Tuesday, December 11, 2012

710 Tunnel: The Pasadena City Council Decides to Write a Letter Instead

Not Mr. Ikhrata's favorite van
It was an interesting and rewarding experience, I'll say that much. A lot of very impassioned and deeply concerned citizens showed up to express their outrage that such a destructive enterprise might actually get built, and straight through their own slice of our California paradise. Despite all of the evidence that the 710 Tunnel would be a nasty public health hazard the likes of which this area has never seen before, and that it would pack toxic truck and auto traffic into our valley in previously unheard of numbers, the bureaucracies that support it somehow have all the power they need to actually push the project through.

And even if all of the cities in the San Gabriel Valley voted in unison to oppose it, the power given to Metro and Caltrans by Sacramento is such that they could just brush it all aside and continue with their plans to funnel thousands upon thousands of diesel burning trucks out of the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and right into our lives every single day. You can only wonder how things ever got so bad.

You'd think that in a Democracy the will of the people and their elected officials would actually mean something. That in situations such as this one it doesn't is a very sobering thought. We live beneath the heel of vindictive state bureaucracies that are sustained by our own tax money. It is like paying the executioner for the bullet he plans to shoot you with.

Long story short, in 2001 the bamboozled residents of Pasadena voted for something called Measure A. And what this measure said was that the citizens of Pasadena support the completion of the 710 Freeway. That might or might not be how people feel now, and there is a move to put something akin to this Measure A back on the ballot soon so a new and hopefully more positive reading can take place. But what this meant at last night's Pasadena City Council meeting is that it could have very well been a violation of a voter enacted law for them to vote against the 710 Tunnel.

At the insistence of Mayor Bill Bogaard (a very calm and thoughtful man who really knows how to conduct a meeting), it was decided instead that a strongly worded letter would be written expressing the misgivings that all 7 Pasadena City Councilmembers have about this thing. Surprisingly the letter, once it is completed, will also express their displeasure at the less than honest way that Metro has conducted their "process." Particularly on the matter of truck traffic. It is something they have apparently been caught lying about more than once.

Around 30 or so speakers got up to talk, including outgoing Assemblyman Anthony Portantino and our very own Councilmember John Harabedian. Good to see John taking something he believes in on the road like that. And it will be interesting to see the Pasadena City Council's letter to Metro once it gets written. I'm sure all seven members truly are against the building of the 710 Tunnel. And I'm also certain they would have voted against it had their hands not been tied by something the voters foolishly approved 12 years ago. So they're writing a letter instead.

The Sage of Altadena Writes In About the PUSD

I don't know if you spend much time over at the Altadenablog. I check it several times a week because chances are very good that I'll find something interesting. I also go there to find out what Timothy Rutt's secret is. He does publish a blog in a city that has a lot more people in it than Sierra Madre, but that said, he really gets a ton of traffic on his site. 

It turns out that Timothy Rutt (AKA the Sage of Altadena) has children who attend school in Sierra Madre. And he has some opinions about that topic, and others as well. He posted them to an older article yesterday, so I thought I might add it to our post today. What he had to say deserves to be read. It is the kind of writing that makes Altadenablog as good as it is.

There is so much richness here, one doesn't know where to begin:

1. My children go to SM Elementary, and I took the tour of the refugee camp they call the Middle School last week. PUSD has to be in violation of some kind of law for this atrocity, don't they? A lineup of trailers, a surviving wing of the old building with asbestos tiles and lockers that look like they've taken fire, all next to a field of weeds and trash? If my kid goes here for three years, I guarantee he will never be in a building worthy of the name. Until they resolve this (IF) why doesn't PUSD deploy buses to send everybody to Burbank School in Altadena? They closed that one down last year, and have desperately filled it with any administrative/counseling/preschool program they can so they don't have to give it up to a charter school. Why not use it as, say, a school?

2. RE: the new clean water tax: This reminds me of the following: several years ago there was a proposition on the ballot to float a bond issue to create a pool of money for embryonic stem cell research. Why the state has to be involved in medical research is beyond me, but it was beyond me that the voters approved this millstone on their property tax bill. Well, the pool of money was created and an unaccountable board appointed to dole it out. The board is mostly academic medical researchers and -- surprise, surprise! -- they are voting their own institutions vast amounts of largesse from your pocket. Rubes.

So with this new "clean water" tax. We'll add another millstone on your property for some vague "save the world" notion that creates a big pot of money so that consultants can be employed and petty politicos can vote themselves favors. And we'll put it in this throwaway brochure telling you how wonderful it is -- and oh yes, there's a little thing, minor, really, about protesting it. Don't worry your little head about it. It's worth an extra hunnerd or so from you every year, isn't it? Otherwise you like to kill and eat puppies. Just come along, because you know we use your money wisely. Rubes.

3. I did not vote for Measure TT because they didn't give me believable assurances that they wouldn't repeat whatever happened in Measure Y. "Give us more money, and we won't piss it away this time." I was told by Peter Dreier that if I didn't vote for this, I must also kill and eat puppies. (Professor Dreier thinks that your first duty is to be a cash cow for fashionably lefty government programs. He also implied that if anybody from the Tea Party won an election, there would be concentration camps. Yet he still runs free range). Rubes.

Did ICE Pick Up Bob Matheson?

A friend forwarded to me a press release he had received from ICE, the division of Homeland Security tasked with enforcing laws involving domestic crime initiating from beyond our borders. Mostly illegal immigration. But, and as you might recall, it was ICE that searched Bob Matheson's home in Sierra Madre while he was imprisoned in Canada for possessing a laptop crammed full of child pornography. Of course ICE conducted their search a couple months too late, or at least that was the assumption both here and in Halifax where Matheson was convicted and imprisoned.

Here is that press release:

37 convicted sex offenders arrested in Southland ICE enforcement surge

LOS ANGELES – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrested 37 foreign nationals with prior convictions for sex offenses during a three-day operation targeting criminal alien sex offenders in the Los Angeles area.

During the enforcement effort, which concluded late Friday, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers assigned to the agency’s Fugitive Operations Teams sought to locate and take custody of deportable alien sex offenders in four Southland counties - Los Angeles (16), Orange (4), Ventura (11) and San Bernardino (6). While the majority of those arrested were Mexican citizens (25), the group included nationals of eight other countries, including El Salvador, Honduras, Vietnam, Armenia, Trinidad, the Philippines, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Among those detained during the operation was a citizen of Trinidad and registered sex offender whose prior convictions include sexual battery, battery on a peace officer and annoying or molesting a child under 18. The 56-year-old, who was arrested in Los Angeles Thursday, is being held by ICE without bond pending removal from the United States.

Also taken into custody during the operation was a registered sex offender from Mexico who had prior convictions for lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, drug trafficking, firearms violations and attempted grand theft. The 40-year-old was taken into custody Thursday in Palmdale. He is being held without bond pending removal from the United States.

The arrests were coordinated with ICE’s National Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for investigating, locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives – aliens who have ignored final orders of deportation handed down by federal immigration courts. ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and child sex offenders.

“This operation was designed to target and arrest criminal aliens who have been convicted of sex crimes,” said Timothy Robbins, field office director for ERO Los Angeles. “We will all be able to rest easier knowing that these dangerous criminals are off our streets and will soon be out of the United States.”                                                   

ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that targets serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.

Now the obvious hole in my theory here is that Bob Matheson is not in this country illegally. He is an American born devotee of child pornography. But look at it this way. Matheson was arrested and imprisoned for his vice in Canada, which is why when it finally deemed the proper time to search his house, ICE did the job. So maybe, just maybe, Matheson was caught up in this operation? Probably not. I guess we will have to just wait and see.

Live Blog the City Council Meeting Tonight

Once again Tattlers of all stripes and political persuasions will be standing by their keyboards as tonight's City Council meeting reveals its deepest and darkest secrets. It is your last chance of the year, so don't miss out! Tell us what you think!

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

181 comments:

  1. Interesting, the Sage has kids at the SME.
    Sage, do you feel you're of the chosen ones, or of the outcasts? Does it matter that you don't hail from the 'madre to those special people at the school? Why has it taken you years to write about the mess of the upper campus? It's been going on for years, as I'm sure you know.

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    1. Probably plays it safer than the Tattler folks

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    2. Sage, how do you like Sierra Madre elem.?

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    3. Most of the parents and kids at Sierra Madre like it and think it's a good school.
      Not trying to start a fire with that remark - there are obviously some huge problems with some teachers, administrators, and it sounds like the Special Ed services are really bad; but the majority seems to get along with the school.

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    4. I'm curious as to how non locals are received by the SME "elite".
      Otherwise, the school uses the same curriculum used throughout Pusd, the teachers are not any more talented than other teachers- the API is not because they're working some "magic". They do seem to attract more PEF funds, as well as the annual fund- all leading those outside of SME to believe its really a special place, and feeling cheated somehow.

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    5. We entered Sierra Madre seven years ago with the preschool. My son, now 10, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and my daughter, now 8, has Down Syndrome. Whether that makes us chosen ones or outcasts depends on your point of view, I guess. We looked around the district and felt this was the best inclusion preschool we could get into -- the Altadena schools did not have similar programs back then. We also were very impressed with the K-1 inclusion class and wanted to be a part of it when the kids were of age. We have spent five years in the K-1 (Rosie repeated first grade) and still think it was an amazing class and an amazing experience for both children. I will go to my grave praising their teachers and aides. I haven't written about the middle school because it hasn't been a concern until now -- Jacob starts sixth grade in the fall, and the two top choices -- in Sierra Madre and Altadena -- don't look terribly promising for a handicapped kid.

      That said, we think we've gotten a fair shake from the Special Ed staff there. It has not been problem-free, and the ball has been dropped on more than one occasion, but we think they're doing the best they can. We *are* finding it increasingly necessary to be less charming and more hardass to get the services we need.

      I have not experienced any kind of reaction by being a non-local, but then, my wife has a prestigious profession and I'm a bit of a wheel, and I'm sure that plays a role.

      I think what differentiates Sierra Madre from other schools in the area is twofold: one is talented teachers. Yes, some of the teachers are extremely talented and you don't see their kind in every school. But above all is an incredible amount of parental involvement. There's just a culture of uberparents at that school, and I think that makes a big difference.

      Now, I read the Tattler at least a couple of times a week, and I'm aware of the Brandenberg's issues with the school. I'm not negating them in the least. But we have been very pleased with how the powers that be have handled our children. What the Brandenbergs are claiming they went through does not jibe with our experience at the same school, and with many of the same people -- but I'm not saying they can't both be true.

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    6. The Rage of Sierra MadreDecember 12, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      that's ok. i don't expect you to validate anything for my family. you and yours have been fair enough and i respect you both regardless- had you taken a stand for us you would have dragged yourself into a world none of you deserve.

      You see, sage, when a person has a disability that is not recognized as one, that is, it is a disability that cannot readily be defined visually- then that individual is forced to conform to the "norm" of the society, and they do not give the benefit of empathy that they would give to a child who has, say, cerebral palsy.

      Your experience and ours differ for more than one reason. the people we've dealt with hold you in a higher caste, it is that simple. they had/have no reason to respect us. you are a local voice that is heard- and were when this went down, your wife is a physician. no one would dare do to you what they did to us. you haven't walked in our shoes so you really have no idea; but neither have we walked in yours.

      had this happened today the circumstances would have, perhaps been different- but not because what they did was fundamentally wrong. it would be solely because now they know us a little better and know we will call them out on their hypocrisy. that, dear sage, is a wisdom that even you can't deny, but sadly, not a truth that is necessarily making me a better person to have gained.

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    7. having said all of that, I am sorry to learn that you are finding difficulties in recent times obtaining what your children need. you and yours deserve better than that.

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  2. I also find it very interesting that Harabedian eas at the 710 meeting. he obviously wants to get broader name recognition for when he runs to replace Carol Liu foe CA Senate (she's termed out, and he can't run against Holden). The interesting part is that as a democrat, Harabedian needs the votes and money from the unions to win. The unions support the 710 because it will give them oodles of money. So what kind of support does he expect from them if he's out there in public decrying the tunnel? It's also interesting that he was there with Portantino, the Pasadena Assemblyman who was ostracized by the CAlifornia democrats when he voted against the budget. Why does our ladder climbing Harabedian want to be seen with a democrat pol failure?

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    1. The COG supports the 710 tunnel like a narcotics trafficker supports drug abuse. It seems to be a fine line that our Johnny is walking. Maybe it was being in the proximity of Big Tony that got him to side with the folks for a change.

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    2. JH is good at the fine line stuff. Remember, there were hopes that he wasn't going to vote lockstep with Moran and Walsh? And once, once, he didn't.

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    3. All things to all people. And then, the close up.

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    4. You must start to think like a politician to see what side of an issue you are on. Our boy JH sees votes as the primary key to his eventual full time gig at the state level. He must weigh if it is better to gain votes through opposing the tunnel, or whether it's easier to buy votes through advertising, and gain the allies from the Party.
      Will local popularity trump regional goals?
      You know the party will fund him if he looks viable, and he does not step on their agenda.
      What we should be asking is what are you going to do for us if we vote for you?

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    5. I think the answer to that one is "see which way the wind is blowing."

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    6. "The answer my friend
      is blowing in the wind
      the answer is blowing
      in the wind"

      - The Great Zim

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    7. The Great Zim is no doubt working on a deal so Fabreeze gets to use those lyrics.

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    8. Yesterday's revolutionary ballads are today's bathroom freshener ad jingles.

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  3. So you had the impression that Harabedian was there out of conviction?
    And here I thought it was just the lure of more face time.

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    1. It is getting near Christmas. Ho! Ho! Ho!

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  4. Its Tue mornin' and reading the Tat is once again overwhelmed me (insert heavy sigh) time for a martini.... It seems as though the big Sac and caltrans are gonna push the tunnel through, what a disaster do the voters have no say? Matheson... (insert heavier sigh) yesterday the children came home with a letter from the SME, warning of the pervert who is stalking both schools, assuring us (unicorn riding, pixie dust sprinkling) parents that all is well as our finest boys in blue are aware of the situation and have it under control. But do tell your kiddies not to talk to strangers, yada yada yada, so now if some thing happens to a child they have warned us and the blame must be on the parents for not teaching our children that walking in broad daylight in a small community like ours is no longer safe. Instead of the police dept doing something about it. I do not see the police at the school every day in the morning our afternoon, maybe once a week. This sinker is double martini worthy... Middle school...lets just refer to that site as the little school that will never be built. It's a disgrace. A poster wrote that maybe everything isn't a conspiracy, not everything is a smoke and mirrors scheme, I really hope that is the case with what little we are being fed about the middle school or lack there of..I hope that we are not sheep with the wool slowly being pulled over our heads.

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    1. Can you get me a copy of that letter? I would like to post it here.

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    2. help take away the school's power. Home school your children. It's worth the sacrafice.

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    3. Well there you go. The SMPD can't do anything unless an actual crime is committed, but a flyer? No problem!

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    4. Home schooling can be waaaaaay too insular, 8:29. Unless of course that's what you're after - a child raised in a bubble.
      Better alternatives are private schools, or move to a district that is not like PUSD.

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    5. Yeah, I'd like to see a copy of that letter since my child attends SME and I failed to get a copy!

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    6. Maybe there is a subscription that needs to be bought.

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    7. Actually,9:00am, home schooling is not insular. groups gather all the time for field trips etc. And good luck finding a public school system that is better than PUSD. They are all the same at the core - all are run by power/money hungry folks who really don't care "about the children". As a parent, you are the one ultimately responsible for your child's formation. why trust the untrustworthy?

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    8. 10:37, good points. But there are kids who are so overwhelmed by parental involvement that they just become mirrors, and unless they plan to live together forever like a tribal group, the kids are psychologically handicapped in making their way in the world.

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    9. The Home School Community itself is removed from the wider culture, so the 'socializing' and field trip activities are only in that same home schooling arena. It's a small homogenous world.

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    10. Although you make a good point re: insularity not necessarily being part of home schooling, you're way off regarding PUSD being like all other districts. PUSD is notorious for putting everything above the needs of the students. Their failures to English learners and special needs student has put them in program improvement- and still they continue to fight parents with lawsuits justifying staff incompetence.
      How is it that Glendale unified is doing do much better? I bet the "machine" there is not running the whole show as it is in PUSD.

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    11. @10:37- not all parents have the luxury of finances, time or expertise to home school their children. Instead of "trusting the untrustworthy" which is a scary prospect for any parent- demand accountability, loudly and repeatedly until you see some progress.

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    12. Right 11:36. And frankly, some parents are not cut out to be full time teachers. There's a reason for the credentialing program.

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    13. Bbqg, any word on how the school is keeping questionable characters off either of the campuses? Not all kids walk home, but they're still at risk as anyone can enter the campus- without signing in. Besides the open gates. Have you ever been stopped for not wearing a visitor pass? You're right, PUSD probably thinks that by putting that warning letter that SOME parents received- they're covered. As far as I understand, they're not. They are responsible for every student until an authorized adult gets them- right? Besides, it's clear that any creep has open gates and freedom to visit throughout the campus and do as they please- seriously wrong!

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    14. Maybe their lawyers told them to do it. A kind of Pontius Pilate hand washing exercise.

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    15. @ 12<59, exactly! My poor kid says she say the stalker at recess, yesterday, which she of course didn't... They obviously discussed this in class too, now she is seeing ghosts. @11:58, no never stopped, and since I pissed off the teacher she doesn't even look to see who is picking up my child after school, while she chats away with the "gilded patents" as for the letter, you bet I will get it to you.

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    16. @11:45 - these are your children. Taking the time and setting financial priorities to properly educate one's children is the best investment you will ever make. Homeschooling is not expensive and as to the argument of lacking expertise, the homeschool groups have the ability to have others teach topics that they are not strong in. for example - my kids go to your house for an art or grammar lesson, yours come to mine for biology and math.

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    17. OK, good for the letter, so now where's the one explaining that Robert Matheson, middle initial W., is loose in town, and is an experienced cameraman with a child pornography habit?

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    18. 2:19, it may not be expensive to home school, but there are families that cannot afford for one parent to stay home to teach. As to the argument that anyone can teach? Just like any other profession, medical, psychology, etc., teaching is also a profession. Many of the homeschool agencies are Christian fundamental based, leaving those not religious less options. Now, consider a student who is a second language learner, or who has learning disabilities? It's not as easy as you assume.

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  5. Here is a question. ICE arrested all those guys based on criminal records from outside this country. Matheson's arrest and imprisonment was from outside this country. Why couldn't he be registered here as a sex offender?

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  6. Maybe the Kilted one has some powerful friends.

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    1. I think he has stories that some people would rather not have told. I think he worked out his return in advance. The darkness in Sierra Madre runs very deep.

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  7. If Sierra Madre shows that the basin area of the city yards is listed as: wet lands, does this preclued it from tonights agenda regarding water run off? Arn't wet lands protected under local ordinances that the state of Calif. recognizes as such, that they don't have to be included in the water run off. The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) works towards sustainability.
    Does't this mean that the city assists all others that follow below the wet lands with CLEAN WATER?
    The city already deals with renoff management and preservation of the aquatic environment.

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  8. Give your family the gift of emergency preparation--put together an earthquake evacuation kit (which will serve for other emergencies) and have one for each family car, and a couple for around the house, one inside and then maybe one in the garden shed or garage. Look on-line under "emergency preparation" and you will find several guidelines to use.

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  9. Looking forward to the meeting tonight - with Mayor Moran's expositions curtailed, and the new effort to finish the meeting on the early side, it's not as dreadful a prospect as it was before.
    Ah, if only someone, anyone, had found a way to make Buchanan shorten his remarks.

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  10. Before it begins, who wants to bet that Harabedian uses his attendance at the 710 meeting for all its worth, in the council member reports?

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    1. Of course. He was there for us. Or so he will assure his constituents.

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    2. There he goes! The Pasadena City Council meeting!

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  11. Good job 6:27! Gee, Harabedian says this will be a long fight. really? the freeway fight has been going on since befor he was even born!

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    1. It's not a fight. It is a process.

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  12. What!? Stop signs? At least he isn't asking for street light!

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    1. Sounds like he's got the goods though.
      Pays to listen to smart planning commissioners.

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    2. John Vanderveldt is a good guy.

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  13. where is Paulie Goosebimps? I miss the tone he sets for the meetings.

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    1. I think we need to tell Paulie that we really appreciate his comments, and that when he is not there the meeting just isn't the same. I think he responds well to encouragement.

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  14. So no 3 minute limit for the rose parade whatnot.

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  15. Josh is hanging on to her every word.

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  16. That's because she attends Flintridge Prep, the school where Josh used to work!

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  17. Mayor Moran: "When do you turn 18 again?"

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  18. Somebody wake me when this part's over?

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  19. Do princesses ever talk about anything beyond themselves?

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  20. Wow, this gal who is 16 seems to think she's old! what happens when she reaches 30?

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  21. Wake up! The Princesses are done extolling their virtues and youthful wisdom!

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  22. so the Sierra Madre float is the last float in the parade. that means the Tournament folks don't like it and it will not win an award. if the parade runs long, it won't even be on tv.

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  23. They are just kids, put in an awkward position and they try to handle it the best they can. I say stop asking them to be performing monkeys.

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  24. I am slipping into despair.

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  25. I wonder why Wildan was bumped.

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  26. The Cop MOU. Accept it with no public conversation! No benefit hikes, no raises.

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  27. So Aguilar just said the MOU with the Police doesn't increase anything - but hey, so decreasing never came up?

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  28. So what good is Harabedian? the police did not get a cost of living raise or increase in benefits. so why did the need to negotiate for almost 2 years? do you think they saw he writing on the wall(aka Tattler) about having a new sheriff in town.

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  29. Good to see that John Harabedian came through for his friends in the SMPA. They really found themselves a champion.

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  30. C'mon guys, enough with the thanks to one and all. Get to work, huh?

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  31. First MOU in over 10 years, Josh? What about Enid's historic agreement in 2008?

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  32. Maybe he can be just as effective in his fight against the710

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  33. This path at one carter that Elaine just described that will be maintained by the hoa at the development? I've walked it- it's prettyathetic, very short and ends abruptly. You either need to turn around or try not to slip as you scale the berm to get up to the paved road.

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  34. I have been looking forward to hearing from the Commissions. I've heard some of them have interesting things to say.

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  35. Will we hear from the "goals and Committments" (the green committee) too?

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  36. Karin is pleading poverty.

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  37. I just don't get why they don't say, "OK, if we cut back to the kind of city governmnet we had 20 or 30 years ago, we'd be sitting pretty."

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  38. Here is a question. How important are the finances of City Hall in the lives of the average citizen of Sierra Madre?

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  39. Karen just said they've laid off position - nu uh. They re-organized. There are way too many people working for the city.

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  40. looks like a lot of the commissions need to get the axe. Out with the tree commission and the senior commission and posse blr the community services commission. The rec dept. needs to be cut too. There is no way to avoid the tax tidal wave coming from the State and the Feds in 2013. Life is about to get very grim, everywhere. You could have a 100 per cent UUT and it still wouldn't solve the problem.

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  41. Keep cutting, Karen.

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  42. and in the midst of all this bad news for our town, Sierra Madre is actually in a lot better shape than many other cities in California.

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    1. Thanks to the highest UUT rates in California.

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  43. I wonder how the UUT will fare in the 2014 election.

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  44. Hart Park House needs a full time staff member and a part time one?
    Isn't it mostly volunteers who keep that going?

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    1. What would this staff do? Serve cookies?

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    2. I remember when the full time staff member was hired, for $65,000. It was vigorously protested, on the grounds that the senior center provides a valuable service, but it's just to a very small group of people.

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  45. Re Senior services : seems to me a lot of these things used to be done by the local churches.

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  46. There's been a misunderstanding. The Senior Commission is presenting a wish list of projects!

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  47. what a set up question from Nancy! the seniors ask for lots of stuff and the offer to help fund redoing the potties.

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    1. What is wrong with those bathrooms? I've used them and they're fine.

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  48. Good Lord, Walsh is angling to spend more money on the center! Someone needs to explain to Walsh and the Senior Commission that the job is to CUT COSTS.

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  49. Mr Crochitiere, WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY!

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  50. Community Services is no better - obviously there has been a breakdown in communication about what the challenge is, and what it means to prioritize. What happened? Were they all privately told to come and complain rather than bring forth solutions?

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  51. There won't be any volunteers without the Community Services Department?

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  52. Uh oh. The Community services is the gateway for government money. Just like the Green Commission will be. Hey, it's all our money, no matter if it comes from the city or the state or the Feds.

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  53. here's my suggestion - sell Goldberg Park.

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  54. Ah, the long view - spend now for later.
    Financial idiocy.

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  55. I can only conclude that I live on a different planet than these people do. To me, being out of money means to stop spending.

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  56. so the bell tower wood problem is aesthetics, not structural. In Lu r current state, so what!?

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  57. We must vote for UUT increases, because tennis players need those courts. Full Service you know.

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  58. Anybody watching this on their computer? Pretty bad.

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  59. this all seems like such a waste of time. they are all taking the micro view, when come the new year, the new taxes coming down from the feds and the guv will make all these things moot. fees, fees, and more fees. It's time to just say no, we can't provide these services any longer.

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    Replies
    1. This exercise is designed to create a consensus for renewing the UUT in 2014;

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  60. Fees are astronomical now.

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  61. 8:07, I fear you are right.

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  62. What is that huge lapel pin that Harabedian is wearing?

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    Replies
    1. He has been accepted into the Space Cadets.

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    2. Is it a Hello Kitty?

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    3. A present from his friends over at the COG.

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  63. That's it - the library wish list is up now. This is all a charade.

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    1. I liked the part about creating a sense of relevance for the library in Sierra Madre. Good to see that Mr. Putnam understands that most people in town don't even think about it.

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  64. Hey Glen Putnam, I think the library might just need to sell all that valuable art work to bring in some money.

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    Replies
    1. They should have a car wash.

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  65. so the library might need to cut some programs. Too bad, we don't have the money. What if people just went to the library to check out books to read?

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  66. I think the library just needs a bigger basement.

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  67. I think we could close the Senior Services, the Community Services Department, and the Library. If people want them they can keep them going on a volunteer basis.

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  68. This is a set up.

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  69. so Harabedian needs Tim prompt Glen Putnam that programs are more important than capital programs.

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  70. Tree Commission - I think you might be short lived. Thanks for your service.

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  71. Cap and trade mpney for carbon sequestration? Our trees/

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  72. Oh my goodness the tree commission wants to get into the AB32 cap and tax carbon trading program! who will manage that?

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    Replies
    1. The Chair already mentioned who - the Green Commission.

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  73. More than one commissioner has said that they were asked to tell the council "what the commission would like to see."
    That is an instruction that made them all go down the wrong road, following the spendthrift ways of some members of the previous councils.

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  74. Moran sounds like Beavis and Butthead tonight, when he laughs.

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  75. This is offensive. I was listening in good faith that this would be about efforts to save money. Shame on the council.

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    Replies
    1. The only commissioner that sounded on point for budget talks was the Planning Commissioner. All the others sounded like they had been coached by one or more council members, and they prompted each other's lines, giving cues.

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  76. Of course the mayor went to the firefighters ball. How much did he drink?

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  77. do you feel like this was the parade by Santa Claus?

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  78. Johnny found this to be a very helpful process.

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  79. Oh My . he first carbon trade auction in California was a debacle. they don't even know what kind of monies were made (or lost). Not to mention that the Federal gov't is considering the same thing so that Californians could be taxed twice on all the carbon business.

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  80. Ravi Shankar dIed.

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    Replies
    1. God bless that wonderful musician.

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  81. John Harabedian says it is time to start thinking about revenues, not cuts. He has heard what the Commissions had to say, and it is obvious we need more revenues.

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    Replies
    1. Wrong. It's time to make real cuts.

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  82. Aww, how cute. Johnny wants to raise the UUT to 12%.

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  83. Nancy wants to raise taxes as well. Wants to go to 12%. Less than a year after 61% of the residents in town voted no on a 12% UUT.

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  84. At least Koerber understands that 61% of the voters made their wishes clear.
    And Walsh is ignoring that like a bull in a china shop.

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  85. So Nancy and Harabedian are onrecord for a 12per cent UUT. Trust me, 12 per cent won't be enough. What great stewards of the peoples fund Nancy and Harabedian are!

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  86. Wait! Doesn't the vote matter?

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  87. Oh my God. They're going to do it!

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    Replies
    1. So much for listening to the public.

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  88. nancy, Josh and Harabedian can raise the UUT to 12 per cent tonight if they have the gumption to do so. However, they won't win reelection in2014.

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    Replies
    1. Walsh thinks it makes here tough and truthful. She'll do it for her own self image, and because she has plenty of money.

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  89. These greedy worthless parasites.

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  90. The Commissions were set up to Help push for a tax hike? Damn. Did they know?

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    Replies
    1. How could they not? What a bunch of BS.

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  91. "Everybody is asking that we maintain the level of services that we have"
    Josh Moran.
    Explaining that the 61% of people who voted No to the UUT were delusional and didn't know what they were talking about.

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  92. What a dog and pony show tonight was.

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  93. What service? What service??

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  94. Josh just said that people move into this town because of the services the city provides. Really? that' s not why I moved here. How about you?

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  95. The Mayor wants to hear from "the constituents", but certainly not anyone who struggles financially. It's clear that this council is declaring war on anyone who is not wealthy. No one with a modest income will be able to afford the UUT taxes, or the water bills.

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  96. Didn't see that one coming.

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  97. Harabedian is now defending the poor little staff and they have no cost of living raise and they are so badly off working here. So fire 'em.

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  98. John Harabedian wants to give everyone a raise.

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  99. The residents of Sierra Madre are supposed to sacrifice themselves so that the staff can live well.

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  100. Harabedian is talking out of both sides of his mouth. First he asks for more revenues and then he agrees with Capoccia that it's more important to maintain streets than offer programs. What a politician. And now he's talking about fair wages. hey, we pay what we can afford.

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  101. We voted against raising the UUT. And these a-holes want to raise it? So much for democracy!

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  102. If it sucks so much to work here, why don't they quit?

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    Replies
    1. We owe our city employees paradise and financial security forever.

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  103. Have you noticed how Nancy never acknowledges Koerber's comments? Is she afraid of him?

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    Replies
    1. She can't process what he says. It's a brain thing.

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  104. The commissions were set up to advocate the UUT increase, and the council members were set up to advocate the staff raises. This on the night we were supposed to learn about budget cuts.

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  105. So did they commissions sign on to be shills for a tax hike?

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  106. I think I prefer Nancy when she doesn't talk as much.

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  107. They are ignoring the vote of the people.

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  108. Madame City Manager is seeing endless green now with the tax increase. The entire tax hike will be spent in the next hour.

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  109. I guess they think they're above the voters.

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  110. I don't believe anything the staff or the council majority are saying anymore. That's it.

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  111. Harabedian is doing the politician shuffle. He won't commit to details. that would take something from process to task which we know how doesn't like.

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  112. A tax hike for Christmas.

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  113. Yikes Tattler. 170 comments today. is that a new record?

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    Replies
    1. No, but it is pretty good. It was fun watching the blog's traffic numbers go way up once the City Council tax increase talk started.

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    2. That's the degree of outrage.

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  114. I'm being priced out of my home town.

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  115. since they did not get to all the items, what happens when all these items back up? does the council schedule another meeting besides the two regular meetings per month?

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  116. You'll notice that the "wish list" for the Community Services was scant compared to the others, and it was strictly for maintenance, not adding extra monies to the budget. The Commission has already discussed the possibility of the Bell Tower being repaired by volunteers, the tennis people have volunteered to help with money and time for either repaving or repainting, and the electricity meter will bring in money (pay for itself). There are plenty of things that could have been listed but the Commission was prudent in their requests. You guys are too cynical for words especially since you don't have all the facts. As for the raise in the UUT, a pox on Harabedian, Moran and Walsh. However, I'm not surprised, since Harabedian told several people while he was going door to door campaigning that if he was elected, he was going to raise the UUT as high as it could go.

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