Friday, May 27, 2016

Do You Live In An Empty Neighborhood?

At Tuesday evening's City Council meeting, a resident spoke during Public Comment for items not on the agenda.  What she said was both very alarming and disturbing. We took the liberty of capturing the video of her comments and posting it here.

When you think of One Carter/Stonegate and Stoneridge projects, the houses on Camillo, the house being torn down on Lima, the persons who bought the 3 homes on Highland, it becomes obvious that too many foreign buyers are scooping up property and either tearing it down or parking their money for future development.

Here is what she had to say to the City Council.

Access video by clicking here.

The speaker brought up a very important point, one that has yet to receive any acknowledgement whatsoever from the City Council. It’s the idea of having people invest in property here, reap substantial financial rewards, while having absolutely nothing to do with the community.

A disturbing example of that would be the Dedicato Treatment Center.

Foreign investors, business people, drug rehab hustlers - users all. We have all worked really hard to keep this town what is has always been, while others are now coming in to make a killing on our efforts without contributing a damn thing. Instead the value and safety of the community decreases.

Did you catch her point about people moving in and out? Transient neighbors.

Not sure what actions the City Council can take, but I do know they are capable of figuring something out. They cannot be allowed to get away with another “oh well,” and then move on to the  next revenue raising matter. Which seems to be the only kind of thing that ever really captures their attention.

It would be nice to hear some acknowledgement from them.

In a not completely unrelated matter

According to this week's City Manager Report (link), the Group Home Ordinance question has been pushed back to the end of July.


Post Office Renaming Mania

The following appeared in the establishment forward Pasadena Now this week.


As obviously good as this is, to put it into perspective here are all of the post office renaming bills that were passed by Congress just this month alone according to Newsroom America (link):

 H.R. 433 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 523 East Railroad Street in Knox, Pennsylvania, as the "Specialist Ross A. McGinnis Memorial Post Office" (Rep. Thompson (PA) – Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 3931 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 620 Central Avenue Suite 1A in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, as the "Chief Petty Officer Adam Brown United States Post Office" (Rep. Westerman – Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 3953 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 4122 Madison Street, Elfers, Florida, as the "Private First Class Felton Roger Fussell Memorial Post Office" (Rep. Bilirakis – Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 4747 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 6691 Church Street in Riverdale, Georgia, as the "Major Gregory E. Barney Post Office Building" (Rep. Scott (GA) – Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 4877 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3130 Grants Lake Boulevard in Sugar Land, Texas, as the "LCpl Garrett W. Gamble, USMC Post Office Building" (Rep. Olson – Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 4975 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 5720 South 142nd Street in Omaha, Nebraska, as the "Petty Officer 1st Class Caleb A. Nelson Post Office Building" (Rep. Ashford – Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 4987 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 3957 2nd Avenue in Laurel Hill, Florida, as the "Sergeant First Class William 'Kelly' Lacey Post Office" (Rep. Miller (FL) – Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 4761 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 61 South Baldwin Avenue in Sierra Madre, California, as the "Louis Van Iersel Post Office" (Rep. Chu – Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 3218 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 836 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, California as the "Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis 'Lou' J. Langlais Post Office Building" (Rep. Capps – Oversight and Government Reform) H.R. 4425 – To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 110 East Powerhouse Road in Collegeville, Minnesota, as the "Eugene J. McCarthy Post Office." 

Hopefully most of these are slated to stay open longer than Sierra Madre's post office.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

63 comments:

  1. There are so many things this city manager and CC do not care about. This is just one of them. There is building going on all over the city, many without permits. The city has a part time person who is supposed to take care of this BUT only if a report is made and then you're lucky if they do their job. The house on Highland that was built by someone who said he didn't know he had to have a permit....the one Harabedian said would be punitive to force him to obey? It's still there. Nothing done. We have a bank robbery, in broad daylight, with an untrained PD at the helm. But we have new trucks, new police car, etc. But no increased services. We're not allowed to hose off our property. I get that to some degree. But I also see an increase in rats who potty on the property. Add raccoons, domestic animals, etc. plus their feces-is that ripe for disease? Makes for a beautiful little village! Add the potential for parcel taxes, water increases, UUT about to start, and new loans or bonds to pay off old loans....what fun!

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    1. Dear Blogger, I know it was rude of me to rob your bank "in broad daylight", but I wanted to catch the bank while it was open, and not risk being caught by the sheriff who comes on duty in the evening. I also wanted to make sure I didn't step in any dog poop on my way out and catch a disease - or even maybe leave a foot print that would identify me. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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    2. Three square miles of area to patrol, 3 square miles, and the police can't establish a presence in front of the three major banks that operate in the city. And the police are by far our greatest expense. Thank God none of the people working for a living in the bank were hurt.

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    3. Too bad the police were out patrolling my neighborhood in broad daylight instead of sitting in front of the banks (although BofA has their own guard.) I want to be able to wash all the raccoon feces that has gathered on my property but guess I'll have to wait until dark.

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  2. It's called Capitalism lady, get used to it!

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    1. No 5:45, its called incompetence.

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    2. 5:45
      It's also called corruption.
      Couple that with incompetence. ...

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    3. 5:45A Capitalism? Really? By what definition?

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    4. Capitalism: Obviously, sell your house to the highest bidder.

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  3. "Not sure what actions the City Council can take, but I do know they are capable of figuring something out." I doubt that. Perhaps in the past Sierra Madre was under the radar for people wanting to purchase properties for the reasons you discuss, but not so much anymore, with the population increasing, etc. There is no law that requires someone to purchase a house and also promise to fit neatly in with the community that already exists. As for the Post Office, other than this blog, I hope this first world problem didn't get too much attention - seems silly - the universe just doesn't care about this kind of stuff, hey there are bank robbers out there to catch, no?

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  4. I'd rather live next to a vacant home than have to visit a post office named 'Special Warfare Operator'.

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  5. After listening to that video, I'm pretty scared for our city. That's just one street in Sierra Madre. How many other street are experiencing this? The problem is that sometimes you just don't know its happening. Sierra Madre will be Arcadia in about 10 years.

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    1. All the hard work, the volunteers to build a sense of community and it all goes down the drain when people see Sierra Madre only as a means to making a profit. That's what we are seeing more and more of - people buying homes, not because they want to live here or be a part of the community but who merely see what they buy as a "project" where they can make a profit on the backs of the people who did the heavy lifting for all these years.

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    2. An empty neighborhood as Mrs. Shilling is telling us from firsthand experience. Those homes are only being bought to park some money. That's all it means. No concern about the community or the neighbors. Its just about the money. I'm sure its happening all over the city. Combine that with the group homes and our village in the foothills is being destroyed.

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    3. Don't be scared for a city, face any challenge that presents itself or hide. It is called life it's basic. 9/11 is scary,evolution (change) is a gift to relish...........

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    4. Well said 7:22.
      Just how many empty houses are there? How many month to month rentals?
      How many group homes do we have, and where are they?
      People need to know if they have drug rehab houses, or other kinds of "supportive housing", on their streets.
      Come and go neighbors make for a real lack of safety.

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    5. Obviously 7:53 lives in a part of town without a drug business on the street, or empty properties.
      For now.

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    6. Once the community reaches a tipping point, then its gone. This could happen in 20 years.

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    7. I think 7:53 is high.

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    8. My friend told me her street, Bonita, has the vacancy problem.

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  6. The lack of diversity that you see in Arcadia is evidently coming to Sierra Madre. Sierra Madre can become one ethnic group over time when you have 200 million Chinese immigrants who want to come to the San Gabriel Valley. Certain cities have become full and so now they are moving into Altadena, Pasadena and Sierra Madre. That's all fine and good if they were to assimilate into the neighborhoods but, for whatever reason, they like to tear things down and re-invent entire cities to their liking. I would venture to say that 95% of the building projects in Arcadia, San Marino and Sierra Madre that are causing problems for the neighbors by being too big or whatever are coming from one ethnic group - Chinese buyers. That's just a fact. That's why if cities want to maintain the architectural integrity of their communities and preserve some resemblance of their past, the only thing you can do is have very tight building regulations which force new immigrants to conform to what we want our communities to look like.

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    1. Lack of diversity? Arcadia's demographics are much more mixed than here. You just afraid of immigrants.

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    2. It isn't diversity if nobody is living in the house.

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    3. Not concerned with "who they are" but "what they do". If any immigrants want to tear down alot of homes and build new homes that are too big for the lot, then I do care and will take action to stop it.

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  7. So called "empty neighborhoods" where off-shore i.e. Chinese Buyers, park their money, group homes, what's next? This is all happening right under our noses and nobody knows the extent of the problem. Allegria is just one little street. You have to figure its happening on other streets as well. One of these days not too long in the future if present trends continue, we will all wake up and say "What Happened?" to the Sierra Madre we know and love. Very sad. We are seeing the first inkling of what Arcadia first experiences a mere 25 years ago. It will happen very fast.

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  8. The Property & Building issues fall under the purview of City Manager & City Attorney this is apparently these not high priority issues for them, the bank robbery incident should be a wake up call for removing SMPD all together and bringing the LACSD on board full time.

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    1. Part of the problem for the city must also be that only new residents bring in more money by buying overvalued homes and/or lots and building bigger houses on them with more revenue for the city. Proposition 8 is where this problem started.
      How many of you feel that it would be worthwhile to raise the property taxes of every Sierra Madre resident so that all pay their fair share?

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    2. 11:12, I'll think about paying more taxes when the city staff gets paid a reasonable amount for the secretarial work they all do.

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    3. 1:19 PM: It does not sound like you appreciate our community much.
      I agree with you that city staff is too expensive, but I also think that our community is by far less commune (in the sense of sharing possessions and responsibilities) as some may believe. Particularly the lack of sharing of possessions is obvious if we ask new members to pay more than we do and expect them to embrace our community. It does not work that way.

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    4. Yes, I'm sure the Sheriff Department could have prevented the robbery. Why, they would be standing just outside just waiting for someone to do such a thing.

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  9. First you want to tell me what my home should look like and how large it should be now you want to tell me who to sell it to. With neighbors like you I don't need a socialist president you're doing fine on your own.

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    1. It has nothing to do with socialism. Is it wrong to want properties kept up? Is it wrong to want your privacy and not have other houses peering into your yard or bedroom? Is it wrong to not want a transient population in your town? Is it wrong not to want to live next to an empty, derelict home? No one is telling you how to do anything. They are commenting on a change that is not to anyone's benefit, except maybe yours. SM has always been a community. Why is it wrong or socialistic not to want that? When all is said and done, I appreciate my neighbor's. They respect my privacy, they maintain their property, they;re there when I need them. I wonder if these houses are being bought up not so much for rentals but because in time theCC will give them the permits to build what they want. Socialism it's not. It is selfish people like you who have never experienced the happiness that a community brings.

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    2. Wow, 8:34. Thanks. I'll work to get you elected if you ever run for office.

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    3. Well, 7:18 nobody is telling you who to sell your home too. I will support your right to do what you want and leave a mess behind for the rest of us. The Carter owner had the same mentality when they leased out their home to the drug rehab facility without regard for their neighbors. I get that mentality and its not going to change. What we can do is put in place reasonable rules and regulations to prohibit what we don't want. How would everybody like it if our little business district on Baldwin and Sierra Madre Blvd looked like Main Street and Valley Blvd. Personally, I like to be able to read the signs of the businesses I patronize. But if we don't have any rules than any group can decide to do whatever they want. If we don't mind all of our quaint homes being torn down and replaced by homes that are too big for the lot and neighborhood, then let it happen. Its up to us. We can manage the change or put our heads in the sand and see Sierra Madre turned into something none of us will even recognize in a very short period of time.

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    4. Well said 8:34. This is a community and what a community it has been. But when you start getting empty neighborhoods and only investors moving in, everything changes. It is starting just the way it started on Monterrey Park, then Alhambra, then Temple City, then San Gabriel, San Marino, Arcadia and now Sierra Madre, Pasadena and even Altadena. When you have a few hundred million Chinese people who want to immigrate to this country and the San Gabriel Valley, you are going to have change. Because of our lax immigration policies, the new immigrants don't need to assimilate. It happens so fast that they can just take control of entire cities and don't need to assimilate. Sorry but its true.

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    5. Well 8:34 I've lived in the same home in Sierra Madre since 1959 not much has changed still a nice neighborhood,sure all the kids are grownup,it's not a blue collar neighborhood anymore,I still like the more affluent newer neighbors they mind their own business.

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  10. Sounds like the housing bubble is bursting in the Republic of Taiwan

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-26/world-s-worst-property-market-confronts-taiwan-s-new-president

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    1. Republic of Taiwan? (DPP) Democratic Progressive Party :)

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    2. The Taiwan immigration has slowed down considerably. Its all coming from mainland China now.

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  11. How do you enforce all these regulations that are being cooked up by the City Council if nobody lives in the houses that are supposed to comply? You can't get an LLC to live there and maintain the property or contribute to the community or participate with their kids in the schools. They won't even follow the laws with respect to building construction or water conservation. Might as well turn the houses into parking lots, at least then you can see who's land-banking the real estate. Then when China gets into conflict with the US and its financial system collapses you won't have a city full of empty houses and nobody to pay the municipal bills.

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  12. Nice bookends today: Naked Capitalism and pandering to those who are told they are fighting for freedom when they're really fighting to preserve Naked Capitalism.

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  13. I think that ex council member Josh Moran's old house near downtown has become one of those neglected absent owner properties.

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    1. Susan Henderson's house on Sunnyside is looking pretty bad also

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  14. This us why MacGillivray fought so hard for a canyon zone and appointed excellent people who eventually got a new General Plan.
    We need to keep these plans otherwise everything is gone.
    Don't let the current crooked city council make a new general plan that backdoor the open development we oppose.

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  15. The ordinance for group homes is just the start; the council has to get their act together and be a lot more pro-active than that. Besides, the ordinance no doubt is just for homes with 7 clients or more, and the more insidious kind is like the one on Carter, 6 beds or less. Those are the ones sneaking into neighborhoods and profiting while they hurt the property values of those around them.

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  16. This is not novel to SM. Go to the beach, say, Marina Del Rey, in the early evening, when people are still awake, but its dark outside. Any day of the week; any time of year.

    Walk out on the beach and look back at all the beach front properties. What do you see?

    Well, it's not what you see, but what you don't see. You don't see light. A huge proportion of the properties are dark. No one is home.

    Why? Because they're not "homes" as most thing of the term. They're actually 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc. properties of the very and the uber wealthy. Many are just investments. Some might be rented out, but most are not. The same applies to other desirable areas, even including new construction in urban areas, like downtown LA. Many if not most of the properties are dark, furnished but empty.

    It's the unfair tax system that allows a certain class of people to own three, five, ten, or more properties that often remain vacant.

    And now it's come to this village.

    Perhaps all of you struggling middle-class residents should question why you blindly demand lower taxes for all when you should be demanding higher taxes for the very and the uber wealthy. And while you're clamoring for lower taxes for your overlords, you blindly send your sons and daughters to foreign countries to risk their lives to preserve the system that creates such disproportionate wealth and inequities.

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  17. first time someone makes an offer on my house that sets me up for life, you bet i'm going to sell it. they can build whatever they want on it. except a lawn.

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    1. Looks like you're going to be with us for a while.

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    2. Thanks 9:18. You are just the kind of good neighbor that we are talking about.

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    3. 9:18 has an ax to grind - he'll probably look for the most destructive buyer he can find. That may have been what happened on Carter too. That guy also had an ax to grind.

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    4. Your truck is still welcome at my home any time...........

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    5. I'm thinking of listing my home in PROC only,no sign no nothing I'll be gone with a pocket full of cash and none of you do gooders will be any wiser

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    6. 652, thank you. i feel the love!

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  18. I am not pleased that the Post Office is going to be renamed from JFK to Van Iersel. It has nothing to do with Van Iersel. I remember him well....went to school with one of his son's. I am tired of these government directives where every city has to name their Post Office after someone. This branding is a lot of baloney. Go to the Library, see all the names on the plaques, gold, silver, bronze donation names. Same thing at City Hall, buy a brick with your name on it. You can't sit on a darn bench without seeing some dedication plaque on it. Also huge boulders at the parks have dedication plates on them. Even more frustrating is that every city has the same agenda. They all have plaques and signs everywhere. Look on the internet, pick a city, they have it too. Everybody looks the same. What happened to individualism? I know, I know, it's all part of the master plan. Live stack and pack, take the Gold Line on an outing, visit another city and look at all their branding. Thank God Measure V stopped the downtown specific plan, at least for now!

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    1. Get a life!

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    2. I'm pretty annoyed by it too. Everything should be named Antonovich.

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    3. No you get a life. 1:16 is right. Why didn't the town have any I put to have a name or no name.

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    4. Did the residents have a voice in the name change? No way. Another government decision made because the government knows what's best for us.
      6:19, looks like someone hit a nerve. I'll bet you wanted that DSP to pass. Well, I'm glad it didn't pass. It's bad enough that we have to put up with those dumb bow outs.

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  19. 您现在全镇是我们的

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    1. Not proper fake poser

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    2. Great comment 7:07 but wrong country. You're in American now and the language is English.

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