Monday, February 1, 2016

A Resident Letter to the MVN's Susan Henderson - Plus Court Cop Flop: John Ellins Loses His Lawsuit

I don't know if you read the Mountain Views News, but there was a very heated front page article published there over the weekend. It actually suggested that City Hall may have been engaged in a major and deliberate act of dishonesty by keeping news of the mass exodus of officers from the Sierra Madre Police Department secret from the public for so long.

Quite an abrupt change for the author of that piece, the paper's usually sycophantic and city tax dependent Susan Henderson. Maybe she thought she was being edgy like The Tattler, or something? It can be hard to say.

However, as unexpected a message change as that might have been for this city's adjudicated newspaper, the rest of it was not. Rather this piece quickly became a blatant and rather shameless pitch for voter approval of Measure UUT. Making this the third election in a row where Ms. Henderson has pushed for utility tax increases.

Something that should now be even easier for her since she no longer lives in town.

Sierra Madre resident Barry Gold wrote the following insightful letter to Susan Henderson. I asked if I could post it here, and I am doing so with his kind permission.


So you know, Chief Giannone also claimed to the Pasadena Star News that he has 65 potential officers lined up. Something that flies in the face of what Ms. Henderson assures us the City Manager said is the case. Which means that two of this city's most highly placed appointed officials have no idea what the other one is saying. Either that or they're just making this stuff up on the fly.

In that PSN article, titled "Why half of Sierra Madre’s police force suddenly left," here is how the Chief's claim reads (link):

In a staff report, the department says they “have reached a level where there are insufficient personnel to provide safe and reliable police services twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week,” and cited the city’s lower salaries for trouble recruiting full-time officers.

“This is totally a temporary measure to make sure we’re providing the same level of service to the community as we start to build our department back up,” said Giannone. “We have a great working relationship with Arcadia and we’re here to help each other.”

Meanwhile, the department is doing heavy recruiting for full time sworn-in and non-sworn positions. “I think that’s going very well; we have 65 applicants,” said Giannone.

One other thing. I am hearing from people I know in Arcadia that the City Council there might not be as enthusiastic about sharing their Police Department with Sierra Madre as some have so easily assumed. Chief Giannone in particular. Home invasion robberies are up 40% in Arcadia over the past year, and the residents living there are literally up in arms at the thought of the absurdly overpaid APD (link) spending any quality late night time here.

Oh, and can anyone please explain to me what exactly Arcadia's Chief of Police, Robert "Don't Call Me Woody" Guthrie, gets with his $101,894.01 in total benefits? Particularly in light of the out of control crime wave in Arcadia?


So what happens if Arcadia's City Council says no to City Hall's request to rent their Police Officers for $1,200 a night? We'll have more on that tomorrow.

Former Sierra Madre Police Officer John Ellins Loses His Case

Attentive Tattler readers are aware of the long running lawsuit by former Sierra Madre Police Officer John Ellins. A gent who definitely had it in for his boss, then Sierra Madre Chief of Police Marilyn Diaz. The case has been stuck in various Courts for years.

All bad things do come to an end however, and John Ellins's hopes of getting a big fat check from the hides of the taxpayers of Sierra Madre have now been clearly dashed. You can read the decision of the California Court of Appeals by clicking here (link).

What follows is a passage from that decision. Some may find it disturbing.


There have been many SMPD initiated lawsuits against the City of Sierra Madre. It is enlightening to finally get a clear look at what one of those lawsuits was all about.

In this case the litigious police officer involved turned out to be something of a creep.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

106 comments:

  1. The Arcadia PD are overpaid, rude, and without shame. How many of Arcadia's finest actually call the city home? With the amount they're paid, you'd think a few live in town. Not to mention actually respect those who pay them so well in a sleepy suburb. APD needs to be audited and retrained in basic "neighborhood" policing.

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

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    2. They think because they are compensated in the $220K range they're special.

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  2. There are so many examples of why we need the Sheriffs Department. Sierra Madre has suffered from a sub standard police force for many years and now it's time for a change. Wish some of the old stories could be told here but people are not going to come forward for fear of retaliation. Wonder if city council is having that kind of problem as the SD is an obvious choice over Arcadia. Still can't figure that choice out.

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  3. New recruits should be getting a different contract now that we all know what is going on. I would hope the city manager is taking care of that.

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  4. Mr. Gold must be respected by so many in town who know what is going on but are afraid to speak up. We respect you Barry, keep up the good work.

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    1. yeah but we all know Susan won't publish it - only way it'll get in if Mr Gold paid for an ad

      we all know Susan won't turn down money

      she does have a little problem with fact checking and none with open bias and fictitious sources

      she flat makes up stuff and prints it

      amazing

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  5. My apologies. This is a really stupid request, but has anyone ever considered running signs across the city opposing the UUT increase. Seems you can run signs for a small fee as a campaign committee (or for a candidate) organization. In the city code this doesn't specify write-in versus pre-written ballot eligible candidate certificates. So all the Eagle, and other, supporters can be heard. I don't want to upset anyone but I feel this website may at times act as a echo chamber, yet we need to make our voices heard. I think the majority of SM citizens can get behind this, but I think we need to be more vocal just in case the electorate needs to be reminded of the times. Seems most issues are decided by mail-in-votes anyway. Just an idea, but lets get active and fix this mess.

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    Replies
    1. Great idea 4:52am
      Barry and Judy are great people to get this going.
      Chris and Halcyon Koeber were so helpful at fighting these unfair tax increases....sadly for us, they moved out of State.
      We can carry on this fight...let's do it...I'm on old work horse but ready to run again if needed.

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    2. If you'd like to help run the "No" effort, contact the Mod...

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  6. Anybody notice that the same people who are bellyaching about bringing in the Sheriffs aren't saying a peep about bringing in the Arcadia PD? Odd.

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    Replies
    1. Why do they hate the Sheriff' dept.?

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    2. They're irrational and driven by their emotions. And obviously the SMPD doesn't give a crap about them.

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  7. To My apologies ,,, good ideas. All the people must be heard and should know all sides of the issues. Not easy getting the word out, especially when it may not agree with what city hall is putting out. One problem is city hall has influence with the social clubs in town. If the social clubs only hear one side of the story how are they going to know?

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  8. We are by the city's admission facing a complete rebuild of the police department. This is the perfect time to transition to the sheriff.

    PS: wonder how much that appellate opinion cost us? These complaints will be a thing of the past with the sheriff.

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    Replies
    1. we can bring in new hires and nothing will change

      how did the PD sock it to us with overtime when they were fully staffed?

      the Chief doesn't deserve any confidence, he's staff is bailing on him and when it looks like the Sheriff's may roll into town, he worms himself a highly paid, cushy and sleepwalking job

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  9. Sheriffs now!
    The choice is clear...City Council.
    Do the right thing.
    Question? Who do we call late at night in emergency? Who will respond? Neighbors with firearms?
    911...Who do we call?

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    Replies
    1. Ghostbusters!

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    2. I think I'll be calling the people I know who have firearms.

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  10. Perhaps we should form a volunteer night police force?

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  11. Is it possible to get a copy of past lawsuits. Would be very interesting to chart out the last 20 years and the $ amount.

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    1. You will need to get them from the Courts. City Hall won't give them up because they make the SMPD look bad. Though that is not the reason they'll give you.

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    2. That Ellins is a real charmer. I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of dollars his weirdness cost us?

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    3. Stalk much? Holy moly.

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    4. Ellins is a moron. If he and I assume he did use city equipment and his position for personal searches etc, he deserved to be fired and countersued into bankruptcy or lose all his pension earned

      John Ellins Mall Cop

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    5. Ellins should have done like Officer Dead Eye Amos shot an unarmed man in the back and he would have gotten promoted like Amos.

      only in the SMPD - almost laughable until they pull a gun or a lawyer

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  12. If we call 911? Who do they send?

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    Replies
    1. Nobody. You're on your own now.

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    2. The restless spirits of the Confederate Civil War dead residing in the Pioneer Cemetery.

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  13. When the SMPD needs real help they call the Sheriffs.

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    1. been that way for years and will always be until we contract out with the Sheriff's

      there was a guy holed up in a house and the Sheriff's came into to handle it - out PD was perimeter traffic control

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  14. Lock and load, Sierra Madre....we're on our own...be prepared to help elderly or disabled neighbors.

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    Replies
    1. The question that comes to mind is; Why are you not helping your neighbors elderly,disabled,or otherwise already?

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    2. They threatened to shoot me.

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  15. If anyone is hurt, loses property or dies because of no Sheriff dept has been hired...Elaine and the City Attorney and the City Council are responsible

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    Replies
    1. And can be Personally sued $$$$$

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    2. and then defended by SM taxpayer dollars. No thanks.

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  16. What was the story on the lost hiker in Bailey Cyn ? Helicopters for hours that night.

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    1. I sure hope hiker was found safe.
      I still remember that tragedy up there. A father and his 8 year old son went hiking after rain storms....they were sadly found dead...buried in mud slides.
      Please be extremely cautious after these rain storms

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    2. He was a young mountain biker & father. He died of a heart attack. So sad.

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    3. Very sorry to hear that.
      :(

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    4. The boy was also mauled by a Bobcat, but is expected to survive. Preserve Sierra Madre is accepting donations for the child.

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  17. The timing of the Ellins decision could not be better.

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  18. It may seem that Henderson made a break from city hall, but it's really the Chamber of Commerce and the power brokers of this small town who pull her strings. So she's just as loyal as ever. Remember, Noah Green called her the 'unofficial mayor' of Sierra Madre.

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    1. Noah Green. always good for a laugh. Still chuckle that he broke down and bawled at the Kiwanis Club sniffling that since a boy he really always really seriously wanted to be elected to something

      and he chose us? what'd we do to deserve another "lawyer" on the Council

      no surprise he was endorsed by Susan, Nancy Walsh and John Buchanan

      got a taste of bile in my mouth just tying those three names in one sentence

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    2. Noah was the glorious flame out of the Civility Party. A term now synonymous with incompetence and madness.

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    3. Wasn't Noah also endorsed by John Harabedian Jr?

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    4. Fun loving lawyers stick together.

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  19. Does anybody know what's going on with the people who dug the big hole under their house and are suing us because they feel they don't need permits?

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    1. I believe that the Hildreth's litigation is pending. Hope the house doesn't collapse in the meantime.

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    2. The City is suing the Hildreth. Currently, the Hildreth's have not sued the City, that will be next. The Hildreths have permits. The City's Administration has put the City in a bad position, which will cost us, the taxpayers, an exorbitant amount of money. The City has already spent over a Million dollars of our money so far in attorney fees. The Trial is to start this month, could be even next week. The structure according to the court papers has been completely forensically inspected by outside experts which have confirmed the Hildreth's have permits, the structure is safe, the building exceeds the California Building Codes and follows an approved building plans.
      The City's lawsuit against the Hildreths has been over 5 years. If the house was to collapse it would have done so by now. But, if it does it would be on the City.

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    3. I can't believe that the City has put the Hildreth through such a long ordeal. I would hate to be in them.
      If the City was truly right about the building issues against the Hildreths, the City would have owned the Hildreths property a long long time ago. The Government does not wait, it take. How many times has it been on the new that a structure is red tagged as unsafe, where the owners are not even allowed to retrieve their belongings, it's happening in Northern California in Pacifico right now from the last storm.
      It show how government can run amok.
      Sad

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    4. the Hildreth's have nothing to worry about other than time, delays, dreams crushed and getting paid

      let's not forget that this is the same City Administration that took over 700 staff hours to manage the Mt Wilson Trail Race so all they can do is delay and bluster

      you'd think they'd be kissing the Hildreth's rear end cause they were trying to develop something and had approval

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    5. The Hildreths sued the city in Federal Court. I heard the Hildreths lost on the last round.

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    6. I know that the Hildreths have Not lost anything in Federal Court. If they did, you would hear it first on the Tattler. I know that there is a pending case in Federal Court of Appeals to allow the Hildreth's to sue the City of Sierra Madre, Danny Castro and Richard Temple. The Court has said that it will hear the Hildreth's case. If the Court rules in the Hildreth's favor then the City has a big liability problem.

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    7. Normally you have to lose a case to appeal it?

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  20. For decades prominent people in SM have owed the PD a word of thanks. I remember at a town meeting a few months back when a lady resident said the police came to her house once about her party. She mentioned the mayor was at that party and should vote to keep our police and not get the Sheriff. It can't be much more obvious than that what is going on and the voters need to know this.

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    1. ohhhhhh, the big bad "Mayor" of Sierra Madre

      come on, it's a bull methane title and means nothing - it's a joke and used to be a title of respect in the city

      now it's a springboard to be "somebody" or a social agenda

      jeez, the city needs a drive through restaurant or coffee shop, we already have drive through gas stations

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    2. It definitely seems to have become a life altering experience for some.

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  21. The word 'progress' means many things to many people, I would say it's progress that makes hiring the Sheriffs Department to patrol Sierra Madre instead of a tired, expensive PD. Times are a changing, the cost of supporting a PD has and is proving to be way to expensive all the while other more pressing matters are in need of those tax dollars instead.

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  22. Stop the madness. Hire the Sheriffs.

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  23. Nobody is talking about the elephant in the room. It is time for bankrupt cities like Sierra Madre to take part in the National Police Force project as proposed by the B. Saunders campaign. A free national police presence would be provided by the federal gov't at no charge to qualifying cities.
    Details are available online/s

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    1. A national police force? Not certain I could ever get behind that.

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    2. Wow, just like Hitler's Germany.

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    3. Sometimes I think Dave lost an oar in the rapids.

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    4. It can never happen it's called State Rights!
      Federal forces can Not invade a State unless asked for the the State's Governor.

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    5. OK Btw been to Oregon lately? Follow the news much?

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    6. On federal lands, 10:20. Focus, please, just FOCUS.

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    7. Well I still think Federal patrols are warranted in Sierra Madre until we get a functioning police department. I'm suggesting we invite them not an "invading' force,especially if it's free. Perhaps the Mayor can issue an emergency request.

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    8. You mean send the National Guard?

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    9. That's a great idea we could quarter them on the unused land at the monastery,the women could provide meals and do laundry while the men folk hunted up some game.We could sing and dance for them on weekends Just like the good old days.

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    10. No, I paid the bill.

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    11. An occupation army. How could things get any better than that?

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    12. The Sheriffs are sounding pretty good right now.

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    13. Better sign up now before they realize how screwed we are and jack up their price.

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    14. Gosh Dave, I can see the national patrol goose stepping down Sierra Madre Blvd. Everyone loves a parade, right?

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    15. Baghdad West.

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  24. I think we already have that, it's called the United States military.

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    1. Illegal to deploy them in the US besides the border. Try harder, Einstein.

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    2. I guess Katrina never happened?

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  25. Co po co and others are getting called out with their pant down! These idiots are failing to tell the taxpayer the truth. Remember it is the taxpayer who Money Funds and owns this city, its not the Co po cos! No More Taxation, live with in your means, we have to! Tell the Unon you are no longer their boy Jon and city council staff.

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    1. Dum bo is posting again.

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    2. What's wrong with Poco? they weren't that bad of a band, a little bland and hicky but what they got to do with SMPD?

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    3. About as much as the "Knack"

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    4. Poco was great! Not so much the knack

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    5. I liked Poco. New Riders of the Purple Sage were good, too. And the Byrds "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" album was pure genius.

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    6. I still love Panama Red. No really It's still my favorite "song" by NRPS.

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    7. Didn't Van Halen have a song called Panama?

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  26. As 8:51 US military, I was directing that response to Dave, not Hitlers Germany. 2 people at the same time, busy day.

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  27. Anyone's power go out

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  28. Ellins got exactly what he deserved. Sorry it took so long, but happy that justice was carried out.
    Will he (or his union) have to pay all court costs?

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  29. Somewhere around 8:45 Mr. Mod you have lost control of your blog. I think maybe the week end was too much for some of the Tattlers

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    1. Lots of new people checking in. Did over 70,000 hits in January.

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    2. Also you may wish to consider updating your convenient calendar to 2016

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    3. 96 remarks before 4 PM?

      The Tattler is so hot right now.

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    4. It's trending.

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  30. I must say this is my funest day ever on the Tattler. We (the commenters) are running amok we need supervision.

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  31. Does any body posting today reagarding the use of National Guard, which is some states can be the Highway Patrol if needed, have any real understanding how this works?

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  32. California state police can answer the call. So many people have forgotten that there is such an agency. This type of questioning and answer debate is just what crooked politician's do not like to see or hear as they are not in control and know the out come before it starts.

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