Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Tattler's Somewhat Irregular Sunday News

(Mod: These weekly compendiums of the latest news stories of importance to the people of Sierra Madre happen on Sundays. The exception to the rule being when we don't do them, which is often. If you were to bet the backyard shed on these happening every Sunday you would be at serious risk of losing your backyard shed. And then where would you put your rakes, lawn mower and exhaustive collection of paperback detective novels? You should always be careful, it is a tough world out there. Don't take unnecessary chances. There are dangerous and disreputable elements almost everywhere. And if you doubt that, then here is some news that proves it.)

Plastic Bag Bans Lead to E-coli Deaths (click here): One green pet cause du jour is the banning of disposable plastic bags at supermarkets and other grocery stores. These measures, which are designed to encourage shoppers to use their own reusable tote bags, have been spreading widely in recent years, and have already gone into effect in cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.

This may make the world marginally safer for plants and animals, but a new study by the Property and Environment Research Center shows there may be a significant downside for human health. Researchers examined these reusable totes and found significant amounts of bacteria, including, among others, E-coli. And there seems to be a correlation between plastic bag bans and increased illness, as bacteria-related deaths spiked immediately after San Francisco's bag measure began. The International Association for Food Protection reports:

"Reusable bags were collected at random from consumers as they entered grocery stores in California and Arizona. In interviews, it was found that reusable bags are seldom if ever washed and often used for multiple purposes. Large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all bags and coliform bacteria in half. Escherichia coli were identified in 8% of the bags, as well as a wide range of enteric bacteria, including several opportunistic pathogens. When meat juices were added to bags and stored in the trunks of cars for two hours, the number of bacteria increased 10-fold, indicating the potential for bacterial growth in the bags."

Chris Holden's kind of questionable campaign contribution (click here): Yesterday we discussed the possibility of so-called affordable housing being build on property owned by the Pasadena Unified School District. With one of the key drivers behind this odd effort being none other than Pasadena City Councilman Chris Holden, who is currently running for our new State Assembly seat. The kicker is Chris apparently brokered a meeting at Pasadena City Hall with a couple of PUSD types, some City senior officials, and a developer known as Urban Housing Communities (UHC). Which certainly could leave one with the impression of an expensive back room deal in process.

The partners at UHC are the Bigley Brothers, of which there are three. Which I suppose makes them the Pep Boys of stack and pack development. And if you click on the Project Vote Smart link provided just after the ocher colored letters above you will notice that among those donating to Holden's campaign is one Douglas R. Bigley, and for a cool $2,400. I'm certain that is just a coincidence ...

Sierra Madre anticipates discussions of proposed Green Commission (click here):
... a large part of the council's discussion was, and will continue to be, centered on the controversial land use issues contained in the Sierra Madre Environmental Accords, which were adapted from the United Nations Urban Environmental Accords. The concern is that these Accords may allow outside influences to decide development and density issues in this small foothill town.

Of particular concern to some members of the community is Action Item 21 of the Accords regarding urban design. Some believe this action item calls for development that is out of character with the foothill village: "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 restoration."

According to former Sierra Madre Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives wrote what became Chapter 28, Local Agenda 21, "which is an attempt by NGO's (non-governmental agencies) to influence local land-use laws to shift the population away from low-density residential areas into high-density urban areas, and to put limits on production and consumption of items and services of all kinds including food, transportation, public utilities, natural resources and open space utilization for recreation."

(Mod: I don't know if you have ever spent any time with the Civic Brief news site that I've cited here, but it can be quite informative at times. It's publisher is one Jim E. Winburn, a freelance newsie who writes for the Sierra Madre Weekly and other Beacon Media publications. Seems to be a pretty good guy. Shows up at City Council meetings, so be sure to say hello.)

The Mountain Views News has a highly questionable Wikipedia entry (click here): "The Mountain Views News is a legally adjudicated newspaper of general circulation that serves the cities of Sierra Madre, Pasadena, Altadena, Arcadia, Monrovia and Duarte, California. Their offices are located in Sierra Madre (Headquarters), Pasadena and Monrovia.

The paper was established in 1997, under the name Sierra Madre Mountain Views by Beth Buck (now Beth Greenfield) and was first sold, in 2004, to Steve Tobia, owner and publisher of THE Magazine. Tobia sold the newspaper to Grace Lorraine Publications, Inc. in 2007. First published as the Mountain Views Observer, the name was changed to Mountain Views News in March, 2008. Susan Henderson is the President of Grace Lorraine Publications, Inc., and Publisher/Editor of the Mountain Views News."

(Mod: Talk about fiction. No mention of Katina Dunn or the lawsuit Susan utterly and completely lost in California State Superior Court for "misappropriating" the paper from her former partner. Nor is their any mention whatsoever of the $10s of thousands of dollars in penalties levied on Henderson by the Court for her extra-legal shenanigans. It would also be interesting to note on this Wikipedia page that Henderson is a disgraced former high ranking Democratic Party official cast off for egregious fibbing on her resume while also using that organization's credit card for things such as golfing junkets and Victoria's Secret purchases. Maybe I should get in there and edit this absurdly inaccurate entry a little bit.)

San Gabriel cops drop recall and lawsuits (click here): After months of legal turmoil, the Police Officers' Association announced it will drop its planned recall of a City Councilwoman and will no longer pursue several lawsuits targeting the city.

Clients of the controversial Lackey, Dammeier and McGill, the POA posted a "message to the community" on its website saying that it will not challenge a city council decision refusing to place two POA sponsored initiatives on the March 2013 ballot.

The web post also said the POA will not pursue a recall of City Councilwoman Juli Costanzo.

Though a city attorney said he doesn't think it is a "coincidence" that the POA's decision comes amid accusations by Costa Mesa officials that Lackie, Dammeier and McGill attempted to frame a city councilman for a DUI, a POA spokesman said the two are not related.

(Mod: You see that? The POA can be beat. All it takes is a little community resolve.)

Enjoy your day of rest.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

75 comments:

  1. beware bag of deathSeptember 9, 2012 at 5:49 AM

    Thx for the notice on the bag ban. Please note that reusable "green" bags must be used 200 times before their carbon footprint equals that of non-green plastic bags. By then they are a cesspool of bacteria waiting to kill the family. So, to be truly green and to protect "the children," we shop in Arcadia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People could actually wash the bags.

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    2. Wouldn't that require water?

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    3. I always turn to private property rights advocates in Montana (http://www.perc.org) for the latest on how to keep the environment healthy. That philosophy that the earth's resource are infinite and I can use them however I like sure sound good to me!

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    4. A couple of bags in with the family's weekly or in some households, daily, wash would not impact the water supply.

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    5. I have found a way to deal with the bag problem, I do my shopping in Monrovia now...

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  2. I plan on asking smpd members at all encounters why they continue to employ a law firm that employed a creep investigator. And to ask how they think that impacts their credibility and our desire to keep them at excess expense. Should be interesting.

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    Replies
    1. Ya'..you go ahead and do that Einstein...oops I mean Socrates.

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  3. This Green Commission is just more weasel work from the DIC. That the City Council is going to discuss this tripe over the course of three meetings is disgusting.

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    Replies
    1. SB375, AB32, Prop 31, and a green commission based on Agenda 21 all remove our most important right: the right of private property. When all of these restrictions are placed upon us by those "who are smarter and know better than the rest of us what is good for us" we will be nothing more than slaves used for our resources (our money), to serve our masters. And yes, they call this utopia.

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  4. I'll gladly weigh in on the reuseable grocery bag discussion: used a reusable shopping basket in South East Asia as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years, still alive to use the reusable bags that I first brought back from Canada long before they were available here and am still using them 7 years later, still alive to remember using string bag and seeing them used in Europe and elsewhere on a 10 month trip home from Malaysia, still alive... What a pile of e coli fear mongering. I would suspect the bags with the e coli come from homes whose counter tops and dishwashing sponges/clothes would test e coli high as well.

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    Replies
    1. Have at it, 7:56. Just don't tell me I can't have a clean bag that I'll then use for my garbage can. Instead, make me buy a box of new, heavier plastic bages to do the same job. Bleh.

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    2. We can fight among ourselves, but the solution lies in the science lab. Just a little more research and there can be a form of plastic bag that degrades back into the dirt or water, when trillions of them are thrown into the landfills and the oceans. The science lab has got to solve that.
      And the manufacturers of the current plastic bags that are so damn destructive to everything around us will have to re-tool.

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    3. Great idea 9:48 but plastic bags already decompose in the landfills. Try your own science experiment leave a bag in the sun for a month and see it already starting to fall apart! If your one of those who believe that. A whirl pool of plastic bags the size of texas is in the pacific then no "science" will ever help you

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    4. 10:09, it's always interesting to get the point of view from the Flat Earth folks.

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    5. God almighty leave the ridiculous 'flat earth' BS out of this conversation~! I for one think it's ridiculous that we have to buy the stinkin paper bags! I use my plastic bags for trash bags so I don't HAVE to buy plastic bags for my trash. Isn't this in itself a form of recycling?!?! When I was growing up the paper bags were persona non grata because all the forests of earth were being destroyed and plastic was the solution. Always cracks me up how there is always a cycle to hype. Let me choose what I want to use and don't force me to shop in Arcadia and Monrovia. This country used to be about freedom and choice..what the hell happened! Use what you want to but don't tell me what to use.

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    6. Give me my plastic bags or give me death - now that's American patriotism.

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  5. Since they got rid of plastic bags at Albertsons I don't use any bags. I just put my stuff in the cart and then on the back seat of my car.

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    Replies
    1. don't eat off your car seat

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  6. Mod.
    You should edit the Wikipedia entry.
    This is what we are suppose to do, accuracy is critical to this source being credible.
    Please do this, John Crawford.

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  7. What did we do before the advent of plastic fruit and vegetable bags in the 1960's? Little brown paper bags that you then sent off to school with lunches in for the kiddies. I guess we would have to research the public health archives and see how many school kids died of e coli poisoning from the reused paper lunch bags. Oh, yes, butchers wrapped your meat in waxed lined butcher paper and tied it up with a string. The environment is clogged with plastic that is supposed to save us from e coli and styrofoam trays for meat that can't be recycled, both petroleum based products that the world cannot keep up with.
    Was it the Dalai Lama that said the world can keep up with need but it can't keep up with greed. Greed is pushing the use of these products, what makes it better at the bottom line for the food industry is not what makes it better for your health or that of the planet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was the Dalai Lama elected by us? You know, representative govt. and all.

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    2. 9:32, he'd be a damn sight better than anyone we have elected.

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    3. Ok 10:11' let's hold hands and sing Kumbaya

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    4. I think you mean let's all sing Gyallu

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    5. There were plenty of them out today, that's for sure.

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    6. 98 degrees will do that to people.

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  8. I am working on a technique that permits the consumer to levitate their groceries from the supermarket to the kitchen. I'll report back once I get some useful results.

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  9. Fasting till the killing is over.

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  10. Was Ghandi not the Dalai Lama I am correcting myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Speaking of men of great wisdom, has anyone heard from the Dalai Lambdin lately?

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    2. Sure you don't mean FDR? Or Teddy Kennedy?

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  11. No mention of the City Steeling the Hildreths property. If the City is wrong with their Lawsuit against the Hildreths, How much will we lose as taxpayers?
    I guess it is not that important if the government illegally takes a persons property, just as long as it is not mine or yours. When as a town are we all going to stand up to the injustice, and help the Hildreths?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The City's going to put Steel on Hildreth's property? Who knew?

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    2. Until we can "unelect" the 3 pro development uber all trio, we will have to endure the phoney, and autocratic rulers we have...

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    3. What's the status of the Hildreth's fight with the city?
      Any court decisions?

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    4. If anybody knows, they aren't saying. Though I do suspect the new ordinance that allows city hall to collect on costs associated with code enforcements such as legal expenses has it's origins in the Hildreth situation.

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  12. The Henderson Views Lies can be rated. Go to the link, and you'll see at the bottom of the page, 4 categories to rate. Don't have to edit (tho I too wish Crawford would work on it) but you can let Wikipedia know that the article is not trustworthy, objective or complete.

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  13. The City is trying to STEAL the Hildreths property no matter how a poster spells it. It is still the Government illegally taking of a persons property. If the City can take the Hildreth's home then the City can also take yours or mine. It does not matter how one spells it, the end result is still the same. Just as a Troll is still a Troll. Always trying to distort the message to their benefit. This is not just about the Hildreths, it is about every citizen in Sierra Madre.

    The question should be asked: Why is the City spending hundred's of thousands of dollars trying to take the Hildreths property if not for a much larger scheme that the City is not telling us. What is the City really trying to build on East Montecito? It is call return on investment! The City has already spent over a half million dollars or more against the Hildreth. WHY???

    That's the story I want to know about Tattler.

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    Replies
    1. I don't think anyone is happy about what is happening to the Hildreths. But they played chicken with City Hall and from all appearances lost. The City has money and lawyers on their side, in addition to the law. It isn't a fight any wise person would have taken on.

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    2. I'm interested 10:10, and have followed the Hildreth's challenges; but without facts from the legal proceedings, I'm at a loss to know what's going on. And Eminent Domain is not legal in Sierra Madre.

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    3. The Hildreths took on a battle they couldln't win. It wasn't a matter of seizing the property as it was them not conforming to building codes. The property could still be theirs if they fill in the hole and take down the illegal deck over the sidewalk. If I were a neighbor, I'd be fighting mad at having that property next door to me.

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  14. Re: Honowitz and Holden.......Thanks for the connections Mary Dee. Great info. I'm reposting.......

    Anyone interested in learning the long-term agenda planned for the PUSD by the "team" of Ed Honowtiz and Ellen Pais (aka, Mrs. Honowitz) might want to travel up to San Francisco for the weekend of November 29-December 1, specifically to San Francisco's Moscone West, 800 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94013.

    During this time of budgetary constraints for school districts across the state, Mr. and Mrs. Honowitz are flying to the California School Boards Association (CSBA) "Education Conference and TRADE SHOW" to present workshops.

    http://aec.csba.org/

    The workshop where Mr. Honowitz and Ms. Pais are conspicuously absent, "Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls and Conflicts of Interest," would be of immense help in correcting this couple's corruptive self-dealing in gaming the K-12 system/PUSD, as seen in their mutually supportive participation in the below workshops.

    ED'S (busy) SCHEDULE:

    Friday, November 30
    8:30 am
    "Rethinking Secondary Education"

    9:45 am
    "Braided Resources: Creative Strategies for Financing Full Service Community Schools in Tough Fiscal Times" (according to the
    workshop summary - "using other people's money")

    10:00 am
    "Serving Students, Pleasing the Public"

    4:00 pm
    "Authentic Public Involvement"

    Saturday, December 1
    8:30 am
    "Serving Students, Pleasing the Public" (second round)

    ELLEN'S SCHEDULE:

    Friday, November 30
    8:30 am
    "Making Your School a Community School"

    Saturday, December 1
    8:30 am
    "Full Service Community Schools: Tools and Strategies for Your District"

    NOTE: Ellen Pais is the PAID CEO of the Los Angeles Education Partnership (LAEP) specializing in the promotion of "Full Service Community Schools" - tied in nicely with Ed's job of accessing "other people's money" to make it happen . . .

    At Tuesday's (9/4/12) facilities committee meeting Ed managed to push the concept of "Full Service Community Schools" up to the Board of Education agenda by filibustering the entire room, stridently reading ad nauseam from a paper-copy power point, apparently supplied by his wife.

    COMMENT:

    Ed Honowtiz was elected to the PUSD Board of Education in April of 2001.

    Ed Honowitz is the one, single constant presence to continuously preside over this past decade's loss of enrollment by the PUSD.

    data1.cde.ca.gov/dataquest

    TOTAL ENROLLMENT, PUSD
    2001-02
    23,447

    2011-12
    19,802

    Maybe local families are tired of exposing their children to all the gaming associated with the leftie-elitist drivel posed by Mr. and Mrs. Honowitz?

    The bottom line now is crystal clear: as a PUSD Board "Trustee," Ed's the guy with access to "other people's money" and Ellen's the gal doing the "creative braiding."

    The "trust" is broken. It's time for Mr. and Mrs. Honowitz to go.

    Mary Dee Romney

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honowitz, Holden, Dreier, Buchanan, Doyle, Conway, Ikhrata, and many more. The establishment. Take away the taxpayer's money and pleasure your important clients in the real estate and development business. We're run like a 3rd world dictatorship. The only thing missing for these guys is a uniform with medals and a fancy hat.

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    2. But how can the establishment bullies be stopped?

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    3. Why pick on Dreier, He did good things for Sierra Madre.

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    4. Dreier got Sierra Madre $1M to fix Chantry Flats Rd. goodness knows we didn't have the $$ to fix the road after the post fire washout. It'd probably still be closed without Dreier's help.

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    5. Peter Dreier, not David.

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    6. Know your PUSD, please. You need to read the articles to comment.

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  15. 10:17 Pasadena Court web site. All the Hildreth's and City's Legal paper are available to the public. What I have seen it does not look good for the City or the Hildreths. It appears the the City is trying to take away the Hildreths property by receivership. If that fails, than the City will be on the hook. The City does have an unlimited amount to spend on legal fees. It looks like the only way the City will win is to keep up the fight against the Hildreths until the Hildreths run out of money and are broke. There are more than one way to win a court battle. Make the other side go broke! It does not matter if the City is wrong, or the Lawsuit unjust. The City just needs to spend more and keep the Lawsuit going until the Hildreth's go bankrupt. If the City has already spent millions, what are the chances that anyone could stand up to the fight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is why you don't want to fight city hall in this way. If you challenge their laws they will fight you to the bitter end. In their eyes the Hildreths are challenging their legitimacy as a governing body. If they cannot make their ordinances stick, then city hall is just an empty box, and good luck collecting taxes and permit fees then.

      The big losers here are the taxpayers, of course. But who gives a ray's arse about them?

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    2. Excuse me, rat's arse. My iPad thinks it is smarter than me.

      Delete
  16. Anyone that stands up against the City, the City ties to run them out of town. It is the only way to keep control of the masses. That is unless your friends with the Troll, his minions or the Selective few, think Matheson. The Hildreths are just not part of that circle. The Hildreth are like the Dunns, just not welcome by the back door controllers.

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    Replies
    1. It's a real stretch to compare the Hildreths to the Dunns.
      The Dunns never sued the city, when they added on and improved their property, they did followed proper permits. I understand the Hildreths did not do this.
      The Dunns were activists in town for sure, but they were working for everyone who believed in not over developing Sierra Madre.
      The Hildreths were never involved to my knowledge in supporting Measure V or helping the Dunns crusade against the No on V. people.

      The Dunns left Sierra Madre to be in a better suited area to Mr. Dunn's work. He is a very successful famous actor, and he was spending too much time on the freeways going back and forth to studios and movie sets. That is what I understand.
      As far as the Dunn's lawsuit against Henderson, that was a personal issue. Henderson betrayed her friend Katina Dunn. She cheated the Dunns out of money and to my knowledge has never paid it back, even though she LOST her court case, hands down. The judge called her a LIAR and awarded Katina Dunn a settlement in this case.
      Henderson is a grifter and a liar. It's amazing people believe her.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. Don't know too much about the Hildreth situation, but I do have a personal story re: City Hall and permits. I know we were issued a permit during some building, and then they said it wasn't valid, that they made a "mistake". Well, this mistake cost us a significant amount of money.......but if we didn't go along, we would not have passed inspection- even with the permit.

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    4. Only thing they care about is money. They're scared for their jobs. The can see the numbers and they know where things are going. Most of them don;t even live here, so why should they care about anything else?

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  17. LA Times, California section. This is what could happen to us if the City loses to the Hildreth. Maybe it will not be the Hildreth's going bankrupt, but Sierra Madre. Do Not count the Hildreths out! I know them, talk to them and know that change is in the wind.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Here's a link to the LA Superior Court website: http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/civilcasesummary/index.asp

    Just type in the case number and you'll get a free snapshot of the case. Order documents for a fee if you wish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is the case number?

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    2. Per city counsel doc it's GC046442.

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  19. From the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) website: PERC "is the nation’s oldest and largest institute dedicated to improving environmental quality through property rights and markets. Founded 30 years ago in Bozeman, Montana, it began as a think tank where scholars documented how government regulation and bureaucracy have led to environmental degradation."

    Hmm, wasn't it the various chemical companies and other "property" owners who skillfully used the "market" and lax regulations to socialize the pollution-related costs of doing business, creating environmental problems in the first place?

    No wonder then that PERC is funded by Koch Industries, Exxon, Bradley Foundation (John Birch Society), Olin Foundation, and at least one Scaife, etc.

    There may indeed be risks associated with reusable bags, but I think i'll wait for the CDC report.

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  20. None of the mess that the Hildreth's built on their east Montecito property would have ever received a building permit if they had gone forward from the beginning the way any legitimate builder/contractor would. He knew that and pull the stunts that he did and said all along he was a licensed and trained contractor. Can not be true. It may be that the city muffed the sequence of things but Hildreth has never gone past all his bluffing and shown the Papers he says he has.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you know?

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    2. After the water rate fiasco, anyone who trusts the government of this city is a fool.

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  21. Watched it being built and it does not meet many building requirements for a commercial building for human occupancy or set backs for the zoning.

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  22. It is apparent that you have not read the court papers. It was required for the Hildreths to turn into the city their paper work. The City is also been found to destroy documents. You can also go to the State Contractor Board to see that Mr. Hildreth is and has been a Contractor for over thirty plus years. The City has not followed the Law and we as tax payers will have to pay if the lawsuit goes against the city. Sounds like more Troll misinformation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In speaking before Council, Mr. Hildreth told a tale of turning in his papers, claiming the City lost them (time after time), and that he failed to keep any copies of the papers in question himself. He may be a contractor of 30 plus years, but not keeping copies of documents turned in the course of obtaining a permit is pretty damn dumb.

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    2. I have seen the paper work. It is very unfortunate for the City that Mr. Hildreth has retained all of his documents. I have also witnessed him speak, seen Nueroblast footage, and have had the chance to speak to him about his permits, including seeing his copies. I would say he is pretty damn smart for never trowing anything away, especially considering the amount of time, it has been over 14 years. Lies just keep getting bigger and bigger. If the City fails in their lawsuit than what lies will you spread?

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    3. 5:02, Good! So there will be no question that he paid the appropriate fees, got the appropriate approvals, kept accurate records - so show the judge! Case over!

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    4. Yes, please. End this.

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    5. Building permits have time limitations, how many of those permits expired during the course of construction and did he reapply for them?

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  23. Interesting contrast in opinion about plastic/paper disposable bags. Do the energy calculations

    Plastic is better
    http://www.angelfire.com/wi/PaperVsPlastic/

    Plastic is (marginally) better but don't use disposables at all
    http://www.treehugger.com/culture/paper-bags-or-plastic-bags-everything-you-need-to-know.html

    ReplyDelete