There is also a comedy talk show on The Fishbowl that I have come to enjoy. The brainchild of Rich Johnson, Barry Schwam and Lisa Bowman, it's a chatty program called the "Trivia and Comedy Radio Program." It has a gentle old time radio feel that is quite enjoyable. You almost expect Charlie McCarthy or W.C. Fields to show up at the studio and sit in. And you know they are serious about this because they not only have a website that you can check out by clicking here, but they also have a flyer up in the window at Beantown.
The topic of our post today, however, is the Radio Fishbowl political talk show of former City Council candidate and big tax advocate Gene Goss. It is a highly partisan effort that reminds me a bit of the old Downtown Dirt website in that only club members are allowed in. The guests are exclusively from that corner of the political zoo, and all of them have decried the divisiveness of politics in Sierra Madre while on Gene's show. Which is kind of hilarious if you think about it.
The show is entitled "Village Intersections," a name that I would not have chosen because of its linguistic proximity to "Village Idiots." Making it an unfortunate choice in my opinion. When you give a name to something that you are going to put a lot of your time into, you do need to think about things like that. Guests have included the likes of Susan Henderson, Carol Canterbury and, much to my delight, Mayor Josh Moran. Delight because his appearance on the episode of Gene's show that I heard this evening has given me something meaty to write about.
Gene Goss has adopted a folksy "aw shucks" kind of demeanor for his show, and only pitches the softest of soft ball questions to his carefully selected guests. His voice has a flat western drawl to it that reminds me a lot of the speaking style of the late William Burroughs, author of such 1950s and '60s beatnik classics as Naked Lunch and Nova Express. Except, of course, in his radio appearances William Burroughs didn't drop references to the Little League every 10 minutes or so.
Despite the efforts of his handlers to dress him up, Josh Moran is still very much the wild child uber development pitbull he was back in 2006 when he attempted to launch a boycott against Sierra Madre businesses that dared to advertise in a newspaper that published opinions he did not favor.
His boycott statement, which was posted on the DowntownDirt.com message board, is still available on the old "Sierra Madre Radicals and Assorted Characters" blog. You can check it out by clicking here. This is what Josh had to say in September of 2006:
"... most of the businesses that advertise in the Weekly, or better yet Weakly (like that one?) have no idea a boycott is afoot. Simply not using someone's services without saying anything to them will do no good. If it is to be effective, you have to get the word out, otherwise people will continue to advertise like they always have. So we've got to write letters or make phonecalls to all of the advertisers letting them know that should they continue to advertise in the Weakly, a large group of concerned citizens will not use their services."
Pretty extremist stuff. Now it is nearly 6 years later and apparently Josh's anger at those who do not share his opinion of the Green Committee (or Commission if Josh has his way) has caused him to act out on the radio in an equally radical way.
Last night, while Gene Goss sat by making agreeable noises, Josh Moran launched a 5 minute tirade against former Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray and current Councilmember Chris Koerber that is one for the record books. Never in the time that I have lived in Sierra Madre have I heard a sitting Mayor go on the attack like Josh did on the Village Intersections show. Using such uncivil terminology as "right wing extremists," Josh attempted to paint a picture of political radicals bent on taking down the Green Committee and its caring and sharing agenda for set and unreasonable ideological reasons.
What neither Josh nor his eager enabler Mr. Goss dared to mention is the real reason why so many people in this community are concerned about the motives of the Green Committee and its UN authored "Accords." That being the high-density transit village style stack and pack development that is at the core of its agenda. Rather ironically this is the exact same kind of DSP style development that Josh Moran was such a passionate advocate for back in 2006 when he was busily organizing a boycott against Sierra Madre's business community.
Here is what the Green Committee's United Nations authored "Accords" have to say about their plans for big ugly downtown redevelopment in Sierra Madre:
"Adopt urban planning principles and practices that advance higher density, mixed use, walkable, bikeable, and disabled-accessible neighborhoods, which coordinate land use and transportation with open space systems for recreation and ecological restoration."
Sound familiar? This is exactly the same sort of advocacy that led to the kinds of high density mixed-use development you can now find only partially occupied and perpetually on the real estate market in such towns as Pasadena and Rancho Cucamonga. It is this style of generic redevelopment that the residents of Sierra Madre rejected when they voted Measure V into existence in 2007.
Apparently Josh Moran has never gotten over that loss. And today he remains the same wild child radical that tried to hurt Sierra Madre businesses because they advertised in a newspaper that dared to publish articles that opposed an over-developed and stylistically generic downtown. All so that people he is personally close to can make a lot of money.
Josh, who was on something of a roll at this point, then shared with Gene Goss his views on the upcoming City Council deliberations of the Kensignton and Measure V. In Josh's own words, Measure V was "only written for condos." He also stated that there would be a public vote on the matter, but he wasn't certain what kind of vote it would be.
Apparently our highly compensated City Attorney has not instructed the Mayor of Sierra Madre that he needs to follow the letter of the law just like the rest of us. And that if he doesn't follow the law, which in this case is voter approved Measure V, he would then clearly be engaging in criminal behavior. California is a state whose Constitution does not favor politicians who would attempt to steal the people's right to cast a legitimate vote. It is considered to be a bad thing. This isn't North Korea.
Just in case anyone is wondering who the true radical might be.