Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Looney Views News Typo of the Week ... and a City Council Meeting Breaks Out

It seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. How many typos can the Looney Views News come up with for just one picture? Has anyone gotten in touch with the Guinness Book of World Records people yet? It is good that our paper of record can now tell the difference between Kurt Zimmerman and John Buchanan. After all, both have played an important role in this community for quite some time. But how do you explain situating that headline next to our favorite snapshot? Are we to take this as yet another act of LVN incivility? Satire? Inappropriate political commentary from one of the Views News's angry columnists? A subscription boosting stunt? You can only wonder how this photo will be used again next week.

The City Council meeting last night had me on the edge of my sleep. But there were a few moments that did help me keep my eyes open. The loss of a considerable chunk of our redevelopment funds to the state capital that consumes all is troubling. Any time our local property tax money ends up in the hands of Sacramento should probably be considered a bad thing. But if there is a silver lining here, it is that $2 billion of the redevelopment money confiscated statewide will be used to help fund cash strapped school districts. The other interesting consequence is that it will become much harder for individual cities to pay for SB 375 related redevelopment projects. Something that League of California Cities officials loudly proclaimed at last week's SCAG powwow in La Quinta.

The amounts of money that the City of Sierra Madre might have saved had we contracted out our Police services to other jurisdictions was impressive. A million bucks saved annually is nothing to be sneezed at. The loss of some late night staffing at the Police Station might be a consequence we'd survive. People do not visit the station all that much after 10 pm, and regular patrols would still be happening. Of course, all of this does fly in the face of our belief in ourselves as an independent city. Just being some other city's police precinct is a pretty humbling thing. But perhaps some sad day the financial pressure from things like those seemingly endless Sacramento tax confiscations will make this option an irresistible temptation. Or maybe priorities will change. Temple City now invests the money they saved by hiring the Sheriff's Department in their schools.

Then Alverno broke out, and went on for a while. Alverno and their neighbors have been meeting amongst themselves, and a lot of issues have apparently been addressed. Certainly the tension that was evident at previous meetings was no longer there. But that didn't mean folks wouldn't want to be heard on this matter. Passions have been running high on this issue for quite a while, and now that the matter has come to a conclusion people needed to share some of their feelings one more time. The Temporary Use Permit was passed, and thankfully Alverno will now be allowed to survive with its fundraising abilities intact.

Bruce Inman spoke about the many reasons why our water rates will go up. There were quite a few of them, and he at least seemed to feel he'd made a good case. Of course, we had to be told that it was good for us because it would help us save water. Tiered rates encourage people to use less, or so the theory goes. But wouldn't it be great if just once when utility rates or taxes are raised we aren't helpfully informed that it is beneficial to our well-being? I'm not sure how much longer the tired notion that having to pay more for government services is good for us will work. Maybe the consultants told Bruce to say that?

Apparently there is a way for the public to overturn any water rate hike under Prop 18. It involves getting 51% of the city's water customers down to a public hearing and counted as being against it. The logistics of making such a protest stick are pretty daunting, though. Just the cost of getting enough torches into the hands of a few thousand people alone would be excessive. The Council voted to move this on to its inevitable conclusion, and a nearly 16% increase in our water rates goes to a public hearing in July.

It turns out that our Community Redevelopment Agency does hold the paper on Sierra Madre City Hall. Bringing to an end a mystery that apparently baffled then City Councilman Mosca back when the topic came up during an election debate. It turns out Don Watts was right after all.

A very cautious discussion on the La Quinta SCAG conference came up at the end of the meeting. The immense price tag of SB 375 was alluded to, as was the AB 32 question that will be on the ballot this November. CARB and GhG reduction goals were discussed in an abstract sort of way. The fact that the criteria for CARB's "baseline," the standard for judging how much GhG needs to be eliminated, is apparently of mysterious origin was raised by Councilmember MacGillivray. CARB apparently having no way of scientifically validating where their 1990 baseline came from, or proving that it is even exists.

Councilmember Moran seemed to feel that MaryAnn's point was moot since we know what we have now, and we should just reduce greenhouse gases from that. Which leads one to believe that Josh is unaware that the law, which in this case is AB 32, calls for an eventual reduction of GhG to 1990 levels. Which, if nobody really knows what they are, is going to make reducing greenhouse gases to that level kind of difficult.

Those darn details. They'll get you every time.


  1. Not only that, Josh recited the 2010 levels as being gospel. Now, if anyone can tell me how to measure greenhouse gas, I'll give them a million $$. We inhale, we exhale. Cars produce the dreaded gasses but trees dilute. Wave a wand and we'll come up with a figure. MaryAnn is right, it's not science, it's pure fiction. Josh has been drinking the SCAG kool-aid.

  2. 1:18 your surprised?Watching these recently elected Loons is providing great entertainment in a sick sort of way.

  3. 9:00 pm potty breaks will now be on the agenda.
    maybe it's really a time to give directions or pass the kool aid.

    anyone catch John's look when Josh made one of his funnies at John's expense?

    and Nancy in her glitter gold top was there because???? way in over her head.

    were there 2 different conferences in La Quinta? the one the kool aid kids attended and the one reported in the papers???

    why weren't the assignments read or available??? inquiring minds and I want to know.

    the gang of 4 supported a mail in ballot for Measure CC. Why didn't any of them suggest a mailing preprinted objection card for the water rates?

  4. About the water issue... as you all know the robber barons built this fair city on its abundance of water spewing forth from the Mother Mountain. When they start chatting about water and its cost I'm reminded of what "Silas Mulrey" said to Jake Gettys, "A man will do just about anything to get what he wants. See you all in Chinatown"

  5. Nancy's one contribution to the meeting was to say she was relieved we weren't going to outsource our boys in blue. The reason being that once you do it would be hard to get them back. She didn't explain the downside, though.

  6. that was a contribution????

    where were the questions?

    where were the fresh views?

    however there was a lot of squirrming in that chair. maybe the meeting just went on too long for her attnetion span.

  7. At the end of the meeting Joe agendized the General Plan
    Committee's deliberations for the next meeting. Looks like
    he's wasting no time. Those big birds circling city hall this
    morning might not be vultures. They could be consultants.

  8. Thanks Tattler for staying awake. I didn't & had a good snooze for most of the meeting. I'm gonna have to wait for a playback, always an iffy deal.

  9. Our Mayor (yes) was very careful, of course effusive (Hey it's my favorite person from that club type of thing), but all in all he did better than I expected. He still does give the impression of biding for time to get an idea.
    Mr. Buchanan controlled his verbosity - wonder if some friend has pulled him aside & counseled him.
    I think Mr. Moran is the loose cannon. Once he starts talking, he gets aggressive, like his dismissal of the problems establishing the 1990's levels. Should be some lulus coming from him.
    I didn't know Ms. Walsh was there, so thanks posters for that information.

  10. Remember when Don Watts was roundly denounced for stating that the city didn't own City Hall? Turns out he was right: it's owned by the Redevelopment Agency! It was on last night's City Council Agenda. Is there anyway Mosca and Buchanan could have known that two months ago? Another lie uncovered. I believe that exchange took place at the Candidates Forum? Anyone remember? I'd like to see the transcription.

  11. Fair memory skillsMay 12, 2010 at 8:54 AM

    You are right 8:51. I heard it too. Was it at the candidates forum or a council meeting? Hey team Neuroblast, interested?

  12. Wasn't there a whole lot of backing up from the love of SB375 at that dias?

  13. Tattlers, anybody got the specifics on when the Watts remarks about the CRA owning city hall happened?

  14. Tracy Thomas!

    I didn't attend or watch the meeting, but I understand you stood up at the podium for MaryAnn MacGillivray (the only decent member of our CC).
    Thank you.

  15. As the city and Brucey sez about the water rate increase, "I drink your milkshake". It's amazing how they waited to bring this up after Watts and Zimmerman left the City Council positions. The city knew they wouldn't have had a chance in H-LL it would pass otherwise..

  16. After seeing Moran in action, I can only imagine what folks who bought homes from him or used him as a loan "account executive" may have have thought after the transaction closed, "What just happened?"

  17. old man of the mountainMay 12, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    Watts told me, the original reason for the CRA was to find money to build City Hall, but was/is being used as collateral to pay for the DSP, and EIR 's for downtown development. It's nice the money to pay this down, is via the resident's.
    Its our "gift" to the developers.

  18. It was an interesting meeting in that you could sense a certain tension over issues that are only now just developing. Buchanan's original assessement of what happened at La Quinta was, I think, intentionally vague. Only after the conversation evolved thanks to MaryAnn did he open up to actually discussing what did happen regarding the unfunded development mandate SB375 and the fear that Sacramento will demand cities fund at least parts of it. Its demise would be a big blow to the likes of the BIA and CAR. Not to mention SCAG. We must make sure that not a single penny of Sierra Madre tax money is ever spent on this.

  19. This past election campaign was the most unscrupulous one I recall.

    The focus of the attacks were not on the candidates, Crawford, Watts and Alcorn.
    They were on MaryAnn MacGillivray.

    She was THE threat to the Sacramento/BIA/CAR plan to rebuild this town for development and the "green" hoax.

    She was well aquatinted with the shenanigan years, she served on the council for two terms and had plenty of time to uncover the plots of Bart Doyle and the development scam.
    Being a person of integrity, she was motivated to take action and expose these plans that would "change" Sierra Madre, forever.
    She was not corruptible, as so many previous and current councilmembers have been.

    The result was the dirts pulled off the most hideous plot to date. They slandered, lied, defamed MaryAnn MacGillivray. They had to stop her from influencing SCAG and people to fight against SB375 and AB32.

    MaryAnn knows the game, she knows what they were/are up to. They had to silence her.

    Hang in there MaryAnn MacGillivray, keep telling us the TRUTH.

  20. Josh has a very thin skin, and does not react well to criticism.

  21. Josh, thin skinned?
    That's just one of his many "issues".

  22. Good to know 9:59; let's make it a point to provoke him!

  23. The problem with the development game is that it's so destructive to the economy and the management of resources when it's railroaded into a community this way. The whole thing is unsustainable across the state, the nation, and the globe (Greece and Spain are the poster child for this problem). It only financially benefits a few bankers, utilities and developers while pushing the consequences into the public domain. Including the resulting lack of basic supplies of power and water, which is a huge public health and safety issue.

  24. Good odds the water rate increase will pass and the council doesn't even need one yes vote. Unless 50% plus 1 water users write to city hall and complain, it passes. The council can say the people wanted it because they did not speak(write ) against the increase. The city should include a protest card in the next water bill that those who are opposed could sign and returrn. Unless you express your opposition, you will have higher rates. The citizens are too indifferent, uninformed and too lazy to say no.

  25. 10:50 am

    you got that right, the people are indifferent and uninformed, look what they voted for to be on our city council.

    Sadly, those of us who care (about 40% of us) will pay the price. Only consolation is the idiots who let these things happen will suffer along with us.
    We'll try not to scream "I TOLD YOU SO" too loud.

  26. It isn't a matter of if they will do the
    things we believe they will do, it is just
    a matter of how they will present them to
    the public. It will be a sales job, and
    it will be as vague and evasive as they
    can possibly make it.

  27. May I add that "they" will make their explanations and discussions as bland and boring as possible in order to discourage residents from investigating or asking questions.

    Be prepared! Review the agendas before City Council and Planning Commission meetings. Develop questions. Make it your business to let your neighbors and friends the importance of Council decisions and how much it's going to cost residents and tax payers!

  28. I want to know more about the CRA and its bookkeeping

  29. What's the connection between the General Fund and the CRA?

  30. The General Fund as we are frequently reminded is the $5-$6 mil budget; the CRA is the other $12 mil the City gets to wheel and deal with. Like the buying and selling of parks, City Hall, and preceeds the regular City Council Meetings.

  31. i wonder is josh moran will agendize a boycott of sierra madre businesses?

  32. Wake up or I'll Shoot!May 12, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    speaking of the our inept SMPD, what's the latest on the lawsuit caused by the gunslinger shoot in the back Officer Amos?

  33. still read the papers, but not that oneMay 12, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    Jeez what is going on at that Looney Views News office?
    All they needed to do was put a black line inbetween the picture and the story. Or take away the black line above that makes them seem connected.

  34. We have reached a point where "full disclosure" of all activity relating to our water: source, distribution, pressure, measured usage, rate charge, no charge, sur charge, comparable number of usage daily, monthly and bi monthly, and probably measurments that I am not aware of. Water districts / Local Agencies have been notorious for "dishonesty and manipulation" Our Water is probably being looked upon fondly by a City Administration looking for extra cash.

  35. Really too funnyMay 12, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    That photo and story may be a self fufilling prophecy.

  36. That is two weeks in a row with the same picture. Maybe there is some sort of Freudian conflict going on there?

  37. Learn how to read your own water meter and make a note of what the numbers are at the same time each month. My husband does and we have caught huge mistakes in charges two times and did not pay until the corrections were made. However, there is supposed to be a new system for the city to read the meter from city hall. You have to know what you are using from one year to the next in order to see that you are using less as per the required conservation measures.

  38. Is the guy talking to Glenn Lambdin, Bart Doyle?

  39. 4:58, the guy appears to be bald. Many are, but Miguel Perez was very much in evidence that night. Bart was there as well. They were all there!

  40. The fact that these dirts went after MacGillivray instead of the three candidates who ran for office is very telling.

    I just wish some of you people who voted for Mosca, Moran, Walsh would ask yourselves "why did they do this"? Why, indeed.

    Obviously, MaryAnn MacGillivray is a real threat to the plans of crooked politicians , the developers and investors in destroying our downtown and our hillsides.

    MacGillivray was an extremely effective Mayor, as was former Mayor Kurt Zimmerman.

    They accomplished a very positive direction for Sierra Madre to move forward, along with the help of councilman, Don Watts.

    Sadly, for Sierra Madre, the misinformed, guilty of greed and the clueless, fell for the mean spirited lies of Bamberger and his "volunteer fire dept." The disgraceful press of Bill Coburn and convicted crook, Susan Henderson and her loony "columnists", mean spirited egomaniac, Pat Birdsall and certifiable loon, Hale Hamilton.

  41. Bart Doyle would go to the opening of a toilet if he could get some work. Or work somebody..

  42. They were indeed there, and they received invitations.
    A Dirt databank mailing list perhaps.

  43. Say what you want about Bart, what the Gang of Four is going to roll out in the next few months will be all his doing. This has all the earmarks of a BIA job, and he is their guy.