Saturday, March 7, 2015

Way Too Much Information: The Tattler News & Review

Not a big Tattler reader.
(Mod: The world is awash in too much information, most of which will do you absolutely no good whatsoever. You might find yourself wondering if there is a way to escape from it all. Fat chance of that. And The Tattler is no better. We'll just keep shoveling this stuff at you like there is no tomorrow.)

Texas Town Experiences 61% Drop in Crime After Firing Their Police Department (The Free Thought Project link): Sharpstown is a Texas community, located just southwest of Houston, and the way they maintain security in this community has gotten our attention.

In 2012, they fired their cops. The Sharpstown Civic Association then hired S.E.A.L. Security Solutions, a private firm, to patrol their streets. “Since we’ve been in there, an independent crime study that they’ve had done [indicates] we’ve reduced the crime by 61%” in just 20 months, says James Alexander, Director of Operations for SEAL.

Government police, despite not acting like it, are still part of the government. This means that any progressive change for the better takes ten times longer than it would in the private sector; if it happens at all. Government police are not driven by efficiency and threats from liability, as neither one of these things are needed when you have a tax farm to rob when things get tight.

Contrary to the government apparatus, private police, must be efficient as well as safe, for one small mistake or claim could end their entire operation. If an inefficiency is spotted within the system, changes must be implemented swiftly to avoid the loss of revenue.

(Mod: A possible solution to the public safety issue should the UUT end up being voted out of existence.)

Agents search Michael Peevey’s home in PG&E judge-shopping case (SF Chronicle link): State investigators seized computers and other items from the homes of former California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey and an ousted Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executive at the heart of the judge-shopping controversy that has embroiled the regulatory agency for months, The Chronicle has learned.

Investigators with the attorney general’s office executed a search warrant Tuesday at the home Peevey and his wife, Democratic state Sen. Carol Liu, share in La CaƱada Flintridge (Los Angeles County), court documents show. The agents seized computers, smartphones and a thumb drive, a small data-storage device, according to the records.

State investigators also seized a computer and other items Tuesday from the Orinda home of former PG&E Vice President Brian Cherry, court documents show. He and two other PG&E executives were fired in September when the utility released e-mails showing that Cherry had negotiated with utilities commission officials, including Peevey’s chief of staff, to name a judge the utility preferred to oversee a $1.3 billion rate-setting case.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris and the U.S. attorney’s office opened separate investigations into the judge-shopping case to determine whether any laws were broken. The investigations are also looking into e-mails that PG&E later released in which Cherry said Peevey had solicited contributions from the company for a political cause in 2010 and hinted that, in return, the utilities commission would rule in PG&E’s favor in a separate rate case.

(Mod: Perhaps this is the real reason Carol "Lookie" Liu is resigning as our State Senator?)

So have you seen this yet?

(Mod: Wasn't this supposed to be low income so-called "Duty Man" housing or some such socially conscious whatever?)

After suspending him for fraud, Pasadena officials never dug deeper into embezzlement suspect (Pasadena Star News link): Former Department of Public Works employee Danny Ray Wooten, accused of embezzling $6.4 million from the city, was fired for “time card fraud and abuse of city time,” city documents show.

A claim filed with the city’s insurance provider, which was obtained by this news organization, shows Wooten, 51, a former pastor, was placed on administrative leave in March pending an investigation.

Further details are not provided.

The suspected 11-year-long embezzlement was uncovered in May after a separate City Hall inquiry into an unrelated matter. Wooten was fired in July.

City Manager Michael Beck said despite Wooten’s suspension, no deeper investigation was done and supervisors didn’t immediately discover the financial mismanagement of an underground utility program overseen by Wooten.

“You need to have probable cause,” said Beck. “People have certain rights and you want to be able to respect those rights. When we’re doing an investigation into a specific issue, we try to focus on that specific issue.”

(Mod: So which city is more screwed up do you think? Pasadena or Arcadia?)

Environmental report on 710 Freeway gap: Tunnel would ease traffic more than light rail (Pasadena Star News link): A 710 Freeway tunnel extending 6.3 miles from Valley Boulevard in Alhambra to the 210 Freeway in Pasadena would provide the greatest amount of traffic relief of any transportation alternative and the fewest impacts, according to environmental documents released Friday.

The 2,200-page Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement concludes that the tunnel alternative “would have the largest increase in freeway and arterial performance” but carries the highest price tag. At $5.65 billion, the tunnel would cost more than twice as much as the light-rail alternative, estimated at $2.4 billion.

Four years ago, Caltrans and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) began studying the environmental impacts of continuing the freeway underground, instead of on the surface. Besides the tunnel, the EIR examined four other options: traffic management solutions, a dedicated bus line, a light-rail train or no-build.

(Mod: I think it is pretty obvious that the fix has been in on this one the entire time. It has always been about the tunnel, and this nonsense "process" has been nothing but a public relations stunt designed to bamboozle the gullible into believing they actually had some input. Also, as Sylvia Plummer points out, this report is actually over 26,000 pages long. Not 2,200. Why the Star News reported this far lower number is beyond me.)

China Bulldozing Hundreds Of Mountains To Expand Cities (Think Progress link): China is just about the same size as the United States, but livable land is in short supply. With the population and economy still growing at a rapid clip, the government has undertaken a plan to bulldoze hundreds of mountains to create land for building on.

In a paper published in journal Nature this week, three researchers from Chang’an University in China warn that the scores of mountains already being truncated is leading to air and water pollution, erosion, and flooding. With unprecedented plans to remove over 700 mountains and fill valleys with the debris, they warn that “there has been too little modelling of the costs and benefits of land creation. Inexperience and technical problems delay projects and add costs, and the environment impacts are not being thoroughly considered.”

Totaling several hundred square miles of newly flattened land, mountaintop removal has never been carried out at this scale, warn the authors, not even in strip mining operations common in the United States. These projects in China often ignore environmental regulations in search of profit and unadulterated development. Around one-fifth of China’s population, more than 250 million people, live in mountainous areas.

(Mod: Charming. Maybe that is a solution to the lack of suitable land and space for McMansions here. Bulldoze the San Gabriel Mountains.)

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

44 comments:

  1. Do private security forces get Platinum Pensions and Lifetime Medical at age 50?

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    1. No. You don't a free townhouse at The Highland Mews, either.

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    2. Why do they call it a mews? Are cats there?

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    3. Why do they want to house the Duty Men in stables?

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    4. Seems classist.

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  2. Does anyone know who the speaker in the photo might be? Is it Patrick Cahalan?

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    1. I think it is one of Peter Dreier's students working on an extra credit project.

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    2. I hope he doesn't blow himself up.

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    3. I do, but only if it is in a large field and no one else is around.

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  3. Did anyone hear that Sandi's signs have been taken down and replaced by Torres signs?

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    1. Yes. The thugs have stolen Sandi's signs from entire neighborhoods. Maybe if you take one to the Torres party at Mayor Harabedian's house tomorrow you get a free drink. Kind of a booze bounty.

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    2. Yes Sandi's signs have been taken down. Know who would do such a thing?

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    3. The usual bums.

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  4. "Mews is a primarily British term formerly describing a row of stables, usually with carriage houses below and living quarters above, built around a paved yard or court, or along a street, behind large city houses, such as those of London, during the 17th and 18th centuries."

    Never heard the term before. So it goes from being a church to a "mews." What phoney baloney!

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  5. The last line in the Tattler with the suggestion that maybe we can bulldoze the San Gabriel Mountain to make room for McMansions is funny but scary too when its going on in China right now. I don't like the government butting into things as much as anybody else, but if you gave developers like Mur-Sol and the Groh brothers a free rein, the San Gabriel Mountains would be gone in favor of their houses that look more like aircraft carriers. In other words, my chuckle at the last line was a bit of a nervous chuckle knowing what some people are capable of. I guess they don't share the same sense of how sacred our mountains and canyons are like what 91 year old Maude Ann Taylor said at that one City Council meeting. When our spirits ever get low, I hope the Tattler can play that video again. That was truly inspirational.

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  6. Wanted to express thanks and kudos to Sylvia Plummer, who has done extensive email networking and research on behalf of the No 710 Action Committee. http://www.no710.com/about_us.html

    Tattler article of Dec 2013 is good background
    http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com/2013/12/sierra-madre-becomes-part-of-five-city.html

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  7. "The cheapest option would be to make the existing freeways and roads more efficient without major construction, the report says. That could include meters for on-ramps, synchronized traffic signals, and lanes that change direction during peak hours. Those options would cost about $105 million and take two years to complete, the report said."

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-710-freeway-report-20150306-story.html

    Kind of the obvious solution here. Metro can't do anything without massive budget overruns and scope expansion. Duh.

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    1. It is always about the money. Metro wants all the funding it can get to fatten up their operation. So of course they're going to drag this thing out for as long as they can. In the end this was always about getting cheap American job killing Asian goods out of the ports and into the Wal*Marts. Metro and Caltrans are the handmaidens of economic treason.

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  8. Great point from the cop article.

    "Government police, despite not acting like it, are still part of the government. This means that any progressive change for the better takes ten times longer than it would in the private sector; if it happens at all. Government police are not driven by efficiency and threats from liability, as neither one of these things are needed when you have a tax farm to rob when things get tight."

    Back when now Detective Amos decided to shoot some guy in the back for the crime of falling asleep in his car it ended up costing the taxpayers here a whole lot of money. The guy sued and got a 7 figure settlement. But if a privatized police force does something awful like that, they have to pick up all those kinds of costs themselves.

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    1. And the private company would also have to insure the city against liability. Instead of the city er, taxpayers footing the bill thru higher insurance costs.

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    2. No pensions or health care costs, right? No POA lawsuits. Why haven't we done this?

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    3. According to this agenda report for this coming Tuesday's City Council meeting the total cost for safety services in Sierra Madre is $5.4 million.
      http://docs.cityofsierramadre.com/tylercm/eagleweb/downloads/4___Public_Safety_Report.pdf?id=DOC197S72.A0&parent=DOC197S72

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    4. Private security forces? Hell no!!!

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    5. If privitized law enforcement is more effective, less expensive and less litigious, what's to lose? Outside of a lot of entitlement and a union?

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  9. Senator Liu's hubby is being investigated for influence peddling? Gosh, I didn't think that happened in California. The investigating, I mean.

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  10. Didn't Senator Liu endorse Larry Torres?

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    1. I think they met over drinks.

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  11. Registered sex offenders to march on Carson City Hall to fight restrictions

    A group of convicted sex offenders will march to Carson City Hall on Saturday to demand equal rights to visit fast-food restaurants, parks, libraries and other public areas from which they are now banned.

    The protest is timed to coincide with the date of Martin Luther King Jr.’s voting-rights march to Selma, Ala., 50 years ago to emphasize that the issue is about a denial of constitutionally protected human rights. Carson imposes the state’s harshest restrictions against registered sex offenders.

    “We really want to call it to the attention of the city of Carson that they indeed are violating civil rights of more than 100,000 people and their families,” attorney Janice Bellucci said. “We have multiple court decisions that clearly state that the Carson ordinance violates the state and federal constitutions.”

    Great. The child molesters think they're Martin Luther King...

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    1. I'm pretty sure some of them think they're Napoleon.

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  12. Liu spent a million dollars of her corrupt husbands money to buy her assembly seat in her first race and is a complete union tool. she is a dirty narcissist and its no surprise she has endorsed Torres.

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  13. Tattler has Yellow Fever

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    1. How is that different from blue flu, green envy or chinless wonder?

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    2. What about red tide?

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    3. The purple dinosaur?

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  14. There have been several articles in the Times and the Wall Street Journal about the teacher's unions buying board of education members during elections so they can have complete control of our schools. Pasadena is no exception.

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  15. Who's more corrupt, Arcadia or Pasadena? Both. Arcadia hasn't been caught yet.

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    1. It was very comical to see the Arcadia City Council falling all over themselves to give back those Beijing Junket Bucks. I wonder who put the fear of God in them?

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  16. More smears coming your way from the Torres Camp, this time taking the editorial from the Star-News. I wonder who wrote that hatchet job in the first place.

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    1. Wilson, of course. he is the champaign left's favorite hatchet man.

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    2. Why are they even bothering? People vote in these kinds of elections absentee. A little late in the day for reactive politics. Day late and a dollar short for Larry the Lush.

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    3. Why are they bothering? They UTP knows they're in trouble with Torres. The drunk driving thing knocked the crap out of him.

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    4. The clown show is tying dinner giving lights blazing tickets. Let's go private as a vote for common sense

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  17. From a WSJ article published today
    "The Coming Chinese Crackup"
    ~The endgame of communist rule in China has begun, and Xi Jinping’s ruthless measures are only bringing the country closer to a breaking point~

    First, China’s economic elites have one foot out the door, and they are ready to flee en masse if the system really begins to crumble. In 2014, Shanghai’s Hurun Research Institute, which studies China’s wealthy, found that 64% of the “high net worth individuals” whom it polled—393 millionaires and billionaires—were either emigrating or planning to do so. Rich Chinese are sending their children to study abroad in record numbers (in itself, an indictment of the quality of the Chinese higher-education system).

    Just this week, the Journal reported, federal agents searched several Southern California locations that U.S. authorities allege are linked to “multimillion-dollar birth-tourism businesses that enabled thousands of Chinese women to travel here and return home with infants born as U.S. citizens.” Wealthy Chinese are also buying property abroad at record levels and prices, and they are parking their financial assets overseas, often in well-shielded tax havens and shell companies.

    Meanwhile, Beijing is trying to extradite back to China a large number of alleged financial fugitives living abroad. When a country’s elites—many of them party members—flee in such large numbers, it is a telling sign of lack of confidence in the regime and the country’s future.

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