Sunday, April 5, 2015

Your Two Rabbit Easter Sunday Tattler News and Review

Hide the bunnies.
Mod: If you ever wanted to know why humanity needs redemption, and therefore mankind's greatest hope is realized on Easter, you only have to read the news. Obviously we are in dire need of salvation. In the spirit of challenging man's troubled fate on this fallible and rather small planet, one that somehow became home to the likes of you and me, here is that news. Always hope for the better, but prepare for the worst as well. It is the more likely of the two outcomes.

Police Locate Sierra Madre Woman Who They Suspect Was Victim Of Scam (CBS Los Angeles link): A 69-year-old woman who was reported missing Thursday has been found and is safe, police said.

Police said scammers called Enayat Bargen claiming to be from the IRS and demanded she purchase prepaid debit cards in the amount of $4,000, which she then told them how to access by phone. Bargen had reportedly gone to several stores to purchase the cards and her family grew concerned as she was gone for a longer duration and called police.

Bargen eventually drove to a police station and informed them. Police believe the scammers contacted roughly 50 senior citizens in the San Gabriel Valley trying to steal from them. One other person, described only as a man, gave the individuals $2,000, police said.

“For them to target our community like this is very unusual,” Chief Larry Giannone of the Sierra Madre Police Department said.

Mod: I am curious why Chief Giannone would claim that Sierra Madre is an unusual target for this kind of scam. It is a comparatively well-off town, and there is a higher than average percentage of senior citizens. 

Sierra Nevada Snowpack Hits All-Time Low, Shatters 1977 Record (Breitbart - link): The amount of water frozen in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains fell to just eight percent of the historic average this week, as the state struggles through a devastating fourth year of drought.

Dozens of snow surveyors from state and federal agencies took to the mountains this week to continue measuring the Sierra snowpack, a crucial source of water for drought-stricken central and southern California, according to the Fresno Bee.

Among the surveyors’ findings: very little, if any, snow has accumulated below 9,000 feet, and what little snow there is does not contain a whole lot of water.

“You can feel it when you push down the [measuring] pole. It moves easily,” Pacific Gas & Electric Co. hydrographer Matt Meadows told the Bee. “There’s not a lot of density. It’s melting. With a lot of warmth, this snowpack could come off pretty fast.”

Unusually warm weather in March has exacerbated the problem. Many areas of the state saw temperatures 15 to 20 degrees hotter than normal for this time of year. And with the state’s “rainy season” drawing to a close, there does not appear to be much more time for any big storms to help relieve Californians’ precarious water predicament.

Mod: Does anybody know exactly what does happen when a state that is home to nearly 40 million people runs out of water?

Dublin (CA) set to break ground on $33 million water park (Contra Costa Times - link): Construction crews will break ground next month on a long-awaited, $33 million boardwalk-style waterpark and entertainment complex, complete with six water slides, three pools, a water playground for kids and a 2,000-seat outdoor performing arts center -- a massive attraction expected to draw visitors from all over the Bay Area seeking relief from the summer heat.

Once completed in early 2017, the 32,000-square-foot facility will house one of the East Bay's largest indoor recreational pools, an outdoor competitive pool and a water slide tower with two high-velocity drop slides, a giant circular bowl slide and four traditional looping "flume" slides. The 4,500-square-foot, surf-themed water playground will have spray fountains, a pool and a small slide for younger children, plus a large bucket dropping hundreds of gallons of water from above every five minutes.

"This is probably the biggest, the most comprehensive, most complex project the city has ever undertaken since its inception," said Dublin Councilman Kevin Hart. "This is an exciting day."

Mod: You certainly can't beat that kind of timing.

Suspicious Package Causes Evacuation of Mary's Market (Facebook - link):


Mod: Later the owner of this package was found and peace returned to the Canyon.

Mood-Altering Drug Use Highest in West Virginia, Lowest in Alaska (Gallup - link): West Virginians are most likely to report near-daily use of drugs or medications that alter their mood or help them relax, followed by residents of Rhode Island. Southern states make up six of the top 10 highest drug use states, while Alaskans, Wyomingites and Californians are least likely to say they use such drugs almost every day.


Mod: You know, it could be that people in West Virginia are just more honest about it.

Mother-in-law’s tombstone falls on man, killing him (NY Post - link): A Pennsylvania man was helping decorate his mother-in-law’s tombstone Monday ahead of the Easter holiday when it suddenly toppled over, pinning him underneath and killing him, a cemetery caretaker said.

The 400-pound stone fatally injured Stephen Woytack, 74, of Scranton, said Edward Kubilas, caretaker of St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in the eastern Pennsylvania town of Throop, just outside of Scranton. On Monday morning, Woytack was kneeling next to the grave marker while his wife tied a cross on the other side, Kubilas said. The stone toppled without warning in the soft spring ground.

“His wife came running to get me,” Kubilas told Reuters. “By the time I got there, he was not too good. I got half the stone off him. It must have been adrenaline.”

A police officer and ambulance arrived almost immediately and helped him wrestle the rest of the 4-foot-by-4-foot stone off Woytack, Kubilas said, but it was too late to save him.

“It’s a tragic thing,” Kubilas said. “There’s nothing you could do.”

Mod: His mother-in-law never did like him very much. 

Murder By Initiative - Ballot Proposal to Kill Gays Sets Off Free-Speech Debate (Santa Barbara Independent - link): In 1911, when Governor Hiram Johnson unveiled California’s modern ballot initiative system, he said the direct democracy plan would “arm the people to protect themselves hereafter.”

Memo to the future: He didn’t mean it literally.

More than 100 years later, an obscure Orange County lawyer has triggered a far-flung debate, pitting civil rights supporters versus First Amendment purists, with his own proposed initiative, calling for gay people to be executed. You know, for being gay.

Titling the monstrous measure the Sodomite Suppression Act, Huntington Beach attorney Matt McLaughlin wants the following language added to Title III of the California Penal Code (“Of Offenses Against the Sovereignty of the State”):

a) The abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also sodomy, is a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha.

b) Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.

Mod: We have finally found somebody who is even more bizarre than that CA-RSOL person. You do know that they're both lawyers, right?

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

68 comments:

  1. Thank God the terrorists didn't get Mary's Market.

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  2. yeah, what was the bomb scare about yesterday?

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    1. A lot of the patrons there were bombed.

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    2. Bombed or buzzed?

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    3. I heard there was a suspicious package and the whole lot was roped off

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    4. According to the SMPD the owner of the package was located and it turned out to be harmless. Does anyone know who that owner was? Or why it was considered suspicious?

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    5. It was considered suspicious because there's so many paranoid people living here.

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    6. Maybe ISIS members are living there.

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    7. Out of curiosity, which members of the SMPD are on the bomb squad?

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    8. None. The bomb squad was from the Sheriff's Department.

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    9. So if we had Sherriffs patrolling instead of SMPD we'd have a bomb squad? Cool.

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    10. I think the way it works is we have the SMPD until something bad happens. Then we have the Sheriffs.

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    11. So who do we call?

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  3. We are in the midst of a historic drought. It stems from a combination of unseasonably warm weather leading to a lack of any kind of a snow pack and also too many people living in what is really a desert. Yet knowing all this, we continue to build more homes. The Tejon Ranch development alone is going to see thousands of new homes. No one has the courage to stop it, so we are just going to keep draining the well until there's nothing left. Sierra Madre is merely a microcosm of what is now happending everythng - yet we keep allowing developers like Mur-Sol, the Groh's and the Bowden's to keep building developmets like the one on Mariposa and the over-sized homes they are building just about everywhere. I guess once we all run out of water, they can take all the money they have made and move elsewhere. Not everyone has that luxury though.

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    1. Yes, over the counter approvals for stack and pack housing are handed out by city hall on the one hand, while at the same time fines are being levied on residents over their water usage. Disconnect anyone?

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  4. This isn't April fools day, it's Easter Sunday, some wild an crazy people out there making up new laws. Isn't SH a lawyer? Have a Happy Easter in spite of all the crazy people out there, maybe those people need some medication.

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  5. According to NBC News it was 50 people in Sierra Madre who were called by the fake IRS scammers.
    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/IRS-Phone-Scams-Southern-California-Victims-298614631.html

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    1. Only fifty people reported it. I got two calls, hung up, and shook my head.

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    2. I got a call and also didn't report it. Only a minute and it was clear what it was. I handed the phone to my husband, laughing and said, listen to this scam!! That they got two in Sierra Madre was two too many.

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  6. I am having trouble believing that California has the third lowest rate of drug usage. The more likely result is that California has the third lowest rate of admitting drug usage to the Gallup Poll.

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    1. And what kind of drugs?
      It's a famous statistic that Utah has the highest anti-depressant use in America.

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    2. In West Virginia that would be moonshine.

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  7. The police chief? Dear lord, what can one say? How much does he make by the way> Plus his retirement from wherever he came from?

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    1. I have to admit Chief Giannone looked pretty dapper in his suit and tie on TV. Did you notice how much weight he's lost? Getting almost respectable.

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    2. We're getting close to tax selling season.

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  8. As I heard it: The canyon market parking lot has a bench where people put out stuff they want to give away (if is by the footbridge that crosses the creek at the south end of the parking lot). A resident had left some giveaway stuff that included a very nice brief case. At some point someone picked up the brief case and while sitting down at another bench along the parking lot fence, some 15 feet away, got up and left it behind, knowingly/unknowlingly? We will never know. A passerby saw the briefcase, and the report includes that a man not recognized as a canyon regular, was spottend nearby. The police were called. An officer saw the "abandoned" briefcase and the threat possibility was underway. Full-on bomb squad response was deployed. Later on it was learned who donated the briefcase to remain anonymous as far as I am concerned. Who moved it, who didn't remember to take it or return it to the giveaway bench, forever a mystery.

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    1. Was it the Sheriff's that responded to the briefcase bomb threat?

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    2. ridiculous paranoia.

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    3. what a cliche... some fool been watching too many bad detective shows

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    4. "The Briefcase Bomber Caper."

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    5. Maybe they should set up airport style security to get into the Canyon.

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    6. A barbed wire perimeter fence would need to be installed.

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    7. The rumor is a militia has been established. Working name is "The Charlie Kissinger Canyon Defense Command." Volunteers are being interviewed at Mary's Market today from noon to 2 pm. Leave your briefcases at home.

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    8. The jokes will be funny until a real bomb goes off. Terrorism is a daily fact of life in much of the world.

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    9. If we lose Mary's freedom dies.

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    10. Just people.

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    11. Terrorism? A much bigger problem in Sierra Madre isTerrierism--it's almost impossible to walk through town without tripping over someone's dog!

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    12. The Al Collie terrorists left bombs on my lawn.

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    13. Reminiscent of all the people in New York who kept saying "I never thought it could happen here" after 9/11.

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    14. 11:25, the idea is to frighten people in their normal environments, so sure, Mary's would work.

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    15. It sounds like they are already scared.

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    16. 11:41 - do you foresee any possibility of the terrorists flying a jet into Mary's Market?

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    17. Just a small explosive device would do the trick.

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    18. Like the one the No On V people put in Ed Clare's mailbox?

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    19. How did that investigation turn out?

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    20. The government benefits from you feeling afraid.

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  9. I don't answer my phone for numbers/names I don't recognize. My machine picks up and 99% no message if left. I have the sound turned down so low that I don't even listen to the rubbish until I take a look later. I got three calls from these IRS scammers that I listened to the next day after the TV news and city PD alert. I'm sorry, but how is it than anyone would take these phone messages seriously? Yet it happens time and time again. Do the people who pay up do so because they are in fact guilty of not having paid their taxes? Just gullible? Hard for me to understand so I am not sure how sorry to feel for them.

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    1. I got rid of my landline. I use my cell phone for everything now. Towards the end the only people who were calling my old 355 number were people trying to sell me home repairs. The message always started off with "You and I were talking about this about 6 months ago, and you told me to call back sometime." So I got rid of my landline. I don't get any calls like that on my cell phone. It is much better.

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    2. we don't need to if you feel sorry or not

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    3. I feel sorry for the victims.

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    4. I really do wonder how anyone could fall for it - I got a couple of those messages, and it's so obvious it's a thief.
      Telescammers do use cell numbers too.

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    5. 11:21 What may seem obvious to you is not obvious to everyone. I work with victims of scam artists, and am often surprised at how transparent many scams can be, yet still deceive the victim and often many victims. Even the highly educated, including sophisticated business people, get fooled, only to realize the obviousness in retrospect.

      I suspect that many successful scammers, if not most, are non-violent sociopaths who innately know how to gain trust and alleviate their victims' fears and doubts.

      The successful scam artist is often the smoothest talker in the room.

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    6. Thanks for your insight 12:03.

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  10. I would like to know how just the seniors phone numbers are captured by this bunch of scammers. Is there some algorithm that separates out 355 prefixes with date of phone service, i.e older citizen.

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    1. I think having a regular phone in your house is a generational thing. Younger people don't have them anymore. They use cell phones.

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    2. From the NBC report:

      By the time the 69-year-old was found she had handed over $4,000 to the thieves, who had told her they worked for the Internal Revenue Service. She was told she would be arrested within the hour if she did not get the cash.

      "She is an outstanding citizen in the community who just wanted to do what the government was telling her to do," Chief Larry Giannone of Sierra Madre Police Department said, "They told her turn your phone off, you just call us back… so we were not able to track her by her phone (and) her husband and family were not able to get a hold of her."

      The scammers told her to use the money to buy Green Dot prepaid debit cards. Confusingly, labels on a store display show them as being compatible with tax refunds.

      Chief Giannone said 50 people in his area had been contacted Thursday, which makes investigators believe the swindlers were calling everyone in the area they could. He warned others not to fall for the scam.

      "(The) IRS will never call you and tell you they're coming to arrest you in an hour," Chief Giannone said.

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    3. That is a good observation, but. I still have the land line with a plug in phone as well as my cell. So what is the point of the land line? Emergency! You cell phone towers will be overloaded and you will have NO CELL PHONE SERVICE. Trust me on that!

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    4. The cell towers need to be brought up to speed. Why has this taken so long?

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    5. It is the load on the towers...so many calling in at once that causes the overload failure. To keep this from happening do they need a larger number of towers? Look how that played out when the fire departments did not want towers at their stations across southern California recently. Fear of cancer. But what about being on the little cell-phone thingamagitity all the time...at your ear on on your chest while talking into the remote speaker. Still exposed or no?

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    6. I don't think the callers knew they were reaching seniors, just random calls, but chances are because Sierra Madre has many seniors that don't have cell phones, they happened to hit a large amount who answered their phones. It still baffles me that anyone, let alone seniors can be so gullible. I work with seniors and they are a pretty savvy bunch.

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  11. You get bombarded (perfect choice of wording) with this information all the time, if you ride public transport.."report all abandoned packages;" at the airport "keep your baggage under your control at all times, etc." I saw a couple of pedestrians crossing at the signal at SM Blvd. and Michlinda last week peer into a students day pack that was on the side walk. It was opened and you could see school books inside. They walked on by. I was in my car, stopped at the signal light and figured it had been stollen and dumped after the thief took whatever might have been valuable (ipad/laptop) and left the rest on the street.

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  12. Land lines may provide different services that some may want.

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    1. Like phone service after a 3 day power outage.

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  13. Landlines could be going away due to phone company neglect.

    Is It The End Of The Line For The Landline?
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/11/18/246001725/have-we-reached-the-end-of-the-landline

    America's traditional phone system is not as dependable as it used to be. Just last month, the Federal Communications Commission told phone companies to start collecting stats on calls that fail to complete. According to one estimate, as many as 1 in 5 incoming long-distance calls simply doesn't connect.

    The problem may be in the way those calls are being routed — often via the Internet, which is cheaper. It may also have something to do with the gradual decay of traditional landline infrastructure.

    Dan Newhouse, a farmer in eastern Washington state, hears that decay on his home phone every day.

    "We live out in the country, it's a landline, and it's as good as it gets," he told me over the phone. "Anytime it rains, we wouldn't be able to have this conversation, because water gets on the lines and it gets way worse."

    Repairmen have told him that the wires are just old, and they're too expensive to be replaced. He says the phone company seems to be allowing the whole system to deteriorate.

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  14. I need a land line as many Sierra Madre do. My cell service is bad and without the land line to boost the signal through wifi most calls drop.

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    1. That is why Sierra Madre is vulnerable to scammers. There is still a high percentage of landlines here. Did anyone here get a call from the scammers on their cell phone?

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  15. Don't the cell towers need electricity to operate. Disruption is service is all about electricity. Interesting point about land line phone companies letting their equipment deteriorate. Best to be self-sufficient for the 7-10 days you will not be able to get services. Full tank of gas in car, water and food, batteries, etc.

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  16. When you are all alone in the dark with candles,instead of electricity you need someone to deliver bagels and smear. That's the small town Sierra Madre that happens that is priceless. After all, we have all lived without cell phones for a century. Not to worry. We shall all survive with the gift of kindness.

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