Monday, December 31, 2012

2012's 12 Months In 12 Posts

It is New Year's Eve and they're about to change the yearly number again. Those guys, whoever they might be, do it every year and this one is no exception. I suspect it is some kind of a deal they have with the calendar companies, though I have no proof of this.

I wanted to do some sort of Tattler year end 2012 review, but with 360 or so articles stacked up back there I don't know how it could possibly be done. So instead I took an article from each month, one that received a lot of hits and comments, and posted excerpts here. 12 months, 12 different articles. A snapshot of what was going on at each of those 12 moments, and a look back at what it was we were talking about at the time. And what a time it was.

So here you go, 2012's 12 months in 12 posts.

January 2012: Meaglia-Mania, and John Buchanan Hangs It Up (click here): Fay Angus got up and delivered an elegant speech about the negligence shown by Mayor Buchanan in the face of the Matheson affair. She read some of the Pasadena Star News article about the child pornographer's personal ties to some of this city's most elite society figures and politicians, and then wondered why the City's leadership had said nothing about the matter. In particular the "significant silence from our Mayor." When the City needed reassurance that everything was under control, Sierra Madre's political leadership remained silent ... Colin Braudrick, in perhaps a moment of weakness (there is no other way to explain it), then stepped up and proclaimed that he doesn't want to hear anybody blaming anyone for being involved in the criminal behavior of Bob Matheson. Which was an absurd thing to say since nobody has made that kind of accusation, especially Fay Angus ... Child pornographers, as Colin stated, operate mostly in secret, with even their closest friends usually being completely unaware of their crimes ... What this looks like to me is that Colin was somehow talked into carrying the offal bucket for the Morans. There is a huge difference between accusing someone of being involved in Matheson's crimes and poking fun at the poor fool who tried to convince a newspaper reporter that he'd never met Bob before. All while that reporter was looking at photos on his computer screen of the two happily hanging out together at various gala Sierra Madre functions ...

February 2012: The Matheson Return: Did the City Make the Right Call? (click here): Back on February 4th we posted an article entitled "Has Sierra Madre Prepared for the Return of Bob Matheson?" It turns out that the answer to that question is yes, it did prepare something. At least for itself. However, given the fact that Bob Matheson had been arrested and imprisoned in Canada for possession of a laptop containing 2,820 pictures of naked young boys, along with 285 videos of boys having sex with adult men, the City's conclusions might not be as restrictive or punitive as many in this community would expect ... Apparently what the City of Sierra Madre did was build for itself the case that it had to do nothing. And that Bob Matheson could return to his home and resume life here in whatever way he might wish. A conclusion which, given the characteristic passivity of this City's government in the face of challenges of this magnitude, was not quite as surprising as it should have 
been ...

March 2012: John Harabedian's "Law Enforcement Endorsement" Postcard. Is It Legal? (click here): It seems apparent that by appearing on a John Harabedian for City Council 2012 campaign postcard, Officer Delcoure and Corporal Doyle are indeed engaging in political activity. Done in support of a political candidate that they, as the SMPOA's executive leadership, have endorsed. And, unfortunately for them, they also appear to be wearing their police uniforms ... California Government Code Sections 3300-3313 can be accessed by clicking here. The relevant portion of this Government Code is Section 3302 (a). 3302. (a) Except as otherwise provided by law, or whenever on duty or in uniform, no public safety officer shall be prohibited from engaging, or be coerced or required to engage, in political activity ... One irony here is that John Harabedian, during the recent debates, proudly cited his attorney training as a reason to elect him. As a "consumer of much legal product" (a phrase he used to describe Sierra Madre), John informed the attending residents that his fine legal skills would come in quite handy when conducting City business. If elected, he would be the only lawyer on the City Council ... So if Harabedian's legal skill-set is so good, why didn't he inform Officer Ed Delcoure or Corporal Esther Doyle that they could quite possibly be breaking California state law if they appeared in uniform on his campaign material? Didn't John know? Or if he did, didn't he care?
... Kind of reminds me of an old adage. It is always dangerous for the commoner to try and get too close to royalty.

April 2012: Some Reasons Why You Need to Vote Today (click here): The reasons for this are fairly clear. People are tired of a City government whose only solution to its problems is to repeatedly ask us to cough up more and more money. And nothing will change if we keep putting into office elected officials who only seem to know how to spend it ... The rule of thumb is this. Candidates Braudrick, Goss and Harabedian don't have a problem with raising taxes. Or at least that is what they said when they first began their run for City Council seats a few months back. They were for it before they were against it. But once elected they will most likely be for it again ... Candidates Capoccia, Koerber and MacGillivray want to break the raise taxes and spend cycle this City has been on for the last few years. They want to give control of this City back to the people who pay for it, not just leave it in the hands of those who take our money ... It's now up to you. Vote.

May 2012: Is SB375 a Greenwashed Form of Gentrification? Plus Other Stories from the Redevelopment Wars (click here): Can it be that SB 375 not only greenwashes development, it also helps to greenwash gentrification as well? And did it really never occur to the involved Sacramento social engineers and state central planners that there are already people living in these urban core neighborhoods, and that when you "redevelop" these existing areas to build yuppie transit ghettos, you are also taking away the homes of less affluent people who have lived there for decades? ... And then there is this warning to city planners who would succumb to the false arguments of the supporters of SB 375 ... Professors Kotkin and Cox believe that the desire to live in suburbs will continue, and point to examples of high density infill projects that have been abject failures. In his article "The Suburban Exodus: Are We There Yet?" Cox states: "Misleading ideas sometimes have bad consequences. The notion that suburbanites were afflicted with urban envy led many developers to throw up high-rise condominiums in urban districts across the country. Sadly for these developers, the Suburban Exodus never materialized, never occured. As a result, developers have lost hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars and taxpayers or holders of publicly issued bonds could be left 'holding the bag."

June 2012: Did Gil Aguirre Take Down Nick Conway? (click here): Breaking News: Richard van Pelt, who serves on Sierra Madre's CRA Successor Board with John Buchanan, Bart Doyle, Marilyn Diaz and Water Wise Owl, was placed on leave today by Pasadena City College due to a criminal bribery probe being conducted by the DA's Public Integrity Division head Dave Demerjian. Demerjian, as you likely know, has been quite busy in the San Gabriel Valley over the last two days. His early morning visit with the SGVCOG's Nick Conway yesterday is detailed below ... It's a scandal a day in the SGV. Back to our regularly scheduled story ... Gil Aguirre has shown up on this blog before, and has been a source of information for us on matters related to the SGVCOG and it's Executive Director, Nick Conway. We have run several accounts of shenanigans at the COG, with the suspicion always being that Nick, by funneling official and government related COG business through Arroyo Associates, a company that he fully owns, he has been engaging in a clear conflict of interest, and one that profits him personally ... And apparently Deputy District Attorney David Demerjian shares in those suspicions as yesterday he executed search warrants at both Nick's home and the Alhambra offices of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments. A search warrant being something that requires the signature of a judge, so obviously there was judicial sanction for these searches as well.

July 2012: Mayor Josh Moran Receives a Surprise 4th of July Parade Measure V Message from The Tattler (click here): Photo 1: Sierra Madre Mayor Josh Moran, who is widely believed to be engaged in skullduggery designed to steal the Measure V vote from the residents of this town, is about to drive into a carefully planned trap ... Photo #2: Oblivious to the danger awaiting him, Mayor Josh Moran's "Deliverance Mobile" drives into the prepared "bummer box." How sad that their 4th of July Parade joy is about to be harshed! ... Photo #3: Voices call from the sidewalk. Josh, along with Jimi Hendrix (who apparently was along for the ride), turn to see who these well-wishers might be. Bill Coburn scampers over to the Mayor to bring the unfortunate news ... Photo #4: "Oh God, it's the Tattlers!" winces Josh. "Why wasn't I warned about this in advance? Where in the bloody blue blazes is Chief Giannone?" Jimi Hendrix tries a little "Purple Haze" on them, but no luck. They're '70s people, and therefore immune ... Photo #5: Oh well, there's always the dunk tank ... One more thing, can anyone identify what it is they're sitting on? Anyone missing a dog?

August 2012: 1 Million Hits (click here): ... Back when we started this project in late 2008 the general opinion around town was that if you wanted to reach a lot of people, you had to print the news on paper, and then distribute it free to every house in town. Which is, as you can imagine, a very expensive proposition ... Nowadays even Sierra Madre has embraced Internet journalism, to the point where you have to wonder about the relevance of our once upon a time rival in town, the quite pulpy Mountain Views News. A weekly newspaper distributed almost exclusively downtown, and whose current addiction to reprinting press releases and current events articles that have have been seen elsewhere makes you wonder if even they get it. Have they given up? The sole purpose of their existence today apparently being to get paid for printing legal notices, with only a couple of hundred people actually seeing them ... It also shows that people in Sierra Madre are interested in reading real news, and that if you lay down the facts people will seek you out. The notion that in Sierra Madre everything must be kept nice and sweet, and that if you offer people here too much of the hard stuff they might become confused and sad, has now been consigned to the trash bin of local history. The insulting and condescending assumption that people here just can't handle reality hasn't stood the test.

September 2012: Measure A: PUSD's "Big Lie" Finally Exposed (click here): As a regular Tattler reader I am certain you recall Measure A, the Pasadena Unified School District ballot initiative that radically changed the responsibilities of each Board of Education member from districtwide to seven different subdistricts. Resulting in each district then having its own exclusive representative. This new regime was largely built along ethnic lines, two Northwest Pasadena districts where Latinos are in the majority, a West Altadena district that is a majority African American, with the remaining four being largely white districts. Including one that lumps Sierra Madre in with Southeast Pasadena ... A kind of resegregation of the Pasadena Unified School District, and in the eyes of some a return to the bad old days of the 1970s ... A big problem for us here in Sierra Madre is that while a majority of these districts will be allowed their own exclusive subdistrict representative in 2013, for some strange reason we won't get ours until 2015. Something that still seems patently unfair. The reason given by various shady PUSD apologists being that recently re-elected Board of Education members such as Tom Selinske needed to be able to serve out their entire terms in office. With Sierra Madre being called upon to make the noble sacrifice for these solons of scholarship ... This was ratified and made ballot ready by a specially appointed PUSD so-called "redistricting taskforce commission." One where our representatives, Joe Mosca and later Bart Doyle, sat passively by (if they showed up at all) and allowed this city to be stuck with a form of second class citizenship. And while a bizarre form of political correctness was given as a rationale for all of this, the real reason has now been revealed. Stick around and I will tell you what that was, and why we were misled by those who were supposed to represent us.

October 2012: I Have Been Contacted By the FBI (click here): Yes, it's true. I have been contacted by the FBI. Of course, a lot of other people have been contacted as well. Hundreds, in fact. The case they're working on involves some guy who ran a series of rather seedy websites, and used them to attempt to extort money from people. I was one of those people, though he didn't get a dime of my money. But I can't say I wasn't sorely tempted at one point to take the offer. It would have solved what for me had become a source of some serious personal concern. And the ploy was apparently effective because many others did pay ... So how did I become a target in what was a quite large extortion operation? And why am I now getting interesting e-mails from the Feds? Believe it or not, the story goes back to our 2012 City Council election. This really is quite a story, friends. Pull up a chair... Going into the 2012 Sierra Madre election there was a concerted, though laughably ineffective, attempt to take this blog out. It had become obvious to certain parties in town that a lot of people were starting to get their local news from the Sierra Madre Tattler. We certainly weren't reaching everyone of course, but it was being read by most of those in town who actually bother to vote. And what was being said here was certainly not helping push forward the campaigns of the candidates they were supporting last April. So they decided to go after us ... The initial vehicle was a blog called The Sierra Madre Tattler Tattler. Run by someone using the name of Lady Elizabeth Wistar, it attempted to cast this site as a hotbed of uncivil and highly politically incorrect behavior. With most of the attacks being aimed at my charming self. Unfortunately for Ms. Wistar, not many people were interested in reading a blog that did little more than run down another blog. And Ms. Wistar apparently wasn't up to the job, either. After 5 posts that dealt mostly with her burning obsession with me, she pretty much ran out of malarkey. Today the site sits somewhere out in there in the ether unread and forgotten.

November 2012: Tony Brandenburg On This Week's PUSD Board of Education Meeting (click here): Armed with a newly cleaned and earth friendly eco-suds'd and air dried under a waxing crescent moon for two days Censure Honowitz shirt, we parked with our friends at the PUSD office to put up our recycled and green “Censure Honowitz”, and “Stop Bullying in Sierra Madre” signs on our SUVs and F150s, and then proceeded to directly challenge the status quo with our eighth on the street picket. We then attended the first part of the November 13 public board meeting ... Gone are the good old days when the PUSD administrative staff would call the police on us when we showed up with our signs. At some point they must have figured out that citizens have the right to peaceful assembly ... Don’t laugh. These are the very people in charge of teaching your children civics and teaching them the Constitution of the United States ... Ah, yes. The good old days. I still think my favorite visual picture was watching one of the lumbering unicorns scramble to make a cell phone call to report that someone posted a poster stating Inclusion Free Zone on the marquee of Sierra Madre Elementary School. I waved as I drove by. Toodles! Always the good neighbor, I am. That statement was  almost as good as the truck parked across the street from the school the day the Gayle Bluemel Auditorium was christened. It had one bold four letter word emblazoned in red paint across it: LIAR.

December 2012: Will Bart "El Monte" Doyle be the Next Executive Director of the SGVCOG? (click here): You do realize that there are no real secrets in Sierra Madre, right? Just things that The Tattler hasn't found out about yet. But we eventually do get the story, of course. Patience in everything, as they say. All in due time ... Some people have criticized this blog because of the enlightened approach we take regarding anonymous contributions and reader comments. Complaints that we have heard quite often here, and mostly from people posting anonymously ... But do you know what? The whole anonymous thing really does pay off for us. Not only because it encourages people to speak their minds freely and comment on whatever they wish, but it also allows those possessing really sensitive information to share it with us, done in the full confidence that we will protect their identities. The Tattler prides itself on that. We have never divulged the name of a news source that requested we keep their identity a secret. Not once. Nor will we ever...We now have it on very good authority that the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) is on the verge of hiring Sierra Madre's own Bart Doyle as its new Executive Director. The previous holder of that rather notorious crown, Nick Conway, having been recently hauled into Court by the Los Angeles County District Attorney on multiple felony conflict of interest counts. The charges based on Nick having laundered money through a company he set up for just that purpose, and done so that he could illegally pocket large sums of taxpayer cash. If convicted Nick could be going away for a long time. Very few will miss him... Now you'd think that after having gone through a year or so of debilitating controversy generated by the shenanigans of Nick Conway, the SGVCOG would want to do the smart thing and hire Mr. Clean. Somebody so above reproach that certain special Federal agencies in Washington would want to open the cash spigots up once again. The money supply from Uncle Sugar having pretty much dried up due to the SGVCOG's well-earned reputation for amorality and corruption ... But apparently they are very close to hiring Bart Doyle instead. Which really has to make you question the sanity of those running the COG. Even more so than usual.

There it is. 12 months, 12 posts. With vast amounts of equally important (some unimportant) stuff completely left out. It is all still there if you care to read it, though. And now on to 2013. I have no idea how this one is going to break down, and neither do you I suspect. But we'll be around to write about it. Somebody has to do it.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

52 comments:

  1. Hey Tattlers. Today I hope you will all eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow all those new taxes begin. Our one consolation we have as California slides into the financial abyss is our moderator's sardonic wit as he shines the light of truth on our political scene.

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    1. The tax raise in question isn't actually a "raise", it is a resumption of the tax rates that were suspended under the Bush administration, they were set to fall back on 1/1/13 in the original language of the bill. The "failure" of the current administration and Congress to extend the tax cuts is not a failure at all, the bill will do what it was designed to do with no Congressional action whatsoever, the "failure" lies within the constraints of political posturing between the two parties.

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    2. Its ok. We just go back to the Clinton tax rates.

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    3. What pixxes me of most of all is that they had over a year and a half to resolve this thing and while Obama was off campaigning all that time, the rest of Congress were twiddling their thumbs (or something like that. So, yes go back to the Clinton tax rates and have everyone pay their fair share.

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  2. There is an article somewhere on the internet today that claims "fiscal cliff" is improper English usage. I suppose this mean we will need to fallback on "complete disaster." Government is failing, everywhere.

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    1. MATH IS COMING!

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    2. This will be the first time that the Federal govt deliberately triggered a recession. Nice math.

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  3. Update on the Hildreth's law suit:
    There are a few persons including the city manager that are being sued separate from the suit against the city. The city manager Elaine Aguilera, and Richard Temple are also being sued and I believe Richard not under the umbrella of the cities firm and must seek his own council. Elaine is being sued because she did not follow the city's rules for code enforcement, and she skipped several steps in the process of trying to quickly steal the Hildreth's home through ramrodding the legal action against them before legally allowed by law. The firm representing the city is being sued and will not be able to represent themselves due to the nature of the suit, including the sharp practices of the law firm and fraud on the Court via the documents presented to the court by the city of Sierra Madre.
    Org case#
    046442
    counter suit#
    048533
    Neuroblast Films

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    1. My guess is that Temple's defense, assuming your report is true, will have to be paid for by the City. He was acting as an employee in regards to the Hildreth's case.

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    2. Oh yes, 10:23. All of the city staff, all of the city council members, anyone who acts at all for the city, is given legal protection. On our dime.

      But as a great lawyer friend once said:
      "If the city didn't keep screwing up, the city wouldn't get sued."

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    3. It is how they use our money to work against our interests.

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  4. Yesterday someone posted this:
    Just look how they take care of Child Porn issues in Texas.
    Homeland Security arrested Hedrick on July 18, 2011, there were hard drives that contained more than 2,400 images and 18 videos of child pornography. But yet they didn't move against the Sierra Madre Child Porn politican that was found in Canada.

    The Southern District of Texas a jury convicted Hedrick of attempted sexual exploitation of children, transfer of obscene materials to a minor and distribution and possession of child pornography.

    A thirty year sentance was handed downa dn a $5.4 million dollar fine as of December 19, 2012.

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  5. These foul people travel in packs - they share, they protect, they know each other. All of the damned child pornography addicts KNOW about Matheson and Sierra Madre, they know that Sierra Madre has given safe harbor to Matheson.

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  6. Other than personal ambition, there isn't much to Harabedian. He is not well informed about anything in the city, yet it's common knowledge that he announced his intention to win a council seat as long as 2 or 3 years ago. He had plenty of time to participate, but did not. Just raised a bunch of money to run, and won. The fact that he did the sleazy skating around the regulations for election materials is no surprise - I'm pretty sure he was counseled that there would be no real problem as long as the badges couldn't be read. It's not likely that he didn't know. More likely, it was implementing the strategy he developed 2 years ago.

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    1. Johnny has political ambitions and he is doing all he can to please the powers that be. Just like Joe Mosca did. There's one born every minute.

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    2. I don't think he is coming back. Look at it this way. Joe has now lived in London and traveled the great capitals of Europe. Obviously Matt is now making enough money to afford a very cosmopolitan lifestyle. Whatever political illusions Joe might have had were dashed when the Dems picked Holden over him for Assembly. Joe is no longer the young man of destiny he once was, rather just another pol with some baggage. Taking all of that into consideration, why in the world would he come back here?

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    3. If Mosca's not coming back, why hasn't the Casa been sold?

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    4. Has anybody checked? You don't think they would just put a for sale sign up in front, do you?

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    5. If they listed it, it'd show up on the multiple listings and the word would get out, for sure. Public Record and all that.

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    6. They are probably getting a pretty penny to rent the house out, and they can wait for a better sellers market.

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    7. That makes sense. So does their never coming back. Joe's political career is over. Sierra Madre is no longer a required sacrifice.

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  7. Thanks to the Tattler for another year of insight, humor, and accurate reporting about city business.

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    1. Also a Happy New Year and a hearty "Thank you" to Gil Aguirre! Wish there were more like you.

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  8. It looks like 2013 is going to be more of the same at City Hall. On the City's website portal page the date for the first City Council meeting is given as January 8, 2013. If you click on the link you are taken to a page that claims the meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 11, which is actually a Friday..

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    1. That's OK. They don't have to get it right until a couple of days before.

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  9. Yes, Sierra Madre does score high in both the sleaze and stupid departments.Their City Council has a record of lying to their citizens in order to pick their Pockets.They feel free to raise taxes even after the citizen voted no!Their over payed "Keystones" write tickets but don't solve crimes or enforce the law.So why are we surprised that we are blessed with the likes of a Matteson swanning about or the chap who drives about our schools openly ogling school girls.Are we becoming the Sodom of the Foothills?I don't know maybe they think it will bring in business and needed revenues!

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    1. I wonder if we will ever know the real story about why Matheson was protected.

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    2. It's dangerous to be known as a place that tolerates child pornography.

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    3. I don't think we'll ever know the real story behind why he was protected, but we already know the story about what happens to the lives of the kids in Bob's pictures and videos.
      And, after all, they are the only people who matter in this. Bob and his ilk could vanish from the face of the earth, and we'd all be better off for it.

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    4. I am afraid that the city's refusal to act has made our town seem like a safe haven to child pornographers. I think that message has gotten out to that "community."

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    5. You bet it has, 4:11. Shame on the city police department, shame on the city officials who have let this happen.

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  10. One of the most unpleasant discoveries I have made in engaging in Sierra Madre politics is that some of those opposed to slow growth actually enjoy the fight - and I mean in a creepy, unwholesome way. Mosca and Buchanan both share that characteristic- so when they are found to be dodging the truth, or defending the indefensible, and are called out on it, they like hitting back, and claiming a sanctimonious position of the avenged victim.
    Very creepy.

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    1. They like dominating.
      They confuse being elected with being given more power than anyone intended to give them
      At least anyone psychologically healthy.

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    2. It is a part of their profession. And the tactics they use are designed by people who are paid to do that sort of thing.

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  11. At first I was truly shocked that anyone in their right mind would consider Bart Doyle fit for anything, but on reflection, I can't think of anyone more appropriate to lead the SGVCOG than Bart Doyle. Such an easy transition, from one suspected (alleged) felon to a suspiciously wiggly (alleged) Chief Financial Officer. There is a certain harmony. The organization could continue with most of its member in the overfed state of oblivion we have heard so much about, and the executives could keep all of their corrupt practices in place. Harabedian would no doubt approve of "rocking the boat" as little as possible, after "cleaning house" and "sailing in the right direction."

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    1. You said the key words 4:16. Anyone in their right mind.
      We are talking about the COG.

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    2. Harabedian cannot go against the regional governmental organization. He wants to go on in politics.

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    3. I think when Johnny was elected somebody must have given him the Big Golden Book Of Bromides.

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    4. Fascinating isn't it, how a few stock phrases and some good looks move people along "in the process".
      Netflix has started to stream West Wing, so I watch it to see the fantasy of smart, ethical people in government.

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    5. I have observed Harabedian schmoozing folks. He does it with a kind of "You're cool, I like you," and since of course he is so cool, it's like the cool kids sizing each other up and giving a stamp of approval. Very juvenile, but obviously it's been effective.

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  12. I think 2013 is going to be a very interesting year in Sierra Madre. Thank you Sierra Madre Tattler. Without you we would never know just how interesting things are in our town!

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    1. I for one hope that the extortionist that the Dirts and Downtown Investment Club Members hired gets put away - and the names of the Civility Party members who paid him get published not just in the Tattler, but in the Pasadena Star News as well.

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    2. I think one of the big stories of 2013 will be Nancy Walsh's retirement from politics. She will serve her year as Mayor and then step aside. It will be the best thing she's ever done for Sierra Madre.

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    3. Disagree 4:35. I think she thinks of it as a retirement project. And goodness knows what kind of ridiculous flattery got her to run in the first place, and will no doubt continue as long as they need to use her.

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  13. There is an article in today's LA Times that adds to the narative of the Crawford piece on Reverse Mortgages. If true the FHA has found so much fraud and greed in the Reverse Mortgage process that they have cancelled most of the instraments being used to defraud seniors. Banks are also walking away from the Reverse Mortgage. According to the Times only one instrament remains which lowers the principal and conditions of the Mortgage substantially. Moran and Co. should be able to give us the details.

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    1. Well thank goodness there are some protections being put in place.

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    2. Talk to any seniors you know about this - the word needs to get around that for most people Reverse Mortgages are a very bad idea.

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    3. It is one of those things that sounds too good to be true.

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  14. Thank you to the Tattler for all you do to keep us informed and engaged!

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    1. Happy New Year, Gil. What you have accomplished is truly remarkable. Thanks for all you do.

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  15. Thank you, Gil and John!
    God Bless you both and your families in 2013!
    Happy New Year to all Tattler fans.

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