Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fight for Your Right to Park On the Front Lawn

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(Mod: Sometimes things show up in my email box that just beg to get posted on The Tattler. And who am I to deny a story like this?)

Angry letter criticizing 'curb appeal' of Ocean City home sparks firestorm (Philly.com link) An anonymous letter sent to a couple in their 70s criticizing the “curb appeal” of their Ocean City home has sparked a social media firestorm.

The handwritten note was reportedly mailed to Bill and Barbara Doughten, who have lived in their home for decades.

“I’m trying to sell million dollar homes in the neighborhood,” it reads. “I drive my clients around and they see your car parked sideways on the front lawn! You have a driveway – use it!”

One of the Doughtens’ granddaughters, Stephanie Powley, responded to the missive in a Facebook post that has been shared more than 750 times.

“Did you take a moment to wonder why my grandfather parks in that lot?” Powley wrote. “Did it cross your mind that he may do it to be closer to his front door? Did you even take ONE second to consider your inconsiderate, ignorant actions before you scribbled your frustration on that piece of printer paper?”

Powley called the letter “unprofessional, anonymous and contemptuous” and said whoever mailed it left no return address, “like only a true coward would.”

“My grandparents have lived in Ocean City for longer than I'm sure you've been alive – and then some,” Powley wrote in her retort. “They are loved and treated with respect by all of their surrounding neighbors – who all know why they park the way they park.”

Real estate agent Jeff Quintin, of Berkshire-Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors, told NBC10 he found the letter “a little disturbing.”

“I think the realtor who wrote that is probably regretting that he did,” Quintin said. “I think it’s a very negative vibe for us.”

In spite of the letter, Barbara and Bill say they aren’t changing their parking habits.

“I can do whatever I want to do,” Barbara said. “I’m not moving the car. I don’t know of any million dollar homes in this neighborhood.”

(Mod: Does anyone know what a "Roach Realtor" is?)

Has the Library Closed Yet?

People write in with ideas for Tattler articles from time to time, but none much better than this one:

I was just wondering if you have heard any talk from Elaine Aguilar and crew since the UUT defeat about closing the library? I'm sure it was just a scare tactic. Would be nice to somehow call their bluff on it.

That is a very good point. So here's the question: Has the Library closed yet? Anybody heard anything about this happening anytime soon? Would somebody maybe call Councilmember Goss and ask if he's heard anything? And, most importantly, will there be a used book sale?

(Mod: Here's an update on a story we covered a while back.)

Taxing drivers by the mile? (LA Biz link) Southern Californians love to drive, but also tend to be environmentally forward-thinking. Those two propositions have caused much friction over the years, but a new bill proposed by a state senator could ignite a whole new firestorm.

The bill is SB 1077, written by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, envisions an unprecedented program that would tax drivers by the mile, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Thelegislation would grant authority to the California Transportation Agency, the Department of Motor Vehicles and other agencies to track vehicle miles traveled by motorists in a not-yet-determined city beginning in 2016.

A vehicle mileage tax would replace the current flat tax of 52.9 cents per gallon, according to the report.

The tax would create winners and losers, essentially punishing motorists who drive more. From an environmental standpoint, the tax would seem to reward commuters who find alternative forms of transportation, and those who eschew unnecessary trips.

A by-the-mile tax of just a nickel a mile beginning in 2025 could raise more than $110 billion annually for six counties in this part of the state: Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial, according to the Southern California Association of Governments.

(Mod: I have no doubt that the jerks at SCAG would volunteer us to serve as the crash test dummies for this bizarre experiment. I really do think I need to send a campaign contribution to whoever is running against DeSaulnier this year.)

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52 comments:

  1. I haven't heard anything about the library closing yet. Though I did hear that the city has imposed a hiring freeze.

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    1. I hope they have imposed a hiring freeze. There is no reason the City has to hire more people when they are pleading poverty.

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    2. Do we really need a Library? There is a nice one only about a mile away in East Pasadena. Computers and the internet have made it easy to do research, I wonder how many people use the Sierra Madre Library.

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    3. The library is a white elephant. Expensive, of minimal real use, and sacred. People who have not read a book in years get all misty eyed when you talk about it. On a practical level it could be put to far better use as a homeless shelter or document storage. But good luck trying to get rid of it.

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    4. Libraries will go the way of the typewriter or film cameras, Some people in town worship the Library, it's a major ego trip. (Stockley and Buchanan).............

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    5. The Sierra Madre library has over 300 patrons a day. The nice library in Hastings Ranch is, as you say, over 3 miles away. Too far for the school children from Bethany and Gooden to walk to (which they do). It is also the center for our archives (which is more than storage), programs and computer use. Libraries will not go away.

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    6. I'm a librarian, and libraries in general are highly valued as a place for the community, job hunting, reading, learning, exploring. The list goes on and on. Only someone who hasn't stepped foot in one would say that the library is going to be extinct.

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    7. The issue is not libraries. It was holding our library hostage to a tax increase ballot initiative. There was a lot of skepticism in Sierra Madre about this.

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    8. I doubt that the children walk any further than from to school to their parents cars. Too many dangers to let children walk any where by them selves. Sierra Madre does nothing about known pedophiles.

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    9. The politicians who used the hostage strategy during the election hurt the reputation of the library.

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    10. Apparently you have no children and don't do outside or read books. Sierra Madre is very safe for children hundreds walk to and from the library daily. Any pedo. in Sierra Madre is registered or has not been found guilty of any crime. I believe there is one rso in this city.What would you have the city do? Act on rumor and speculation and be sued for my tax dollars and up the utility tax?

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    11. I take it you are not familiar with the Matheson situation.

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    12. I'm no expert on him but I think he just looked at pictures of little boys? Not a crime yet idk maybe it is?

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    13. Possession of child pornography is a felony.

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    14. I assume if one were found guilty of a felony under Calif. law he would have to register? Am I (we) are missing something? I am not defending anyone it's a horrible crime....I don't think he's lurking about our town looking for victims though

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    15. I am sure you find your assurances to be reassuring.

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    16. I frequently have lunch downtown and see school children with their teachers walk to the library. Obviously you don't have children school age.

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. Was the person who left that note driving a pedicab?

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  4. Maybe if the California Department of Transportation has been wiser and spent the money they did have it would have stretched farther, take Caltrans for instance they have been proven to a useless over paid and malfunctioning leech attached to the tax payers wallets. Private industry is faster and cheaper, I suspect the California Department of Transportation is a carbon copy and needs to be slimmed down or removed and replace with private sector contractor.

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    1. Private industry is what will solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions from cars as well. Within 10 years most private transportation will be electric, powered by electricity produced by solar, wind and geothermal sources. SCAG, Caltrans, COG and the corrupt losers in Sacramento responsible for stack and pack SB375 are working late 2oth century solutions for a world that doesn't need them.

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  5. Million doallar homes, multi-million dolar homes....interesting discussion on KPCC yesterday about mansionization:
    http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2014/05/06/37293/should-los-angeles-curb-mansionization-with-tighte/

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    1. I have at last found my role in life. I will look nice for realtors selling million dollar houses.

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    2. Heaven forbid you should cut into their profits with your shabby self.

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    3. A caller that was on talked about an ordinance in his city where footprints over 3000sq ft were not allowed. How can we do this here in Sierra Madre? This sounds like a fantastic idea.

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  6. LA Times, editorial today, too.

    This note smacks much of the same attitude in the comments from a couple of days ago where we in Sierra Madre were asked, petulantly, if driving by Anokia and Singing Woods on our way to our humble abodes in Sierra Madre made us feel inadequate by comparison.

    Makes me proud to live well below my means. I will make it through hard times and not have the bank take over my hugely mortgaged life.

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    1. Woody Guthrie and Warren Buffet applaud you. as do I

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  7. Cutbacks wouldn't need to start until the UUT rates change, which I believe is in two years. There won't be any immediate changes.

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    1. It takes time to shut something down. The planning would have to start right around now.

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  8. My ramshackle shack has a dead lawn(no water)needs paint and a new roof(no money). It is more than a house it is my home of 50+ years. I will make it as humble as possible too prying eyes so as to keep property values down. Yes I'm a pesky senior.... to or too ? grammar police check in...............

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    1. I was thinking of putting old toilets in my front yard and planting flowers in them.

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    2. I believe that is called johnnyscaping.

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  9. Got it! Keep your Sierra Madre modest house, probably already paid for, as shabby as possibel (opps, there might be an ordinance out there to keep it spiffy to some degree) and keep the megamansionmonsters out of our neighborhoods.

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    1. People who buy million dollar houses are demanding and extremely fussy. An old rusty truck in the front yard could work wonders.

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    2. Truthfully if someone wants to give me close to $1,000,000.00 for my hovel I'll take the money and move to Leisure World.

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    3. My motor home that I haven't moved for 12 years seems to work well. As soon as gas prices go down I may actually use it!

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    4. What about large porcelain Disney characters?

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    5. Beer Cans..........

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  10. Dead front lawns--pull up the grass--let the decomposed granet re-emerge and when the urge to plant with local, drought-tollerent natives comes upon you, head to the California Native Plant Society plant sale this fall or to the Theodore Payne Native Plant nursery in Tuna Canyon.

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  11. home sales realtors are such a classy bunch

    my next door neighbor who has always been sort of a jerk is selling his home, so when he has an open house or I see other realtos showing it, I put my really big dog in the front yard and he barks up a storm

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  12. I want the library to stay but I would like it if Pasadena took it over

    we are paying a head librarian over 80,000 a year to run a mini branch

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    1. She is worth every penny. Do you know how much it would cost to be annexed to Pasadena Library? Such simplistic solutions sometimes cost more ....such as the Sheriff's Dept. for the kind of service we need.

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    2. $80,000 for a head librarian isn't that much actually. She's running the entire library, and while it's not big, she's overseeing a budget, staff, programming, collections, and much more. If you want to hire someone who will work for cheaper, you will get what you pay for.

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  13. Let that bus that drives around town empty take the kids to Pasadena, or Arcadia, those are great libraries. We can't afford the library we have and some people want to build a new one!

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    1. Gezz! put your children on a bus to Pasadena or Arcadia. Mine will stay here thank you. We can afford the library.

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    2. Put your kids on a bus? My Kids were bused all over Pasadena when the court ordered it. Some to Eliot, some to Wilson. No thank you. As one above said, we can afford the library and it is a vital part of our community, and in our children's lives. You can take the bus to Arcadia or Pasadena if you want.

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    3. But didn't Gene Goss say if we didn't vote to raise our taxes the library would close?

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    4. Gene Goss said lots of things. Some of them were true. Others weren't.

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  14. Leave the bussing to Pasadena Unified School District.
    Won't the top soil be wind driven if I remove my dead lawn?
    Every one work together to reduce all departments in the city to expensives; possible back before the 1st UUT, or ask for more contributions for employee retirements to be made by the employee.
    Or just re assign every one to be a pod and wait for the next invasion on Kersting Court in Sierra Madre.

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    1. You can put weedmatting and then rocks down. Get some succulents that flower for some color. And a drip irrigation system does wonders.

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  15. I love Sierra Madre. "Sierra Madre breeds" Don't tread on us. When we need to be we are one. PUSD bused me all over the county in the early 70's I could have been something/someone but Nooo.............

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