Friday, March 19, 2010

Frank Girardot Comes Close

So here is something I've puzzled over in the past, and wouldn't you know it has cropped up again. Why is it the same article appearing in the Pasadena Star News is called something completely different when it shows up on their website? Yesterday the PSN published a column by Frank Girardot entitled "Sierra Madre's identity at stake in April election." Which to my way of thinking was a very fair and reasonable appraisal of not only the situation, but also what our April 13 election is about. Yet the exact same article on their internet site was given the rather pungent "Is Sierra Madre an island of sanity or the refuge of crazies?" Odd that they would put two such distinctly different spins on the exact same word stack.

Now there are probably a couple of workable theories for this having occurred. Perhaps the guy who entered text for the print version didn't have the final copy points handy. Or maybe Frank's boss came in to work that morning, thought his Senior Metro Editor was going entirely too easy on that little backwards town stuffed up against the foothills, and wanted something a tad less laudatory for the website. Both a possibility, I suppose.

But my theory is that the Pasadena Star News occasionally uses conflicting headlines because those running the place believe the paper and its website attract two decidedly different readerships. The pulp version appeals an older and more decorous set, those who are still largely content with life in the analog age. Whereas on the internet version the paper's brain trust is attempting to show an edgier style. They're trying to appeal to a younger office worker kind crowd, people who grew up in a harder, more ironic age. Information consumers who prefer their news product with some snark and bite to it.

But I liked the article anyway. And why shouldn't I? It pretty much reiterates one of the main talking points of my campaign. That being, despite all the badmouthing it gets from the proto-development claque, downtown Sierra Madre is a remarkable place. And one of the things that makes it that way is it's home to a vast array of independently owned and unique shops. Downtown Sierra Madre is walkable, bikeable, and interesting. And in a world where almost every other downtown in the western world has basically the same uninspiring and generic chain retailers, that really makes it kind of special.

It is also something that I brought up at both the Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis debates.

Now Frank rolls his portion out by contrasting Sierra Madre with a town that isn't Pasadena. Temple City to be exact. And while I'm not quite sure that I am completely in agreement with this choice, I suppose we could just roll with it.

(Sierra Madre) reminds me of Felton, Boulder Creek and Ben Lomond, the tiny towns along Highway 9 in the San Lorenzo Valley between Saratoga and Santa Cruz ... Even if it has a Starbucks, like everywhere else in the civilized world, for sure there's no Applebees, McDonald's, or Crate and Barrels within Sierra Madre's borders ... And one need look no further than the Adams Pack Station in Chantry Flat to understand why folks in Sierra Madre are nervous about joining county cooperatives such as the Valley COG, or bureaucracies such as SCAG.

Marvelous! The bit about our not joining SCAG might be a little off, though. Sierra Madre actually is a part of that mess, and we even got around to paying our dues once we got what we wanted from whoopin' up on them over a few things. Besides, we're only there as a way of monkey-wrenching their enforcement of some rather draconian Sacramento generated development agendas. Keep your enemies closer, as they say. But otherwise, what is there to complain about in this article? You won't hear any gripes from me. I've been saying a lot of that kind of stuff for years. Frank continues:

One can only imagine how the look and feel of tiny Sierra Madre would be altered if the town suddenly had to conform to the look and feel of the rest of the county.

Pretty much sums up the regionalist challenge. Joe Mosca gets a bit too cheerful when he describes "the collaborative process" that will bring us closer to other locales, but most see right through that stuff. I mean, why would we want to be conjoined to cities that are so unlike our own? We didn't move here to live in an Arcadia North, Pasadena Adjacent, or Glendale Once Removed. We live in Sierra Madre because it really is different, and better.

Temple City's attempt to be like every place else might have a lot to do with its decline. What was once a shining example of affordable suburbia - good schools, nice homes, civic pride - isn't too much different from La Puente or Pico Rivera anymore ... Take Las Tunas Boulevard. It's a vast wasteland compared to thriving Sierra Madre Boulevard. What was once a nice movie theater at a prime intersection has been leveled, and plans to revive the plot constantly change ... Folks in Temple City will tell you that developers are to blame. Of course there is evidence - the whole corruption probe that centers on a developer's alleged bribery of City Council members.

You can only imagine the horror that must have passed through the entire Mosca Slate when they read the word "thriving" being used to describe Sierra Madre Boulevard. After all, hasn't it been an article of faith there for years that downtown Sierra Madre is falling to pieces, and that only by bringing in 15 different chain store establishments will we ever rise to the level of, I don't know, Eagle Rock? And that we must tear down our entire downtown and build something large and stupid in order to get the Applebees and Sit 'N Sleeps of the world to come and save us?

As most of us know, there is precious little salvation in that. And those who advocate this kind of so-called development really aren't here to do us any favors. Which is why we're about to return the people pushing that brand of rubbish to the comforts of private lives they'd somehow hoped to leave behind.

Bonus Coverage: The LA County Democratic Party has endorsed Joe Mosca, but not Nancy Walsh or Josh Moran. Click here for site verification.

58 comments:

  1. If you ever have second thoughts on the value of the passage of Measure V, consider this. Without it, the hammer-and-hide crew bosses and their money backers would have creamed us. One thing from the DSP people don't quite remember was the suggested multilevel parking for the Mariposa parking lot (behind the south side SM Blvd. establishements). So, feature this: double, maybe tripple the parking in that space, all the trees gone and all that traffic trying to enter and exit via the small drive-ways/roadways: one north of the post office which moves westward to a t-intersection across from the playground at Memmorial Park, and one along by the bank onto SM Blvd. Of course, these tight spaces could have been remedied by bulldozing something to make way for the plan!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The biggest glut on the real estate market right now is the kind of stuff Bart's "Downtown Specific Plan" called for. It would be half empty and bankrupt if it had been built. Picture that in place of our wonderful downtown and just imagine the tragedy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you smart and honest residents of Sierra Madre for voting in Measure V. It was even MORE important than we thought!

    We can especially thank Don Watts, Kurt Zimmerman, Kevin and Katina Dunn and SMRRD for getting the facts out to us.

    The $170,000 the Building Industry Association (bart doyle and karma bell and pals) the California Association of Realtors (led by the judy-webb-martin gangsters), the ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS they spent to try and brainwash the citizens of Sierra Madre, it almost worked!

    SMRRD had less than $30,000, made up of small donations by the residents who understood the threat.
    We really dodged the big bullet when we won this Measure V.

    Vote for CRAWFORD, WATTS and ALCORN.
    They will work for you, not special interests.
    They will keep their promises!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Has the buyer's remorse being shown by Pasadena residents recently over the massive development they're seeing now changed the outlook at the Star News? Guess we'll know soon.

    ReplyDelete
  5. the battle isn't over for Mosca, Moran, Buchaanan, Walsh and the rest of the condo crowd.

    it's painfully obvious, both Joe Mosca (a lobbyist for an energy company...is a lobbyist a sleazy salemsan? and John Buchanan are doing whatever they can to develop Sierra Madre, hence benefiting their employer and his own individual career aspirations, at the expense of the city

    Moran is so obvious. He's in real estate in some form or fashion. His Mom is a agent for Webb Martin and Moran is close to the agency, it's clear that Moran is focused on adding future massive sales commissions to himself, his Mom or his friends at Webb.

    Ms. Walsh sound so confused and full of gooblygook when she speaks and is completely out of touch with the Council, except she dwells on development.

    I made the mistake of voting for Mosca once, but it won't happen again. I can't take Walsh seriously and Moran comes across as a buffoon.

    Joe sounds like a teeenager caught in a lie, he makes up more lies to cover his previous lies. It's the bottom of the barrel sleazy to take credit for the work of others and pretend that he had major involvement in actions of other Council members when all he did was stand by.

    I don't feel bad for Joe, the poor poor victim as he likes to whine about. The only victim is Sierra Madre.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Why does the development need to go into Sierra Madre when all the opportunities are going to be around the light rail stop at Santa Anita? That's where the housing and retail chains will go anyway and thus allow the local SM businesses to continue serving local residents. I mean, what's the point of a DSP if the future market has a center of gravity in a different city? Incompetent developers, the usual, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yeah, but 8:09, you're thinking logically. When it comes to the arguments from that corner, its all about feelings and believing. It has very little to do with anything involving common sense. The developers want to build where they see fit. All that transportation and SB 375 stuff is just marketing. Our role is to actually believe its being done to save the world from ecological disaster. That it would actually make things worse is really none of your business.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Mr. Crawford has praised the people who have fought for Sierra Madre in the past, and rightly so. But one thing the town has always had on its side? Geography. People for the most part do not want to drive so many blocks from the freeway to get to a WalMart.
    During the DSP debates, the big box store threat was rampant - pushed particularly by Ms. Beth Buck, no longer a resident of our little village. Ms. Buck claimed that unless we followed the development style of preservation, developmental preservationism, we would be doomed to have CVS etc. in the heart of town. Another resident, skillful researcher, contacted CVS and found that they were not interested. Too little access up here - same reason Trader Joes was not interested.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That's the whole argument for putting new development into existing large urban areas, not out in the suburbs and exurbs. The infrastructure and, more importantly, the critical mass of people required to support the market are already there.

    ReplyDelete
  10. measure V supporterMarch 19, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    Hey Yikes @7:16, you are so right. How many people do you think realize what the traffic analysis was of the Downtown Specific Plan? We would have had horrible intersections at a few places in town, and I mean horrible, operating at the worst rating given by traffic evaluators - level F I think it was. Anyone can check this out in the library, in the Environmental Impact Report for the DSP. Terrifying reading that Zimmerman and Watts had to fight tooth to nail to get released, against the best efforts of Mosca Buchanan and Joffe.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 906: The problem is that under SB 375 we are considered to be in the SGV "transportation corridor." It has to do with the proximity of the Gold Line. The notion being that if you house people in 4 story condos on Sierra Madre Blvd, they'll somehow wish to take shuttles to the train, followed by another bus to get to their final destination. Of course, its pure merde, but the authors of the bill are hoping you don't figure that out.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Annonymous @ 8:09--check out the sign announcing the Gold Line station at 1st street, across from 24 hr fitness, in Arcadia. Wowzers!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Arcadia jumped through whatever hoops SCAG put before them.

    ReplyDelete
  14. John Crawford!

    How about putting up a list of Sacramento/energy company lobbyist Joe Mosca's voting for development record for the past four years.

    I'm sure some of your research people can compile this list.

    I would like to have it in print!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I remember when Beth Buck and her realtor supporters (Josh Moran was one) were crying that the sky was falling if Measure V passed and it would be the worst thing that could ever happen to Sierra Madre, we'd get overrun by Rite Aids and big box retailers.

    of course, as usual, Ms. Buck and her realtor friends were completely lying. just bold face lies, Ms. Buck claimed to know that a Rite Aid was moving in and it never was considered,

    Sierra Madre is just not and will never be a retail hub. it can't despite what nonsense John Buchanan claims with multi-use development and how it will help our city, Mr. B has never done anything business wise in his life and hasn't a clue to which he speaks.

    both Joe and John are only about protecting the interests of their employers and being "known" at Bean Town, they'd be a nobody in a bigger city and they both know it, so they clammer and make wild claims based in falsehoods.

    Mr. Moran, he's all about he money that he wants to earn flipping condo's in downtown Sierra Madre. In my view, he's barely qualfied to flip burgers at Tops.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I guess it is pretty safe to say it is really all about money. There are those who love Sierra Madre for what it is, and those who see the town's advantages as a chance to cash in. The two sides in Sierra Madre's politics divide pretty evenly straight down that line.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anyone that has lived in Sierra Madre long enough remembers what a bustling business district it had until....1976.....when Santa Anita Fashion Park (now Westfield) was built. Since then, the mall has been responsible for the state of Downtown Sierra Madre's woes. Building more condos is NOT going to change that.

    If the Dirts are so concerned about Sierra Madre going bankrupt, then they should take their fight to Arcadia City Hall, where they can redress Bart Doyle's and Enid Joffe's friend and partner in crime, Micky Segal.

    ReplyDelete
  18. If we're going to build anything downtown it should be office space; something that will compliment the retail businesses during the day. Plus, I know people that would LOVE to be able to live, work, shop and play without leaving sierra madre. unfortunately, we're forced to work out of our garages or rent office space out of town. So much for encouraging businesses to locate to sierra madre.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Too bad someone can't turn the Skilled Nursing Facility into office space.

    ReplyDelete
  20. 1:13

    How would real estate agents make money on office space? If the real estate agents can't get rich quick, they won't support it.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anon @ 1:13

    I agree....Retail space on the ground floor and Office space on the second floor. Sierra Madre gets what it needs and within Measure V limits. Simple.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anon@1:13 and OC@1:26, that's what the former Toy and Patio (most recently Steamers) is: retail on the ground floor and office space above. Call Redstone!

    ReplyDelete
  23. The problem with the Skilled Weed Patch is that the present owners don;t seem to want to let it go for anything less than sick money.

    Bring on the blight fines!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Perhaps the Sierra Madre of a few years ago, could have been called "the refuge of crazies" or more appropriately, the refuge of Dirts, dirts like Bart Doyle and Joe Mosca. No longer. Thanks to the Tattler, these "crazies" have been, and are being, run out of town, and a new era in Sierra Madre politics is beginning.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Reason over treason.

    ReplyDelete
  26. So, Anon@12:43, you're saying the Santa Anita Fashion Park is responsible for the demise of Sierra Madre's once vibrant shopping district? In 1976? How does that square with DIRTS who swear the passage of Measure V is responsible for the downturn? I do remember the shops - mercantile, children's, family shoes, a Big & Tall for men, women's fashions, interior design, Toy & Patio, two great markets with real butchers and hot deli's, office supplies, secretarial services, three gas stations and numerous auto repair shops. One by one they closed. Of course they couldn't compete with the mall or what Pasadena offered but remember the past and whenever it is possible, patronize our existing shops to keep our merchants alive and well.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Can the Chamber of Commerce do some market surveys and establish what kinds of small businesses would do well in Sierra Madre and then invite them over, help negotiate good leases? Are there startups in peoples' garages that can use the commercial space free on a month-to-month until a paying tenant is found? Etc.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Joe just picked up the LA County Democrats nod? Hmm. Be sure to let all your Republican and "decline to state" friends know. Big party politics have no room in Sierra Madre's affairs.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Why are you asking the Tattler if the CoC can do some market survey? Ask the CoC! Why would the CoC want to negotiate good leases? Commercial space free on a month to month? What business would want to spend money to set up in a space that they might lose in 30 days? What properety owner would want to take a chance on a non-paying tenant doing damage or forcing eviction from the premises? While it is flattering that you think the Tattler can answer these questions, it might be that you could have answered them yourself with a little thought.

    ReplyDelete
  30. A at 4:03 pm, this is one democrat that won't be voting for Joe Mosca! I bet there's plenty more, too.

    ReplyDelete
  31. @ second 4:03

    Hit a "noive" huh?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks 4:05, me too.
    I am thoroughly ashamed of being a Democrat, given Mosca and Buchanan.
    I'm still in the party thanks to Zimmerman and Crawford

    ReplyDelete
  33. Mr. Finewine (D-California)March 19, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    I'll drink to that, 4:05!

    "Councilman, I served with Jack Kennedy, I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Councilman, you're no Jack Kennedy."

    ReplyDelete
  34. 4:03, you mean the chamber wouldn't want to help businesses set themselves up here? Well then, what does the chamber want to do?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Yikes 4:25, you're not thinking that our Chamber of Commerce actually wants Sierra Madre to lose business, so the town can falter and Measure V can be made the scapegoat, are ya?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Can the Chamber negotiate lower rents with private property owners? Can the Chamber get the City to not charge permit fees or ignore zoning? What kind of businesses locate in Sierra Madre? Restaurants? Hair Salons? Cleaners? Liquor Stores? Gas Stations? Real Estate Offices? Coffee Shops? Banks? Why would the Chamber (made up of local businesses) want to make it easier to attract businesses who would compete?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Sierra Madre Business OwnerMarch 19, 2010 at 4:37 PM

    4:25, the Chamber gives awards, pats itself on the back, goes to mixers, snarls traffic for an entire day every year, and trys to hijack the roles and responsibilities of the City Government. It functions as a shadow government giving Bart Doyle, Rob Stockly, Tonya Torres, Enid Joffee, Joe Mosca and John Buchanan a venue to remind everyone just how important they aren't. Never been, can't imagine why I'd want to join.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I thought everybody knew that a critical mass of businesses is required for a healthy business district, and that's the Chamber's reason for being. Pasadena's Chamber ED's are in front of City Council all the time lobbying on business behalf and bringing in diverse and compatible businesses instead of waiting for the chains to move in and take over. They're also the conduit to the landlords.

    ReplyDelete
  39. OK, I'm in the Twilight Zone here. I thought that Chamber wanted to encourage business.And I think it could be an invaluable assistant to new business owners in all aspects of their set ups.Are you joshing?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hey! I'm the original "Sierra Madre Business Owner"!!!!
    And I don't waste my time with the Chamber either.

    ReplyDelete
  41. 4:37, are you describing the chamber, or the realtors?

    ReplyDelete
  42. So sorry Original! Didn't mean try to impersonate you! Just p***** off about the CoC.

    ReplyDelete
  43. One and the same; CoC infiltrated by realtor DIRTS and D.I.C.'s.

    ReplyDelete
  44. fair memory skillsMarch 19, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    Ain't it the truth.
    For a while here, you couldn't go to a meeting, a commission, a festival, a mixer, an anything, without being surrounded by realtors.
    Sierra Madre was a perfect example of realtors moving into all aspects of local government and the community - for the community's own good, of course. Wonder what kind of handbook the California Realtors Association has on Getting Around Conflict of Interest.

    ReplyDelete
  45. 1:19, Dan Bryant, Prudential Realty, got a littler richer handling both the listing and the sale on the Howies Market site - we're talking millions. That's how the realtors get rich!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Sierra Madre is the last city standing in this part of the SGV. There are millions upon millions of dollars if they can crack the hard shell that keeps this place preserved. Will Joe Mosca be the one that finally puts an end to 100 years of small town control, and open the floodgates?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Party Boy PoliticsMarch 19, 2010 at 5:36 PM

    Mosca is now the official LA County Democratic Party nominee for Sierra Madre City Council?

    "Strange We Can Believe In."

    ReplyDelete
  48. There are decent Democrats, I agree. MOSCA is not a decent anyone and he represents dishonesty where ever he goes. Is it a coincidence Moran is in real estate and running for CC? Another indecent dirty politician.

    On another, and very important subject: How many people in Sierra Madre truly understandd Eminent Domain? It is very confusing to read on the ballot. I just received my absentee.....Tattler, would you please clarify that before the DIRTS lie and use typical scare and escape tactics.

    Thanks...

    ReplyDelete
  49. I love Mr. Finewine.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Being a registered Democrat has little to do with how Mosca has misbehaved. Kurt Zimmerman is a fine City Coucilman and registered Democrat. Get Party Politics out of Sierra Madre! So, don't bother with national party affiliations--all you want is the honest affiliation of the best for Sierra Madre: Alcorn, Crawford and Watts.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Now THAT is FUNNY! Joe doesn't want to divide the town, yet went after the Democratic Party nomination? Ohmigod!!!

    ReplyDelete
  52. It is OUR COUNTRTMarch 19, 2010 at 7:31 PM

    6:43 Reality Bites!! You have to be blind not to see some of the national politics and how they overlay the local politics. Do not dare think Joe does not have his eye on DC. (amazingly people like Joe with no brain, who twist the truth and cry are popular in other parts of the country). And the Democrat Party does endorse Joe....that is just a fact. We have to bother with party affiliation. It is embarrassing to be an American with some crazies, who sit back and accept only ONE SIDE and do not ask for both sides!! Joe is an embarrasment. Yes, honesty for our City Council. Honest affiliation, experieince and no twisted, blame and fear rhetoric!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Is it official?Is the Democratic Party also supporting the other registered democrats runnig for City Council?

    ReplyDelete
  54. Nope. Only Joe. Go to the link. In order to get the Dem nod you had to go to Dem HQ and interview. They don't just give it to you because you have shiny shoes.

    ReplyDelete
  55. The L.A. Dims....oopps I mean L.A. Dems have chosen Sacramento development/energy lobbyist Joe Mosca as "The One" ? The "anointed one"?
    Wow, I bet a certain "cougar" in town isn't real pleased that her boy Josh wasn't selected by the Dems....or is it Dims, oh well, whatever.......
    I'm voting for Crawford, Watts and Alcorn.
    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Plenty of details on this matter will be available here on The Tattler at 7AM tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  57. The sheeple of Temple City beg off responsibility for the current council as it is a majority un-elected body. Yup, we didn't elect 60% of these people. Only ONE of which managed to make a peep in protest when a seated member under multiple grand jury indictment for bribery and campaign offenses was first appointed as a student gov't advisor and then as an outreach liasion for the federal census - uh because she could communicate with Asian newcomers.
    This Mosca may be a fool, but at least you got to choose him. Let's hope you un-choose him.
    By the way, it feels great to send a couple of bucks to a candidate you support.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Joe Mosca oozes sleeze schmooze, sort of hope he loses big and then wimpers on to another town, his charm is silent.

    ReplyDelete