Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Surrender to a higher power

Look, I'm no expert, but when your two biggest controversies as councilmember allegedly involve alcohol, it's time to surrender. It's time to get help.

I'm not referring to West Covina, by the way, but a neighbor, El Monte, and it's mayor Ernie Gutierrez. Earlier this year, residents charged that Mayor Gutierrez showed up to a city function drunk and the mayor was cursing incessantly while groping his mistress. He denies all charges, of course.

Now, it looks like booze got him in trouble again. He was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, and it looks like someone poured some beer on his head, or something like that.

1. We admitted we were powerless against alcohol, that our lives became unmanageable
When you know you have an important city function to attend to as mayor representing your city, and you still can't step away from the bottle, it's likely you have a problem. When your drinking has become a hot topic in the city you represent, all over the blogosphere, it's time to admit you need help.

2. Came to believe that power, greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
Don't think of that Power is God just now. More hiccups like this and it looks like the voters will be that Power, oust you from office, and from there you can pick up the pieces of your life.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him
That really isn't a bad idea

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

Well, it looks like you have to look at all of it, not just the drinking, but the mistress, the partying you most likely to at taxpayer-funded conventions and conferences. I hear those things are worse than an end-of-the-semester kegger at a frat house.

Oh, there's more. Exactly 8 more, but I don't want to give it all away now because that's a journey you'll have to take without the aid of the internets.

Go. Get help.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Congratulations, Mayor

Roger Hernandez is now the youngest mayor to serve the city of West Covina.


Well, I am incredibly sorry I was unable to attend, but was my mailbox filled to the brim this morning.

Among some of the emails reads:

"You should have been there. I hate to admit how many of these things I've been to, and this is the first time I've ever seen such enthusiasm by the people in the audience."

"There was like, a standing ovation. People doing the Arsenio Hall 'woo, woo, woo' thing."

"The party after was awesome. You should have seen Herb Redholtz! If Steve Herfert knew his loyal minion was having such a blast at his sworn enemy's party, he'd pull him off the Planning Commission so fast his head would spin."

"It was a great, positive evening, and I only hope it's an indicator of what kind of leader we will have in City Hall."

"This appointment was a long-time coming, and I'm so glad Herfert the Hater wasn't there to ruin the moment."

Thanks, readers. It looks like I didn't have to write much of anything.

I will say this, though: I think, Mayor, you're going to do a great job. While the position is mostly ceremonial, it is also your responsibility to chair the meetings and to be fair. If I were in your position, I'd want to take revenge out on everybody. But from what I hear, your eloquent speech hinted that your leadership is going to be one of teamwork through a year of what is probably going to be very tough.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Don't F with Da Police!

It looks like taking a baton from a WCPD Officer will get you dead. As it should.

What are you, crazy? Probably. It's unfortunate, but it seems to me that the man killed at the Target near Big League Dreams was probably extremely mentally ill. When you're an officer on the beat, your first priority is to protect yourself and the people around you. You don't really have time to assess someone's mental capabilities, especially when you're being attacked.

With that being said, I strongly recommend people do what they can to help those with mental illnesses. People like Anthony Ayers, a classically trained musician who had to drop out of Julliard and sleep on the streets because the voices in his head wouldn't stop.

I'm also reminded of John Robert Graham, who lived on the streets of Downtown Los Angeles because he, too, couldn't come to terms with his mental illness. A person, or people, didn't see him as human, and lit him on fire. He burned to death.

I remember John from the days I used to take the bus EVERYWHERE, stopping at Mid-Wilshire to get something to eat. I saw him almost everyday, piercing blue eyes beaming through a jungle of a wild beard, dreadlocks and dirt. He never asked me for money, but I'd occasionally hand some over.

That's why I think it's important for people to recognize how devastating mental illness is, and to also find ways to help those suffering from it. I encourage everyone to go to the National Association of Mental Illness website and educate yourself on the diseases that could be a lot closer than you think.


Tonight's the night Mayor Pro Tem Hernandez is to be Mayor after being skipped over twice before 'cause he couldn't make nice with his colleagues and they made up some bullshit excuse to keep him from the gavel. Will they do it again tonight? I guess we'll see, though I doubt they will. I'm hearing from several readers that doing so would be a huge embarrassment to them because they gave him his WORD they wouldn't do it again. I'm on pins and needles. All I know is that if it does happen, I want to go to THAT party. Oughta be fun!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Haters gotta hate....

I know Jersey City is a long way away from West Covina, but I was absolutely shocked when I read about this.

In internets talk "OMFG" does not even come close to how I was feeling when I read about it. Apparently, I'm not the only one. The Ladies over at Leftovers also found it quite interesting.

I think my favorite part of this entire post is that Jennifer McLain states, "At least our council members don't do this," and someone else posted "Well, at least not literally." Later, there was an R. Kelly reference and I effing lost it.

See, it made me a little proud. Sometimes people just drink far too much Haterade in the morning and unleash on the internets, especially the Leftovers blog, and now on mine. That's fine with me. I welcome it. But I was starting to think the people of West Covina and the greater San Gabriel Valley area had lost their senses of humor. Good, witty humor, not just calling someone a fag and hoping it sticks.

So, I will definitely have some more posts about other bodily functions soon enough. Just keep tight. In the meantime, enjoy this video, and when you do, think of Steve Lipski:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

From the grassroots: Get Out the Truth!

America made a good choice when it chose President-Elect Barack Obama to lead them.

What was so impressive about Obama’s campaign is that is started on the ground. Five years ago, no one outside of Chicago knew the name “Barack Obama,” much less knew how to pronounce it. With his strong community-organizing skills and the wonders of the Internets, Barack Obama is a household name that will go down in history, and not just because he is this nation’s first black president, but because I strongly believe he will be the FDR of our time (minus the Japanese internment camps), and will take this country out of our Depression while giving millions of Americans hope.

Now, I bet you’re wondering why I’m bringing this up on a blog mostly devoted to West Covina politics. Well, I see a similar groundswell of a grassroots movement shaping up in our fair city. Will it hit the heights of our President-Elect? One could only hope.

This groundswell is shaping up on a side of the city that has historically been ignored: The Southside. Residents there tended not to pay attention to their local politics unless something piqued their interest, be it the BKK Landfill or the fate of Shadow Oak Park (which is almost done, by the way, you have to go see it if you haven’t.)

However, after the BKK Landfill thing got won by the residents in the ’90s, they went back to their own lives and continued to ignore their city politics, and basically voted people in because their names were familiar. After the Shadow Oak Park debacle, however, the residents didn’t stop there. This group, Concerned Citizens for a Better West Covina, is gaining steam, and not just on the south side.

According to some people who have been e-mailing me since I started this blog, about 100 people showed up at the City Council meeting on Tuesday night. While I was watching this historic election come to a close, they were there. The Concerned Citizens helped organize a push to overturn a decision by the council that would require residents who park on the streets overnight to pay for a permit.
While all the council members voted for it initially, the turnout at City Hall changed their minds.

This is the fourth case in which these Concerned Citizens showed us all that we can beat City Hall and our voice does matter. First, instead of condos, the lower portion of Shadow Oak Park is now an actual park. Secondly, despite a horrific blitz of negative mailers and dirty political tricks, Roger Hernandez was re-elected to the City Council. Third, a community full of beautiful single-family homes will remain so despite a push to build a two-story condo complex by the Faction of Four’s most generous donor, and now, we can park on the streets in our neighborhoods without paying a dime.

As one member of this awesome team wrote to me yesterday, “Last night showed that the residents can make a difference, they just need to make their views known. When the residents show up at Council meetings, send e-mails, and call, they have to listen.”

I think that Nov. 4 should also show us that Rovian politics are officially dead, so I call for the end of the reviled “hit pieces” that come to our mailboxes every election season. I call for the destruction of the fictional “West Covina Senior Citizens Taxpayers Association,” and I call for an end to half-witted, disgusting, waste-of-taxpayer money “investigations” and lame attempts to oust good people out of office.


Yes, I’m talking to you Christopher Chung. Answering questions at a council meeting IS YOUR JOB – calling it harassment is an embarrassment to this city, and an embarrassment to Community Development Commission directors everywhere. You said in your complaint that being “grilled,” or being asked simple questions, which is how I saw it, embarrassed you and would hurt your future employment prospects elsewhere. Well, how does it help your future employment prospects if you’re suing your employer for ASKING YOU QUESTIONS? Good luck with that, buddy. But I don't have to wish you luck, do I? It's already in the bag. You have the unwavering support of the City Attorney, and probably the council majority, to probably put the cash in your hand before you can be proven to be a big, fat liar in front of a judge or jury.

Now, why do I think Mr. Chung is lying? Several reasons.
A. He is an old friend of Arnold Alvarez-Glasman and that guy is probably the dirtiest City Attorney in the history of the world.

B. He filed the claim based on a report from an investigator who has a history of manipulating the truth to fit his clients' needs. For instance, the investigator -- Ed McErlain -- in 2004 investigated a former janitor at Pasadena City College who was fired after being injured. According to the school's award-winning newspaper, McErlain's "conclusion depends on selective use of the evidence."

C. He has no qualms giving gifts to council members, as is proven by their conflict-of-interest records.

D. This "claim" is filed over 2 years after the "incident," just a few weeks before Roger Hernandez is to be mayor, and TWO WEEKS after Steve Herfert, according to an e-mail to City Manager Andrew Pasmant and Police Chief Frank Wills, told Hernandez: "We're gonna come after your ass," "If not us, someone else will, " and "We are gonna sue your ass."

and finally,

E. Chris Chung's initial complaint was filed less than two months before Hernandez's re-election, even though the alleged incident occurred a year-and-a-half earlier.

I think any judge worth his salt will throw this case out, but how much you guys wanna bet it's gonna be "settled" before then?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations, America!

You made the right choice.

You chose hope over fear.

You chose civility over discourtesy.

You chose mind over matter.

You chose Barack Obama.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A message from Shelley

To be perfectly honest, readers, I haven't logged on to the blog in a few days. When I posted my last message about voting, I noticed I had a message underneath my post about Shelley Sanderson, by Shelley Sanderson.

Obviously upset with the Tribune, she decided to post her letter here, and because I'm stoked that she did it here and you all know how much I like her (even though I constantly disagree with her) I'm going to post it again.

Take it away, Shelley:

(Written and submitted to the Tribune)
This letter is in response to an October 13, 2008 article, entitled, " Woman pleads to `disturbing' councilwoman". The article was unfortunately incomplete. My comments at that time had to be limited and perhaps misinterpreted. The caution and limitation was due to the fact there is additional and anticipated criminal/civil cases beyond the telephone stalking conviction against the individual who has been harassing me.

I have been advised that I can offer the following statement.

The individual that had been harassing me threatened me over the telephone calling nine times in one day and later posted a false defamatory video claiming it was me. This same individual has a prior Felony Conviction and that fact made me even more concerned for my family and our safety.

She wrongfully claimed that I was involved in this vile Internet posting. She was trying to defame my reputation as a City Council Member and further hurt my family. Her actions may bring additional charges. I do have a current restraining order against her.

I want to make it absolutely clear that I had nothing to do with the making of that video. The image shown was not me. In fact, I had no idea it existed until I was so informed by the Police Department.

I take this type of slanderous behavior very seriously and will do what it takes to seek justice.

Shelley Sanderson
West Covina City Council


Today's it. It's time to put on your rubber boots and head to the polls (if you haven't sent in your vote already)

I already did it myself and I every time I vote I feel like I accomplished something great that day, almost to the point where I can go home, sleep away the rest of the day and still feel accomplished.

But I won't.

GO VOTE!!!!!!!!