Thursday, September 25, 2008

It was great Moe-ing you

Well, like all great things, it looks like the Saga of Moe the Chimp has most likely come to a sad, sad end.

According to chimp experts, it is unlikely Moe, of West Covina, survived the three months he's been in the wild.

To think of all that chimp has done for our fair city. He likely caused our city attorney to lose his post in neighboring Baldwin Park after he pushed to keep Moe there after he was kicked out of here; he allegedly mauled the hand of one of our officers; he turned Vincent Avenue into a circus when his mauled owner, St. James Davis, came home from the hospital; his presence pushed our council to make it illegal to have exotic animals; he pushed our then-assemblyman, Ed Chavez, to pen a bill with a similar theme; and he gave something for the Tribune to write about almost every month for years and years.

I defy you to find a West Covina official, dead or alive, who has gotten more press coverage. I think Moe may have even beaten out former resident and admitted drug user Jason Giambi for that title. Cory Lidle crashed his plane into a building and still got less ink.

So, raise your glass up to Moe. He made me like every chimp I see, from Chimp-An-A to Chimp-An-Zee.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another Day in Blog City

If I were a Baldwin Park resident, I'd be writing about Councilman Anthony Bejarano's recent arrest for public intoxication.

But I don't, so I won't. But I do have an opinion: Do people even get arrested for that anymore? I've been publicly intoxicated more times than I can count and I've never been arrested for it.

Instead, I'm forced to blog about the City of West Covina's councilmembers fund raising efforts. Booooooo-ring.

"Why, Watcher, is it boring?" you may ask. "Isn't this your bread and butter?"

Well, yes it is, but to tell you the truth: This writing has been on the wall for over TWO YEARS and no one's done nothing. Yes, Bill McIntyre, his family and businesses are clients of Councilman Mike Touhey, and yes, McIntyre happily enjoys that position. He has gotten variance after variance for his projects, and in return, he piles on the cash to those who support those variances, which, I'm sure, make Mr. McIntyre a very rich man.

Oh, and there's Athens, which received an above-Consumer Price Index raise from the city, which is retroactive, and piled more and more money into those campaigns as well.

It's all very boring because it's been happening for ages, but when people turn on their faucet and water comes out, when a pothole is quickly filled, when the police and fire department come when called, most people could care less about back room deals and questionable contributions.

People in this country are apathetic and that's why we are facing the worst financial crisis in ages, because people don't pay a-fucking-ttention. If they did, they would have seen this crisis a mile away, but people at the wheel were blinded by dollar signs when things were good, and they were happy to feast on your apathy.

Now things are bad and people want heads to roll. You know what? You deserve it! Your heads were in the sand, you voted for George Bush because you wanted to have a beer with him.

And the same losers who support the whole Touhey Town philosophy are paying for it now and still don't see it! You know how much Big League Dreams is costing taxpayers annually? $1.3 million fucking dollars!!! And why, again, did we have to take a firefighter off a truck? I'm sure he/she makes less than that.

But no, your heads were in the sand and you were distracted by the shiny bobbles on top of BKK. You deserve it!

Your trash bill is higher than it has to be. But, oh well, keep your head in the sand.

People accuse me of being a Roger Hernandez supporter. I am. I am because his philosophy is the same as mine and his voting record proves it. He has consistently voted against projects I don't believe in, and for projects I do. To hide that record, his adversaries sit awake at night, twisting their mustaches and find new ways to sully his name to distract the REAL issues at hand. But guess what? I'm pretty sure the DA's office is getting sick and tired of being the go-to guy in these petty little disagreements.

The End.

Now... can anyone tell me what a D.B. is?

Friday, September 19, 2008

This explains SO MUCH!

Check our this interesting article in the Los Angeles Times:

Are you a born conservative (or liberal)
Die-hard liberals and conservatives aren't made; they're born. It's literally in their DNA.

That's the implication of a study by a group of researchers who wanted to see if there was a biological basis for people's political attitudes.

They found to their surprise that opinions on such contentious subjects as gun control, pacifism and capital punishment are strongly associated with physiological traits that are probably present at birth.

The key is the differing levels of fear that people naturally feel.

"What is revolutionary about this paper is that it shows the path from genes to physiology to behavior," said James H. Fowler, a political science professor at UC San Diego who was not involved in the research.

The researchers, whose findings were published today in the journal Science, looked at 46 people who fell into two camps -- liberals who supported foreign aid, immigration, pacifism and gun control; and conservatives who advocated defense spending, capital punishment, patriotism and the Iraq war.

In an initial experiment, subjects were shown a series of images that included a bloody face, maggots in a wound and a spider on a frightened face. A device measured the electrical conductance of their skin, a physiological reaction that indicates fear.

In a second experiment, researchers measured eye blinks -- another indicator of fear -- as subjects responded to sudden blasts of noise.

People with strongly conservative views were three times more fearful than staunch liberals after the effects of gender, age, income and education were factored out.

Kevin B. Smith, a political science professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a study author, said conservatives were more vigilant to environmental threats, and he speculated that this innate tendency led them to support policies that protect the social order.

Fowler said the study added to the growing research suggesting that over millions of years, humans have developed two cognitive styles -- conservative and liberal. Cautious conservatives prevented societies from taking undue risks, while more flexible liberals fostered cooperation.

"For the species to survive, you need both," he said.

But Jon Krosnick, a political science professor at Stanford University, said it was impossible to draw any conclusions from a study with so few people, all from a small Midwestern town. What's more, he said, it's just too squishy interpreting people's reactions.

"I don't believe any of this," he said. "The people who are most scared are less in favor of gun control. Why wouldn't they be more in favor? Because they need guns to fight the bad guys? You can make up a story in either direction."

The study is the latest to challenge the long-standing dogma that upbringing and environmental factors determine political attitudes. Recent studies have found that identical twins -- who share the same genetic inheritance -- think alike on political issues more often than other siblings.

Last year, researchers reported that the brains of conservatives and liberals process information differently.

None of this, however, suggests that people are slaves to their biology, researchers agree.

The latest study "does not mean that people can't sit down and think about the issues and come to some logical compromise," Smith said. "What it does mean is that it is going to be hard work."

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Now I Have a Sweet Taste

I was annoyed earlier, but I got this e-mail from Dana Sykes, a community activist and wife to Human Resources Commissioner Fred Sykes:

I thought what Mayor Pro-tem Hernandez did was a nice pat on the back to the police and fire personnel and as well as a pat on the back for Touhey. When Bill was stricken ... Hernandez immediately called for emergency personnel and Touhey asked people to leave to
allow the emergency team to work. Roger stayed with Bill the whole time up to when they put him in the ambulance. Then he went to the hospital to check on him.

he did not have to include me in the posting, all I did was get the
number to notify the family. I have known the Schafers for a little over a year and know both Bill and his wife Izzy. They both are interested in what is happening in the city and are concerned about how our leaders are running it. They have a great family and I knew that they would want to be with Bill.

The entire City staff was wonderful through the entire emergency and
sent a car over to pick up Izzy and take her to the hospital. As Roger Hernandez stated, the City came together and helped when it was needed.

Now...that's class.

Queen of Class

Yesterday, Mayor Pro Tem Roger Hernandez sent to the Leftover Ladies a note in which he thanked an array of people for helping a man who had a heart attack in the chambers on Tuesday night.

Today, some woman named Cookie Nance had this to say: Lets all not forget that Mayor Sherri Lane was instumental in getting those defibulators put in city hall. Lets also mention that Frank Wills is the one who took the defibulator out, and there is no mention of this, I personally watched Frank Wills rush over to the defibulator and bring it into the council chambers.

First of all, I'm going to ignore the fact this woman doesn't know how to spell. Secondly, WTF?! Hernandez didn't have to do anything. He could have just let it be. He didn't have to thank anyone if he didn't want to, but he obviously felt compelled to do so. He's obviously friends with the victim of this heart attack, and may have been just a little traumatized considering his recent loss and did not remember every single detail that played out in that room.

But, of course, someone had to put a political spin on it because I'm guessing this woman has attended the Steve Herfert School of Pettiness and un-Classy Remarks: The Internet Edition. I bet if she saw Roger Hernandez walk on water she'd say, "See! I told you he couldn't swim!" (that's not mine, I stole it from someone else who was talking about Barack Obama)

That's all I'm gonna say about that. I just have a bad taste in my mouth after reading that post.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Get Well Soon

According to the ladies at Leftovers, someone had a heart attack inside the West Covina Council Chambers. His life was saved by quick thinkers and the quasi-new portable defibrillator. Here is what Mayor Pro Tem Roger Hernandez had to say:

It is with immense gratitude and enormous pride that I thank the City of West Covina's Fire and Police personnel, who saved the life of my friend, Bill Schafer, at City Hall at last night's City Council meeting.

After speaking at the podium, Bill had what looked to be a heart attack in his seat. Without even a thought several community members, including Planning Commissioner Cesar Cervantes and Human Resources Commissioner Fred Sykes rushed to his aid. Fire Chief Paul Segalla administered CPR and used one of the City's portable defibrillators to help save him. Within three minutes, the city's paramedics arrived and took Bill to the hospital, where he is now recovering.

I'd also like to commend Dana Sykes for calling Bill's wife to ask for his medical history, and my colleague, Councilman Mike Touhey, for helping to arrange his wife's arrival to the hospital.

When I got to the hospital last night, Bill's wife, Izzy, said doctors told her the efforts of the Fire and Police departments, as well as those of the community members, had saved Bill's life.

I have always boasted that we have the best public safety personnel in the San Gabriel Valley, and last night proved it. There is no greater joy I have than knowing that when there is a crisis, we can come together, put our differences aside, and focus on what really matters: The lives and well-being of the people who make up this special city.

I'd like to wish my friend a speedy recovery and I pray that he and his wonderful family stay strong through this tough time.

It is the Watcher's understanding that this is the third time someone had had a heart attack inside the West Covina Council Chambers, in memory, at least. In 1992, a 69-year-old woman had a heart attack after complaining about Athens; and the other was just a couple years ago when a man was appealing to the Planning Commission regarding his home.

Also, I also heard from a faithful reader that meeting staple and Senior Citizens Commissioner Royall Brown (Aroma Drive) suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized last week.

These incidents beg the question: Is City Hall hazardous to your health? My intention is definitely not to make light of these horrible events. I am posing a question that I think will make everyone else think. Are you taking care of yourself? Are you so involved in the City Hall process you are practically drowning in it? Are you a staffer -- or a councilmember -- who sometimes feels so overwhelmed by your work you feel it physically?

I guess what I'm trying to get to is that in the grand scheme of things, whatever is happening at City Hall should not affect your health. Always question and be watchful, but be aware of what you are giving up to put these people under a microscope. My hobby is looking at these people under a microscope, but my outlet is this blog. What's your outlet?

Readers, gadflies, City Staff, City Council: What's your outlet? How do you take care of yourself amid the stress? That is the question I pose to you, and I hope to have a nice, healthy discussion sharing ideas and suggestions.


Monday, September 15, 2008

McCain's LIES!!!

You win; this isn't exactly a West Covina post but I feel I have a duty. I got an e-mail from a reader who said, "You must be a liberal because you have a sense of humor." Thanks, Reader. I am a total liberal, but I don't want to alienate my conservative friends. If it's one thing I have learned is that there is common ground among us all, especially in local politics. The seats are non-partisan for a reason; the challenges and issues we face on a local level cannot be divided into Liberal Issues and Conservative Issues. Our city leaders take action that sometimes go against their political ideologies: For instance, four Republicans on our City Council voted to pass a bond that will cost more than $50 million to build a ballpark (not a typical Reep move), while a Democrat pushed to cut even MORE spending than the council already had (not a typical Dem move).

But whatever your opinion, register to VOTE! And do it!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why Not Sherri Lane?

It's not every day the Watcher allows national politics take center stage on Watching West Covina. I figure there's enough on the Internets, on TVs, mags and papers to do that. But I found a way to marry both national and local politics, thanks to Sen. John McCain. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't know how to do it. He did this by picking an inexperienced unknown woman as his running mate. So, if he's going to go the way of picking a woman whose been governor of a state with half the population of San Diego for less than two years, and the only office before that she held was mayor of a city with 9,000 people in it, then why didn't McCain pick our very own Mayor Sherri Lane?

  • Lane already has Palin beat! She's been on the City Council for more than two years and West Covina has -- as of 2006 -- about 107,000.
  • Lane doesn't have any kids to screw things up for her, like Palin's knocked-up, booze-lovin' 17-year-old hot mess of a daughter.
  • Lane has over two years' experience doing whatever her colleagues tell her to; she never falls out of line.
  • Think of how FUN the Senate meetings will be? She'll choose one senator to pick on all the time for speaking out of turn -- even when he/she doesn't-- while she lets all the others wail on him or her, regardless of relevance to the issue.
  • If McCain dies while in office (which is more likely than not considering he'll be closing in on 80 after his first term), Nancy Pelosi will be the nation's first female president, since Lane will probably run down the Beltway faster than a Jamaican sprinter.
By the way, do you think John McCain picked a female running mate to make his own history, or to make up for the fact he called his wife the 'C' word in front of a bunch of reporters who didn't report it? (if you don't know what the 'C' word is, it rhymes with 'hunt,' 'bunt,' and 'stunt.')

Remember how I said I like ironic humor? Here's one: that clip above is from a comedy troupe I heard of while watching Fox News. As soon as they started to make fun of McCain, they were cut off. Hilarious!

Does anyone have any other reasons why Mayor Sherri Lane will be a better VP than Sarah Palin?

For more Republican hypocrisy, check out the video below.