Saturday, May 31, 2014

Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center Chairman Cameron M. Thornton Denies Secret Meetings Have Taken Place

God's Builder: Cameron Thornton
There has been an interesting turn of events in the ongoing Mater Dolorosa land sale and development controversy. Cameron M. Thornton, pictured here in apparently happier times, has now issued a rather stern press release to all local news media, including The Tattler, claiming charges that secret meetings have been held at Sierra Madre City Hall are "mischaracterizations."

I thought this blog would be as good a place as any to discuss this matter since it was here that questions regarding secret meetings between Mater Dolorosa's pro-development management, New Urban West (the actual developer), and paid staff members from Sierra Madre City Hall, first arose. And judging by Mr. Thornton's reaction, such questions have not been received very well in his corner of the information exchange, and he felt he needed to let his objections be heard.

The initial source for questions regarding a first secret meeting was Elaine Aguilar, the City Manager of Sierra Madre. Here is what she revealed in the May 23rd, 2014 version of her weekly report to our City Council:

UPDATE REGARDING MATER DOLOROSA PASSIONIST RETREAT CENTER: Jerry Pearson, Cameron Thornton, and representatives from New Urban West met with City staff this week regarding their future plans for the development of the lower portion of the Mater Dolorosa property into single-family residential development. They informed staff that an agreement has been signed with New Urban West to develop the site, and that New Urban West will begin “due diligence” starting in June, and will begin community outreach in June - meeting with neighbors door-to-door, contacting stakeholders as well as Planning Commissioners and City Councilmembers to introduce themselves. New Urban West anticipates an application submittal by Fall of this year.

Now this meeting was not announced to the public, no notices for it were published in Sierra Madre's adjudicated newspaper, The Mountain Views News, nor were invitations issued to any of the many concerned parties in this community. Or even those parties that are not concerned. It was, for all intents and purposes, private, unannounced, and therefore by definition, secret.

Does this make it a bad thing? Not necessarily. Just because this meeting was held in private doesn't mean great evil was done. Or not done, for that matter. It's just that nobody knew when or where (or if) this was happening except the specially invited parties.

But here's some more news. According to what I have been hearing, and from reliable sources, other secret meetings have taken place as well. Including meetings with New Urban West, Cameron ThorntonCity Staff and individual City Councilmembers. If this is true, and I have so far been given no good reason to believe it isn't, then the only people who have not met with the developer and the people running the monastery these days are the residents.

Private meetings between advocates for unpopular development projects and our city officials happen more often than they should here. It is the stuff of local legend. But it doesn't mean that these particular meetings were a cabal of evil. It could be that these confabs were merely secret, and nothing else.

But for whatever the reason, Mr. Thornton discusses the matter in his press release as if secrecy is a bad thing. Which might say much more about him personally then it does the nature of the meetings he purportedly participated in. Here is the press release, and in what I am assuming are Cameron's own words:


The point about whether 60 homes will be built on the Mater Dolorosa site or not should have been directed to Sierra Madre Development Services Director Danny Castro. That controversial EIR to the General Plan he is working on seems to have been the source for this one. Not that anyone should take too much comfort in the "less than 50" spoken of in Thornton's press release.

But again, questions about secret meetings came about because secret meetings (by definition) did take place. We have that account of a first one in City Manager Elaine Aguilar's own words.

If Mr. Thornton finds the "secret meeting" charge to be offensive or troubling, then perhaps he shouldn't have held the ones he apparently did. Hopefully he won't want to participate in any more of them. And blaming the messengers will hardly improve things. That never does.

My advice to Mr. Thornton is, going forward, invite the public to everything he does that pertains to his Mater Dolorosa development project. There is no more effective balm for misunderstanding than the clean fresh air of transparency. Throw open those doors and let all hear what you and your business associates have to say.

People have a right to know. It is their community, after all.

Mr. Thornton should also discuss the considerable sacrifices he will soon ask the people of Sierra Madre to make. After all, it isn't his house that all of those trucks and land movers will be rumbling past for the next few years. And it isn't Cameron, who works out of an office in Burbank, that will be inhaling diesel exhaust and construction dust for the next few years.

However, our children will.

Here is my invitation to Mr. Thornton. Send me your notes from the meetings you have held in private with City Staff and City Councilmembers. I will then print them here and what happened will no longer be a secret.

Pretty good deal, right?

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

132 comments:

  1. Why does the City Maanger think its ok to hold these meetings in secret? If they want to go "door-to-door" to try to bambozzle the residents, that's one thing and they are certainly allowed to do that. But its another thing to meet with City Officials behind closed doors. The City Manager should be warning City Officials about those meeitngs and not advocating them.

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    1. Yes. And why was she so cheerful about it? Her written account is positively chipper. We're talking about a community disaster here.

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    2. Our City Manager should be working for the best interests of the residents and not the developer.

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    3. Why should Elaine be concerned about the residents of Sierra Madre of what we have to put up with if this development were to be approved, she doesn't live in Sierra Madre.

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    4. It is too bad she works in Sierra Madre.

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    5. Elaine holding secret meetings is nothing new. She always does...and don't forget those closed City Council sessions held before the regular meetings when she and the lawyer (whichever the Coluntino and Levine mouthpiece is present) say before the regular open meeting that they cannot disclose anything. Why should they tell us, the residents, anything? We just have to live with their duplicitous dealings. I'm so happy we have a new City Council.

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  2. Of all the pojects which everyone should err on the side of transparancy, this one would be it. City Offiicals should not be facilitating a development that the vast majority of residentis in Sierra Madre do not want.

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  3. Putting 50 big houses at Mater Dolorosa's beautiful land is not God's work. It should never ever be called that.

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  4. I hope no meetings with Planning Commission members or City Council members occured after Tuesday's official City Council meeting when at least two residents brought up their concerns about this very issue. It smells of a back-room deal.

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  5. Is anyone naive enough to buy Mr. Thornton's quaint "get to know you" purpose of these meetings? I mean come on. Whose going to be present at those meetings to decide that the conversation has sllipped past just saying "hello" and is heading into the territory we are all concerned about.

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  6. Cameron Thornton's press release reeks of guilt and reminds me of Shakespeare's quote that "The lady doth protest too much, me thinks"

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  7. The Tattler is right. Cameron Thornton may be an eager beaver about cramming this housing project down the throats of residents who don't want it, but he's not going to be the guy inhaling those diesel fumes, hearing those trucks clunking up Sunnyside for years and breathing in all the dust.

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  8. I'd like to know if Cameron Thornton has any financial stake in the outcome of this project. Why is he so motivated? As the President of the Board of Directors at Mater Dolorosa, I would think he would be the last one to want to see his name associated with the carving up of Mater Dolorosa - a piece of land that others have somehow been able to keep intact since 1924.

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    1. It's always about the money. Thornton owns a financial services company for upper middle class people with retirement anxiety. And do you really think he'd care a whit about those retired Passionist priests if they didn't come with $20 million in development property?

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    2. Why should we trust Mr. Cameron to do the right thing. If they cared about Sierra Madre and their neighbors, they would have worked with the Coalition's proposal to buy the property and preserve the open space.

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    3. This is turning into a public relations disaster for Mater Dolorosa and is going to cause such animosity that they will never recover from it. There must be another way. Why the rush to sell the land. They should have been publicizing their financial need rather than plotting to sell the land these last few years.

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  9. We are seeing now more than ever why Father Pat had to leave. He would never have been able to stomach what is going on now. He would have opposed this with every fiber of his being.

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  10. It's not the crime, it's the cover up.

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  11. Mr. Thornton says that all this money is being used to care for only 62 aging priests. What about the 5 million they raised from that recent campaign for the same purpose? How much do they need for their retirement? Is it worth all this carnage? Their mission should be preserving this beautiful land that has been kept intact all these years through good times and bad times. They had alot more priests in the old days. How come they never needed to sell the land then? Why now? Is it to pay off legal judgments? Is that also what the 5 million campaign money was used for? If se, they raised the money under false pretenses. This is why the Catholic Church is in crisis right now. Its a new breed that is putting their own selfish interests before what should be their true mission.

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    1. Each aging priest gets $322,806.

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    2. Can't get that through the eye of a needle.

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    3. Don't they take a vow of poverty?

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    4. I was going to take a vow of poverty, but then I discovered it wouldn't be necessary.

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    5. People would have been happy to pitch in to help if it meant saving Mater Dolorosa for future generations.

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  12. Camerson Thornton thinks we'll feel better if there are "fewer than 50 homes" Developers always throw out a bigger number first so that they can later say they compromised. 60 homes was never a realistic number. I don't care if its 20 homes, we have a water shortage. I don't want to continue with the MWD hook up any longer than what is needed. If we allow more development than the connection to the MWD will need to be permanent because Sierra Madre's wells will then never be adequate to meet the increased demand. That means our yellow water becomes permanent.

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    1. Right your are, 7:38. The "60" was floated quite intentionally, chosen in fact to be cut in half. Typical developer scheming.
      So is the "3800" for the home sizes - chosen to skate under the need for review at the Planning Commission.

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    2. No more than 50 means 49.

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    3. Yes, 49 is the new 60. :) BTW, my water is consistently rust brown, not yellow.

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    4. These developers are pros. This is what they do around the clock. You can bet they have a strategy to defeat us. What they don't realize is that they are not dealing with a bunch of novices. Sierra Madre residents have faced these battle before and are ready to meet this latest challenge.

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    5. It seems that some Sierra Madre's best warriers are not coming out of "retirement" for this latest challenge. March to the sound of the guns.

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  13. Questions about these secret meetings were asked at the most recent city council meeting. No one on the city council answered those questions. Why were they afraid to speak about this?

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    1. The City Council clarified other things but no one responded by denying that any meetings were taking place.

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    2. Maybe the city atty recomdnded that strategy in closed session. Her lawfirm is known for being a particularly ruthless enabler of predatory development.

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    3. Two different people asked about it, but neither was answered.

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    4. Shouldn't the city attorney be advising them to be really careful. Not that anybody should need the advice of an attorney, mind you, to know that it is unseemly to have secret meetings with the developer.

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  14. John and Diane ShearMay 31, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    We are on water rationing here in Sierra Madre. Until the California drought is over and we get large amounts of rain fall again and snow in the mountains......we are in dire danger of running out of our water supply. Even our own city officials have admitted this.
    It makes absolutely no sense at all not to order a moratorium on all construction until this drought ends and we have our levels of water up again.

    Sierra Madre residents! Please support Denise Delmar and Rachelle Arizmundi. They are fighting for us, the residents.
    They are fighting to save our town from over development. They will fight for a moratorium on building asp.
    Please help them, they need you to go to city council meetings, demand action. Please get involved and we can get this done.
    I am almost always opposed to recalling councilmembers, however, if any of our city council members vote to allow these outrageous developments , we will have to recall them, it can be done, it's been done in the past.

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    1. I would like to know where Mr. Inman, our public works director, is in all of this. Shouldn't he be issuing warnings that we are proceeding down an unsustainable path with all this proposed development at Kensington, One Carter, Stonehouse and now Mater Dolorosa. It seems mind boggling that we should be doing all these massive projects in light of the water shortage and the yellow water we are now forced to endure. This is crazy. There should be an immediate building moratorium and Mr. Inman should be directed by City Council to prepare a written report on the state of our water supply and the impact of further development on that supply. He should also tell us if further development means that the connection to our yellow water from the MWD would go from a temporary emergency measure to a permanent connection because of the additional demand from further development.

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    2. My understanding is Bruce, Danny and Karin will only say what Elaine Aguilar allows them to say. She claims to be the voice of what the City Council wants, and that all employees at City hall must clear their statements with her first.

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    3. I don't think we are under mandatory rationing, maybe volunteer, but not mandatory. Also, the connection IS permanent, it's the usage that is in question, you'd be a damn fool to disconnect the actual physical connection, also, the water is crystal clear upon delivery to SM, it's your pipes.

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    4. Give me a break 9:53, so now it our fault that we have yellow water that is killing fish. We did just fine with our own wells in the past. So you're telling me that every resident in Sierra Madre now needs to spend thousands of dollars on a re-piping job. Why didn't we have that probelm before the connection to the MWD? You must have drank too much of the yellow water.

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    5. 9:53 - what are you talking about??? My water was fine, crystal clear as you say, until this new water was piped in. Now it is yellow, remains yellow, and I'm not even giving it to my dog. Not under mandatory rationing? Huh? Where have you been?

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    6. The will of the resident must prevail. Either we want to run out of water and turn our town into Arcadia or we don't. Its up to us now.

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  15. I think that Gene Goss wants to preserve Sierre Madre too. Give Gene a chance. We can only hope for the best with Cappocia and Harabedian. All in all, this is the best counil we've had in years to help us preserve Sierra Madre.

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    1. I need to see some real proof before I pitch in with Goss. He is friends with all the big development people in town.

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    2. When is Goss' forecast of unanswered 911 calls and catastrophe if the UUT failed going to happen? I heard sirens last night. Someone was working.

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    3. One of the issues Goss campaigned on was preserving Sierra Madre and specifically mentioned his concern for Mater Dolorosa on his website. He'll come thorugh for us.

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    4. Goss does what John Buchanan suggests and he's been a big supporter of John Buchanan

      I'm skeptical about Goss. He wasn't exactly honest with his campaign and he's been itching to be on the Council so I'm not sold on him.

      in the past, when candidates campaign on preserving Sierra Madre, they mean preserving it for the real estate agents and developers

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    5. You always have to ask why they do this. Goss lives in this town. He and his family will suffer the same consequences we are all warning about. I guess some sell out the town to get campaign support from the special interests. For some, its about power. As long as they are in office and "in charge", they don't care what happens to the town.

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  16. The folks over at Mater Dolorosa have put together a powerful database to reach out to people who share the same concerns about preserving Sierra Madre whether its at Mater Dolorosa or elsewhere in town.. Go to their webiste and give them your email address. They will keep it anonymous but they will get you up-to-date information. They can be found at www.stopmonasteryhousingproject.com :Let's preserve this town together.

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    1. Do you mean the Coalition or Mater Dolorosa about having the data base? Please clarify.

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    2. Thanks 9:58 for the heads up. Its the Coaliton that has the database. They can send out e-mail blast with important news and also when its important to show up to meetings. I would imagine that the same people on their email list support preserving, not just Mater Dolorsa, but preserving Sierra Madre in general. They are fairly sophisticated in their efforts. Go to their website at www.stopmonasteryhousingproject.com and get on their email list.

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    3. We have to band together on this. And its not just about Mater Dolorosa. Its about development in general. Sierra Madre will turn into Arcadia one McMansion at a time, one lot split at a time and one larger project at a time.

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  17. Judging from the last Council Meeting, this City Council seems to finally be listening to the residents and keeping their campaign promises. What a difference an election makes and what a breath of fresh air.

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    1. must irritate the heck out of John Harabedian

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    2. Overall, this is a good council. Hopefully, they don't fall for the secret meeting requests with the developer. That comes out of the developers playbook. City Council and Planning Commission members are hopefully smart enough to realize the strategy.

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  18. I heard the Developer asked to privately meet with Rachelle Arizmendi to "introduce" themselves.

    Rachelle told them no.

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    1. That is so awesome. I guess they got their introduction to Rachelle! Thank God she stood up to serve!

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    2. If this is true, way to go Rachelle. I hope the others follow suit.

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    3. Thanks to Rachelle for doing the right thing. Even though I would trust her in any meeting, it just does not look good to have private meetings like that.

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    4. I'm liking Rachelle more and more as I see her in action. I'm glad I voted for her.

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

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

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    1. If you have to use an asterisk, maybe think of some alternatives that don't require them.

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  21. For what it's worth;
    If a priest is a consecrated religious he does not retire. Religious never retire, per se. He will always be a religious: Dominican, Franciscan, Jesuit, etc. Religious continue to live with their religoius community until they die. If they have poor health and need special care the religious community provides that care. Some communities have a mother house where the central government of the region is located. These houses are usually large enough to provide housing for those religious who need special care and there are usually other religious men who provide the care or the community pays nurses to come in to do so. Also, many religious communities of men assign their older men to their houses of formation. These men are a wonderful inspiration to the younger men in training. This way they have a home, a family and continue to participate in community life.

    When I was a novice we had two friars living in our novitiate who were too old and fragile to be out in a regular community house with too much activity. The novitiate was wonderful for them because the novices took care of all their needs and they were a splendid example of Franciscan life for us. They even taught a few classes to the novices.

    Priests who are consecrated religious have to be cared for by their community. It is the obligation of the community to do so. In addition, religious do not have retirement plans or social security, because the vow of poverty does ot allow for this. Some religious communities have medical insurance and that's it. Many do not have that either.

    I hope this helps.

    Fraternally,

    Br. JR, OSF

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    1. Thank you.

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    2. I think that some development sharks are using the Passionists for their own personal gain.

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    3. I believe it is their property to sell, what they do with the proceeds is none of my concern, I do not care.

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    4. It's safe to assume that 10:02 lives far away from any of the proposed development sites.

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    5. The Passionist priests do not have Medicare, either. That means the order picks up 100% of the medical and nursing care for all the priests. I would not want to be 65 and have NO Medicare.

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    6. The bottom line is they should be cared for and that's why Father Pat had a successful 5 milllion dollar campaign recently for that very purpose. I know people would step to the plate for another campaign for that purpose which is why selling off land that you can never recoup makes no sense. I want these Priests cared for too. They will be cared for. Don't ruin your mission and the amazing retreat experience by selling this land.

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    7. I understand Br. JR but don't sell of the land to do it. Nobody wants the Priests to be without care in their old age. We all can raise whatever amount is needed. Once the land is sold, you have changed the complexion of the retreat experience. Mater Doloroso's own brochure talked about the beautiful grounds and vacant land and vistas and wildlife. Its managed to be preserved so far even during the time when there were many more priests than the 62 that Mr. Thornton mentions. Is more money now needed for less Priests. People are having a tough time trying to figure all this out.

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    8. What about the Stations of the Cross every year. I saw the faces of the young, the old, the rich, the poor, the heatlhy and the sick. They came from all over. Don't you want that mission to expand and be able to have the vacant land to accomodate this pilgrimage. In other times, the vacant land provides the peace and solitude that Jesus needed went he went to the desert. He did find that right outside the village near the houses.

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  22. "Here is the press release, and in what I am assuming are Cameron's own words"
    Not a chance, Mod. I'm pretty sure you are looking at the fine wordsmithing of the law firm, Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

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    1. Isn't that the developer's law firm? And do you really think they are quite that thick? My guess is this press release has them pulling their hair out. It was an awful blunder.

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    2. Maybe these guys aren't as good as they think they are. I don't think they've ever ran into the buzz saw that Sierra Madre is going to be for them.

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    3. I hope the developer spends alot of money on their due diligence and then finds out they can't do what they wanted. It will serve them right for trying to do this to our town.

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  23. Every water main on the West side of town will have to be replaced to provide water delivery to these mansions. It will involve tearing up every street and replacing every main. The cost will be in the millions of dollars and we have no product (WATER) to fill the pipes.

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    1. Could you provide the source of this information?

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    2. No brilliancy prize for 10:00am. The pipes in this town are in hideous shape. 40 to 60 new houses will mean the westside will become dig we must city.

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    3. Nope but it's from a person who's job it is to know. Says we need to look at it at city hall. East side is ok for "several more years"

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    4. We will all be paying more money and rationing our water so that Mater Dolorosa and its Developer can walk away flush with cash. Why are we letting outsiders do this to our own town.

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  24. Any lot splits more than 4 lots has to file a map as per the California Map Act. In the past developers did 4 by 4 by 4 and the cumulative effect and the need for a EIR was avoided. Not here. I am sure that the DMD (Develop Mater Delorosa) folks have seen the weathering stroy poles at 1 Carter but send them a photo anyway, plus the date of the approval of the tract map and the EIRs so they see what they are up against in this town. We have not have a really good, big, all encompasing fight for a few years. It is time!

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    1. 9:06, some of us have been fighting overdevelopment straight through all of these years.

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    2. A sleeping giant has reawakened. New Urban West....meet the residents of Sierra Madre.

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    3. I am ready for this one. If I have to tie myself to the bulldozer, I will do whatever it takes.

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  25. Speaking of hideous buildings,what happened with the building we put up at 'pool park' decades ago? Why did we make that thing so huge? We still own it I think we should scrape off the top 50 feet It's almost as ugly as the pyramid house.

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    1. That has an ugly history.

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    2. You mean the YAC, for which the Council took over $200,000 of Conservancy funds from? Funds that were hillside preservation? That building?

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    1. In reference to....?

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    2. Self-fulfilling prophecy is my guess.

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  27. Paid for with some federal funds. If it isn't used for teens then the money has to be paid back.
    No such thing as free money. The architect should be shot.

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  28. Just brilliant to ask for Cameron's notes! Of course, the lawyers would never allow it.
    At least, not the real notes.

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  29. When I hear the words: "There is no other way..." I always expect that there are many other ways. In this case, If developing the land and building houses is the only way to raise the $20 million dollars the Passionists need then I am certain that is NOT the only way. One great alternative has already been discussed, that being the purchase of the land by a public trust using publicly donated funds in the amount of - you guessed it - $20,000,000 to buy and preserve the land. Think of all the money, time, energy, air and noise pollutants, arguments, lawsuits, ad finitum, that will be saved/avoided this way. The Passionists should place more faith in God and Man and less in lawyers and developers if they want to continue to contribute to the public good. Sound good?

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    1. Excellent comment.
      There are always alternatives.

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    2. lawyers are God like

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    3. Yes. They can only be placated by a live sacrifice. I volunteer you.

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    4. There are other solutions to preserve the land but you need some people with some vision. The Huntington Library could have sold off land too during difficult times. They didn't do that and now we see the beautiful Chinese Gardens. They were smart enough to know that once you sell off the land, you never get it back. Finances can go up and down. No one managed to sell off Mater Dolorosa during the Great Depression. What's different now. One thing is different. You have even less priests now that need their retirements funded.

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    5. There are certainly alternatives to all the carnage this will cause. Why would a religious organization want to do this to their neighbors? Think about it. It can't get any worse than what they are trying to do. I just don't understand it. It gives religion a bad name. All this negative energy swirling around what is supposed to be a spiritual place. Its being contaminated. Do they really want to cram this don't the throat of residents who don't want any part of it. There must be alternatives. Even people who are on the donation list for Mater Dolorosa or Century Club donors knew nothing about the plan to sell the property. It seems like about four guys around a table concluded that there is no other alternative to selling off the property. If they had not been so secretive and given people a chance, who knows how many good ideas could have come forward.

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    6. Count me out, not one dime of mine is going to this cause, you want it, you buy it.

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  30. Question......Where is the water coming from to oblige the Development interests in their quest to build grandiose "Flushers" .Oh,of course,the small home owners,they are a soft target who complain a lot but eventually comply a bit at a time.Has anyone thought that we the lowly...should insist.. "NO", Demand a moratorium on any building until there is sufficient water to even consider further growth.

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    1. Yes, we should insist11:17!
      It's a no brainer.
      No water..... No building
      Moratorium NOW

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    2. There has to be a moratorium now. Let's catch our breath and figure out the water problem and figure out what we want our town to look like. After all, it is our town.

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  31. We often can smell Sulphur when running hot water.
    People with fish ponds have list their fish.
    Chloromine water is very toxic.
    We used to have good water.
    Bart Doyle, that evil man has done this to us and our future.

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  32. Just got a letter in the mail from Fr.Higgins and Mr. Thornton addressed to " the family residing at"... The PR war is begun.
    Mr. Thornton left 818-281-2360 to share any concerns. Be nice.

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    1. They will launch a full scale PR assault. They will be very good at it. They will be very nice and charming. They will seem very reasonable. Then you will look out your window and before you know it you have 50 McMansions and those nice charming developers have left town never to be heard from again and the residents of Sierra Madre are left to pick up the pieces.

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    2. That just about says it all 5:28. What a catastrophe.

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  33. EVERYBODY READING THIS - Show up at the next City Council meeting, whether this is on the agenda or not, if not, voice your concern at Public Comment. Bring your spouse/significant other, children if old enough, neighbors. EVERYONE ask for a building moritorum now because we have no water!!! Next City Council meeting is 6:30 pm, June 10.

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    1. Yes, we need bodies. Even if you don't want to speak, show your support and clap.

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    2. You can make a difference by showing up. I know everyone is busy. I am busy, but this is important. Be able to tell your grandkids someday that you fought the good fight and made a difference and that's why Sierra Madre has changed little from the way it was before. Let these other towns ruin themselves. You can't even drive across Pasadena at certain times of the day. Let's keep ourselves different which not only will improve our quality of life but it will also increase our property values as more people want our little bit of heaven here on earth.

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  34. Can you imagine the increased traffic on Sunnyside from construction and 50+ homes? This is a bad idea all around.

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    1. Sunnyside will become a new Michillinda.

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    2. It will be bad enough for the residents on Sunnyside. No matter how you cut it, 50 homes is alot of homes. Some will have extended families living there too so you are talking about alot of people and alot of traffic. Wait till they lay out the plan for punching a hole through some other neighborhood to provide the additional access point.

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    3. Sunnyside will become the new 210 freeway.

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    4. The biggest shock will come to the people on either Crestvale or Grove/Carter. Those are the only other access points that can be used.

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    5. 50 homes is alot of homes to concentrate in one area. You will have large families for large homes. In some cases, extended families. They will bring friends and guests. It will have a very adverse impact on those neighborhoods not to mention the dust, noise and grinding trucks during the construction phase. The Retreat Center feels that they will be somewhat shielded from that because they are further up the hill. They don't seem to care about what the neighbors will have to go through.

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  35. What I find particularly offensive about Thornton's PR puff piece is his claim that this is a charitable exercise done out of the kindness of his heart. It is not. It is a stone cold development deal. Nothing more.

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    1. Learn quickly,we are being besieged by rubbish,humbug and flim-flam .Their goal is to reconstruct our community.One either embraces that goal or resist and supports those who share your concerns over the future of our community!The choice is yours!

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    2. We have to ask why Cameron Thornton is so motivated. I don't believe its about taking care of the family of priests. He's out to make a buck for himself. Let him tell us his interest in all this. Let's hear it from Jerry Pierson too who has spent years getting this development in position. If you really cared about that land, there is no way you could give the sale of it so much of your time and energy.

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    3. I just don't believe that they are able to marshall this much efforts unless they don't care about the land at all and/or are receiving a financial benefit from its sale.

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  36. Great post 2:29pm!!!!!
    No one need write a long speech.
    Simple: We have no water, stop all building now.

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  37. The people at Stonehouse held a meeting with the residents of Lilliano and another with the residents 500 feet around to explain their plan before they had the meeting with the City. If they met with Danny before they met with the residents, I don't know, but everything to the residents was so out In the open, that I doubt that there will be much opposition - only if they want to cheat and make the houses larger by not counting garage area.

    The Mater Delorosa project has been in bad faith since the beginning. I hope the Citizens of Sierra Madre wake up and realize what they will be getting. Yes, the Mater Delorosa people should be able to develop their property as they want, but remember, this is zoned Institutional, not R1

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    1. But the Stonehouse Developers were already trying to add the garage area to the total livable area of the houses. They are already showing bad faith. They have also shifted the development such that some neighbors were satisfied in order to screw over other neighbors. Don't let the developers buy you off at the expense of your other neighbors. You have to be in it together.

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  38. Just as important as demanding a moratorium on building is demanding this current city council pass the General Plan AS IT WAS DEVELOPED BY ALL THE RESIDENTS WHO ATTENDED THE BIG MEETINGS, and the very qualified volunteers who worked so damn hard on getting it done.
    Denise Delmar, Teryl Willis and of course all the people who worked tirelessly on this.
    We need to get it in place as is. AS IS. Not how the developer crowd wants to tweak it.
    Thank you MaryAnn MacGillivray for all your hard work on this issue both back in the early days and this current GP.
    Please keep fighting for us.
    Go to the council meetings.
    DEMAND A MORATORIUM on BUILDING
    DEMAND THEY PASS THE GENERAL PLAN as is!!!!!!

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    1. The Council should have a special session on a weekend to review the new general plan and have input. Let's put this baby to bed.

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    2. That's right 3:52. I don't think the build-out should be increased. Its a trick. The general plan is what it is. If anything, after a building moratorium is declared, we should double check to make sure it contains no loopholes for the developers.

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  39. Heather Allen?
    Please speak at every city council meeting.

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  40. Did Inman say Sierra Madre had only six more months of water? Whatever,nobody seems to be concerned that massive building and dwindling water makes no sense.Of course if the city has guaranteed water will be available, I would be interested as a owner,tax and rate payer to know if in some bizarre way I will be subsidizing these adventures !

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    1. The City Council should have Mr. Inman prepare a report on the impact of further development on our current water crises. That's a no brainer.

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    2. Danny Castro and Elaine push development while Inman sits on his hands.

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  41. There is one simple way to stop over development. It has been reported in this Blog previously. It has been a success in Cambria and other towns in California.
    NO MORE WATER METERS. How's that for a rallying cry? Simple, clear, effective.
    When the Climate changes back to our usual rainfall for a few decades ,we can reconsider the water meter ban

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  42. I realized rapidly why the true twerking outfit involves each booty shorts and kneepads.

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