Friday, February 6, 2009

More Deception from the Mountain Views "Observer"

On the front page of the most recent edition of the Mountain Views "Observer" there is a photograph of day laborers supposedly standing in front of the Skilled Nursing Facility on Sierra Madre Boulevard. The text below the photo reads as follows: "The Skilled Nursing Center (sic), once Sierra Madre's hospital (sic), is a boarded up eyesore that has residents concerned. It has recently become another gathering point for day laborers."

Now we could have a discussion about the kinds of ethnic animosity shown by lumping largely Hispanic "day laborers" in with terms like "boarded up eyesore," "recently become another gathering point," and "residents concerned," but I'd like to save that for another time. There will a better opportunity when we publish our interview with Ana Ramirez.

But what I'd like to point out today is the deceptive way in which this photograph is being used. It would first appear that the day laborers in question are indeed, as the publisher of the "Observer" takes such pains to point out, standing in front of the Skilled Nursing Facility. And I suppose that if you are an uninformed boob knowing nothing about the issues involved here you could probably be convinced that this is a new and threatening event. Which is the apparent intention of the person who published this picture and accompanying text.

On closer examination, however, it becomes obvious that what we are being told we're seeing and what this photo actually portrays are two very different things. Note the car that is about to pass between the workers and the Skilled Nursing Facility. If they were really standing in front of this building, wouldn't that car have to be driving on the sidewalk?

This is a photo taken from Memorial Park, and we're looking out across Sierra Madre Boulevard. And rather than a picture of a building that "has recently become another gathering point for day laborers," this is actually the same place day laborers have been waiting for work for years, which is at the front of the park and across the street from the SNF.

You can only wonder what political advantage the supporters and backers of the Mountain Views "Observer" believe they will gain by these kinds of tactics.

One more thing about day laborers. The reason they are here is because people in Sierra Madre hire and pay them to work. There aren't many other reasons for them to travel to this town. They work hard, they do it with dignity, and they don't whine about it. I wonder how many of the people using them to make the cheap and deceptive political point the article that accompanied this photo attempted to make could survive if this was how they had to make their living. And you also have to ask why a person holding a senior position in the Pasadena Foothill Democrats would be playing this kind of card.

(Credit: I'd like to thank site commenter Pasta for pointing out the discrepancies in the "Observer" photo and text.)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks Sir Eric and Pasta
    Everyone in town needs to read Sir Eric's column today.

  3. It is relly unfortunate that you can't believe what is written in a local paper. Considering the last election and the continual slant to most articles that appear in the MVO, one must consider the source and use the paper either to wrap the garbage or line the bird cage. What started out a couple of years ago as an accurate source of community news has turned into a waste of trees and ink.

  4. Pasta,
    the paper is also useful in this rainy weather, to put down for doggies to use, or to wipe muddy rain boots on.

  5. 1) The MV article is racist. Day laborers are day laborers regardless of their origins. To mention that element plays upon it improperly.
    2) It is a deceptive picture and effort at deception is ridiculous. Let's say day laborers were congregating at the SNF (which we know they aren't). This would mean that they're walking across the street. Is this some domino theory--Your street could be next? The Brown menace? Give me a break.
    3) Maybe I'm the only one, but I don't see the day laborers are bad. They work for money. Many do very credible jobs at what they do. Many -- I said, MANY--people in town rely on them for competent casual labor.

    The whole "campaign" against them is ill-conceived. And as for pointing out that the SNF sits vacant, well, how is that the fault of anybody reading that paper? What are we meant to be galvanized into action to do? Storm city hall? For what? The economy is so trashed, we'll all be lucky if we don't become day laborers. The cash injections from Washington (i.e., ultimately from taxpayers like us) are unlikely to reach such a proportion that they're going to be any help at all. In all likelihood, either the building will have to be used in something pretty close to its current condition or it will remain empty.
    Sorry I don't meant to be negative, but if you hate the vacant SNF, think you you'd hate a vacant 55 unit condo project with empty retail stores on the bottom. Or an empty half-built construction site.

    The MV is hard up for print--

  6. I agree with roia, 100%!
    I did see 2 for lease signs on the SNF property today.
    They are looking to lease it for medical use.
    This is what most people in town would like to see.
    Good luck to all clinching the deal!
    By the way, I walk by the SNF most everyday.
    I've never seen any of the day workers loitering around there.
    The men gather across the street in front of the park, that is where employers hire them.
    Why would they be hanging around across the street at the SNF?
    Your paper is really laughable, Susan. Dumb to think the residents would buy into your hoax.

  7. I don't know what is more amazing, that this nut would
    lie this badly, or that she thinks nobody would ever figure
    it out.

  8. Maybe Susan is just cross-eyed? Sure would explain a lot.

  9. lies lies lies lies lies In your hometown paper why do you tolerate this as a community

  10. Nice to see there is a place we can go
    where Susan and the rest of her cult
    are held accountable. Thanks.

  11. Racism, ah a lovely Sierra Madre MVO tradition. Remember a certain columist (HH) who sung the praises of white Sierra Madre women being "assaulted" by the day laborers...As previous responders put it.. line your birdcage!~Anyone advertising in MVO should really have their heads examined!!!

  12. I drove past the Skilled Nursing "Center" this morning, and their were no day laborers standing in front of the building. Shameless, Susan. Have you no decency whatsoever?

  13. We'll soon be seeing local "journalists" joining those seeking an honest days work - Sad day indeed when we bash our fellow man for trying to put food on his family's table. Shame on those few who perpetuate racist, elitist Sierra Madre's ugly side.

  14. I think everyone is way too sensitive. And everyone -- depending on their economic stature -- is an equal opportunity racist if you ask me. It's either "poor them" or "poor me" or "poor us" or "poor we." That victim archetype gets way over-played. Sometimes general comments are just that; and describing a moment in time is NOT a classification of a group of people. Grow up, and stop finger pointing (remember you have three fingers pointing back at you everytime you do that).


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