Now you might think a holiday that features a parade with school children, marching bands, vintage automobiles and the enthusiasts who keep them on the road, plus a bevy of politicians hoping to win both the love of the crowd and their votes, would make for a fairly peaceful kind of day. And, of course, there are also picnics, family get-togethers, and fireworks as well.
But apparently I am a naive and overly trusting person who has lived a protected life, blissfully unaware of the dangers this city faces on a daily basis. Because according to an article up on the Sierra Madre Patch things are pretty bad out there, and are only going to get worse.
No July 4 Arrests in Sierra Madre - One of the most dangerous days of the year for DUIs and other incidents was pretty quiet in Sierra Madre.
While the California Highway Patrol reports almost 500 DUI arrests as of Wednesday night over the course of a multi-day DUI task force, only one was reported in Sierra Madre over the past week, Sierra Madre Police Officer Henry Amos told Patch Thursday.
As for July 4 Sierra Madre arrests in general, Amos said none were reported and it appeared there was no increased criminal activity on Wednesday. "As far as I know it was pretty quiet," said Amos.
Officer Amos, who is also known in this town by the monikers "Dead Eye," "Shaky" and "Harry on the Spot" due to his proclivity for shooting first and asking questions later, could very well have played a role in this. While the rest of Los Angeles County roiled beneath a wave of drunkenness and violence, we here in Sierra Madre were safely tucked away on an island of comparative tranquility and safety. Perhaps it is officers like Harry Amos and their "quick justice" policing that make it all possible.
While at the 4th of July parade I noticed that The Mountain Views News entourage was sporting a large banner elegantly duct taped to the side of a vintage pickup truck in support of the campaign to "Label GMOs!" However, there was little on this sign explaining what it's all about, Alfie. Which is hardly surprising for a MVN supported effort.
Often an air of mystery envelopes a lot of that paper's reporting as well. Let's face it, there are many things in this town you just are not supposed to know, and The Looney Views News (as it is affectionately known to many here), fully supports news suppression in the name of community cohesion. Ignorant residents are just happier, I guess. Something which perhaps explains the great joy many living here feel almost daily.
However, fearing the worst as I often do, I decided I should look into this matter. It turns out that GMOs are Genetically Modified Foods, and there will be a measure on this November's ballot that will, should the voters wish, allow you to know if the cabbage or fresh broccoli you are about to purchase is as God intended, or has somehow been altered by less trustworthy scientists. GMOs are widely believed to turn people into the walking dead at the secret signal of forces we dare not mention here. People need to be made aware of this in order to properly decide whether or not they want to participate in the rapidly approaching Zombie Apocalypse.
According to polling (click here) GMO labeling has the support of anywhere from 80% to 96% of all Americans who both eat and vote, so this is apparently not all that controversial a matter. But it is good to see The Looney sticking its neck out on this issue, anyway.
While the MVN entourage slid by I did take the opportunity to ask Susan if she has paid the Dunns the tens of thousands of dollars she owes them from the "Two Friends" Court settlement of a few years back. After all, technically Ms. Henderson doesn't actually own the paper she claims to publish until these matters are finally cleared up. And while I didn't get much in the way of an informative answer, the pilot of the vintage maroon Cadillac convertible (cut low) who was driving Miss Susan, along with the frontline of the Miami Dolphins, did pull out his wallet and offer to pay off that debt right on the spot.
I didn't really believe that he had that kind of cash on him, however. Not in these crime-ridden times. And I was not prepared to handle a credit card transaction at the parade, either. Though I did ask him if perhaps Susan's law degree might be in there. I didn't get much in the way of a satisfactory answer to that question, either.
The Gold Line Stops In Azusa
It looks like the Gold Line dream will come to an end in Azusa. Which is where many dreams go to die, I suspect. Though I did buy lottery tickets at a liquor store there once, so at least that possibility still exists. You do have to be in it to win it, you know.
But that whole song and dance we were fed a few years back about the Gold Line eventually going to such storied places as Ontario International Airport? Force fed to the people back when the authorities were looking for us to vote into existence some sort of public transportation tax initiative or other? Gone with the wind I'm afraid. Though it can hardly be said that this is the first bait and switch that has been run on us. Heck, the PUSD plays that lucky number on us every decade or so.
This from the highly respected San Gabriel Vally Business Journal (click here):
MTA Says No to Glendora, La Verne, San Dimas, Claremont - The second phase of the Gold Line extension project has been given the ax. During last weeks meeting of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, MTA Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy replied, "You are going to think I am a monster for saying this: The Gold Line is funded to Azusa. Period."
I am not sure "monster" is the word I would have used. Something more anatomical comes to mind.
The article goes on to say that the money will instead be used for those portions of Los Angeles County where people are unfortunate enough to have to ride MTA public transportation. Places such as downtown L.A., El Monte, Whittier and (paradoxically) the South Bay. Something likely to horrify the residents of Manhattan and Hermosa Beaches. Good on them, I say.
And then there is this:
Due to the fact that the Gold Line extension to Claremont was left out of the proposal, some COG members want to oppose A.B. 1466. A.B. 1466 calls for a ballot measure for this November that would remove the sunset clause from Measure R. If approved by the voters it would erase a termination date and continue indefinitely. The belief is that it would allow the MTA to borrow against future revenues and move more money into capital projects.
Now here's a loaded question. How excited are you to be able to vote for a ballot measure that will not only financially reward the MTA for stiffing us on some previously made promises, but also allow them to take on a lot more debt? All so they can build their damn trollies elsewhere?
I personally will not be voting in favor of Measure R. I probably wouldn't have anyway, but not with the kind of brio I will vote No now.
Rumor Heard at the 4th of July Parade
Normally I do not traffic in rumors. Unless, of course, they are good ones. The criteria for that being whether or not they will upset or distress the right people. If it looks like they will, then I go for it.
What this choice little number states is that the City of Sierra Madre paid a whole lot more for that Buxton "Consumer Study of Shopping Behavior" than the $30,000 advertised. With the actual figure being something well over $100,000.
Anyone wishing to send any corroborating info our way on this matter is welcome to do so. And yes, we gladly accept anonymous tips. Especially if they include documents.