Saturday, July 25, 2015

Arcadia Residents Set Out To Recall The McMansion Trio


Is it just me, or is there a new wave of political activism in the SGV? Can it be that people have reached the legendary "We're mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore?" point, especially on the issue of McMansionizing their towns?

Yesterday we were treated to the refreshing sight of Sierra Madre residents demonstrating against the developmental desecration of the Mater Dolorosa Monastery, and by the very people who are supposed to be its caretakers. The voters over in Monrovia just dumped their faithless Mayor and are today gunning for even more political scalps. And now a group referring to themselves as Concerned Arcadians have begun a campaign they are calling "Take Back Our City Council."

So how do they plan to do that? By recalling three sitting members of the Arcadia City Council.

Yard signs, like the one pictured above, have begun to pop up all over the Peacock Peoples Republic, much to the chagrin of those whose names are featured on them in bright red. It is a fine looking sign too, and quite a sight for sore eyes.

The website Save The Arcadia Highlands has made the case for this recall (link). Thanks to the miracle of screenshots, we can show you here what they have to say.


Great stuff. Obviously the Sierra Madre Tattler will be watching this one closely. In my opinion the fight to stop McMansions in Arcadia is pretty much joined at the hip with what we are fighting for in Sierra Madre. Personally, I don't see that much of a difference. It is all basically one struggle.

John Wuo continues to deny his GemCoin woes

Video here.
Despite the fact that Arcadia City Councilmember John Wuo and various GemCoin properties and personalities are plastered all over the Internet in the form of photos, videos and written accounts, this rumpled little dude just keeps denying that he knows anything about this stuff. Except to deny that those who peddle the so-called crypto-currency are engaged in some sort of a Ponzi scheme. A topic where he suddenly seems willing to show a greater depth of knowledge.

But I have gotten a little ahead of myself. Here is some excellent reporting from Joe Taglieri of the Arcadia Weekly (link):

Gemcoin Controversy: Adding to the charged atmosphere in the council chamber over real estate development, in a July 1 article Arcadia Weekly linked former mayor and current councilmember John Wuo to a business headquartered in Arcadia that is using the councilman and his status as an elected official extensively in its marketing material for a financial investment product called Gemcoin, described as a “crypto-currency” similar to Bitcoin.

Tim Burch and David Arvizu are Highlands residents who consistently attend council meetings and voice their displeasure with the panel’s recent actions. Both berated Wuo for his endorsement of GemCoin, which they likened to a Ponzi scheme, and his business relationships with executives of the digital currency’s parent organizations – USFIA Inc., Alliance Financial Group and the U.S. China Consultation Association.

“City council people, mayors, should not be endorsing companies – especially ones that have been identified [as] or suspected of being pyramid schemes,” said Arvizu, head of Save the Arcadia Highlands. “This is an ethics violation, mixing politics with a pyramid scheme.”

Arvizu requested council members put the issue of Wuo’s Gemcoin connection on their next meeting agenda to “discuss this in public … and admonish his inappropriate behavior.” Wuo did not respond to Arvizu’s comments about Gemcoin at the July 7 council meeting, but he did on Tuesday. “Please be responsible with your comments and [don’t make] unfounded allegations,” Wuo told Arvizu.

“The first time I was Mayor I attended over 700 events in … Arcadia or the San Gabriel Valley,” Wuo said. “I’ve made a lot of ceremonial speeches and always wish them success in their business. I’m not going to go up there and say I wish your business fails.”

Wuo then reiterated comments he made in an interview with Arcadia Weekly: “I don’t know anything about GemCoin, I don’t have any financial interest.”

He also rebuffed the allegation Arvizu made July 7 that Wuo may be stashing Gemcoin compensation into an overseas bank account. “I challenge you to show me if I have an offshore account or have an account in a foreign country,” Wuo said after denying he has such assets.

Arvizu augmented his comments with a video monitor positioned so that council members and cameras that broadcast meetings could view videos posted online showing Wuo speaking at Gemcoin marketing events.

“I was invited to present awards … and the other one was a news conference [Gemcoin founder Steve Chen] invited me to say a few words,” Wuo explained. “Those are ceremonial speeches. It’s just a very regular, ceremonial, congratulatory speech.”

In the spirit of good times and fun, here is a video of John "I know nothingWuo lavishing some rather fulsome praise on Steve Chen and his GemCoin empire. Here he certainly does seem to be well-versed on the topic, and attempts to explain what it is all about to anyone who cares to listen.

Click here for the video.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

56 comments:

  1. Recall campaign. Not backed by amber mine.

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    Replies
    1. This is great news. I am so glad for the residents that at last they seem to be taking notice and taking action.

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  2. So let me get this straight. Johnny Gemcoins goes out and appears at functions to give his endorsement to things when he doesn't even know what they are? Really?

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    1. Kinda reminds me of past Mayor Johnny Harabedian's endorsement of Paul "I'm Federally Indicted" Tanaka for LA County Sheriff.

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    2. Pols are easy.

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  3. These politicians need to be shaken up to the fact that being a "representative" is supposed to be OF THE PEOPLE, not of yourself, the Party or the Government!

    Go people of Arcadia!!!!!!!!!

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  4. Any idea how many signatures need to be collected for an Arcadia City Council recall?

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    1. From Ballotpedia:
      The city official determines the number of signatures needed qualify for a recall election. Generally the number of signatures to be obtained corresponds to a certain percentage of the votes cast during the last election for the office of the city councilperson to be potentially recalled.

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    2. Let's hope there was a light turnout for that election!

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    3. Yeah, I was thinking that too 12:08. And it's a big city.
      As we know here, a recall takes a dedicated effort. They can do it, but it requires real work.

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  5. Support the Save the Highlands coalition. The City Council of Arcadia is supposed to represent the people and not their own self-interest. I believe the district attorney needs to get involved. This reeks of corruption and self-dealing by members of the Arcadia City Council.

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  6. Wuo is a crook. We know it and he knows it. The idea that we can find his overseas bank account is ludicrous Although the FBI may need to get involved and perhaps they can find it. This is "Bell-like" corruption right here in Arcadia and it has to be stopped.

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  7. There is alot of corruption going on now. I had a real estate agent approach me with a "cash buyer". They also wanted a portion of their money paid to the seller outside of escrow so that the declared purchase price can be lower so that the buyers yearly taxes would be based upon a smaller number. They wanted to see if my escrow company would be willing to do this. I'm sure mine is not an isolated example. Is it any wonder that the mentality of corruption that you see, yes in China, is not going to come overseas to the San Gabriel Valley. You bet. Communist countries like China are founded on corruption. To succeed and get ahead, you participate and enable it. It will also affect a City Council. Offering bribes to support development projects is nothing new but its so commonplace in China to bribe party officials that it will not be turned off just because they are now in America. My Chinese friends have told me this is business as usual in China and now its coming to America.

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    1. Great. What a fine addition to the area.

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    2. I wish someone would offer me that sweet deal for my home. I'd jump all over it.

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    3. Put a Chairman Mao lawnsign in your frontyard. Trust me, it works miracles.

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    4. Cash outside of escrow? That's called money laundering (Federal felony) and tax fraud (Federal & state felonies). I wouldn't look good in orange.

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    5. PS: I would rat you out in a second for that. Pay your damn share of the taxes. Sheesh.

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    6. Thanks for posting 8:29.
      Hope you notified the appropriate authorities.

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    7. Call the Feds.

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    8. And the state, too, according to 9:05. We need to report these kinds of people in order to discourage them. I know we have corruption, but when it's so overt? Git 'im.

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    9. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.
      ~ old saying

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    10. 12:09, old saying and in a good song, used in Robert Blake's series Baretta. How strange is that.

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  8. There is no cure for bad government like democracy.

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  9. A successful recall campaign in Arcadia would send shockwaves through the entire San Gabriel Valley.

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    Replies
    1. Love it ....Arcadia has always been corrupt...but it's even worse nowadays

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    2. Nothing like lots of smuggled money to turn heads.

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  10. Wasn't Bart Doyle connected to the Chinese in that corrupt El Monte deal?
    Someone needs to investigate this latest land grab deal to see if Bart's dirty hands are involved.
    He was up to his eyeballs in the One Carter scam.....and is responsible for giving us all our corrupt former councilmembers here in Sierra Madre.

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  11. Humm I live adjacent to the "unused land" at the monastery possibly I can advertise that this ugly open space will be filled with beautiful Mcmansions and the brown mountain view will be obscured thereby increasing my cash only price for my shanty.

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  12. "...the fight to stop McMansions in Arcadia is pretty much joined at the hip with what we are fighting for in Sierra Madre. Personally, I don't see that much of a difference. It is all basically one struggle."
    Couldn't agree more, Mod! There have been residents here who cared about the downtown area but not the hillsides, and those who cared about the hillsides but not the downtown - drives me crazy. It's the same fight, whether it's next door or around the block. Same destructive greed, same need to preserve.

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  13. Good point....10:06

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  14. Where do I sign up for yard signs? Who do I contact to make a donation? Email me at TBinARC@gmail.com

    I live in the Highlands and I would love to display 3:
    RECALL SAVE THE HIGHLANDS PRESERVE SIERRA MADE.

    Solidarity works. Thanks for your support Sierra Madre!!!

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    1. Good on you TB!
      Follow the link the Mod posted in the article, and it'll take you to the Save the Highlands website.

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    2. That is a great idea! Solidarity signage!

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  15. Where can I buy the recall sign

    RECALL...

    CAPOCCA
    HARDBIDEAN
    GOSS

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    1. You can remove Capoccia & Harabedian in 2016. Just need 2 candidates to beat them!

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    2. Total waste of time and money. You and the three other people you could persuade to join you would fail.
      Better you should donate to the Highlands.

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    3. I'm hoping they both decide not to run for a second term. There are far better people out there who could serve on the City Council

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    4. Former Mayor Johnny H. will definitely run again. He's an up and comer, that kid is.

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  16. SIERRA MADRE - RECALL YARD SIGN

    YOU GOTTA LOVE IT1

    THE CAPPS GUYS1

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    1. It's so important to know who the real enemy is - go after the developers heading the monastery board, or the three thieves on the Arcadia council, not the sitting Sierra Madre council who have supported more slow growth policies than any council of Sierra Madre has, ever. It's important to keep clear.

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    2. The two Johns could flip on you in s minute in SMadre. Be vewey careful, as Elmer Fudd would say.

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    3. I dunno. I think Harabedian has checked a box off on his career list, and he will move on after four. Eight years on the Sierra Madre City Council is not what he is looking for.

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  17. San Marino has a McMansion Trio as well (sigh...)

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    1. Developer owned Council.

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    2. Yes, Kneir and both Suns

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  18. Recall in Arcadia is different, there is the possibility of real corruption there with Wuo, Tay and Chandler.

    In Sierra Madre there was a successful recall in the late 1960's but guess what...two preservationist were removed by the pro-development crowd! A third CC member resigned, as he was considering moving, instead of being recalled. It tore the town apart and it was still reeling when I moved here in 1973.

    You might not like the votes or the personalities of certain Sierra Madre City Council members, but a recall should be reserved for serious charges. Just vote out the slackards at the next election. Tough thing is to find some good candidates who won't be hogtied by fancy talking city manager and her department director-lackys.

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    1. Good advice 3:16. I was here during that recall In the '60's and not only did it tear the town apart but had all kinds of unintended consequences such as taking Ed Wagner off the water board when he was making headway in preserving our water supply, and breaking the heart of Jan Maddox, a very wonderful lady. These were two fine people who didn't deserve the scorn they got from the citizens. Please tell us what exactly would you recall Capoccia, Harabedian and Goss for? They voted for the zoning changes you wanted, they voted for the general plan, they headed off the Carter house, even in the face of a lawsuit. So, give me one reason. If you don't like the possible plan for the UUT measure that will probably come up, then work to vote it down. It takes a huge amount of money plus a huge amount of time for a recall. I for one would not support a recall at this stage in the game, and in fact, will work to get Capoccia re-elected if he choses to run.

      I will, however try to let the UUT sunset to 6%.

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    2. I'm with 6:40.

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    3. The only thing that keeps 'em honest is an active and skeptical citizenry.

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  19. Good advice 3:16

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  20. The real enemy is not the developers, its the city council & staff, they are just a bunch of lawn jockeys with inflated salaries and Cadillac health packages! they all need to go before its to late!

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    1. The developers would be very happy to read that.

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    2. Development impact fees are legalized bribes.

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  21. Please tell me how to get one of the recall signs???

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