Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I *heart* Little Manila (and you should, too)

I like to pretend I'm a foodie. I can't cook, but I love to eat (as my previous posts indicate).

But you know who can cook? Mrs. Watcher.

I often tell her the moment I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her was when she cooked for me a nice spicy shrimp and beef dish. We had been dating for about six months before she cooked for me, and when she did, I knew that if I didn't make a move someone else better looking, richer and smarter would nab her. Luckily I thought that, 'cuz guys better looking, richer and smarter than me are about a dime a dozen.

Anyway, when she gets in a rather culinary mood, she ventures to Little Manila in West Covina to stock up at Seafood City. I was reminded of her ritual when I read this in the Tribune.

Little Manila, which is what us West Covinians call it, is always bustling. We have the Filipino McDonalds (Jollibee) and Goldilocks bakery (if you've never had an Ube cake, you haven't lived).

And as an interesting side note, I heard a LONG time ago that the owners of Seafood City and Island Pacific Supermarket, directly across the street, have had a decades-long rivalry stemming from the Old Country. I don't know how true that is, but it would be interesting to find out.

Another interesting side note: Officer Chiles Way (off of Amar) is named for West Covina Police Officer Charles Chiles, who died in a plane crash in 2000.

I know most of my readers come to this site to see my latest ramblings about city hall, but honestly, there's a lot more to West Covina than those five knuckleheads sitting on the City Council. I don't know what happened at the meeting last night because, you know, the whole "meetings taken off the air" thing. So, drop me a line about what happened!

With that being said, go to Little Manila. Go to Bamboo Bistro and have some karaoke with your pork sisig or Max of Manila's world famous fried chicken. And please, for the love of God, have some Ube. Tell them the Watcher sent you. (that won't get you anything free or extra, I just think that's something you say)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Teenage Girl Attacked in West Covina

This horrible incident shocked a neighborhood today.

A young girl, walking in her own neighborhood, was attacked and sexually assaulted outside at 6 a.m.

From one reader: "I'm sure you have heard already about the young woman who was
assaulted in our neighborhood. The area where she was attacked is
about 2 blocks from where we live. The residents have been asking for
better police presence forever but we never get anywhere."

The attacker is described as being about 5-foot-8, medium build with spikey hair. Police say he was Hispanic, but judging the fact that both Carlton from "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," and Cameron Diaz are both Hispanic, that's not really helping me out.

If you know ANYTHING, call the West Covina Police Department at (626) 939-8557, or the anonymous tip line at (626) 939-8557.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Walk outs! Better Than "Gossip Girl" (with less hot chicks)

So, instead of sitting there and completing what has been called time and time and time again a "business meeting," Steve "The Mad Scientist" Herfert, Sherri "I'll Do Anything Steve Tells Me To" Lane, and Shelley "I Like You But You're Wrong" Sanderson walked out while Mayor Roger Hernandez's thoughts as to why the city should have councilmanic districts.

God forbid that a representative from each part of the city be on the city council, instead of having four out of five members live in one neighborhood, which happens to be the neighborhood with the most money. So far, these four knuckleheads approved seven houses to be on two lots, two-story condos smack-dab in the middle of a single-family home neighborhood, practically spit on a guy trying to GIVE the cash-strapped city money, and well, let's not forget the whole trying-to-sell-a-park-to-condo-developers thing.

Meanwhile, the parks in their neighborhood, like Cortez and Maverick, are the crown jewels of the city. Well, there's BLD, too, but you actually have to pay to get into that one. And, well, it costs $1.3 million a year.

I wasn't there, so I don't know the extent of the "drama," but I know Hernandez is a pit bull who doesn't pull punches. The thing about Hernandez, though, is he does it out in the open. His adversaries do it behind closed doors, or use taxpayer money to do it. Most recently, Herfert complained to the Fair Political Practices Commission that Hernandez acted inappropriately when he suggested Chris Chung and Sue Williams take their matters to court, and if the courts find in favor of them, he'll pay the tab himself. Huh? Did I hear that right? Herfert is COMPLAINING about that?

I guess my reaction was similar to that of the FPPC because they sent the complaint back to him with a big "Eff You" on top of it.


I finally got my hands on a copy of that complaint myself, and it was funnier than an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." First, this woman CLAIMS that Hernandez "instructed" Trib reporter and Leftover Lady Jennifer McLain to print Williams' name in a story.

Really? A woman who basically single-handedly brought down a corrupt water board member and launched a couple of DA investigations with her stories let a council member "instruct" her to do anything? Oh, and this reporter and Hernandez were "text messaging" each other throughout an entire meeting? I believe that phone records track text messaging, and judging by the fact Ms. McLain still has her job leads me to believe that this claim is a fallacy.

Secondly, she's upset her name was in the paper. In case you didn't know, Williams' job title is PUBLIC Information Officer. Somehow, it seems she thinks it means otherwise. All Hernandez really did is say "Hey, look. We have a $2 million deficit and we can't afford the things created in better times, like the PIO position." Based on that, Ms. Williams says her hair is falling out, she has heart palpitations and, get this, "SEVERE RUNS!" LOL! A woman is "embarrassed" that her name is associated with budget cuts, but she's not embarrassed to tell the world that she lives on the shitter?

All of her complaints against Hernandez are basically third-person garbage that really has nothing to do with him at all, so good luck with that, lady.

Please, council, I implore you to let this one get to court because I would love to see this complaint played out live.

Did I mention that Williams retained the same attorney as Chris Chung? I think THAT'S interesting, and frankly, very telling. Especially since these two complaints and Herfert's FPPC complaint came after Herfert threatened to come after Hernandez.

Look, it's no secret I'm a fan of Hernandez. But you know what? A lot of people are. There are a few out there who want to take him down, but apparently, the voters disagreed with them. I like the fact that he fights for what the people want, and I like the fact he isn't afraid to piss off all the right people. That's what the greatest leaders of our time did. Will he be a great leader? Only time will tell. Until then, he has my support, because a guy who could barely scrape together a war chest in the last election, get totally bombarded with a negative media blitz in the days leading up to the election, and still manages to get public support is a guy who I think listens to the will of the people, and isn't afraid to do it.

And I also like the fact that he doesn't live in South Hills.