Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Preservation of Historic Homes In Sierra Madre


So much for the Henry A. Darling home. Wild Bill Kefalas has proven once again that you can pretty much do whatever you like in Sierra Madre just as long as you have a few lawyers and the patience to move your process all the way to the City Council.

You do realize that it is possible to write all of the fine preservation ordinances and General Plans imaginable, but if the city's government refuses to protect and enforce them? They don't really mean very much.

They're just fine words on paper that can't actually do anything if the city won't defend them.

Who knows, if you play your cards right you might even get an apology from John Capoccia. Wouldn't that be something special?

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

129 comments:

  1. Fairly new resident here, so missed some of this backstory. What's planned to replace thr house? Why the teardown?

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    1. Put "Henry A. Darling" in the search engine on the right. Plenty of informative articles.

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    2. The same house is being rebuilt, with a rear addition. It was neglected for many years and structurally unsound.

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    3. Why don't I believe that?

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    4. Perhaps you are not capable of looking at the plans that are online?

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    5. No 6:42, the house is gone; all historic fabric (save for the chimney) carted off to the dump. What will replace it is an oversized, cheap copy.

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    6. It will be exactly the same. Like the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas.

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    7. When will the lot split be announced?

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    8. @7:59, except the Vegas Eiffel Tower is smaller than the original. This one will be bigger. Fake-history McMansion here we come.

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    9. 7:31 would you prefer the house fall on its occupants to save that historic fabric (old is not historic)? This was the best case scenario for this house.

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    10. 8:06 if you had been paying attention, you would know that the owner signed and recorded a covenant to disallow any lot splits or easements on the property.

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    11. Right. Like that clown respects anything.

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    12. 8:26 if you had been paying attention, you would know that the owner agreed not to demolish the house. Then he changed his mind and sued the city to get his way.

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    13. 8:24, more Kefalas camp lies. The historic house could have been saved and restored. It's just cheaper to tear it down and build a fake copy.

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    14. Two fake copies once he splits the property.

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    15. I doubt the lot gets split. Not because Kefalas can be trusted to keep his word, but because it's more profitable to build one giant McMansion. Make no mistake, this is all about maximizing profit.

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    16. Kefalas was a very bad actor and proven to be a serial liar. That's why the Planning Commission was so upset. He just repeatedly lied to them about his intentions. That's why I will never eat at the Only Place in Town again.

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    17. 1:11, that is nothing more than your opinion on the matter, and an irrational one at that. Why would he create a plan, pay for architecture, engineering and permits, to then "choose" to re-create the plan and pay for that as well? Why is it so hard to believe that the structure was failing? There are engineering reports and the building official memo to back that up. If his intent was always to tear down the house, why would he be recreating it as opposed to building something else? You can continue to anonymously call him a liar, which speaks of your moral fortitude, but the city council and staff did not see it that way, because the facts (something that obviously mean nothing here) are what grown ups deal in, not emotion and irrational, unsubstantiated allegations. You can not lie about the future and the unknown, and speaking of his intentions is nothing more than an assumption. Which makes you very cavalier with the livelihoods of many people who work at The Only Place In Town.

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    18. It will be shown that city council and staff were offered and accepted bribes. Both with the special sauce, and without.

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    19. If you have some proof of that, exit your mothers basement, put on your big boy pants, and show the world what the voices in your head are telling you. Or, continue your anonymous sycophantic diatribe.

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    20. @3:46 no one agreed with Kefalas until he threatened to sue the city and they caved. He lied. Deal with it.

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  2. What's the latest on Salesian? Same story? Open season in Sierra Madre, do what you want and if you get caught just say you're sorry and carry on.

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  3. Thanks for the clean up; both regarding the Darling House and thought provoking article's from the Moderator.
    Question: what makes you and a few commentators believe that you are correct and that the Planning Commission and City were wrong?
    If you had followed and listened carefully, you would understand that the processes did not fail.
    The breakdown was with an emotional loud outburst from a Commissioner or two, when it was clearly stated that the failures came squarely from the Director of the Planning Department.
    Then the escalated hysteria of many misinformed took off like the hired contractor that didn't read the stop notice for the back roof line demolition.

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    1. Oh, yeah, blame the hired contractor...

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    2. More lies from the Kefalas camp.

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    3. Assume for a second that 7:41 (aka, Kefalas) is telling the truth (which he's not), that this whole mess started with a mistake by staff. Are you proud of yourself for exploiting this mistake in order to demolish a historical gem? You've got your fall guy, and soon you'll have your McMansion. Quite the victory.

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    4. And it had absolutely nothing to do with the Kefalas plan to demolish it in the first place.
      He's one of those "Do what you want and apologize later" type developers - he did day sorry early on, but his apology was so muted compared to his hubris, his constant aggression against the planning commission, that it didn't matter.

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    5. I mostly agree with 7:41, but I dont think the director did anything wrong either. The DDP gives him the power to approve minor alterations, and reframing the roof line to meet current code is one such minor alteration. If it was a different pitch or other aesthetic change then he would have been wrong, but to just replace rafters is a minor alteration and well within his purview. The contractor didn't do anything wrong either, he followed the plan as approved. Red tag came after he voluntarily stopped work to seek direction. This was all politics that accomplished nothing but an inconvenience to neighbors and tremendous cost to homeowner.
      By the way, take a look at that chimney which is leaning about 20 degrees, that was following the framing which is why 2 separate engineers said the house needed to be reframed.

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    6. 8:21 is Kefalas pre-planning the demo of the chimney. Typical BS.

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    7. Hell, he'll just knock it down. Capoccia will then give him a peck on the cheek.

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    8. You could have purchased the house and kept is "as-is", or do you just want to tell others what to do with their property?

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    9. House hackers don't own all of the rights. The community, which is made up of property owners, has rights as well.

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    10. @10:19 Someone made an offer to buy the house and restore it. But Kefalas offered more because even though he said he was going to preserve the house, he planned to demo it all along, then build a McMansion on the cheap.

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    11. Two McMansions. Obviously he is going to split that property in half.

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    12. Kefalas and the people with him at the first appearance before the PC was rude, actually beyond rude! As far as the director, I believe he made a big mistake. The CC covered for him. I had lunch the other day provided by The Only Place in Town. It was vile! The portions were really small. Frankly, it was not edible. My family hasn't eaten there since this debacle started. As far as taking the livelihood away from the emplyees, wel, gee, if ya don't serve good food and your only claim to fame is that you make a decent zucchini bread then I guess they should be worried.

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    13. Yes I'm sure that's why they are always busy.

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    14. I wouldn't know. I don't go in there anymore.

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  4. In the meanwhile, something else important: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/daca-has-ended-you-are-outraged-heres-what-you-can_us_59ae4bd7e4b0c50640cd619e?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    To all my Acadian and Cajun cousin(e)s: We must remember our own ancestors and history that were removed due to the differences in our religion and ethnicity. One historian has called the removal of our ancestors the first on record of ethnic cleansing. DACA is the Trump administration of exactly the same. It is not just children of parents from Spanish speaking countries but many from Asia and Africa as well. Acadians and Cajuns must remember the sacrifices of our ancestors and find compassion in their hearts for the children of parents who came to the United States for a better life. DACA should not be rescinded. Speak up! Remember 1755 with compassion in your hearts for others.

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    1. Obama did it illegally so Trump just sent it to Congress so it can be done right.

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    2. Thank you Mr. Goebbels.

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    3. What...call names because you have no argument... how racist of you.

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    4. The "illegal dreamers" have for decades have taxed our school systems and educational resources. Now they are taking places in our colleges and universities that should be going to legal residents and citizens. I say they need to exit our country and go through the proper channels to reenter. They can take their free education with them.

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    5. I'm sure if you entered the country as a child through no fault of your own and had known no other country as home, you'd up and leave on your own, right? The horror that our country has treated these people humanely, at least until Trump set his evil plan in motion.

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    6. I agree with Caroline. We need to protect the illegal aliens brought here when younger. We also need to protect blue collar citizens who have been damaged by competition presented by cheap labor from other countries. For example, see the recent excellent LA Times piece on the impact illegal immigrants have had on the Los Angeles construction industry. Cliff Notes Version: It has killed construction as a path to middle class existence.

      Here's a plan we can all get behind as it provides a path to citizenship for all 11 million illegal aliens (not just the dreamers) presently in the country and funds a tangible, perhaps even concrete, demonstration of our resolve to stop the flow of cheap and illegal labor and to keep us from having to do a third round of amnesty in 20 years.

      1. Fund and build the wall as a concrete, immovable demonstration of our commitment to control our borders and immigration policy. Worst case scenario it keeps our reduced illegal immigration numbers in place (50% of pre Trump levels).

      2. To demonstrate how truly giant our American hearts are, the day the border funding bill passes grant all 11 million illegal aliens without criminal records and who have been in the country for at least 24 months "super dreamer" green cards. Super dreamer green cards will expire five years.

      3. After five years, if the border wall is built grant all 11 million super dreamers citizenship. That's right, they get a seat at a table. Have giant citizenship parties with President Trump presiding at the Coliseum in LA and at the Jerry Dome in Dallas. If the government pulls a Lucy with the football and the wall is not built, the super dreamer green cards expire and we revert to the current system of deportation.

      Everybody wins. The 11 million illegal aliens are citizens. We staunch the flow of illegal aliens in the future. We enact ability based immigration policies for the future. Si Se Puede! Si Se Puede!

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    7. The wall is a huge waste of money. It is a photo op and outside of delivering on one of Dump's stupid and bigoted campaign promises, it will accomplish nothing. And we will pay for it.

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    8. 2:21, Show some compassion! Are you really going to let your hatred of President Trump and a few bucks on your tax bill destroy the dreams of 11 million of our finest residents? Get on the Si Se Puede! bandwagon! Buy a combo ticket in five years for (I) the wall ribbon cutting, and (II) the giant citizenship party at the Coliseum.

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    9. Not what I said, Cecil Puto. I said the wall is a waste of money. The rest of it is fine. But there is no connection whatsoever between the two points of your argument. You don't have build a wall to grant citizenship to Dreamers.

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    10. Si Se Puede Sour Puss!September 6, 2017 at 2:43 PM

      And you don't have to grant citizenship to 11 million illegal aliens or to a sub class of dreamers to build a wall. I won't respond to your use of a gay slur yelled at opposing keepers by fans of Los Tres Colores futbol, other than to say it is in poor taste and contrary to current standards of civil society. Now quit standing in the way of citizenship for 11 million of mi copadres and get behind the Si Se Puede bill. Wall = Citizenship!

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    11. Puto means whore. It fits you well.

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    12. Neither side on this issue is giving any good statistics. How many DACA children (many who are adults now) are there? I've heard different numbers. Are their parents still here? Are they legal? Do they get to stay? How many DACA children have attended or graduated college? Are they working? If they are, have they taken jobs that a citizen might want or need? How many have committed crimes? To Caroline, the end doesn't justify the means. Obama has caused this problem. DACA needs to be a law from Congress. It needs to rules and regulations. Just because your parents broke the law does not give you citizenship. This law should be about DACA only! No pork from various Senators or Congress. Just about DACA. You may not like Trump, but he seems to be doing the right thing. Not an Obama executive order that has no rules.

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  5. Remember this: Money talks and B.S. walks. If you got the money honey then you can do anything you want.

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    1. Really? You pay off city employees?

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  6. "...under God.." but only if you are a Protestant Christian "...with liberty and justice for "all" should say DOME..." These words from our Pledge of Allegiance are a mockery of the realty for many who live in America. Rescinding the DACA program is ethnic cleansing in its more blatant form. Children travel with their parents and would not be left behind and they should not be punished now. Shame on America. Shame on President Trump. Shame on any elected official who does not do their appointed duty and solve this dilemma immediately.

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    1. Shame on you...if you don't like the law, change it. Where is the end when laws are selectively enforced? Obama was too much of an idiot to do it properly when the Dems controlled all 3 branches of government.

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    2. Sure, it's Obama's fault that Trump is kicking out people who have been here since they were children. It's always someone else's fault but Trump.

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    3. Who does he blame his hair on?

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    4. No, It's Obamas fault he gave lawbreakers hope in the first place, but did not properly change the law. As much as you would like to believe it, not everything is Trump's fault.

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    5. Trump is a bigot and an idiot. His attack on DACA is completely racially based. As was his attacks on Obama over his birth certificate. The damage he causes is due mostly to ignorance and racism.

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    6. If any one is to blame for the Dreamers, it's their parents. They should have been deported years ago.

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    7. Typical Trump playbook. Deflect, lie, and blame someone else. Face facts: this is Trump's doing.

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    8. 1:04, More fake news from the left.

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    9. Don't cry little troll.

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    10. Caroline Brown I thought you were a teacher ? Are you really is stupid as your comments are? Those immigrants were illegal in the first place both parents and their child. Why havent they pursued citizenship. If we need any ethnic cleansing its for idiots such as Caroline know it all Brown

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  7. Tear this old stuff down. It is obvious the council wants to get rid of our history. Next we are getting rid of the Library and building modern on the east side of town, no parking and fewer books in that Library. Either a bill of goods has been sold to the Library group and CC or they are all on board with making our town look like neighboring cities.

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    1. Out with the old, in with the new. Nothing to see here. Everything will be better. Trust us.

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    2. As always, follow the money.

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  8. What is preservation? Some folks in town, such as John Capoccia, are perfectly fine with demolishing historical houses as long as they are replaced with look-alike modern versions. In a way it preserves the character of the town because the look of the neighborhood doesn't change that much. While I'm not a fan, I can at least respect this concept. But let's not pretend that the "same house is being rebuilt" as a previous poster posited. This is Disney history.

    For others, preservation means preserving actual historic fabric. Saving the actual historic home. I can tell the difference between the real and the new-made-to-look-old, and I think the difference is important. For those of you who don't, your entitled to your opinion, but please stop claiming that it's the "same".

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  9. Shame on you for spewing hatred for all of those families and individuals following the laws and pathways to citizenship by having sponsors and scraping and saving to come to this Country.
    Why are you saying if you cheat,you are better than everyone else? Why should America have laws? According to you, I should just walk into your home and tell you that you have been taking up my space and that it is time for you to admit that you were wrong to do so.
    Congress has made this mess and Congress needs to clean up their act, or move out and allow lawmakers back into the process.

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

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    2. Why are you shaming her if you're blaming congress?

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  10. Russian efforts are paying off. Divide and conquer the United States. Trump is just a pawn in a big plan. Americans are in the process of losing the life and freedom we grew up with and it looks like it's coming from the haters and racist in the red states.

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    1. Spoken like a true Caucasian entitled elitist. It's really terrible here

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    2. Russians are Caucasians, too. So are Germans.

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    3. Might be time to take off the tinfoil hat.

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    4. 8:57 is fake news

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    5. You mean to say you want it back?

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    6. 10:44 - can you tell how sweet Putin smells?

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  11. Please stop claiming that the homeowner has no rights when they purchase a home.
    Of course preservation means just that; but that was not proposed from the new owner. The City was also aware as was the Planning Department.

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    1. The community also has rights. Unfortunately in this case a supreme a****** got away with it.

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    2. 8:35 Huh? "Of course preservation means just that; but that was not proposed from the new owner." What is this word jumble supposed to mean. At first Kefalas agreed to save the house, then he demolished it. This isn't about property rights, it's about a property owner who lies and sues to get what he wants and a city that caves rather than uphold its laws.

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    3. Hey mod, so name calling is ok when it fits your narrative.

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    4. Were your feelings hurt? That will determine whether I pull the comment or not.

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  12. Preserving the character is important and a good start.

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    1. Apparently, the best way to preserve the character is to destroy it. Yeah, right.

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  13. Do not drag Zydeco and Paul Purdue into the DACA fiasco, the Indigenous population ran further into the swamp to escape encroachment; some French brother's followed.
    This is not the same as crossing borders without permission and not expecting any consequences.

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    1. Us crossed afghanistans and iraqs borders without permission

      ISIS is the consequence

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  14. The Darling House. The Salisian "compound" on west Highland-an entire structure built WITH NO permits or inspections and the "wine bar" and overhanging deck on east Montecito. It's easier to say "sorry" than ask permission. Why even bother having a planning department, codes, and the Planning Commission...

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    1. Kefalas didn't even say sorry, he just lied though his teeth then sued the city to get his way. Of course the city council promptly caved. Maybe that was their plan all along.

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    2. The City Council makes laws and then runs away when they are challenged.

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    3. Right you are 10:42. Every predatory developer knows the way to get your junky project built in Sierra Madre is to sue the city and watch them cave. This supposedly saves money, but really it costs more in the long run by inviting more litigation.

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  15. When there is a justified perception that the laws that are imposed on the average citizen do not apply to people like Keflas we fail as a Community.
    When those who are supposed to protect the Community interest hide under their desks we also fail.
    This and the other development stories are failures for Sierra Madre. Soon it will look like Glendale.Then it is too late for any remediation.

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  16. 8:33am. Why are you picking on Russians? Why not pick on the Swedes? This Country has always had division, only over the years we all have neglected that we are Americans together and should support what is good for our Country.
    The haters are the individuals that use labels against others that don't share their outlooks.

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    1. The Swedes didn't hack our election or stick us with Trump-A-Dump.

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    2. Are you the same fool who brought up the swedes the other day?

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

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    1. OK, sure. I guess the Russian bots have made to the Tattler.

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  18. U mean Dump-A-Trump thank you.

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    1. It's the recovery of Hillery's lost e-mails.

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    2. It is spelled Hillary, colossus of intellect. And you are living in the distant past. Probably because the present is not so good for you.

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    3. Actually, it's Hitlery...

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    4. Only if you're a nazi.

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  19. My 5th grade daughter speakers better than Trump but she speaks better than my10th grade son so maybe that's not saying much?

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  20. 11:14am. What planet you from?

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  21. Hurricane Irma has already hit American territory (our colonies: Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Island). On its way to Florida. It is always a good idea to watch disaster preparedness and the last minute actions of some and transfer that to our own local types of disasters. There is a CERT training coming up soon and you can log on and sign up at Sierra Madre CERT Facebook page.

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  22. 12:04pm. Then you must have influenced the mom or dad 11:36am. commenter.
    I am sure their sons level of cognative processing is beyond his parents tiny brain, as exampled by the posting. If their son does half as well in business and speaking with others as President Trump, am sure he'll asst them as they age.
    Addendum: Active War being fought in Afghanistan and Iraq have no borders; evil (ISIS) doesn't recognize or respect humanity.
    Very different from entering a country illegally, overstaying and disrespecting that countries laws and then not returning to your home of origin when the host country begins to follow their laws.

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    1. It would be great if there was a way to send you to another country and not allow you to come back in.

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    2. I hope you realize that there were Native Americans here before we slaughtered them and took this fine land.

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    3. US definitely entered Afghanistan And Iraq illegally

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  23. Mod
    This could have been one of your best pieces on an important issue to Sierra Madre. It has been buried with petty political squabbling. Can't you give those who want to dicker with each other a separate Blog page ? I suggest this because most of their comments are irrelevant to the issue you raised.
    Hope this helps Tattler.

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    1. No, it doesn't. I like the chaos. Why would I want to spend my time telling people what they can and cannot say? It's just a blog. Let freedom ring.

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    2. IRRELEVANCE example;
      Chaos reminds me of "Get Smart"
      Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, works for a secret washington-based spy agency called CONTROL which specializes in counter-terrorism against the enemy agency KAOS which has both European and Asian arms. Quite frequently KAOS agents set up business in the Washington DC area. When this happens, the Chief sends Maxwell Smart, along with his frequent partner Agent 99, to stop KAOS in its tracks. However, Max is rather clumsy and often defeats KAOS by unusual means.

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    3. I must say your post today was short and sweet although not Pulitzer Prize material.

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    4. Looks like Hurricane Blowhard has come on shore.

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    5. Toot toot! 🐘💨

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  24. Thanks Mod for that.
    2:18pm. important issues in Sierra Madre, only if you understand the facts and not squabble about emotional attachments to something you don't own. Preserve/Replicate. Tomatoes/ Tamotoes. Potatoes/Patatoes.
    Even you can understand a homeowner's rights and the ordinances on the books; if you want to make a change run for a seat on the Planning Commission.

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    1. The Planning Commission turned this jerk down.
      You can't fault them.

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  25. 1:03pm. Its only too obvious that President Obama and the Dems used the DACA as a means to get voted into office and a vehicle for fund raising only, the Dems in Congress had four years to change the law but choose to do zilch. The executive order President Obama gave was without Congress and therefore unlawful; the President does not make laws.
    These kids are paying a price for their parents breaking laws. Why not, as posted earlier, go back with your parents to their place of origin, with your degrees in hand, and fight for changes in that broken country your parents left?

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  26. Iam reminded of "The Prisoner"; the human chess pieces, the butlers and servants catering to your every need, the humongous weather ballon that forced you as a special agent, to remain on a very posh island until your secrets were divulged... kinda like illegal immigrants working in the USA for the Congressional leaders without term limits.

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  27. 800,000 people is going to be a lot to deport. It will be quite a sight. I wonder if Homeland Security will use freight train boxcars like the Nazis did with the Jews.

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    1. Money and effort well spent.

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    2. Another Trump supporter exposes himself.

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  28. Pay for the wall. Deport and charge a toll when crossing back across the border!
    As for freight trains, thats what the majoriety arrive in when illegally crossing in!

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    1. 6:14 rode in on the crazy train

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  29. Homeland security memo to DACAs-- I paraphrase: after you finish your upcoming semester in school prepare for your return to your country. Huh? Where the hell would that be? Parents are here (still as illegal as they were when they brought their minor children along with them). Some DACAs have American citizen children born here. Some have siblings that are American citizens. This is frigging inhumane.

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  30. Congress needs to close the loop hole in the birthing rights that are being misused. If you are not a citizen and you give birth in the USA, that child should be nationalized from the birth parents homeland. Enough is enough.
    No other Country comes across so stupid as does the USA; we want to give you a hand out in exchange for your vote when you turn eighteen; after all you owe back all the freebies given to you.

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    1. It's all the byproduct of colonialism and "military intervention". That's what's stupid about it

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