Friday, October 5, 2012

Tattler Tabloid News

As you might know, I didn't grow up around here. I just kind of stumbled upon this town due to a relocation brought about by a promotion at work. I am originally from the New York City side of New Jersey. My dad owned several weekly newspapers there, and I grew up in a kind of local newsie environment. Area dignitaries came to visit the house, usually around election time, and there was a sense that we were at the center of things.

It was a fine life, much better than I knew at the time. I never had to sleep in the back seat of a car, and the meals were always served at their appropriate times. I'm not sure anyone really has the right to ask much more of their parents. Everything else is a gift.

As far as the dailies went, there were two distinct classes of newspaper readers in the greater New York metropolitan area. There were New York Times readers, and those who preferred the two tabloids, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. As a lad I had pretensions to a loftier view of life, and read The Times. In my opinion this was where you could view the world through the eyes of true sophistication, and that no educated person would ever want to spend a moment of their valuable time with either of the tabloids. So-called newspapers that only focused crime, scandal and the grim consequences of lives poorly led. The kinds of topics that only those incapable of finer thought would want to obsess over every morning.

Unfortunately my grandfather, who as a Doctor actually was a highly educated person, did not share my viewpoint. The only paper that interested him was the Daily News. This perplexed me, and I would ask him once in a while how someone of his accomplishments wouldn't want to read The Times. His answer would usually be the same. The New York Times is how people wish life could be, whereas the New York Daily News is what life is really like.

More than four decades later I have come to realize that he probably was right.

My Tabloid News Story: "Crash Landing"

Early Tuesday morning I was sitting on an Alaska Airlines plane at Burbank Airport. And it was delayed. Something that didn't make me happy because I had meetings set up that day in Seattle. I was hooking up with people from New York there as well, including my boss, and who knows what would happen to them if I wasn't there to get them safely to our first presentation.

At first the Alaska Airlines people told us that the reason our takeoff had been delayed was because they were waiting for a late passenger. Which seemed odd to those of us back in the main cabin. When did an airline ever delay a flight because some guy was late? It must be someone with some real juice in this world, and a few passengers began speculating about who this VIP might be.

About a half of an hour into our wait the story changed. It wasn't a late passenger that was holding things up. The person they were waiting for was the flight Captain. The guy who was supposed to fly the plane, and as such an essential person in that day's enterprise. They had no idea where this guy was either, and he wasn't answering calls to his cell phone. The airline had even sent someone to his hotel room to see if he was OK, but nobody was home. His luggage and effects were all there, but no pilot.

The delayed passengers in the main cabin, and even in 1st Class, were not amused. At least not at first. Soon, however, stories about "Captain Whoopie" began to make the rounds, with even the flight attendants getting in on the jokes. Most thought he was probably sleeping one off somewhere, and was certainly going to hear it from his employers once they finally located him.

Eventually the Alaska folks woke up a pilot who had landed around 10 o'clock the night before, rushed him to the airport, and we finally took off an hour and a half late. But the story didn't end there.

On Wednesday it was with great interest that I read the following story on the Pasadena Star News website (click here):

Body of Alaska Airlines pilot found near 5 freeway in Burbank: The body of an Alaska Airlines pilot has been found on a Southern California freeway off-ramp. The Los Angeles County coroner's office says 55-year-old Clifford Morris of Richland, Wash., was found Tuesday night in Burbank. A cause of death hasn't been determined.

KNBC says the body appeared to have been dumped near the Scott Road off-ramp of Interstate 5 near Bob Hope Airport. Burbank police officers responding to a man-down call just before 6 p.m. found the body. Police say it is being investigated as a suspicious death.

ABC "Eyewitless" News has been repeatedly showing pictures of this guy with his kid. Not a good look, or a very pretty way to go.

Another city gets ready to fire its Police Department

From the San Gabriel Valley Tribune (click here):

Baldwin Park inches closer to disbanding police department, contracting with sheriff: The city inched closer Wednesday to disbanding its police department and contracting with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, after a fiery debate and a narrow vote by the City Council. 

A preliminary study released Wednesday revealed that a contract with the Sheriff's Department could result in an annual savings of more than $4.5 million and a 40 percent increase in sworn officers who would work out of the city's current department facility. 

Mayor Manual Lozano and and councilmembers Monica Garcia and Martin Garcia determined the cost was worth it, backing the 3-23 decision. "For one, it's important because of the fact that we're looking at the economy long term. I'm not willing to place the city of Baldwin Park in a position where it could potentially look like the city of San Bernardino," Lozano said. "That's unacceptable."

Forty-two of 88 Los Angeles County cities currently contract with the Sheriff's Department.

In the end it will be this City's worsening financial condition and crumbling infrastructure that will determine whether or not we keep the Sierra Madre Police Department. And should the renewal of the UUT go down in flames once again in the 2014 election, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department will be just about our only choice left.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

56 comments:

  1. My theory is this pilot had an assignation with a lady of the night, his heart gave out during their meeting, and the lady's agent disposed of his body as best he could. Which was dumping it on an exit ramp just off the 5 freeway.

    Is that a polite enough way of saying it?

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    1. Who's to say it was a "lady", Tattler reader? As best the lady's agent... "he" could?

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    2. Hmm. Maybe you're right.

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  2. "Crash Landing." Very droll.

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  3. The classic debate.
    Plato, show men as they can be;
    Euripides, show them as they are.

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  4. Every once in a while I really slum it and look at a tabloid that I'll find for free somewhere - never without regret. Humanity is sad enough, pitiful enough, without looking for the the worst in people. Hope the guy rests in peace, and that his family gets through it ok.

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  5. Los Angeles is the place where noir detective fiction was invented. It has gangs, rogue cops, rampant crime of all sorts, corrupt politicians, and plodding masses of utterly clueless citizens who turn have turned a blind eye to everything going on around them. It is the perfect place for a tabloid newspaper. We really do need one.

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  6. So, Chief, did you make it to Seattle?

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    1. I left that part out, didn't I. I really need an editor. Yeah, they woke up some pilot who had landed the night before, rushed him to the airport, and we finally took off an hour and a half late.

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    2. Even Homer nods.

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    3. I added a paragraph. Thanks 8:08.

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  7. "Rogue cops,corrupt politicians and prodding masses of utterly clueless citizens who turn a blind eye"etc etc...Sounds like a description of the town I live in.

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    1. How about The Weekly Tattler? Tabloid news for the whirlpool of decadence that lurks just below the surface of The Foothill Village?

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    2. You sound defensive...did it strike a nerve?

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    3. The Weekly Tattler is actually the MVNews. They just don't do a very good job of it.

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    4. I actually used to write for that paper. Back before the court ordered Henderson to change the name from the MV Observer. A masthead the judge ruled was stolen. Big chunks of my column used to get chopped out. Usually the juicy parts. Very annoying. It is so much better having your own rather than putting up with some dolt who thinks they can tell you what you can and cannot say.

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  8. More intersting is Baldwin Park's seeing the light of day about the cost of doing business. Was the PD union's legal beagle's the same as ours?
    What was the straw that broke the camels back besides their budget issues? ...

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    1. Budget issues are the straw breaking the camel's back.

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    2. The single biggest event would have to be the loss of the CRA. The loss of that slush fund is now working it's way through municipal budgeting systems. It could be that small town police departments might end up being the big losers here.

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    3. Jerry Brown. The gift that just keeps on giving!

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  9. When the next attempt at a higher UUT goes down in flames they can always settle for a more financially sober contract...

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    1. When we beat down that tax we take back control of our town.

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    2. Yes. If this city wants more of my money it will need to start telling me the truth.

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  10. Sierra Madre cops need to lighten up, both in avoirdupois and attitude or they are going to be replaced by professionals.

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  11. I don't know anyting about avoirdupois, but those dudes are fat.

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    1. I said avoir to DuPois. But he just keeps coming back.

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  12. In fact, the doughnut boys are the human embodiment of the bloated Sierra Madre police budget. Incredibly, the union believes Sierra Madre should spend more on the police services. That request seems absurd.

    We already spend 53% of the general fund on police services. We could save $1.5 million a year by contracting with the county. At the same time we could eliminate future pension liabilities. The fact the Baldwin Park note points out that I had not previously considered is that by contracting out we could actually put more "sworn officers" on the street for less money.

    This leads me to ask: Why isn't the council asking the county for a real proposal? Chris, John, Harabedian, what would be the harm in asking for an honest proposal?


    PS: The last time the council dipped a toe in the proposal water they killed the RFP under the "we can't replicate the level of service" ruse. Phooey. That was a different council that lacked the sophistication of the three recent electees.

    PS II: Josh, this post is not for you. Go back to sleep. The Bucc won't open for an hour or two.

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    1. What about the Queen of Hearts?, ... Sorry, she can't see a tax increase she wouldn't support, (off with your heads!)...

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    2. Not true 9:29 am, not true. The Buc opens at 6:00 am! Where do you get your information.

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    3. You can tell. The line begins to form a little after 5 am.

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  13. I am a proud member of St. Rita's Parish. I will never speak ill of the Queen of Hearts. Or John Harabedian. Or the Bucc.

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    1. What's your take on Christopher Columbus?

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    2. Several Sierra Madre businesses are running Columbus Day specials including the world famous E. Waldo Ward's jams and jellies. City Hall will be closed as well. Very popular holiday locally among our Italian families!

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    3. I for one celebrate Columbus Day with pies and Indian corn.

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  14. Genetically altered corn?

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    Replies
    1. The miracle of science has made it sweeter, more tender and with a far longer shelf life.

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  15. Another one of those fake 12 inch water mains burst yesterday spewing make believe water down a street that probably doesn't really exist raising the west side of the street a hypothetical 3 inches, but don't worry, little fairies, I'm told, came in over night and fixed it, thank God for fairy tales in the Land of Make Believe.

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    1. Too bad we're spending all of our money on the SMPD and their nuisance lawsuits. Otherwise we'd be able to fix the damn things.

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    2. Here is a possible solution to the problem of breaking watermains. Build the ALF. This way we will run out of water in less than a year and we won;t need those pipes anymore. Then we can give the police department a 50% raise.

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    3. I don't worry. Because we have plenty of money.

      There are 1.5 million real live believe amercian dollars being pissed away on SMPD each year. That's 15 million make believe dollars pissed away on SMPD each ten years. In the Land of Make Believe this exercise in fiscal urnination has no impact on our ability to pay for other things we would like to have. Like pipes. Like streets. Like parks.

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    4. John, You missed this little tidbit from the SGVT article:

      "Ultimately, the council majority pushed forward with the second phase of the study, which will be conducted by the Sheriff's Department. Among other things, it will look at the qualifications of Baldwin Park's police employees and determine whether they would be able to transfer to the Sheriff's department."

      This "qualifications" study explains the panic in SMPD's ranks. Can you imagine the disdain with which real police department's must view our boys in blue.

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    5. That's interesting! Kind of like trying out for the footbqll team. Be a whole lot of huffing and puffing, that's for sure.

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    6. The ones who don't make the cut will sue.

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    1. You seem sad. You should go to the Buc and ask for some hugs.

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    2. Maybe the Mayor will buy you a beer.

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  17. I think your right Moderator. I am sad. I think Ill go drown my sorrows at the Buc. Maybe drive home drunk and run over someone in town. Better yet, Ill stand in front of cars hoping to get run over. Then I dont have to face this world. Nobody likes me. Even the Tattler readers call me names.

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    1. Just remember whoever you are. You are responsible for your own actions. Don't go blaming others for your downfall, especially if you hurt innocent people.

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    2. I hope you weren't one of the unlucky investors in the Downtown Specific Plan, 5:17.
      It's tough to lose a gamble like that, but a gamble it was.
      You'll do better next time around.
      We still like you here.
      See you on board tomorrow?
      Hugs,
      Tattler Poster.

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  18. The new City Council meeting agenda is up on the city site and lo and behold! The SMPOA is threatening us with another lawsuit! Does it come with a coupon to Mother Moo?

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  19. Those .....those.....damn! Tattler's got a language code, so I can't say it. How about they are such stupid parasites that they will kill the host?

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    1. Maybe they want to get a contract done quick because they know that the financial wrecking ball is only a year or two away.

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