Encrypted radio signals and the grassroots fumbles

PASADENA — It’s quiet out there, too quiet. 

If you have been trying to listen in on the Pasadena Police Department’s radio traffic, the silence has been deafening. 
PPD went to an encrypted radio signal in January. Now the department and City Hall refuse to release audio recordings of their police transmissions, and what started out as an effort to increase officer safety now appears to be all about secrecy. 
Open government advocate tees off on the cops.
Where were the tri-horn hats (the Tea Party) and the Occupiers at the Pasadena Superior Courthouse on Thursday?
America’s grassroots movements, who take shots at big government and big business, didn’t run to the aid of a woman who fought both. She beat the banks, but lost a split decision against City Hall. 
It’s Politics column here.
Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Holden’s campaign cash flow problem; California #2 in political sleaze

PASADENA — The Kinde Durkee saga, where millions of campaign cash was embezzled, included money from Pasadena City Councilman Chris Holden’s campaign. Holden is running for the 41st state Assembly seat. 

He expects to be able to reach out to donors for more cash to replenish what was lost in the Durkee boondoggle.
The Golden State ranked number two in political sleaze, according to a study by the University of Illinois at Chicago. Don’t worry this isn’t a bunch of midwest haters mad that it will be 80 degrees today in the beginning of March while they suffer through below freezing temperatures. 
Chicago finished first among cities outpacing Los Angeles in political graft; New York state edged out California. 
But this does come as a surprise considering the lack of transparency in our local government. 
Posted in Crime | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Dirty tricks distract in local politics

PASADENA — Attack ads are as old as the Republic, and local political operatives in the San Gabriel Valley will soon be up to their old tricks as campaign season kicks into full gear. 

Posted in Politics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

G.O.P. presidential primary has San Gabriel Valley implications

PASADENA — Republicans are locked in a long fight to see who will face President Barack Obama in the fall election. 

If the battle drags on into June, making the California primary relevant, local G.O.P. and Tea Party candidate Donna Lowe could ride the wave of high Republican turnout to a win in the open primary. 
At least that’s what high ranking Democrats and Republicans say.


Posted in Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Schools probes and gas price campaign slogans

PASADENA – The Star-News will look into whether the type of teacher misconduct alleged at Miramonte School in Los Angeles has occurred in local districts. 

Two teachers were arrested at Miramonte after allegations that lewd acts were performed on the children at the school.
It cost me $50 at the gas pump today and I didn’t even fill up my Toyota Camry. With gas prices rising, politicians will promise they can bring a return to the days of $2 petro. Not likely, according to the It’s Politics column. 
Posted in Education | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

District 3 race shaping up, sort of; Murder wasn’t the case

PASADENA — It’s never too early to talk City Council politics in Pasadena.

With Chris Holden vying for the state Assembly and many political pundits confident he will win, who will replace him on the City Council. The field is starting to come together.
Richard “Allan” Munnecke was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on suspicion of murder Wednesday and then released Friday, after the Los Angeles County District Attorney rejected the case. 
The Sheriff’s Department won’t say what went wrong, but a veteran investigator opines on why cold cases are hard to nail down.
P.S. Newt Gingrich is coming to town on Monday. He will be at Castle Green for a town hall meeting. Gingrich is clinging to hopes he can best Mitt Romney in the Republican Presidential nominating contest. 
Posted in Crime | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Gay marriage ban struck down, Pete Hoekstra ad denounced

PASADENA — San Gabriel Valley faith and civic leaders rejoiced at the announcement that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared Proposition 8, the 2008 voter-approved ban on gay marriage, unconstitutional. 

Call it the Michigan Strategy, Pete Hoekstra employs the politics of race and fear to appeal to voters in his bid win the Michigan Senate race. Local asian leaders denounce his racist Super Bowl ad. 
Posted in Politics | Tagged | Leave a comment

Super Bowl, political corruption and the digital scanners

PASADENA — The Saturday “It’s Politics” column in the Star-News hit a home run in a piece about political corruption. John Tran  pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for building permits. Check out the column here.

Officials at the Pasadena Police Department and in City Hall remain unsure whether they will grant the local media access to digital scanners capable of picking up the new encrypted police radio broadcast. 
The department went with the encrypted signal prompted by concerns that tech savvy criminals are listening to police chatter as they’re plotting their dastardly deeds.
Maybe they think reporters would do the same. If you have seen our paychecks, maybe they’re right. But how would we make deadline?
Check for the story on Monday. 
Super Bowl prediction: Giants 31, Patriots 20.
  
Posted in Culture | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Redevelopment, zoning and jobs rile Northwest Pasadena leaders

PASADENA – Maybe he just forgot, maybe he doesn’t want to talk about it. 

Thursday’s State of The City speech by Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard made no mention of the local hiring goals at the Rose Bowl. Those goals have not been met, according to Rose Bowl officials. 
The failure to do so has ruffled more than a few community leaders, but Bogaard’s omission riled up Northwest Pasadena business leader Ishmael Trone, link here.
Bogaard dedicated a fair share of Thursday’s speech to the end of redevelopment agencies in Pasadena and across the state. The mayor’s optimistic despite the demise of the agencies, which have been called the engine of urban renewal. 
Bogaard remains confident that developers will flock to Pasadena to serve the city’s affluent class, and that Pasadena’s cache will win out. 
Sources familiar with development say the end of RDAs may signal the resurrection of the Inland Empire. Cheap land should attract business, so the line of thinking goes. 
Northwest Pasadena leaders are quietly, and some not so quietly, concerned that the end of RDAs will silence important community voices form weighing in on development in Northwest Pasadena.
And the big concern now shifts from who serves on the project area committee charged with oversight of the RDA – those committees will cease existing on Feb. 1 – to zoning ordinances in Northwest Pasadena.
Community leaders worry that City Hall might use zoning laws to loosen up regulations as a way to attract developers. 
Stay tuned…
Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

Redevelopment riles Pasadena city leaders

Gov. Jerry Brown’s determined to end redevelopment agencies, which has many in Pasadena steamed. 

The end of redevelopment agencies doesn’t bode well for blighted corridors in Northwest Pasadena. Read more here.
Posted in Politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment