Saturday, March 2, 2013

District 3 PUSD Board of Ed Candidate Ruben Hueso Loses United Teachers of Pasadena Endorsement - Plus: Lutz Water Tax Attack!

Bone bit
You might recall that The Tattler made some news a few weeks back when we revealed that Ruben "Bone" Hueso had violated the rules of the Boy Scouts of America by swiping scout imagery for a campaign postcard. Despite Hueso's supposed close association with the Boy Scouts he was reprimanded by authorities there for what was a direct violation of the rules of that organization. One that takes a dim view of its emblems, and in this case photos of actual uniformed Boy Scouts as well, being used as personal campaign props. When questioned about this by the Pasadena Star News, Hueso's response was: "I can't hide who I am."

Apparently he hasn't be able to hide who he is from the United Teachers of Pasadena, either. The influential labor organization whose endorsement had become the centerpiece of Hueso's campaign has decided they no longer wish to be associated with this particular candidate, and instead has now rather unceremoniously dumped him. This from the Pasadena Star News (click here):

The city's teachers union has rescinded its endorsement of school board candidate Ruben Hueso, who said he learned about the action only when contacted by the media.

The United Teachers of Pasadena didn't specify why it's no longer backing Hueso, one of four candidates vying to represent Northwest Pasadena's District 3, an open seat.

"The United Teachers of Pasadena Executive Board unanimously recommended pulling the endorsement at an emergency Executive Board meeting last week," union president Alvin Nash said in a statement. "We did not make this decision lightly but after much thoughtful consideration. It was our collective decision that Mr. Hueso did not satisfy the UTP requirements for endorsement."

The Pasadena Weekly also has a story about Ruben Hueso's now vanished UTP endorsement up on their web page (click here). And while the teacher's union did not seem to care to share any of the juicy details of their unprecedented dropping of Hueso, at least officially, the P-Weekly did find someone there who had something to share:

No love lost: United Teachers of Pasadena rescinds endorsement of Board of Ed candidate Ruben Hueso - United Teachers of Pasadena (UTP) has rescinded its endorsement of District 3 Board of Education candidate Ruben Hueso over questions regarding some of Hueso’s other supporters.

“There were some issues with his endorsements and campaign team,” UTP President Alvin Nash told the Weekly. Without being specific, Nash said Hueso had provided conflicting information on different forms regarding endorsements from individuals and organizations. Hueso, Nash said, was informed of the union’s impending action by phone message on Feb. 14 — Valentine’s Day — and was given until Monday night to respond, but did not.

“Communication broke down and he stopped returning our calls,” Nash said. “We gave him a deadline and he did not call back.”

When reached by phone Thursday, Hueso told the Weekly he did not know UTP had withdrawn its support. “They have my email, phone number and personal phone number,” Hueso said. “I have not received anything from them. I need to call them. For an organization like this to make this decision, I would say the least they could do is contact me.”

Nash said that when UTP officials contacted a number of people who Hueso said supported him, they were told that information was incorrect. He also said that the UTP board had problems with Hueso receiving endorsements from some unnamed school officials from outside the Pasadena Unified School District who were not aligned with pro-labor and pro-teacher groups.

After reading this piece you really have to start wondering if Hueso is even capable of telling a straight story. He apparently fibbed to the UTP about some of his campaign endorsements, and after having been informed of his growing problems with the union, refused to return their phone calls, later feigning complete surprise when they dumped him. Ruben appears to have misplaced his Scout's Honor.

And then there is this:

Hueso, who has a daughter in public school and another daughter who recently graduated from Pasadena High School, is also s endorsed by Assemblyman Chris Holden, Ed Honowitz, former Board of Education member Jackie Jacobs and Democrats of the Pasadena Foothills.

Obviously Hueso is the candidate of the corrupt Pasadena political establishment, and none of this should have been a surprise. These are people who will do or say anything to keep their grip on political power. There are also some growing questions about Hueso's campaign finances, specifically in regards to those who have been giving him substantial donations. We will be reporting on that soon.

Gil Aguirre reports on the SGVCOG's "Clean Beaches - Water Tax" so-called workshop

COG's water tax workshop was pretty well attended, I would guess about 60 brave souls ventured out to hear about the new Clean Beaches tax proposal.  Most were local politicians, but a few members of the public seemed to show up as well. It was nice to see the public wasn’t turned away, but then again they weren’t really invited either.

Over the last couple of years I have grown accustomed to attending SGVCOG meetings and am always amazed how the COG can make simple issues complicated and complicated issues incomprehensible.

And their “workshop” on the proposed Los Angeles County Clean Water Clean Beaches Measure didn’t disappoint.  Pretty simple proposal really – levy a tax on every single piece of real estate in Los Angeles County based on the potential water runoff caused by rain ... aka the rain tax.

Now I can usually spot a slick sales pitch and it was quickly clear that was exactly what was in store for those in attendance.  The technique employed was the old two step method: first confuse and scare everyone, then introduce their salvation … this new tax proposal.

SGVCOG Vice President Mary Ann Lutz kicked things off by describing the compliance process required by each city under the Federal Clean Water Act. She explained the permit process and characterized how burdensome and costly the requirements can be. These regulations and the permit are created and administered by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, however Lutz failed to mention that she helped create these very regulations and the permit requirements while she sat on this Board for some 8 years. (I understand she was removed from the Board recently, something about the law saying you can’t hold incompatible offices I think)

Now Lutz is a lot of things, but a great orator may not be one of them.  Think of Nancy Walsh running a two hour meeting and you start to get a vision of how painful this part of the workshop quickly became.

After describing how complicated the compliance process can be, Lutz went on and on about the potential fines each City might face for non-compliance. $10,000 per violation per day was hammered home to the local officials in attendance.  My favorite was when we all heard that if 5 McDonalds bags were discovered in the City run off canal, that could result in a $50,000 fine. When the crowd was sufficiently scared about how they were going to comply with these burdensome and costly regulations, it became time for the big gun from Los Angeles County to take over.

A well spoken gent by the name of Russ Bryden from the Los Angeles County Flood Control District took over.  I didn’t get his exact title, but it sure sounded important. He began by letting everyone know that he wasn’t there to advocate in favor of the measure, but was there to educate and inform. So it was hardly a surprise that he then proceeded to spend the rest of the evening advocating for the Measure!

Russ also let everyone know that the forward thinkers (his term not mine) over at the County had determined that the answer to the compliance issues was to create a regional solution, as this is just too tough of an issue for the cities to handle on their own.  He even used the MTA and COG as glowing examples of how regional agencies were the answer to all our problems.

There was a slide show with charts and bright lights. And Russ waived a handful of papers around which apparently contained lots of important statistics and information upon which he relied. But in the end it boiled down to just two key points:

First, the proposed tax measure would create 9 new regional agencies similar to our very own COG.  These newly created agencies would be called WAG’s, for Watershed Authority Groups, and each would be comprised of appointed, not directly elected, bureaucrats charged with deciding how best to spend the new found cash raised by the tax.  There would also be a Stakeholder Advisory Board and Oversight Board created, which would again be comprised of appointed hangers on.

Russ took great pains to let us know that these groups would protect us from any potential malfeasance on the part of the WAGs, he just forgot to mention that they really won’t have any power or authority beyond making recommendations.  These Boards will operate much like the Citizen Oversight Board does for the PUSD Bond program. Something that turned out to be a bit of a nightmare for those serving on them.

More importantly, the measure would also create a much coveted revenue stream. This "revenue stream" (which is government speak for new taxes of course) would impose a billion dollars in new taxes on property owners over the next 5 years alone.  The County would get $100 million of that money for “administering” the program, while the WAGs would get the lions share to spend as they see fit.  Some of the tax money would go back to each City to spend on their own projects and in the case of Sierra Madre that would be about $150,000 a year.

Russ also wanted to make it very clear that the program would charge property owners a fee, not a tax.  He pointed out that sure the fee would be listed on your yearly property tax bill and collected by the Assessor, but it isn’t a tax. Now I am a simple guy, if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be a duck.  Although the distinction may have consequences for property owners when it comes time to try and deduct these costs from their annual income taxes.

A couple of other points came out such as the measure having a yearly cost of living increase built right in. In other words, the tax can go up each and every year with no further approval from voters needed.  As well, the measure has no sunset clause, which means the tax can be collected on a permanent basis.

Lastly Russ Bryden explained that the confusion over the measure, and the fact that only property owners would be required to pay the new tax, was due to the evil requirements contained in Prop 218.  Passed by an overwhelming majority of voters back in 1996, Prop 218 requires that those being affected by the tax be given the right to vote on the proposal. In this case, that would be the property owners.  Of course prior to the adoption of Prop 218, the taxing agency could simply approve the new tax and we had little to say about it.

That pretty much sums up the evening. The County wants to charge us $Billions in new taxes and create a myriad of new agencies filled with un-elected bureaucrats, all to deal with the pesky rain that happens every now and again.

And for you movies fans out there, think of the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. I have no doubt that if the County guys should ever find themselves out of a job they do possess the needed skills to peddle swampland property to elderly retired folks.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

67 comments:

  1. Tattler Friends,

    The question in this election is who do you trust? Well, at this point any trust in Hueso has been blown out of the water. I have been right about Hueso since day one despite some naysayers in this blog and elsewhere. I feel vindicated but sad since it is kind of late in the game but, it is now out there for everyone to see. Hueso may have been able to fool some of the people but not all of the people. Greed did him in.

    I have formally requested that the Pasadena Star News and the Pasadena Sun withdraw their endorsements of Hueso. The Pasadena Sun responded by saying that they will not because they based their decision of what they knew or didn't know about Hueso then. They promise to investigate. The Pasadena Star News did not respond.

    I am kind of perplexed, as well, because I saw pictures of candidates in the offices of the head of the Armenian Coalition but, I was not invited to mingle with him and DID NOT receive an invitation to partake with them. Then, when I asked the editor of the Pasadena Star News why I wasn't invited to meet with their editorial board, I was informed that the invitations went out but, as it is always the case, the invitation got misplaced somewhere in cyberspace.

    I am not a believer of conspiracy theories but, I do believe that there was a concerted effort from the establishment to silence me by purposely not inviting me to forums and other events where I could make my arguments for an independent candidate who has your best interests at heart, not the interests of the corrupt environment that plagues the PUSD nowadays. I am the inconvenient truth I guess.

    However, I on the run, I am on the offensive, I got the momentum going for me and, with your help, we can be the biggest upset in Pasadena political history.

    I can assure you that I have not receive any money from the establishment besides a few dollars in fliers that someone donated, in-kind help from others and a little of my own money.

    Again, as we get even closer to election day, we still got time to change the outcome of this election. I ask that you help me making the BOE more independent and accountable to the tax payers of Pasadena, Sierra Madre and Altadena.

    VOTE FOR GUILLERMO ARCE MARCH 5, 2013 FOR THE PUSD BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 3

    Cheers!
    Guillermo Arce
    Candidate for the PUSD Board of Education District 3



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    1. Chris Chahinian runs the Armenian Coalition. He also helped write anti-Sierra Madre Measure A. His candidates are all out of the Dreier/Holden/Honowitz mob. Bone, Murga, Ayala, that crew. These are the people who are destroying the PUSD and must be stopped.

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  2. Mr. Chahinian is nothing but a sleazeball and a liar. He did not invite me to the forum on purpose. I don't care how many times he swears that he did, he did not. The same could be said about other forums in which I was not invited and was invited after I brought to their attention whether it was an oversight, of course, it was the latter according to them or my favorite one "we sent you an e-mail." Well, like Chahinian's invitation it was lost in cyberspace as well. What were these people thinking? Just look at the Armenian Coalition Facebook to see that other candidates were invited to Mr. Chahinian's office to mingle. Tattler readers that was an invitation that I did not get, neither did I get the invitation to their forum at Marshall. I just crashed their party when I had to invite myself to it leaving Chahinian no chance to say no.

    The same happened with the California Employees Union forum at Blair and the late invitation to UTP forum at the beginning of this election contest. However, at the end of the day, look who fell from grace, it was not me since I was not the anointed one, their anointed one though that he could play all fields, but got caught by the same people who pushed him forward.

    WHO DO YOU TRUST?

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    1. I trust you Mr. Arce, as much as one can trust a person running for office, and who seems to have good intentions.
      My question to you is, if you're elected, what will you do to deal with the massive procedural violations and denials that PUSD Spec. Ed has wreaked upon the students desperately needing those services? Could parent trigger work? How would you be able to force change through a complete overhaul of the department? I don't think you could get the Board majority to agree with you...

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    2. Guillermo, the folks in San Diego got wise to Hueso's big brother. All you have to do is search a little to find it. Hueso's big brother gave him a nice chunk of money a couple days ago. Wonder where that money came from...

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    3. Mr. Arce, I asked the question at 7:19. Do you have any answers?

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    4. Parent trigger should be an option if the school district cannot provide a FAPE. I also believer that it is time to start contracting out some special education services to NPSs and NPAs that could do the job. Otherwise, they will never dig themselves out of the hole. Whether I can force the board remember that I am a parent first and as a parent, I'll forcefully advocate for reform, I'll invite parents to the Board meetings and will demand from the majority change otherwise, suffer the consequences of a bunch of pissed off parents and a pissed off Board member. However, I do believe that if a realistic plan can be moved forward, the majority will move forward with me.

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    5. Thank you for responding Mr. Arce. My understanding is that PUSD already pays out tons of money for consultants, but keeps on staff incompetents.

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    6. Guillermo, the Special Ed Task force brought to the Board last May a plan of recommendations. Rather than moving forward on the recommendations based on several past district audits, the recommendations were handed over to the Spec Ed Dept.
      Guess what's happened to those recommendations?

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    7. Can I guess? They're doing some "research" on them?

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    8. They're interviewing consultants, perhaps?

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    9. Folding paper airplanes?

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    10. Asking for an audit of the recommendations?

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    11. They're setting up conferences and travel to investigate how other districts do it.

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    12. And after all that new research, they have come up with a NEW plan- keep everything as is!

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    13. But they are not taking the bus.

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    14. They're calling Herr Dreier to the rescue!

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    15. I was just informed by the Director of Special Ed that unfortunately, the recommendations have been lost.

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    16. They're consulting with their lawyers to see how they can get out of this fine mess!

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    17. They're attending Professor Dreier's lecture on the aesthetics of smearing your critics.

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    18. Consultants is not what the PUSD Special Education Department need, what they need is people who can do the job. There are plenty of NPSs and NPAs that would love to serve the kids of Pasadena and are more capable to provide a service that the PUSD itself. The Spec. Ed. department is delusional in their thinking that they can provide services just using PUSD staff. Let me give an example. They only have one behaviorist (Jackie Marvel) who is trying to get her BCBA certification so they can say that they have someone that is certified in ABA and she, in turn train all the aides and teachers in behavioral interventions. How delusional is that? It is way too over her head and, it will create service gaps since, to begin with, the PUSD doesn't enough aides and trained GE teachers to provide behavioral supports. This means that someone is not going to get his/her behavioral support plan fully implemented if at all.

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    19. Did you know that Diana Browning Wright is contracted as a consultant with PUSD? They pay her tons of money to train staff. She's tops in the field, but what is she doing in PUSD? http://www.pent.ca.gov/


      Guess what I just found out in February? My son's Behavior Intervention Plan can't be found in his special ed file. So they're funding 1:1 behavior aides.....and no justification for why.

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    20. Jackie Marvel is a PUSD tool who prior to her new incarnation was the psychologist who would test students to remove all special ed services so that parents had to go to due process.

      When an incident where an autistic child showed a mark on his leg and said an aide kicked him, she said she did NOT believe the child without even interviewing him. She also insisted that the aide remain at the school site, despite the fact that the aide used undocumented physical restraints, besides the allegations of hitting.

      Oh course she's been promoted! That's how PUSD deals with their problems.

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    21. So PUSD has Jaqueline Marvel as the lead behaviorist, yet she is not BCBA certified? How is she qualified to even do behavior support plans, let alone train staff?

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    22. PUSD leave that to parent vigilantes in Sierra Madre to take care of. They have a special room to put the naughty kids in.

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    23. PUSD leave that to parent vigilantes in Sierra Madre to take care of. They have a special room to put the naughty kids in.

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    24. Never underestimate the ability of civilians to behave cruelly when they think they are doing it for legitimate government authority.

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    25. i am sorry to say i know exactly what it means to watch people do exactly that . to a child. i will never underestimate that intrinsic evil again.

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  3. ...and, by the way, when I tried to bring to Hueso the fact that he was misleading the people with his flyer, the e-mail bounced back as undelivered. Probably that was the same problem that the UTP had. Hueso may have changed his e-mail address but remiss in telling anyone.

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    1. Hueso is as big a liar as Ayala. What a fine ethical bunch of people the PUSD wreckers are running.

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    2. Bury the Bone.

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    3. Melt the Ice.

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    4. Hueso + Ayala + Murga = HAM

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    5. Can anyone tell me how Ayala was able to buy a million dollar estate in Pasadena while representing immigrants?

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    6. He was selling them to ICE by the pound.

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  4. Always remember that F-E-E is just another way to spell T-A-X.

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  5. The County wants to raise our fees, that are paid and assessed just like a tax. Why don't they just call them fuzzy bunnies?

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    1. I know some people in the area who would be very comfortable paying for an increased fuzzy bunny.

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  6. gotta love the tactics of the COG. First, fearmongering, then the offering of a solution (read, another new tax), and then the enticement for the pain: they will give back a miniscule portion of the collected tax to the cities.

    Beware, no matter what they say or how they say it, they do not have the citizens' best interests at heart.. They are purely out for their own power and self-agrandizement.

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    1. The COG is a cancer on the San Gabriel Valley. More taxes and the environmentally destructive 710 Tunnel. And then there is the endless corruption.

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    2. Appointed bureaucrats WAGing? Good God.

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  7. " the COG can make simple issues complicated and complicated issues incomprehensible."
    Ain't it the truth?
    One of the requirements to be an obfuscator. Perfect example here in Sierra Madre? Suites and dwelling units...

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    1. or changing the name of the green committee to "natural resources something or other"

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  8. Action was taken much too late. Think about the voters that have cast absentee ballots or the voters that will never hear about the loss of endorsements.

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  9. Sounds like Lutz was soporific, but what would one expect from Conway's handmaiden? Certainly not independent thought or honesty.

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    1. Who can bench press more? Lutz or Messina?

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    2. None of Slick Nick's charisma rubbed off on her.

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    3. Barbara is much more of a man than Conway.

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  10. The County can go ahead and levy those fines on all the cities - and push them all into bankruptcy. Would you string of bankrupt cities in the San Gabriel Valley suit the county? This economic bullying is an empty threat.

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    1. Leaving California looks better all the time.

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    2. Only, 9:23 am, if if there were somewhere better to go... If it's not the corrupt politics or the abject poverty it's something else.

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    3. 8:53, you are right on the money. I can find no instance of any city in the Valley ever receiving the outrageous fines described at the meeting.
      It is all smoke and mirrors designed to intimidate people.

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    4. It is an historic moment in L.A. County. The parasite is becoming larger than its host.

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  11. 9;23 What are you waiting for

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    1. Traffic is jammed all the way to the border.

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    2. I'm waiting for a little more money, narrowing the list of possibilities to the few best that will work out, preparing the family, including some semi-dependent extended members. Working out the details. It's a mistake to think this is as good as it gets. Especially in Sierra Madre.

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    3. It is a very nice place, but there are a lot of bad people trying to make a few quick bucks wrecking it. Both here and elsewhere. California is a one party collectivist state. Nothing as good as Sierra Madre can be allowed to stand. It makes the poor people feel bad.

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    4. Sierra Madre was built by people who couldn't afford fancier cities.

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    5. It's a nice place if you don't get involved in the politics.

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    6. Wrong 12:18. It is a nice place because some people did get involved. Sierra Madre would be a half-assed imitation of Pasadena by now if people had done nothing.

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    7. What are the cumulative effects of the new medical building, the new restaurant/office building across the street from it, the new castle suburb in the hillsides, and the new assisted living facility? Cumulative impact: half-assed imitation of Pasadena with a sprinkling of Arcadia.

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    8. I think that is called Moranistan.

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  12. Economic bullying is the way government in this state works.

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  13. Off topic, but it's the Tattler and we don't care: Do you recall when the Green Committee and Councilmember Walsh talked about the billions of dollars that would be coming from the Federal government to us, this year, for the Green? Billions, not millions. They did say that. Interesting to remember, in light of the Sequester.

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    1. You will have to ask John Buchanan what she meant. Not sure she'll know.

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  14. They must be salavating all over LA! Nine new Regional Districts, with appointed structures, with Oversight and Stakeholder Boards, born of Prop 218 sleeze, funded with rear view mirror control and hopefully a bit part for Burt Lancaster from the 1956 Movie "Rain Maker" which used Folly and Stupidity to make money when it Rained. Man the County Politicians and Bureaucrats are coming out big for this one.

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    1. The Board of Supervisors operates along the same principle as a tapeworm. They just keep needing more.

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