Friday, August 15, 2014

Sierra Madre Weekly: If Sierra Madre’s yellow water is damaging pipes, what is it doing to the residents?

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(Mod: Terry Miller has written a nice piece about our travails for the Sierra Madre Weekly. Some of it cites an article I posted here on Wednesday, which is a compliment that I am pleased to accept. And now I get to return that favor. The photo and caption I've included today are also from Terry. To see all of this in its original on-line setting, click here.)

This is only one of the many nagging questions Sierra Madre resident Earl Richey has for the City Manager, Elaine Aguilar. Richey says that he and other residents in town are noticing holes in their pipes and suffering some serious leaks as a result. Richey is also questioning the actual amount of water Sierra Madre actually has. And why is Arcadia so different? Mr. Richey told Beacon Media that: “Denise, Rachelle and Harabedian were given Elaine’s response and agreed to support me. No one had the backbone to say a word (at council meeting Tuesday).”

In point of fact, Richey has filed many public records requests with the city and hasn’t exactly been pleased with the response from the hallowed halls of Sierra Madre city.

In fact this is how our friend, John Crawford over at The Tattler put it this morning on his blog:

“Speaking of Arcadia, the topic of why they still have plenty of that fine mountain water in their wells while we, who used to get our stuff from the very same source, have very little, did arise. Bruce Inman, called upon to reply, brought up his bedrock theory again, something that has been met with skepticism in certain quarters of this community. Barbara Leigh, in one of those classic asides she is so famous for, quipped: “I am surprised to hear that Sierra Madre and Arcadia have different water tables.”

The Tattler also added this:

“Earl Richey rose to speak about his Public Records Requests and the belief that they have not been honored to the full spirit of the law by City Hall. While I have to admit that Earl has an unfortunate tendency for going off half-cocked at times, I too have had a similar experience with these kinds of City Hall records requests.

Elaine Aguilar replied to Mayor Harabedian’s questions about Earl’s accusations by stating he was given the option of coming down to City Hall and picking up copies (at .06 cents a pop) of the applicable documents. Sounds reasonable, right? However, what this actually means is that when you get down there you will be shown into a room largely filled with boxes of documents, the vast majority of which having nothing to do with your request. Or perhaps even all of them. Who can tell?

Faced with the burden of spending 8 hours at City Hall searching through a lot of inconsequential stuff for something that might not have even been made available to you, most would just pack it in and give up. Earl should just bite the bullet and hire a lawyer. Nobody deserves to be treated like this.”

Richey’s request for Public Records is on-going and an email request for comment from city hall by this newspaper has not been received as of press time.

John Crawford’s always entertaining and very often highly amusing take on council meetings also took a nice dig at a developer (Todd Boden…presumably of the Fred Boden Development Co.), who would like to develop despite the moratorium recently issued. Here’s what The Tattler said:

“The comedic highlight of the evening came courtesy of a developer by the name of Todd Boden. Like many who are attempting to make some major bank in real estate insane Sierra Madre, he wishes to take a single lot and magically double his pleasure by splitting it into two. Kind of like an amoeba. Much to his chagrin, Mr. Boden has lately discovered that he will not be able to get a water hook up for one of his reproductive plots. Or maybe both. I can’t exactly remember those details at this moment.

But where Todd really rocked the planet was with his claim that by pulling down old homes and replacing each with a couple of new ones, it would actually save water. Kind of a version of the old “development is green” canard …”

And so it goes, in Sierra Madre.

We have an update to Terry's Report

(Mod: We put our own photographer, I. N. Ternet, on the Mountain Trail case. He has now filed the following report.)

(Mod: We will have more of interest on this topic for you, the concerned Sierra Madre resident, should things ever develop any further.)

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

50 comments:

  1. How come nobody from Development Services, the City Manager's Office or the EENER Commission is in that photo?

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    1. Maybe it was a Friday.

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    2. they are at Sierra doughnuts with the Chief of Police!

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    3. If there was a utility pole instead of a hole, That could be an Edison crew

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    4. They're green jobs. They're burning no energy.

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    5. I've seen this cartoon with many different names for the one working guy. Sometimes he's called Pierre, Jose, Miatek, Boris, ....it's world-wide.

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    6. A lot of cities have a Herbert. And all of those other guys, too.

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    7. This makes sad reading.
      The City is uncooperative with a transparency issue
      The citizens mistrust the City Manager
      Simple questions like" can we drill through bedrock?" are answered but nobody believes Inman because he is neither competent nor honest. He doesn't care because his interest in Sierra Madre is his fat pension+benefits -he gets them now if he is fired or later if he isn't .Ditto the City Manager. So what incentive is there for honesty, transparency and competence? None.
      So they are doing what any rational ethics-deficient Manager does -keep milking the system. That they can do this is our fault ,not theirs. We condone and perpetuate their citizen-hostile behavior by allowing them to stay. And it is our choice to let them stay. So lambasting City Management on Tattler is just futile venting unless it leads to a 'throw the bums out' movement.
      Time to man/woman up and fix this mess yet?

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  2. The city is following the law regarding Richeys request.He can come during business hours and be shown the location of the document he so prizes. The city is not required to do it for him only assist in a minimal way. We do not have the resources to waste employee time and tax dollars searching for documents every gadfly demands

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    1. Most businesses have all the data required on a disc. Should be very simple to print up what is needed. Waste of tax dollars? Really? Think I'll be down there Monday to go through the boxes for as long as it takes.

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    2. Here's your haystack. The needle is in there somewhere.

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    3. Disk/box whatever,you find the info on the disk,in the box,in the file,present to the city official you will get copies in a few days. It ain't rocket science.Stop whimpering and get on with it........... BTW I hear some of the records are in the basement of the Alamo,maybe a good place to start.

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    4. When a document is asked for with a public records request, it is that document that needs to be supplied by the govt agency involved. Sticking it a few cardboard boxes along with a couple of hundred irrelevant documents, and then telling you to find it, does not quite reach the threshold for transparency.

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    5. Great comment 10:32

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    6. You are incorrect perhaps you should read the law? The city is not required to do research for you. Perhaps your council person or mayor could direct to staff to assist you further in your follie

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    7. Tell it to the judge.

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    8. If you read the tone and voice of 8:43's comment, it sure sounds like its coming from a staffer. Interesting.

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    9. Sad if true. I don't think it is anyone's place there to talk down to taxpayers. Transparency is a serious issue in this city. Much of the distrust we see is due to situations just like this one.

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    10. The only"mistrust" is from you people that hate government of any kind. As I'm sure you will agree it's part of your misguided neocon philosophy you are a small minority, but you amuse me. I do not work for the city but it is my city I've lived here all of my life you come and go.

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    11. How's that Measure UUT working out for you, Link? Disappointed that the people of Sierra Madre decided they no longer wanted to pay the highest utility taxes in California?

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    12. The city has spent lot's of our money on computers and computer consultants, City documents should be scanned and searchable on line by anyone,

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    13. Neocon? Really, link? You really should cut back on your MSNBC time.

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    14. I'm still exempt,miss our old water,watching the lawns die. How are you?

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    15. I voted against the UUT extension BTW,just sayin' Alas I don't have cable TV so no MSNBC.

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    16. Do you watch things on your computer?

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    17. I dance with naked Asians sometimes on line?

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    18. Are you running for City Council?

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    19. The Tattler readership is composed of people of every kind of political persuasion. Some are eternally liberal, some anarchistic, some far, far right. I get a big kick out of being called a neocon despite decades of dedication to liberal causes, and I know for a fact that I speak for some others of "you people."

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    20. Hear Hearer!! I agree.............

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    21. Some people cannot seem to comprehend that people of all ideological stripes can come together to defend their community. A sad lacking on their part.

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    22. You missed the point. RICHEY requested documents which city hall has on city halls $500,000 computer software program... which city hall allowed Karin Snyder, our finance person to purchase. PRINT IT OUT CITY HALL, there are no boxes to go through!

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    23. Exactly all he has to do is go research the files,all by his little lonesome,and request copies of what he desires. A sad lacking of comprehension on the requestors and his allies part.

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    24. I don't know if you heard, but there is a new dance that is sweeping the nation. It is called The Finger Lift. Somebody needs to teach City Hall how it is done.

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    25. 4:21, search all of the city files to look for one document? C'mon, that's obstructionism.

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    26. The city staff knows the law the will assist to that extent. Has anyone else here read it?

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    27. That's exactly what it is.

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    28. Silver Platter......They will assist they will not do it for you unless instructed by council

      6253.1. (a) When a member of the public requests to inspect a
      public record or obtain a copy of a public record, the public agency,
      in order to assist the member of the public make a focused and
      effective request that reasonably describes an identifiable record or
      records, shall do all of the following, to the extent reasonable
      under the circumstances:
      (1) Assist the member of the public to identify records and
      information that are responsive to the request or to the purpose of
      the request, if stated.
      (2) Describe the information technology and physical location in
      which the records exist.
      (3) Provide suggestions for overcoming any practical basis for
      denying access to the records or information sought.
      (b) The requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall be
      deemed to have been satisfied if the public agency is unable to
      identify the requested information after making a reasonable effort
      to elicit additional clarifying information from the requester that
      will help identify the record or records.

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    29. I didn't see anything about throwing a bunch of documents into several boxes and then telling the taxpayer to go try their luck. Is that in a different subsection?

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  3. Todd Bowden came across like an entitled child who works for mom & dad and was sent here to fix us so they could build the same old ugly houses they built in Monrovia and Arcadia

    glad they have to sit for two years but expect a lawsuit

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    1. It was in all a peculiar speech.
      I don't understand what he wanted to accomplish.
      It kind of boiled down to "You hurt my prospect on that lot split, but I don't really care"

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  4. we need some more lawyers to move into town and run for Council

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    1. Lawyers love Sierra Madre. You can see the little pink hearts swirling about their heads and rolling eyeballs.

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  5. Come back Joe Mosca

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  6. Thanks, Terry Miller.

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  7. I can think of two lawyers I would like to see back in Sierra Madre.
    Linda Thornton and Kurt Zimmerman!

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    1. Could not agree more.

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  8. The health effects question is a good one.

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    1. We have not had any of that water to drink in my house, including in cooking - started buying bottled a couple of weeks or so before the switch-over. I'm glad, though I know there are claims and worries about inhaling its steam in the shower. At least we're not drinking it.

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    2. I'm worried about the long term health effects. What will turn up in five years?

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  9. Worried especially for our kids. What's the long term effect on growing bodies and minds?

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