Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Does Anybody Really Know What Steve Scauzillo Is Going On About?

All we are saying ...
There is a Steve Scauzillo column up on the Pasadena Star News site (I think it originated over at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, actually), that makes a rather odd reference to Sierra Madre. A little bit snarky actually, but in a Green kind of way. Which for some will make it OK. And never being able to stay out of anybody else's scrap, since I own my very own soapbox after all, I thought I should jump in. I mean, why not? I do have to write about something. This is a daily blog.

And for the record, I like the Pasadena Star News. There are some very dedicated people at that paper who fight the good fight, and against some rather daunting odds. So let's not get too crazy today just because they happened to print a column that you (or I for that matter) might not like very much.

Steve Scauzillo is the author of a seemingly endless series of newspaper columns called "The Green Way." And as you might guess, he is concerned about the environment and our sustainable future here on the dirt ball. As well he should be. After all, he is a stakeholder.

And look, I personally have no problem with the various Green theories about the endlessly destructive capacity of the human race. Nor do I doubt our ability to fatally trash the rather rare and beautiful place that we are dependent upon for the continued survival of our species.

Global warming, climate change, melting ice caps, rising oceans, and all the rest of that stuff, it certainly seems quite plausible to me. I buy into all of it. Science, or science fiction, who cares? We as a critter are literally hell on wheels. If the worst is possible, and we are involved, then that is what will happen. Invest now.

Where I obviously deviate from the "Green Way" is I don't really believe that fellows like Scauzillo have even remotely viable solutions for any of the bigger issues. No matter how many trees they kill to explain it. The majority of so-called greens are entirely full of crap, and their endless trivial carping about the habits of those around them really aren't helping get anything done. Outside of annoying everyone else, of course.

When it comes to the question of human free will and our ability to save ourselves, I am all in with St. Augustine. The human race is a hopeless and impossible mess. There is no salvation on the planet floor.

Here's an example of what I mean. We live in the place that gave us SB 375, that rather twee state law that claims we can somehow build our way out of global warming by wedging working people into rat warrens of stacked and packed mini-condo housing situated atop bus stops and jumped up trolley lines. All of which is somehow going to make them want to stop driving their greenhouse gas emitting cars and ride the Metro.

And if that doesn't make you laugh, then perhaps you really shouldn't be reading this blog. Give somebody cheap housing in California and what is the first thing that person will do with the money he saves? Buy a car. As most Golden Staters will gladly tell you, only losers ride the bus. And does anyone here really believe condos will save the world?

What all of this actually serves are the wants of the needy development industry in this state. Paid for by countless amounts of Sacramento lobbying dollars. And as we all know, if you want to sell something awful in California, just tell people it is supposed to save the world.

I personally have been getting an earful from overweening green types since I was an impressionable lad back in the latter 1970s. And during the momentous 40 some odd years of fun and frivolity that followed I have not seen very much that indicates things are getting any better environmentally in this world.

Quite the contrary, actually. As any rain dancer will tell you, things are pretty much worse than ever.

But I have digressed. Here is the portion of Scauzillo's current column that got me agitated enough to write all of the above. This piece is called "The Green Way: No drought of water-shortage emails from readers," and you can link directly to all of this Sierra Madre dissing conundrum by clicking here.

I got a flurry of electronic mail in my inbox and 140-character Twitter messages from people who wanted to comment on my stories on the severe drought in California and in particular, the one I wrote about a couple from Glendora who received a warning letter from the city for having a brown lawn.

Richard Wagoner and Jim Mihalka brought up the argument that says: Why should current homeowners have to conserve water and even be hit by fines, while cities approve new housing developments?

“We are supposed to save water ... so that the LA City Council can approve building projects including zone changes unwanted by the community,” Wagoner wrote. The rest of the email was about a proposed condominium project in San Pedro.

He suggests a $500 fine for every home added during the drought.

Mihalka wrote about a smaller townhome project in West Covina. He objected to West Covina, Covina, Glendora and Azusa approving “more than 3,000 new homes ... in the past three years” while the area faces a water shortage.

“They send me notices stating I must conserve water because there is a shortage, however the shortage must not be too bad because they continue to add homes,” wrote Mihalka, who once ran for supervisor of Los Angeles County.

These are smart readers who’ve hit on what may be the next topic in the drought: Should cities hold up development until a normal water supply is restored?

So far, holding off on new development is not part of the governor’s plan, nor is it part of the State Water Resources Control Board’s new regulations set to take effect Friday.

But having said that, there is one city nearby that has done what may make these two emailers jump for joy: Sierra Madre.

The City Council unanimously decided on July 8 to enact a mandatory 30 percent water conservation requirement for residents, and to enact building and water hookup moratoriums. The moratoriums will be reviewed on Aug. 12.

Sometimes people use the drought as a cudgel against development they don’t want. I think we need a solution, not a moratorium.

But that’s just me. I’m more solution-oriented than politically driven.

Two observations, and then I'll go.

1) Desperate people take whatever they can get. Preserving low density Sierra Madre from McMansionization is a worthy cause, and one that always seems on the verge of being lost. If the drought can be used to help in that, then why not? But you should also be able to recognize that a city living off of somebody else's water, and on a short contract no less, might want to be cautious about building a three development swathe of largely 6,000 square foot, 5.5 bathroom water hogs here. Cuss me out for saying this, but you might even say the impetus behind such a thing is, well, sustainability. And therefore Green. One is not necessarily separate from the other. Even for process driven stakeholders.

2) What solution, Steve? And why should yours necessarily have to involve us?

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

49 comments:

  1. Maybe he got a call from Tom Love.

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    1. and Tom has a direct line to God.

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    2. The Love line.

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  2. I'll bet the SCAG fans will love this guy's comments.
    Build more "ant colony" type atrocities and they can fill them with all the illegal people flooding into America.
    Scary.

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    1. no surprise, we had John Buchanan and Rob Stockely, both who worked for companies that benefit from development while on the Council were pro-SCAG and still are, endorsing candidates like John Harabedian, Josh Moran or Gene Goss - stil push the SCAG goal of doubling the population of SM.

      with neighbors like these types, who needs enemies?

      Buchanan worked on his pet projects like a new library, giving away city parking lots and building 60 condos at Howies and spent zero time on the water issue - till it was an emergency and that was even BS

      Harabedian jumped and pushed his way into the "get seen" committees and regional groups, all developer oriented and all anti-SM as far as Im concerned

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  3. We're a species that fouls our own nests, that's for sure, though Scauzillo seems to lack that understanding. Why is he writing a "green" anything?

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  4. Steve has missed the point. A moratorium is breathing room for a solution. Duh.

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    1. His solution is to call for a solution. That solves that.

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    2. we need more consultants !

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

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    4. Whatever the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership says is the solution.

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  5. Scauzillo is a Daryl Steinberg water carrier.

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  6. Scauzillo is drowning me in his dribble.

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  7. I think you are right 8:54, maybe he should be called SGAGzillo!

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  8. Why is this guy bashing on us? I don't understand.

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    1. You're trying to make sense of the piece. An impossible task? Maybe.

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    2. It was a definite shot. The big mystery is what's the agenda.

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    3. Green is just a code word for unlimited development. It's kind of like "clean coal."

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    4. Disagree 1:20. There are many concerned people who love the earth, this "rare and beautiful place", who work hard to help the environment. It's just that they tend to be naive, and don't realize that developers, behind the smiles, are destroying what's around them.

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    5. The word "green" has been misappropriated and abused by a lot of bad people. I think we need to go back to environmentalism.

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    6. I can understand the perception that the regional papers, cities and people would have of SM. With whom we have had and continuing on the regional Councils and affairs, most probably think SM townies are self indulgent, grandstanding, pompous yahoos desperately wanting to be important outside of our city limits more than serve the residents and others are probably amused and worried about our mental stablitity based on who we keep electing as a majority

      No more lawyers or anybody endorsed by the "civility" party and anybody affiliated with the water bonds/coverup and just plain incompetence.

      More city staff and Council time is wasted on SCAG and it's an agency that has no authority, just selling BS at our expense and WATER.


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  9. Any time someone can come up with a good solution to a hard problem, l'm all for it. What is his solution to this water shortage that many think will last 5 years or more.

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    1. It's a process.

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    2. He doesn't have solutions. Just irrelevant observations, and a job that makes him write about Green stuff. I suspect he's not much of an environmentalist, unless there's a dollar or two in it for him.

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    3. He is green like John Buchanan was green.

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    4. Fabulous hypocrisy from Mr. Buchanan. After he was complicit in the unnecessary destruction of every living thing at One Carter (aka "stone gate" cuz somebody thinks that will sell) he had the gall to put a tree on his campaign signs.
      What a fraud.

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    5. The Paschall campaign put out a great flyer about that. It had some of Phony John's statements about greeness with pictures of the gut wrenching destruction of One Carter. I wonder if that is what SCAGzillo would regard as being a permanent solution.

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    6. The city is trying to claim that it's our fault for years of ater infrastructure neglect and for not giving the city manager and supportive Councilmembers carte blanche authority to raise water taxes and rates and the leaks are all our fault, the residents, not the city water department, management or those we elected.

      But it was all originally based on a lie and misinformation tactics, outright fabrications and instead of addressing the problem 15 years ago and with each subsequent Council (cept for one) the city "development" services department, public works, city manager and Councilmembers ignroed the water issue and focused in on more development, undermining Measure V and bull rushing the UUT down our parched throats.

      Don't forget, if those clowns who were ignoring residents and our votes had their way, we'd already have 130 or so new condos downtown with paid private parking lots and alot of empty storefronts.

      We keep electing rattlesnakes without any anti-venom.

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    7. 2:23, Buchanan's claim to green was transparent cause all he did was push projects or programs that either directly or indirectly benefited his employer, SoCal Edison.

      K think John was on the Council for himself first and whatever revenue he could get in the pipeline for Edsion, more meters = more $ - nah, John didn't have any conflicts of interest did he?

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    8. funny John considered the sale of One Carter one of his legacies and tried to get us a new library, even though we didn't need it and it was a complete waste of taxpayer money

      and Nancy Walsh wanted to get rid of the Memorial Park bathrooms as her legacy

      what was Josh's?

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    9. Josh's legacy was calling a fellow Council member an a-hole while the camera was still running. Classic civility party.

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    10. He did it all for mother.

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  10. City of Santa Clarita considers itself to have all the water they need with drafting from their own water table and from the state water project and NO water rationing has been imposed on their residents, yet.

    My understanding is that we are entering the 2nd decade of a 200 year drought (as per NASA JPL research) and that the Colorado River water adjudication for the 6 states that share that water was determined on a flow that was abnormally high and that the history of water volumn from the river was not understood in the full historical picture.

    Also, a few years back I was talking to the mayor of 29 Palms who said a middle-Eastern investment concern bought a section of desert or a township (1 square mile or 36 square miles) for the futures on the underground aquafer.

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  11. Building even "green" building is the most unsustainable thing you can do.
    This is according to the LEED handbook.

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  12. Pasadena is now on mandatory water restrictions with whopper fines after the first warning.

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    1. Another year of drought and people aren't going to recognize this place. The western US has been living off of underground water reserves that were 10,000 years in the making. Those are now almost gone, and are not coming back.

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    2. It's about time Pasadena got it together.
      How many more cities to go?

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  13. Sierra Madre can not sustain the additional 90 houses that are in line to be build (1 Carter, Stonehouse, Mater Dolorosa, and lot splits) plus the ALF. That is nearly 400 new water users.

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    1. Don't worry, the EENER Commission will save us - they have a lot of water experts on there. Oh, wait.

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    2. 1:17, right you are.
      Independent of any polarization about development issues, development must be significantly curtailed in order for this town to just survive.

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    3. I think the chief expert who declaimed their expertise quit, yeah?

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    4. Whatever happened to that big meeting on water the EENERS were going to have?

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    5. no on the zoning change

      why do I care about future residents? years away from moving here and how they are more special than those that already live here

      and we keep attracting scummy developers - fly by night flim flam developers with blah blah blah lawyers threatening to sue us cause they know we have plenty of water cause they said so?

      yeah right - all that land can sit vacant and I don't care if some landowner wants to profit - no water no love.

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  14. "So far, holding off on new development is not part of the governor’s plan, nor is it part of the State Water Resources Control Board’s new regulations set to take effect Friday."
    That's because they are hopelessly ensnared in the development/realty industry's octopus arms.

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  15. Scauzillo is deeply confused.

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    1. He's just another guy in search of a target.

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    2. Small independent communities that don't worry about what SCAG thinks are a threat to the old regime.

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    3. isn't SCAG run by some Russian dude? how'd he get in charge and who'd he have dirt on to get such a cushy yet absolutely worthless job?

      sellling us development with legistative funding? and our Councilmembers past and present yucking it up with them

      can't wait for the next election - get rid of the pretenderrs on the Council and stop the next wave or whoever is regurgitated up for election like Noah Green the facebook king.

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