Weekend links and yodeling dummies

Did anyone watch the Miss America pageant this weekend? I would be ashamed to admit to it normally, but when someone’s talent is a yodeling ventriloquist act (you heard that right) or describes their biggest asset as being “racially ambiguous” (same person) how can you not be entertained?

Also, the quote of the night (besides racially ambiguous girl Ms. Arkansas, unfortunately I can’t find a video or transcript) goes to either Ms. Iowa with this line from her intro “Leading the state in ethanol production, my state gives you gas,” or Ms. Utah with “Tonight 53 women share a dream, not a husband.”

Anyway, if your attention was taken away by Miss America, or the Jets beating the Patriots, or the Golden Globes, then here is the news you missed.

“My sixth grandfather, Pedro, is buried here along with some of his family. I don’t want them dug up.” Gabrieleno Indians fight to preserve a burial ground where a Mexican cultural center is planned.

A Walnut veteran gives an update on the troop drawdown in Iraq. “As the drawdown happens, it becomes harder to get the supplies and support to the people, but it’s a mission that is very crucial and has to get done.”

The teen birth rate has seen a major decline, but the cause is something left to be determined.

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

Is having Mayor Ken Herman be the moderator for the Glendora council forum a conflict of interest?

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Was just informed today by those running the Glendora candidates forum next week that incumbent Mayor Ken Herman – who announced he would not seek reelection this spring – will moderate the Glendora council forum.

This raises a number of alarming questions that don’t seem to do any favors for the public.

I have no problem with Herman as a person and he has always been willing to talk about any issue regarding the city when I call. He has never hidden from an issue when I asked and even when the topics haven’t been positive for the city, he remained professional.

But having an incumbent councilman moderator a candidate forum may allow for some to question the political fairness, objectivity and neutrality of the role.

There are some serious questions that can be posed regarding actions of the current council and their impact on the city: i.e. Monrovia Nursery, City Manager Chris Jeffers, administrative contracts/benefits, union negotiations, and more.

Will Herman be willing to bring up issues that may be critical of some of his own decisions?

The conflict isn’t as clear since the majority of the candidates are newcomers with only one incumbent seeking reelection. But the one incumbent happens to be the only other councilman with a tenure close to as long as Herman’s. In fact, Doug Tessitor was part of the group that helped recall the majority of the council back in 2002, with Tessitor functioning as the spokesperson for the group that featured Herman, former councilmen Gary Clifford and Cliff Hamlow. Tessitor won election to the council the next year.

These guys are buddies. I can’t imagine none of the other candidates objecting because of that clear conflict.

Speaking off that, one of the candidates, Erica Landmann-Johnsey is well known by the council, and those who regularly attend council meetings, as being part of a group of citizens that regularly speak at meetings and often chastise the council.

In fact, Herman and Johnsey have had public disagreements that resulted in the two verbally sparring across the council chambers during a meeting. Now Herman will be moderating the first candidate forum for this election where Johnsey is running for his (and/or Terry Kent’s) open seat.

Herman has never been one to hold his tongue. At a council meeting, if a speaker is aggressive, insulting or highly critical, he won’t shy away from rebuttal, as he has demonstrated in the past.

If Johnsey, or another candidate, opines with a critical opinion of the current council – or even Herman – will Herman reserve his comments or will we have an additional debater in our moderator?

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

Glendora names Castro new chief

Rob Castro, the current captain for the Glendora Police Department, has been selected by City Manager Chris Jeffers to replace outgoing chief Charles Montoya.

The decision is subject to council approval at the Jan. 25 meeting. Jeffers made the announcement today via a written statement.

“Rob showed through a very rigorous process that he has prepared himself on many levels to become a chief of police in today’s environment,” Jeffers said. “I am proud to say he will be Glendora’s chief.”

Montoya officially left his post with the department in December after retiring in 2009. He worked in 2010 under the CALPERS 960 program, but was still able to work full-time while the city searched for a new chief.

Castro said it was a post he had prepared his whole career to achieve.

“I have been preparing for this position for 25 years,” he said in a written statement. “I am deeply devoted to Glendora and it is an honor to be selected as the city’s police chief.”

The department is in charge of 52 sworn personnel and 38 civilian employees. Castro was selected from a pool of 41 applicants.

The selection doesn’t come without some things left to be resolved. A salary for Castro and benefits still must be worked out and approved by the council.

Last year, councilman Doug Tessitor vowed to get rid of administrative leave for city executives when it was reported that Montoya cashed out $80,000 in unused leave time as he often used administrative leave days in place of vacation.

Will the promise be kept with Castro’s contract? Tune in next time to find out…

New sushi restaurant in downtown Glendora

Replacing Pico de Gallo in downtown Glendora (which, I thought, served a pretty good taco) is a new sushi restaurant in the downtown Glendora village.

Sushi and I just moved in and councilman Doug Tessitor gave it his seal of approval at Tuesday’s council meeting. He did the same with the new sandwich shop Kara’s Korner Deli at an earlier meeting.

The restaurant is at 201 N. Glendora Ave.

Why is this on here? Well, because… I like sushi. How’s that for some media bias?

Collection of the best links regarding the Arizona shooting (UPDATED: Loughner’s mugshot is released)


I went to my favorite places to read news and opinion, various articles linked by others that I see on Twitter or Facebook, and searched for more on my own and compiled them here. If you want to learn more, get information, or see what people are talking about regarding the shooting, I think these are your best sources.

Here is the latest update from NPR on Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ condition.

Here is a broad overview from the Christian Science Monitor’s editorial board: Arizona shooting: An isolated case with broad ramifications

Locally, the shooting touched people at Claremont’s Scripps College where Giffords is an alumna.

Here is a sample of assassin Jared Lee Loughner’s social media posts over at CNN.

Before the shooting, Congresswoman Giffords wrote a Republican friend about toning down rhetoric and partisanship.

UPDATE: Mediaite’s Rachel Sklar and conservative radio host Steve Malzberg debated the issue on CNN. Sklar is a personal favorite of mine when it comes to writing/talking about the media. Here is the debate.

Fox News’ website has its lead story as “Left rushes to spin act of madman into blame game.”

UPDATE: Here is an interview with Fox News’ Roger Ailes regarding what has taken place and his network’s role. “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually. You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.”

Salon.com has a piece on revolutionary rhetoric that spawns political violence.

Also at Salon, Steve Kornacki says the weekend attack wasn’t about Tea Party rage.

New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman’s first thoughts on the shooting.

Slate.com’s Brian Palmer looks at why so many assassins go by three names. Also at Slate, Vaughan Bell says we are all too quick to blame mental illness in situations like this. A third one from Slate (you should probably just go to Slate.com as they have about 5 or 6 good reads on the subject) by Jack Shafer says calls to end inflamed rhetoric aren’t good for free speech.

Looking over tweets regarding Loughner, it appears that nothing will be “mended” as a result of this shooting. Many people are calling for soul searching, healing, etc., as a result of the shooting that many believe are the result of a country boiling over with angry political rhetoric.

But the talk about such things seems to have only heightened that rhetoric, rather than tone it done. People are jumping to blame one side or the other, using any “evidence” they can to support an argument. Is Loughner a registered Democrat or Republican appears to be the latest meaningless fact being thrown around to cast blame (or deflect it). Those types of debates, sadly, miss the point.

UPDATE: Fittingly, it seems the meaningless and absurd debate of Loughner’s political party has become even more meaningless. He is an independent.

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

A fresh batch of weekend links

I fear I am going to hog some of the links today, but my ego has actually grown very little.

You may have seen Sunday’s package in the newspaper regarding city car allowances. Two web links for you on that story. The more specific story about El Monte’s car allowances and an overall picture of the Valley.

Then there is another story out of Rio Hondo’s Police Academy. This one follows up on claims of ammunition abuse at the school while addressing some other issues at the academy.

Here is one to wet your appetite: Food trucks are gathering at SpeedZone in Industry.

Fran Delach, Azusa City Manager, called redevelopment funds “city life blood.” Gov. Jerry Brown may pull the plug.

Those concerned about autism should take a look at today’s display. A new study links freeways to autism. That story is coupled with the recent news that having children close together may increase the risk of autism. This also follows recent headlines debunking the doctor who is known for promoting a link between autism and vaccines.

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

Blog issues

Just an update for you hungry Leftovers fans.

We have had issues with the blogs throughout our company for the past week. Things appear to be working again, but comments are down for now as a precautionary measure. I hope – and expect – they will return to us soon.

A new year means a new round of weekend recap

Another long weekend has passed us by and in its wake we are left with a new year, the knowledge that we are back to those grueling five day schedules, and that you probably spent most of the weekend hungover and therefore didn’t want to stare at a computer screen reading stores.

With that knowledge, I offer you a recap of what you missed.

While war rages for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and plagues them after their return home, the men and women who served feel the rest of the country has lost interest.

On a recent Saturday night, while cruising the city in his patrol car, El Monte police Lt. Chuck Carlson said he hasn’t noticed an increase in crime or gang activity because of the decrease in proactive policing. Nor has the recession – which is largely to blame for El Monte’s city budget woes – sparked an increase in crime, as hard economic times often do.

While it’s not uncommon for a Little League team or a service club to partner with a restaurant to raise money, politicians in Azusa are pioneering a new use for the practice.

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

Canyon City Alliance changes website to include Vulcan Materials

It was brought to my attention (Thanks, commenter David) that after reporting on this blog the Canyon City Alliance did not list Vulcan Materials as part of its coalition on its website, it has now been changed.

This also comes following a letter from the Fair Political Practices Commission that outlines an investigation into the group for alleged violations of the Political Reform Act. The group has been accused by an anti-mining group for not clearly listing its sole donor, Vulcan Materials Co., on campaign material.

Canyon City Alliance officials said they did not plan to change any material because they believed to be in compliance.

The website change must have been some sort of exception…

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune