Inequality of wealth series takes a look at labor unions

In the continuing series by regarding the inequality of wealth (which is a must read, IMHO) today’s story deals with labor unions affect.

I thought this was a pertinent story because whenever we write stories about public salaries, the state budget, and other money related stories, labor unions is a recurring theme from reader comments.

(Yes, we reporters read your comments. A shocking admission, I’m sure.)

In addition, I have raised questions regarding public (which is often unionized) and private (declining unions) pay in this blog (here and here

So, I thought I would tack on this story as an addendum to the conversation, as well as an interesting read.

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Anthony Adams’ letter to the Supreme Court regarding Glendora redevelopment area, law

The letter that Adams wrote to the Supreme Court, which was the basis for today’s story taking a further look at the legal challenges surrounding Glendora’s attempt to get redevelopment dollars for an area along Arrow Highway, hasn’t been posted with the story online (yet?) but I wanted to make it available here for review.

It isn’t a long read, so if you got two minutes to check it out and then reread the story, I would recommend it.

Adams Letter.pdf

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Late homework: An afternoon version of the weekend in review

Mark me down a letter grade for bringing you the weekend’s news this afternoon.

Economists have a tempered reaction to Jerry Brown’s plan to create 500,000 new jobs.

Azusa approved a farmer’s market that will operate as a filler at its ailing Block 36 parking lot.

There is a fight brewing in Rowland Heights. Residents advocating for the city to strictly adhere to its general plan are gearing up to battle a new high-density apartment complex.

As for tonight, there is a public hearing in Duarte to discuss a possible marijuana dispensary.

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District decides to leave the money on the table, but will move forward with ‘Confucius Classroom’

Question: If you are an advocate against, say, a program supported by a foreign regime that provides both a) money and b) materials – which thing are you most angry about?

Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District officials are betting on the money.

After a long process that has included heated debate, claims of communist propaganda and tampering, and even a visit from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, officials with the school district have decided to not accept money from the Chinese government to fund its Chinese language and culture program, although it will still operate under the name “Confucius Classroom.”

The district will go without the $30,000 a year it would have received. But it will still use textbooks and other materials provided by Hanban, pending approval from a district committee.

So let me get this straight, after a lot of people spoke out against this program, the district is getting rid of the money, but is keeping all the materials – a.k.a. all the elements lots of people were very peeved and paranoid about – and that is supposed to smooth things over?

Excuse me for not believing this isn’t exactly the end of this debate.

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Dueling farmer’s markets

This just in (and by that, I mean, I decided to write it right now): Farmer’s market planned in Azusa will directly compete with Duarte’s! SHOCKING.

Not really. I mean, it is just a farmer’s market. But in a heated political environment where the two cities have battled and are now going to court regarding Vulcan Materials Co.’s Azusa Rock Quarry mining plan, I asked Azusa City Manager Fran Delach if the thought crossed his mind that the city’s recently approved farmer’s market falling at the same time as Duarte’s would create a mini controversy. Keep in mind, during the debate over the quarry project, some Duarte city officials and residents threatened to boycott neighboring Azusa and businesses there.

“It is not our intention to compete or impede the Duarte market at all,” Delach said. “It is not a money making venture on the part of either city. It is more a resource the community brings in for its residents. There are plenty of farmers and vendors to go around.”

It would appear then that the non-existent controversy has ended. For now….

In the realm of real news, there will be more on Azusa’s farmer’s market in tomorrow’s newspaper.

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Former Bell mayor skips local gala set to honor him, protesters go home empty handed

What an ungracious guest. When someone throws a party for you, you should probably show up. In the classic words of the formidable scholar Stephanie from Full House “How rude.”

You see, the former Bell Mayor George Cole is under investigation by the California Attorney General’s Office for some dealings he had while he was mayor. He was also on the City Council when it voted to change its charter that allowed allowed all those bloated salaries.

Anyway, apparently Montebello’s Housing Development Corporation think highly of Mr. Cole and wanted to honor him for his community work.

But Cole skipped the gala. He probably had a head cold or something. It probably didn’t have anything to do with the media there or the angry protesters that were waiting for him outside. Of course not.

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Ron Artest is a tall man, Grace Napolitano is … lets say she is not quite as tall a woman (Picture)


I don’t know what Ron said that was so funny, but from all the way down there I am surprised Congresswoman Grace Napolitano heard it.

I kid, I kid.

This was the Congresswoman with the Lakers star at their mental health assembly at a Montebello school Thursday. Rep. Napolitano isn’t known for her … shall I say … lengthy physique, but Artest makes her look like a character from Gulliver’s Travels. The man is a GIANT.

P.S. – Fake captions for this photo are encouraged in the comment section below.

(Double P.S. – No offense intended toward the Congresswoman. We appreciate the photo!)

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Ron Artest speaks at Montebello school, thanks his psychiatrist (again)

L.A. Lakers champ and Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Santa Fe Springs, visited Eastmont Intermediate School to talk to children about accessing mental health services and battling stigmas associated with seeking help, they said. Artest was greeted with loud cheers.

Artest told about 700 5th-to-8th graders about challenges he faced growing up in Queens after his parents divorced when he was 13. He said he sought counseling to help him deal with anger and hold his marriage together. Unlike in previous public appearances, Artest was wearing all his clothes, button-down but casual in a sports coat and jeans.

Napolitano, a long-time promoter of mental health services, revealed some of her own personal struggles when she acknowledged she was molested as a small child.

“At that time, nobody talked about it. This was a big secret,” she said after the presentation.

Afterward, Napolitano and Artest moved to a room off to the side of the stage where media could interview them. Artest was so tightly cornered by about 10 news cameras and reporters that I at first had trouble finding the 6’7″ athlete. But he was gracious with everyone and slipped out a side door after about 15 minutes of taking questions.

(via reporter Bethania Palma Markus)

Dalia’s owner keeps the free pizza flowing

Just got off the phone with an officials from Dalia’s Italian Ristorante, which had their grand opening today that featured free pizza for a year to the first 100 customers.

Well, since more than 100 people showed up in line, the owner was feeling generous and is apparently handing out the free pizza credit to the additional people above 100.

For the people who stood in line, they will get a free pizza every Tuesday for a year. That’s 52 days times 100 people … (drop the zeros, 52 times 1 is 52) so that’s 5,200 pizzas for free.

UPDATE: Apparently more than 200 free pizza vouchers were given out, reporter Thomas Himes tells me. That could mean more than 10,000 free pizzas could be given out by Dalia’s in Azusa over the next 52 weeks.

UPDATE THE SEQUEL: Got this via tweet “AzusaPacificNow @dgtedford Students are all lined up outside Dalia’s for the free pizza. I even saw a tent out there.”

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Free pizza for a year for first 100 customers at new Azusa restaurant (Yeah, you read that right)

I’m not sure Dalia’s Pizza fully understands the implications of what they have done.

The restaurant is offering free pizza for a year to its first 100 customers Thursday in celebration of its grand opening. The restaurant opens at 10 a.m.

Let me repeat that: First 100 customers. Thursday (tomorrow). Dalia’s Italian Ristorante. Free Pizza for one year.

The restaurant is located at 855 E. Alosta Ave., Azusa.

Do they know they have two colleges nearby? This place is going to get trampled to the ground on the first day it opens.

The owner, Fadl Fares, is billing the charitable act as a thank you to the city who gave him loan assistance to expand what is normally a small pizza place into a full Italian restaurant.

Dalia’s already has pizza stores across Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, including Covina and West Covina. (Full disclosure: I like their pizza and my old roommate used to order it twice a week. He loves their alfredo pasta)

Officials with Dalia’s said they expect people to line up over night for this opportunity.

Now all some of those college students need is someone to spot them free beer for the next year and they will be living the life! Wait? APU is a dry campus? Oh…well then. Free pizza with a nice glass of Coca-Cola!

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