Not that they ever really did. To do so, we were told often, might have jeopardized whatever it is they were doing. Which, judging by the results, was never all that much.
But some of those who were stung in the EVG Scandal are still suffering from the effects. As an example, on Thursday of this week I received the following e-mail from a Sierra Madre resident.
John, have you heard of other Sierra Madreans getting re-charged on the EVG Gas Station problem? I filed a claim through my bank, received a provisional credit back, but now the money has been removed for a second time this week. The answer I received from my bank was:
Dear XXXXX XXXXXXXX,
Thank you for taking the time to email U.S. Bank.
Our records show a dispute was placed on 12.31.10 for a check card transaction in the amount of $175.93. The merchant provided documentation of the amount and that you received benefits from the transaction. Therefore the dispute was denied and the provisional credit we provided to you was reversed on 02.16.11. If you would like to have the dispute reopened, you do need to call our Dispute Department directly at 1-866-540-9904. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (et cetera) ...
I received the 'proof' from US Bank that someone had submitted on behalf of EVG (I have no idea how this all works mechanically) showing the computerized charge slip dated 12/26/2010 for $175.93. I spoke to US Bank who said they would re-submit the VISA claim on my behalf.
Probably there is little incentive for US Bank to work on my behalf. They probably come out better if I accept the charge.
The question this raises for me is who exactly at EVG is sending proof to US Bank that this victim had "received benefits from the transaction" and that they should be paid? And at this point what exactly is EVG? Is the SMPD or their friends in the Secret Service aware that something like this is going on?
If the perpetrators of this fraud are actually capable of following up with banks to make sure that they get their money, then they're certainly being very thorough with their paperwork. That months after this investigation began we can see that people are still having problems from a now supposedly non-existent EVG is absurd.
Perhaps we can get some kind of update from the City on where things stand today? I'd hate to think that law enforcement's solution to this problem is to hope that 500 or so fraud victims will grow tired of waiting for something to happen and just go away. Especially when for some the EVG Scandal has still not come to an end.
Rearranging The Redevelopment Deck Chairs All Over Again
As can be seen on the City Council Agenda for next week, the rush to "encumber" redevelopment funds by the City of Sierra Madre will move forward on Tuesday evening. The list of projects that some members of the City Council and Staff hope will be funded with at risk CRA money could be finalized then.
But is there an actual point to this exercise? Not only has Governor Brown put forward a bill that will soon invalidate such "encumbrances," but even the entire concept of a CRA might be coming to a swift end as well. This from today's San Jose Mercury News:
Local governments seem to be losing battle to keep redevelopment agencies - After months of lobbying against Gov. Jerry Brown's controversial move to eliminate redevelopment agencies throughout California, it now seems clear leaders in San Jose and other South Bay cities have lost their fight in Sacramento.
A key state legislative committee is backing the end of redevelopment, and even a group of Bay Area business leaders told the governor in San Francisco on Friday they were supporting his plan. Facing a $26.6 billion budget shortfall, South Bay lawmakers say there is little choice but to divert those redevelopment dollars to schools and local services, as the governor has proposed.
"I think this is going to happen as a matter of necessity," state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, told the Mercury News of Friday.
Added state Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-San Jose: "When I have had to cut billions of dollars from safety-net programs for the elderly and the sick, redirecting redevelopment agency funding is among the least of the worst choices I have had to face."
Perhaps the time has now come for Sierra Madre's City Council to get off Jerry Brown's back and let him do what he needs to do to help California's aged and sick, along with the kids attending our financially destitute public schools and universities.
It is appearing more and more like the City Council's efforts are futile anyway, so why not be gracious about it and just let go?
I am not sure if you are aware, but articles from The Tattler show up all over the internet. I never have any idea where these things are or who put them there, and nobody actually tells me they're going to use my stuff. It just kind of happens.
And on a site I stumbled across yesterday, The Los Angeles Examiner (click here), I have practically written the whole thing.
Apparently I am what is called an "Examiner." Which is described on that site thusly:
Examiners come from all walks of life and contribute original content to entertain, inform, and inspire their readers. They are credible, passionate and influential because of their knowledge of a particular topic.
Now before anyone says that I am being ripped off and need to do something about it, I have to let you in on something. I use a free blogging service that is run by Google. And part of the deal is that I get to have a fine looking site like this one at no cost whatsoever. But in exchange for this unique service my gracious hosts get to "place" my material where they see fit. Which means that I am now writing for a lot of places, and all over the planet.
If you have never seen Sir Eric translated into Punjabi, then you are really missing out on something special.
Look at it this way. I don't publish The Tattler for money. I do it to get a series of messages out. Messages that I hope speak on the behalf of a considerable portion of this community, and would not otherwise see the light of day. If Google wishes to help me in that cause and get the word out, inadvertently or not, I certainly have little problem with it.
And in a way it is kind of flattering. "The Moderator," who is the credited author for much of what gets printed on this site, is actually becoming kind of famous. As is Sierra Madre and some of its more notorious leading figures.