Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Measure A: Sierra Madre Loses

Breaking News: Pasadena Star News --- Search warrants served at the home of SGVCOG executive director Nick Conway. "Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office investigators served a search warrant Weds at the home of San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments Executive Director Nick Conway on West Walnut St., officials said. The investigators are with the Public Integrity division of the DA's office."

No news yet of any effect this is having on the battery recycling program The COG is sponsoring at City Hall. Click here to go to the Star News website.

Back to today's original post.

Measure A, which will now limit your right to vote for or against Pasadena Board of Education representatives to one single sub-district seat (from the seven at-large seats you had some say about previously), was voted into existence by a 54.7% to 46.9% margin. The overall turnout numbers were equally sad as well. Out of a potential voter turnout of 113,142 voters, a mere 22,384, or roughly 1 out of every five voters, even bothered to show up.

What this means is Sierra Madre will not have a representative of its own on the PUSD Board of Education until the year 2015. With 4 other sub-districts, however, having their own representation in 2013, a full two years earlier than us. Parents of public school kids who were upset over the Measure TT bond money bait and switch rip-off announced by the Board of Education recently, will wake up this morning to the happy news that in addition to the Middle School not being built as was once promised, they now won't even have a vote on the matter. Nobody on the Board of Education will have the least reason to listen to them.

And you wondered how things could get any worse. When it comes to bad news, you certainly never can underestimate the Pasadena Unified School District.

Of course, this wasn't completely all about what schools are going to get the lion's share of the Measure TT money, or who will be allowed to control it. There is also the power that goes along with so much taxpayer cash as well, something that might very well have been on the minds of the people who drew up these sub-districts. Or at least that is the opinion of a commenter who shared the following observations on this site yesterday:

The fact is the commission that drew up the maps and decided which sub-districts would get elected first was made up of failed Board of Education and Pasadena City Council candidates.

Their names are: Ken Chawkins, who lives in West Pasadena. He failed in his run for school board and so drew a District for himself and designated it as open in 2013.

Roberta Martinez, who lives in Northwest. She failed in her run for school board and so drew a District for herself and designated it as open in 2013.

Khatchik Chanhinian, who lives in North East Pasadena. He failed in his run for Pasadena City Council.

This is the true reason why the Districts were drawn the way they were and why Sierra Madre has to wait until 2015 ... because the Sub-District Commission members designated the seats they intend to run in up front in 2013.

Mark my words. These three Commission members will all pull papers to run for school board in 5 months to run in the sub-districts they created for themselves and made sure were available in 2013.

If this is true, then Ken Chawkins, the Chairman of the PUSD Redistricting Committee (and an Edison employee, by coincidence), is apparently ready to hit the ground running. He is already on file as a Board of Education candidate with the California Secretary of State (click here).

It will be interesting to see how the Sierra Madre vote came in on Measure A.

The results for the 41st Assembly District seat are fairly intriguing. It is worth noting that Michael Cacciotti, who boasted of his endorsements from Josh Moran, Nancy Walsh and John Harabedian at a Kiwanis Club "meet the candidates" function last month, nearly came in last. Or almost DFL as the kids at work like to say. Victoria Rusnak, who was DFL despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars in her own money spent on political postcards informing us that she is not a politician (which in hindsight is apparently the case), can now return to what she does best, selling Maybachs to Pasadena's career leisured classes.

And you certainly couldn't possibly find a greater contrast in ideological positions than in those of the two winners, Donna Lowe and Chris Holden. Of course, Holden will have to deal with some of the revelations left to us by non-politician Victoria Rusnak. I am currently looking at a flyer she funded recently stating that Holden "had multiple tax liens filed against him by the state for thousands in unpaid taxes." Where I come from that is considered to be a bad thing.

For those of us who are concerned with slow growth and local autonomy, particularly on the issue of individual city control over development, the choice is fairly clear. Chris Holden supports SB 375, the state central planning law that is exerting considerable pressure upon places like Sierra Madre to build 'transit village' style high density development downtown. Despite the obvious wishes of those of us who actually live here. Donna Lowe opposes SB 375.

Holden also supports the completion of the 710 tunnel under South Pasadena, a public health debacle that will dump massive amounts of carcinogenic 710 corridor truck and auto freeway traffic onto the 210. Something that will also create some truly world class traffic problems for the San Gabriel Valley. Lowe is opposed to any tunnel and surface routes connecting the 710 with the 210, no matter where Caltrans wants to build them.

As the adage says, in the end all politics is local. This race will certainly be a fine example of that.

Bonus Coverage

Top 5 Losers on Election Night (click here)

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

82 comments:

  1. You certainly have the Midas touch old boy....

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    1. How's that 12% User Utility Tax extension working out for you?

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    2. Hey tattler, my utilty bill say's I'm paying 10% UUT. Did I miss something?

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    3. Perhaps your gratitude?

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    4. Really 5:22? Such a snide little post in the early morning? Or is that uninspired bitterness coming at the end of a late night?

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  2. San Diego and San Jose. Wipe out for the public sector unstainable pensions.
    Why should the private sector guarantee these outrageous pensions that are destroying cities?
    The people said.....NO, a big NO MAS.
    Wisconsin....they also said no mas.

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  3. All the democracy that money will buy.....

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    1. The taxpayers are finally running out of money to pay.

      http://news.yahoo.com/2-california-cities-voters-embrace-pension-cuts-102049905--finance.html;_ylt=A2KLOzEdQs9PiTYApcXQtDMD

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    2. The unions lined up against successful government and responsible spending.
      They were in this only for their own gains, not for the good of the state.

      The message is still echoing........why should the taxpayers pay for the union boys free ride?

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    3. All that union money that went into this useless Recall...POOF! Gone into thin air.... I feel bad for the union boys, having an org waste their paycheck $ in that manner. That could have gone to their pension fund. Instead, it goes to the tv stations, radio stations, and pockets of Jesse Jackson and the like.

      Suckers.

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    4. Yeah, instead of reforming pension abuses, let's eviscerate the rights of the working class. Long live the plutocracy!

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    5. Sierra Madre is facing the same pension bomb facing us as every other city.
      Our cc seems to want to kick the can down the road.
      The pension fund payout gets higher and higher every year, and will eventually dwarf the general fund.
      The police department will bankrupt this town.

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  4. There is an ad up on the Yahoo Mail page from Fairfax Virginia inviting California businesses to move to their city. The exodus continues.

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  5. So, whose waiting, chomping at the bit, to run for Sierra Madre's "plum" school board seat?

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    1. Well, let's see. The other custom built sub-districts appear to be going with people who served on the sub-districting committee. So my guess would be either Joe Mosca or Bart "Mayhem" Doyle.

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  6. ...and Bart headed the move to get Sierra Madre out of the PSUD. What a phony.

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    1. The way things are going there won't be a PUSD in a couple of years. It will just go out of business. So maybe we'll get out by default.

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  7. Will there be a Sierra Madre?

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    Replies
    1. Remains to be seen, and depends on the preservation activists.

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  8. Don't worry. Remember what Doyle said: Ed will be watching out for us!

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  9. 1 out of 5 voters turned out...20%...pathetic, apathetic, any other "thetic" you can think of?

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  10. Antithetic, as is antithetic to democracy.

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  11. you have the wrong information. victoria rusnak placed last.

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    1. You're right. Cacciotti was in last place most of the night, but pulled up a bit at the end. Must have been the Moran endorsement. I edited the post to reflect this.

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  12. in the end, in the bitter end, children do not matter: in Sierra Madre or Wisconsin. Keep them uneducated so they can be brainwashed to vote my way.

    Blame the teachers: great scapegoat. Perfect setup.

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    1. A message for parents who blame teachers:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T8ovblvQM0&sns=fb

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  13. The biggest winners of Measure A and PUSD's ineptitude remain the same: private schools. Too bad we still have to pay twice.

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    1. Time to have the parents in Sierra Madre boycott the schools starting in August when the kids go back to school.

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  14. Kurt Zimmerman endorsed Cacciotti. He was against the 710 tunnel and is a strong open space advocated. Big loss for us who oppose the tunnel.

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    1. Cacciotti was also a big SGVCOG guy. With all that brings with it. He wasn't there for me.

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  15. Any body reading this in the 80% of non voters? Would like to know why?

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    1. I'd like to hear about that too. But people reading the Tattler comments are probably voters.
      I feel like it's an honor to vote.

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    2. I voted, but wasn't very confident most others would.
      People came out in large numbers to vote against the tax hike in Sierra Madre. They vote when their WALLETS are in danger of being picked from their pockets by the crooks and bums who control California.

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  16. RIP Ray Bradbury.

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  17. TICKET TRAP ALERT ON GRANDVIEWJune 6, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Cop hiding in the shade on Canon/E. Grandview waiting to snare some poor soul.
    Be careful out there.

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    Replies
    1. Cop just moved to downtown....if he had been there instead of Grandview, would have snared 3 cars that made illegal u-turns on SMB. So, again, drivers, be careful. They are really out to give you those tickets.

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    2. Give the speed limit a whirlJune 6, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      I get it why the trap is there - people tend to take that stretch way above the speed limit.

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    3. 9:21 am, do you not have a life? Following the SMPD around town and reporting on their whereabouts? It's much easier just to obey the stop signs and not exceed the speed limit.

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  18. Mr. Moderator: Why doesn't SM form its own school district? Never have understood why SM and Altadena want to be part of PUSD.

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    Replies
    1. I have been saying the same thing for years now!

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  19. It is about time the DA's office is looking into Conway's (and perhaps his cronies)at the SGVCOG. He made a business out of taking the taxpayers money. He and all his cronies should be looking at rooming with "lefty" at one of California's finest slammers.

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    1. Wonder how the overall mood is a Arroyo Associates today.

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    2. Pay them a $5,000 consultant fee and they will issue a report about their mood process.

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  20. 9:15 & 9:22 Nice to know we have bloggers who aspire to be accessories to a crime. We neeed those patrol cars on our streets, since people can't follow simple rules of the road and are not courteous to other drivers. These must be the same people who think a toothpick is a fashion accessory.

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    1. Here's a story about our wonderful police...Sunday morning around 2am (bar time) I heard a couple walking home having a normal conversation..not loud and definitely did not sound drunk. All of a sudden 3 cop cars come screaming up and make the couple sit on my grass checking to see if they were drunk! This went on for about 10 minutes and the police eventually let the couple continue walking home. At that point they all sped off in different directions I assume looking for others walking home from the Bucc! Really?!?! Is this the best use of our tax money on these police? I too have been stopped walking home and was harassed by the cops and I was sober but made the misfortune of walking home around midnight...they need to go.

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    2. Is monitoring those who monitor you a 'crime'?

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  21. Shocking news about The COG. Has anyone called Nancy Walsh yet to ask her if this is a distraction or not? I am taking my old batteries down to city hall right now!

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  22. Whadya bet the Moron and Walsh, maybe even Harabedian, will clain to not know Conway - sort of like how Josh didn't know Matheson...

    After yesterday's bad news, this is like a cool ocean breeze of hope.

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  23. So do you think the DA's office of Public Integrity will be looking into little Johnny Harabedian and the SMPD over campaign irregularities?

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    1. Hey, it's possible. I have new hope in the Public Integrity Division!

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  24. I thought that in LA County "Public Integrity" was an oxymoron.

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  25. "I never met Nick Conway. He was just a face in the crowd." - Josh Moran

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  26. I hope it doesn't happen again, but the last investigation into Old Nick cost the taxpayers another $72,000.00, plus an apology from the DA. Give the devil his due . . .

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    1. They don't call him Slick Nick for nothin.

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    2. The DA did not apologize. They just did not get him. The COG gave him the money to cover his business losses, which is COMPLETELY ILLEGAL. The COG lawyer was left out of the equation and the politicians paid him. Then they fired the COG attorney for protesting.

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  27. Update on the Star News site. They are also searching the COG offices as well.

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    1. Wow!
      I live for the day they do this in Sierra Madre City Hall.
      Or better yet, that bad bart's shack over there on Baldwin.

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    2. Be sure and read Gil Aguirre's letter to the DA that is at the end of the PSN article. It is quite damming.

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    3. Interesting reading. Click on my name.

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    4. Dear NJNP at 2:55 pm: the link doesn't work. It appears to be from the City of Pasadena - if it worked.

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    5. Damn! Try copy & paste to url (navigation) bar:
      http://ww2.cityofpasadena.net/councilagendas/2005%20agendas/Jun_27_05/3A%20ATTACHMENT%20B.pdf

      Not sure how to get this pdf file on Tattler.

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    6. Okay - copy and paste into the browser window worked. What an eye opening document! Everybody, you must read this to fully understand how we got into the SGVCOG!

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    7. 2004 Arroyo Associates contract with Pasadena?
      NJNP, what to look at particularly?

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    8. I especially like the way Bart Doyle represented Sierra Madre on COG (see the minutes.)

      Ol' Bart, always looking out for us!

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    9. I just want to know how the lack of representation is legal..doesn't make sense to me at all. Time to ditch the PUSD!

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  28. How about this financial strategy?

    We'll find a way to short the PUSD and go long private schools. We'll make a million! Besides, it appears that PUSD shorted our children a long time ago.

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  29. I asked Kurt why he endorsed Cacciotti. Kurt said that Cacciotti was a real environmentalist who serves on the Boards of both AQMD and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Kurt also said that he had done legal work for some residents in South Pasadena and that Cacciotti's constituents really thought highly of Michael as a Mayor. He also said that Cacciotti's day job was as an Attorney with the AG's Office.

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  30. I'll bet there are more unreported burglaries in this town than speeding that leads to fender benders at rolling stop sign violations. What this really represents is time on the clock by fearful, unskilled SMPD officers.

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  31. Just read Gil Aguirre's letter to the DA in the Pasadena Star News and all I can say is, "Congratulations, Mr. Aguirre. You are truly the 'Wrath of God'".

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    1. One of the greatest movies ever. Triple bill - Aguirre Wrath of God, Gladiator, Apocalypse Now.

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    2. Just read it. What a great job Mr. Aguirre has done. An amazing story, one can imagine the the dots connecting. Hope the authorities peel this onion way, way back. I wouldn't doubt that some people are squirming in they're shoes, right about now. It's a rather long read, but it really paints a pretty good picture.

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  32. Why stay in the PUSD? Has anyone considered or investigated what would be required to annex Sierra Madre into their own school district?

    By the way, thanks for the support with my efforts related to the SGVCOG and the Executive Director, Nick Conway. It really shouldn't be this hard to get a public official and a public agency to do a very simple thing - follow the law!

    I encourage each of you to get involved. Go to your Council meetings, go to a SCAG meeting, or SGVCOG meeting. It really does start with you, demand more.

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  33. The SGVCOG Executive Committee is circling the wagons. Instead of sacking Conway they moved to criticise Tom King from Walnut for demanding the allegations against Conway be promptly investigated. They are also going after Carol Herrera, another former COG president who has also called for firing Conway. Amazingly the left Conway with his hand in the COG cash register.

    Tonight at the COG it was reminiscent of the Saturday night massacre after Watergate. They even mentioned the Tattler. You are drawing blood. Good job!

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  34. Couple observations: First, I am under the impression that most of the TT money has already been allocated,granted there will be some modifications with the state cut backs. Second, Sierra Madre, in the view of many critics of the district, including a D Shelley, one of your own, has received a disproportionately high amount of district resources over the years. Third, the fact that Sierra Madre's district does not get to vote until 2015 may be a result of complacency on the part of sierra madre's residents because you've had it so good for so long.

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    1. Your bitter resentment is duly noted. But the fact remains, like many of those you speak for, you are a less than truthful individual. If we have gotten our unfair share of resources, please explain the pile of ruins that is our middle school. What s the rest of the district like, tent encampments?

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    2. So making sure that Sierra Madre has no real representation until 2015 is revenge.

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    3. no bitterness, just observations. Maybe its a wake up call. you may still get the money for the middle school exactly the way you want it to be. the district knows it needs sierra madre, but giving you your own middle school is not the most efficient use of resources on paper.

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    4. Sierra Madre is a captive City of the PUSD, and it's children hostages. Given a choice we'd walk in a heartbeat.

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  35. Attention COG Board - Brown Act Violations, Caltrans audit conflict of interest, responding to public records requests (BTW, you shouldn't have to go through your attorney to provide the public, public records!); having Nick Conway running the COG.. priceless... no really, there's no price on how much keeping him is going to cost.

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  36. "by a 54.7% to 46.9% margin."

    Looks like the same kind of math our police chief and other city officials use.

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