Friday, August 7, 2015

Special Neighbor Update: The Passionist Fathers Invite You To Share In the Excitement of Years of Construction, Dust, Noise, Big Trucks & Daily Chaos @ the Monastery

Special Neighbors take note.
They're back. After managing to lure only 8 Realtors to their previous promotional shindig at Mater Dolorosa, most of whom were plainly opposed to the building of abundant half racks of cookie cutter Mini-Mansions on monastery land, this time the clearly out-of-touch Passionistas decided to invite the residents living in the immediate vicinity of this sad folly to stop by and witness the magnitude of their future misery.

Why the Mater Dolorosa Monastery's current mismanagement could possibly believe that anyone in the immediate area would be excited about living in the vicinity of long years of extreme noise, dust, big rumbling trucks and the mayhem large scale mini-mansion construction will bring, 40 to 50 of the damn things in all mind you, escapes popular logic.

These could very well be some of the most tone deaf individuals on the planet today.

But hey, they're doing community outreach, so I guess that does make them kind of special, too. Or so they will likely tell us. Never before has just going through the motions taken on so vast a significance for those responsible.

Too bad for these "special neighbors" that only the opinions of those hosting this event will count for very much at the soiree. Or perhaps instead we should say financial interests. That being the apparent extent of their concerns.

Here is their latest flyer. No word yet if cheese will be served.


"Special Neighbor Update" indeed. Perhaps you'll want to send your RSVP so that you can attend and make your objections heard right where it counts? Or maybe just staying away altogether will be more effective?

I'm not sure.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

95 comments:

  1. Didn't Jesus chase the "money changers" out of the Temple?
    Watch out Passionate Fathers....you're being observed by Divinity .

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    1. I don't think they care any more about what the divinity thinks or they wouldn't be doing this in the first place. They don't care about the ill-will that will be directed at them, they don't care about dividing the community - all they care about is the money. Very sad commentary on the state of affairs in the Catholic Church right now or at least in the Passionist Order.

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    2. Its all about the 30 pieces of silver evidently.

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    3. A true Christian would not direct 'ill will' at anyone.

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    4. Which do you think is worse? Words or actions?

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    5. They shouldn't break up this property. They should sell the whole thing including the retreat center. Maybe a group like the Self-Realization Fellowship would buy it. They have some beautiful properties. They aren't carving them up. Somehow they are surviving and even flourishing but then again, they are not ...... You can fill in the blank as far as why the Catholic Church and the Priests are in trouble.

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    6. 8:46 I'm not a christian thank God.I don't get down on my knees,I take charge of my life.

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    7. That entire property should be sold to some entity that knows what to do with it. It could be a world-class retreat center like the Casa de Maria in Montecito open to all faiths. There would be nothing like it in the San Gabriel Valley. The get-rich money grubbers on the Board of Mater Dolorosa haven't thought this through and really made no effort to save the property because they will all profit from its sale.

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    8. They would dig up the buried priests there if they could. Some of those priests must be rolling over in their graves right now at what's happening up there. They have ceased being a religious organization and are now just greedy developers.

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  2. Something very strange is going on up there at the Monastery. You have Father Michael Higgins spending most of his time trying to sell us a real estate deal. He even had to get up there and apologize to the City Council at the last meeting because he misrepresented to the City Council in the previous City Council meeting when he told them that the copies of the General Plan they had received still had the language in there about institutional land owners being "allowed" and "eligible" to down zone their property to low density housing. He actually had to apologize. This is getting almost pitiful. You have a religious organization whose mission should be to promote peace and healing and yet they press on with a very divisive housing project. They employ the "divide and conquer" strategy of inviting small group in different neighborhoods and professions to try to persuade them to sign some "commitment" letter supporting a project up there. These guys have come off the rails. What happened to the kinds of priests who managed to keep the property intact since 1924 and even through the Great Depression.

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    1. Not sure that meeting with the real estste people worked out the way they hoped it would. I don't think this one will either.

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    2. I can't believe that they think anybody would be stupid enough to sign that letter pledging to have an open mind about their project. Its the oldest sales trick in the world. Try to get people to take a small, seemingly innocuous step in favor of their position or to put it another way, try to get you foot in the door. My understanding is that none of the realtors would sign it and I suspect none of the neighbors, if any show up, will sign it either.

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    3. 6:37 - Father Higgins wouldn't have apologized to the City Council if he had gotten what he wanted at that previous meeting.

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    4. I'd love to sit in on some of their strategy sessions up there about this project. This project seems to be their focus now and not preaching the gospel.

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    5. The realtor meeting was a disaster. Judy Webb Martin told them very clearly that she is opposed to the project. I understand that nobody showed up to their second meeting for the Grove neighbors on July 28th. Now they are trying to pick off the Sunnyside neighbors. Good luck with that.

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    6. Its not really strange what they are doing. The Passionists have lost sight of their mission. They are focusing on their own retirements despite raising 5 million just a few years ago for that very purpose. Where did that money go?

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    7. Sometimes I think that Mater Dolorosa is being downright deceitful in their tactics. Father Higgiins had to apologize at the last City Council Meeting. I don't enjoy seeing him eat crow but Mater Dolorosa has not been conducting themselves very well ever since they made the decision to sell off the property.

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  3. The reason they are losing this battle is because maybe, just maybe, God is not on their side on this one. They are chasing the 30 pieces of silver to fund their own retirements and have turned themselves into full-time real estate developers. People up above must be weeping.

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    1. They got rid of the Fiesta a number of years back and then put up the gates. This has been in the plans for a long time now. They once were part of the community. Once they made the decision to sell off the land, they had to cut all ties with the community.

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    2. I went to that Fiesta for years. I'm sure they deliberately stopped it because it would have been only another reason to not sell off the property. They are too conniving for words.

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    3. In order to pave the way for this project, they have had to distance themselves from the community and their mission. When they reach the gates of St. Peter, they may get asked some tough questions as to why they took the wrong path. That land is sacred. There are people who will literally lie in front of the bulldozers to prevent it from being turned into a housing project.

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    4. They tried to say the Fiesta was stopped because no one was willing to do that. But if the Fathers up there have so much time to push a development project, surely they would have time for some community outreach. They have done none of that. They stopped all outreach or connection to the community once they decide to build about 5 or so years ago.

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    5. I agree that they have completely isolated themselves from the community of Sierra Madre. This was symbolically done when they put up the gates and fences. While it doesn't say it anywhere, the message is clear: Keep Out.

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  4. I wonder if Preserve Sierra Madre is going to hold another surprise rally at the gates. Unlike the realtor meeting which was held during work hours, this one is set for 6:00 pm. I bet they could get quite a crowd.

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    1. They targeted the Grove area at their last meet and greet which occurred after the realtor meeting. Does anybody know how that one turned out? Now they are targeting the Sunnyside neighborhood. Given what's at stake for Sunnyside, they might be facing a tough crowd. They came to a City Council meeting because they were concerned about the existing traffic to and from the Monastery. Add to that two or three years of construction and the trucks associated with that and then all the traffic from 40 or 50 homes with 4 or 5 occupants to fill all the 4 or 5 bedrooms and their guests.

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    2. Maybe 300 people should show up to that meeting and surprise them. They do ask you to RSVP. I wonder if they would turn down people who just show up.

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    3. Many of the people at the rally live on Sunnyside.

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    4. I'd like to see a huge crowd at the kids. Make it a party. Make it even bigger than the last rally.

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    5. We should have another big rally and then walk up the grounds and see if they will let us in. At the last very peaceful and respectful rally, they called the police to keep the peace even though it was a good crowd.

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  5. Money is God - Praise God.

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  6. Its really remarkable when you go to one of those meetings to have Jerry Pearson from Arcadia, Cam Thornton from Burbank, head of the Board of Directors Joe Sanders from.....(probably not Sierra Madre) tell us how the Passionists in Chicago know what's best for Sierra Madre. They are going to take that money to the bank and we have to live with two years of construction and big smelly polluting trucks grinding up Sunnyside and then you have the aftermath. Sunnyside becomes a freeway as well as whereever the other ingress/egress point is carved out, the wildlife is gone, the water shortage is made even worse despite any El Nino that may come and Sierra Madre gets its first traffic light and parking meters. Maybe we ought to just let Sierra Madre turn into Arcadia and forget the whole thing.

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    1. Given what's happened and is happening in Arcadia, its kind of weird to have Jerry Pearson get up there at the City Council meetings and announce I'm Jerry Pearson from Arcadia and then go on to tell us why this project would be in Sierra Madre's best interest. I guess that's why they've put Father Higgins front and center now as the spokesperson.

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    2. I wonder how much Jerry Pearson is getting paid for all his effort over the years in pushing this project. Or does he just reap a windfall, when they get paid by the developer. Likewise for Cam Thornton.

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    3. Joe Sanders, Chair of the Board Mater Dolorosa, Director since 2011; Board of Trustees, Cathedral High School; Senior Vice President, Operations, 2006-2013, Charles Pankow Builders, Pasadena http://www.pankow.com/ ; bio http://collections.lib.purdue.edu/pankow/?page=bio&bioid=JS
      Principal at Combined Creek Consulting (no information found online)

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    4. Outsiders trying to tell Sierra Madre what's best for us. You're barking up the wrong tree. Sierra Madre is not like any other city. They are finding that out the hard way.

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    5. So Joe Sanders is a builder by day. They also have another guy on the Board by the name of Robert Law who also works for a builder. Jerry Pearson does the landscaping on big development projects. They have really sold out. Is there any one on that Board that wants to keep the property intact or did they just stack it with pro-development people?

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    6. New Urban pulled out for now but they said they had no problem coming back. They're just waiting. And be leery of the CC and city manager. They need money not only to pay employees but to fix the infrastructure that last CC didn't. And who was the city manager? Even though they have done some good things, the CC, they can change it just as easily. We haven't gotten a recent building list from the city manager, not that it has ever been accurate. Don't let down your guard, ever.

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    7. To avoid a One Carter disaster, we all have to be vigilant. All it takes is one bad election. Right now, we have the best City Council and Planning Commission Sierra Madre has had in years at least for those who don't want Sierra Madre to turn into Arcadia.

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  7. Developers always try to divide and conquer. They try to bring people on Board one by one whether its neighbors, community leaders or a city council member or two. They will cut deals that pit one neighbor against another as they try to weaken the opposition. They will promise things to get their foot in the door and then once their foot is in the door the project ends up morphing into something far different from the way it was originally sold to the community.

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    1. That divide and conquer strategy may work in some communities but I don't think it will work in Sierra Madre. That's why New Urban West, their original developer pulled out.

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    2. It works, too. They tell one neighbor that nothing will be built immediately adjacent to their home, and get an advocate that way.

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    3. You'd have to be a fool to believe them.

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    4. PIck off people one by one and get them to sign that silly letter of commitment. No one in their right mind will follow for those developer tactics. Do they think people are fools or what?

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  8. I think my property may be more valuable as a hotel. I'm going to sell it to a developer and try for the zoning change. Great for me but perhaps not so great for the neighbors and the community but why should I care about them. I only want as much money as I can get. Sound familiar. The fact that the mentality is coming from the Priests is all the more despicable.

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    1. I'm going for a nuclear power plant. After all, its my property and I can do whatever I want to with it.

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    2. I'm going to try to re-zone my property for a strip club. I believe in private property rights.

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    3. I'm going for a waste treatment plant.

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    4. If you take absolute private property rights to its logical conclusion, that's where you go. No concern for the neighbors or the community at large. Mater Dolorosa and the Passionist owners in Chicago could care less about the negative impacts on the community.

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    5. They will never get the City Council to approve a zoning change. It just will not happen in Sierra Madre.

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  9. I'll be there I will propose that only the the part of their property west of Sunnyside should be developed in phase 1,as it is called in my plan.

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    1. Let's now screw over some neighbors to benefit other neighbors. That buys right into their strategy. Developers will try to throw a bone to some vocal neighbors and benefit them to the detriment of the less vocal or silent neighbors.

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  10. It seems to me that there are three options in response to these guys: 1. Nobody should shown up. 2. Everybody should show up and let them know how we feel. 3. Another rally outside the gates. If anyone else has any ideas, feel free to float them. Notice how the flyer is identical to the flyer sent to the realtors in all respects except they took out the wine and cheese. Think about that. They got together and decided not to offer the wine and cheese to the neighbors. I wonder if they had a big spread for the realtors and it all went to waste when only 7 showed up?

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    1. It looks like they have a wine and cheese scale for rating the importance of their guests.
      1) Realtors (W&C - Yes)
      2) Special Neighbors (W&C - No)

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    2. 3) Unspecial Neighbors (W&C - No, Flyer - No, Invitation - No, Time of day - No)

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    3. How about a rally outside the gates and everyone walk in together for the meeting.

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    4. I love that idea. Best comment today.

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    5. I'm game for it. The good thing is the meeting is at 6:00 at night so that people will be able to go. We'll see what Preserve Sierra Madre does with this one.

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    6. We're going, whether anyone else goes or not.

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  11. Who are the neighbors who are not special?

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    1. Who are the "Special Neighbors". Are they the ones that will be most f@%$ed by the project. Is that what makes us special? I will need a few bottles of wine to endure that presentation.

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    2. The neighbors I think are special are the ones that stand at the gate and protest.

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    3. I have heard the are going to ritualistically harvest one of the Deer from the unused land and serve that.

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

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  12. August 20 is the date the Planning Commission meets, to discuss a house on One Carter. Little confluence of development mania on that evening.

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    1. One Carter is still simmering. We made bad decisions a long time ago that have somewhat tied our hands in regards to One Carter. We can't make the same bad decisions now in regards to a possible project at the Monastery. If we are united, they will fail. Its that simple. That's why they are trying to divide us, get their foot in the door with the signing of some Commitment Letter. I bet developers are telling them how to do this.

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    2. The problem for Mater Dolorosa is that no developer wants to spend their time and money on pushing a project that has such little chance of success. They will wait until is more viable. That puts Mater Dolorosa in the position of having to do the legwork and shore up support for the project. But its almost unseemly for them to be performing this role. It makes them all look like a bunch of money grubber which I guess they have turned into.now.

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    3. I don't know what a cry "babbie" is. Nor do I know how to "shout up." An offer was made to the priests and they turned it down. Will you be the first to make a donation to a new fund? This is for 8:38 Am.

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    4. They may find that their land is worthless if it can't be developed. We haven't even gotten to an EIR. What in the world will that turn up. The old Monastery fell down in the earthquake so you know that an earthquake fault is around somewhere. That stopped the Millenium project in Hollywood in its tracks.

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  13. It sounds like We have a bunch of cry Babbies. If you want it to remain dirt, then the cry Babbies should buy it or shout up!

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    1. Cry babbies? Sounds like we have a nitwit name caller who can't spell.

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    2. People have tried to buy it to preserve it. The problem is that Mater Dolorosa is nothing giving them a chance. They want a housing project up there because certain people will benefit from it.

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    3. There are many different ways of being paid. They want more than one of them.

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    4. I hope that 8:38 is not one of the Priests who so badly want the golden parachute. They have really fallen a long way from their mission.

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  14. Is there any reason why they could not just sell off the portion of the unused land they don't want and be done with it? Take themselves out of the picture so to speak.

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    1. Sing it brotha! Can I get an 'Amen'?

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    2. They should sell the whole property and keep it intact. Once its carved up, its gone foreever. You can bet that they won't stop at what they are selling off now. If they need some more cash for retirements, then the Stations of the Cross will be next.

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  16. It is a presentation, not a discussion. They want to sell you on a concept.

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  17. This religious group has to sell the place, so why doesn't Sierra Madre engage an institution or retirement center/SNIF that would build a facility MATCHING THE EXISTING BUILDINGS stretching down the west side of the property along Sunnyside Dr.? The City could partner with this operation to maintain the rest of the existing grounds for public use. This use is very low-impact in character with the area that can support itself with revenue. Check out the map

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Mater+Dolorosa/@34.1732826,-118.0634308,357m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x1f52ff5dd164da83!6m1!1e1

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    1. 9:29 must leave near the east side of the property.

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  18. Because we have no water possibly?

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    1. According to Jerry Pearson or one of the other civilian geniuses leading the monastery to perdition is there isn't enough water available in Sierra Madre because the residents use too much. Now that we beat our state number by a full percentage point isn't it time these people issued an apology?

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    2. Sierra Madre needs to tighten their belts further and incur more penalties so that there is more water in the well for the developers. Its our fault there's not enough water.

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  19. The argument shouldn't be the dust and dirt of construction, that is a short term problem. There are many more long-term consequences that should be argued. The argument should be the use of land for a housing tract. They have not re-zoned, they haven't convinced anyone about their plan for zero water use by offsetting it around town, they haven't solved the problem of increased traffic once the development is completed nor have they considered evacuation routes in the event of a disaster such as earthquake or fire. To get the priests out if a fire happens is one thing, to get 100 plus residents out is another. Even when they add another exit, the roads up there cannot handle the traffic. It would be like adding another 40-50 houses in the Canyon.

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    1. I agree 1:12, there are a host of problems with this project. That's why New Urban West dropped out. Putting aside the community opposition, there are some real problems that cannot be solved with a big housing project up there.

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  20. i went to one of the meetings, somewhat disorganized. The main themes are intellectualism (them) vs emotionalism (us).We also have to remember that the religious group "do not live there, they WORK there. So no emotional ties. They could rent out the space to a real non-profit organization, maybe temporary homes for the homeless?. What would Jesus do?!

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    1. There are a lot of highly educated people in Sierra Madre. The emotionalism observation might be true, but the intellectual is in harness as well. My guess is that they see us as excitable villagers to be managed. It is a form of arrogance that will lead them to the inevitable failure of their project.

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    2. Too many vested interests up there who only see the dollar signs. The Board of Directors has been stacked with developers including Joe Sanders the President. I haven't confirmed this, but someone said that he works for a big builder. That's the uphill challenge you've got. The Priests also don't want to act very Godly. They are just focused on their own retirements. They are getting out while they can and they don't care what they leave behind in the wake. They are cashing in while they can. Simply more carnage on top of the carnage some of these Priests have already caused.

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  21. I just RSVP'd guess I'll see what they have planned for my future.

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  22. I just looked at my water bill
    $75.00 for the meter
    $30.for the sewer
    $10. for UUt
    And only $22. for water! !@#$%^&*()
    Less than 15% of my bill is actually for water? I'm going to use my full conservation target, I can use twice as much for $30 more my yard will love me.

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  23. If the neighbors stay unified, they win. If they allow Mater Dolorosa to involve them in the process and decide if you put the open space here or there or 1-story or 2-story, then they win. They want people to get used to the idea of a project up there. Once people resign themselves to that, then its just a matter of working out the details. The neighbors need to be smart and show a unified front. If they do that, the open space will be preserved and perhaps another better use for that property will be found or the Passionists will eventually sell the entire property including the retreat center to people who recognize the value of keeping it intact.

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  24. Mater Dolorosa, Jerry Pearson and the rest of the bunch will try to involve the neighbors in the "process". Once the neighbors concede that there is any chance of a project up there, that it just has to be tweaked here and there, then its over. They wlll have fallen for the oldest trick in the book: get your foot in the door. Once they allow that, then the neighbors will get steamrolled. That's right out of the developers playbook. They then get you to commit to that little piece of paper saying you will keep an open mind. You sign that and they have you. Game over.

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  25. Never ever will anyone in their right mind agree to this insanity. In the name of God and all things right this ridiculous proposal will be put to an end asap! Jesus is frowning upon the ' passionate fathers' shame on them all!!!!!!

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    1. Cocaine or ecstasy go to bed.

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  26. Nope, ...No need for either when there is the 'passionistas' around causing such delirium ! A once religious place turned business institute out for the nasty dollar! I'm fed up with their shameful tactics and hiding behind false devotion while having such Ill, selfish and gross intent slaughtering God's land! Jesus and Mary both are in tears! God help us!

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