Friday, February 4, 2011

22 Orange County Cities Quit the League of California Cities Over SB 375

While our local Patch works to reposition itself with lifestyle articles after some badly flawed Howard Jarvis/Prop 218 reporting called its veracity into question, it is good to see there are still some Patches that are attempting hard news. One of them is the Laguna Niguel Patch. And they have delivered a powerhouse of an article on what has so far been a quiet revolution. A story that should be of great interest to Sierra Madreans fed up with politicians who force us to adhere to state agendas and associated organizations that can only harm our community.

The League of California Cities, as you most likely know, has been in the forefront of the fight to stop Governor Jerry Brown from redistributing to more deserving organizations the billions of dollars in property tax money being held hostage by the state's 400 or so CRAs. They also fought hard to defeat Proposition 98 which, had it passed, would have truly ended Eminent Domain in the State of California. Instead they cooked up Proposition 99, something that, while claiming to curb Eminent Domain, actually preserved the rights of CRAs and other miscreants to seize private property for the purpose of building such things as auto malls and shopping centers.

But for 22 Orange County cities a key breaking point with the LCC appears to have been SB 375. Something that has also come to be known as the "Destroy California Cities Act" as it attempts to confiscate local land use policy rights and place it all in the hands of the central planning apparatus in Sacramento. Where naturally it all gets sold to the highest bidder.

Here is how Laguna Niguel Patch news reporter Debbie Tharp breaks it down:

Out with the Old, In with the New: The Association of California Cities Orange County launched Feb. 1 in response to grievances with the League of California Cities - Laguna Niguel, along with 21 other Orange County cities, has ended its association with the Orange County division of the League of California Cities. It joins a more locally focused organization called the Association of California Cities Orange Counties, which launched Feb. 1 in response to grievances against the League of California Cities.

Laguna Niguel City Councilman Robert Ming said, "There were quite a few issues over a series of years. The most recent problem was regarding a request that Gov. Schwarzenegger use his executive authority to suspend SB 375 until the economy recovers."

"Many cities believe SB 375 was a serious infringement on local land use control," said Ming. "With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Schwarzenegger could have suspended the bill. Three out of the four LCC's policy committees who voted on the matter recommended that the LCC formally ask him to do it. Even with all this, the LCC's (League of California Cities) board refused."

Sierra Madre's ties to the League of California Cities are currently close given the big development agenda of the G4 City Council. But certainly getting us out of this reactionary organization as 22 Orange County cities have now done should be put near the top of our to do list.

The FCC Cracks Down On Fake Green Certification

When I was a kid I used to carry in my wallet a card from an organization called the Universal Life Church. Run out of Modesto, all one needed to do to become a fully ordained Minister of this Church was send them a note and a couple of bucks saying you wanted to be one of their guys. Within weeks your Minister identification card would be in your mailbox, no questions asked. They're still around today, and if you feel the call to become an ordained Minister of the Universal Life Church, you can now conveniently do so on-line. Your journey begins by clicking here.

Now apparently there are organizations willing to sell you Green Certification using the same stringent processes used in becoming a Universal Life Minister. That being you send them a couple of bucks and they send you the certification. Except for one problem. The FCC doesn't dig the practice too much. Here is how one such organization was dragged to Court and forced to give up their nefarious. The report come from the website Lexology.

The FTC's Case Against Tested Green - Recently, the FCC took action against a company, Tested Green, and its owner, Jeremy Ryan Claeys, for selling worthless environmental certifications ... According to the Commission's complaint, Tested Green sold environmental certifications to more than 100 customers for a few hundred dollars each without testing the products it was certifying.

Next time you find yourself considering a product for purchase because it has a little sticker proclaiming it Green, use caution. The sticker might have come from Modesto.

EVG - Back In The News!

It must be another one of those coincidences. The Tattler complained yesterday about the lack of EVG reporting as of late, and behold! EVG reporting returns to the news venues of our sunny California valley home. Which is a good thing. This story needs to be reported, and we are always willing to help make it happen. Here is a part of the story published in today's Pasadena Star News:

530 victims now tallied in Sierra Madre ATM scam case - The number of victims tops 530, but authorities have stopped tallying losses stemming from an ATM scam at a neighborhood gas station, police said. Investigators also haven't found the former owner of EVG Quality Gas at 50 S. Baldwin Ave. where several alleged victims were duped, Sierra Madre Police Chief Marilyn Diaz said.

Several?

This is my favorite line from the article:

Beyond that, "there's nothing more I can say about the investigation because I've been asked not to make any remarks about it," Diaz said.

Apparently the cone of silence can only be lifted so far. I wonder who told Chief Diaz to dummy up like that. Anybody know? Is this now a Secret Service investigation, with the SMPD pushed to the side?

The Tattler has questions.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

64 comments:

  1. I made a remark to a representative at our local Chase bank the other day about the EVG scandal in town, and they dummied up. Weren't going to reply. Hmmmm.......no one is talking?

    I pray Gov. Jerry gets us out of that damn CRA once and for all. It will sure help us put an end to the regime's plan to give back Sierra Madre- to DEVELOPERS and CROOKED POLITICIANS.

    Let's get Sierra Madre opted out of all these stupid bureaucratic scams! SCAG and COG are at the top of my "we can live without" list!

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  2. The Secret Service has issued 3 very specific instructions on the SMPD's role in the ongoing EVG investigation. They are:

    1) You may breathe.
    2) But don't make any noise doing it.
    3) Stand by for further notices.

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  3. I get the feeling that things like SCAG, COG and the League of California Cities can only exist when there is a lot of slush money around. With Brown shining the bright lights and accounting for every dime out there they must be feeling threatened. They're like mushrooms, they can only operate in the dark and they need lots of fertilizer.

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  4. Mushroomed in ShenanigansFebruary 4, 2011 at 8:03 AM

    Sierra Madre should be required to do a forensic audit. Ever since Bart Doyle came on the scene in the early nineties, representing the development interests, we have been mushroomed in shenanigans.

    DEMAND A FORENSIC AUDIT!

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  5. still read the papersFebruary 4, 2011 at 8:27 AM

    About Chase: the news yesterday said that apparently Bernie Madoff was doing business with JP Morgan (Chase) and the prosecutors who are trying to get some money for his victims have emails that prove JP Morgan officials knew what was up.

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  6. green is as green doesFebruary 4, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    That is great news about those 22 cities! Good for them!!!

    I am totally in agreement that we have environmental problems that need our action, but am totally opposed to the solutions that developers pushed through SB375.

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  7. Knowing too much dirtFebruary 4, 2011 at 8:33 AM

    More than a forensic audit is necessary, a full criminal investigation of the Doyle Council should, may, and will be done. Particularly the relationship between Leung, Doyle and some current politicos.
    Maybe, they are innocent, but then again?

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  8. Just a guess. The cone of silence is down because Control doesn't have the time to worry about 500 small claims, and silence and mystery is their substitute for action. In NYC 500 people get scammed every minute.

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  9. The G4 would never authorize a forensic audit.
    Ask yourelf the simple question, would you authorize an audit that would lead to evidence to prosecute yourself?

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  10. That green scam is a while lot like the "natural" food scam. Doesn't matter if a food item has been cooked, frozen, smashed, nuked, canned, boxed, genetically modified, marinated in pesticides - if at one point in it's existence it had anything to do with nature, it's "natural", even with 1% of its nutrients left.

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  11. Do you think the current council will give up this 10 year dedication to development? It has become a religion to them

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  12. It'll be interesting to see how long the Laguna Niguel Patch is allowed to work on relevant stories, rather than a reach-out-to-moms gig.

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  13. Loose lips sink ships. And investigations. And other forms of work.
    It's by-the-book appropriate for Chief Diaz to keep her information to herself.
    If you want the criminals caught, you don't disclose everything you know. Police work is not journalism.

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  14. Orange County took the opportunity to send a drastic signal to the Brown Administration in agreement with his announced policy to give local control back to the communities. LA County won't do that because this whole Sacramento takeover started here, and the supes are like the Ward Bosses in New York when it comes to control.

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  15. What's the statute of limitations for the Doyle regime? I think it's way past any prosecutable findings. Sure would be interesting but I'm not sure that tens of thousands of dollars, maybe more, would be worth what could be found.

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  16. While we're having our dream audit and investigation, don't forget to check out ex-council member Rob Stockly and his ex-employer, Citizens Business Bank (?) and the relationship between them with the Stonehouse/Carter developer Greg Galletly, DBA Dorn Platz.

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  17. 9:00 a.m., also there is protection from prosecution, or at least defense in the case of. I'm not sure, but I think the city attorney would be the one to defend a council member charged with gross shenanigans. So we pay every which way.

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  18. So the same cops who shoot a sleeping man in the back of a truck always do everything by the book. Sounds like an out-of-date edition. Badge-heavy, unfriendly, marginally competent.

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  19. Perfect description Mr. Sir:

    "Destroy California Cities Act" ...attempts to confiscate local land use policy rights and place it all in the hands of the central planning apparatus in Sacramento. Where naturally it all gets sold to the highest bidder.

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  20. If the League of Cities and Mosca are for it...I am against it.

    I wonder if the new Association will allow "associate" members from outside counties to join its ranks.

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  21. What Diaz's mea culpa tells me is she is not the one in charge. And whoever is told her to keep quiet.

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  22. Wouldn't it be great if we could secede from LA County?

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  23. I know a very high up person a Chase JP Morgan in investment banking. Believe you me if JP Morgan had dealings with Madoff, they darn well knew what was going on. Those investment bankers are some of the smartest, shrudest and cut throat people in the world. They take no prisoners.

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  24. Why would anyone think that a small town police chief would be in charge of an international investigation into credit card fraud and identity theft involving an unknown number of victims and amount of money? Is this another aspect of the "Sierra Madre is the center of my world" mentality that operates on this blog?

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  25. 9:44 Secede from LA County? Sierra Madre couldn't even secede from the bad PUSD school system. Once you're in, they have you by the cojones.

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  26. Bankers have a word for the likes of the Gang of 4.

    Snacks.

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  27. No, 9:46. That is the impression the Chief conveyed when the EVG thing began. Obviously that is no longer the case.

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  28. Obsessive Compulsive ReaderFebruary 4, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Looks like Patch Stephens is working overtime to overcome the negative impression left by Chapman with his slanderous article last week. Next we'll have Ma taking photos of Stephens kissing the rescue mutt in front of Sierra Madre moms while the knitters spear raviolis at Zugos. Difference between Mtnviewsnews and Patch? Patch is more literate otherwise not so much.

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  29. The confusion with the New Patch seems to be misunderstanding the relationship between "niceness" and vacuity. Just because you keep all possible controversy off your blog doesn't make you sweet, just uninteresting to people who enjoy discussing real issues.

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  30. The Orange County contingent of SCAG have long been the voice of reason at those meetings. It will be interesting to see what will happen at SCAG meetings now that OC cities have formed their own League of Cities.

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  31. 9:46, I am in total agreement with you that a small town cop should not be in charge of going after the Russian mafia, or any large scale identity schemes that end up in Italy.
    But at the same time I read this blog every day.
    You mushed some things together that aren't logical.
    There are always people who are knee jerk anti police .

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  32. Senior citizen, that incident of the man who slept through being towed, and then surprised the officers by coming to and up out of a heap of blankets, and was shot by a bad, ill-trained officer, is not "the police". One bad policeman who should not have had deadly force.

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  33. There is a lot of pressure on the patches. After all, they are supposed to save AOL. That's a big job. And while I get it that the Laguna Niguel Patch has published something very, very good, that we certainly would like to emulate, it is also their city hall's position.

    The patches are not free press.

    OC Reader @10:15 thanks for a good laugh.

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  34. sick of shenanigansFebruary 4, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    I am so envious that those Orange County cities have the leadership they do - and we have what we have.

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  35. Chase has recently raised its fees, or reconfigured to make their customers use certain services in order not to be charged fees.
    Hummm.
    Be a bad thing to be in any way liable for the Madoff mess.

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  36. What a concept. City governments who do what those who elected them really want. So very different from what we're stuck with.

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  37. Obstreperous and damned proud of itFebruary 4, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    I think the G4 will tell you, 1:03 pm, they are doing what those who elected them really want done. And in a sense they are correct. It is the obstreperous attitude of the Tattlers that calls into conflict WHAT SHOULD BE DONE!

    It seems that a majority of Sierra Madre's registered voters are unconcerned about maintaining the small town atmosphere that brought them here. By not involving themselves in the issues, by not attending City Council meetings, and by not voting they allow the carpet baggers to move in, run for office, and subvert the values of our community.

    More than half the water rate payers failed to find issue with the way in which the water rate increase process was conducted. Satisfied with the City's explanation that an increase was necessary for infrastructure repair, they compelled all of the residents to assume bond indebtedness of nearly $20 million.

    There are many examples that the ignorance of the majority of the voters fosters an atmosphere in which Mosca, Buchanan, Moran, and Walsh are encouraged to believe they are doing what those who elected them really want.

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  38. 2:27, you are not just obstreperous, you are also perspicacious.

    Just one added nuance if I may - many of the people who were suckered into championing the G3.25 were there because they thought a grave and offensive injustice had occurred, and they were taking, what seemed to them to be, the moral action.

    Clever sleight of hand on the old development side, to turn the liars into the victims. The majority of those who voted for the G3.25 were played, and their own honesty was manipulated, against their best interests.

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  39. The League of California Cities falling apart, CRAs dismantled by Sascramento, cities up to their eyeballs in bond debt. Is the old guard in a state of collapse?

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  40. MaryAnn was right about Joe, 3:15. And as we have seen her assessment of his talents was spot on. He is not a good Mayor.

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  41. MacGillivray's intelligence shines all the brighter given those she sits with on the dais.
    Maybe the Dirts had a vid of her in a moment of exasperation (entirely understandable) reprimanding Mosca. And Mosca going all hurt and innocent. He has no qualms about lying, as those of us who were in his first campaign know.

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  42. It was the night Mosca didn't get to be mayor. That's the video that clinched it for many. Mosca and Buchanan whining about tradition. MacGillivray gaveling Joe down. It was an ugly scene and one that those hell bent on civility quote when asked why they don't like MaryAnn. Was she right? Of course. But she has paid the price for all of us who can't stand Joe.

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  43. For someone who wanted to be Mayor so bad Joe certainly didn't have many ideas when he finally got the job. Maybe he thought it would be a fun thing to do and didn't think much about doing anything.

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  44. Isn't there supposed to be a City Council meeting next Tuesday? There isn't an agenda on the city's website.

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  45. 4:50 there should be a meeting. I think city hall has until Saturday to post the agenda.

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  46. Any idea what is going to be on it?

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  47. We'll have to wait for Agenda Man to come out of hibernation.

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  48. The need for bonds, bonds and more bonds.
    Not popular, but responsible doncha know.

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  49. Depends on how much more time is left in the building moratorium. They can stretch this out for a while, right?

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  50. Agenda Man is in the middle of an identity crisis. It happens to superheroes quite often I've been told. He is seeing a specialist and the word is he is making some progress. Whether he will be ready to resume his duties here for next week's meeting is in doubt, however.

    I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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  51. Do we know if the City's bond rating has returned to AAA? Did the water rate increases do the trick? They can't start selling bonds until that one is worked out.

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  52. ex Mosca campaignerFebruary 4, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    What puzzles me about Mayor Mosca is that when he first ran he was a bankruptcy lawyer. Then as the economy started its paroxysms and bankruptcy law turned into a very busy and no doubt lucrative field, he was out of it. For a while no one knew what he was doing where, and then, ta da, enter Sempra and PR - is it the PR part he's hooked up with?
    Would have thought bankruptcy law was a keeper given the turn of events in the wider world.

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  53. I think Joe started fancying himself a fine politician and the world of bankruptcy law just lost it's allure. He found himself a job with a utility that afforded him flexible hours and voilĂ ! A politician who could actually attend weekday teas at the Woman's Club.

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  54. I believe the eager for more bonds members of the city council said that passing the increase makes the bond holders happy, but it'll be two years before we actually have the money. As long as we show that we will have it, we're good.
    A new bond will not be passed. The activists will go to every man, woman, child, dog and cat that calls Sierra Madre home and make clear the destruction that has been created with bonds.

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  55. Yeah, but will they actually tell the truth about selling bonds? After the water rate lies who knows what cock and bull stories they'll invent.

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  56. The eager for more bonds members of the city council have not shown any indication that they are the least bit swayed by the activists nor does the threat of exposure seem to hold any leverage with them. They believe they have been given a mandate to spend the city into oblivion.

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  57. True 5:31 and 5:32, but a dialogue, face to face, with every man, woman, child, dog and cat can do a lot of good.
    And its possible if the activists get fired up enough.
    We can catch a light from the council majority's burning pants.

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  58. The eager for more bonds city council members live in an alternate reality, where they are so much smarter than everyone else, they are entitled to rule.

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  59. Yeah, right. Big shots playing with our money. Anybody can spend a loan when somebody else is writing the check.

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  60. Happy Friday everybody!

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  61. Some interesting comments today, Tattlers!
    It's encouraging to know there are some really informed and thoughtful people out there in bloggerland.

    Good thread today, Crawford and posters.

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  62. What a fabulous turn of events...the potential demise of the Calif. League of Cities! Certainly, they are one of the most dangerous organizations in our State and have contributed GREATLY to many of our problems.

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  63. Maybe the police department should be checking these machines that we scan our cards in. We would not be in this situation as we are now.

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