Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Siraganian Postcard Is Out And Again Larry Torres Is Put Into An Unfortunate Light


The Pasadena Star News article is called "Pasadena school board eliminates suspensions for ‘willful defiance’' and can be linked to here. This is pretty much the gist of the article:

 Students in Pasadena public schools will no longer be suspended for not following their teachers’ directions.

The Pasadena Unified School Board has eliminated “willful defiance” or disruption of school activities from the district’s policies as a criteria for suspension and possible expulsion for all students.

The state Legislature passed a bill this year that eliminates willful defiance as a category of suspensions for students in kindergarten through third grade and the authority to recommend expulsion for willfully defiant students of all grade levels.

There are a couple of great reader comments attached to this article, and I thought I would share them here. Reader comments can be far more reality based than any news article, and these two get it right in my opinion. Here is the first one:


The second comment comes from a woman named Sally.


Schools that do not enforce discipline quickly become chaotic and out of control. Hardly the kind of place anyone would be able to teach successfully. It does make you wonder what is going on in the minds of some school administrators and those enabling them these days.

Of course, and as is almost always the case with government, the culprit turns out to be money.

Ruth Cusick, a staff attorney at nonprofit law firm Public Counsel, said removing willful defiance as a category of suspensions is about giving teachers other ways of dealing with students’ behavior.

“It’s not about taking something away from our teachers or administrators but actually being honest together about what works and what’s going to increase your attendance and increase academic achievement in schools,” she told the board.

In other words, it is about the additional money a school district gets through improved attendance. Every time a kid shows up at school the state gives that school and its district more money. In this case the priority is getting kids there, not what actually happens after.

That may be why Larry "DUITorres's City of Angels school has a 77% failure rate in math. Perhaps it is a school with mostly "at risk" kids and no realistic plan for maintaining a proper level of discipline. This sad brand of education just wants to get them there so they can charge back the taxpayers. No matter how badly they perform.

Look at it this way. If kids were to perform better at PUSD schools, those schools would be better able to compete in the education marketplace. The PUSD would then not lose the kinds of students that they really need to find competitive success. But I guess that isn't their priority right now.

The Preserve Sierra Madre Take On Tuesday's City Council Meeting

(Mod: Late yesterday afternoon Preserve Sierra Madre put out this wrap up of what went down Tuesday evening on the question of building demolitions.)

At Tuesday night's meeting, our City Council extended the Demolition Moratorium for an additional six months but directed City Staff to make their best efforts to complete the revised Demolition ordinance by April 30th.  Once the rules for demolition are established and the appropriate safeguards are in place, then the moratorium can be lifted.

After extensive discussions about additional historical preservation measures including an Historical Survey of properties in Sierra Madre, the City Council elected to defer that issue to another meeting.  While every council member seemed to support the need for historical preservation, it came down to whether the demolition ordinance is sufficient or whether a historical survey is also needed.

Once again, we have to commend the City Council for taking up these issues and staying late into the night in an effort to get this right.  We also want to particularly thank our City Attorney, Terri Highsmith, for her efforts in trying to craft reasonable and effective historical preservation measures that will protect Sierra Madre for generations to come.

Thank you to all  of our supporters who sent emails to the City Council encouraging them to continue their efforts and to those who took a night away from their busy schedules to attend the meeting.

Thank you for your support.
Steering Committee
Preserve Sierra Madre

Lambdin Land 

Will Sierra Madre become Lambdin Land?
(Mod: One of the reasons Preserve Sierra Madre is as successful as they are is they keep it positive. Maybe they're right. Certainly the results show it. Here on the blog, however, people do get down and dirty. Life is down and dirty, and we respect those who deal with it at that level as well. Here is an entirely different assessment of Tuesday's meeting from a reader.)

The Council completely lost their vision of what the demolition ordinance was supposed to be. It was supposed to prevent our older, historic homes to be demolished and then a lot split or a McMansion to replace it. It was an emergency ordinance to prevent someone from filing for a demolition before the final ordinance was passed. And as Denise said, they have to do the historic survey in order to know what they are talking about in the ordinance. Otherwise it would be willy nilly decision making. Capoccia at first made great sense but lost it when Harabedian made his case, forcefully and over and over.

For the first time I can remember, Elaine and Teresa made perfect sense when they argued that a 6 month moratorium was necessary to let the Planning Commission do their job, and have time to do the survey to make sure all the points were covered. Harabedian wanted to keep it to 90 days and said it didn't need to go to the Planning Commission as the Council was smart enough to make the decision themselves. Clueless Goss kept going on about individual property rights, completely missing the point altogether.

In the end, they voted for a 60 day extension of the moratorium with the proviso that they do a rush job and try to get it to Council for the final reading in April. This is completely unrealistic, and as one of the public said, you need the 6 months to get it right. There is something fishy about that discussion last night.

(Mod: Take your pick. Personally I think the Bob the Builder faction, as represented by the always narrowly focused Glenn Lambdin, got to Mayor Johnny Process. Glenn has made it his lifetime's work to fight historic designations of homes here, probably because he believes it will get in the way of his attempts to turn the town into pirate's booty.)

Barry Gold on Water Conservation penalties

(Mod: Barry Gold sent the following e-mail to the City Council yesterday afternoon. We are making it public for you today.)

Dear Mayor and Council Members,

I cannot tell you how disappointed I am concerning your passage of the Water Conservation Penalties Resolution.

You asked the people of Sierra Madre to cut their water usage by 30% below their water allowance which I believe was set using 2012 usage data.

Many residents are reaching their target goal.  Some are doing even better while some have made no effort to conserve any water and are using even more than they did in 2012.

I certainly agree with the council in imposing fines on those who do not make any attempt to conserve and those who are trying to conserve and are not yet at the 30% reduction.

Where I am really troubled is with the City Manager's plan to reward those who have done the best job by conserving more than 30% by punishing them with lower target goals.  Their current target goal was set to reflect actual usage in 2012 less 30%.  I believe the city wants to get rid of the 2012 usage based allowance and replace it with an unfair Calculator Tool that is subject to change by the council and staff and which we have not been able to see and study.

The usage based system reflects the differences in family needs by using actual prior usage data.  The Calculator Tool cannot be fair since on size cannot fit all.  A family of four with two children will use a different amount of water per person then a family of four adults.  The Calculator does not provide for this.

Please keep the 2012 usage based system in place.  The calculator may be useful when considering appeals, but it should be a tool to use along with other considerations not the uncaring abusive tool it could become.

Finally I am most disturbed by Section 4 of the Resolution which states "Violations of Urgency Ordinance 1359U Implementing the California State Water Resources Control Board Emergency Regulation - Staff is authorized to initiate the Administrative Enforcement provisions of the Municipal Code Section 1.18."

Please read the Administrative Enforcement provisions.  I have included some of the provisions below.  I highlighted some of the provisions to call your attention to them.  If this is what you had in mind to give the staff full discretion to do I think you are making an enormous mistake.  We cannot be ready for such heavy handed tactics at this time.  At least see if the fines work before using a cannon to kill an ant.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.  I know that you have numerous reports to read and that you are receiving many letters and e-mails from many residents each week.  Some say your job is a thankless one.  Well that is not true.  We depend on all of you to always know what is best for the people of Sierra Madre and the city in general.  This is a lot to ask of anyone.  And I do thank you for your sincere efforts to do that which is truly best.
  
Respectfully, Barry Gold

Chapter 1.18 - ADMINISTRATIVE ENFORCEMENT

1.18.010 - Purpose and intent.
The city council has determined that the enforcement of this code, any uniform or other code it adopts by reference, and any other ordinance of the city is an important public service and is vital to the protection of the public's health, safety, and quality of life. The city council has determined that there is a need for alternative methods of code enforcement and that a comprehensive code enforcement system includes criminal, civil, and administrative remedies.

1.18.030 - General enforcement authority.
Enforcement officers may issue notices of violation and administrative citations, inspect public and private property, and use whatever judicial and administrative remedies are available under this code and other law to enforce the ordinances of the city. More specific provisions regarding administrative or other enforcement authority and procedures for particular violations may exist in this code and shall to fullest extent permissible, be construed to complement rather than contradict this chapter.

1.18.050 - Authority to inspect.
Enforcement officers are authorized to enter upon any property or premises within the city to ascertain whether code violations exist, and to make any examination and surveys as may be necessary in the performance of their enforcement duties, in accordance with Fourth Amendment of United States Constitution and the related protections of the California Constitution. These inspections may include the taking of photographs, samples, or other physical evidence. All inspection, entries, examinations and surveys shall be performed reasonably and in accordance with law. If an owner or occupant or property or his or her agent refuses to consent to entry and inspection, an enforcement officer may seek an administrative inspection warrant pursuant to law.

1.18.060 - Notice of pending administrative enforcement.
An enforcement officer may record with the Los Angeles County Assessor a notice against a property which is the subject of an administrative enforcement action to give notice to potential transferees of the property of code violations thereon. A notice of pending administrative action shall be on a form approved by the city manager and shall describe the nature of the administrative action and refer to the code provision governing the pending administrative action.

1.18.070 - Administrative fines and penalties.
A.   Any responsible person may be subject to an administrative fine pursuant to this chapter for any code violation.
B.   Each and every responsible person is joint and severally liable, in accordance with notice and procedures of this chapter, for all fines, penalties and interest imposed for the code violation(s) as to which he she or it is a responsible person.
C.   Each day a code violation is committed, continued or permitted, shall be a separate violation for which a citation may be issued. An enforcement officer may charge several violations of the code on a citation.
D.   The administrative fines delineated in this chapter are in addition to, and do not preclude imposition of, any other remedies, criminal, civil, or administrative, available to the city. Imposition of administrative fines shall be at the sole discretion of the city.

Arcadia's City Council Abandons Their China Junket

(Mod: Kudos to Terry Miller and his Arcadia Weekly for getting out in front on this one.)


(Mod: You can check out the rest of this report by clicking here.)

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

80 comments:

  1. Arcadia City Council & staff has to cancel China Junket? Oh, the humanity!

    I hope Arcadia has grief counselors available.

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  2. Way to go Mod, exposing the shenanigans of the Arcadia Council to good effect. this is what the Tattler and other blogs should be about; shining the light of truth on government (and quasi government) entities to hold them accountable for their actions and protect the taxpayers money.

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    1. They could pay their own way. Just a thought.

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    2. Just goes to show you the "people" can make a difference and the Tattler can make a difference.

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    3. They were caught with their proverbial hands in the cookie jar. Great expose and investigative reporting by the Tattler.

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    4. I think the reason they backed off is because if they didn't, people would keep digging and find more dead bodies. In other words, there is corruption going on in Arcadia and the Mayor is right in the middle of it.

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  3. LOL 5:52
    You know damn well that politicians NEVER pay their own way.

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    Replies
    1. True. They are on the America's Guest plan.

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  4. Larry's school sounds like a gladiator academy.

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  5. The Tattler just went over the 3 million hits mark. Damn.

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    Replies
    1. Nobody reads The Tattler.
      ~Josh Moran
      Sierra Madre

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    2. Do they look at the pictures?

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  6. I was able to watch the video of the recent City Council meeting on TV and it seems like Goss continues to be the weak link on an othewise preservvation-oriented Council. For those who voted for him, talk some sense into him. I thought he ran as a preservationist during the campaign.

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    1. Goss is afraid of his own shadow.

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    2. He is a weather vane. Goes the way the wind is blowing.

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    3. A friend to all is a friend to none.

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    4. goss' goal is to have all the sidewalks in good repair.

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    5. Gene just doesn't get it.

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    6. Gene doesn't understand numbers, either.

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    7. Goss is the most pro-development council member on the City Council right now. He needs to be exposed for that when his term expires.

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    8. Goss doesn't understand the issue. The only thing that could knock some sense into him is if the Felikians knock down the home next door to him and build what they consider to be a too small 6,000 square foot skyscraper that blocks any view, light or privacy that Goss may have. It appears that then and onlty then will Goss wake up from his slumber.

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    9. Gene Goss is in the developer's pocket. He would be more comfortable on the Arcadia City Council.

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    10. I wonder if his students in his Political Science classes at Long Beach City College ever watch our Council meetings, scratch their heads and wonder "this guy is teaching us?"

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  7. Glen Lambdin got up there at the last City Council meeting and never ever discusses or expresses the slightest concern about preservation. I know he is a former mayer but what does he do for a living? I'm just wondering why he is so opposed to preservation.

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    1. The reason Glen Lambdin hasn't said anything about preservation is because he's not in favor of it - any of it. Wasn't he the same guy who dismantled the Cultural Heritage Commission while he was in office?

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    2. jeez, Glenn moves away for several years and comes back and he's the same know it all as when he left

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  8. I would bet you that Glen Lambdin has been talking to Mayor Harabedian. Because Lambdin tried to argue that CEQA would come into play just by the mere fact the city does an historical survey. The City Attorney refuted that but left the door open, as attorneys need to do, that someone could always make the argument. Its bogus. But the Mayor seemed to pick up on that. I am suspicious of Lambdin because he never talks about preservation issues. He like that architect Vanderveldt would not change anything and just leave the present rules in place so that developers can have a free rein in Arcadia. I don't think any City Council member should listen to people who have a vested interest in more houses torn down, more historicial structures lost and more lot splits.

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    1. Lambdin's a contractor. 'Nuff said.

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    2. The city council should listen to all sides of an issue and make an informed decision,not just your point of view. It's called Democracy it's worked well for a few hundred years this isn't China yet.

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    3. True, but in a democracy people can disagree with a council decision, and then express that disappointment. Not everyone is an authority junkie, you know.

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    4. As long as everyone knows that Glen is a contractor and has a financial interest in allowing as much building and demolition as possible, then that's all fine. He's entitled to be against every single preservation measure that comes up. But if people only know him as a former Mayor, then he might have more influence than he deserves. Let's face it, the more the development standards are tightened up, the less business he has, the less business for developers and the less business for architects. LIkewise, at that one City Council Meeting when the owner of Mira Monte was shouting shame on you to everyone, Vanderveldt spoke in his capacity as a former planning commissioner who was against the demolition moratorium. It turns out he is the architect for the Browns and sat next to Mr. Brown at this last Tuesday's council meeting. There's nothing wrong with him being the architect that I guess was instrumental in making the call that the Henry A. Darling House needs to be demolished, but at least don't pass yourself off when you speak as a disinterested party only there to provide his "expert" opinion. If Glen Lampdin is a contractor then its understandable that he would be against any tightening of development standards. It seems to me he is then putting his personal interest ahead of what's best for the city as a whole.

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    5. Glenn talks a lot of government sounding mumbo jumbo, and to the innocent it could sound like he knows what he is talking about. But if you really sit and analyze his "thought," it's all nonsense.

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    6. Harabedian seems to give him alot of deference because of his stature as a former Mayor. He is a contractor. Contractors don't want any restraints on development - its bad for business. That's the only reason he's come out of the wood work right now.

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    7. Lambdin only comes out of the woodwork when there is a lot of wood involved. A McMansion's worth.

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    8. I guess some of the new rules are hitting a little to close to home for Mr. Lambdin - like the pocketbook. As usual, doesn't it always come down to the money for some people.

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    9. People like Lambdin think they are entitled to wreck the community by right.

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    10. why do people think being "Mayor" in SM is a big deal?

      it's a ceremonial position but former "Mayors" love to tout it

      way too much ego

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    11. Lambdin is in construction - ignore him but he still won't go away

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  9. An evaluation of home owner water usage in southern California should be conducted. If Sierra Madre is harshly being singled out then legal action against the city should be implemented. Our water has been so mismanaged over the years and now the city has found another way to suck more money from it's citizens. All this is very scary when we know we have a police department that shoots first and asks questions later and I believe the shooter is still on the payroll. I have had enough of this mistreatment.

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    Replies
    1. "Where were you shot, son"

      "In the buttocks."
      ~ Forrest Gump

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  10. I see the Larry Torres Driving While Drunk article is #1 on The Tattler's Top 10 Most Read Posts of the Last Week.

    His supporters must be so proud of Larry's character (?) on display!

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    1. They do know how to pick them.

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    2. Bart Doyle has that talent.

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    3. I'm still waiting for the naked pictures Tattler.

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    4. Around back at Bart's house there is a bar and small pool called The Loser's Lounge. He has had some notable visitors these past few years.

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    5. Sorry 9:09, I'm NOT waiting for the naked pictures. Eye bleach shortage, you know.

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    6. It would drive you to drink.

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    7. By keeping disruptive brats in the classroom, the PUSD gets money for daily attendance. It's all about thet money.

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    8. Tattler Rule #1: It is always about the money.

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    9. And the Platinum Pensions. But I repeat myself.

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    10. Yep, Mikala Rahn sure can pickem.

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    11. Nobody is perfect. And who knows how many people said no befores she got to Torres?

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    12. That would actually make it worse wouldn't it 2:17? If Torres wasn't Mikala Rahn's first choice, it would prove how desperate she was not to have Siraganian elected. Siraganian is that bad that Rahn poured through a list of possibilities to make sure a candidate was put up against her? Rahn has never struck me as an ignorant or undeliberative person. That would be a very hard case to make. Making up funny names for people is more fun anyway. Gets to the heart of the matter better. I think the Tattler has jumped the shark on this election coverage.

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    13. Poppycock. Obviously you're not from here. Desperate bottom of the barrel searches for candidates that can walk on two legs is a time honored tradition here. This whole St Mikala edifice you're hiding behind is quite an assumption on your part, btw. She wasn't on the Board long enou to make a difference, and has now backed out. She was only appointed as a sop to Sierra Madre because we were robbed of our seat for two years by Chawkins and the rest of the bandits.

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  11. Barry Gold
    Many thanks for your work on the Water issue.And thank you Mr. Crawford for giving this issue space on the expanding Tattler Empire.
    Please encourage your neighbors to read Barry Gold's thoughtful & very restrained piece. It is NOT just about the water ! There are some really alarming issues underneath the surface.
    The architects of this bungled and odious Water Ordinance are senior City Staff. Either Aguilar and Inman are incompetent or they are subversive. Either way they clearly do NOT have the interests of Sierra Madre at heart.
    Let's hope Barry Gold's gentle approach leads them to a less divisive and more effective Ordinance.
    Thanks to Messrs. Gold and Crawford.

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    1. Judy and Barry Gold have done a remarkable service for this community. We all owe this brave couple our gratitude and thanks.

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    2. What we would do without the Golds. However, they need some help. Please attend some of the meetings and suport them with your voice. They are doing most of the heavy lifting right now and seem to attend every Planning Commission and every City Council meeting. Can you ever say enough about people like that? But they can't do it alone even though it sure seems like they can sometimes.

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  12. I'm sorry that the Star-News chose to take the Mt. Views News editorial about Siraganian and not giving Sandra credit for running a good campaign with some good issues. Calling her a "fringe" candidate, is beyond the pale.

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    1. Larry Wilson must have been drunk.

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    2. There goes 6 votes.

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    3. Is the Star-News still in business? I don't know anyone who subscribes to it.

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    4. I have it on good authority that Wilson endorsed Torres because they share the same first name.

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    5. Does Larry Wilson have a DUI conviction?
      That way Larry Torres & he would have something in common!

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    6. With the number of Star-News readers so low, I'd say Larry Wilson is a member of a "fringe element".

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    7. In the eyes of that little dilettante everything in Sierra Madre is fringe.

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    8. Dismissive and arrogant. Like the little man himself.

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    9. I received a mailor today from the Torres camp with a relatviely short list of endorsements. They included Mayor Harabedian, Former Mayors Buchanan, Stockley and Bart Doyle. And finally our very own Carol Canterbury. I think Mayor Harabedian is associating with the wrong people if he wants to advance his political career. The other crowd is responsible for alot of bad things in Sierra Madre. At least we can give Torres some credit that although Mayor Harabedian has a bad track record when it comes to endorsing the winning candidate, at least Torres was smart enough not to add Nancy Walsh to the list.

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    10. our former Mayors should just shut up and go away

      they overstate their importance and value to the community

      Doyle and Buchanan are two of the worst sell outs we've ever elected and when Rob was on the Council he was a banker and supported all development

      self serving pompous dudes

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  13. Something about this post bothers me. The Tattler was very supportive of the Brandenburgs and the issues they had with their child in PUSD. That was very laudable. How is that support reconciled with trumpeting this flyer from Sandra Siraganian. It seems from this flier that Siraganian would be much more in line with the PTA parents that were against the Brandenburg child than the ones that were offering support. I saw another comment somewhere, I think on the DUI post that Siraganian was supportive of the Brandenburgs, why this now? Just political points?

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    1. You are equating special needs students, in this case autism, with the kinds of students that disrupt classes and cause trouble on campus? Interesting. Are you sure you wouldn't like to take some more time and think this through? I'll bet you can do better than that.

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    2. Ok, for those of you keeping track at home, 2:52's post is an example (a very poor one) of triangulation. Trying to put a Siraganian supporter against another one.

      Post is most likely from a Torres troll (from across the Michillinda curtain). On some of the Pasadena blogs you can smell the fear in the Petey Dreier / teachers union camp.

      No surprise. How would it feel if you were a teachers' union member and you found out your union did a mailing for a convicted drunk driver? Your Union dues at work?

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

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    4. Happy people don't talk like that.

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  14. I guess I'm getting at, that willful defiance can be a symptom of a lot of things. Could be the kid is an entitled little brat, or could mean that the kid is in trouble and needs help. Probably a lot of other stuff too. Seems the flyer makes this pretty simplistic. There has to be more to differentiate the two candidates than this? Couldn't Siraganian have chosen something better? Its just seems like a scare tactic. Not something substantial. Maybe it will work though, who knows.

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    1. Actually what you are doing is pointing at someone's child in order to make a cheap political point. Something that makes you appear rather loathesome and predatory.

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    2. Not sure who or what your referring too, but ok. I was happy you were what I thought was the right side before, and hoped now you would be as well. Protecting kids that might be maligned in school. Guess that's a squishy position though.

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    3. Suspending a kid for a couple of days from school for acting up is in no way the equivalent of what you have described.

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    4. Dear 3:13,
      Is that all you've got? You've been a BAD student. Go do your homework on your failing Torres charter school and get back to us.

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  15. Many Tattlers have offered detailed proposals to resolve the water shortage equably and promptly. It is extraordinary how 'deaf' the Council have been to very reasonable objections to the ineffective and heavy-handed proposed Ordinance. I am all for fining the gross abusers and water hogs.I guess most of us are yet the Council has not approved a penny in fines against people using 5 times as much as the average home in Sierra Madre.There are only about 50 such abusers in Sierra Madre - why not make an example of them?
    Why instead harass people like the Allans who seem very thrifty with their water ?
    Why force through an Ordinance mandating submission to 'search & seizure'? It is a 4th Amendment right to be free of this harassment and would soon attract the attention of Lawyers eager to take on an easy-win case against the City. why do this to ourselves?
    Nobody- not even the Council , understands the Ordinance because it changes so often and is so contradictory. This leaves us wide open to another legal challenge based on "the rule of lenity" U.S. vs Santos. It means that if the law & punishment are unclear, the law is unenforceable. And our proposed Ordinance will be an endless make-work contract for our alleged City Attorney Ms.Highsmith vs every Constitutional/Property Rights activist .
    This is madness.

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