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Monday, May 28, 2007

Home Depot Goes South


Despite my lack of posts lately, I can assure you that the battle between Sunland-Tujunga and Home Depot is alive and well. If you recall, a hearing was held back in January that resulted in Home Depot having their building permits revoked. Home Depot has filed an Appeal to that decision and the final hearing on this matter will be held before the North Valley Area Planning Commission, on June 7th, 4:30 pm, at the Marvin Braude building in Van Nuys. Since this land use issue is of utmost concern to the residents of Sunland-Tujunga, a huge turn out by the community is anticipated at the hearing. Councilmember Wendy Greuel is also expected to attend and to address the Planning Commission in opposition to the proposed Home Depot.

In preparation for this hearing, Home Depot's attorneys, Latham & Watkins, have submitted a 700 page, 4 inch thick bundle of documents offered as "evidence" that they should get their permits back. As an attorney said to me, "Hey, if it takes 700 pages to make your point then you're just milking your client." In contrast, the 9-11 Commission report was 585 pages.

Home Depot has also seen fit to send a small army of signature gatherers to our little town over the holiday weekend. They were here to seek potential supporters for the proposed Home Depot. They staked themselves out at our various grocery stores and got busy. That's fine with me, but be sure and tell people, the real reason you're there, and who is paying you.

We have received numerous reports that some of these signature gatherers were claiming to be acting on behalf of the North Valley Area Planning Commission, The L.A. Housing Authority (huh?), neglecting to mention Home Depot, by name, in their pitch to passerbys, and instead saying, "Will you sign a petition to bring more jobs to the community?".

The most disturbing, and offensive statement reported made was, " The reason people don't want HD is because they don't want any Mexicans around here." This pitch, of course, was thrown out to Latino residents. Never mind that Sunland-Tujunga is around 40% Hispanic, and the NHDC has a large number of Latino supporters, just say whatever it takes to get the signature of support.

It was astonishing to witness this, to receive the reports of the racist angle, and to actually hear someone say they were contracted by the North Valley Area Planning Commission to conduct a survey. Meanwhile, underneath her "survey" page lay a stack of cards for people to sign in support of Home Depot.

The police were actually called in on several occasions to remove the paid pro Home Depot people from the various private properties they had occupied. Upon, or usually before the arrival of the LAPD , they would leave the premises, wait until the coast was clear, and then return. This scene repeated itself innumerable times over the weekend.


One's opinion on the proposed Home Depot store means nothing. One's opinion on these kind of tactics means everything.


The photo above is of two paid signature gatherers in the parking lot of Von's Market in Tujunga. Here is a link to a short video of them reacting to a cameraman:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6786238753267500119

Labels: , ,

72 Comments:

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Is that Zuma Dogg?

May 28, 2007 9:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I've seen those low-down kind of tactics before. It is a shame that such a well-known company is so nervous that they have to resort to that type of behavior.

May 28, 2007 9:45 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Joe you're calling the police on people exercising first amendment rights?

Yea, sure the people are paid, but they're paid by HD who despite what you say still has first amendment rights whether you think they're right or not.

Shameful. Didn't think you'd turn gestapo on us Joe.

May 28, 2007 9:45 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Yea you've seen it from Joe B. and Tony V.

May 28, 2007 9:46 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

I never called the police mayor, it was the property owners. I think it's called private property rights.
Stop speculating.

May 28, 2007 9:50 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

Business owners growing tired of their customers being harassed...
that sort of thing.

May 28, 2007 10:02 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

yea but if you guys were there and the business owners called the police on you you would call it an outrage.

May 28, 2007 10:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It's ironic that Joe would stand behind "private property rights."

I suppose that Joe thinks it's OK for certain national mega-retailers to exercise property rights (e.g. Vons/Safeway, Ralphs/Kroger, CVS, etc.) but it's not OK for certain other national mega-retailers (e.g. Home Depot).

May 28, 2007 10:14 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

You're speculating and making assumptions again, Mayor.

May 28, 2007 10:16 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

you got it whoever you are, that's right.

But Joe just wants to buy underwear.


Its like I told Video Louis this very night in my own home. IF Target wants to build there they will.

I don't see anyone other than Home Depot knocking on Tujunga's door.

May 28, 2007 10:17 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

aren't you assuming that Home Depot is EVIL?

May 28, 2007 10:17 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Have a drink Joe,its a holiday.

May 28, 2007 10:18 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

I am pretty sure that's Zuma Dogg in that photo.

May 28, 2007 10:18 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

10:14 Property owners have my full support, as long as they operate within the law and city codes. Home Depot, as we have proved, was not.

May 28, 2007 10:19 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

They are out there Mayor, waiting in the wings. Trust me on this one!

May 28, 2007 10:22 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Who is waiting in the wings? Mayor V wants Home Depot and we all know Mayor V gets what Mayor V wants.

May 28, 2007 10:24 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

Like I said, Mayor, trust me on this one!

May 28, 2007 10:26 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

Mayor, It appears you have had a very enjoyable holiday! I think I'll go catch up with you now!

May 28, 2007 10:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

10:14 Property owners have my full support, as long as they operate within the law and city codes. Home Depot, as we have proved, was not.

I see. If the Planning Commission upholds the denial and Home Depot goes through the Specific Plan Project Reivew and EIR process, you'll support them, right? That's what you're stating.

Joe, bear in mind that Mr. Scott wrote that Home Depot's only "violation" of the City Code was to not go through the Specific Plan Project Review process. He wrote that Home Depot fit into the definition of a retail business, it's no different than a Target in the City's eyes.

I'm sure Home Depot will appreciate your support when they conduct the EIR.

May 28, 2007 10:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Oops, Mr. Booher, not Mr. Scott.

May 28, 2007 10:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm pretty sure Home Depot doesn't own the property. They are leasing it.

May 28, 2007 11:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm pretty sure Home Depot doesn't own the property. They are leasing it.

I'm pretty sure that Ralphs, Vons, CVS, etc. don't own the properties they occupy either. They are leasing them.

If the property rights of Ralphs, Vons, CVS, etc. are important even though they lease their properties, so are Home Depot's. Listen to Joe, he makes a lot of sense.

May 28, 2007 11:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I was a former Home Depot advocate. I preferred to brouse H.D. instead of the mall because I am into home improvement. I was a regular shopper at the H.D. in San Fernando which is only 7 minutes away from Sunland-Tujunga.
However, because of the dispicable, deplorable, dishonest tactics used by H.D. by hiring out-side "surveyers" who lie and intimidate community members, I and nobody I know will every step foot in a H.D. again.
The Sunland-Tujunga community members are not racist, as being portrayed by H.D. They truely need a general merchantile store where they can shop for clothing for their family and household goods without going to Pasadena, Glendale and Burbank. They have plenty of hardware and textile businesses already in their community.
It's shameful that Home Depot portrays itself as being aultrusic and a benevelent benefactor to Sunland-Tujunga. Actually, their present reputation is they are dishonest, have poor customer relations and very bad service. I no longer want them in my community and I will patronize Do It Center and Lowes instead and I will encourage everyone I know to follow my example.
My question is since when does the lst admendment mean that customers of businesses can be intimidated by H.D. contract employees and "No Loitering" and No Soliciting Signs" do not apply to them?

May 29, 2007 12:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Oh yes, it's the petition-gatherers that are being dishonest and harassing people...NOT! Mayor Sam is right, Joe and his buddies are the Gestapo!

Check this out from Foothillsforum.com:

Just for the **** of it, I'm going to borrow some hidden camera/mic equipment this week from an engineer friend of mine, and see how far the pro Home Depot will go to sell me on their petition.

Maybe I'll ask to see their driver's licenses for proof if they claim to be residents.

Posted by hitchens


If Joe, Hitchens, and the rest of these guys are so confident that Home Depot isn't wanted in Sunland, why would they stoop to this? Talk about "Going South!"

May 29, 2007 12:09 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I will patronize Do It Center and Lowes instead

How is Lowe's any different from Home Depot, despite the fact that one uses blue and the other orange? You don't think that Lowe's would jump on this site?

Interesting that Do It Center is mentioned because they are the primary funding source of the No 2 Home Depot group. Kind of like Burger King funding a No 2 McDonald's group.

My question is since when does the lst admendment mean that customers of businesses can be intimidated by H.D. contract employees and "No Loitering" and No Soliciting Signs" do not apply to them?

Since 1789, buddy. Ever read the Constitution? If you want to abolish the 1st Amendment, stop commenting anonymously on blogs...that would be the first thing to go! What kind of unAmerican people do we have up in Sunland, anyway?

May 29, 2007 12:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Joe as part of the silent majority in this town WE want HD to open thier doors in our town. We have signed the HD petition and sent many emails to Wendy asking for the HD to open thier doors for business in S&T. most of us have lived in S&T all our lives. We don't have a forum but we are in contact with each other by Email and phone. Adios to you and your small group of nobodys....

May 29, 2007 12:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

They truely need a general merchantile store where they can shop for clothing for their family and household goods without going to Pasadena, Glendale and Burbank.

That may be so, but the best you can hope for is that Home Depot has to undergo a Specific Plan Project Review and an EIR. They can't be stopped from opening because they aren't a "general merchandise" store. Read Mr. Booher's decision.

May 29, 2007 12:17 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

That video you posted, Joe -- was Miner's camera hiden like Hitchen's will be? Why are you guys harassing the petition gatherers? You owe all of us an explanation.

This reminds me of your point that day laborers had nothing to do with your effort, despite the fact that day laborers were mentioned in your appeal. I hope you do sit down with Fatman over a cup of coffee and let him know that you agreed with him all along and were just too cowardly to admit it.

Don't you realize that City employees who read Mayor Sam also monitor foothillsforum.com? You keep digging yourself deeper.

May 29, 2007 12:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

11:48, 12:09, 12:14, 12:17, and 12:27,
Seeing how you are the same poster,
and you really have it out for Joe B., I can only assume you work for Latham & Watkins.

May 29, 2007 12:38 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

ANONYMOUS said:
"Since 1789, buddy. Ever read the Constitution? If you want to abolish the 1st Amendment, stop commenting anonymously on blogs...that would be the first thing to go! What kind of unAmerican people do we have up in Sunland, anyway?"
So ANONYMOUS AND JUST WHO ARE YOU? Perhaps you are affiliated with Home Depot? Don't you think that businesses who don't want soliciting on their property have rights too? Does it also give the people the right to lie and commit fraud?
You just don't get it. Sunland-Tujunga citizens would fight just as hard against any warehouse/home improvement store coming into Sunland-Tujunga. We haven't heard of any Lowes store forcing themself in a community where they are not wanted. We understand there is one going in down the street from the Home Depot in San Fernando. That means they will only be a minute or so further than H.D. Hurray, We'll shop there!
P.S. Do It Center is not bankrolling the No 2 Home Depot Campaign, the community members are! However, they are very supportive, they carry "socks and underwear".

May 29, 2007 3:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Joe,
are you now singing in as anonymous ?????????????. is it true you are paid by a collition of town bussiness owners to harrass HD. ?.

May 29, 2007 8:42 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

My earlier assumptions were that this protest aimed at Home Depot was a band of senior citizens upset about traffic and day laborers.

Reading on Mayor Sam and drilling down a little deeper we find that the some of the "activists" are paid by unions and businesses who compete with Home Depot.

How does one expect to be taken seriously when you're running a covert campaign against a business?

May 29, 2007 8:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

WHOM DO YOU THINK IS MORE CONCERNED ABOUT PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS ? Home Depot? NO ! Why ? because they are those who refuse to behave on the up and up and submit an EIR and basically abide by the minimal laws that are in existence to PROTECT the local private property owners...
OR N2HD et al ? YES to N2HD because it is they who have from the beginning (without a gainful paycheck mind you)been the org. endeavoring truthfully to help protect and mobilize the private citizens and property owners of S-T to insist upon their right to reject a detrimental environmental impact of such a mega retailer in their community and to demand a business establishment entering S-T to serve the greater community as needed such as a desparately needed general merchandise store!
AND to those of you outside this community who reject what the N2HD have organized for us ? Just wait till YOUR community faces such a crisis. You will come looking here for such examples of courageous people to fight for your future.
Go Go Go Joseph !!!
cali

May 29, 2007 9:14 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wasn't it posted here that Home Depot donated campaign money to Antonio? I think so. Maybe they're also donating to Wendy Greuesome controller campaign as well. WE need to investigate this. Politicans are now on the side who is giving them money for campaigns instead of fighting for the people. I think Latham & Watkins also has donated to numerous political campaigns. The corruption with developers is horrible. Remember when Antonio said he would clean up city hall? Never has and never will as long as he profits from it.

May 29, 2007 10:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Cali,
the town did not support K-mart or super K and that is why they closed. now you assume that they would support a target or other vendor?. do you think the town will support H.D.?. of course not. so it does not matter who gets the bldg. as long as the property is not vacant. thoughts of a life time resident of S.&T.

May 29, 2007 10:21 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The chicks kinda hot though.

May 29, 2007 12:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

POINT OF INFORMATION:
Sunland-Tujunga's Kmart was one of the most profitable stores in the Los Angeles area. They not only served Sunland-Tujunga, but also communities from La Tuna Canyon across the North Valley through Sylmar. That is why members from all those surrounding communities spoke out in support of the "No 2 Home Depot Campaign in Sunland-Tujunga" at all their public hearings. Because Kmart planned to buy Sears, they did creative financing.They claimed bankrupcy and were not allowed to keep their Sunland-Tujunga store.
Federal Bankrupcy rules do not permit a business to remain on leased property. The Home Depot lease is owned by the Edwards Family Trust. Home Depot purchased approximately 25 Kmart stores and negotiated with the family trust for the Sunland-Tujunga site without any input from the community, who want and need another Kmart type store. Have you ever heard of sweeting an apple pie by throwing in a good apple with with bad apples. Sunland-Tujunga was the good apple that make the other sites more acceptable. Home Depot obviously believes it will be a cash cow for them as well. However, that is going to be very debateable with a H.D. already only 7 minutes away from their town and a new Lowes going in down the street from H.D. Also to be considered is their very poor reputation in the area because of their proven underhandedness and absence of best business practices.
By the way, Kmart did buy Sears only months after claiming bankrucy in order to reorganize.
Sunland-Tujunga and all their surrounding communities will support any store will fill their community's needs.
Please get the facts straight before making comments that are not accurate.
I stand by what I say however, I chose to remain anonymous for my own safety.

May 29, 2007 12:41 PM  

Anonymous barbara d johnson said:

Very unfortunate that again an "anonymous" writer sway away from the real issues and make this a personal attack against Joe B and the devoted N2HPCampaign workers.
I support petitioners as long as they are thruthful, I saw them Saturday in front of IPH & Video Hut, they were not disclosing true facts. I am a Tujunga resident and regret that energy is wasted on attacks against the above and not on Home Depot. We must believe that the truth will prevail and the message will finally get through to Home Depot to pack up and leave our towns. One correction should be made: we did all support KMart, they closed as a result of their bankruptcy reorganization and not their lack of sales in our area. We would support and welcome a Target or the likes. See you all June 7th. Keep the good work up !
Barbara Johnson

May 29, 2007 12:43 PM  

Anonymous Miller Levine said:

Isn't Joe B funded by the Do-It Center as well as other hardware stores? Now that smells. How can I believe what he says if that's the case?

May 29, 2007 2:11 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Joe accepts no compensation for his work, neither do any of the other NHDC members. Donations are accepted from the community to pay legal bills.

May 29, 2007 2:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Please Visit http://www.no2homedepot.com
if you would like to help contribute to the Sunland-Tujunga No Home Depot Campaign as well as get an accurate account as to the reasons Home Depot is not welcome in the community

May 29, 2007 4:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

POINT OF INFORMATION:
Anon 12:41 has all of the facts wrong.

1/22/2002: Kmart filed for bankruptcy (Source )

5/6/2003: Kmart emerged from bankruptcy (Source )

6/4/2004: Kmart announced that it would sell 24 stores to Home Depot (Source )

8/24/2004: Kmart announced that it would only sell 19 stores to Home Depot, as 5 of the stores were actually profitable (Source ). One of the unprofitable 19 stores was the one on Foothill Boulevard.

11/17/2004: Kmart announced that it would buy Sears (Source )

Kmart did not sell the Foothill Boulevard store while in bankruptcy. Kmart sold the store more than a year after emerging from bankruptcy.

Kmart was obviously allowed to "keep" the store during bankruptcy, as it did not close during that timeframe.

The Foothill Boulevard store was not profitable. If it were, Kmart would have held onto it like it did 5 other stores it originally planned to sell to Home Depot.

Kmart did not acquire Sears "only months after claiming bankruptcy." It acquired Sears more than 18 months after emerging from bankruptcy. It raised the cash by closing hundreds of unprofitable stores during bankruptcy and selling additional unprofitable stores to Home Depot.

It took me about 5 minutes to verify all this through Google.

Anon 12:41 wrote:
Please get the facts straight before making comments that are not accurate. I stand by what I say

Anon 12:41, I ask: "Please get the facts straight before making comments that are not accurate." I stand by what I wrote because it is substantiated by sources.

I hope the majority of folks in Sunland are not as ill-informed as you are. Joe and his team should really do some outreach and educate folks on the facts.

May 29, 2007 5:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

5:20- I think you are drawing too big of a conclusion. Julian Day is saying they are keeping their 5 top moneymakers. He doesn't say which if any of the stores were unprofitable.

'The stores we are retaining from the originally announced transaction have been operating profitably and better than plan for this year,'' Kmart's chief executive, Julian Day, said in a statement.

May 29, 2007 5:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

OK, Anon 5:32, it's not clear that the Foothill Kmart was completely unprofitable, just not profitable enough to hold onto. Regadless, it's safe to assume that it was not "one of the most profitable" in L.A., as Anon 12:41 claimed (with no proof). If it were, it would still be open.

However, bear in mind that I proved that all other claims by Anon 12:41 were false through 5 minutes of research. Why don't people check their facts?

May 29, 2007 7:00 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If Home Depot is not wanted like the no2hd crowd insists, let them move in and lose money before closing their doors.

Of course there is the danger home depot IS wanted.

May 29, 2007 7:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I thought this thread was about the signature gatherers tactics?
How come we're talking about K-Mart?

May 29, 2007 7:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I thought this thread was about the signature gatherers tactics?
How come we're talking about K-Mart?


Maybe because Kmart sold Home Depot the property? Anon 12:41 brought it up, Anon 5:20 tried to refute his/her claims about the "facts."

The signature gatherers tactics may be questionable. So is No2HomeDepot's response:

From Foothillsforum.com:

Just for the **** of it, I'm going to borrow some hidden camera/mic equipment this week from an engineer friend of mine, and see how far the pro Home Depot will go to sell me on their petition.

Maybe I'll ask to see their driver's licenses for proof if they claim to be residents.

Posted by hitchens


I admire my fellow posters for digging out the facts of the matter.

May 29, 2007 8:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

uh, 8:22, You don't know what you are talking about.
K-Mart did not sell HD the property.
The No2HD did not make a response, that statement by "Hitchens" was cut and pasted from the Foothills Forum. They are not the NHDC.
Why don't you comment on the signature gatherers a bit more, and try and get the facts straight this time.

May 29, 2007 8:30 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

10:35 You posted a quote from me and a comment:

"10:14 Property owners have my full support, as long as they operate within the law and city codes. Home Depot, as we have proved, was not".

I see. If the Planning Commission upholds the denial and Home Depot goes through the Specific Plan Project Reivew and EIR process, you'll support them, right? That's what you're stating.

Joe, bear in mind that Mr. Scott wrote that Home Depot's only "violation" of the City Code was to not go through the Specific Plan Project Review process. He wrote that Home Depot fit into the definition of a retail business, it's no different than a Target in the City's eyes.

I'm sure Home Depot will appreciate your support when they conduct the EIR.


Home Depot first has to pass an EIR, something that will be very difficult for them to do. This is the reason they have tried to fly under the radar for so long and have labeled their "Project" mere "Tenant Improvements".
If they thought they could pass an EIR why didn't they submit to that in the first place instead of putting the Sunland-Tujunga community through 3 years of fighting the simple request the community made?

May 29, 2007 8:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

uh, 8:22, You don't know what you are talking about.
K-Mart did not sell HD the property.


Refer to Anon 5:20's post, please. Kmart sold HD the lease to the property on 8/24/2004 (Source ). Selling a 20-year lease to the property IS selling the property, for at least 20 years.

Why won't anybody read the research it took Anon 5:20 5 minutes to find?

May 29, 2007 8:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Uh, no it's not. you're reaching for straws, my friend.

May 29, 2007 8:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What about the tactics of the signature gatherers?

May 29, 2007 9:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Home Depot first has to pass an EIR, something that will be very difficult for them to do.

Joe, there is no such thing as "passing" an EIR. It's not a "pass/fail" process. An EIR will identify the environmental impacts of the HD store and proscribe proper mitigation.

The reason that HD is fighting an EIR is not that it will "pass" but that it will cost a bundle to conduct (I would bet $1 mil +) and that the mitigations will cost a lot too (widening streets, improving intersections, incorporating advanced ventiliation systems, etc.).

If HD does an EIR, it will be difficult for the City to deny them a permit if they commit to the mitigation efforts. Joe, I suggest you get familiar with CEQA, because that is the next stage of your fight, that is if Do-It Center is willing to fund further legal challenges.

It's obvious that Abby is the brains of the operation. Joe is the "PR" guy and he is not doing a very good job because he doesn't understand the facts.

Am I the only one surprised that Joe hasn't addressed the issues of Do-It-Center funding, the assertion that Vons and Ralphs have property rights but HD doesn't, the covert ops by his foothills forum bud hitchens, the fact that the City says HD is in the same zoning category as Target, whether Fatman represents the true feeling of S-T residents about day laborers, and that HD will be "within the law" if they submit to an EIR, allowing him to give "full support"?

Joe, you also wrote that Kmart sold the property becuase of its bankruptcy, in line with the mistruths of Anon 12:41. Don't you know the history?

Joe is a poor spokesman for S-T because he doesn't have even the most basic understanding of what is going on here. You may win the battle at the Planning Commission, but you are bound to lose the war. At least answer some of the accusations that have been raised here.

We can move this to the foothills forum if you like, Joe, and erode your credibility further than Miner already has.

May 29, 2007 9:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What about the tactics of the signature gatherers?

How do people in Sunland-Tujunga feel about those tactics? Let's hear from them, as recorded on foothillsforum.com, the web site that Joe uses as a platform when he's not blogging here:

From Ceclile:

Well, as much as I am against it, it is freedom of speech after all, and they are allowed to be there too. It's not worth an altercation - it makes us all look bad.

From billywilly3:

I'm not for Home Depot either, but all you N2HD folks are really making yourself look bad, and just as scummy as the HD guys. If you really believe that this community supports your cause, you shouldn't feel so insecure that you have to follow these guys around, and stake them out, and try to keep them from getting signatures. Just let them be, and keep your dignity, quit following them around and shoving cameras in their faces. Be more mature.

From Ezridershd:

I just returned from Vons. One person gathering signatures for Home Depot. I watched as she approached 2 men and she asked them to sign. Once they told her they were homeless, she backed off. Note here that they both did NOT look the homeless type. She then approached me and ask if I would sign FOR Home Depot. I said no thank you and again, she backed off. My point here is, so what's the problem? They don't have a right to collect signatures? I had no problem with her conduct.

From Black Velvet :

I was approached this morning
outside IHOP in Tujunga.
A young woman asked my nephew and I
if we would sign the petition to bring
Home Depot into the old Kmart Property...
we both replied with
"heck no, but thank you anyway ! "
She was nice and didn't hassle us after that !


From sdpammie :

I was approached by two youngish men on Saturday morning in the Vons parking lot with bright yellow "petitions" in their hands. They asked if I lived in S-T. Not wanting to be bothered with what I thought were political propositions, I just said "No, I don't." They gave me a funny look as if they didn't believe me, but didn't say anything. I was not in the mood to be hassled so good that they moved on.

May 29, 2007 9:20 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The people in Sunland-Tujunga talk out of both sides of their mouths. On the one hand they said that the traffic study for the Home Depot was wrong because it would bring alot more traffic than the K-mart did because its business was so bad, and on the other hand they said that K-mart was selling a lot of merchandise and doing well.


What is it, did K-mart do well or not?

If K-mart did indeed do a lot of business then a Home Depot (that is supposedly not needed) will not do well and not cause any more traffic.

If K-mart had little business then how is it supposed to make any money? And what makes them think that a Target or an new K-mart will do any better? If no one wants to shop there then a general merchandise store won't open up.

All an EIR will do is to make the process longer but it won't stop the project. It will just make it more expensive and maybe Home Depot will give up.

But be carefull what you wish for if Home Depot will require an EIR another store may also be required to do an EIR and this site will sit abandoned for years just being an eyesore.

I bet that if this was actually put up for vote in the community the community would ok the Home Depot. It just a few "self-appointed" community leaders who probably got all of 500 votes at the neighborhood council who are against this Home Depot.

What is CD#2 doing listening to these self appointed leaders?

I wish that Home Depot could personally sue all of these bozos.

What the residents really don't want is Mexicans in the area asking for jobs. I have heard people say this at some of the meetings.

I don't live in this area but I have been to a few meetings and these are my observations.

May 29, 2007 9:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wow, the amount of information in this thread is amazing. I hope all S.&T. residents read it.

May 29, 2007 9:35 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

All an EIR will do is to make the process longer but it won't stop the project. It will just make it more expensive and maybe Home Depot will give up.

Yes, an EIR will make the process longer but HD will not give up. They got the 20-year lease from Kmart at a very good price.

But be carefull what you wish for if Home Depot will require an EIR another store may also be required to do an EIR and this site will sit abandoned for years just being an eyesore.

Exactly. Target would have to do an EIR too because the community has made it clear that substantial alterations constitute a "Project" under the Foothill Boulevard Specific Plan. If Target was interested in the property before (although there has never been any proof of this), they definiately won't be interested now that they see the community will require an EIR because it was a "Project."

Mr. Booher explained this well. It is not an issue of home improvement store vs. general merchandise store. It's an issue of whether a tenant improvement constitutes a "Project." By No2HD's rationale, a Target, Kohl's, or bigger Ralphs would also require an EIR. You reap what you sow!

May 29, 2007 9:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The shills forgot to post these comments from the forum:

I personally am very proud that we got out there and did something that we fully believe in for our community. It is not that we felt insecure, it is that we felt BOTH sides NEEDED to be represented...

And...my dignity stayed with me all day!!...I am a homeowner here, I pay taxes here...What little I can do, I will do.

I really think Home Depot wishes that we would just stay away and let them do their thing...this in itself infuriates me. How dare they!! Let them be on the up and up and let residents that live here, that want a Home Depot, express that for themselves...don't send to our community hired signature gatherers that have no idea what we deal with in our city!


If past experiences are any guide, watch for the Home Depot shills to start obscuring their message: i.e. arguing against blight, but for Home Depot as a cure; for "healthy competition" with local businesses, etc.



They're being dishonest. If locals genuinely want Home Depot in the community, they can speak up for themselves, and take it up with NHDC and STNC. Home Depot is using their marketing gremlins to sidestep community will (i.e.: as represented the Foothill Corridor Specific Plan, IIRC) and drum up support by misrepresenting their position and fabricating supporters.

During the elections, Chevron mailed fake voting guides for democrats which represented every party position accurately except one: the oil tax which would have gone towards alternative energy research. It told democrats to vote against it, exactly opposite the mainstream democratic position. What Home Depot is doing is no different, IMO.



My son and I were out at the Ralphs in Sunland where we handed a flyer to everyone that was about to sign, (ultimately) preventing signatures, the whole time we were there, they only got 1 signature! (I think we were there for at least a couple of hours!! The guy started to get really mad at me. He even started telling people that HE lived in this community!! I told him I felt it was very wrong for him to lie like that!!! He then mentioned that we could not stay out and counter his signatures longer than he could as he has been doing this (I assume getting signatures for companies) for 6 years!!! I quickly remarked that I could tell he was the ultimate professional!! More than one person remarked that they felt obligated to listen to the young man (Zack) and they could not sign in favor of Home Depot!! Anyway, they left and we are on a break and will go back in a few minutes. Anyone else want to join us???? I am really surprised by the "scumminess" of Home Depot to do this... If I had any doubt, then this really confirms to me that they could care less about us and our community...How low can you go???????



I am for all for free speech but I am against misrepresentation and not telling the truth. Many people that we talked to said they were being told what they were signing was a survey as to wanting jobs in this community!! Some people were not even told it was for Home Depot...

We spoke to some people that said they had signed and were very upset that it was misrepresented to them...


it has nothing to do with being mature or not. most people know why i want to keep home depot out. even though the no home depot has a different reason than me i applaud them for not giving up. just look at the condition our state is in and that is because people sit on their hands and( just letting them be) and yes the home depot signatures people have a right also to fight for what they belive in to. just remember they get paid for the signatures so i can guess that what they belive in, filling their wallets, not protecting our town


billywilly3 , I believe N2HD knows fully well that the community supports them . That is why they have the continued courage to stand up to these HD "characters" who seem to literally come out of the woodwork in the final hours before the Hearing. It is remarkable that those few; Abby, Nina and Elaine were out in force the other night dealing with the ambush arrival of these petitioners for hire after being up till the wee hours finalizing a beautiful report for June 7th !
The N2HD frontliners I also believe know HD like the back of their hand and any move Joe and Abby et al call for is credible and IMO is just another reminder of their collective integrity.
__________________

May 29, 2007 9:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I think that to "pass" an EIR means to be able or willing to resolve the mitigation issues.

May 29, 2007 10:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If past experiences are any guide, watch for the Home Depot shills to start obscuring their message: i.e. arguing against blight, but for Home Depot as a cure; for "healthy competition" with local businesses, etc.

No one has made any of those points here.

Home Depot is using their marketing gremlins to sidestep community will (i.e.: as represented the Foothill Corridor Specific Plan, IIRC) and drum up support by misrepresenting their position and fabricating supporters.

No, at least 5 people on the foothills forum attest to the fact that the "gremlins" were honest about their intentions. See Anon 9:20.

My son and I were out at the Ralphs in Sunland where we handed a flyer to everyone that was about to sign, (ultimately) preventing signatures, the whole time we were there, they only got 1 signature!

Why try so hard to prevent signatures if the community supports you? What a waste of time!

I am for all for free speech but I am against misrepresentation and not telling the truth. Many people that we talked to said they were being told what they were signing was a survey as to wanting jobs in this community!! Some people were not even told it was for Home Depot...

At least 5 people on the foothills forum say the petitioners were telling the truth. See Anon 9:20

just remember they get paid for the signatures so i can guess that what they belive in, filling their wallets, not protecting our town

I would like proof that the signature gatherers are being paid by Home Depot. I would also like proof that Joe and his gang are not having N2DH paid by Do-It-Center. It matters little whether they get any personal compensation in this regard.

billywilly3 , I believe N2HD knows fully well that the community supports them

Based on what, exactly?

The N2HD frontliners I also believe know HD like the back of their hand and any move Joe and Abby et al call for is credible and IMO is just another reminder of their collective integrity.

On this blog, Joe has stated that HD acquired the site through bankruptcy proceedings. I can dig that up if you want. Anon 12:41 proved that is not the case. Joe and his gang have no integrity.

Joe and his gang also frame the debate in terms of a general merchandise store vs. a home improvement store. Mr. Booher's decision said that a home improvement store is no different than a general merchandise store. The only issue is whether the remodeling merits an EIR, and it's a safe bet that Target or Kohl's remodeling would require an EIR.

Whatever happened to honesty?

May 29, 2007 10:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I think that to "pass" an EIR means to be able or willing to resolve the mitigation issues.

Anybody know of an EIR that did not resolve the mitigation issues to the satisfaction of City Council? Me neither.

May 29, 2007 10:10 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Oh My Gosh, here's more from the foothills forum:

Judging from the two people present, it is all but obvious that HD has done the typical focus-group homework.

One guy is bearded and seemingly "manly" (but nevertheless nothing near the "mountain man" that HD's PR firm thought would be appealing) and the other is a latina whose sexy appeal would net whoever was not caught by the skinny Grizzly Adams.

Sadly, these two obvious otherwise unhireable actors were no doubt hired at an abysmally low rate, and were they bought off for a slightly higher rate for an hour or two after their day gig (or, as some folk have told me I should term it, "job"), there may well have been some eyebrow-raising revelations.


Where do you think they will show up next?
And the bigger question is - How many of the petition signatures are real?
And do they need to be collected in the S-T area only?
And are they doing the same thing at their Sylmar store?

"Exuse me sir. Wouldn't it be much more convenient if we had another store a lot closer to you? Hmmmm?" Sign here.


Home Depot's really scraping the bottom of the barrel with this new astroturf campaign. If this is the face of big business, I'll stick with the mom and pops.

Excellent idea to print up a brief statement re: the N2HD position in case HD workers make false claims ...we can hand them our "script" on the spot as proof we are not bashing day laborers etccc.
Yes, obviously scattering about town is their MO considering the Hearing is coming up soon, so, N2HD will just show up as well , manners and all, and they will continue to see we can't be beat.

May 29, 2007 10:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Judging from the two people present, it is all but obvious that HD has done the typical focus-group homework.

One guy is bearded and seemingly "manly" (but nevertheless nothing near the "mountain man" that HD's PR firm thought would be appealing) and the other is a latina whose sexy appeal would net whoever was not caught by the skinny Grizzly Adams.


I've seen photos of the girl. I doubt that she's Latina.

And are they doing the same thing at their Sylmar store?

No, "they" aren't, whoever "they" are. Sylmar is not involved in this issue and Joe B. and his crew have never claimed Sylmar was involved. On behalf of Joe, please stay focused on the issue of Sunland-Tujunga.

and they will continue to see we can't be beat.

This isn't a matter of being "beat" or not, whatever that means. If the Planning Commission decides that HD needs an EIR, it will ultimately win, just at a higher price. A higher price that will be passed onto the customers in your neighborhood.

May 29, 2007 10:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wow, Joe and the other N2HD's are being demolished on this blog! It might have been better never to start posting here and on foothills forum! These guys are handing your balls to you every time!

May 29, 2007 10:33 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What proof do you have that they are not doing this at the Sylmar store?
What proof do you have that the cost of an EIR will be passed on to the customers of Sunland-Tujunga?

May 29, 2007 10:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The No2HD people are doing pretty damn good IMO, the shills are just being, well, shills.

May 29, 2007 10:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What proof do you have that they are not doing this at the Sylmar store?

I know for a fact that no one is collecting signatures at the Sylmar store. You can't prove me wrong!

What proof do you have that the cost of an EIR will be passed on to the customers of Sunland-Tujunga?

Well, let's see, the "Wannabe Mayors and Council People" on the STNC and N2DC want HD to submit to an EIR. HD will still open, mind you, just at a cost of $2-$3 mil. more. Just how will they recoup that cost? It's basic business.

the shills are just being, well, shills.

I have no interest, financial or otherwise, in Home Depot, Latham & Watkins, or the City of L.A. I just want my fellow Sunland-Tujunga residents to recognize the reality of the situation. If you imply otherwise, please try again.

May 29, 2007 10:44 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Balls. Handed. To. Them.

Why do these guys keep trying to argue? Stop and recongize that these comments will be used at the June 7th hearing. Give up while you're still "ahead."

May 29, 2007 10:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

True! HD will have their balls handed to them on June 7th! Go S-T and keep up the great work NHDC!

May 29, 2007 10:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

True! HD will have their balls handed to them on June 7th! Go S-T and keep up the great work NHDC!

That's right! NHDC has made a great case that Target will come to this property instead of Home Depot! Socks and underwear for all!

We love you Joe C., you are a master of PR! Please quit your day job and focus on stuff like this! Please!!!

May 29, 2007 11:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Home Depot claims in their appeal that they are spending $250,000 a month to maintain the property and pay rent. If an EIR costs $1mil or even more, why did they not go through this 3 years ago? They could have saved a lot of money if the outcome would have been an opened store.
They will die in an EIR due to public hearings, and mitigation measures that they cannot overcome. The community is opposed to them, the Council member is opposed to them, and even the Mayor wants to wash his hands of this whole mess.
HD has f*cked up big time.

May 29, 2007 11:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This blogg is a waste of valuable time and energy on everyone's part. This matter will not be settled on a blog where opinions and motions are running rampant. Nothing will be settled by the "opinion petitions" being gathered. The Planning Commission will be addressing the issue of whether or not the permits were erroneously issured and if an EIR will be required. I beleive the activity of last weekend was a unforunate waste of everyone's time
and resources. Everyone should have been at home bar-b-queing.

May 30, 2007 11:00 AM  

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