Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why National Politics Doesn't Always Translate to Sierra Madre Issues

As you already know next Tuesday we will witness what is going to be the beginning of a multi City Council meeting attempt to sell the idea of a "Green Commission" to the people of Sierra Madre. What on the surface appears to be a group of folks in favor of such wonderful things as flowers and trees becomes, upon further examination, an attempt to cozen in the kinds of DSP development that were rejected in the voters in 2007. The people who are pushing Commission status for this bunch are all of the usual pro-development suspects, and apparently believe that if they can greenwash that old tired nonsense enough they'll somehow be able to sneak it through this time. It is a strategy designed to bring back what was  a divisive and difficult time for this City, and in some ways has never gone away.

OK, you've heard all of that from me before. So here's my actual point for today. Whether or not you agree with what I've said above, this is a Sierra Madre issue. We can discuss and decide whether or not the kinds of high-density downtown Transit Village development called for in the Green Committee Accords is right for us. It is a discussion that involves the future of our City, and as such it shouldn't be about anything else.

Unfortunately, that is not how the conversation always seems to go. Because marginally related national, and even international, political issues have been injected into this debate. Most of them completely irrelevant to the discussion about the future of Sierra Madre that we should be having. A truly important topic is in danger of getting buried beneath a lot of stuff that is totally besides the point.

Let me give you two examples from yesterday's comments. Here is the first: 

The radical environmental movement was borne by socialists who, rather than admit the dismal failure of their ideology, rationalized that the only reason capitalism didn't fail is because evil capitalists exploit the environment ... If you notice, the only sources Marxists support are those which can't be used on a large scale, wind and solar.

This got roundly lambasted in the comments that followed, but I didn't think it was without value. Let's face it, take away the Federal and State subsidies for renewable energy programs such as solar and wind power and they would likely disappear in a few short years. The real growth sector in the energy necessary for environmentally friendly electricity production is natural gas. Which has, ironically, also proven to be by far the most effective greenhouse emissions fighter to date (click here). It is a plentiful source of energy, brought to us by those Exxon/Mobil style corporations so widely reviled in certain quarters.

Here is a comment from the other side of the political spectrum:

That article is a pure disinformation campaign funded by the big oil companies and disseminated by those who want to discount the climate change we're experiencing. Even the superficial argument they present about temperature change is based on simplistic and erroneous interpretation. The true measure of climate change is the increasing levels of carbon in the atmosphere which triggers violent weather, increasing temperatures and increases in ocean acidification.

I see a lot of merit to this argument as well. The ice caps are melting, sea levels are slowly inching up, and it sure feels like it is getting hotter. We certainly have been repeatedly setting a lot of new high temperature records over the last 10 years. And with more nations catching up to the petroleum consumption levels of the western world, things won't be getting any cooler anytime soon. And try to talk them into giving up their cars. They just got them.

But here is the truly ironic thing. Both of these folks, the people who wrote the two posts I cited above, agree on something that is, in my opinion, very important. Neither of them wants to see the kinds of high density transit village development called for in the Green Committee Accords. They're both preservationists who treasure the kind of life we have here in Sierra Madre, and don't want to see it destroyed.

Yet because they have pronounced (to say the least) differences of opinion on some much discussed national issues, they are at each other's throats. Which is unfortunate. Because let's face it, there is not a lot you're going to do in your life that is going save the world. Even if you did know how to do it. But you certainly have the power to stop those who want to ruin this town.

Let me put it another way. If you think that the people behind the move to saddle us with this heavily pro-development so-called "Green Commission" wouldn't love to see the two preservationist camps in this town at each other's throats over issues that have little relevance to the topic at hand, then you are sadly mistaken.

To me the issue here is whether or not we are going to sit idly by while the same bunch of rather bitter downtown investors attempt to greenwash the old Downtown Specific Plan and finally sneak it through. All while getting you to pay for it.

And it is all about money. Never forget that.

Do not allow yourself to become distracted from what really matters here in Sierra Madre. This is not to say that those other things aren't important, because obviously they are. And if you guys want to go around to the back of the bar and settle your differences that way, I'll keep an eye out for the cops for you.

But trust me, none of that has anything to do with this latest attempt to turn our delightfully funky downtown neighborhoods into Rancho Cucamonga West.

Keep your eyes on our real prize. That other stuff will still be there long after this is all over.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

67 comments:

  1. There's a hidden argument here. What exactly defines Sierra Madre's quality of life'? Do it mean having the lifestyle to own a car? A little bit of land? Smaller population density? An ethnically homogenous neighborhood? Fewer low-income residents? What exactly is it the both sides are supposedly agreeing on preserving?

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    1. Keep SCAG/SB375 style development out. Plain and simple. Let this town grow organically, don't try and force the edicts of Sacramento central planners upon Sierra Madre. The rest of what you suggest here has very little to do with it.

      BTW - I find the veiled reference to racism particularly repugnant.

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    2. It's not a veiled reference- it's an outright question. Not an accusation, a question.

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    3. Yeah, but it is still a lie.

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    4. 7:28, how about the population density being kept in reasonable proportion with the amount of land, therefore no stoplights being required? That's a pretty good measure.
      And where do you live here anyway, that you don't know how many lower income residents there are?

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    5. The two big lies that get told about Sierra Madre. Everyone is rich and it is an exclusive community that works to keep people out.

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    6. Weird question to ask, 7:28.
      Can't figure out yourself what is worth saving in Sierra Madre?
      Do you even live here?

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    7. Must be a consultant.

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    8. Let's pretend 7:28 is sincere.
      The chief issue to this low-income preservationist is density.
      There's a nice combination here of the natural environment and people.

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    9. Here is my question. How much of the housing that is low income when it is being planned ends up going for sale at market prices? Maybe 90%?

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    10. No, no, no 8:27. 100%, after a year. If you twist the developers' arms.

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    11. 7:28, have you considered moving to Santa Monica?

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    12. Why is it white folk obsess over "ethnicity?" Guilt? Soft racism? I dunno. Personally, I care more about my neighbors' behavior, character and values.

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    13. Political correctness mostly. They think everyone wants to be like them.

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  2. It is always about the money. The City would Not be spending over a half million or more on attorneys fees fighting the Hildreths if not for the importance of a Transportation Corridor in Sierra Madre. Say what you will about the Hildreths but their fight is our fight.

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  3. Ive said it before and I'll say it again. We don't have a Police Commission and we don't have a Fire Commission or even a Safety Commission, now why is that? Two very important organizations designed for our protection and no Commission for them. These people carry guns and needles and no commission to guarantee they are following the laws that are specific to the needs of Sierra Madre. I have been told that it cost too much money to have commissions but all of a sudden the city finds a way to build up the town and now they have the money for a Green Commission! This is a good example of the priorities of some council members showing their true allegiance to development. If we can't have a SAFETY COMMISSION why would we spend the money for a GREEN COMMISSION? It must be true to follow the money because it sure isn't for us citizens benefits.

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    1. Agreed, 7:39, and if we are going to have a commission that targets environmental issues, let's make it a Water Commission. Their first act, if they are together at all, would be to recommend a water hook up moratorium.

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    2. Bravo, 8:00am!

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    3. I second that emotion!

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    4. 7:28 must be on to something because instead of answering his question most of you just trolled insults. To me quality of life here is closeness to nature, the relative quiet compared to the city, and my own yard.

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    5. A lot of people would be upset by the insinuation that Sierra Madre is racist. Mostly because it showed a complete ignorance of what this town is about. Have fun in your yard.

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  4. By including the national climate change debate in with our discussion of transit village development you inadvertently validate some of the arguments of the Green Buchanan Committee.

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    1. What? The article is about not including the national fight.

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    2. Yes. You're right. What is discussed on a national basis more often than not doesn't translate locally. Mostly because you're talking about arguments that have much more to do with political propaganda than reality.

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  5. One of my favorite things about being on the slow growth side here in Sierra Madre is that we come together from all different political perspectives. Every viewpoint you can imagine is represented, and every income level too. It's one of our strengths.

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  6. I know more about my friends' and neighbors' Tattler habits than their economic status. Pretty sure of their political proclivities but we come together on issues just as 8:35 am mentioned. For the last 40 years no one has excluded me from a meeting or a party because of my economic status. And I always get called when we're planning a recall action. Let's hear it for Democracy - with a capital D.

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  7. You have my sympathyOctober 16, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    I concur with The Tattler's take on this. Any local government that desperately grasps at the Agenda 21 as a rationale for development in the face of a dwindling water supply is dangerously out of control. And people on all sides of the political spectrum are calling it, it's so blatantly a development grab. And in the meantime, needed services and infrastructure are left to rot.

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    1. Thank you for being the ONE enlightened individual today that understands how high up this "Green Agenda" really goes.

      Childlike naivete runs rampant on this blog and too many people still believe we own this country, even when there are stark examples going back decades that prove quite the opposite.

      Until and unless people comprehend the Global government that has been created and built over the last 100 years by European Banking families and cartels, they will continue to either completely waste their time and energy or become an unwitting dupe for the system that seeks to financially enslave them.

      As someone once wrote to Sierra Madre residents years ago, "those of you that insist on keeping your heads in the sand, are in the perfect position for what's about to happen to you."


      God Bless (and save) the Republic

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  8. I moved to Sierra Madre because it is a small town, with beautiful hillsides.
    That is why we moved here. I paid more for my home than if I had bought in Arcadia, Pasadena or Monrovia. All these places have been over built and over populated.
    The over development crowd doesn't wish to keep Sierra Madre a small town.
    Consequently, they are at odds with the majority of residents here, regardless of the income of these residents or even if they own property or rent property.
    Rent is high in Sierra Madre, people who could get more for their money elsewhere pay the price. Many are low to middle income people.
    I want these people's right to live in a small town protected, just as I want to protect my own rights.
    I do not wish to buy into the over development crowd's bogus arguments of "green" or any other bs they come up with. They are proven liars and some are even corrupt bullies, such as Bart Doyle.

    No, I value living here, if these people have their way, that value will be gone.

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    1. Enemies of the people of Sierra Madre, that is who is on this "commission".

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    2. Volunteers, 9:01 am, that's who's on the "commission". For all of you out there recommending throwing the bums out and turning the town over to "volunteers", just remember that fact.

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    3. Please don't start with the "enemies" stuff.
      Remember in the Measure V fight, how many people were really alienated by the Enemies of Sierra Madre list? People are entitled to a difference of opinion without being demonized.
      Slow growth preservation is the will of the majority, or the town wouldn't be like it is. We'll keep it that way by fighting over-development every time it rears its ugly head, but not by making martyrs of the misguided or misinformed - or the manipulated.

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  9. Who's on the commission?

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    1. Volunteers selected by Bart Doyle? Yes.

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  10. So the mandate is to just "leave us Sierra Madreans alone"! I'm ok with that, but unfortunately, state and federal laws trump what we want. The only way to fight back is to quit taking any money from them. Can we, as a city, survive if we do that?

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  11. Best way to do that is vote no on every tax increase that hits the ballot. Starve the beast and it becomes weak. Their unfunded mandates then become unenforceable ones.

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    1. Yes, I agree, until they can stop spending our money inefficently, I will vote against any tax increases!

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    2. We are the beast.

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    3. Time for a diet, beastie.

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  12. Great article, Tattler! 31 comments by 9:30 AM.

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  13. The test is not party affliation, economic status, race, or anything else. The test of political decisions is the long-standing result. I look at One Carter and say anyone who is not a preservationist is an enemy of The Treasure That Is Sierra Madre. People who cannot save the three square miles of Sierra Madre from willful destruction, can hardly claim to be able to save the world.

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  14. The volunteers on the Green Committee are well-intentioned people who believe the UN Accords will help to save the planet.
    I also think they are people who tend to think philosophically, and that the city staff, as usual, found something not really suitable to give them to work with.The most pressing environmental issue, our water supply, has been ignored while they were directed to think globally.The act locally part? Not included.

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    1. So much for sustainability.

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    2. Screw the United Nations and it's accords. I like the U.S. Constitution just fine.

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  15. sort of sick of John BuchananOctober 16, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    it's pretty simple with John Buchanan with his actions in the city.

    either it strokes his overblown ego

    or

    it benefits his employer So Cal Edison.

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  16. The nuts and bolts reality check...How significant is the word "Suites" as opposed to "Units"?The question have been asked but no one appears to know.An end run around Measure V perhaps?Measure V has provided us with a small measure of protection from the continuous development frenzy which has plagued our valley for decades.I would hate to see our hard fought gains reversed through stealth and deception by a yes vote on that questionable project.Be safe..vote NO

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  17. Just as the concern for economic survival dictates a no new commission stance, so does the concern for water dictate a no assisted living facility vote.

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  18. That issue seems to be conveniently a non issue.One minute it's a crises,the next:no problem!

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    1. Maybe Bruce didn't get the memo. No water apocalypse conversation until after the Measure ALF election.

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  19. The water issue was raised during the Kensington hearings. Shields said it was no problem.
    I guess the deciders agreed.

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  20. Having been to almost every planning commission meeting the last 3 years I would like to report that no green committe members have been in attendance. Is this where they should have been to make sure th city was building "green projects"? And yet they were a no show. What is their real agenda?

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    1. My guess is that the Green Whatever was led to believe that the Planning Commission would be answering to them. So why should they want to go?

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  21. Gee..that's reassuring!

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  22. NO green commission, No new water users, No high density, No Measure V law breaking, No changes that increase Sierra Madre's present green status, PERIOD.

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  23. I don't know if this has been said elsewhere today, there really are a lot of comments. But these Green people don't just want to make pronouncements on items dealing with the environment alone. They are also interested in deciding on such issues as social equity and lifestyle concerns. They are far more ambitious that you folks might know. What they want is to be the community's moral arbiters.

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    1. So in addition to the regular Sierra Madre Police we will also have a Political Correctness PD as well?

      Interesting.

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    2. And to think people fled Eastern Europe and came to California to get away from that kind of stuff.

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    3. I know at least two of them slandered MaryAnn MacGillivray.
      I know these people and they are very bad people.

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    4. @ 2:21pm

      I've got sad news for you. The Sierra Madre Police are the Political Correctness Enforcers. Their job is no longer to protect people and property, but to ensure that honest citizens don't say or do anything that might offend the entrenched regime.

      Also, it should be noted, that very few, if any, police officers are actually taught the law in academies anymore. They are taught that American citizens are all criminals and should be treated as such. They are also taught how to get away with abuse of power and authority, among other things.

      I hope you enjoy being sexually assaulted, given that eventually the police will be placed under the Department of Homeland Security, and will essentially become glorified TSA agents roaming the streets of Sierra Madre. Those of you that travel will know exactly what I mean.

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  24. Oh, just vote it down, what are you afraid of?

    It's like the boomers are afraid to tell their kids "No!" and look at the spoiled brats that they produced.

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    1. LOL What did you expect?

      Spoiled brats produce more spoiled brats.

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  25. the Green committee are/were close friends of Joe Mosca.

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    1. there is a shocker.

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    2. In his own way he was a uniter. I know I wouldn't have worn out as many pairs of shoes in protest and sat through hours and hours of Council meetings if it weren't for Joe.

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    3. It was some very bad collective karma that brought Lyin' Smilin' Joe Mosca to this town.

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  26. 1:52 is absolutely right, we all want to save our environment, it is the social equity and lifestyle concerns that alarms me the most. Stay away from my lifestyle and I'll stay away from yours.

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