Friday, May 22, 2015

The Sierra Madre Tattler Friday News Dump

Hopefully they're not moving to Arcadia
Mod: I am not quite sure where to put these news compendiums anymore. Trust me, I have been losing sleep. I used to post them on Sundays, but now I have other things that need to go there. I tried Monday once or twice, but that always interfered with City Council meeting coverage. So I am going to try Fridays. If you don't know, a "news dump" is where publicity people try and hide stories that they have to release, but hope people won't see. Fridays being the day when news reader interest is at it lowest point. We'll have to see how this works out. But in the meantime, here is the Sierra Madre Tattler news dump. A collection of news items that caught the eye of readers who were kind enough to send them our way.

Here’s what celebrities’ lawns look like during California’s drought (The New York Post link): “Let them drink dust!”

As these aerial photos from The Post prove, Hollywood celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Lopez continue to suck up water to keep their gardens fresh and lawns green, while Southern California withers from a devastating drought.

Experts predict California reservoirs have less than a year’s worth of drinking water left. An emergency law passed last week forces local cities to conserve water immediately. The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, which supplies many of these elite enclaves north of Los Angeles, will have four weeks starting next month to cut water use by a staggering 36 percent. But the mandate is toothless, with the maximum fine a paltry $100.

“We’re right up there with Beverly Hills,” said one official who estimates 70 percent of the district’s water is going to the lawn maintenance of about 100 manicured estates. “And that means we have to get the A-listers on the bus.”

The Hidden Hills estate of Kim Kardashian/Kanye West is so lush, even their wealthy neighbors are outraged. “The Kardashian flowers and hedges are right in our face,” one resident told The Post. “It’s disgusting. You walk by and you can smell the freshness.”

(Mod: Well there you go. Class warfare has come to the drought. And from The Post no less. If I had a subscription I'd have to cancel it.)

Man Gets Prison Sentence For Collecting Rainwater On His Own Property (Washington Weekly News link): His story quickly went viral after a rural Oregon man was slapped with fines for collecting rain water on his own property. But now, as of last Wednesday, Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and more than $1,500 in fines, all because he had three reservoirs on his own property, that he used to collect and use rainwater.

Harrington says he plans to appeal the conviction in the Jackson County Circuit Court. That conviction revolved around nine misdemeanor charges that come from a 1925 law. That archaic ordinance bans what state water managers called “illegal reservoirs.”

“The government is bullying,” Harrington said in an CNS News, last Thursday.

“They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies. So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough. This is a good country, we’ll prevail,” he added.

(Mod: Most governments don't react well when their monopoly interests are challenged. Sierra Madre residents collecting rainwater in barrels might want to keep them hidden from sight.)

Alleged Sierra Madre thieves jailed after confrontation with resident (Pasadena Star News link): A Sierra Madre man confronted a trio of burglars in front of his home early Wednesday, chasing them off before police arrested the suspects, officials said.

A man heard noises about 4 a.m. coming from the front of his Grove Lane home, Sierra Madre police officials said in a written statement. He looked out his window to see someone breaking into his car.

“The resident went outside and confronted the suspect, who was now inside his vehicle, and a brief struggle ensued,” according to the statement. “The suspect had a large silver object in his hand which the resident felt was a gun. Fearing for his safety the resident backed away from the suspect allowing the suspect flee southbound to a dark-colored SUV.

Another suspect ran out from another nearby home and jumped into the SUV, which sped away, police said.

Police quickly found and stopped a vehicle matching the reported description and arrested three suspects after finding them in possession of suspected stolen property and drugs, according to the police statement. Police were still looking for the rightful owners of some of the property.

“We discourage residents from confronting suspects for their safety but are glad the victim is okay,” Sierra Madre Police Chief Larry Giannone said.

(Mod: The Chief needs to think about why a resident might decide to take things into his own hands rather than calling him.)

How Can Twins Have Two Different Fathers? (Yahoo Parenting link): One New Jersey woman got the surprise of a lifetime when she discovered that her 2-year-old twins have two different fathers.

The mother (identified as “T.M.” in court documents) got the news this winter, when she received the results of a paternity test mandated by family court as part of her application for public assistance, The New Jersey Law Journal reported on Thursday.

The Passaic County Board of Social Services had required the mother to establish paternity of the twins — in order to make the toddlers’ father pay child support — because she revealed that she’d been intimate with another man during the same week in which she believed her children were conceived with her former partner. DNA test results revealed in November that T.M.’s partner was the father of only one of her children.

(Mod: That must have been embarrassing. Then again, now the twins will have three grandmas.)

China may have edge in race to build California's bullet train (Reuters link): Chinese state firms are poised to be strong contenders in the race to make high-speed trains that will sprint between Los Angeles and San Francisco, part of a $68 billion project to bring the service to the United States for the first time.

While "bullet train" manufacturers from Germany, Japan, South Korea, and France are expected to be among those jockeying for the estimated $1 billion train contract, China’s ability to offer low prices and hefty financing appear to make it the one to beat, say lobbyists and industry insiders.

Lacking experience in the technology, California must turn to foreign firms to build the trains – albeit domestically and with American workers - setting off a geopolitical race to grab a foothold in the nascent U.S. high-speed rail industry.

Germany's Siemens is expanding its rail factory in Sacramento to incorporate a “high-speed lot.” Japan has voiced its interest, boasting a record of no fatal accidents in over 50 years operating high-speed trains. France’s Alstom, which produces rail cars in upstate New York, is also a potential contender.

Awarding a piece of America’s most ambitious and expensive infrastructure project in decades to strategic rival China – over a long-term ally such as Japan - would be prone to political controversy.

But a Chinese bid with generous financing attached could prove hard to resist for California’s government, which has so far secured only a fraction of the total funding needed for a project that would see trains speeding at over 200 mph (322 kph) to connect the state’s biggest cities in under three hours.

“They are the 900-pound guerilla," said Rod Diridon, former board chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), the state government agency tasked with issuing the bid and selecting a manufacturer. "They have huge advantages, because they have so much funding.”

(Mod: First the 710 Tunnel and now the bullet train. Anyone detecting a pattern here?)

Husband, wife run against each other for Bremerton City Council (NBC News Seattle link): Two candidates. One seat on the city council. And one very unique bond.

Roy Runyon, a six-year incumbent representing District 6, learned this week that his wife, Kim Faulkner, filed for his seat.

The couple is married and living together.

"I just sat down and said I think the city of Bremerton, District 6, needs more qualified people to run for office," said Faulkner, sitting next to her husband at a coffee shop. "I'm going to put my name in the hat."

"I was surprised," said Runyon. "I said, 'Boy, you could do a really good job.'"

Runyon added, "She has a different approach, which might serve the citizens. She's eminently qualified. She's not experienced in government. But she does have a different approach."

(Mod: Who says married couples don't communicate. The debates are going to be especially interesting.)

Late Edit

As was pointed out by a reader this morning, the latest City of Sierra Madre "e-blast" states that the agenda for the 5/26 City Council meeting is available the city's website. As of this typing (10:00AM) it is not.


sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

47 comments:

  1. The mother of the twins should look on the bright side. Look how fertile she is!

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    1. I can't believe it happened in New Jersey.

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    2. Cats have multifather births. Good for genetic selection.

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    3. I would've expected Florida, really.

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  2. The Chinese can build a bullet train line cheaper; they don't have environmental laws - no CEQA NEPA or EIRs to deal with. They'll just build the damn thing.

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    1. How safe do you think it'll be. I think I'll drive instead.

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    2. goes along with their poison pet food and radio active dry wall!

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    3. When you own a few trillion dollars of American debt you get to do anything you want. American politicians will do anything for the money they need to keep the gravy train going. Bullet trains, tunnels, the sky is the limit.

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    4. You forgot development impact fees.

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    5. Ah yes. A convenient California mechanism which will allow Beijing to funnel millions of dollars to local city governments. Can we expect a bullet train station in Kersting Court someday? Has anyone started lobbying Judy Chu yet?

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    6. We could run the bullet train thru the 710 tunnel. At least until The Big One hits.

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    7. Show Caltrans the money and I am sure they will issue a report stating it will relieve traffic congestion and help reduce greenhouse gases.

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  3. Is it true Kanye has taken his wife's maiden name and now prefers to be called Kanye Kardashian?

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    1. He changed it to Kardashian to be more famous.

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    2. Then maybe he should also be known as Kim. There is nothing wrong with a man taking a woman's name. After all, women take the names of men.

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    3. Kanye hasn't been having an easy time of it lately.

      Kanye West Booed After 'All Day' Performance at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards
      http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/bbma/6568470/kanye-west-all-day-2015-billboard-music-awards-video

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  4. Rain water off roof tops was not the Oregon man's infraction: he was diverting water from streams into three large (read millions of gallons) reservoirs of water for his ranch. That water was not his alone but that of all his neighbors downstream. He is not too far afield from the Kardashian, "it's all mine" mentality!

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  5. Off topic - the city's latest eblast says that the council agenda for the next meeting is available online. It isn't.

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  6. Yeah but ... did you notice the slick new format, photos, and lively patter? Perhaps Elaine is drawing on the talents of the marketing professional in ways unimagined in his job description. Much more informative and attractive than the Queen of all things disbursed for public consumption. What is her name?

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    1. It will still be frustrating for the recipients of that email when they can't find the agenda. There should be a click through that takes you right to it.

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    2. That'll require a consultant, a new department and approximately a year to implement. Cost? $50,000 for the consultant; a department head, his/her pension and benefits; and a full time technician, his/her pension and benefits. Be careful what you ask for, 10:0 am.

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    3. And to think a 14year old could put it all together in a day.

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    4. To both 2:52 and3:01: Never said we should be communists, have slave labor, pollution, child labor or anyone living in squalor. I asked a question that you did not answer. I said nothing about unions getting jobs, and gee I'm not sure Chinese companies hire union labor. Of course a job for the state would have to be unless there are some bargins made. And as for Chinese construction-let's hope they do a better job here than they do at home. As for foreign investment-I don't know what to say about that. We no longer manufacture her, all you can buy are things made in China. So why not everything else?

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  7. The Chinese have the edge everywhere. They're in Africa. Elephants and rhino's are fair game to them now. They're building a huge complex downtown in the billions of dollars Is it because of high union wages that U.S. companies don't get the jobs or do we not have anymore companies able to do the job? We are slowly being taken over and Americans do little to stop it.

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    1. Are you suggesting we become Communists,go back to slave labour,have a class of citizens without hope living in squalor,child labour, pollution so bad you cant see 20 feet?No thank you I'll take my chance in a Democratic Republic.

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    2. UM U.S. companies and labor are building those complexes downtown. What's the problem we welcome foreign investment.

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    3. Heh, every day there's some paranoid geezer here freaking out about communism.

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    4. And then there's always the guy who kisses their butts for their money.

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  8. We are not being taken over, our politicians and corporate/banksters/wall street thugs, gave U.S. away. Easy to blame the American workers and their unions. While the left and the right argue and fight, the corporate beast dances on our grave!

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    1. "The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." - Lenin

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  9. I think Elaine always posts the City Council and Planning Commission Agendas at the last possible minute to be just 72 hours in advance, which is the rule. So by 6:30 tomorrow night it must be posted.

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  10. City Council Agenda just went on the city web site. who knew?

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  11. Moderator: Don’t break down and say “good job” for the arrest of three burglars by the SMPD. Just make a snarky remark about how the Chief should ponder why a resident might decide to take things into his own hands rather than call the SMPD. Smooth move.
    SMPD: Thanks. There is a lot more support for you than this blog site would indicate. Stay frosty.

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    1. So why would a resident do the job himself rather than call the SMPD.

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    2. Interesting, Frosty. So after gobbling up $4 million of the General Fund, and suing the city on a regular basis, the SMPD needs to be thanked for doing their job as well?

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    3. Yeah, they do. Just like you do at your job. I'm not saying SMPD is perfect, but when you're out at 4 A.M. arresting mugs that look like the guys in the newspaper article, and the local blog is condemning you every chance it gets, then a word of thanks is order. I'd tell you to stay frosty, but I don't think you rate it.

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    4. Um, no. In the real world you do your job and nobody gives you a parade. No matter how much you whine to mommy about blogs. Besides, had this resident not confronted the crooks, they would have never been arrested. They had already robbed other houses and gotten away with it. If anyone deserves a cupcake, it is the resident.

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    5. Is this "it's safer to let them get away" philosophy official policy in Sierra Madre?

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    6. Can I have some "frosty" on my cupcake?

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    7. 11:41. Your logic. If a criminal is to be arrested, then the victim must confront the criminal. The proof: the burglars burglarized other homes and were not apprehended. Therefore, the jails and prisons are full of criminals who were initially confronted by victims. Definitely worthy of a Tattler Troglodyte Genius of the Year Award. Stay frosty.

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    8. Great point. You should sue the city.

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  12. (Mod: The Chief needs to think about why a resident might decide to take things into his own hands rather than calling him.) This is a very bright statement. Hope you're passing this type of philosophy on to your kids.

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    1. If you want the job done right, do it yourself.

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  13. FYI, California passed a law in 2012 making it legal for a homeowner to collect rainwater from their roof.

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