Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Horses and Landfills: Keeping Up With Arcadia's Kin Hui


Kin Hui, lead eminency of the real estate investment firm Singpoli, is one of those big Arcadia developers you hear a lot about. He is also deeply involved in local politics, and is suspected by some of being the hand that guides the strings of Arcadia's new mayor, Sho Tay. So much so that he stepped out on April 24th to deliver an impassioned speech on Sho's behalf. Perhaps done out of fear that his guy would be passed over for the mayor gig due to some investigative entanglements with Sacramento's political ethics watchdogs, the FPPC. Who apparently are extremely concerned about Mr. Tay.

All of which means that you are going to want to keep up with Hui's business affairs. Below is a compendium of articles that details what he has been up to over the last couple of years in the horse racing business. It isn't all that Kin Hui is involved with, of course. But it does cover everything from the horses to landfills, which really is quite an activity arc.

Horse Racing Betting: Chinese horse racing fans get new website (Frank C. Girardot, Pasadena Star-News link): Entrepreneur Kin Hui on Tuesday unveiled North America’s first Chinese language website exclusively devoted to the sport of horse racing.

The site, YUPRacing.com, gives a fun feel to a sport that long sought to attract more native Chinese speakers to the thoroughbred game. The venture is a partnership between Hui’s Singpoli Capital and Xpressbet, LLC., a Stronach Group company headed by Santa Anita owner Frank Stronach.

“Horse racing and horse race wagering are extremely popular with the Chinese-American community in Southern California; yet this population has been largely underserved, mainly due to language barriers and cultural gaps,” Hui said. “I think this is a great opportunity for the horse racing business. I really hope that our Chinese community will like what we have to offer. The YUPRacing website features several Chinese language videos, which showcase the beauty of Santa Anita and explain some of the nuances of the sport.

Mod: This next three articles detail some of the problems local horse racing has encountered lately. It is background for much of what follows.

Santa Anita cancels Thursday races for lack of entries (Art Wilson, Daily News link): According to veteran trainer John Shirreffs, the closure of Hollywood Park four years ago is still adversely affecting Southern California thoroughbred racing.

For the first time since 2011, Thursday’s eight-race program at Santa Anita was canceled because of a lack of entries. Three times during Hollywood Park’s summer meet in 2010, racing was disrupted because there weren’t enough horses to fill the races.

Santa Anita faces a season of change that may make or break the 83-year-old track (John CherwaLos Angeles Times link): Even by his own admission, Santa Anita’s top executive realizes the six-month meet that starts Tuesday may be the most critical in the track’s more than eight-decade history.

“We have to see the business turn around,” said Tim Ritvo, who was sent to Arcadia from the East Coast to try to revitalize the underperforming track for its owner, the Stronach Group. “This is the time some of the implemented changes will kick in. There is no silver bullet. It’s a grind process. We hope to see the trajectory in the right direction.”

Tim Ritvo Lays Out Substantial Changes for Santa Anita (Jeremy Balan, Blood Horse link): Significant changes to the property at Santa Anita Park have been proposed in the past and many went by the wayside, but the tone from Tim Ritvo, The Stronach Group's chief operating officer, Jan. 7 was different.

What Ritvo stressed Sunday was that the drastic changes this time around—ideas to expand the barn area, build a second turf course, expand the main track, and build a brand-new training facility in nearby West Covina, Calif.—are not only desired, but essential. "For racing to continue on, this has to happen." the executive said. "If this doesn't happen, we're in trouble."

Horse racing does have its critics - video link here.
Santa Anita Park reinvents itself to survive in a world filled with entertainment options (Lynne CurryPasadena Weekly link): To tap into Chinese culture, Santa Anita is negotiating with Asian business executives in Arcadia and Pasadena to create a members-only, Mandarin language racing social club with an onsite, first-class Asian restaurant. Inspired by the Hong Kong Jockey Club, one of the world's largest, most influential horse racing organizations whose operations Santa Anita has studied, the management hopes to start the club at the next racing session, December.

Kin Hui, who shipped five of his thoroughbreds to Gulfstream, said since the move, Diamond Oops, one of his horses, has won $133,035. Having larger purses certainly helps recoup the horse maintenance cost, Hui said. Saratoga [in New York] always has a higher rate and that does attract people. Purses in California are very low.

In this context, attracting enough horses is a real challenge for Santa Anita. Last year, the track cancelled some race dates because it lacked enough horses, prompting the track to launch “Ship and Stay.” Targeted at enticing out-of-state trainers and owners to race their horses at Santa Anita, the program provides a bonus for three race starts to each horse that qualifies. To be eligible, horses must not have raced in California within the past twelve months. So far, sixty-one horses have arrived and the track has paid $117, 212 in bonuses.

West Covina gives Singpoli more time on horse training facility, hotel at former BKK landfill (Stephanie K. BaerPasadena Star News link): West Covina officials Tuesday decided to continue discussions with the developer proposing to build horse stables, a training track and other facilities at the site of a former toxic landfill in the city.

The City Council voted 4-1 to enter into a new 180-day exclusive negotiating agreement with Singpoli Group LLC for the purchase and development of about 200 acres at the site of the shuttered BKK landfill. Councilman James Toma voted against the agreement.

This is the second agreement the city has forged with the company, which plans to invest at least $200 million into the project. The first was entered into last December and expired this fall.

Since then, Singpoli has presented their proposed project at a City Council meeting and two community meetings.

The Pasadena-based developer has proposed to build a 270-room luxury hotel with 20,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, a horse training track with an internal event space and amphitheater, 1,400 horse stalls, more than 200 employee dormitories with a cafeteria and recreation center. The plan also includes a zip line and aerial adventure park, a 5.2-acre virtual reality park, a K-9 training facility and solar greenhouse facilities.

Singpoli wants to house, train horses for Santa Anita Park at former BKK landfill in West Covina (Stephanie K. Baer, Pasadena Star News link): The developer behind a plan to build horse stables, a training track and other facilities at the site of a former toxic landfill in West Covina intends to partner with Santa Anita Park to house and train thoroughbreds that will compete at the historic race track in Arcadia, representatives told residents last week.

“This is going to be a very important partnership to make this track sustainable,” said William Chu, chief financial officer for Singpoli Group LLC, during a community meeting at Shadow Oak Park last Wednesday. “Their horses will be transferred here to the stables and be trained here and then be transferred on racing days back to Santa Anita.”

The Pasadena-based developer is proposing to build the track and 1,400 horse stalls, along with a employee dormitories, a hotel, a K-9 training facility, a zip line and aerial adventure park, greenhouses and other facilities, on about 200 acres of land at the site of the former BKK landfill off of Azusa Avenue.

Why a shuttered West Covina landfill should remain open space (Sierra Club link): Turning trash into treasure.  Sometimes that means recycling, sometimes that’s composing, and sometimes that simply means allowing nature the time and encouragement to reclaim spoiled land.

An area known as the BKK landfill in West Covina is an island of open space between the 10 and 60 freeways, 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. From 1963 through 1996, more than 20 million tons of municipal trash and 3.4 million tons of toxic waste were disposed of there.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the toxic waste includes acids, arsenic, cyanide, lead, mercury, asbestos, chromium, degreasing agents, oil sludge, gasoline, pesticides, vinyl chloride, plating solutions, acetone, heavy metal solutions, pharmaceuticals, hazardous spills cleanups, paint waste, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

The landfill has been closed for 22 years. Thousands of cars drive by it everyday on Azusa Avenue, one of West Covina’s most heavily traveled streets. Many are unaware it’s a former landfill; most are unaware of what’s buried there.

Nature, however, has been reclaiming the land. The 500-acre former landfill site is open space and habitat that directly connects to open space and habitat in the adjacent city of Walnut. That in turn connects to open space and habitat at Mt. San Antonio College, which in turn connects to the same at Cal Poly Pomona. There are even small connection points to Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas.

BKK is part of de facto wildlife preserve spanning thousand of acres in the heart of the eastern San Gabriel Valley, which is more commonly recognized for asphalt, concrete, steel and glass.

Today however, a vanishing point is looming on the horizon. The City of West Covina, desperate for revenue as its financial status deteriorates, is considering a massive commercial development on and adjacent to the landfill. The Singpoli Group LLC has proposed an international destination hotel and resort, 1,400 stalls for racehorses from Santa Anita Race Park, two horse-racing training tracks, employee dormitories and other structures on this land.

An Abandoned Landfill in West Covina Could Become a Virtual Reality Park (Chris NicholsLos Angeles Magazine link): The site of the proposed park has been controversial for generations. BKK landfill opened in 1963 when the neighborhood was mostly dairy farms. For 16 years they accepted toxic materials including vinyl chloride, asbestos, and infectious hospital waste. Owner Ben K. Kazarian was a third generation garbage man, with a history in L.A. dumps dating back to the 1920s. The city of West Covina spent decades trying to shut him down and create a regional park and later a golf course. They finally purchased the land in 2007.

Singpoli, the Arcadia developers that transformed the Hotel Constance in Pasadena from a dreary old folks’ home into futuristic lodging, have an exclusive deal with the city and must submit plans within 90 days for the 200 hilly acres nestled between the 10 and 60 freeways.

“Our idea for this site goes well beyond recreation,” Singpoli president and CEO Kin Hui said in an email. “Our master plan will include a hotel and retail space as well as a performing arts center, a community art center and a K9 training facility.”

“There’s not going to be Disneyland-type rides,” says Singpoli spokesman Frank Girardot. “It’s more virtual reality. Amusement park is a bit overstated.” Singpoli president and CEO Kin Hui told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that the park would “Attract tourists from all over the Americas and Asia and other parts of the world. This will give West Covina a prominent place on the world map.”

Mod: So what is the prognosis? Right now things aren't looking positive.

Location of BKK landfill
West Covina residents unhappy with Singpoli plans for luxury hotel, horse training track at former BKK landfill (Stephanie K. BaerSan Gabriel Valley Tribune link): The developer behind the plan to build a hotel, a virtual reality park, a horse training track and other facilities at the site of a former toxic landfill in West Covina presented its project to the public for the first time Tuesday, and in return received a staunchly negative response from residents. More than a dozen people at Tuesday’s city council meeting spoke against Singpoli Group LLC’s proposed development for the former BKK landfill, with several others indicating in written notices they also opposed the project. Only two in the audience spoke in favor.

After Singpoli’s presentation at 11 p.m., residents expressed frustration at the developer for what they said has so far been a lack of information about the project.

“Residents have asked multiple times over the last months to have an inclusive process…but here we are having to react to a specific plan put together by a multinational corporation not residents,” said Heidi Freeman.

The presentation came nearly a year after the company started talks with the city to buy the land from the agency overseeing West Covina’s former redevelopment properties. At the time, Singpoli said it was developing an amusement park on about 200 acres at the site. Up until this week, all discussions between the city and Singpoli took place in closed session, leaving many residents concerned about the future of the former landfill.

Mod: However, Singpoli does seem determined. I hope the horse's are appreciative.

Potential BKK landfill developer attempting to buy more land, worrying some West Covina residents (Stephanie K. Baer, SGVT link): With some residents growing anxious about the future of the former BKK landfill, city officials this week took steps to sell a small parcel at the site to the company in talks with the city to purchase and develop another plot on the shuttered landfill.

The City Council Tuesday voted 5-0 to authorize the sale of the 2-acre parcel to Singpoli Group LLC. The small piece of empty land, known as the AAA pad, is located at the corner of Azusa Avenue and Giambi Lane next to Big League Dreams.

Singpoli offered $900,000 to buy the property from the agency overseeing the city’s former redevelopment agency. Under requirements for the dissolved redevelopment agencies in California, the proceeds would be split among the various taxing agencies; the city would get about $144,000.

The potential sale comes as Singpoli and the city negotiate the development of an outdoor recreational park on another part of the landfill. In December, Singpoli and the city entered an exclusive negotiating agreement for the sale of three parcels and the lease of a fourth totaling about 200 acres for the project.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

68 comments:

  1. Horse racing is cruelty. Let's abuse sentient beings so we can make a soiled, greedy buck. Disgusting. I am not surprised they are struggling locally, I hope they do not succeed further.

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  2. Mr. Hui's pointer finger is kind of short.

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  3. "They weigh more than 1,000 pounds, are supported by ankles the size of a human’s, and are whipped and forced to run around tracks that are often made of hard-packed dirt at speeds of more than 30 miles per hour while carrying people on their backs. Racehorses are the victims of a multibillion-dollar industry that is rife with drug abuse, injuries, and race fixing, and many horses’ careers end at the slaughterhouse."

    https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-in-entertainment/horse-racing/

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  4. I hear St. Rita's was sponsoring trips to the race track. I hope with the new priest they reconsider this. First off its a form of gambling, which I don't know, probably shouldn't be the first thing to be suggested for a community activity, and secondly all of the above animal cruelty reasons.

    Let's evolve a bit, why don't we.

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  5. Nothing is perfect 7:26. How about a nursery school or high school up there. You can find fault with anything Im sure. OH, how about a hospital up there? Maybe just a solar farm or a wind farm. How about an airport?

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    Replies
    1. How about some rational discourse?

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    2. You mean people leaving comments that you agree with?

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  6. Mr. T, your sure know how to find this information.

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    Replies
    1. I get a lot of help. I have the benefit of the kind assistance of the Tattler Research Team.

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  7. Arcadia & West Covina will soon become the new Macau of the West Coast, California 2018.

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    Replies
    1. Horse racing is really down in the dumps.

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  8. YUP Racing? They race Yuppies at Santa Anita? Are they forced to run in Birkenstocks? Do they shoot them if they break a leg?

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  9. What's wrong with the horse training track in San Diego?
    I would not want my investment to be kept and stalled on a prior toxic land site, you dont know what will come from the soil, even after tons of dirt removal. I would not take a chance.
    The old land fill in Sholl Canyon has a very high rate of residents than now have various forms and stages of cancer.
    Residents of Glendale living in housing tracts that were built on top of this landfill after years of the land sitting dormant have much higher rates of various cancers compared to the areas around the old toxic trash dump site.

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  10. Yes, if one of these Thoroughbreds breaks it's leg it has to be euthanized the bones are too fragile and cannot be repaired.

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  11. School trips to the Santa Anita Race Track are great, the infield is a good spot for staff and teachers to have lunch time with all the students.
    The tram ride behind the training barns is always a crowd pleaser, i was only disappointed that Clockers Corner was not open, they have the best egg Benedict in Los Angeles.

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  12. Laugh of the day. The two people in the background of the Kin Hui rant picture look absolutely aghast.

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  13. Singpoli LLC and the purchase of 200 acres of land.
    The over reach in planning is comical at best, the group only forgot to include the kitchen sink with the projected plans.
    Once the neighbors in West Covina wake up to what is being proposed, Singpoli LLC will quickly fold.

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    Replies
    1. Nothing says "virtual reality" like a trash dump.

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  14. What is wrong with the city of West Covina even considering something like this?

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    Replies
    1. West Covina has massive levels of CalPERS debt. Anyone living in Sierra Madre knows what that does to city hall land use policies.

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  15. A history of the BKK landfill.
    https://www.livablewestcovina.org/bkk-landfill

    "Though closed, BKK contains over 20 million tons of municipal trash and 3.4 million tons of toxic waste. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this is a partial list of the toxic waste in BKK: acids, arsenic, cyanide, lead, mercury, asbestos, chromium, degreasing agents, oil sludge, gasoline, pesticides, vinyl chloride, plating solutions, acetone, heavy metal solutions, pharmaceuticals, hazardous spills cleanups, paint waste, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)s."

    How would you like to be downwind of that once they start digging the place up?

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  16. President Trump will be signing something soon to keep Families together at the border, ahead of the Bills being presented to Congress.

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    1. Right. After both parties in Congress told him he is insane for torturing kids like that.

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    2. A mess entirely of his own making

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    3. Trump enjoys cruelty. But being a narcissist he cannot understand others not enjoying it.

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  17. And your facts on torture would be?
    No one is being tortured, i would suggest less caffeinated beverages for you today.
    President Trump will sign Executive Order to deal with family separations, but having a strong border needs to be solved.

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    1. Locking kids in cages after ripping them from the arms of their parents is acceptable behavior for you?

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    2. Yes, he was the camera man at abu ghraib

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    3. Good grief 9:48A, get a grip. Did you want them to wander around? Get lost? Hurt. Ya lock them in at night. Ripping them from their parent’s arms? Some aren’t even their legal parents. Some have come alone. What about their parent’s responsibility? What about their home Countries responsibility? Take care of them, I would never have a problem with that. There are poor kids living in this country that are not living in what the immigrants have. I think we should take care of them first.

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    4. An apologist for atrocity. Enjoy the rest of your day, mein herr.

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    5. Really 11:17A? You can be a bleeding heart but I get to be a Nazi? I see homeless kids and families here everyday. I do my best to give to them, whether it’s food or clothing or cash. I would rather have my tax dollars go to repair their lives. None of you ever answer why the home countries aren’t responsible. These countries really have to do nothing. They know the bleeding hearts here will see to their every need. Charity begins at home.

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    6. Another thing, dumpkof, people didn’t run to get into concentration camps. I saw the beds these kids sleep in. They don’t look like concentration camp beds to me. And there are those out there who said the Holocaust never happened. You guys make me really mad.

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  18. Congress has had over ten years to come up with solutions, both parties are not bipartisan.

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    Replies
    1. You need to get checked out for that nasty bromide infection you've contracted.

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  19. 9:48am. Are you asking for a Planned Parenthood debate? Ripping out of ???

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  20. Singpoli's tentacles continue to branch out. It's now a division of Bolton Insurance, among other things

    https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170214006066/en/Bolton-Company-Singpoli-Group-Announce-Strategic-Partnership

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  21. Fake empathy from 9:48am, how often do you pass homeless families on the street? What have you done for any of them lately?

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    Replies
    1. More fake troll

      Same goon who tries to project fake white guilt on this forum

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  22. The only reason why Congress needs to act is to create a law that restrains and prevents the Pr*sident from implementing his illegal POLICY of wresting children away from their parents. There is NO law that requires The government to do so despite our lying Pr*sident’s claims there is such a law.

    Since there is no law that requires such inhuman, inhumane, and unConstitutional treatment of people, where are the prosecutors who should be charging the perpetrators with kidnapping and other crimes? This is particularly true in cases where the victims were merely seeking asylum and are not being charged with illegal entry.

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  23. The Democrats in Congress are showing that they are the party of "could care less", all talk and no action, unless it is a planned photo opportunity.

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    Replies
    1. You're just sore because they won't let Trump torture kids.

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

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  24. Now the nightmare of reuniting children with their mothers and fathers. The International Red Cross needs to intervene. Medicin Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders). Others?

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  25. 10:03am. What mess are you referring?

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  26. 10:04am and dancing with your underwear on your head at a frat party was torture for you?

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  27. Are you from this planet 11:28am?

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    Replies
    1. Certainly not Planet Apologist where you come from.

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

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  28. That's true 11:34am, the Dems enjoy torturing all of us without Trumps blessings!

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    Replies
    1. The truth must make you burn.

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  29. I called BKK 25 years ago asking how to dispose of the asbestos tile roofing we had removed. Was told to tripple plastic bag it and at the site would be directed to the area for "toxic" materials. Did as told but then at the site was directed to dump the bags with the regular household trash. I don't expect that our experience was unique. No way should there be a facility on top of that toxic stew.

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  30. Trump is the anti-christ. A KKK member tearing this country apart, a real Nazi running our country into the ground.

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  31. Total trump fail:

    Trump signs order stopping his policy of separating families at border

    More millions wasted. Weakene
    d his party at home and america’s Rank in the world.

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  32. Why do you say white guilt 1:17pm? Clearly you are having an idenity problem.

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    1. I think Trump should make all Americans feel guilt for such crimes. And shame.

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

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    3. Getting tired of this kind of stuff.

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    4. Me too

      But it drives up your traffic

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  33. Truly amazing how racists, fascists, and other deplorables salve their fears, weaknesses, incompetence, and lack of intellect, introspection, education, and marketable skills by trying to destroy the defenseless. Gives them great pleasure.

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    Replies
    1. Evil really does exist. Right here in the USA. And somebody gave them our government.

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  34. I can't even imagine the gut wrenching horror of having my baby, toddler, child, pre-teen, or teen being taken away from me. This nightmare has to stop and be rectified. It is the responsibility of the American Government-the American people to see that ALL these children are reunited ith their parents.

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  35. I'm sure most of you over the years have seen the flag or have heard the saying The South Shall Rise Again? Well guess what, the SOUTH IS RISING UP AGAIN. Your miss guided bickering is feeding their cause. Get off your pulpits and see the big picture while you can do something about it.

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    1. Miss Guided is one of my favorite drag queens.

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  36. Saint Andrew Church thanks Kin for the incredibly generous donation.

    https://media.licdn.com/dms/image/C4D03AQF9caS8chARJA/profile-displayphoto-shrink_200_200/0?e=1538611200&v=beta&t=DQx6evS5XBb6u4mFmw13c0fSib_1U2ozJHRnfZ5XgME

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  37. Chinese Daily USA and Singpoli

    Sho Tay owned an online publication called Chinese Daily USA (www.chinesedailyusa.com and www.uscnd.com).
    https://trademarks.justia.com/856/26/wn-chinesedailyusa-85626458.html

    A lot of information about that editorial and its connections to Singpoli has been erased and suppressed. Fortunately, archive.org keeps a record of everything. If you look at this saved instance of uscnd.com, Chinese Daily USA's home page includes a video of Singpoli and advertisements for its businesses

    https://web.archive.org/web/20140328231248/http://www.uscnd.com:80/index.html

    Singpoli's DusitD2 Hotel Constance
    https://web.archive.org/web/20160424063717/http://www.uscnd.com/index.html

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  38. Chinese Daily USA and Singpoli

    Sho Tay owned an online publication called Chinese Daily USA (www.chinesedailyusa.com and www.uscnd.com).
    https://trademarks.justia.com/856/26/wn-chinesedailyusa-85626458.html

    A lot of information about that editorial and its connections to Singpoli has been erased and suppressed. Fortunately, archive.org keeps a record of everything. If you look at this saved instance of uscnd.com, Chinese Daily USA's home page includes a video of Singpoli and advertisements for its businesses
    https://web.archive.org/web/20140328231248/http://www.uscnd.com:80/index.html
    https://web.archive.org/web/20160424063717/http://www.uscnd.com/index.html

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