|Not Mr. Ikhrata's favorite van|
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.
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!