|You mean there's … crime?|
You know the rhythm, the library will close, the Police Department will go away, the unquiet dead will rise from their graves and the neighborhood coyotes will stop by for coffee and steal your silverware just as soon as your back is turned. The world might end, too.
You never really can tell, right?
Pretty much standard issue stuff from our current ambitious young politico, though. If you want to make it to the big time in the Los Angeles County political machine you need to be an earner. And in that world earning means suckering more tax money out of the citizens. If you can do that, and pump that tax money into the pockets of the many special interests and government employee unions that grease the skids of that machine, then you could go far in so bizarre a world.
But John Harabedian has a problem. That being he has a political tin ear. Lacking for that necessary subtlety the more gifted pols have, John doesn't pick up on the nuances of the day, and therefore leaves himself open for potential embarrassment. This from his News.net argument in favor of Measure UUT:
When deciding how to vote on Measure UUT on Tuesday, residents should be asking themselves one overarching question: what type of city do I want to live in five or ten years from now? The reason why I am voting Yes on Measure UUT is because I want to ensure that Sierra Madre will continue to be the safe and vibrant community that we live in today for years to come.
My “Yes” vote is directly informed by my experience as a long-time Sierra Madre resident. Having grown up in Sierra Madre, I have a few vivid memories about my childhood. One is always feeling safe within the City’s confines. There was not a day in my life in which I felt vulnerable while riding my bike with friends, playing in Sierra Vista Park, or walking home from school.
Now at the same exact time that John Harabedian was praising the safeness of Sierra Madre, the following group e-mail was being out sent to the Neighborhood Block Watch Captains, which was then forwarded to crime cognizant residents such as my esteemed self. And tucked within this far more realistic appraisal of what has been going on here for the last couple of years or so is the sense that perhaps this community is not quite as safe as the Mayor Pro Tem's misty childhood memories might indicate. Check this out from SMPD Chief Larry Giannone:
The Sierra Madre Police Department is searching for the rightful owners of recovered stolen property.
The Sierra Madre Police Department recently arrested a suspect for residential burglary. The suspect entered unlocked residences and vehicles to steal property. The department has recovered several items of property believed to be stolen. In an effort to determine the legitimate owner of the property, the recovered items will be on display on the police department’s web site.
You can go to the following link http://cityofsierramadre.com/departments/police-department to view photographs of the recovered property under the file(s) named SMPD case # 130652 and/or SMPD case # 140071. The link will be available for viewing between April 1, 2014 to April 30, 2014.
If you have been a victim of burglary during the past year, please look through the listed photographs and identify property by the image number. Once you have identified property you believe may belong to you please call to arrange an appointment with the Sierra Madre Police Department Detective Bureau. You must provide a police report and/or proof that the items you have selected belong to you. The proof can be in the form of a photograph depicting you wearing the item, a serial number, or a receipt clearly describing the property.
If you go to the link provided by the SMPD (click here), you will taken to page after page of photos of stolen goods. Laptop computers, jewelry, silverware, watches, you name it they got it. It really is a striking collection of other peoples' property, photographed in an otherworldly setting. Perhaps, like us, you too have had your house robbed over the past few years, and you'd like to take a look? You just might see an old friend pictured in there somewhere.
There is also a related article on the Pasadena Star News website called "Sierra Madre Police looking for owners of recovered stolen goods." You can link to it here. And while you're at it, you might also want to take a look at another one called, "$2,500 reward offered in Sierra Madre pharmacy burglary" (link). I don't believe that reward has been collected yet.
On March 31st the following was posted to the Police Blotter:
BURGLARY SUSPECTS IN CUSTODY: On March 31, 2014 at 1:34 PM a local resident noticed two male African American men standing outside of a residence in the 100 blk of S. Baldwin Avenue. The resident had never seen these individuals in the area and thought it was suspicious that one walked towards the house while the other watched from the front looking up and down Baldwin. Officers arrived in the area and the two suspects took off. A few minutes later an observant resident saw the two male African American males walk to a trash can in front of his residence on Esperanza and dump a large screw driver and a glove in the trash can. Officers arrived in the area and found the suspects behind the band shell at Memorial Park. They were taken into custody without incident. They were positively identified by our witnesses. Both suspects are from out of the area. They were booked for an attempted residential burglary. Without the help of these citizens someone in the city would have become a victim today. So please remember if you “See something Say something” it does pay off in the end.
I am not really certain that any politician hoping to get the residents to vote themselves a utility tax increase would want to be pushing the "Safe Sierra Madre" meme right now. We are coming off one of the worst home invasion crime waves in this community's history, and there are still a lot of bad feelings and unhappy memories out there.
Then again, could any politician say what the Measure UUT utility tax hike is really all about? Increased pensions, benefits and some of the highest costing city employee health care plans in the entire State of California? All backed by the highest utility tax rates anywhere? Not if you want to be an earner.
Be sure to check out Chief Giannone's stolen property picture gallery. I am not sure there has ever been anything quite like it in Sierra Madre before.