Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hip Hip Hurrahaha: Update Monday Night

The speakers in support of Haha were heartfelt and smart. But I don't think the Pasadena council members cared; a couple of them were visibly and verbally arrogant. One reminded me of a used car salesman I once knew -- which may explain his impatience; he had a hot prospect waiting at the lot.

I don't think, as a body, the council listened at all. I don't think listening had been a part of the plan from the very start.

Not democracy at its finest.

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I intended this to be a victory sign, but now I see a different gesture entirely.


Did I get too much sun, or is this further proof Hahamongna cannot be tamed?

Good luck to our wild and woolly watershed park on Monday, and to all who love it.






The fate of Hahmongna. "Monday night, 7:30. Pasadena City Hall Council Chamber. Come one, come all. The trees and animals can't get there, so it's up to us." Bellis

48 comments:

  1. He he, I like the tree. Don't mess with me, it's saying. Monday night, 7:30. Pasadena City Hall Council Chamber. Come one, come all. The trees and animals can't get there, so it's up to us.

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  2. I don't know what to say except I can't make a victory sign yet because all my fingers are crossed.

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  3. I'm not able to do much OTHER than make a V with my fingers on the hand with the most recent surgery...so I guess we'll have to go with that!

    I'm hoping the Haha is saved from being paved over with soccer fields. There are so few places left for people and kids to roam---why take one more?

    And...I think I've asked this before, but, isn't it a riverbed...is it going to double as a flash-flood swim program in the winter if rain comes? Or have y'all in LA County abandoned the thought that it'll ever REALLY rain there ever again? I'd ask them to outline the safety program in place for such an eventuality---because, being government, SHOULDN'T they plan for that too, and oh yeah, the liability insurance that goes with it?!?!?!

    WV: exampuked...I think the "proofs" of making "Haha" into a soccer field failed---the exampuked all over itself! Meeting adjourned!

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  4. I sure hope the turn out is huge.
    Love your new avatar shot.

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  5. The wisdom of the woods.

    JJ

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  6. I feel so helpless in the midst of the oil spill but watching you guys rally around this doable issue, I wish you the best of luck. I signed the petition so I hope they know "many eyes" are watching the outcome.

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  7. I'd be surprised if I'm ever NOT on the side of preservation, but these pics make clear to a nonresident the importance and beauty of the place. Good luck.

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  8. I've got my fingers crossed for you and all the wild and woolly. Hope the turnout is huge. I'll be there in spirit. Good luck.

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  9. You're right, Paula. Unlike the nightmare you all are facing in the Gulf, preserving a watershed park should be within our control.

    You out-of-towners are just the best.

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  10. My best wishes & prayers go out to you & all of nature that prospers there in that little slice of Eden. May the numbers of supporters be so large that they spill out the doors and into the street! Go get 'em!

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  11. Ole Buttermilk Sky
    don'cha fail me when I'm needin' you most
    Hang a moon above her hitchin post
    and hitch me to the one I love

    Hoagy Carmichael

    Did you see the sky last night? It appearsd as if your panoramic photo of Hahamongna has the beginnings of a buttermilk sky. I was up in Monrovia Canyon last night (without camera). The light was beautiful

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  12. ... or a diva on a dive board.

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  13. Any backside will do.

    Love Hoagy Carmichael.

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  14. It's a donkey's ears and a donkey's butt. Well that said , I've got my fingers crossed. Go forth and conquer!
    Virg

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  15. Sorry I couldn't make it. Very sorry to hear they hand no ears. It does sound like a good turnout, what was the outcome?

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  16. I love that tree. Hoping on hope that it's V for Victory after all.

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  17. Your description of the City Council is similar to our experience in South Pasadena with the police chief situation. Maybe we could offer a cash prize to anyone who can find a time when a city council actually listened and changed its mind because of public comments.

    WV: messonsh. The council didn't get the messonsh.

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  18. They seem pretty determined to go through with at least one, maybe two of the fields. Even before this meeting, several people had been talking lawsuit.

    It was so weird to hear some of the council members talk about this damn soccer field as if it were absolutely essential, as if half the population would starve without it.

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  19. It's nuts. How many people use a soccer field? Who is behind this? There must be a hidden agenda and money. Maybe there are plans for development, of which the soccer field is just the first step. I'm sure there are lawsuits you can file from a conservation perspective that will slow things down at least.

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  20. Yes, I'm sure that's true.

    There's a woman named Lori Paul who has been a long-time advocate of Haha's, and a very sharp, intelligent speaker. She brought up the fact that the grass will require weed killers, fertilizers and this will seep into the water supply; and grass will attract a host of small rodents which in turn will attract their predators, which then will require traps, baiting, and poison. That ALONE should quash the whole idea.

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  21. Damn it. Does this mean what I think it means? I hope not. Surely there's someone with an ounce of sense and a sliver of a heart on that council. Is it still out to vote?

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  22. Isn't in interesting to watch lawmakers act as though there isn't anyone else in the room? Is there the possibility of a lawsuit (God forbid)?

    wv incredlid
    Some of the committee members don't have an icredlid. They left their in-credible minds with the developers.

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  23. G'day Carolynn and Paula. I'm still fuming about the whole process (can't you tell). Even the way council members get to sit in their seats on platform and pontificate, but when a citizen wants to say something, s/he must stand and approach the bench and limit the message to 2 minutes. As if talking to bloody royalty or something.

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  24. Ah, the power of developers. I hate lawsuits, but sometimes they are necessary and sometimes they work. In Providence, we went up against Home Depot and won. They still built their store, but they had to house it in a historic mill. The adaptive reuse was a win win. They got their store and we saved a historic structure.

    Good luck. I hope the council finds their consciense.

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  25. "visibly and verbally arrogant" is this what they mean by transparent government?

    I didn't see you, did you see me? I brought bird feathers on a stick. There may not be blood but there will be props

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  26. As always, you say it so well. I'm so disappointed with the way permanent changes to the natural environment can be made in this way, and so late at night. I don't think some of the Councilmembers had read our letters and the petition. I think they'd made their minds up ages ago. Glad someone told some of them to stop doing their own business while people were commenting. Some of the councilors were absolutely wonderful - it's a shame a 4:4 vote against both fields was deemed as having failed.
    In England, the staff work closely with the Council, who don't act like royalty and follow all their advice. Here staff seem to be relegated to putting up the odd slide on command and have to do what the council votes for (however unwise - eg use the lake as a sports pitch). A dispute affecting the environment like this in the UK would be heard by an impartial Judge brought in by the government. It prevents expensive lawsuits and makes everyone feel they've been heard.

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  27. Wow. That makes me very sad. At the very least, elected officials have an obligation to listen. But why wouldn't they listen do you think?

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  28. To be fair, there were a few who did listen and appear to care(Bellis could probably tell us who they were), but that could not sway the body politic -- if that's the right term. And the ones who would not be swayed obviously had made up their minds way before any of the reasoned arguments took place. One was even pointedly rude to a speaker, which was infuriating.

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  29. The South Pasadena boys appear to listen. But they don't appear to hear. So it seems that the style may be different, but the results are the same.

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  30. I'm going to send emails thanking Councilmembers Margaret McAustin, Terry Tornek and Chris Holden. McAustin didn't say a word the whole meeting and then, to my utter surprise, came out with a fabulously clear argument as to why there should be no fields there, and proposed a motion. She'd even been to see the sites! Terry Tornek seconded it and also had some extremely good points to make. Hurray for Terry on the Council! Chris Holden has turned green, which is excellent, and the Mayor was very wise and voted in favor of no sports fields at all.

    Karin, I didn't see you, were you at the back?

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  31. For a time. I watched the rest at a friend's house around the corner on access.

    I thought it odd when J. Robinson said that, off the top of her head, she couldn't think of any other fields that would suit. Doesn't she live in Pasadena? And then, if they want to park the soccer fields in Altadena's backyard, why not take the vacant bank field on Lake? The surrounding businesses would benefit.

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  32. How long could you watch it for? The camera team left quite early on, but perhaps there were hidden cameras?.

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  33. Oh yeah, it was on and on and on.

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  34. Great idea to build a field in the empty lot on Lake. I wonder what their excuse for *not* doing that would be.

    Bellis, I'm going to email thank yous to those members as well. They gave me a glimmer of hope amidst the insanity. Or perhaps I should say "inanity."

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  35. Now, I'm even more confused as to what happened.

    Accordind to the Star News Chris Holden and Mayor Bogaard voted for the developments, Gordo, Madison, Haderlein, Robinson for two of the fields, and Mc Austin and Tornek the only members to vote to completely abandon all of the projects slated for Hahamongna.

    Did the Star News get it wrong? I have to read the transcripts or watch the meeting, I guess.

    I want to know what happened and who voted for what. It's important to me. So, I wrote to Chris Holden my representative:::

    To: Chris Holden

    Re. ‎"Californians who are leading the charge in environmental stewardship"

    Saving the Hahamongna watershed is a perfect example. When I read in the Star News today that you had voted against its preservation I was so confused. Did they misreport your vote? I thought you had a great idea to place those soccer fields near Muir HS. I know there are often restrictions to the use of Grant money for specific projects but you said you thought the project money could be transferred to an area better suited. I know, in our neighborhood a soccer field would be wonderful. Hahamongna is too far and also its a natural watershed.

    If the Star News report is correct, you must have had a very good reason for voting for the development in the Arroyo? Please set me straight.

    Sincerely,

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  36. and what came of the visit to city council members on July 8, 2010 from Ken Salazar, USSecretary of the Interior? He was here to offer help from the fed in saving our environment, especially watersheds.

    Did anyone know about this other than a reporter friend who was up with the Santa Monica Conservancy people? I surely should pay more attention.

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  37. ps. your photos are beautiful and artfully done.

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  38. Did you see that councilmember Haderlein called us open-space advocates "pigs" in today's Pasadena Star-News?

    http://www.mendolo.com/2010/07/13/fighting-words-2/

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  39. HP, I'm not sure of the final vote. Went to the minutes but they just summed it up as ACTION: APPROVED A MOTION TO AGENDIZE THE HAHAMONGNA WATERSHED PARK MASTER PLAN LIMITED TO DISCUSSING THE REMOVAL OF FIELD NO. 3 FROM THE MASTER PLAN, WITH DIRECTION TO STAFF TO REPORT BACK WITH POTENTIAL REPLACEMENT LOCATIONS FOR FIELD NO. 3 THAT MAY EXIST IN THE CITY.

    Boy, we didn't get anything, did we. And Gina is right, Haderlein did call us pigs. (He reminded me of the lead character in The Office -- you know, the stupid one. But now that's too good for him

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  40. Sorry but not surprised by the outcome, Karin. If people have the stomach for a lawsuit, though, it sounds like something you could win. Especially in California and especially in this economic climate.

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  41. the stupidity of man never fails to amaze...
    How do these people think this is a good idea?

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  42. UPDATE:::

    received a response from Chris Holden this morning---and the Star News had it wrong.

    From Chris Holden:


    "I voted to eliminate the two fields.  The motion failed. I then voted to eliminate one of the two.  That motion passed.  The field that is still in the plan must be evaluated under an EIR which suggest field 2 will go through plenty of scrutiny.  As to JMHS field, it is a good idea, but I am only one vote...other councilmembers must agree and vote accordingly.  I raised the school field as an alternative but there was no feedbacck from council.  I believe it is still an option for further consideration, especially if field 2 doesn't recieve environmental clearance.  

    Final thought, when the initial consideration of the Hahamonga Plan was before council in the '90's the discussion was center around 10 or more soccer fields.  It is now one.  My guess is it will ultimately be none.  Stay villigant and involved.  Chris"

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  43. Havisham,

    That's very heartening news! I like his last statement about staying vigilant and involved. Good advice. This is not a done deal.

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  44. I'll take a bit of good news. Thanks Dianne.

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  45. The other thing to remember is that the other half of the plan dredging right behind Devils Gate Dam must get environmental clearance as well and if it does not then they have to rethink the whole project because that was were the fill they would need was going to come from. That would make the project cost more (which they don't have) so they might stop it. And that should also be a worrying thing because of the damages that might do the watershed with the dredging and how big an area they effects.

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