From the mailbag, a plea for help

Frank,

I’m writing to you for the first time, I have read your stories on a daily basis for quite some time and find myself sickened by the day to day callousness that people extend to one another.  The old Clich  is that it will never happen to us.  The reality of  it is, no one is immune, you can’t run away from life, you can’t hide from it.

The reason I’m writing to you is that my friend, a 75 year old Japanese American was on his way home Wednesday 10/14 around noon from his doctors appointment for a routine checkup.  I’m not sure where the accident occurred but I know that it was somewhere between Good Samaritan Hospital and the 10 / 710 fwy.  The person that caused the accident left his vehicle and ran from the scene and left my neighbor Mr. Yoshi Ito in critical condition, he is in a coma at USC Medical Hospital and most likely will not recover.  I’m hoping that maybe you can look in to this accident, find out what happened and post it on your blog.  Maybe someone will come forward with additional information regarding the person who caused this and we can get them off the road before they destroy someone else’s family.

Mr. Ito was taking care of his mother, wife, 2 daughters and  grand daughter whom he is putting through college.  This man, my neighbor a person I can truly call everyones friend is in critical condition because of someone who doesn’t give a damn about anyone but him or herself.  Please look in to this and help us get them off  the streets.

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Phil Spector guilty of murder

A jury found music producer Phil Spector guilty of second degree murder for the killing of actress Lana Carkson.

Here’s the top of the AP story:

LOS ANGELES — Rock music producer Phil Spector has been convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson at his mansion six years ago.

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury returned the verdict Monday after an estimated 29 to 30 hours of deliberations.

The 40-year-old Clarkson, star of the 1985 cult film “Barbarian Queen,” died of a gunshot fired in her mouth as she sat in the foyer of Spector’s mansion in 2003. She met Spector only hours earlier at her job as a nightclub hostess.

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Spector jury visits Alhambra

ALHAMBRA – As jurors visit the home of Phil Spector, streets around his home will be affected, police said.

The street Spector’s home is on in the 1700 block of Grand View Drive will be blocked off to keep crowds at bay, police said.

Also, no parking signs will be posted from on Grand View Drive from Norwood Place to Parkview Drive, police said.

This is the second time a jury has visited the Alhambra mansion where Lana Clarkson died. Spector is on trial, for the second time, for the murder of Clarkson.

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SGV 211 update

I found this among today’s comments. It’s from Mike Alerich, our resident bank robbery expert:

Rumored that “S&P Bandit” has been seen casing several banks in
the San Gabriel Valley, same appearance and same “lucky” jacket, sorta
hard to miss.
AND a new bandito popped-up again;”Yosemite Sam”, White male, 30s, huge
full beard (fake?), hitting 1st Bank, again, on Valley Bl., Alhambra
Mon. 1-26 at 1000hr.
AND possibly Another serial bandit hit Another Citibank in La Cresenta Mon..
AND,in Riverside County Calimesa, the same serial bandit did violent
Take-Over at same WAMU, second time this month, same scary disguise
& big gun, assaults and pepper sprays innocent customer &
employees as they lay on the floor.
For longer list click ‘Bank Terrorism Alerts” on sidebar>

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Spector trial nears final act

This from Linda Deutch at the Associated Press:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nearly six years after an actress was shot to death in the foyer of his storied castle, music legend Phil Spector’s long, strange voyage through the justice system is nearing what could be its final act — his lawyer’s presentation of what happened on that fateful night.

Prosecutors rested their case last week in what is the second murder trial for Spector. The first ended in a mistrial when jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict and deadlocked 10-2 in favor of conviction.

Both sides are hoping for a verdict this time. If convicted, the 68-year-old record producer could be sentenced to 18 years in prison, realistically the rest of his life.

A verdict would also render a decision on just what happened to Lana Clarkson, a statuesque, blonde beauty who became a 1980s cult figure following her starring role in the Roger Corman film “Barbarian Queen.”

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Thursday’s column (The Tin Man)

A couple of friends of mine who are motorcycle cops refer to a third motorcycle cop they know as the “Tin Man.”

Certainly you remember the character from “The Wizard of Oz,” because he had no heart. Kathleen Rangel, 46, of Beaumont believes she and her family encountered a tin man of sorts enforcing traffic laws in Alhambra.

Several months ago, Rangel lost her job. Without the income, it’s been difficult to come up with the $400 the bloodsuckers at the DMV want for the registration on her 2004 Chrysler Sebring.

Knowing the car was not registered, Rangel decided to make the trek to Alhambra on Monday to pray with friends for a sick pastor at the New Harvest Christian Fellowship Church.

She packed her husband and 9-year-old son in the car and headed to Alhambra.

“I was going to turn right on Main Street to turn right on to Garfield,” Rangel recalled. “The officer was turning left. My son saw a comic book shop and said, ‘Mommy, when we get out of church can we go there?’

“As soon as I made the turn, the officer was right behind me and turned his lights on.” The officer wrote a ticket.

“When he came back he asked me why we haven’t paid the registration,” Rangel said. “I told him, ‘I lost my job and my house, it’s been a difficult year for us. Right now things are tight, but we’re expecting a check any day and hope to get the registration cleared up.’”

The officer spoke into his radio, and came back to the Sebring.

“He said, ‘I need you to remove all your contents because I’m impounding the vehicle,’” Rangel recalled. “I started to cry and he just looked at me like I was nothing and said, ‘You should have thought this was going to happen when you got in the car.’”

“We are going to church,” I told him. “Please, how are we going to get home?”

“He goes, ‘take a cab.’”

Ultimately a friend from Los Angeles came out to Alhambra, picked up Rangel, her husband and son and drove them back to Beaumont — “just 28 miles west of Palm Springs,” as she likes to point out. The impound will cost her $36 per day, plus $159 for the tow and a $45 fee to the Alhambra Police Department.

Perhaps Rangel got caught in the vortex of the times.

Or perhaps government agencies like Alhambra are turning to tickets and impounds to make up for lost revenue thanks to the economic crisis.

“This only works if you can target people from outside the community,” said Max Neiman, associate director and senior fellow of the Public Policy Institute of California. “There are places in the U.S. and California where tourists become a target for a fair amount of revenue enhancement.” As for the Alhambra Police Department, the ticket was a matter of officer discretion, and the brass stands behind the black-and-white decision of its tin man.

When the state gets its money, the city gets its cut and the tow yard is satisfied, Rangel can get her car, Alhambra police Lt. Elliot Kase said.

“It’s very straightforward based on the vehicle code,” he said. “We have the authority to store the vehicle.”

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