Sunday, May 22, 2022

San Gabriel Valley Tribune: Youth 4 Ruth in San Dimas

Mod: My Sunday Opinion column. Big Mayoral election in San Dimas. The "Get Off My Lawn" party is finally getting a run for its money. 

Youth 4 Ruth in San Dimas (San Gabriel Valley Tribune link): Unfortunately, you won’t be reading much about the San Dimas mayor race. It might have something to do with the national newspaper reporter shortage we’re suffering through. While different from the baby formula shortage, it will leave you hungry. So let’s crack open some news and shake it up.

San Dimas’ reputation is that it’s a nice-enough place. But when it comes to innovative new ideas? Not so much. The same pool of well-vested and mature dudes has been running the place for decades. It’s that kind of club where all the members have known each other for a long time, and don’t feel any need to change.

It is also a club that leans heavily on just one profession. Should Emmett Badar get yet another term as mayor (he’s been running for office since 2007), elective city government in San Dimas would remain almost entirely composed of law enforcement. Nothing against cops; they have a dangerous grind of a job few folks are capable of doing. But a different perspective wouldn’t hurt, either.

Ruth Luevand, who is running for mayor against Emmett the Venerable, is an honors chemistry instructor at San Dimas High School, and mom to five boys. She is enormously popular with students, and gets deserved credit for her success. The “Youth 4 Ruth” phenomenon is happening, which explains the earnest door-knocking students handing out campaign flyers. That also includes parents, who see in Ruth the fresh outlook San Dimas has long needed.

Luevand also serves as treasurer for Mt. San Antonio College. She has considerable involvement with budgets that extend out for years. At the recent candidate forum, the emerging debt problem in San Dimas was raised. This is in a town that never had debt before. Here Ruth explains how things went south:

“Next year San Dimas is expected to see a rise in costs from staff retirement pensions, the Sheriff’s Department, and maintaining roads and buildings … What jumps out is San Dimas has about $15 million in unfunded CalPERS pension obligations, plus $8 million in deferred road and maintenance costs. Tax revenue is flat because while inflation is running at about 7%, property taxes increase 1% a year.”

Throw in some aging bond debt obligations and you could see San Dimas heading for financial woes similar to other SGV cities. You can’t just sweep that under the City Hall carpeting, either. It might also cost San Dimas taxpayers as much as $23 million to build a Gold Line parking facility. Metro is methodically laying tracks, yet little is being done to account for people who won’t be taking any Ubers to the train.

The only remotely monetary solutions spoken of by Badar’s campaign have to do with a Traffic Motor Deputy program, and a “FLOCK Safety System,” both actually products of Sacramento. Emmett shouldn’t be taking any undeserved credit.

At that candidate forum, a question about what to do about the homeless problem came up. Living in the shadow of Los Angeles where the catastrophe is medieval, that concern is understandable. However, it is important to remember the homeless count in San Dimas is just 15 individuals. Which makes Luevand’s idea of collaborating with similar neighboring cities financially savvy.

One puzzling homeless solution Badar pushed recently is removing bus benches, something that is not likely to be popular with cleaning ladies and other low-wage workers.

On Emmett Badar’s campaign postcard it states, “Supported our citizen soldiers by providing housing to our National Guard during civil unrest.” While nobody I know recalls any civil unrest in San Dimas, maybe he is referring to 1992’s Rodney King riots?

That was the last instance of civil unrest in L.A. County. Thirty years ago.

Mod: This column appears in this morning's edition of the Pasadena Star News, Whittier Daily News plus the hometown paper of San Dimas, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.


  1. I can’t imagine the Badar people are happy about this article.

    1. I hope Badar voters didn’t try and mail in their votes. As we saw in 2020, that is how hoaxes happen.

  2. Somebody needs to buy Emmett a calculator.


  3. 5 dead after severe thunderstorms in Ontario and Quebec; hundreds of thousands without power, 2022.
    "There were five fatalities reported and a few others injured as a result of the strong winds with this line of thunderstorms," read a weather summary for Ontario and the National Capital Region. "There was also extensive damage to trees, power lines and buildings. There were also overturned cars reported as well as widespread power outages."
    The line of thunderstorms developed near Sarnia, a city in Ontario, late Saturday morning and tracked over southern Ontario towards Ottawa Saturday afternoon, according to Environment Canada.
    The storm left more than 350,000 customers without power, and "many power outages continue today," the agency said Sunday.


  4. Georgia, pricks are just plain stupid.
    Pattern of warrantless bus searches on I-20 in Aiken County emerges, 2022.

    Deputy Daniel Puckett, who stopped the bus, would later admit he didn't know whether the bus driver or any passengers were engaged in any criminal activity. Yet, deputies used a knife to slice open and search a Maryland man's suitcase — conducting what a judge would later rule as an unconstitutional search.

    Puckett and his colleagues, Deputy Robert Rodriguez and Lt. Michael Goodwin, told the man he was not free to leave and questioned him without reading him his rights — a violation of sheriff's office regulations.

    Deputies then threatened to arrest another passenger for public disorderly conduct, simply for questioning the legality of the officers' actions, court records show.

    The traffic stop yielded 27 pounds of marijuana, 12,000 ecstasy pills, one arrest — and a court case revealing a troubling pattern of nonconsensual, warrantless drug investigations, an Uncovered investigation by the Aiken Standard found.

  5. Yeah, but what about Glendora?

    1. Good news: the Barney fife's are still running Glendora, California.

  6. Southern Baptist leaders covered up sex abuse, kept secret database, report says

    Among the findings was a previously unknown case of a pastor who was credibly accused of assaulting a woman a month after leaving the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention.

  7. Top Southern Baptists stonewalled sex abuse victims, 2022.

    Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination, stonewalled and denigrated survivors of clergy sex abuse over almost two decades while seeking to protect their own reputations, according to a scathing 288-page investigative report issued Sunday.

    These survivors, and other concerned Southern Baptists, repeatedly shared allegations with the SBC’s Executive Committee, “only to be met, time and time again, with resistance, stonewalling, and even outright hostility from some within the EC,” said the report.

    The seven-month investigation was conducted by Guidepost Solutions, an independent firm contracted by the Executive Committee after delegates to last year’s national meeting pressed for a probe by outsiders.

    “Our investigation revealed that, for many years, a few senior EC leaders, along with outside counsel, largely controlled the EC’s response to these reports of abuse ... and were singularly focused on avoiding liability for the SBC,” the report said.


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