Thursday, July 14, 2016

Kersting Court Art Attack: Taking The Creche Out Of Christmas?

Latte' Park
Here is a question. When you look at the new designs for Kersting Court Park, do you see any room there for the Christmas Creche? It is a Sierra Madre tradition, of course. This Nativity scene has long been the destination point of the Candlelight Procession, an integral part of Dickens Village, and a key focus point to what has always been the city's traditional Christmastime downtown presentation.

However, from what we have seen of the new plans for Kersting Court, there would seem to be, to use the terminology, no room at the inn for the Christmas Creche. There are what appear to be permanent picnic tables nailed down where the creche had always been placed in the past, tucked under a perhaps too low multi-legged wooden structure designed to shield latte' drinkers such as those pictured above from a too hot California sun. Along with some very large barrier-like rock benches.

Is this intentional? Is it part of an effort to airbrush Christmas from public holiday presentations in Sierra Madre? Or did they just forget.

I do know that something called a "permanent holiday tree" has been included in these plans. A very tall plastic apparatus perhaps thrown in as a sop to what has been Kersting Court Park's traditional role during the holidays. But obviously that is not the same thing.

And there certainly is a narrow legal precedent for the removal of the Christmas creche from Kersting Court. Even in the kind of passive-aggressive approach possibly being applied here. What follows is one of many articles detailing Nativity scene evictions around the country over the last decade or so.


You can read the rest of that account here.

I understand that the City Council has opened the "Art In Public Places" approach to redesigning Kersting Court Park up for ongoing public comment. And the community will be given an opportunity to talk over these plans for what has long been one of the city's most important parks.

So this would be something that should be included in that community conversation, right? Because up until now this question had been completely left out of the mix. It certainly wasn't mentioned at the City Council meeting last Tuesday evening.

Even though that "permanent holiday tree" was.


sierramadretattler.blogspot.com 

117 comments:

  1. The crèche (and the Christmas tree) has always been a project of the Chamer of Commerce, with the local churches helping out. The City, other than a police car or two, is not involved in an event that attracts around 500 folks every year. Perhaps that's the problem: the City is not in control. Removing faith and tradition from the public square is a perilous thing to do.

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  2. Oh great the Fox News inspired 'attack on Christmas' is off to an early start this year

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    1. Where would you put the Christmas creche?

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    2. I'm not Christian so I would put one anywhere, but there must be plenty of legitimate crèches in all the churches in town.

      The one installed by the chamber of commerce is intended to induce you to shop. Kind of a false idol. No matter what color you paint the animals.

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    3. I do not think that is what the Christmas Creche in Kersting Court Park means to everyone. Sorry. You seem angry.

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    4. Not me. Do you feel under attack?

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    5. You are the one attacking the Chamber of Commerce..

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    6. They need it

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    7. Carol gonna come git you.

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    8. The Crèche in Kersting Court has been a Christmas symbol in Sierra Madre for as long as I have been alive. The last six decades it has always been a reminder of our Lord's birth and a welcome sign in our town.
      Knowing the history of the Crèche and its beginning and storage, seems strange form our dis functional chamber to say it is their tradition, that they started it. Where did they get that story?

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  3. Just put up a vending machine with a clown face that spits out $20's to to privileged children and says worship me.

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  4. Why do they want to get rid of the pepper trees?

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    1. Don't know about the pepper trees, but heard the $10 thousand dollar donated faux tree is already sitting in the City Yards just waiting for a Kersting Court home sweet home.

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  5. Maybe if you move the city council chambers and city hall to a local church of your choice then all would be forgotten and wounds mended over?

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    1. 7:01, I think 6:53 is a convoluted and unsuccessful witticism about the separation of church and state....

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    2. Allowing various religions to express their beliefs in a public park is not a threat to the Constitution. Kicking them out could be.

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    3. Nice try 7:38. This is just another fake news story where the journalist subliminally tells you how to feel by asking you a question. Someone just rendered and submitted a design concept for a park. This is not a constitutional crisis.

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    4. So in your opinion nobody should be talking about this. Even though the City Council has called for public discussion? Maybe you have an agenda as well.

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    5. Easy pard'ner

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    6. Oh for heavens sake --Talk about it all you want but I agree this is a made up problem. This was a concept, not a plan and if you really want to have a say on what the final plan is, attend the Community Services Commission when ti finally gets on the agenda next year.

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  6. I think we should just make it a public transportation stop,as it was originally intended.

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  7. If the city wants the Christmas Nativity Scene out of Kersting Court then they should just come out and say it. Redesigning an entire park in a way that makes it impossible to put the creche there is batty.

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    1. The tattler loves playing the AWM card.

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    2. The city loves playing the passive aggressive card. It is a match made in heaven. So to speak.

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    3. The city attorney gets paid a lot of money to keep the city out of lawsuits that would cost it a lot of money.

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  8. If people want to hold on to a tradition, all they have to do is show up at city council and say so.

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    1. The people who turned out to speak in favor of kitsching up Kersting were all from the old Downtown Specific Plan crowd. Doyle, Stockley, Bell, that bunch. There must be something in it for them.

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  9. Replies
    1. Angry White Male. Someone is trying to bring race into this.

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    2. As opposed to ADP, Angry Dirt Person.

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    3. DLP. Doyle Loving Patsy.

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  10. The permanent holiday tree would make a great cell phone tower.

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  11. No nativity scene? Why don't we just take GOD our of everything? In God We Trust off the money and treat each religion like a business and have it taxed like every other business. If people are worried about offending someone with a god then eliminate all of it, not just the visible that some think offensive. Why are so many people trying to change our country and our town. We have been a happy country for years now we are being torn apart from with in. Outsiders at city hall all want to change what we love about this town.

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    1. Well said 8:37!

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    2. Does anyone have a copy of the updated rendering? Not the ones shown on yesterday's Tattler.

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    3. 'In god we trust' should definitely be taken off money again.

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    4. 'Happy country for years'? What are you taking about? We've had a civil war, hundreds of years of race riots, continuing cycles of economic depression and recession, multiple presidents assassinated. It has been a constant struggle since the beginning.

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    5. Sounds good to me, take God out of everything, the world would be a much better place if we believed in mankind instead of some fairytale.

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    6. Mankind is a mess.

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  12. 6:13 am. Sometimes i watch FOX News & CNN/Communist Network News. I use to watch Aljazeer. Why do you attack Journalists? By the bye; just giving turn about to the one thought mindset you exposed about yourself.

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    1. I wonder if the Cold War guy still obsessed with communists is the same as all caps guy

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  13. 8:37 I agree. We need to get a better showing at city hall so everyone on Council knows not all of us are happy with that self serving design at Kersting Court.

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  14. Is there a deadline for submitting a design at Kersting Court? I would like to submit one.

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    1. The issue was sent back to the Community Service Commission so if you want to submit a plan I'm sure it would be gratefully received and discussed.

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  15. Dickens Village disappeared years ago. Ousted were the ol' English dressed Carolers who sang traditional Christmas songs as they strolled through the downtown business area. It was replaced by the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. ( I thought at the time "How appropriate!") The Grinch came to town with Santa on the fire truck. No doubt a deliberate move by the Chamber of Commerce, that is to get rid of the religious aspect of Christmas. I suppose they thought no one would notice the subtle change. To me it was just another way of removing Christ out of Christmas. But, oh btw, don't forget to $hop the local merchants . Happy Holidays...not!

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    1. Funny how the City Agenda referred to Dickens Village when it hasn't been here for years. I suppose The Grinch Who Stole Christmas would not be good marketing for the City.

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    2. The Grinch is stealing Christmas.

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  16. Well said 9:37. Maybe we should eliminate all Christmas and or Holiday advertising in downtown business's. Council and special interest groups are stealing the town we have loved a little at a time. Go to council meetings and be heard.

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    1. I've been to Council meetings several times . The problem is the Council hears my voice, that's all. They nod their collective heads, then do what they choose, disregarding the voices of those who spoke in opposition. Signed 9:37

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    2. The City Council is in the tank for this one. My guess is this is driven by concerns over lawsuits, and was driven by the City Atty. This is as much their solution as it is the COC's.

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    3. 10:14, I don't think the Council is worried about lawsuits. I think it Is driven by the City Manager and all the Mason's. They want control of Kersting Court and they want that Crèche gone,gone, gone. I agree, the fix is in on this one. It's in the tank!....unless the Candlelight Walkers revolt. Hmmm?

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  17. Why do we even need a Chamber of Commerce anyway. If a business can survive up here it will go in. To Support something as old fashion as the chamber is costing our town in appearance and over crowding not to mention using up our precious water.

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  18. Let us all remember that these Art monies are designated to be used for an Art Piece, not a repair /upgrade.

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  19. Why does the park need to be drastically changed? Why can't it just be updated? They could find or commission a piece of art that represents the city. Have citizens have input of what that might be. The Committee, not sure of their name, came up with this grandiose idea. We might need to go to their Commission hearing as well. Would this new park be maintained as well as the existing park? That is key! Redo the plants, put in the art piece if we have to have it. Make it fit the village quality of the city. Bring back the Dicken's character at Christmas. I am not particularly religious but I don't see anything wrong with a crèche or a Menorah or whatever MAINSTREAM chooses to put them at Christmas time. Do I want a Scientology exhibit to keep all things equal-not a chance. Change is relative. It has to be needed and has to be responsive. So far, the idea for Kersting Court is neither. Clean up and maintain what is there. Make things quaint again. Nothing wrong with quaint. Those opposed to a crèche do not have to make it seem like it is forced on them. Take out the silly sign posting place-nothing much ever gets posted there. What I got from the CC meeting, other than the Doyle bunch, was this was just an idea the Committee came up with. They are open to ideas. Contact them and tell them how you feel and what you would like to see. Tell them it isn't what they provided. Have them to a survey of townspeople. Being a Committee is more than meeting one night a month. Get out there and talk to people! Keep the American value that Kersting represents. If it no longer represents the ideal of small town life then tear all the old buildings down, put in multiple use space, and shut up. Be responsible. Let your voice be heard other then on this blog.

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    1. Classic example -you support or or two religions but the others- 'not a chance'. No room in real America for this kind of intolerance. There are several churches just a few blocks away - go enjoy their decor. Let a park be a park that's not 'attacking' anyone like this fake news article does.

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    2. The real intolerance here is your inability to allow any religion on public property. Even though those very people pay the taxes that make parks possible. This is a free speech issue, not a religious one. Find some room in your heart to respect other people.

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    3. Because the role of religion is so often usurped to suppress people, yes, that it why it is unconstitutional for government to promote it. People died fighting for this freedom you falsely call intolerance. Again there's several churches in walking distance - go there and worship. Build a nativity in your yard. Construct a giant ark and charge admittance. On your property. Leave the park for people to be free.

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    4. Equating Sierra Madre residents putting up a Christmas display with the Inquisition is a bit of a stretch. I'll bet even you know that.

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    5. Bringing up the Inquisition is the left's way to justify ignoring current Islamic terror attacks. This is done by calling it a "religion of peace".

      Because, you know, bad stuff happened hundreds of years ago by Christians, so terror attacks are just pay back.

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    6. 1:53 what are you smoking? The us and European nations have been radicalizing the Middle East for over a hundred years though aggressive war and morally questionable intervention. Terrorism is the result of this.

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    7. 10:29, I like your comments. I do want you to know that the original committee was working on a plan, but I believe they were hijacked by others who took over the committee and brought forth this plan. The original committee members were not finished with their plan when the hijackers, like the Doyle Committee, presented this to the council. The Council embraced it and so it goes. . The true problem is that very few people attend the meetings and take an interest in the actions of City Hall. You know the old saying, When good men do nothing...

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  20. Overcrowding 9:51? You're right, damn businesses with their jobs, goods and services and taxes. What we need is empty streets, abandoned real estate and leprechauns handing out gold coins. Seriously, your rock is getting cold, find it and make your way under it.

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    1. 9:51 need not worry. The Chamber doesn't bring in any business anyway.

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  21. I was put in touch with this blog this morning. Thank-you.
    As a struggling artist; it is nearly impossible to locate funding.
    To think that the city of Sierra Madre was offering Art in public places, and then decided to give the money to development.
    Art continues to fight for a place in this world.
    I will not participate this year with the City co-sponsered Library Art Fair. This venu has become very expensive with registration and now i realize that Art is not supported or welcome from the City of Sierra Madre.

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    1. Jeez, I'm glad somebody noticed. I haven't been able to afford anything at the Art Fair for years.

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    2. As a long time resident of Sierra Madre, I want you to know that the residents DO support the arts. City Hall doesn't! What we have here is a very corrupt politically active city. It is infected from top to bottom. The claws of City Hall reach into every aspect of the community. They control all media: the newspaper, the emergency radio broadcast, the government channel three, the Arts, and all City Commissions. (In fairness, I must say that I've seen good decisions come from Planning Commission lately.) Players are strategically placed in all places and commissions as to control what is said or done in the community. I believe someone or a group in a Commission hijacked the Art monies and turned them into development monies. Then they planned a late night hijacking of Kersting Court Park by having the City Council hear their presentation at a late night hour (10p.m.). This was done with minor notification to the public because they didn't want input from the residents. It was also planned in July as the Council goes on vacation in all of August. The idea was to slam dunk it in before August vacation. Take heart 10:38 and continue to fight for art in the world. Glad you are dropping the Art Fair. It's good decision on your part.

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    3. 10:49, You said it! I, too, have found that most things are extremely expensive. I have attended the Art Fair from the early years, now, I give it a token visit but never purchase anything.

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    4. Thank God for the Tattler, it is NOT controlled by City Hall! And you know that REALLY ticks them off! lol.

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  22. More often than not money in the hands of the city leads to trouble.

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  23. Why in the hell should the public fund your artistic needs?

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    1. The public is not funding the Arts Fund.

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    2. No. But the public is making available the property.

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  24. Or your kids' school? Or your safety? Or your corporate interests abroad? Or a handicapped person's disability?

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    1. Nice straw man, 12:09. Much easier than actaully making a justification of public funding for art.

      Government has a responsibility to protect people and their personal property. Paying $16,000 or some other inflated amount for a piece of art, not so much.

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    2. Sorry, 12:09, pal, government is responsible for promoting the general welfare as well as providing for the common defense. Spending is so out of balance that's why America ranks behind so many other nations in quality of life

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  25. Artist lives matter.....

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    1. Agreed 1:43, Artists Lives Matter!

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  26. Why would the Chamber and City Council agree that a permanent fake holiday tree best represents this town?

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    1. It is supposed to take the place of the creche. It is cynical, shallow and extremely stupid. Yet another awful idea from the same idiots that ran this city's infrastructure into the ground.

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    2. 12:37,,,, You are right, it has been a constant struggle. Fortunately for me I have been able to earn a living and sent the kids to college. I am fortunate to have been able to see other country's and realize how lucky to have been born here and able to find work. It is interesting to note that there has NEVER been peace in the Holy Land, still today they are beheading people. Those who are driving hate between us needs to stop it. We need to hear the truth from and get better decisions from City Hall for a start.

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    3. 10:38 you obviously haven't been in town long enough to know the overcrowding, try going up town for dinner some week end. You talk non sense and are a mean and dirty person. You need to get your head out of the sand and look at what we are trying to preserve in our little town in the big city. Why do people get so angry when we talk of preserving our town? 9:51 here.

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    4. I heard that we should see the real figures of who and how much money was donated to the arts. Is the city getting a percentage of the total amount for administrating the funds and how long has the city been sitting on that money?

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    5. The thing is this money was supposed to be given to artists so that they can create interesting things. Instead it is being spent on a fake tree, picnic tables, signs pointing to tired tourist attractions, and stone seating. It is an incredible waste.

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    6. 2:55, It was freeeeeeeee! Now it sits in the city yards waiting for a permanent home. Never let an expensive freebie go to waste.

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    7. If the "tree" is made of metal, maybe Josh Moran's green commission could recycle it for scrap.

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  27. Does anyone know if there was a public notice to hire an artist for the Kersting Court Renderings? If so, when and where was the notification placed?

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    1. Ah that's just a computer program that did those pictures, 3:48. Has to have been done by some kind of builder. You could probably find out by listening to the Library Director/Community Services chief guy at the beginning of his presentation.

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    2. like i said at the beginning - this was a fake news story. just to incite your fear and anger and rack up more page hits

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    3. Merry Christmas!

      Oh, I'm sorry.

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  28. Tonight's Public Safety Committee meeting has been canceled. Is there a single solitary person in Sierra Madre who cares?

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  29. Only people who care about safety.

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    1. Yeah, if it wasn't for Glen Lambdin we'd all be dead by now.

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    2. Sierra Madre is the only town in California history to have half its police department resign and crime go down.

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    3. If the Public Safety Commission meets, a resident may ask why we're not saving big bucks by making LASD full-time here. You know, like a real police dept.

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  30. 7:39p.m., lol, that's a good one!

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  31. 4:42pm/9:51am. Both of you pleeeeze put down the kooaid or don't inhale or sa la vie. How is destruction of the first Red Trolly Car site; it was the turn around junction, be considered preservation? Please enlighten me with your wit. Most cities would designate the site as historical.

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  32. Ok you all, take a deep breath. Apparently none of you have been paying attention Did anyone hear a discussion about the creche at council meeting?. The creche is not going anywhere, and no one knew about the fake tree that Carol brought up at council,. It hasn't been approved by anyone to go in Kersting Court, in fact the original concept presented to the Commission included a live fir tree.

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    1. The City Council was quite enthusiastic about what the Dirt Brigade presented. Carol looked like she was going to give birth to a unicorn she was so happy.

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    2. 10:27 pm, just for clarification, the City agenda is suggesting a Permanent "holiday" tree. That's a very open ended suggestion. It doesn't say live tree or faux tree. However, with the water situation in town, I don't know how any tree could be permanent.

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    3. Yes. It could be a palm. Or even a cactus.

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    4. 10:27, "The Crèche is not going anywhere." Does that mean the Crèche is not going to be placed anywhere on the property or it is not going away and will be present at Christmas? I'm confused by your statement 🤔

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    5. I think it means the Crèche is not going anywhere now that the city knows people are up in arms about this. Of course they will try to make people believe what they say now was true all along, but we know better.

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    6. The crèche was never going anywhere. That was just the tattler pandering to your paranoia

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  33. 6:54, I've only lived in SM for 5 years, and I'd always assumed that the spot for the crèche was private property. Now that I know it's public land, the crèche _will_ be going somewhere else this year, I promise you that. The day it goes up is the day I call the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The legal precedents are unambiguous: religious displays on public property can't favor one religion. The fact that you've gotten away with your Christian privilege for years is no legal defense. So either move the crèche to private land, or provide enough space for _all_ religious displays, including the one of Baphomet that Lucient Greaves will want to erect. Good luck trying to fight it in court. Cities that have tried that have wound up having to pay the FFRF's legal costs as well as their own.

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    1. You bring so much joy and happiness to the lives of others. You must be bursting with good feelings.

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    2. The issue is incredibly simple, 7:05. The city needs to obey the law. If your happiness depends on the government endorsing your particular religion, that's your problem.

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    3. Actually I believe it is you that is incredibly simple.

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    4. Whenever someone leaps straight to insults, they've lost on the merits.

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    5. I disagree. Sometimes you have to call a fool a fool.

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    6. Another extremist in our midst.
      The worst are fill of passionate intensity...

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  34. You prove my point. Make a case on the substance. Explain why the city should ignore the law. Can't do that? Then your silly schoolyard taunts just expose your inability to make a coherent argument.

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    1. Yes. Dropping the name of the head of the Church of Satan has made you quite a serious figure. Or maybe not.

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    2. Still no argument.

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  35. There is no problem with a creche on public property as long as long as that isn't the only religious symbol allowed. Everyone has to have equal access. There has traditionally been a menorah out there, too.

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