Friday, January 11, 2013

PUSD May Not Have the Measure TT Funds Left to Rebuild Sierra Madre's Middle School

Broken promises?
Last night a little after 9 a short but rather disturbing post regarding new developments in the rebuilding of Sierra Madre's Middle School was left here on The Tattler. As is often the case on this blog, a lot of what we find out comes from the many people who post here. We take what our readers have to say very seriously on this site, and try to follow up as best we can. This being one of those times. Here is what this post said:

Middle School (non-construction) update is on Organize Sierra Madre Schools Facebook Profile. Apparently there may be no money left to pay for any construction at Sierra Madre Middle School's moonscape / demolished site. 

As I am sure you know, the Organize Sierra Madre Schools Facebook page (click here) is a kind of informational clearing house for parents concerned about what is shaping up to be a PUSD Board led "bait and switch" on Measure TT funding. Funding that during the run up to the vote in November of 2008 on this $350 million bond measure was promised to Sierra Madre's public school parents to rebuild the Middle School. There are now indications that the promise will not be honored, and while property owners here will still be paying for this bond issue in the decades to come, we will see little return for our investment.

On January 7 a call went out to the membership of Organize Sierra Madre Schools to attend a PUSD Facilities Subcommittee Meeting. You can view the agenda for this meeting if you click here. Parents turned out as they always do, even at the difficult hour of 4:30 on a work day afternoon, but apparently the news they heard there was not very good. Here is how the first of three reports filed on their site reads:

Thank you to everyone who came to the Facilities Sub Committee meeting today. Here's the Update: 

The bids were rejected for the Middle School because they came in over budget. Because they are a public entity, bids cannot be altered. The have to be accepted or rejected. The District is spending $50,000 to research why the bids are over budget. They expect it will take 2 more months to make changes and put the project back out for bid. Estimate is a 3-4 month delay. 

This raises a question in my mind. If these bids came in over budget and there isn't enough money, why would the PUSD then spend $50,000 in Measure TT bond money to find out why the bids came in the way they did? Couldn't someone just make a phone call to the responsible parties and ask a couple of questions? How do you improve potential funding shortages by spending $50,000 to find out why there isn't enough money to meet bid requirements?

On Wednesday a second report was filed on the Organize Facebook page. The news hadn't improved.

There is more to update on the status of the Middle School project. After they spoke about the Middle School, the Facilities Sub Committee spoke in detail about the status of Measure TT. The long and short of their discussion is that Measure TT funds are running out very quickly. If the district is allowed to drag out bidding process on the middle school for another six months, there very likely won't be enough money to build a school for us.

Again, promising the people of Sierra Madre a new middle school in 2008 while asking them to vote for Measure TT, a $350 million dollar bond issue designed to accomplish just that sort of thing, only to renege later, is a classic bait and switch. Whether this was done deliberately, or the money just walked out the back door through embezzlement or theft (click here), is immaterial. The fact is we will be paying for Measure TT for decades, and all we are getting for it is the demolition of the Middle School. The promises that were made back then are being broken now.

Yesterday another this report was filed on the Organize Sierra Madre Schools site:

Calling All Middle School Families - One of the best ways to draw attention to the plight of our school (and to put pressure on the District to pay attention to our building project) is to point out the tangible problems with our current campus by filing Williams Complaints. We will help everyone file these complaints in an orderly manner. What we need is your help with the nature of what we target at the school.

Can you think of anything VERY TANGIBLE that is a problem on the facility? Yes, we know that the campus has some horrid components, but we need very clear elements that can be changed to meet the most basic needs of our students.

If you have any suggestions, post here. We will follow up with recommendations in the next few days and let you know how and where to file tangible complaints we find together!

I think it is pretty obvious where this is all going. I have one final question. Can this be why the City of Sierra Madre is being denied full voting rights on the Board of Education until 2015? A full two years after the majority of PUSD so-called subdistricts get to elect their own representatives?

If ever there was a time that the parents of PUSD attending school children needed an honest and reliable voice on the Pasadena Unified School District's Board of Education, it would be now. Which could very well be the reason why our right to equal representation has been stolen from us. I am not sure they really care to hear our voices right now. 

After all, the PUSD already got what they really wanted from us, our money. After that they don't seem to care.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

85 comments:

  1. The time has come to take SME to a charter school
    Just think we could get rid of pusd and the bad teachers and administration in one move. The districts best scores would leave and the public might find out how poorly education is in PUSD.
    Maybe then the state and feds would take a look also.

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  2. Never ever vote yes on a PUSD bond issue.

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  3. Who headed the Measure TT effort in Sierra Madre? Bart Doyle. Who was on the PUSD Redistricting Commission when Sierra Madre's voting rights were stolen? Bart Doyle. How do we honor this great man's service? The Rotten tomatoes and cabbage ceremony?

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    1. I recall John Buchanan as the chief cheerleader for it.

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    2. Johnny Electric and El Monte both show up on the Measure TT website as august supporters of this common sense school facilities measure. Administered by a group of people with all the business integrity of a payday loan kiosk.

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    3. I want to hurl when I read about John Buchanan. I was at a party with that slimy dude when he was touting how his kids were going to stay in public schools through high school and his wife was just going on about her kids remaining in public schools - last I heard they bailed on public schools after elementary

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    4. re 11:59
      John is slimmy but he is not stupid. Saying he was going to send his kids to PHS was to get votes.

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  4. Williams Complaints are designed for facilities in poverty areas. If these are filed, they will most likely be thrown out. SMU is not a poverty area; there is nothing to level there, and at 300 students, they'd most likely just shut the school down. duh. The only way they would technically be considerd is on behalf of students of poverty who would most likely be from outside of this area. SMUS has rejected Title 1 funds for years, and this is a general indicator of SES. We tried to tell you and your last fearful leader Principal Pinnochio. Bravo..... I also personally laughed when I saw how fast y'all thought things would happen because you went down and stomped your feet and held your breath at the BOE. We were in your corner for years until your elite targeted our kid, and your elite still choose to bully us, so we will continue dealing with your bullies instead of putting in our voices and knowledge into helping out- we'll just sit back and watch you trip over yourselves, fools. Happy MacFumbling. Why don't you call your buddy Mr. Ed and see if he can help. ha.haha.

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    1. Actually, on closer analysis it seems the logical thing to do would be to send all of those kids and staff over to Muir and change that school to a 6-12. In doing so it would utilize some of those great upgrades you can thank Mr.. Ed for. What a great way to share the talented staff and volunteers with the rest of Pasadena!!! Really, only about 200 or so are actually kids from Sierra Madre, so logistically it makes the most sense. I can't wait to suggest it.

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    2. Can you tell us why Honowince pumped all that money into Muir while leaving our school a smoldering wasteland? Was it something someone said?

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    3. 2:26 - I can tell you why. Ed and his wife want to develop a commune on the land where children learn that all they need is the government to take care of them. The kids will have all of their meals, housing, medical care, and free college provided by us - the taxpayers. You'll be able to spot them. They will be the kids wearing brown shirts.

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    4. Honoputz goes with the majority, just like he did when he went with the Sierra Madre Elite and against the Brandenburgs. Now he is done with the BOE, his interests are community schools through Pasadena, and eventually a different kind of politics. The money and majority aren't in the 'dre. you have been used like a cheap whore, Sierra Madre Elite. Ha. haha.

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    5. No, what would make sense would be to bus everybody to Burbank Elementary in Altadena, which was closed down last year and is now a catch-all building where PUSD throws any stray program into it they can lest it become a charter school. True, there's no shower for gym (but there isn't in the current refugee camp, either) , but it is a real school building, not trailers on wheels, and has a playground.

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  5. Our property values would be much higher if we didn't have such a terrible school district...PSUD is really a detriment to this community.

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    1. On the other hand, it's been a brake on McMansionization.

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    2. Agreed, 7:30.
      If it weren't for the PUSD, we would have turned into Arcadia Super Big House Land years ago.

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    3. I disagree, the mansionization has nothing to do with PUSD for a couple of reasons. If you can afford a 2 million dollar house, you will be sending your progeny to private schools, and the push to mainsionization has and still is a big issue. Also,f the housing crash had not happened,, we would be seeing them being built.

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    4. Nope 9:00 AM. The Asian community, that so often builds multi-generational housing of generous proportions, has locked in on Arcadia because of the superior public school system. Haven't you wondered why Sierra Madre has not become 40, 50% Asian or Asian American like a number of communities around us? It's the school.

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    5. Yep. Our crummy school system has kept the Asian community which values an excellent education from moving to Sierra Madre which has the worst reputation in the area.

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    6. Well, PUSD tried to entice the Asian community with the Mandarin Immersion program at Sierra Madre demolition site. Guess that didn't work?

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    7. PUSD is farang school.

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    8. SMU is actually closer to an Afgani Tent school. Welcome to third world, first class America

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    9. It is a temporary facility. Soon the students will be bused off to another location and the property will become the location of 600 square foot shelf housing. Bart will be there for the ribbon cutting, along with John Buchanan, Josh Moran, Nancy Walsh, Joe Mosca and Beelezebub.

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    10. I'll bring the marshmallows if Beelzebub will be there, but I wonder who will bring the kegger

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    11. When Big B is in town the marshmellows all roast themselves.

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    12. All of you looking for a good reason why the mcmaisions stopped outside sierra madre. Look to our Pioneer Cemetery....."bad spirits"

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    13. The Asian immersion program is going to Field School now

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  6. There was never really a "promise" that any of these funds would come to Sierra Madre; there were intentions and declarations, but not promises. Don Watts made that painfully clear the night he questioned the PUSD administrator who had come to the council to sell the Measure. It was a "We'll make our best effort" kind of thing.

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    1. The Board of Ed and the other PUSD functionaries are about as easy to pin down as mercury.

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    2. Unfortunately, I was present the evening this came before the city council, and noted the "players" urging the council to support the Measure, which told me the same tired political BS was about to be pulled on us.
      My greatest fear about how this would play out has come true. I had hoped that this time around they had learned to actually manage infrastructure money, and use it responsibly for what many of the anxious parents were hoping for.
      I have come to the unhappy conclusion, that until the people involved are in some way investigated and /or prosecuted,or tossed out of power, expect more of the same.
      I have always believed the best solution is to break up PUSD, (since it has been Balkanized already), and we should seriously look into forming our own school district. With the latest disenfranchisment of Sierra Madre from the board, they are actually saying to do so in not so many words.
      Our current city council must stop acting like a flock of ostriches, and resolve to lawyer up and start the process.
      We have been disenfranchised already, we just need to help it along.

      This must come from the parents and property owners of this town, since they are the biggest stakeholders. It can be done

      In reality, PUSD, is functionally incapable of being responsible.

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    3. Thank you Mr. Watts for your honest service to our town. That night your questioning made both Buchanan and the PUSD salesman get redder and redder in the face as they avoided giving direct answers. Really an eye-opener.

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    4. Thank you Mr Watts.
      Unfortunately, I don't see our current city council putting on their big boy panties and lawyering up to go to bat on this one.Don't get me wrong seems development is their main focus, just not school development. They have their hands in the stack and pack cookie jar.

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    5. Our Mayor has spoken out far more on the welfare of chickens than he has our school children. It appears kids are not high on his priority list.

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    6. Thank you Mr. Don Watts! Your service to this community has been very important. You saved our downtown from the horrible Downtown Destruction Plan.
      How did the clueless residents of Sierra Madre thank you? By not even re-electing you....they voted for the fugitive lying Mosca, the disgraceful Josh Moran and the pathetic idiot, Nancy Walsh.
      Reminds me of what the ungrateful English people did to Sir Winston Churchill, after he saved England in World War 2. They didn't even re-elect him. They've gone downhill ever since....so has Sierra Madre.

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    7. Our City has no say in district matters. The tax payers only foot the bill.

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    8. Can we say taxation without representation?

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  7. Hey, look at the bright side! They can turn Sierra Madre Middle School into some of that Chris Holden-Peter Dreier low income housing with that property! Who cares if our kids get bused clear across Pasadena to some gladiator school, at least we'll get some social equity, man!

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    1. There's a nice match between the demolished campus and the demolished hillside land up on One Carter.
      There could be a North and South branch of that low (to low-mod, don't forget about them!) income housing.

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    2. It is a development archipelago known as Buchanistan.

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    3. Both sites could be used by teachers for field trips when discussing Unsound Financial Practices, or Destructive Environmental Decisions.

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    4. I would hope these teachers would explain the irony that those responsible for these wanton acts of destruction all describe themselves as being "green."

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  8. What we are paying for, a new school. What we received is a torn down school, mobil trailers (there's an oxymoron)where our kids are taught, diminished our property value and we get to pay for it for years to come and some. Nice. Thank you Troll and Co.

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    1. Maybe we're being punished for something. Perhaps Professor Dreier can explain it.

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    2. Herr Dreier, you mean.

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    3. thanks also to the gullible parents that pushed this.

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  9. "The District is spending $50,000 to research why the bids are over budget. They expect it will take 2 more months to make changes and put the project back out for bid."
    What? Nobody can pick up the phone, call the bidders, and ask "Why are you charging so much?"

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    1. At the PUSD truth is required to have a huge price tag attached. Otherwise no one there will believe it.

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    2. $50,000 is the dollar amount de jour.
      Word has gone out in the consultant community that cities aren't biting at the $150,000 or $250,000 consultant fees as briskly as they once were. Times are tough.

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    3. I honestly cannot stop laughing at the $50,000 fee to find out why the bids are "too high." What if, horror of horrors, they cannot find someone to investigate the bid for $50,000? Will a study of the bid to review the bid be required?

      Maybe those tea party people have a point.

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    4. Maybe PUSD can spend $50,000 on a Public Safety Plan. I hear thats a good idea.

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    5. FYI: Districts are charged a fee for sites not used for school programs after a period of time.

      Sierra Madre Middle school is a demo site. Problem is, it's still being used as a school.

      http://www.dgs.ca.gov/opsc/Programs/unusedsiteprogram.aspx

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    6. File complaints everywhere. The more complaints PUSD has to field, the better. If parents file UCP complaints, they should do it with the CDE, NOT through PUSD. I know first hand that the process conducted "in house" is predetermined to find no violations.
      Here's a start...
      http://www.osha.gov/
      http://www.epa.gov/

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    7. Thanks, Mary, people need to follow through on your suggestion.
      COMPLAINTS, and enough of them, do matter.
      Just complain.

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    8. When asked about cost overruns during a public meeting the architect guaranteed the project would not be over budget. I laughed then and I am still laughing at the fools that believed him.

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    9. Word is, PUSD is garnering a monopoly on complaints with these agencies, including the Office of Civil Rights, the California Dept. of Ed, etc.

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    10. So we sue PUSD so they have to spend money responding to complaints?

      Seems like we should call the people who made the bids directly and ask them how to reduce the bid by 10 million.

      And also, someone needs to explain why we have 32 million set aside, but the cost for contruction is about 24 million. What is the other 8 million for?

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  10. Ah such a wonderful scam by the PUSD that we all fell for. they have never intended to build on the middle school site; decreasing demographics dictates that. It lowers the PUSD's costs to have a vacant lot to "care" for rather than monitor decrepit buildings -thus the ruse. And of course, the PUSD players love to get as much of our money as they can, so this is why Bart Doyle was selling hope for the campus last year when he noted at a meeting at Sierra Madre school (when the parents were "stamping their feet), that maybe we need to float another bond measure to ensure that this school gets built. I think the reality was to ensure that Robin (whatever his lat name is)m the bond guy for PUSD could buy more Bruno Magali shoes.
    One of the rules of life is: never vote yes for a school bond measure - it's just a license to steal.

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    1. Bart being the hero of public school parents is like having a coyote be the spokesman for chicken rights.

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    2. Speak for your self 8:34 when you use the term "WE". My friends and family did not fall for the lies or vote for the Measure. In fact "WE" campaigned against the Measure.

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  11. It's amazing how gullible we are. We want to believe in what these dishonest SOB's promise us.Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice.......

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    1. shame on me again (repeat)

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  12. this is great news - now we can build a few hundred condos in the space or a new subdivison

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    1. Sure. And bus Sierra Madre's kids halfway across the valley. How can we not be grateful to these people?

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    2. Are long as they're bused in alternate fuel vehicles!

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    3. I hear the "walkability" option might be pushed.

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  13. Sierra Madre K-12 at our historic school on W. Highland. Beautiful!

    Sell the Canon property (first we have to buy it back for the $1.00 we sold it to PUSD) for appropriately zoned housing and put the proceeds in the budget for SM K-12.

    Rescend our vote for Measure TT. We was jipped!

    There will not be enough high school students for full curriculum so on-line here we come!

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  14. Many years ago Sierra Madre residents voted to join the PUSD and give the schools to the district.

    I have heard from a good source the district plans to sell the Canon site to a developer. Should bring a nice price.

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  15. Bart Doyle plays both sides of the street. Unfortunately only one side knows it.

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  16. Ok, let's see....The PUSD Facilities subcommittee is chaired by? Oh, yes, Ed Honowitz.
    Second in command? Well that would be Tom Selinske.
    Guess who the staff lead would be? Uh huh, David Azcarraga. Is he back from his paid administrative leave yet?
    The PUSD Board Rep for Sierra Madre school? That used to be good 'ol Eddie. Not sure who it is since Sierra Madre lost their vote.
    The cards are stacked against this, it's very clear.
    We need some loud and effective voices in our corner.
    BTW, Mr. Ed is off to GREENer pastures.

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    1. The PUSD rep for Sierra Madre is a Player To Be Voted Later, like in 2015.

      Thanks, Bart. Helluva job.

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    2. Nothing Bart touches succeeds.

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  17. There's been a couple of Board of Ed members accused of "micro managing" the PUSD budget.
    Maybe if the Dreier/Honowitz followers had instead listened to what Phelps and Miramontes have been saying about all the unnecessary waste and nepotism some of this would have been curtailed.

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    1. Dreier, Honowitz and Holden are getting into the "social equity" housing business. Canon should be a big money maker for them. Screw Sierra Madre.

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    2. I hope The Tattler will tell the story of how Peter Dreier and his sleazy socialist housing scams were run out of Boston a number of years ago.

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  18. They should have message tagged Measure TT as Facility Improvement Bucks. That way the acronym would have been FIB.

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  19. Just heard about another robbery. The Simpson's old house, a mansion on Carter across the street from One Crater.

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    1. Criminals know Sierra Madre is a soft target. The Chief needs to be put out to pasture.

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    2. It's time we took action on the crime wave. Quick, let's spend $50,000 on a consultant!

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    3. That's odd. I have heard that the officers like to drive up there, chill out, enjoy the view....

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    4. Our mountains are carefully watched.

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    5. Why wasn't the home burglary of the Crawford home and the MacGillivray home ever investigated?
      Why were these two "hit"?
      Very strange that John Crawford and MaryAnn MacGillivray are probably the two top enemies of Bart Doyle's gang of crooks and bums, dirts and unicorns.
      Why do the police protect these gangsters, and allow decent citizens to be robbed?

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    6. Robbery last week on Vista Circle!!!

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  20. For those who want to be kept in the "Know."

    SGVCOG governing board will be having a meeting Thusday, January 17, 2013

    At 6:00 p.m. location; Southern California Edison CTAC, 6090 North Irwindale Avenue, Irwindale, Ca.

    27 agenda items have been posted.

    www.SGVCOG.org

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  21. 7:30 am R U kidding? (9:31 am - Is that you Bart? or are u poster 9:49?), a brake for Mcmansions or super big house land. Why do u think PUSD quickly cleared that field and than did not want to spend any real monies on the soccor/softball playing field? Could it be that the plan all along was to sell to hand picked developers? Lets make sure that the area stays zoned for a school only. The charter idea sounds great, Sierra Madre should have it's own school system.

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  22. On somewhat a different note.Your TAXES went up today!


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