Thursday, May 10, 2018

Difficult Questions - Why Sierra Madre Decided to Go Forward with $950,000 in New Water Smart Meters ... Plus: The Arcadia Disaster Explained

Mod: Remember, it is always about the money. As Gabe Engeland obliquely confirms, nothing much has changed.

Tattler: Reader asked this one today. Roughly stated, why is the City spending $950,000 on "smart meters" rather than using the money to pay down the water bond debt?

Gabe: Good question. Water leaks, lost water, and the personnel costs associated with each are larger operational cost drivers than the recently refinanced water debt. The AMI smart meters will reduce the overall costs of these categories with greater financial impact.

Tattler: Wouldn't it be more cost effective to just repair those pipes once and for all?

Gabe: By financial order of magnitude the single best thing we could do financially was to refinance the water debt, which Council did last year. The second best thing we could do was convert our meters to the AMI "smart" meter system, which Council approved tonight. The third best thing we could do was to repair the top 9 to 11 (I forget the exact number) of mains which have failed or will likely fail in the near future. Council approved the replacement of four of these mains last year and we have designed the replacement for the remaining pipes on the list, and will fix an additional 3 or 4 mains this coming year. Replacing the remaining water system will take a sustained commitment to a healthy water infrastructure system. Council has shown an great willingness to undertake this task.

Mod: Does that make any sense to you? My guess is maximizing the money take from residents through a quite large investment in smart water meter technology replaces the need for another water rate hike. This is how the city will fund the next round of water infrastructure repair and bond service. If I missed let me know.

The continuing disaster in Arcadia explained 

Mod: This comes from an Arcadia Facebook page called "Save the Highlands." Probably the best informed piece of writing on the toxic political situation there yet.


Mod: Developers and their hirelings in Arcadia are doing just about everything they can to get Asians and Caucasians at each others throats to further their lavish monetary plans. This is about as ugly a situation as I have seen anywhere, and it is being done in a very deliberate way. Fascinating, but mostly in the train wreck sense. And no, as awful as things were, it never got quite this bad in Sierra Madre

Uno Mas

Mod: The entire GOP is compromised.


sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

89 comments:

  1. To blogger Mike Levin: probably because Hillary Rodham Clinton was paying for the "fake" dossier to begin with.
    Things got pretty bad in Sierra Madre on more than one account in the chamber. Playing the race card was not an issue, being gay and misinterpretation of the definition of family along with definition of bedrooms vs suites comes to mind.
    China is pulling back on money flowing out of the country, investments in large development has slowed.
    The Arcadia Planning Commission is behind the movement of poor planning and allowable large scale build.
    When investigations into politics and fraud have been completed, traditions of rotation should take place, keep the peace.
    Sierra Madre management decided to follow poor planning and decision makers have decided to follow the same path.
    Development in the hillside played a large role in the past council voting to upgrade the water hook ups and relining of the water tanks the County threw in Oak Tree clearance in the City of Arcadia, for water runoff as good measure when regrading the damn.
    The million dollar meters were a hold over from the past, the list of what past management planned for is continuing to be executed and agreed too.
    By the time Sierra Madre has enough money to purchase more meters, the operating system will be antiquated technology and a new type of water meter will be required.
    Same old stuff, just a different day.
    The positive take away in the City of Sierra Madre, is this City Manager has a background in management.
    The negative is that Sierra Madre is in the deep pit of financial crisis.

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    Replies
    1. Pro-development candidates always play the victim card. It keeps peoples' minds off of their extremely unpopular mansionization agenda.

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    2. OK Thanks.Please keep us informed 6:24............

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    3. It was my understanding that the Planning Commission was an unpaid position with
      ethical quality of life responsibilities & few ethics. How many "designers" with conflicts of interests may sit on it? I recall in the past that one person was listed as a real estate evaluation professional. ..hopefully a neutral vote. And an opening for volunteers was advertised recently.
      But how many people without financial interest in the decisions would be in a position to apply ?

      This commission seems a quick stop on the way to generating new property taxes via existing Zoning Ordinances..ignoring vital critical elements. Example: the Duarte at First monster looks claustrophobic -like it can't get much closer to the sidewalk. What kind of Zoning manipulation allowed that high density building to be so close to a school & at an intersection with
      high traffic commuter volume .....throw in an inadequate a 2-lane street in each direction ? What kind of City Planning Commission or Planning Division gave us this nightmare ? Has any Commissioner with serious HPO views or population density concerns ever sat on the Planning
      Commission ? Only one public prior meeting was scheduled...more time was needed for community to assess.

      My neighbors met twice with the Planning Commission to protest a 32' high condo backed up
      to their one-story backyards. A few concessions were made. Five neighbors spoke up at the CC meeting and lost. They went home at 11 pm....last on the agenda. We couldn't have been less
      important. The one resident who wanted to sue couldn't afford to sue the city.

      The agenda that evening scheduled Redistricting comments first ...which took over 3 hours of repetitive Sho robots . We five residents were the pitiful crumbs left on the table after the main course of business. Only April voted against the 32' project adjacent to back yards. The fact that two real estate people had evaluated a $100K drop in home valuation fell on deaf ears excepting April. Three times in CC I have seen other residents lose their similar battles... fighting large scale sizes, intrusive heights & privacy invasion next to their smaller homes. It is a pitiful object lesson that Arcadia residents have few rights.

      The Zoning Committee ignored intrusive height disparity between existing homes when they
      hammered out zoning changes. I asked CC for a review of this "mistake". It was seriously ignored.
      Lousy design thinking & quality of life for existing residents was ignored. It seems to be a discouraging pattern without recourse aside from suing the city. It is a lonely fight that
      developers rely upon.

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    4. I remember that meeting. The neighbors opposed to the project were all Asian and one of them begged Sho Tay to be their voice and support them. Sho neglected his constituents and voted in support of the developer.

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    5. Sho is a hireling.

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    6. Does anyone remember the meeting where Chandler called Asians “Orientals” and Verlato was the only one who stopped him and said that isn’t Ok?

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    7. Please give an example, which developer does not live in Arcadia?

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

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    9. Any of the ones who live outside of Arcadia.

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    10. Please show people the names who were the audience that Sho Tay hired? How much were they paid? Could you share the transaction?

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    11. Did you have breakfast today? You seem light headed.

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    12. 10:23am

      There are fourty thousands Chinese residents in Arcadia. Do you think they need any outsiders to be in city council meeting? Our city council chamber could not hold all of them if they choose to come over.

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    13. The idiot’s reply to widespread Republican corruption always seems to be: “But whatabout Hillary....”

      This is particularly true of idiots who are also traitors.

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    14. The mystery man who runs the VOA page is a big Trumpy. Then again, so is Sho Tay, Bob Harbicht and Roger Chandler.

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    15. 10:37am

      Please be polite to others. Explain facts only, not emotions, it is basics for elementary kids.

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    16. VOA are run by righteous residents only. Not by any government officials.

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    17. That's interesting. A Trump supporter accusing others of racism.

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    18. Who said developers have to live in one city in order to develop that city?

      Arcadia has quite a few developers, they have been developing other cities, counties, and states. Is anything wrong with that?

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    19. 10:45 isn't tracking well.

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    20. 6:24 knows that Fusion GPS was hired by conservative Washington Free Beacon to conduct opposition research on Trump and that the Dems then hired Fusion for same. Fusion then hired Steele and others.

      6:24 knows such things are common practice and not used to create info, but simply to determine what info is out there.

      6:24 knows this but states otherwise. Doesn’t this make 6:24 a liar like the master he serves who in turn serves the Russian grandmaster P?

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    21. 10:48 - Nobody said that. Developers can build in any city that sell them the permits to do so. But in the more enlightened towns they are forced to respect the rights of the people who already live there. Can you handle that?

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    22. 11:07am,

      So there is no "outside" developers issue involved in Arcadia developing business. Clearified rumor number one.

      The item left is to solve the proper rules on how to develop. We need proper planning committee and functional ARBs.

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    23. Many developers believe that only they should have rights, and long term homeowners shouldn't be allowed to defend their interests. Some of the developers working in Arcadia in particular have become quite nasty about that.

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    24. 11:27

      Let's work on it then, call all of our developers in together. We need a reasonable development plan for the city.

      I like new buildings in general, it creates about 50 times of property taxes for all of us, it is good for our school district.

      But I really don't like some new buildings in Arcadia. It is so ugly.

      Please let us not waste our energy to guess who is outside interest. It hurts residents here, it made people think about something else.

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    25. Let's look at On April 24th council meeting, Roy (McMine) said - “....l. I think that our next mayor needs to be fully cognizant of Robert’s Rules of Order... We can’t identify how many people in this room are actually Arcadia residents and the reality is, when you’re looking at your votes, please think about that. It doesn’t matter how many speakers come up, the reality is, not probably all these people are actually Arcadia residents.”

      First of all, Robert’s Rules of Order has not been obeyed properly in Arcadia city council, especially the current mayor should have used proper Incidental Motions - Point of Order, Appeal, Suspend the Rules, Objection to the Consideration of a Question, Division of a Question, Consideration by Paragraph or Seriatim, Motions Relating to Methods of Voting and the Polls, Motions Relating to Nominations, Request to Be Excused from a Duty, and Requests and Inquiries (Parliamentary Inquiry, Request for Information, Request for Permission (or Leave) to Withdraw or Modify a Motion, Request to Read Papers, and Request for Any Other Privilege)

      Though, civility is a necessity in public meetings, everybody in the community should be given the opportunity to voice their opinions and nobody should be expected to be docile and submissive to the opinions of others.

      Furthermore, blatantly accusing many meeting attendees of not being an Arcadia residents is simply an immature accusation and holds no merit. We should void this type of speech in the future.

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    26. Let's look at Gale Marshall's talk on April 24th Arcadia City Council meeting - " Mr. Tay and Mr. Chandler have divided this city worse than I've ever seen it divided” ... I challenge you to have our city look into this item ...

      What would divide a city like Arcadia more than to marginalize an ethnicity that composes more than 60% of the population. The harmony that many people claim to have existed prior to the recent election was never true harmony simply because the
      Asian-American population was oblivious to political matters in Arcadia due to language barriers and lack of solidarity. The chaos many people currently observe is a result of a unified Asian community in an effort to end the sheep-like behavior that existed amongst the Asian-American residents over the decades.

      The lack of compromise and unwillingness to consider the opinions of the ALL the people regardless of race, gender, ability to speak English and the length of residency is that truly divides Arcadia.

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    27. Utter baloney. The developers are playing the two major ethnic groups against each other in hopes of knocking down sensible building codes. It is as evil as you are windy.

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    28. If Sho Tay was ethical and honest he would be Mayor now. Race had nothing to do with it.

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    29. 2:11pm

      Exactly. Fully agreed. So why had these two major groups been fighting to each other? It Sounds we had been very fool.

      Besides rumor number one - outsider interest, it is also because of rumor number two, Sho Tay has hired audience.

      There has been no body hired in the audience. We had been using all of our energy to look for the nonexisted hired outsiders.

      What We really need is to save our time and open each other's heart and work together to really improve the community. Work on something really make sense, like, acceptable unified consistent new building codes.

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    30. 2:31pm

      Agree. Sho should be the major now. But Tom had been playing on both sides. That is why it is delayed.

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    31. If he was honest Sho would be Mayor. Instead he is being investigated for corruption by Sacramento.

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    32. 2:57pm,

      Sho didn't do anything wrong. The person who handled his campaign flyers also did Mayor Peter's campaign flyers. That has been the custom for all politicians here. They are professionals. I am not sure why saving Arcadia filed FPPC this time. But we can wait for the results to prove it.

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    33. Thank you so much, Mr. John Crawford!

      You are one of the best Modulators I have ever seen. I hope you can lead the community better and better.

      God bless you!

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    34. 1:55, please explain how anyone is “marginaliz(ing) an ethnicity that composes more than 60% of the population”. Gail Marshal certainly did not.
      Really? You said the Asians were oblivious to political matters in Arcadia due to language barriers? If that’s true, who’s fault is that ? If people are really interested in learning, they’ll get around the language barrier, somehow. Arcadia mails out most info in many languages, who’s fault is it if they don’t read it?

      If you move to a new country that speaks a different language you wouldn’t attempt to learn the language?

      Come on ! Quit trying to blame everything on the different races. Your argument has zero merit.

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    35. Who are you? What do you think you are? People who voted for Joyce and Jolly together are much more than Roger's votes. They are more than 60 percent. Don't assume Asian all want Sho Tay to be the Mayor. Go get yourself a shut of liquor. Hopefully, you can feel better.

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    36. 4:53, you may want to learn a bit what Show has done. Go read up on it.

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    37. Dear 5:16pm,

      Thank you for speaking out. It is my fault. I am really sorry about it.

      What I will do is to setup scholarship to encourage new generation Asians to participate more on the community events, so no more Asians isolated themselves from our society.

      Please give me some guidance in this journey whenever you can.

      Sincerely.

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    38. 5:24 is a perfect example of someone getting emotional and making no sense. ITry taking a deep breath and actually READING the 5:16 post again. If you have a shut of liquor, I would like to try it though.

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    39. Made sense to me. Are you drunk?

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    40. Dear 5:24pm,

      Thank you for your criticism.

      Roger lost many votes for sure. That means he needs to improve his ability to serve more people. No one is perfect, please be patient and work with him together to make our community better.

      Thank you.

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    41. Dear 5:25pm,

      I have watched Sho for last five years. I saw him grow out of the political world by studying and trying really hard. He took all opportunities to improve himself.

      This year I am very confident Should will be the best leader in our city. Please give him a chance to prove it to you.

      Thank you.

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    42. Sho is currently being investigated in Sacramento for corruption. Before he becomes Mayor we need to get past that first. If he is convicted, then he needs to resign.

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    43. 6:19, if the the current version of Tay is the improved version, I’d hate to have seen him before!

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    44. Remeber, no criminals are allowed in any city council.

      That's why Sho Tay proposed to place investigation of voter fraud on city agenda and supported to wait for FPPC investigation result to make sure people trusts him.

      Some council members might be deserved investigation as well. But might be in totally different categories and much serious issues, which include but not limited to,

      1/ failed to report companies yearly operating in Arcadia - serious FPPC violation,

      2/ health insurance fraud, long term care insurance fraud,

      3/ fraud in civil and criminal laws,etc.

      We all just need keep an eye on those.

      Please let us work together and fight crimes and report something if you see something.

      Thank you.

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    45. Sorry, I came late to the party. Outside Developers in Arcadia: Bowden (they live in Monrovia) and Mur-sol (they live in Sierra Madre). Developers living in Arcadia: Sunny Development (Sunny Chan and his children). People present at the Re-org on April 24 not Arcadia residents: HQH Chinese American Equalization group. They are headquartered at Singpoli. I’m sure Kin Hui didn’t pay them to be there, they came on their own volition, because they know what’s best for them.

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    46. 7:03 pm: who failed to report companies yearly operating in Arcadia? Who committed health insurance fraud? Who committed long term care insurance fraud?

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  2. With all th chemical flushes the city had, the Water pipes should be clear.
    Makes it easier to dig up the old leaky pipes now when water is flowing to the surface.
    The smart meters will let the department know if their repairs are faulty.
    When was the street repair and upgrade plan discussion agendized?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A million bucks seems like a lot to pay just to check and see if repairs have been done properly..

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    2. 6:44am

      It also replaces labor.

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    3. They are replacing people with smart meters? Are people being let go?

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    4. 10:39am,

      Is this something new to you? Thinking about how many workers reading meters (water, gas, electric) in the past, where are they now?

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    5. @10:39 Please tell me what personnel cost includes?

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    6. Specific question. Is the City laying off people due to this water smart meter buy? If you don't know, it's ok.

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    7. 11:01 - look it up yourself.

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  3. Water meters won't fix the canyon leak (since late yesterday evening) in front of the old canyon fire station. Asphalt patches all over the city expose the facts of our aging pipes. Some orange work cones at the leak and waiting for the sound of "jackhammers in the morning."

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  4. Just think of all the wasted tax dollars when the city had less leaks, now the UUT has the town on fast track for additional repairs.

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  5. What Master Plan are the Olive Trees on Michilinda scheduled to be removed?

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  6. The Marlboro Heights leaks were repaired, right?

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  7. If the pipes were fixed you wouldn't need million dollar water meters to detect leaks, right? Am I missing something here?

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  8. Mountain Spring water leak in the Canyon or actual City pipe leaking?

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  9. Where in the city is the old water leak pipe being displayed from the Bruce Inman days?

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    Replies
    1. It was in the City Hall courtyard for a while. Maybe it was brought inside for safety reasons. So historic an object could be a target for thieves.

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  10. Will the Community Service Commission be making a vote on how best to use the Art Fair Library Fund money?
    The information given for the Kersting Court make over was that not enough money was available, the city would have to use some General Funds.
    Arts money and Art Fair money raised for Library improvement should be spent on Kersting Court improvements until the Library's current status is decided.

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    Replies
    1. Have plans or designs been made available to the public yet?

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  11. In Arcadia, developers lost their control of city council when the residents found out what was behind all the large homes. When there was an election on the issue of mansionization, the “Reasonable Development” candidates won in 2016. When Tay illegally campaigned and falsely made public safety the issue, the Pro-Development candidate won. More people in Arcadia need to tell their neighbors what is really going on. Racism is just smoke and mirrors to keep residents uninformed and direct the conversation away from the real issue: residential development in Arcadia.

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  12. Does anyone know who runs the Voice of Arcadia Facebook page? Whoever it is has taken considerable pains to keep his identity secret. Understandable given the slander used there.

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    Replies
    1. VOA has a funny way of promoting “social awareness of unity and harmony, cultural diversity and tolerance.” And I don’t see them showing much “respect and help” to each other “regardless of difference in views, value system and culture backgrounds.”

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    2. VOA is a hate site, and when the identity of the jerk who is running it is revealed, he will most likely be someone in the development industry. Whoever helps out this liar will be doing a great service to the community.

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    3. Not laying off any staff, they will be busy with the other issues going on in the water department.

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    4. Right. So the money here is not in cost savings, it is in getting more out of the ratepayers.

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    5. Andy Chen is the creator of Voice of Arcadia. He was all over the ‘Arcadia, CA’ Facebook page prior to the election. What a wing nut.

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    6. Wasn't he the Gem Coins guy?

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    7. 5:53, no GemCoin is John Wuo, former Arcadia City Councilmember who resigned. I know, it’s hard to keep track of all the shenanigans in Arcadia. LOL There’s been a lot of shenanigans, we are learning more each day.

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    8. So many crooks. I wish the Chinese community would elect someone that we could all look up to. Jolly Wu would fit that category. John Wuo and Sho Tay are shameful representations for so great a people.

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    9. Do you have any proof that Sho did some thing wrong? We need facts only.

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    10. We are all waiting for the FPPC to give its judgement.

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    11. I certainly don't feel running around and telling people that Banana is a good name for Asian. Can you imagine that during a meeting that your mayor calling another city's mayor who just happened to be an Asian, a "Banana"? In addition, your mayor told people that they should feel honored because he called their city mayor is a "banana". How about calling the mayor banana and putting it on the newspaper to honor the mayor? Do you think that will be a great thing?
      In some Asian countries "banana" has the meaning of a male's sex organ. When your mayor visiting the country keeping the word of "banana" all over his mouth to honor the country's leader. It would be a big banana joke that people would talk for decades.

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  13. The Kersting Court designs have gone through the City Council for first review.
    Have you noticed the tiny signage pointing out directions of interest on the County light poles located on Sierra Madre Blvd and Baldwin ave?

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    Replies
    1. Are they online on the City site? I would like to take a look.

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    2. Are the people in the design pictured drinking Starbucks coffee?

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  14. I'm sure the tiny signage will point you in the direction you seek, go to the triangle city center, stand beneath the Bell Tower and click your heels three times, 8:57am.

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  15. 5:11pm. Clarification necessary. Are the plastic Hula Dancers one might find on your car dash board the same as a modulator that you celebrate here on the Tattler Blog?
    Thank-you Moderator.

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  16. Follow the money, to bad it will all be eaten up before any benefits are realized by the voters of Sierra Madre, ac..

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  17. I don't believe that 5:24 pm is talking about 5:16 PM's comment. Did you all have Vodka already? It is too early for me. I have waited for the last almost 30 years for Roger to serve people better. Another 30 years, I would be no where to be found in the earth. I certainly seen the changes from Sho Tay. He has not been complained about John Wuo; a Taiwanese attacked another Taiwanese during election anymore. In stead, he was not only learned from it but he practiced very well about it. He even expanded it into all different kind of race. He is not discriminate to any race. Learned it well and well-practiced on it! Now, wish the tattler reach 100 comments tonight. Cheer!

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    Replies
    1. Roger will serve only 4 more years. I am sure I will miss his frankness and braveness and speak out on what is wrong four years later.

      Fully agreed with the rest. Sho says something right only, not biased to any body.

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  18. The demand of shutting down Arcadia Weekly making me remembering the article of White House: China's demands to U.S. airlines "Orwellian Nonsense".
    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/05/white-house-china-airlines-political-correctness-570734

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    Replies
    1. Do you mean Chinese Americans are equivalent to Chinese government? It doesn't sound a good comparison.

      Please stop use emotions to create hate between two major ethnic groups here.

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