Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mater Dolorosa: Is This How It Begins? Or How It Ends.

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An early morning snapshot taken by a very alert resident last week shows a surveyor setting up on the land our wayward Mater Dolorosa neighbors hope to sell off to people wanting to build a tightly packed housing development there. An event that occurred just a couple of days after that now at risk neighborhood was awakened by an extraordinarily loud racket. Something apparently caused by unannounced drilling on what until then had been a profoundly peaceful site.

What all that drilling was about remains a mystery. It might have been some sort of soil test designed to determine just how many million dollar homes they can pack in up there. City Hall, who you think might have had some knowledge of this disturbance of the peace in advance, said its usual nothing.

Perhaps it was something worked out during the private meetings City Hall has been holding with the developer and our misguided Mater Dolorosa friends. But how would you know? You weren't invited. Neither was I.

Of course, they might have been drilling for water. Something this community doesn't have right now. The idea that some of the people supposedly watching over the affairs of this community would even consider adding another 50 (or is it 60?) Junior McMansions to our "housing stock" (don't you just love bureaucrat-speak?) during severe drought conditions being a mind-boggling one.

At the June 24 City Council meeting the question of a building moratorium is to be discussed. Something that any community whose supply of water has completely dried up needs to consider.

Here is a question. How can we in good conscience welcome new people to Sierra Madre when we don't even have enough water to take care of ourselves? Has City Hall's perceived need for pension and benefits revenue now trumped the reality of what we're facing right now? Can it be that $36,000 a year employee health care plans are all they can think about?

This is something made even more ethically challenging when you consider that our costly and now imported water supply on occasion turns into something rather unpleasant, or possibly even toxic, upon interacting chemically with Sierra Madre's badly neglected water infrastructure. Infrastructure about as decayed and unhealthful as any found in Los Angeles County. All brought about by years of abusive neglect and possibly even criminal mismanagement.

Maybe it really is time to bring back Kurt Zimmerman's forensic audit.

This week also saw the hiring of a $50,000 water quality consultant. One who has somehow convinced this City Council that, for her considerable fee, she will be able to undo years of neglect and irresponsibility and magically transform our chemically desecrated imported water supply into something clear and pure.

Proving once again that superstitious thinking still exists within certain exalted political precincts of the Foothill Village.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

45 comments:

  1. Everybody at City Hall knows that Dr. Baribeau has magical powers. That's why they're kicking back.

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    1. It's the Quebecois accent.

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    2. Each of these steps just moves us inexorably towards all the other cities around us. Either Sierra Madre residents will decide they want to be the exception or they will roll over and let it happen. Its really that simple. You've got the Kensington, One Carter, Stonehouse, Mater Dolorosa, the lot split on Michilinda and numberous other projects in the pipeline - all during an acute water shortage. If it can't be stopped under these circumstances, it can never be stopped.

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    3. I only have one question. What does Bruce Inman have to do to get fired? How much malfeasance and incompetance does he have to show beyond what he has already shown, to get fired? He's in charge of our water and now just when things are closing in around him and people are starting to point fingers in his direction, he tries to throw himself a life preserver in the form of a $50,000 consultant paid once again by us taxpayers.

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    4. Bruce has always done exactly as he was told. For years that meant looking the other way as incompetent city councils and corrupt city managers looted the water company to pay for pet projects and payoffs to cronies. Now the chickens have come home to roost and look who is holding the bag. Quite a show. Instruct the kids.

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    5. Inman has to take responsbility. He has to tell our Director of Over-Development, Danny Castro, that enough is enough. There is not enough water to even sustain the existing residents let alone for multiple families living in each McMansion.

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    6. Bruce would never speak without first getting Elaine's permission.

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    7. I hope the new blood, Delmar, Arizmendi and Goss can break up the culture of incompetance bordering on corruption.

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    8. You think Goss is gonna lead?
      Hahahahahahaha!

      He's afraid of his own shadow.

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    9. Goss's special talent is taking both sides of every discussion.

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  2. With the drilling and now the surveying, it going to start hititng home for alot of people what the plan is up there at Mater Dolorosa. I like the term "misguided" in describing our neighbors at Mater Dolorosa. They are misguided and short-sighted. The almighty dollar has surpassed what should be the true mission of the Priests up there. Its a sad commentary on the times we now live in.

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    1. Misguided is a kind word for it.

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    2. Will you sell your home what you paid for it? People making a profit in a capitalistic economic system? the nerve. Not misguided, nor short sighted, smart.

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    3. The developments at One Carter, Mater Moolah Mucho and Stonehouse will damage the property values of many in this town. Why is it, in your small pickled mind, outsiders have a right to make money in Sierra Madre but those who live here don't?

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    4. I guess the fathers' vow of poverty was contingent upon whether the real estate market would return.

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    5. Hey 4:09, you may think its "smart" for them. Maybe the Huntington Library should have sold off some of their "excess" land. Because they had the vision, the kept it and now we have the beautiful Chinese Garden. Mater Dolorosa and everyone else with their hand in the pocket is trying to make money despite overwhelming opposition from the neighbors, the community at large, retreatants and others who know this is shorts-sighted, unnecessary and will have an adverse impact on an entire community. Thanks alot.

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    6. The Fathers have demonstrated what their priority is now - funding their own retirement at the expense of the mission and their vows. What would Jesus do?

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  3. Just heard on the radio a water conservation alert for Pasadena - no watering between 9 and 6, only water 3 days a week.
    3 days?
    You can only wonder when the lawn police will show up.

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    1. In Sierra Madre they ought to have water restrictions on drinking the stuff. I think it should be called a health alert.

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    2. The water department couldn't manage a fart after eating beans

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    3. I think that everyone we are paying in the water department and maybe everyone at City Hall should be required to drink the water that the residents have to deal with. See if they are willing to do that. Yet they are asking us to pay them exportant amounts of money to provide inferior, toxic, yellow and unhealthy water.

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    4. Think of what that might do to our disability payments.

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

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  5. It's really nice to see new faces at the planning commission and city council meetings speaking up about our water situation and a building moratorium.

    Please continue to urge people to come to our planning commission and city council meetings and ask that a halt in building permits and water meters until this draught is over. Don't let the city attorney misinform you as there are ways to put on a moratorium for more than the limit she subscribed to at one of our council meetings.

    Write letters to our city council members, or at our next Council Meeting on the 24th which is supposed to have the issue of a moratorium come, speak if only a couple of sentences, and observe. We need you.

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    1. there was almost no one at tha city council meeting last week except the few regular folks that show up

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    2. People show up when their presence makes a difference. June 24 is one of those meetings, and from what I have been hearing the room will be quite full. A building moratorium is the community oriented and sane solution to the water disaster in this town. People who care about Sierra Madre will be in the house and ready to speak out.

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    3. June 24th will be an important meeting. I guess we will see how much people care about their town.

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    4. If you are able to go to the meeting on the 24th, bring a friend or neighbor. If each person does that, we can prevail.

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    5. Its not just about the water shortage. Its also about what we want this town to look like. Let's buy some time so that we can make sure that our building codes and zoning laws are exactly what we want them to be.

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    6. Developers like everything they build to look exactly the same. Saves them money on architects and materials.

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    7. Protect Sierra Madre from over-development. Stop the madness and make your voice heard!

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  6. I don't believe that the development at Mater Dolorosa has anything with retirement accounts for old priests. I think it is all about profits for Cameron Thornton, those who invest money with him, and the developer New Urban West. We are not being told the truth.

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    1. We may never know the real reason for the sale after all these years they've somehow managed to hold on to it. Certainly alot of people stand to profit by it: the developer, the priests, Cameron Thornton, Jerry Pierson, and all the others who are eagerly grasping for their share of the 30 pieces of silver.

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    2. Greed. Coupled with a thick layer of cynicism.

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    3. It a combination of selfish greed and perhaps payiing legal judgments. That's what the money is for.

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  7. Just wonder if the water department employee with the out of control heath care benefit package is really the water taster? Maybe that's why he would need such an expensive one because no insurance company would want to care that burden.

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    1. Good point. I hear there is a big turnover.

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    2. A water taster was hired when Nancy Walsh became Mayor. Besides the City Manager he was the only member of city staff that answered directly to her.

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

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    1. A cell phone with internet access and an empty open house. Deadly combination.

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    2. What a maroon...

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  9. Bruce and Elaine should be fired. Period.

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  10. I would like Elaine as the City Manager to tell us one person at City Hall who has been let go for not doing the job. How many employees have been let go in the last 10 years? That number will tell you alot about accountability at City Hall. It like teacher tenure. It benefits the teachers but the kids get the shaft. Likewise, the lack of turnover at City Hall shows that the residents get the shaft.

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  11. I guess that Mater Dolorsora has been told by the city manager and director of development that the land is guaranteed to be rezoned so they should go ahead with the survey and other planning.



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  12. Chrystine Warden DimitryJune 19, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    Excuse me, but to repeat an earlier question: Why the **** did Sierra Madre shut down their wells in the first place and agree to buy nasty, chlorinated water to replace it? Sierra Madre was the best of the best places to grow up .. how sad that the almighty dollar has replaced quality of life in my beloved home town. Just sayin'.

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