Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What the Community Services Commission Did Last Night

Here is what City Staff had recommended the Community Services Commission do last night:

The Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District (RPOSD) is proposing that the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors place a bond measure on the November 2016 ballot to continue funding park and recreation projects throughout Los Angeles County. The City has historically benefited from previous parks assessments and would likely benefit from this one. However, through some study, the proposed allocation distribution raises issues over fiscal equity to the communities where the tax would be levied. Due to these concerns, staff recommends the Community Services Commission recommend the City Council support the proposed measure with modifications.

However, the outcome was not what staff had hoped for. The Community Services Commission recommended that the City Council completely reject the entire thing. Outright. And their vote was unanimous.

There are some good reasons for this. The first being it is too soon after Measure UUT. The community already voted to give City Hall the additional moneys it claimed it needed to do things like take care of the town's parks. Or so they had been led to believe. To ask people to come up with additional dough for services many believe they had already paid for was not seen as the wisest thing to do right now.

It could raise some unfortunate questions.

Another reason was the financial unfairness of what the county was proposing to do. Here is how this was described in the Staff Report (link):

While the results of the Assessment showed needs in all communities, the proposed allocation distribution raises issues over fiscal equity to the communities where the tax would be levied. As currently structured, Sierra Madre residents would be taxed annually approximately $257,000 presuming that the $0.03 per square foot levy is adopted. Yet, the City of Sierra Madre would only be guaranteed to receive annually 29% or about $75,000 (the combined total of Grant Category 1 and M&S category) according to County Staff presentations.

Apparently there are a few cities that are not happy about how these bond moneys are to be allocated, and they don't see the point in having to pay more than they could ever hope to receive. Having their park money redistributed to some of the poorer communities among us just isn't cutting it with some. There has been far too much of that sort of thing already.

But there is another reason the CSC rejected the entire so-called "Parks Bond Measure" outright, and that is the phoniness and dishonesty of the County's appeal. Here is how Commissioner Pat Alcorn put that in a comment posted here yesterday.

This is a much bigger issue and can't be discussed intelligently with only a 4 day notice, much less be able to make an informed decision. This proposed measure, while it is very worthwhile to have funding for parks and facilities, misses the mark on many levels. What worries me is the polling of 1,010 likely voters shows that 69% would definitely, probably or lean toward voting yes in favor of a ballot measure, and that number would increase with "education." That education emphasized clean water, keep open spaces, keep our kids safe, and water conservation. Who doesn't want our kids safe and have clean water? That funding is lopsided and not beneficial to the foothill communities is only the main objection.

Of course everyone loves their children, likes clean water and enjoys open spaces. But what does any of that have to do with floating a bond that rips Sierra Madre's taxpayers off as badly as this one will?  This has a lot less to do with "education" and more about slick LA County taxation propaganda designed to help increase an already massive take.

Couple this with Measure R, a sales tax ballot measure on the ballot this fall designed to fatten the coffers of erstwhile 710 Tunnel building Metro, and you can see that the Board of Supervisors is hardly interested in doing a park bond issue alone.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the entire budget for Los Angeles County, as administered by its Board of Supervisors, is a massive $28.5 billion dollars (link). Up $282 million from the year before, it is a level of spending that can only be achieved by raising taxes. Like perhaps with this Park Bond effort? At least in part?

Here is how that unhappy news was shared with us last April 11:

Los Angeles County officials on Monday released a proposed $28.5-billion budget for the next fiscal year -- a plan that would boost overall spending by about 1% but does not spell out how shortfalls in the coroner’s office and some other key programs will be solved.

In presenting the budget, county Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai said leaders are committed to "lifting the quality of life for all of our residents," but are "challenged by the demand for county services that far exceeds the available financing sources."

The proposed spending plan is an increase of $282 million from the year before, offset by projected increases in property taxes and other revenues. It includes $99 million for the county’s new homelessness initiative and $19 million for wage increases the Board of Supervisors passed last year for in-home care workers.

It also includes $11 million for physical and mental health services to be provided by the newly created Office of Diversion and Reentry, which is focused on moving low-level offenders with mental health and substance abuse issues out of county jails and into treatment programs.

In case anyone is wondering where some of the money for that sudden proliferation in sober houses has been coming from, that source apparently is you.

Last night the Community Services Commission recommended just saying NO. They are to be commended for having shown the courage and integrity it took to do so.

It will be interesting to see how the City Council will react to their recommendation. And as it stands now that wait will not be a long one. According to the most recent City Managers Report (link), it all happens next Tuesday.

Not that anybody was rushing into this or anything. Four days notice and all.


Last item, of course. Tax hikes most often are.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

74 comments:

  1. Kindly, LA county does need a funding increase. The Coroners Office shortfall is something that may not mean much to most people, but when the bell tolls the shortfall does express itself in untold ways. This is a vital service that needs to be funded.

    I agree the SM funding mechanism was improper, but I don't wish for fellow residents to be too myopic. Taxes are often inconvenient, but increased funding is needed for many reasons. If Prop 13 won't be altered (let's be realistic) then funding needs to be available.

    Let us all stay engaged in the process, so we can collectively decide what is the best funding mechanism that is the most equitable and returns the greatest amount for services that are direly needed.

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    Replies
    1. Has the Office of Diversion and Reentry been able to get you what you need?

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    2. I could respond angrily, and justifiably to this asinine post, but I will leave any unkind posts to others. If you have not dealt with a recent death that involves the LA coroners office you will not understand. Taxes, while often, do not always need to be so d**m political (self-censorship yes). I know this is not the forum, but we should be able to be sensible about tax policy, not immediately go towards character assassination. That was the main aim of my post. Thanks for confirming my sad view of the modern Californian electorate. Best wishes and a good morning to you.

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    3. County of Los Angeles 2014 salaries, benefits and pensions.
      http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2014/los-angeles-county/

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    4. as long as the pension system is rigged to screw over the taxpayer and those that benefit from it yelp and whine about budget cuts yet their own pension system is the biggest fixable drain on resources....well....then

      they can whine all they want - too bad

      run your business sound and correctly government management buffoons

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  2. Los Angeles County Coroner's Office Salaries etc
    http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/search/?a=los-angeles-county&q=Coroner&y=2014

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  3. L.A. County Coroner’s Lieutenant Accused of Sending Explicit Photos, Sexually Assaulting Coworker
    http://ktla.com/2016/01/07/l-a-county-coroners-official-accused-of-sending-explicit-photos-sexually-assaulting-coworker/

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  4. What does a Parks Bond have to do with the Corner's Office? Are they going to turn them into Potter's Fields?

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    1. 6:26 try reading the comment before you pose a cute but stupid question that was answered in the comment you are trying to respond to.

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    2. Cranky old cuss, ain't cha?

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    3. Yea but it's my birthday :)

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    4. If you were born on June 21:
      "Strengths and Weaknesses - Your main strengths of character are prominently displayed within your ample degrees of kindness, fairness and thoughtfulness. These wonderful attributes and your easygoing wittiness and openness allow you to be both direct and understanding. Other positive characteristics include your plentiful levels of loyalty and determination. The usual personality weaknesses for those born on June 21st center around your tendency to criticize. This weak spot in your usual kindly temperament occurs with a vengeance if you are upset or over tired, it can cause you random moodiness and to be overly dictatorial."
      More: http://www.gotohoroscope.com/birthday-horoscopes/june-21st.html

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    5. 6:57 is quite the magical thinker.

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  5. I think the comment is geared more towards your Tea bagger mentality,not a specific issue or tax.

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    1. Los Angeles County spends ridiculous amounts of money, much of it on things that are not really beneficial to the people footing all of its bills. That being the taxpayer. The county is constantly trying to find more ways to get money out of its residents in order to sustain what is a terribly bloated bureaucracy. If you go through the Transparent California list you will see that the expenditures are outrageous.

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    2. You're the one that brought up the Tea Party (not using the sexually objectionable, hateful term that 6:37 has used). LA County blowing through taxpayers money like water has nothing to do with the Tea Party. Nice try.

      Speaking of TP, dumb one, when was the last time you heard of a TP rally being held? 2011?

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    3. Tea Party was for suckers.

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    4. TP still has a helluva lot of shelf space with the lefties. Kinda like Sarah Palin.

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    5. And I always thought that Tea Bagger was a name Tea Partiers gave themselves, meant to be a shorthand, modernized term that coincidentally and unintentionally denoted just how light-weight and unpatriotic their beliefs are in reality. Me, me, me not country.

      Perhaps the other connotation is a metaphor for how readily Tea Partiers swallow the purported small government demands of their corporate masters, who really don't want taxes lowered for the little guy but instead want tax dollars to flow to the private sector.

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    6. BS. I call you a hater.

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    7. 8:48 - you are correct. they did it early on and unwittingly - Jon Stewart ran the clip of some buffoon politician calling himself that at some rally, and, thanks to the daily show and it's stuck ever sense.

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  6. All I am trying to argue for is sane tax policy. I noted the shortfalls in the posted county coroners office quote and I tried to respond in such fashion. I'll note again LA County does need a funding increase for the coroners. I am moderately new to this blog (as of a few years) but it seems to be an echo room, although I am an optimist. I myself voted for Mr. Gold, and I wish for sane dialogue on this site in the future. Is it possible?

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    1. I think you were being made fun of. It happens sometimes in life. And yes, making fun of overly self-important people is an example of sane dialogue.

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    2. Good to know elementary school behavior is normative. I shouldn't have expected better from the Tattler, but if this site (i.e. the readers) doesn't want to change then good on ya, and good luck with future elections.

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    3. Good to know that beyond pomposity and bloviation you have very little to offer.

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    4. So we should keep pumping up the taxes? Something's gotta give.

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    5. Agreed, 7:22. County keeps spending more money they don't have. We working stiffs go bankrupt after we run up the credit cards. County just demands a bigger allowance.

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    6. Let's just give government all our money and then we'll have everything!

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    7. Like Venezuela?

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/20/world/americas/venezuelans-ransack-stores-as-hunger-stalks-crumbling-nation.html?_r=0

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    8. "Over the last several years we have documented with clockwork regularity Venezuela's collapse into failed state status, which was cemented several weeks ago when news hit that "Venezuela had officially run out of money to print new money." At that point the best one could do was merely to step back and watch as local society and civilization turned on itself, unleashing what would ultimately turn into Venezuela's own, sad apocalypse."

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-05-13/scenes-venezuela-apocalypse-countless-wounded-after-5000-loot-supermarket-looking-fo

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    9. Because a person can write well and show some intelligence, he bloviates? 7:12 AM I think you missed the point. Not used to a decent thought process, huh?

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    10. I guess we could also add persons who defend themselves using anonymous posting as well.

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    11. if you want a sane tax policy then they gotta fix the pension system - gut it and let those who retired early find a new sugar daddy and not the taxpayer

      just a screwed up system tax us more so we can pay for you to sit on your arse at age 59 and be retired

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    12. Said the person who posted as anonymous. Hypocrite.

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    13. Which voice are you using this time, Sybil?

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  7. I ask the city of Sierra Madre again and again. We need cell towers that will provide the range of service through out the entire town. Then i wil consider a bond for expendables such as the coroners office.

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    1. Cell service isn't the city's responsibility. Which is a good thing considering the city-run PD only works 6 AM to 6 PM. We'd still be on dial landlines if Sierra Madre ran it.

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    2. An elaborate network of strings and cans might work.

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    3. The City has approved every application for cell towers that's been given to them.

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  8. The insane election. The newly elected City Clerk received the most votes of all. the council thanked this new official by cutting her pay. I assume the savings of monies will be appied to fund parks.

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    Replies
    1. I think it was the hope of the City Manager to take over the responsibilities of the City Clerk. All in the name of transparency, of course.

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  9. Boy Howdy it's a wild one this morning.

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  10. I agree with the Mod about the misallocation of funds that have gone to bureaucratic county structures and overpaid administrators and pension funds. A lean budget forces better use of resources, but this would also argue for more direct citizen oversight of taxpayer dollars during the LA County budget process. That's the solution, not more unaccountable taxation. We've got a crew of guys at the top with zero ethics and are aging into alzheimer's (Baca, Antonovich)which are a major part of the problem.

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    1. Baca's been gone for at least two years

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    2. He has left a radioactive afterglow.

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  11. Most Los Angeles County government is beholden to its unions. They own most of the elected officials and in exchange for their generous campaign donations get everything they want.

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  12. No different with our own city council.
    Bought and paid four, with one exception.

    At least the committee got it right last night. The staff, as usual got it wrong again.

    For the staff it really is just about the $$$.

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  13. The Commissioners were conflicted about the need for funding for much needed improvements such as renovations to Dapper Field and Memorial Park. restrooms and fiscal responsibility to our citizens. They decided in the end that the measure is untimely and should go back to the drawing board for future consideration. Hopefully the County will be able to come up with a more equitable measure with less ambiguity.

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    1. Nancy Walsh fixed the restrooms at memorial Park. She said so.

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    2. The Commission said NO to Nancy Walsh

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    3. Everyone says no to Nancy.

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    4. Do the parents of Little League kids pay dues? What are they used for and to whom are they paid? If they use the field, shouldn't they be responsible for its upkeep? Seems like many UUT people have their kids in Little League. Can't they volunteer for 2 weekends and fix what is needed for the field? In this day and age can't they do their part? As for Ms. Alcorn....what ambiguity? It is for us, the supposed rich and entitled, to pay for thos poor lesser mortals.

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  14. For all of you who rely on Transparent California to demonstrate waste of your tax dollars on government salaries and pensions, maybe you should demand transparency with respect to the tax dollars paid to outside consultants and especially corporations.

    Transparent California should report all payments to corporations. After all corporations are persons, too!

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    Replies
    1. I like that. We should have an accounting of how much tax money is spent on consultants.

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    2. Glad you like it 9:27. Here's another--perhaps the most important.

      There should be transparency of tax receipts: who paid, how much, and when. That way we, as a society, can ensure that everyone pays their fair share.

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    3. Example: Rich person like Trump pays zero income taxes for a few years due to purported losses exceeding income.

      But didn't he receive the benefits bestowed by society for those years? He and his properties enjoyed the use of the government provided infrastructure, the markets, police and fire protection, national defense protection, legal system, airports and harbors for his aircraft and boats, and on and on.

      It's one thing for a person out of work, who has nothing, who uses little, and has little to protect other than his own life not to pay; it's entirely different when a multi-billionaire pays less than you and me.

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    4. (:40AM Is that thought only for Trump? What about Hillary, Kerry or any of the fat cats. Let's keep it honest!

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    5. remember our not to distant city council that paid for a downtown consultant whose report had street names wrong and simpleton solutions

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    6. The Left finds that inconvenient.

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    7. 10:07 must be one of those "fair and balanced" Fox viewers, always assuming deep bias if there's only one example given. E.g. Scientists say the earth is a spheroid. Biased! No balance unless we hear from a flat earther.

      Trump was an "example," not an exhaustive list. All fat cats should pay.

      10:07's examples, however, are misplaced. I doubt the the Clintons (untold millions in speaking fee) and Kerry (untold millions in financial returns) ever have years where their "losses" exceed their income and they pay no taxes as a result. So I'm sure they pay more than Trump did in his income tax free years, though, of course, I doubt they or any other fat cats ever pay a fair amount.

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  15. Shooting at a sober living home yesterday. Smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Our tax dollars hard at work.

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    1. SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — The son of former “Real Housewives of Orange County” star Lauri Peterson is being held in the attempted murder of a man at a sober living home in Costa Mesa.

      Joshua Waring, 27, was arrested Monday.

      Police said Waring shot Daniel Lopez, 35, after an argument.

      According to Costa Mesa police, Waring fled the shooting scene in a stolen SUV, and later led officers on a chase. The pursuit ended in Santa Ana, where police say Waring was arrested after a standoff at a construction supply warehouse.

      The charges against Waring include suspicion of attempted murder, vehicle theft, felony evading police and hit and run.

      http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2016/06/20/son-of-real-housewives-oc-star-facing-murder-charges/

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    2. Maybe it was a reality show ratings stunt.

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  16. Cities who support this county wide TAX for upgrading or creating new parks have asked that what ever amount they win from this lottery pool for funds they have haggle for be under their own complete control and do not want to answer to anyone once the money has been deposited into the cities bank accounts. Taxes with no oversight and control is just plain crazy, much like so many failing cites and their budgets that are going in to the RED.

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  17. http://parks.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/dpr/!ut/p/b1/hc7LCsIwFATQLyr35qZNm2UfJo1gihbRZiNZiAT62IjfbwUXUtHObuAMDDjoIiaJo2TEJZzBjf4Rbv4eptH3r-7ERSGiboqW0CaExua1zHdHLnKcQfcJdNpyNFXG7KaIiTKxtj-B-0soXgKtWYLmUKqmVFvCPfsCiw_pGhBvgD8y37T1NFxhcL00wURPcifAjw!!/dl4/d5/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS80SmtFL1o2X0YwMDBHT0JTMjBLMDgwQTJUVVFNUU0xMFI1/

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  18. Rather than entering gibberish here is a site: http://www.dailynews.com/opinion/20160617/la-county-should-consider-lower-tax-to-fund-parks-editorial

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  19. So why doesn't Transparent California seek to report on how much everyone pays in taxes?

    And why does Transparent California focus on reporting how much government workers get paid but does not report the amount of tax dollars paid to consultants and corporations?

    Could it be that the real purpose of Transparent California is not to save money for tax payers by lowering taxes, but instead shift government spending to corporations?

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    Replies
    1. I believe it is an attempt to let you know how most of your tax money is being spent, and why your taxes are so high.

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    2. Shows how well their propaganda is working on you 9:21.

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    3. Yes. The worst thing that could ever happen is for taxpayers to know how their money is being spent.

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    4. No, the worst thing that can happen is what Trans CA wants to happen: showing only a portion of the picture. It's what propagandists do.

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    5. I guess it is safe to assume that you aren't happy about the part they are showing.

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    6. What a silly inference to draw. I want to explore the mountain; you're content with a foothill.

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    7. Both are currently on fire. Like your pants.

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