Friday, May 25, 2012

Mosca With Brains?

(Your Tattler Moderator: Pictured to the left is Sierra Madre resident and Pasadena Unified School District dad Tony Brandenburg holding up a colorful representation of "Measure A" sub-regional redistricting at last Tuesday's Board of Education meeting in Pasadena. Some are saying the Board didn't dig this presentation very much, perhaps even deeming it not appropriate to the process.)

It is nice to get a little company on the issues once in a while. While the other news media in Sierra Madre spends most of their time regurgitating cloying feel good press releases that signify very little, we have somehow become the prime source in town for news of a harder nature. Which is fine, we're glad to fill that role. Someone has to have a little honor around here. But you always have to give credit where credit is due. Even if the other guy is about a month late.

Yesterday the Sierra Madre Patch posted an article that acknowledged the unfortunate fact that should Measure A get enough votes, this community would be forced to accept a kind of 2nd class citizenship on the PUSD Board of Education. Out of the 7 proposed so-called sub-districts within the PUSD Archipelago, Sierra Madre would be amongst the minority not allowed representation until 2015. The other "sub-districts" receiving their unfair share of representation far earlier, in 2013.

The reason for this is actually funny, in a mordant "world going to hell in a handbasket" sort of way. Here is how the Patch somewhat inadvertently reveals it all (click here):

But, the current rules set by the PUSD Charter, Section 703 on elections state that school board members must live in the appropriate geographical sub-district. Currently there are no school board members living in Sierra Madre's proposed district, leaving the city without a vote for two years.

"We have three vacant districts, including ours, and we have a couple districts with two members in them," Doyle said. "I know that people are concerned that under this framework that Sierra Madre will not be able to vote until 2015. We don't have a school board member living in this new district, therefore there is no election coming up. This is not an ideal result, but we would have the chance in two years to finally elect a school board member."

So there you have it. The purpose of kicking Sierra Madre to the back of the regional sub-districting school bus is to protect the careers of some of the good old boys currently on the Pasadena Board of Education. Some of whom have been involved in various official PUSD capacities since the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Like Bart.

In other words, in the effort to protect the PUSD establishment from too radical a change, Sierra Madre is expected to vote itself a two year representational disadvantage. Ironically sparing the less than spectacular careers of the very same people responsible for the Measure TT debacle this community is enduring right now. We apparently are about to be sacrificed for the convenience of individuals of very little lasting importance.

And it all does beg this one rather large question. Why didn't they just hold back all the regional sub-districting elections until 2015? Whatever is this big rush all about? Why did they privilege some sub-districts and punish others?

The Patch then reported this exchange between Chris Koerber and Bart Doyle:

"Why did our task force representatives sit silently at the March 13 task force meeting and allow Sierra Madre to be thrown under the bus without a representative for the next three years? That's totally unacceptable, sir," Koerber said.

Doyle responded, "We couldn't get there. We have no civic school member in this district."

"So we don't have a board member and we have a school that they're not building and they're telling us they don't have money for it?" Koerber asked.

"We will continue to be represented by at-large members. There is simply no other way to do it," Doyle replied.

Those "at-large members" being the same good old boy PUSD hangers-on responsible for the current difficulties over Measure TT. Which, to Councilman Koerber's point, is really no representation at all.

And then John Harabedian decided that the moment had arrived for him to make one of his rare contributions of the evening.

Councilmember John Harabedian thanked Doyle for his presentation, saying, "I think in the long term, this will be very good for Sierra Madre and its schools. Having direct representation is much better than having at-large representation."

As bad as our at-large representation has been, I can hardly see how that will be improved by having no representation at all. Particularly during the critical 2013 - 2015 period when the decisions will be finalized on how exactly to spend $350,000,000 in Measure TT money. I doubt being without a representative is going to help us much in that regard.

Then there is also the matter of whether John Harabedian should have recused himself during this portion of the City Council meeting. The organization that is most likely to sue the Pasadena Unified School District should "regional sub-districting" not happen is called the "Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law." The rationale for going after an already financially ruined school district being the California Voting Rights Act, which ironically appears to be at least partially helping to return the Pasadena Unified School District to its segregated roots.

Two of the leading lights in the Lawyer's Committee are John F. Walker and Amos Hartston, both of whom are senior figures at the law firm Latham and Watkins. Which is also where John Harabedian toils.

So on whose behalf was John Harabedian speaking the other night? Latham and Watkins, or the people of Sierra Madre? While it is fine to represent the positions of people of influence in the place where you earn your paycheck, it isn't too smart of an idea to do so as an elected official speaking on behalf of people whose interests might be substantially different. After all, it isn't Latham and Watkins who would be paying dearly for the costs of such a lawsuit.

And if there was even the remote appearance of a conflict of interest, shouldn't John have sat this one out?

Maybe the "Mosca with brains" meme thing is a little overstated. Maybe Harabedian is just Mosca.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

62 comments:

  1. I was suprised little johnny was not passing out applications to enroll at St Rita's school.

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  2. Three big guesses who lives in Sierra Madre and will run for school board member in two years?

    Remember--Vote for Bart.

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    1. I think Brandenburg should run for school board! He'd be in good company with Miramontes and Phelps.

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    2. Hopefully he will get to run in 2013.

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    3. Did the PUSD election for Sierra Madre's rep get pushed back to 2015 because Bart & Co. saw the writing on the wall for the 2012 City Council race?

      That would explain the last minute switch to a 2015 election from a 2013 election date.

      Maybe they hope to get the dirts elected in 2014. Then the "tough questioning" will fade away.

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    4. They picked sides. These guys are siding with what they believe will be the majority after 2013. They figure by denying Sierra Madre and the suburban districts a vote during the Measure TT process they'll get plum development assignments from the new majority. They're playing the odds.

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    5. Board of Ed GroupieMay 25, 2012 at 8:33 AM

      If Brandenburg runs, I'd actually vote for a change. Would he run against Honowitz??

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    6. Great point, 7:32. Has Peter Dreier greasy fingerprints all over it.

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    7. Has anyone figured out Dreier's moniker when he trolls around the internet?

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    8. Maybe when Honowitz runs again for the Bored of Ed, Brandenburg can share some of that dirt he's dredged up. Honowitz has been sitting on things he wasn't supposed to. Shame on you Ed Honowitz!

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    9. Yeah, you know what? Where the hell has Ed Honowitz been in this whole Sierra Madre Middle School debacle? He sure knows how to make all the photo ops. He also sure knows how to drone on and on and on until you don't even remember what he's talking about. What does he have to say about all the missing funds?

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    10. Big Ed decided to take a 2 week vacation in South America. The Bart Doyle email printed here on The Tattler the other day said that. Maybe he ran into Joe Mosca.

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    11. South America was a popular destination for European political refugees around the mid 1940s.

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    12. Does that mean that Honowitz will be out of Sierra Madre (holding breath)?

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  3. "The Process" -- political correctness for bureaucrats and government planners.

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  4. Board of Ed groupieMay 25, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    Tony Brandenburg is quite the artist. The Board of Ed actually appeared to enjoy the satire.

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    1. Don't blame the satire. Don't get that map either. Did Ed draw up the "legit" one?

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    2. All the usual cronies and bond money thieves drew it up.

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  5. The AOL article was accurate! Except for one last bit towards the end:
    “Putting an elected school board member in back in 2013 will not get us out of the situation we are in.”
    What Doyle said was that if we had a school board member in a couple of years ago, it wouldn't have made any difference. Good old Bart the fatalist - We couldn't get there, There is simply no other way to do it, It wouldn't have made any difference.
    And those are his problem solving skills.

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    1. But he didn't say that putting him on the Bored of Ed wouldn't make a difference. Vote El Monte Doyle in 2015! More Bonds Now!

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    2. Vote for more bonds and the kids' education won't get hurt.

      No, I really mean it this time!

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  6. The Brandenburg photo is apparently from a video. Is the video available?

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    1. Board of Ed GroupieMay 25, 2012 at 8:26 AM

      Yes, the video is from PUSD's website. It's on item L around 2:35.

      http://pusd.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=12&clip_id=433&meta_id=65459

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    2. Finally home from work. Thank you.

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  7. The man's assignment, that you know he lobbied Buchanan for, was to represent us, not the PUSD as a whole, not the existing Board members. Since he rolled over so easily, you know he's on the game for something. Amoral jerk.

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  8. Bart is always on the game for something, mainly himself. When was he last earning a paycheck for lawyering in any firm? How does he eat? Follow the money!

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    1. My understanding is that he's another Sierra Madre house husband.

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  9. Anything dart Boyle is involved in, is very, very bad for anyone with any class or integrity. Same with the fugitive Mosca.
    Looks like the same can be said for John H.

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  10. I get it that Harabedian might not be directly connected to the members of his law firm who are forcing the PUSD to segregate, but I agree that he should have recused himself anyway, with one of those "My employers' involvement blahdeblah."
    The fact that he didn't, and that he toughed out the illegality of using cops in his election materials, shows a recklessness that I bet he enjoys, but that makes me suspicious.

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    1. You are referring to The Wunderkind!He is beyond reproach and is immune from any blame!

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  11. Good heavens! Does this mean we have an(other) attorney without scruples on our council? Hasn't this town learned it's lesson from the past yet?

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  12. Ed Honowitz's machine already has a stranglehold on the PUSD. He's already proven to favor the elite.
    I pity those families that would have to rely on Ed's fillibustering 'ol ways to get anything done. Imagine families, such as the Brandenburgs that have been clearly failed by Honowitz. How can ALL families he represents directly expect his support as the direct Bored of ED member?

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  13. You have to visualize this: rain day schedule in the classroom all day, no gym or cafeteria or multipurpose room to stretch out in, going on to the end of the second year at the middle school. Sad for the kids, mind numbing for the parents, bases for hero awards for those dedicated teachers!

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    1. Good points 10:10, but not just sad for the kids - detrimental to learning. Can only hope the teachers have them do jumping jacks or something like that every hour or so. Keep their brains alive.

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    2. but they don't let those positions go. why? because there is the promise of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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    3. Let the munchkins count the $350,000,000, that will limber up their brain cells.

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  14. After the wind storm there was a broken flowering peach tree along the front fence near the old front gate. It flowered on one of the broken branches this past spring. Now even that last living part has died. A symbol for the reduced dollars for the site ... Fewer classrooms, etc., whatever they are facing incurring out of the plan.

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  15. Since Sierra Madre middle school was completely demolished, it should be rebuilt in full and the other schools should design for less.

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    Replies
    1. i so agree with you. one-one-one-one

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  16. Bonehead comment of the SSC meeting was Bart Doyle's analysts as to why complete tear down was required: Sierra Mesa school was built in the 50's cheaply and quick (I.e. Poorly).

    Not a true statement in the least. There are many schools of that era still standing strong.

    It was trashed as Maranantha high school rented it for 18 years and when PSUD took it back I doubt they asked them for repairs. I walked through some of the buildings as they were moving out and it was a shocking mess.

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  17. I agree with you last sentence, Mod. Harabedian is not likely to recuse himself during negotiations with the local police department either, although he had POA support during his campaign for the council seat. He's yet another schill for the development industry, and they are hitting every possible sector of government to meet their profit goals...

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    1. He sold out to the LA County political machine. He's useless.

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  18. tony brandenburgMay 25, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    anonymous, i love you. thank you for the nice, thank you for the sardonic, thank you for the obnoxious. i love your wit, and I love your wot?

    i use my name because i have nothing to gain, and nothing to lose. i hate politics because politicians are part of a larger high school centric world machine in which caste and tiered social greed and popularity are used to destroy people who want to be left alone to live in relative peace.

    my family enjoyed that kind of peace but were dragged into this towns garbage by a kindergarten teacher who didn't understand our desire to stay out of the social circle of her little multi-age classroom world was based on my need for anonymity, and not because of my conceit- which i wholeheartedly admit to- and which i keep in check by remaining anonymous.

    That was stolen from me by a parent vigilante group who sacrificed my child because they didn't understand him, nor me, and organized a public bashing of my family under the supervision of Mr. Ed. These fine folks were law, media, litigators, and agitators. they were money, honey.

    These people can thank themselves for switching us on. like kafka's id in "A Country Doctor," once the horse is cut loose, you can't control it anymore. we didn't ask for this, but we'll see it through- one public document request at a time.

    i think miramontes and phelps are educators of integrity, i think kinney is brilliant, i have great respect for cooper, though she may not realize it, and i believe that selinski and pomeroy have the best of intentions. i believe honowitz is a toad. i don't envy any of them. being on the board of education is one of the most thankless volunteer/elected civil service roles for nothing but grief that i can think of.

    loves: chocolate, spaghetti westerns, the ramones, and the bay city rollers. sign: Pisces. pet peeves: people who won't go away. status: sorry sierra madre earth mamas, i am married.

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    1. Betrayed! Betrayed! Once one responds to a false alarm on the night bell, there’s no making it good again—not ever.

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    2. For newbies, could someone explain what Tony B is talking about? Thanks.

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    3. tony brandenburgMay 25, 2012 at 4:54 PM

      He's a Kook. Reads too much. Best to just ignore him.

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    4. A kook with a lot of experience with the PUSD. The man's got some facts.

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    5. Somebody who loves Bach?

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    6. A welcome addition. Somebody who has fought the PUSD and had an effect. 10 more like him and change will happen.

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    7. Board of Ed GroupieMay 25, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      Seen Brandenburg in action at some of the Board meetings. Honowitz always checks the yellow cards when he's is at the meeting. The Brandenburgs have unearthed some major dirt, may clog up the machine a bit. I'm ready for some change in PUSD.

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    8. Word has it that Brandenburg likes music a lot harder than Bach.

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    9. @Tony B.- campaign platform?

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    10. Measure A will divide, not provide. No A.

      Recall Ed the Toad.

      Build our goddamn school.

      Eat spuderitos.

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  19. And where is the money that the PUSD has failed to account for? Does Doyle expect us to roll over and accept what they will give us and then as he said, we can always vote for another bond? Not in my lifetime will I ever vote for another school bond -- stupid as I was to vote for the last one. Why is it that we always have to watch out for our council to do the wrong thing? Will Koerber and Cappocia have to fight every battle like MacGillivray did? Kudos to them for doing so,but it's getting tiresome to have to watch the majority of the council selling out our City. Signed, a weary campaigner.

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    1. I hear you, weary campaigner.....we still must be hopeful they residents who are uninformed and naive will catch on.
      Hopefully, a lot of parents who don't have a lot of time for city politics will start reading the Tattler, there is no better information out there to let the folks know what is REALLY going on in Sierra Madre.
      Hang in there!

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    2. Doyle is used to rolling over. He thinks everyone else will too.

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    3. Ripped off on Measure Y, ripped of on Measure TT. Anyone detect a pattern here? How can these people still be running our schools?

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    4. Once bitten, thrice shy.

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    5. Kinda new here.......so bear with me. Who was involved in Measure Y and TT fraud?

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    6. A guy named Steve.

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    7. Thanks for a great laugh, 11:44.

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