Vast international child-porn network uncovered (click here) - The men came from different walks of life on two continents: a children's puppeteer in Florida, a hotel manager in Massachusetts, an emergency medical technician in Kansas, a day care worker in the Netherlands. In all, 43 men have been arrested over the past two years in a horrific, far-flung child porn network that unraveled like a sweater with a single loose thread.
In this case, the thread was a stuffed toy bunny.
The bunny, seen in a photo of a half-naked, distraught 18-month-old boy, was used to painstakingly trace a molester to Amsterdam. From there, investigators made one arrest after another of men accused of sexually abusing children, exchanging explicit photos of the attacks and even chatting online about abducting, cooking and eating, youngsters.
(Mod: When the Matheson Affair went down here we heard from various authority figures in town that this was by its nature the case of a single perpetrator, alone with his deepest, darkest secret. Something we were assured would have been known by nobody else but Bob. Yet each time one of these horrific stories hits the newswires it invariably involves a few quite talkative men with an international network. So what is the truth here?)
CA cities going bankrupt: First San Bernardino now Duarte (click here) - The City of Duarte is following San Bernardino as another city suffering from severe fiscal problems.
According to the City Council of Duarte, the city is going broke. It will consider declaring a fiscal emergency this Tuesday and placing a measure on the November 6 ballot to increase sales taxes by to a half-percent for the next six years.
"We know times are difficult - then we'll need to make deeper cuts," Mayor John Fasana says. "From my standpoint, the level of cuts is getting into the bone. We're getting past the meat and into the bone with some of the services we provide."
(Mod: Unfortunately for Mayor Fasana the state of emergency that needed to be declared to move a tax increase through the Duarte City Council and onto the ballot did not get the unanimous vote required, with one bold Councilmember saying no. BTW: how many of you recognize the name John Fasana? Close Tattler readers will know that he is the author of the SGVCOG's "Fasana Amendment," a devious trick that has pushed the Measure R sales tax ballot question along a bit. Something that technically would free up some cash for the Gold Line, but could easily do the same for the 710 Dracula Tunnel. See our next story.)
Ron Kaye: An issue that won't go away (click here) - In an email blast to Pasadena city officials last week, longtime San Rafael neighborhood resident Joan Terry sounded the alarm under the subject line "710 Extension Proposals."
"What part of 'NO' do you people not understand!? And how many times must the residents of this neighborhood have to step up and protect what is a first-class, highly desirable, residential neighborhood - the likes of which are rapidly giving way to overdevelopment and bad planning?"
Within minutes, Pasadena Councilman Steve Madison responded, calling the newly proposed routes by L.A. County and state transportation officials "appalling" and assuring residents it will be discussed by City Council next week.
Once again, as it has so often over the last half century, the push to close the '710 gap' is gaining momentum, igniting fear and anger among residents all along the possible routes through the Arroyo Seco, from El Sereno to South Pasadena, all the way to the Ventura (134) and Glendale (2) freeways in the north.
"I understand freeways through communities have impacts, but there are a lot of benefits," said Duarte Councilman John Fasana, the San Gabriel Valley member on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
"I'm also in favor of transit, but I don't think it's going to replace the need of people and goods to move in cars and trucks. For this region as a whole, the 710 gap extension is a good thing. Most of the San Gabriel Valley supports it, especially the below-ground proposal."
(Mod: Not sure I agree that most of the San Gabriel Valley supports turning the 210 into an extension of the 710 Corridor, one of the most polluted stretches of freeway in Los Angeles County. If not the entire planet. Seriously, is anyone surprised that Fasana, the Mayor of a fiscal disaster of a city that is on the verge of bankruptcy, would be in favor of the 710 Tunnel? That is the thing about bad government, the people responsible seem to be on every damn commission and committee there is.)
California finds $119 million more in untapped funds (click here) - Gov. Jerry Brown's administration on Friday announced that $119 million more in untapped money was found in a sweeping audit of state accounts, bringing to more than $286.5 million the sum lawmakers were unaware of as they repeatedly cut government services.
The new discovery includes about $30 million for healthcare programs, almost $29 million for reimbursing crime victims and $12.5 million for cleaning up underground petroleum tanks. It follows revelations that nearly $113 million was languishing in a recycling program funded with consumers' bottle deposits and $54 million that had gone unreported by state parks officials.
(Mod: How all of this is going to help convince people to vote themselves a state tax increase this fall is beyond me. If Sacramento cannot keep track of the money they're getting now, how will they handle the additional burden of even more cash?)
Today is Mars Rover Curiosity Day! - If you're looking forward to all the news from the planet Mars and the landing of the Mars Rover known as Curiosity later today like I am, you can do no better than to check out all the action on a wonderful website called Space.com (click here). They even know how you can check out the landing live, something that happens at 10:31 PDT tonight. Don't miss out!