Sunday, March 22, 2015

Why is Arcadia Chamber Prexy Scott Hettrick Getting So Snotty With the Save the Arcadia Highlands Folks?

He seemed friendly
Every city has their full quota of windy establishment types. People who honk noisily in defense of any favored fat cats or special interests not being treated with proper deference to their mightiness by mere townies. And apparently Scott Hettrick is one of those folks who is assured he numbers among the local elite. So much so that he shows no hesitation in being quite snotty to those daring to hold opinions he doesn't appreciate. Or that his gazillionaire imported patrons find inconvenient.

Apparently for Arcadia's omnipresent Chamber of Commerce bossman Large House Hettrick, civic correctness and the money you have in your bank account are pretty much one and the same thing. Any truly democratic exchange of opinions can be easily damned, and only submission to the oligarchic prerequisites of pay to play government and those who write them the biggest checks are to be taken with any seriousness. Power and politics in Arcadia having now become little more than a cash and carry based business.

If you turn to the kinda mediocre blog Hettrick writes for, the oxymoronically monikered "Arcadia's Best" (link), you'll witness the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce's foremost indignant person getting quite unpleasant with the folks attempting to preserve the Arcadia Highlands. Their crime being to dare and question some of the City of Arcadia's more outrageous planning decisions. Especially the decisions approving the building of those two recent examples of out of place nouveau-riche McMansion doofus housing in the Arcadia Highlands.

It would seem that in Hettrick's mind money is mightiest no matter where it comes from, and that anyone with some big bank and little regard for others should be allowed to freely walk all over a community of folks who have called Arcadia home for most of their lives. The residents of The Highlands might be property owners, but apparently in the eyes of city government and Scott Hettrick, they still need to be slapped down. In the name of property owner rights, of course.

Hettrick begins his article "From Flip Off to Lawsuit" this way:

Since they could not get their way in stopping the razing of two homes on big lots – a 74 year-old home at 29 E. Orange Grove Avenue and a 59 year-old domicile at 1600 Highland Oaks Drive — that would be replaced with two homes of  two-to-three times the size built by Robert Tong and Bowden Development, now the residents calling themselves by a group named Save the Arcadia Highlands are trying another angle: a class-action lawsuit filed March 12 against the City of Arcadia claiming that the new homes should not be built because they would be environmentally unfriendly.

McMansions, as anyone with half a mind should already know, are an ecological nightmare. In an article titled "McMansions" and Energy Inefficiency, here is how the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (link) describes the environmental dangers of doofus development:

Specifically, "McMansions" pose the following environmental risks:

- Vast tracts of land must be deforested in order to build unnecessarily large homes, threatening wildlife and reducing the biological absorption of greenhouse gasses. The math is startling: roughly 408 trees of 20-inch diameter and 42 feet of usable wood are required to build an 8,000-square-foot house (according to the Idaho Forest Products Commission), and for every 10 such homes that are built, more than 7 acres of forest must be cleared (assuming 9-foot by 9-foot tree spacing, according to a formula by the University of Georgia).

- Concrete is required to make foundations, which are correspondingly large in "McMansions." Concrete production consumes energy and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

- Inordinately high energy consumption is another drawback. While they may be grand looking, the high ceilings and huge foyers are difficult to heat and cool. Indoor pools, exercise rooms and living spaces with elevated ceilings all contribute to the need to construct power plants and increase dependency on fossil fuels.

- Toxic building materials, such as some types of paint and vinyl, are used in greater quantities than are required in typical homes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, vapors or volatile organic compounds in paint can cause serious health problems.



Hettrick also snarks evasively about the now widely held notion that some of Arcadia's city officials, those who are making the actual decisions on McMansion building in The Highlands, have also been the lucky recipients of bumping cash money donations from inappropriately generous developers around campaign time.

The Save the Arcadia Highlands web site, says they are “beginning to take the necessary steps to recall” Mayor John Wuo and Council Member Roger Chandler and “any other members that we discover have ties to real estate developers or investors in Arcadia.” The site goes on to cite some facts about a real estate company owned by Wuo and campaign contributions received by Chandler from development and real estate companies. It also does the same with Council Member Sho Tay before proceeding to make personal and credibility attacks against all three.  

Of course, Hettrick doesn't want to go into much detail on that, only to say that those making the charges have said things that he perceives as being indecorous. As Sierra Madre has seen often, the "civility defense" is usually the last refuge of scoundrels.

We have posted a couple of articles about the all too cozy relationship between big money development interests and Arcadia's City Council. In one titled "Arcadia Officials Going On A Fully Paid Trip To China - Many Arcadia Residents Pray They Never Come Back (link)," we provided this chart detailing an unfortunate money connection:


Yes, there is that little matter of foreign McMansion development related interests attempting to fly about half of Arcadia's city government to China for a little Beijing home office lowdown. Chow with Mao. Something that the City Council in Arcadia was later forced to back off of, and even returned the $30,000 big ones given to them by some rather suspect parties.

In an opinion piece called "Arcadia backs away from China junket that should never have been planned" (link), here is how Pasadena Star News opinion writer Larry Wilson describes this rather unwholesome episode:

It’s a good thing that Arcadia’s city fathers, perhaps a few mothers, have canceled plans for a junket to China paid for in part with $30,000 in donations from Chinese developers and local firms with ties to China.

But in this case, for there to be a good thing now, there had to be a bad thing then — which is just a couple of weeks ago. And it was such a terrible idea in the first place, with so many City Council members and senior City Hall staffers showing they have tin ears for how this would sound to the public, that it makes me wonder how such a case of mass hysteria could affect the civic leaders of our sylvan little suburb.

Remember when Arcadia’s motto was “Community of Homes”? A little prosaic, but true enough. Remember when Arcadia real estate sales contracts included a covenant mandating that the buyer was a white Protestant? That was technically the case until 1965. Now the city is 60 percent Asian.

And, no, the motto was not been changed, officially at least, to “Community of McMansions.” But since the mansionization of the formerly ranch house-happy town is easily the biggest civic controversy there, with much of the tear-downs and consequent building out to the lot lines being paid for by Chinese nationals and corporations, it didn’t take a politician with his ear very close to the ground to hear that there might be a kerfuffle over the big cash infusion aimed at paying for the China trip.

Yeah, I'd vote to recall them, too. Wouldn't you?

In the end it is all about money for Scott Hettrick. And no matter what the consequences to the people living there, the needs of those having the most dough should always be paramount. Here is how Hettrick wraps up his edgy blog post:

In a city that is considered so prosperous and with some of the highest property values in a region that ranks amongst the nation’s highest – so high that State Treasurer John Chiang said last Friday that he could not afford to live in Arcadia and has to settle for South Bay — it’s ironic that on a website created by residences living in an area long considered the wealthiest part of town, the most prominent feature is a bright red button at the top center asking for donations.

For our current favorite Arcadia Chamber of Commerce president, this all boils down to the needs of significantly financed development interests. The privileging of their wants over the rights of taxpaying residents to participate and make meaningful contributions to the planning of their own community. You might be a homeowner in Arcadia, but if some big out of area development outfit with plenty of laundered loot to lavish on Arcadia's City Council comes around? Get out of the way because here come the bulldozers. Your rights no longer exist.

I also wonder if Hettrick intentionally meant to point out that the one part of Arcadia still predominantly made up of ranch homes is also its wealthiest. Is he actually claiming that the McMansion developers attempting to crack the Highlands are victims?

Lawsuits cost a lost of money, of course. And should you want to help out the Save the Arcadia Highlands group, you can push that bright red button here.

Tell them Scott Hettrick sent you. But not in quite the way he'd intended.

sierramadretattler.blogpsot.com

54 comments:

  1. The Arcadia Chamber Board needs to fire Hettrick.

    How can a Chamber that is supposed to be business and resident friendly have such a hatchet man as their public face?

    What a train wreck for the Arcadia Chamber.

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    1. It was the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce that mandated back in the 1930 that the residents only sell their homes to White Protestant Christians. The same CC is now showing it's head in support of the vultures who prey on old homes. Mayor Comrade John "no ethics" Wuo, Roger "Senile Bully" Chandler and Sho "two face" Tay should all be packed early and sent out of state.

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  2. This guy speaks on behalf of Arcadia's business community? And then bashes residents? He'll be lucky if half the Highlands doesn't start a boycott of local business.

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  3. You can only wonder how much this jerk is being paid by the green card gangs.

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  4. It's always "FOLLOW THE MONEY" and you'll find the truth. For many years now Arcadia has forsaken the locals for the money they can make. OH, do I recall Arcadia has taken more water from the wells than they should also? Arcadia is not so nice of a neighbor.

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    1. No kidding. Apparently the town is run by jerks.

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    2. Arcadia has a poodle government. They snap at the residents, but it is big Asian money that is holding the leash.

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  5. Love your comment, 8:03. We Sierra Madreans learned long ago that you can't tell the good guys from the bad guys by their titles - prime example is SCAG. Weren't they supposed to help us little guys, and turned out to be working against our interests. Oh, yeah, and our representative Joe Mosca. That should certainly be a lesson in being careful of who you vote for!

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    1. Mosca didn't have to go to any of the SCAG meetings. He already understood his orders.

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    2. Gotta go to SCAG meetings. I believe the Council member that goes gets a $50 or $100 stipend for each meeting attended. Ka-Ching!

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    3. http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com/2009/05/no-show-joe.html

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  6. Chamber of Commerce is not a thing for the local people it is for business large and small and it is general against the wishes of the public through out the country

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    1. Arcadia has mastered the art of businessless businesses.

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    2. They're imitating Sierra Madre I guess.

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  7. "...foremost indignant person." Tattler, you do have a way with words.

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    1. I love "doofus housing" and "doofus development."

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    2. Money - Sophistication = McMansion

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    3. John:
      Sure nice to have you back.
      It was totally disgusting to read all of your St Sandy the Queen of the Nothing for way too long. I began to lose faith in you. She is a real estate agent who is not in the school system. Please keep to what you know. And respect those who do know what is going on, like us teachers. Larry knows more and you know that cuz you moved outta the worst school system, and Dumb Sandy is the last person to fix anything. She does not know anything about running a classroom.
      The only reason I still think I might still love you is because of Lorie and your children. Besides, you do know behind every successful man is a more successful woman.
      Love, Mz Parker
      Party for Larry here, soon??!!!!

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    4. Respectfully, I disagree. When did you start to believe that outsiders are unqualified to make a difference? Larry and the other two dudes that were elected to the BOE were handpicked by the same people that have driven the PUSD down to its current deep dark abyss. It is about money, nothing else. These guys will fix nothing. As far as the people who shoveled all that money at them, they think things are just fine. The special interests are getting paid. The bond salesmen are cranking up their efforts. Nothing else interests them. Besides, anyone who trumpets the endorsements of Bart and Buchanan will never get any slack here. That I promise. I don't do support for corrupt politics.

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    5. Well said, Mod.
      However, using propaganda techniques to associate a candidate with something he did not condone, going after a candidate's family, and trying to make one candidate's bad decision from decades ago an issue, especially when the candidate you promoted has a history of numerous bad decisions - all these supported corrupt politics.

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    6. Darn it, I've been so happy that we were away from that awful election. But my 2 cents came from the fact that Torres taught at the most difficult kind of school, with the worst students. So the 30% graduation that the other side was ridiculing is actually an accomplishment. That showed that Sandy, or her campaign manager, just didn't understand what the school was.

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    7. I have a right to disagree. Nor do I believe that much of what you are saying here is exactly true. Nor do I believe that those tactics you speak of weren't used by the Torres campaign. Perhaps you never saw some of the things I saw. They happened well before I got involved. And look at it this way, if I hadn't used similar tactics against Noah Greene the City of Sierra Madre would now be approving McMansions all along the hillsides. There is little to distinguish what I did in that election from what I did in the recent BOE election.

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    8. 11:46 here. You're right that I never saw any of the bad stuff from the Torres camp. I don't think it made it out into the general public the way the Tattler does. I have since heard that it was awful, and of course I condemn that. I expect the Tattler to rise above anything like that, to focus on the real issues. The Tattler was better than the opposition, before.
      Green's absurd use of Facebook made him unqualified.

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    9. Gotta love when so-called "supporters of education" support the union candidate (Torres) so more money will go in to salaries and pensions and no spending increases to the classroom level.

      Maybe that means with pay raises we won't hear the complaining about teachers buying supplies out of their own pockets, anymore?

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    10. Anyone who wants to see what Torres supporters were putting out please send me your email address. It will sicken you.

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    11. Mod, please stop saying 2 wrongs make a right.

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    12. Heh. In politics anyone who thinks that anything is right are usually wrong.

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    13. Not interested in seeing mud slinging, so won't send my email, but some insight: Teachers Unions have a lot of clout in the State of California, and they will unswervingly back a union candidate no matter what the qualifications. Torres might be a good teacher, but he is in no way qualified to sit on the PSUD Board of Education because he took huge amounts of money from the union, thus is beholden to them.

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    14. The newly elected Three Stooges will start approving bond measures just as fast as Bart's little hands can write them.

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    15. 12:25 - If I get permission I will post it. People need to see. No child of God ever deserved that.

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    16. If you're going to post despicable material, please put some kind of advisory about it - or I'll just have to not read the Tattler again until the coast is clear.

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    17. Just not interested in either the canonization or its opposite of Sandy Siraganian.

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    18. Do you vote?.....then you support corrupt politics, we're all hypocrites.

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    19. How do you escape responsibility by not voting? True, good candidates are rare, so why don't you run? Obviously you believe you're better than those you refuse to vote for, so why aren't you doing something?

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  8. Doesn't the City of Arcadia fund much of the Chamber's activities there? Do Scott's opinions represent the City Council?

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    1. Yes it does. Without the City's funding Scotty Boy wouldn't have anything to blog about. That's why he cannot bite the hand that feeds him. Good boy Scotty!

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  9. Hettrick's blog entry has no doubt been vetted, or maybe even created, by Wuo, Chandler and Tay.
    He'll provide the cover that the players need to get their evasions and whines across.
    Disgusting.

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    1. Do they scratch Scotty's belly?

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  10. I thought that ground permeability was also a real problem with McManies. Destructive to the water cycle, just what we need more of now.

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  11. Scott owns, publishes, and writes for ArcadiasBest.com.

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    1. How much money does the Chamber of Commerce get from Arcadia?

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  12. Hettrick is a sock puppet for the pro-over-development forces on the council. To stop the destruction of Arcadia, they'll have to recall the tres amigos on the council, and fire this guy too.
    That said, I'm really sorry to say, I think it's too late, and that town is over and done with.
    Mistress MacMansionville has replaced Arcadia.

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  13. Love the still picture of Scott on Chinese TV. Any idea what that report was?

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    1. Something to do with easing traffic congestion.

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  14. WE THE RESIDENTS OF SIERRA MADRE NEED A SMALLER GOVERNMENT.

    WE NEED LESS EMPLOYEES AND MORE INFRACTURE IMPROVEMENTS

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  15. We need less capitals and double spacing

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    1. I hear a rumor that they'll be less caps and double spacing as the UUT sunsets.

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  16. A retired elementary school teacher in Sierra Madre answered the phone to hear Sandy's voice asking her to vote for her in the school board election. The teacher tried to get some answers to questions that she faced as a classroom teacher and Sandy was not interested in continuing the conversation. The teacher took that to mean that she had no background to draw from to answer a sincerely put question. Needless-to-say the retired teacher voted for Sandy's opposition.

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    1. And your point is?

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    2. The retired teacher voted for Torres because said teacher was stupid.

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    3. Oh, be nice.

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  17. I voted against Torres and I'm not proud of it. Think they call that the lessor of the two evils.

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