Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Opposition to the Very Noisy Fire Horn Gets Louder

I don't know if you've seen this Facebook site yet, but those Sierra Madre residents who are not exactly overjoyed by that nostalgic daily blast from the past every blessed day now have a place to go and register their displeasure. Taking its inspiration from the classic Sierra Madre sited 1950s horror film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, it is called the Invasion of the Shoddy Blaster (link), and it looks a lot like this:

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The people who have put this thing together are pretty funny. Using appropriated stills from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, they have put together a series of photo cartoons about Sierra Madre's now famous (or should we say infamous?) fire horn.

Here are a few:


The Invasion of the Shoddy Blaster's creators have been in touch with our local government agency (AKA City Hall), and for their efforts did receive the following letter from then Mayor Pro Tem John Capoccia:

Karol, I haven't been able to take the time to look into this a bit more closely, but I haven't forgot about it. It just hasn't been a high priority as I haven't had too many complaints. I would think that I would get more complaints if the problem was as big as you say it is. My experience as a member of the council is that Sierra Madreans are certainly not shy about contacting their elected representatives to voice opinions on matters important to them. Why aren't more people complaining?? I haven't discussed with other council members because of Brown Act restrictions, but no one has asked that the item be agendized, so I'm guessing that none of them has received a substantial number of complaints either. Nonetheless, you raise valid concerns and I may ask that the council agendize. John

Since that time the issue of the mighty loud horn has been agendized for City Council discussion on June 9. It does pay to be persistent, you know. If you think it is more than the human (or pet) ears can stand (especially those ears living nearby) they encourage you to email Mayor John Capoccia at jcapoccia@cityofsierramadre.com.

If contacting the authorities isn't quite your cup of tea, then you can always post your opinion on The Tattler using whatever name you choose. The most popular being Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. We will forward your comments a day or so later, privacy guaranteed.

Despite the lack of perceived anti-horn opposition in town (at least according to Mayor Capoccia), the IotSB folks have not given up. Like all good Sierra Madreans at their wit's end they have begun to do some hard research. They recently uncovered a newspaper article that details some of the reasons why the horn was first silenced way back in 1999. It was a near fatal tragedy that did it.


In times as difficult as these, I am not really sure how much more controversy this old town can take. But then again, we love it. I will keep you in touch with any further developments on the very loud horn as soon as they happen.

Tonight's City Council Meeting

In case you missed it, we posted our preview article for tonight's City Council budget heavy meeting yesterday. I don't know why I did that, it was Memorial Day after all and everyone was off and doing other things. But here us a screen shot of how that post was kicked off.


To view the whole thing click here. Or just scroll down a couple of inches.

We will have all the news about what went down available on this site bright and early tomorrow morning.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

127 comments:

  1. Mr. Mod. I hope the letter from Mayor Cappocia was an email that was quickly written. If not, then the grammar police need to come and arrest him.

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    1. I moved here from a very large urban center. There, the emergency system was only tested on the first day of each month. By the way, the sign near the horn warning of the danger of the decibel level is probably enough proof it should not be there. It is not charming, or quaint, or like one writer says below, reminiscent of the Sierra Madre of old. It is just plain dangerous to hearing, and poses a public health threat.

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  2. Obviously with this budget stuff tonight the City Council is on the horns of a dilemma.

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    1. I'm not sure I like the sound of that.

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    2. Hopefully they take the budget by the horns and face the situation.

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    3. What is the horn's budget?

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  3. what is that horn sounding for. I don't like it one bit, it's a nusince that serves no purpose and it's in my back yard.

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    1. It's the city saying "good day to you sir/lady"!

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    2. George Mauer thinks the horn in the bees knees

      he's also looking to ban satellite and cable television and go back to rabbit ear antennas

      plus he wants to go back to party line phones

      he's a man of vision,albeit it 50 years in the past

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    3. if the horn makes sense, we need to add about 6 more and a couple in the canyon. speaking to someone at Mary's Market they thought the horn was cute so it it's so cute lets put one next to Mary's - up Sunnyside at Grandview ,on Orange Grove, where else?

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    4. Could we move this one into the canyon?

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    5. I think happy hour starts at 5.

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    6. It's a Muslim call to prayer - Allah Akbar!

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    7. Huh. And here I thought those were all guys burying their heads in the sand.

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    8. This town is too horny.

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  4. Where I grew up they had a horn like that. Blew everyday at noon. People finally got sick of it and the city changed it to Saturday at noon only. It became known as the "hangover horn." Maybe they could do something like that here?

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    1. if the hills catch on fire again it'd be nice to have the horn to let us know - not that the smoke and flames would catch our attention

      annoying and supported by annoying people

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    2. By the time you see the smoke and flames it's too late.

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    3. Can we put the horn at Carter 1?

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    4. is the horn something that the modern family wants?

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    5. After the horn blows they all get very scared and run for a bathroom.

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  5. I think the people really have to decide about that horn. For many, its part of the history and charm of the town and they don't want it changed. The new people don't care about any of the traditions and perhaps are the same people who don't care about any of the old houses and want to tear them down too as well as get rid of the horn. Maybe a compromise can be reached such that it blows once a week rather than every day. It is a topic of conversation though when I have guests over.

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    1. The horn could be a threat to older structures. It might knock them over.

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    2. Can we really connect opposition to the horn with support for McMansions?

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  6. 6:30, that short blast at 5 pm is to remind you of the Emergency Radio Station 1630 on the AM dial. In the event of an emergency in the city this may well be the only way to get information out to the general public with emergency instructions on what to do to keep you family safe. You would think with that horn sounding everyone would know the purpose of the horn.

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    1. Unless we have reached the End Times - always a possibility especially if we don't get more rain - I think a once a week reminder is sufficient.

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    2. The horn is an effective means of communication in an emergency.

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    3. So is ringing a cowbell.

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    4. Christopher WalkenMay 26, 2015 at 12:24 PM

      More cowbell!!

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    5. How about a bullhorn to tell everyone what station to tune into? Bullhorns and cowbells will keep us safe! Keep Walken!

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    6. Hope about the drumming war boys and fire thrower guitar from Mad Max? That would be cool.

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  7. I like the horn. When I was growing up in Sierra Madre 60 years ago we could tell by the rings where the fire or emergency was located. That way the volunteers could head on over without stopping or calling the station. If it really bothers enough people maybe just once a week? The organ blasting out every night at 5 PM from the racist church back in the 60,s located on Sierra Madre Blvd next to the park bothered me more.

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    1. Watch out 7:17. You've identified yourself as a long term resident, so you're "annoying" and "nostalgic".

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    2. As a long time resident I am nostalgic for what is described in that 1999 newspaper article.

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    3. People who dislike the horn are stupid and fat.

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    4. Ugh. Horn supporters should disown you.

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    5. Put the Horn back on top of the Fire Station, next to City Hall, where it belongs. Then see how fast the Chitty Council bans it when people die of heart attacks at Kensington.

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  8. The horn sounds like a Goose fart on a muggy day. I think it's cute but it's not in my backyard.

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  9. People who object to the horn are probably the same ones who could not make coffee when the electricty was off because the electric spark for their gas stove wouldn't work. I shall explain what I did to my friend who told me this: you get a match, turn on the gas and light the stove. Put on a pan and heat water.

    People who object to the horn are probably the same ones who do not realize that their cells phone will not work when the overloaded towers crash and that their house phones that sit on electric chargers will not work when the electricity fails (wind storm, Nov/Dec 2011) and do not have a phone that plugs directly into the wall.

    People who object to the horn probably have not given much thought to their own emergency preparation. I hope they have neighbors who have plenty of supplies as these folks will be on their doorstep asking for water, with the question: "what should we do...?

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    1. How does the horn function in a power outage?

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    2. George Mauer cranks it over by hand.

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    3. Backed up with a generator.

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    4. I want one of those t-shirts!

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    5. 8:31 - a modern siren would use solar panels. Just an fyi.

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    6. The horn is a mechanism of control over the people. To make them live in daily fear of untold disaster. If they never once heard the horn until the day of the emergency they'd figure out in seconds what it meant. Or their neighbors would just tell them.

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  10. Any word whether The Bottle Shop still has the Tees with a picture of The Horn and the slogan " Blow Me Daily"?

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    1. Sounds like something drunks would like.

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    2. I hear Bottle Shop staff are required to wear it.

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    3. I'm nostalgic for those shirts. They're a part of the fabric of Sierra Madre!

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    4. It is a tight knit community.

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    5. I am not sure I follow this thread.

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    6. Really? I find it rather seamless.

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    7. Damn. Maybe somebody can stitch it together for me. I'm feeling wooly headed.

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    8. I'm a little torn.

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    9. I'm a little teapot

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  11. Those who support the horn are annoying? How about those who cannot tolerate a few seconds of noise at a predictable time? Fussy, fussy.

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  12. X Mayor George Maurer can be seen at Bean Town M through F from 9 a.m. till? I'm sure some good old fashion conversation could come up with a solution acceptable to all on the horn. The horn is playing a vital roll in the community safety process. George has been meeting at BT for many years. His coffee buddies have included many over the years. Dr. Niebe, Doug Berkshire, a minister, Gordon Caldwell and many guests who stop by to say Hi George. Putting the fire horn back into service started at Georges table. The good Dr. had never seen the horn in all the years so George walked him out to see it and that's when it started. Caroline Brown had heard of an emergency radio station going in up north some where so when George presented the idea of the horn supporting an emergency radio station to Mike Kinney, president of the Fire Safe Council all board members were in favor of the project. At 92 you need to speak loud to George but he will listen and comment to all discussions. George ran the ambulance here in SM for 17 years, he is truly concerned with our safety.

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    1. Like when he drives his golf cart at 5 mph on public streets? Good lucvk if you're driving behind him

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  13. I attended a So Cal chapter of the American Society of Forsters meeting in Montecito after the Tea Fire and the community there was working to get an emergency horn back into play (similar to Civil Defense horns of the past) and I shared with them the efforts of the Fire Safe Council/Kawanis/City to put Sierra Madre's horn back for emergency use. The expectation that it could be tested once a week was passed over for every day for if you tested it one Friday and not until the next Friday and it failed in-between you were late in making repairs. As with any system it needs monitoring. No one intentionally wants to annoy friends and neighbors but all in all it is the safety of the community that is the focus of these efforts.

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    1. When there is an emergency, many other modern sirens - that do not require archaic daily testing - sound. When you hear multiple police/fire/EMT sirens or smell smoke / see fire / feel an earthquake / etc., tune into whatever AM radio station that is so poorly promoted. And get rid of that old annoying DANGEROUS dinosaur know as The Horn!

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  14. Why don't we have volunteers in the fire department anymore?

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    1. The firefighters are volunteer, mostly fire academy grads who work in SM for a year or so in hopes of getting a paid position. They're very highly qualified and do save us a lot of money.

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  15. The horn should be blasted when the attack comes. One if by land two if by sea.

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    1. Or was it two if by land or one if by sea? It's very confusing.

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  16. We still do have volunteers in the FD.

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  17. The General Fund Budget Input Webinar will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 7:00 PM.

    Register using the following link:

    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2852015881053642497


    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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  18. It would be great for the city if those who oppose the horn put their creative energy into something that matters.

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    1. Is there something that you would recommend?

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    2. Water. Development. Council candidates. The Library. The police department and the budget.

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    3. When we moved a new house in Pasadena we didn't realize the a-bomb test siren was right in front of our house. The first time it went off, the kids (3 and 4 yo) were scared to death. After we found out when this test was going to go off, the kids stood out in the front yard to cheer the horn. Same when we moved to Sierra Madre. First time, was a shocker. When we knew it was going off at noon each day, we didn't think a thing about it. It should be the same here. You know when it is going off, so get a life.

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    4. I'd recommend they get the hell out of town!

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    5. Sure, it'll help sell more hearing aids.

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    6. 9:16, this IS something that matters. The horn is painful to be near when it blasts. It frightens many children, pets, elderly, and special-needs people who are nearby on a daily basis. How can supporters be so cruel? I can only hope it is ignorance and not willful inhumanity. Be at the corner of Montecito and Baldwin at 5 PM for the full effect. No earplugs or sharp objects allowed ;-)

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    7. I agree it is scary. I play in a band and sometimes think I may be going slightly deaf but the other day I was driving by B Town with windows down, with my kids and I know we all got a good scare because the damn thing was so LOUD.

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  19. I love that horn. If they take it down I will make a point to set off an air horn everyday at 5 pm.

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  20. 6:54 a.m. I doubt that you know George Maurer. Your statements are not only unkind but uttlerly false. I learned from him today that the daily testing also has to do with an insurance concern, that you can't count on it to work and affectlvely alert the neighborhood to impending disaster unless it is tested daily to be in good working order. At least that is what I understood. You can check this out further. Imagine that someone could say it wasn't being tested properly and I didn't get an adequate warning and X, Y, Z happened to ME!
    How are tornado warnings tested?
    Also, someone stated it was not too dificult to see that there was a brush fire in the area, ie, no need for a warning...brush fires are not our only emergency. The horn is a signal to dial into 1630 on your AM dial (in your car, on your emergency crank operated radio, etc.) for evacuation information, etc.
    When the horn was reevaluated and reconnected, it was asked why not just eblast everyone about an emergency...think about it...that takes a secure electric delivery, non overloaded cell tower system, which cannot always be counted on.

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    1. We're all GONNA DIE IF WE LOSE THE HORN. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!

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    2. ONce I tuned in to 1630 AM and I they told me not to feed the bears or other wildlife if I see some. Maybe they could blow the horn if someone sees a bear. Like a bear horn. Maybe blow it too if it rains, just so we know. Ah and lets blow it when they finally get a replacement for Albertsons.

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    3. Agreed 10:40.

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    4. George Mauer is a sweet man, but the rule re: insurance concerns is a relic from the past. It no longer applies, so let's please stop annoying & frightening our neighbors and our visitors. The horn was blissfully silenced for years and not one single solitary person was killed or injured because of the no-horn status. And very few people know about the radio station.

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    5. My doorbell works everyday for 20 years. I don't need to test it.

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    6. 12:26 PM Albertsons has a replacement it's called a
      "Homless Encampment" you wouldn't know about it because our police are busy helping fix heaters and opening dog food .

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    7. Do they use the heaters to warm up the dog food? I'm not sure I understand what you are talking about here.

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    8. as 6:54 am, I think George is a nice man - but this is his pet project and if the horn goes off nobody knows why or what's it for and its a rinky dink idea that serves no purpose.




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    9. City Manager Elaine Aguilar has confirmed that "there is no insurance requirement" to have daily testing of the horn. Time to do away with this liability.

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  21. Does anyone remember what month the City Council did their reorganization to make our police chief the Director of Public Safety?

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    Replies
    1. Ask Johnny Harabedian. It was part of his process.

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    2. Process in this case meaning bamboozlement scheme.

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  22. I have heard city management say that we are no longer a volunteer fire department. If we do use volunteers, why is their budget so big? What things have been outsourced by the fire & police department? I have asked the city manager for that info and have not received it yet.

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    1. Fire Captains are paid. Fire Chief is paid. Paramedics are paid. The Firefighters on the truck are volunteers. At least for now.

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    2. Fire has outsourced dispatch. PD hasn't outsourced crap.

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  23. In looking over the 142 pages of the budget report for tonight’s council meeting I see many options to reduce services, reduce the number of city employees, and reduce the budget by subcontracting out services, but nowhere do I see any reduction in wages, benefits, or pension costs. Am I missing something?
    THE PROTECTOR

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    1. Nope. Welcome to the dark side.

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    2. Quit tootin' your own horn with the all caps.

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    3. There is only one ALL CAPS, and he has chosen not to be here with us today.

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    4. 142 pages - typical government - allot of doublespeak and triple speak and gibberish

      if this were a real business it'd be paired down to 15 pages and be concise and clear


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  24. Should be equal across the board cut backs on all salary employees. The First major cut back should be the replacement of the City Manager.

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

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  26. 10:40,,,,, your right George did say that about the insurance. I had forgotten that, actually he has said a lot about the water over the years, wish I could remember all that was said between George, Sam, Doug, Gordon and the good doctor.

    Someone could write a book.

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  27. Rumor has it Josh Moran will be showing up this evening to propose a reverse mortgage on city hall. Thus saving the library from having to close.

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    1. Get rid of the horn, sell off the $400 battery bought for the horn, give the money to the library.

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    2. 6:53 That's the best comment ever. Hall of fame #one.

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  28. The council meeting is on KGEM, but the sound isn't working.

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    Replies
    1. It must be lip reader night.

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  29. Sound is on now. The police chief is singing for his supper.

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    1. He has lots of experience.

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    2. Instead of fixing heaters and opening dog food could the police go and police Kerstig Court from 2:45 to 5:00 P.M. on school days ?
      I'm sorry it's not the communities job to
      babysit the careless scooter club and skaters that can't be concerned with laws in regards to pedestrians and drivers .
      One of these days one of those Tony Hawk wanna be's is going to end up suing the city or end up dead .
      Just a thought.


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  30. When Caroline Brown speaks, people Listen....

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    1. Because she asks more than one word questions.

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  31. I recently was right under the horn during its blast. It nearly gave me a heart attack and my spouse and daughter nearly jumped out of their shoes. None the less Ive always liked the horn even though this time it got me. Thats part of living in Sierra Madre.

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    1. try living near it. try having your elderly parent with a weak heart blasted by the horn. and it's really a cool part of living in sierra madre when your toddler pees his pants in fright & your pet runs to the closet every nite. too loud, too often, too mean, too useless. sick sick sick

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

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    3. 8:47, not just sick. It sounds like the people you are talking about do not have the capacity to learn or acclimate, even if something is repeated daily. That's a big problem.

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    4. It is sadistic and unnecessary.

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  32. Goss wants a ballot initiative to raise taxes. Anyone surprised?

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    1. nebulous forces are rising in SM

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  33. So two votes against raising utility taxes wasn't enough for city hall?

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  34. Can someone tell me what Gene Goss had to say tonight?

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    Replies
    1. 1) Raise taxes.
      2) To hell with the voters.

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  35. City Hall fears its employee unions more than it fears the voters.

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    1. they don't fear the union - they are profiting from it and we are the ones that are footing the bill

      there's a reason why unions are strong in the public sector, the union doesn't have to answer to anyone, those in charge at the city/school level are here today gone tomorrow and those making the decisions to support the union, pensions and outrageous health plans are the very ones who benefit from it - such as the City Manager - you think she's going to reduce her own pension or health plan - it's better than you can ever get in the private sector

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  36. Goss is an idiot, but there is no way around it, if you want to have control of the city you have to pay for it.

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    1. Control over what? The taxpayers? Or the lunatics who run the downtown asylum?

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    2. we've been paying for it since Buchanan, Doyle & Mosca - through Walsh - Moran and now Harabedian and Goss

      it's the same old same old and we gotta stop electing the same old same old

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