Saturday, June 4, 2011

More On the Kiwanis Emergency Radio Station Misappropriation

The following was posted in the comments section yesterday, and it is in regards to Thursday's post about certain erroneous claims made in Kiwanis Magazine. It strikes me as being very informed and authoritative, and I thought it should be highlighted here. This answers some of the questions asked by us earlier this week, plus it sheds some new perspective on how this project evolved originally. It also has the distinct ring of truth, something so sorely lacking in the Kiwanis Magazine account.

Didn't get a chance to post this run down with the Tattler's post on the emergency radio station, but ...

Members of the Sierra Madre Fire Safe Council attended a post-Montecito/Santa Barbara fire symposium and learned that they thought an emergency radio station would have been of service when the reverse 911 was insufficient during their fire season.

George Maurer had for some time advocated that the old fire horn could be renovated and used for emergencies. Kiwanis pledged to pay for the renovations.

Sierra Madre Fire Safe Council took on the task of raising the matching money for the city portion of the radio project as it was a non-profit 501 (c) (3) and the local Kiwanis chapter was not. Donations through the Kiwanis would not garner the donor a tax deduction.

Hank Lansburg gave his expertise to help the city site the radio tower and found sources to reduce the overall expenses for the project.

Susan Henderson, as President of the Kiwanis, asked for the Kiwanis to be involved in the fund raising, but all the club did was provide a brochure and the connections through Hank and George.

The horn was not operational at this time and needs further repair. Old horn, old parts are hard to come by.

The emergency radio station, 1630 on your AM dial, can be heard as far east as the 605 split, and from the 210 as far as the Fair Oaks exit.

We will be posting more information on this situation as it develops.

The L.A. Times Investigation Into Water Corruption

Water, as we all know, is the liquid gold that greases the wheels of so much of what government does around here. Here being a heavily populated near-desert located on the far western edge of the American Dream. And for as far back as anyone can remember water has been the source of many political shenanigans in L.A. County. Head down to Blockbuster and rent yourself a copy of Chinatown if you don't believe me.

And it looks like Bell Scandal connected individuals have also been intimately involved in the water business. With millions of dollars being funneled to those willing to play political ball with them in exchange for lucrative contracts and other tangible benefits.

Oh, and also keeping their lips zipped. Secrecy always being a very important component of corruption.

It's good to see that The Times continues to bear down on corruption in LA County. The Bell revelations were important, but are hardly much more than the tip of a rather immense iceberg.

Here is how The Times introduces its latest revelations:

Water district gives millions in contracts to politically connected recipients - Those people and organizations have helped the Southeast Los Angeles County agency fight critics and avoid outside scrutiny.

A water district that serves southeast Los Angeles County has awarded millions of dollars in contracts to politically connected individuals and organizations, which have helped the district fight critics and avoid outside scrutiny, public records and interviews show.

The Central Basin Municipal Water District's relationships with state legislators, a former mayor of Bell and other political insiders have enabled the obscure utility to accumulate clout in Sacramento and in the industrial corridor along the 710 freeway.

The entire article can be accessed by clicking here. Interesting reading, and some colorful background for those who are following developments in the water shenanigans that have happened here in our little corner of the County.

As long as we're reading LA Times corruption stories this morning ...

Here's a little item that should be of interest:

Budget warnings went unheeded in Compton - City officials pursued plans to revive Police force as finances worsened. Now layoffs are being considered

Click here for the report.


  1. The political corruption in Sierra Madre is no different than in the rest of the country. The only difference is that the crooks are our neighbors. These people are like a boils that needs to be lanced.

  2. And where do you think it starts? Does the City of Bell mean anything?

  3. It is only a matter of time until the full scope of the corruption here in Sierra Madre comes out. It is going to be quite a show when it does.

  4. George Maurer got one thing correct. He was against Galletly's rape of One Carter. Which, while it puts him head and shoulders above his contemporaries like Joffe, Buchanan and Stockley, doesn't mean he got much else right. I'm afraid this treasure is an empty chest.

  5. It became apparent after the big fire in our mountains were threatening the Mount Wilson communications center, an alternative communication source to it in an emergency would be critically important, so when the Fire Safe Council started the ball rolling, many responsible people in the community, from the then City Council on down, saw it's wisdom. It was truly a community response that made it possible.
    We are all to "blame" for it, everyone should be thanked for efforts big and small to make it possible.

  6. Susan Henderson has once again tarnished something good and right.

  7. That's her specialty 10:06.

    However, who actually wrote the article for the Kiwanis magazine? Was it Henderson?

    Every time I see the word Kiwanis, I hear Miguel Perez saying "I got into the kiwaneees"

  8. The City attempts to communicate with its residents in a responsible way during emergencies - e-blasts, multi colored flags, am radio, - and in doing so frequently the information is not current, even hours or days behind. In addition to sending out law enforcement and citizen volunteers to block roads and threaten residents with arrest if they don't evacuate perhaps it would be good to give out current information. We'll take our chances by testing the wind and looking up the street - that's the direction the floods and fires come from. It's a fact that Nature Friends was saved not by the Fire Department but by neighbors with garden hoses during the last conflagration.

    1. It's true. I was one of the fellows who helped put out the fire behind nature friends. I happened to hear about it from a neighbor just in time. We had to sneak back to our own homes earlier that day by climbing down into the wash to get past the police checkpoint.

  9. It's not a good idea to get too optimistic about politics, but the exposures that are being brought about by the LA Times and the Pasadena Star News, the serious actions taken on the national level too, against corruption - can it really be that some of the shenanigans will be brought to justice, or at least accountability?

  10. This is pathetic.Can't this city get or do anything right!Why is it so hard?Too many cooks spoiling the soup or are there too many Crooks spoiling the soup.Go figure!

  11. Newspapers are starting to wake up to the idea that exposing city corruption sells papers. Look at all the reporting in the Star News on those jerks at "The COG." What had become the mission of bloggers alone is now making a comeback in the dailies. That is good news for everyone.

  12. There was a time when you could call the Police Department when you heard sirens or smelled smoke, or the helicopters were circling overhead, and get information. That's no longer the case with our upgraded, highly professional force. So we get Hank Landsberg (a hardworking guy to be sure) making PSAs over an am radio when we should have a Public Information Office working in conjunction with the Fire/Police Department during emergencies. By the way, we don't get am radio transmissions in the shadow of Mt. Wilson, sorta like the cell phones don't work everywhere in town. Just give us a phone number to call into and an intelligent person giving out the latest information. Forget trying to be cutesy with the technology.

  13. There really is a sleaze factor in Sierra Madre. Most of which can
    be traced back to a handful of highly placed people.

  14. How did someone as sketchy as Henderson become president of Kiwanis? Was it one of those cases where nobody else wanted the job?

  15. I've seen the hoi poloi orbit around the locals, dropping names here, there, granting audiences to the big ducks in the little puddle that is Sierra Madre. It isn't a pretty sight. It'll get your club a photo and a few inches in the weekly paper or a speaker for the next luncheon. Or a video taping of the candidates forum. Maybe an introduction to a representative or a state senator. The local organizations are filled with "sketchy" characters! They band together to erase the misdeeds of their past with "good work".

  16. They spend a lot more time talking about their "good work" than actually doing any. This Kiwanis mess is sure proof of that. The first President Bush called it "swanning." We have a regular pond full of these birds.

  17. Henderson moved in on that good organization like any pro would. Good natured, trusting people, ripe for the picking. Wonder how many of them have donated to keep her paper going?

  18. The rumors are that much of that money has come in the form of "loans," many from retired people on fixed incomes. When asked about when they will be paid back, they get a happy wink and a line like, "Oh, don't you worry. I haven't forgotten about you!"

  19. Information and mis-information can be passed through word of mouth and by some disgruntled people. The statement that the volunteers who went into the canyon during a mandatory evacuation threatened arrest. That's not true. They told residents that the evacuation was mandatory, but if they chose to stay, the fire department would like to know they were there. In addition they were also told that if they did leave, they would not be let back in until the emergency was over. There was nothing about arrest or the treat of arrest. This information if transmitted via a.m. radio would not be misinterrpreted or have rumors spread. What's your gripe, anyway about the radio station? If you don't want to listen to it, don't.

  20. This is an uncharacteristic slip up for the Kiwanis.
    I don't recall them ever being braggarts before.

  21. I don't think there is any doubt about the source of the Kiwanis Magazine article. It was uncharacterstic of our Kiwanis Club because only one person was the source.

  22. 12:24, well said. The radio station is good, neighbors keeping in touch with each other is good - but also it would be very helpful to have an officer who would answer questions. Does the radio broadcast when it's those helicopters on some kind of police business?
    Seems to me that one of our strengths as a community is that we are nosey about what goes on. We are not the close your doors and don't look type of city, and that's good too.

  23. Looks like Compton's Council wants it to be a full service city whether the residents can afford it or not.....

  24. LIABILITY! !!!!!

  25. Full service is just another way of saying expensive government and high taxes.

  26. 10:58--the 'shaddow' of Mt Wilson has nothing to do with Sierra Madre's emergency radio station--our transmission tower is at the city yard behind the swimming pool and it transmits clearly all over town--from Elkins to the West of Santa Anita Dr to the top of Michilinda. Even HIdden Ranch, the most difficult of all nooks, gets a good signal.

    Tune in to 1630 and see how well it works.

    The emergency purpose of the radio station is to give information so that the residents of Sierra Madre can respond wisely and safely even if you see the fire heading your way, even if you felt the earthquake, even if you know you are out of the way of a mud flow.

    Safety is up to all of us. Get prepared, practice with your family. Provide defensible space around you how with your brush management plan.

    Don't expect that you can depend on the police or fire. They will have their assigned tasks and it will not necessarily include stopping by to see if you have taken the time to prepare yourself.

  27. After your done with your am radio time, we can go on down to the soda jerk, or maybe watch a talkie (what they called movies when they got sound) or maybe we should just google it on the news page, like everyone eles in the 20th century. Just a thought, ..I'm sure the radio is cool and has lights and stuff, and I'm sure the guy running it feels he's doing a service...but he is not. Nobody uses radio for emergancy news let alone am, I mean really are you going to not use one of the apps you have on your iPad/iPhone/iTouch that gives you real time info in order to find an am radio somewhere, get some batteries and try to tune in some volunteer who may mean well but could very well, with no oversight give the entire listening audiance dangerous, outdated, and confusing information. I would expect people in this day and age to use the technology at our fingertips, not something invented by Guglielmo Marconi in 1902. We have made significant progress in the way of communications since then. Why not carrier pigons?

  28. 8:02--can you post whether or not the techology you suggest we rely on will be running when all the electricity is out and the cell towers are down?

    Why do emergency rooms have back up generators?

    A simple 4.0 earthquake, epicentered at the 4th hole at the Hacienda Heights golf course a couple of years ago overloaded the local cell towers and they crashed with all the folks calling their friends and the fire/police stations with questions: "where was the earthquacke? did ya feel the earthquake?"

    Check out what "just in time" delivery means for your pantry. If you do not have 7-10 days of stored food, forget about heading off to WalMart or Ralph's for anything. There will be no deliveries into the LA basin if the San Andreas fault ruptures along the Cajon Pass. The trains will not run deliveries and the trucks will not make it to your favorite market's food storage depot.

    While you are thinking all this through ask you app how to prepare in an emergency.

  29. I remember when I was a younger man and everyone was building fallout shelters around here, an expert on the matter of all things nuclear war came to town to speak with the concerned residents. The topic was bomb shelters, and many of the proud owners of these things were in attendance. During a lengthy Q&A the question of the safety of these shelters came up. The expert kind of chuckled and then informed the assembled that if a nuclear weapon were to land on Los Angeles, the foothills that these shelters were nestled in would be lifted up and transported about 30 miles to the east. And not necessarily in one piece. After that local enthusiasm for the shelters diminished somewhat, and those who had them began storing rakes and canned preserves in them.

  30. party like a grasshopper, plan like an antJune 5, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Looks like a Sunday morning throw down between the grasshopper and the ant.
    My money's on the ant.
    And don't forget you need to have plenty of water - 2 gallons per person per day for your household. Plan on 10+ days.
    People can go for a long time without food, but not water.
    And put something in the disaster closet for Fido too.

  31. The 1993 earthquake hit my house hard, so since then I have made some changes. The most valuable items the family has and art on the walls are held in place with earthquake putty, our cars each have small emergency kits, we rotate a 6 month supply of water and a month supply of canned goods, have batteries and some camping equipment. There's no waste because we use and replace items as we go. Some friends who live in the south were without power for 6 weeks after one disaster, so on their advice, we also have a battery run lantern and a transistor radio.

  32. I plan on running down the street screaming, and then demanding that City Hall take care of me. After all, I have been taking care of them for years.

  33. For a moral emergency, what is up with that water district corruption?
    The thing that gets me is why these guys think they won't get caught.

  34. If ethical emergencies were to be treated the same way as natural ones, that Sierra Madre horn would be blowing constantly.

  35. We're a long way from Susan Henderson co-opting the radio station on behalf of the Iguanas. If she runs true to form she'll be renaming that sturdy institution and calling it Henderson's Kiwanis Club of Sierra Madre. Isn't she still the treasurer of the Chamber of Commerce? Talk about a trusting organization...

  36. Radio Free Henderson. Contributions and "loans" always welcomed.

  37. I'll rely on my car am radio thank you, my cell doesn't work in town (att), and if the lines or wires go down, neither will my phones or computers. So, there you go.

    Bashing a good thing like the radio station is a boring way to bash Henderson.

  38. Don't know how you could bash the radio station by connecting it to Henderson since she didn't really have very much to do with it.

  39. 10:00 AM, Good list! You left out about $1,000 in 1's 5's & 10's (wrinkled and used looking)as; if a true emergency we will be on a "powerless" therefore cash only economy.
    Also an item of choice might be some firearm protection. Note the civil disobediance in Cities with catastrophes (except Japan)
    People behave differently when stressed!

  40. Hey, A couple of thoughts said...
    I guess your going to eat the radio with everyone else in it takes all kinds.

  41. What exactly does a radio taste like?


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