the material in the troll's wee noggin.

  51. Arlo Guthrie fan,

    Must have been Beth Buck and Lisa Spigai Perez @ 1:59. They pulled the same nonsense 4 years ago after Don got elected. They showed up to City Council and accused him of some FPPC violation, which was later proven to be ridiculous by the FPPC.

    They are truly desperate.

  52. OOOhhhhh!! Dey are just so scarrrrryyyyyyyyy!!!

  53. I remember when Steve Tobia owned the Looney Voews News he was making all kinds of editorial threats about an FPPC investigation of not only Salvatore's Sierra Madre News, but also anybody involved including those who delivered it. Needless to say, nothing came of it. The squealer mentality runs deep in that set, but it never seems to go beyond fantasy.

  54. Thanks for the link to Rick Harrison's article. He really does describe Sierra Madre towards the end of his writing:
    "Do our best to create places that will still be wonderful, livable, affordable, and environmentally responsible for future generations."
    Except for the 'affordable', we've got it...

    Also eye catching:
    "It is also up to the stakeholders to investigate and learn the various options available for growth. If a city planning commission or council member does not have the time to learn the different land development options available today, well, they should step down and be replaced by someone who cares."

  55. Here in Sierra Madre it's more about holding on to our town, rather than "fixing" anything in it.

  56. 1:59 ------ please call at your earliest convenience!

    818 301-6845

  57. 4:27, I'm not sure affordable is possible in CA.
    Even when the state is broke & the cities are crashing, it's still expensive to live here.

  58. Anon @ 3:25

    Steve Tobia (who never even lived in Sierra Madre), also maliciously slandered Salvatore and told terrible lies, apparently in the hopes of discrediting anything and everything that Salvatore published in the Sierra Madre News.

    Let's see. Salvatore still lives in Sierra Madre and is a well respected member of the community. Steve Tobia has disappeared of the face of the planet and no one cares.

    I guess the truth does prevail.

  59. Wait until Sacramento defaults and the house of cards comes crashing to the ground. There will be plenty of bargains then.

  60. Perhaps your mailbox isn't graced with The Magazine? Mr. Tobia's salute to the poor taste of the San Gabriel Valley's parvenu class? Think of ostentatious homes filled with dreadfully expensive kitsch, and not a real book in sight.

  61. There is no more The Magazine. It's disappeared just like Tobia. He's probably hiding from all the creditors he owes money to, just like the person he sold the Mountain Views News to.

  62. Hunh. Now what will I do the next time I need to find a quality retailer for carved facsimile soapstone Egyptian Anubus figurines with turquoise inlay and gold fill?

  63. Does anyone know if the Candidates Forum will ever be replayed on Channel oops?

  64. THE Magazine (as it's called) is still published albeit in a much diminished format with less expensive paper. Still the "cream" of Pasadena hoi poloi.
    I saw a copy recently but no longer receive my "courtesy" copy.

  65. The web site is also up and offices are listed as being on Green Street.
    I've seen the magazine, and it is saturated with a crass devotion to snobbery and superficiality.

  66. Why would anybody want to PAY for pure advertising hype? Nobody I know in San Marino gets the thing, they're too frugal. Its not Beverly Hills, as Clif Smith found out.

  67. I wonder why people live here: Doyle, Spaigi-perez, Joffee, Moran,, who want to ruin such a lovely town......just go to Oklahoma and take control of the wide open spaces and take joe, john. walsh and susan with you and you'll have all the dirt you need. good riddens..

  68. 5:33. I think I've split a gut.

  69. 11:53 -- we should also add that said Anubis figurine would be pictured on the hood of a fine Rusnak automobile. Perhaps a Maybach. Did you know that Rusnak customers have to sign a release form promising never to fart while driving their fine Rusnak automobile? Even after they've purchased it? It's true.

  70. I could have gone a year without hearing about goofy tobia...March 14, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    Steve Tobia had the miss guided ego the size of Arizona and the mindset of that of a peanut. He once touted himself as one of the largest employers in Sierra Madre, with maybe 10 employees, what a laugh. Anybody that names a publication "The Magazine" of the entire world, when he loses the Rusnak gravy train, he'll be a nobody once again, thank goodness that kooky dude doesn't show up at Council Meetings.

    he got one last screw over on Sierra Madre when he sold his rag to Henderson and she got easy adjudication status, something she would have never gotten with the MV Views as in it's present form.