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Monday, October 27, 2008

Avis Ridley-Thomas, Home Depot, and the Art of Manipulation!


Garbage in, Garbage Out.


It's been awhile since I've posted an update on the continuing Home Depot battle in Sunland-Tujunga. Not that it's all been quiet on the North Valley Front, rather so much has been happening, so rapidly, that the complexity and dynamics of the situation have required more time than I can devote to reporting the story. As Zuma Dogg might say, 'The Shady Never Sleep'!

So for this update, I've chosen one very disturbing piece of the story, and her name is Avis Ridley-Thomas (ART). ART runs the Dispute Resolution Program (DRP), part of the City Attorney's office.

Now bear with me for a bit of background. In November 2007, Home Depot filed a lawsuit against the City Council for revoking their tenant improvements building permit. Back in March of this year , the Home Depot agreed to suspend their lawsuit and file a Project Permit application to build their store per the local Specific Plan, a City Ordinance. After Home Depot suspended their lawsuit, the Order to Stay Litigation Stipulation included a directive that meetings be held between Home Depot and Sunland-Tujunga community leaders in order to facilitate discussion of the issue. The DRP was asked to oversee these discussions, and this is where the problems began.

On April 26, a meeting sponsored by the DRP was held in which 250+ residents attended and a consensus was reached by S-T stakeholders that Home Depot did not belong in that former Kmart location, was in violation of our Community Plan, and must undergo a full Environmental Impact Review (EIR) so that everyone would better understand the impacts their proposed store would have on the Sunland-Tujunga neighborhood. On a side note, Home Depot could voluntarily undergo an EIR (as many developers are known to do), but has repeatedly refused.

What did ART and the DRP make of this overwhelming unified consensus?

They decided that there was a dispute in the community, and they were going to solve it (huh?). ART promised an open and transparent process and then immediately scheduled a closed door meeting with selected participants, many of which were not S-T community leaders, nor even residents of the area (invited guests included Brendan Huffman from VICA and others no one had heard of). The purpose of this meeting was to schedule another meeting and to lay down the ground rules.

On October 16th, a 3rd meeting was held at L.A. City Hall, with invited participants and again behind closed doors. There were also 8 police officers on hand to search the attendees, and presumably preserve order in case of trouble.

At this meeting, a motion was made to suspend the DRP process until City Planning had made a determination as to whether Home Depot's application for CEQA exemption would be granted or not. A CEQA exemption would mean that Home Depot would not have to undergo any environmental review, and no mitigation of their impacts would be required. A majority voted that indeed these DRP talks were premature, and as City Planning was the lead agency (not the DRP) then why not wait until the lead agency could provide some guidance as to what the group should be discussing.

Are you with me so far?

So the majority of the participants voted to suspend the talks, until an appropriate time in the future. The DRP representatives went out of their way to ensure that the language calling for a suspension was correct, and assured everyone that what the community wanted was vitally important. Everyone shook hands, and called it a night.


But Avis Ridley-Thomas, who was not present at this meeting, would have none of this. A few days later, in response to an email re-capping the events of the October 16th meeting, she issued this statement:

"The Dispute Resolution Program has been contacted by a member of the Sunland-Tujunga community to facilitate and/or mediate further sessions to resolve the matter involving the Home Depot.

As in every other matter where we are contacted by a member of the community, we are proceeeding forthwith.

The process will be voluntary and confidential unless and until the parties deem otherwise."


As you can probably surmise, the community is outraged!

In one brief statement, ART dismisses the democratic process, the votes of the majority, and plows ahead with her mission. She will put together another group, one likely more sympathetic to Home Depot, regardless to whether they represent the sentiments of the Sunland-Tujunga community or not, until she gets the consensus she is seeking (or has been ordered to?).

Yes, the Shady Never Sleep, and it appears that Avis Ridley-Thomas and the DRP are over-reaching their legal boundaries, and creating more problems than ever existed before the DRP became involved.

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31 Comments:

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Excellent post Joe and one people should read.

Even if one doesn't have an issue with this particular Home Depot project you should be concerned about the tactics of the city here.

More and more it looks like we should revive the secession movement in LA. This time I think it would win.

October 27, 2008 8:05 AM  

Blogger Tomikins said:

Once again the DRP, ART and Home Depot have demonstrated the complete lack of concern for the people of this community and their complete disregard for the law, and in this case the city council too, and their "above the law" attitude. When will it end?

October 27, 2008 8:23 AM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

Here is my question, what the hell are the dim bulbs at City Hall thinking? Sending in the DRP to "settle" a dispute between their constituents (the hard-working taxpayers of Sunland Tujunga) an an Atlanta based Corporation?

The impetus for this is that middle ground exists, it doesn't. The people don't want Home Depot in their community and that is that.

The City of Los Angeles needs to tell Home Depot to pack up and leave, law-suits be dammed. It's about time they start representing the residents of this city and quit looking for political cover behind the DRC.

October 27, 2008 10:30 AM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Jim is right. Even though I have a libertarian private property-rights orientation, the Home Depot project doesn't add up. HD is wrong from a business point of view because the site does not suit their typical model, there is no guarantee they'd be profitable and the community does not support them.

The whole DRP process is a sham, huge waste of money and time. I've spent a lot of time in Sunland Tujunga and I have yet to find anyone who wants the store.

By the way did you know Joe Biden took campaign contributions from Home Depot?

October 27, 2008 10:58 AM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

I am, but is isn't the company I oppose, it is the project.

October 27, 2008 12:14 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

But Jim - aren't you working with the unions to block Home Depot and Wal-Marts everywhere?

You know the funny thing about stores like Costco, Wal-Mart and Home Depot? I don't like shopping at them. They are too big and I can't find what I'm looking for. I prefer Target and if I do go to a hardware store (very rarely) I go to Anawalt True Value here in NoHo cause it's much easier to get in and out of there (though it's a pretty big store itself). I hate Costco, it's too crazy there and I went to a Wal-Mart once and found it too confusing.

October 27, 2008 12:27 PM  

Blogger Joe the Plumber said:

Shame on you all...

Secession- really Higby? That's your solution? That's like those liberal hippies that want revolution, but won't raise arms, and would piss their pants if they actually had power. (I'm talking about you Ralph Nader & anyone else with Rage Against The Machine on their Ipods!)

The cream rises to the top and what we saw with the leaders of secession what not the cream of the crop. That issue is dead, so please let it rest in peace.

I think Home Depot probably knows its business better than Higby does.

"HD is wrong from a business point of view because the site does not suit their typical model, there is no guarantee they'd be profitable and the community does not support them."

Guarantee of profit? Who expects a guarantee of profit! Did you learn that at business school Mike? Business 101- only open a business if you can guarantee profitability...

The residents of Sunland Tujunga who don't want a Home Depot are a mix of CAVEs (Citizens Against Virtually Everything), NIMBYs (Not in My Back Yarders) and closet racist not wanting "those people" hanging out in front of the Home Depot looking for work...a vocal minority anywhere else, but perhaps the majority in S/T.

Higby: can't find anyone who really wants it there? Probably a reflection of the company you keep. (CAVE's, NIMBY's, and well, you get the picture...)

Think about it. Would your friend Joe the Plumber take time out of his day to speak up for Home Depot?

Who really wants to invest time in coming out to be in favor of a Home Depot? Shop there, sure, but invest my time to help a corporate interest build its store, not so much.

But give people with too much time on their hands something to fight against and they'll get all fired up. In the end the appearance is that this organized, vocal group is representing the voice of a community. A real David & Goliath story...pulls on your heart strings doesn't it?

And Jim, City Hall should represent the community, not just the residents. What would a community be without residents? What would a community be without businesses?

"The City of Los Angeles needs to tell Home Depot to pack up and leave, law-suits be dammed. It's about time they start representing the residents of this city..."

I'm not saying City Hall has it right, but please, don't tell me they should only represent residents. That's a recipe for disaster. I know Greig Smith my friend, and you are no Greig Smith. You've got a long way to go before you're ready for the big leagues my friend. So please spare us all and don't run for any more offices.

How about this- Let the market decided if Home Depot stays or goes. If people don't want it they won't shop there and the store will close. Seems easy enough.

I will, however, not defend DRP. That's just silly.

BTW- walmart too confusing- you're a real mental giant aren't ya there tough guy!

October 27, 2008 12:52 PM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:

Joe B -- "ART" needs taking down. Got something in mind?

Joe the Plumber -- butt out.

We don't want HD in Sunland. PERIOD.

There's already one less than 7 miles away in Sylmar on Foothill Blvd. Feel free to check out the quality atmosphere there. I do every other morning when I go for breakfast at the McDonalds. It's very special.

I always need building supplies, but cannot stand HD. Most of the time they do not have what I need and I have to make a second trip somewhere else like OSH where I know for sure they'll have the items.

October 27, 2008 2:12 PM  

Blogger Jack Hoff said:

Can someone please send Joe the Plumber a copy of Alan Greenspan's testimony before Congress last week? Thanks so much!

October 27, 2008 2:23 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Joe the Stumbler -

The Wal-Mart I went to (in Rancho Mirage) the layout didn't make sense. It seemed as if some things were here, more of those things way over there and then some. You go to Target and it's like a circuit - furniture, kitchen utensils, linens, electronics, auto parts, garden, cleaning supplies, groceries, pharmacy with clothes all in the middle. Pretty easy to quickly navigate.

I'm a free market guy but for sure I believe there is some call for the community to have a say on development in their area.

And my visits to ST were far beyond just the people I know. I met quite a few people and just driving around, going to stores, restaurants, etc. I found lots of people opposed to HD that were not directly associated with N2HD or had even shown up to meetings. Even as I drove around with Joe B folks would honk and wave at him with his N2HD signs on his truck. That tells you something.

Oh and considering when I went to the DRP meeting, that I saw LOTS of non-white faces (as well as lesbians too!) opposed to Home Depot, it's silly to say their opposition is racist.

October 27, 2008 2:58 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Hi Petra,

Hope you are well! I am sure when you say "taken down" you mean removed from her position in a judicious and legal way.

The last thing we want is the Ridley-Thomases saying that the Valleyistas are threatening her safety.

By the way Joe the Stumbler you don't deserve to take the moniker of that great American the real Joe the Plumber who's been investigated by Barack Obama (and whose DMV records in Ohio were broken into).

Joe might turn out to the most politically significant plumber since HR Halderman.

Imagine - that Obama is Nixon and Carter all rolled into one!

October 27, 2008 4:42 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

Joe the Strummer,
What you may not realize is that the people fighting Home Depot want to see the right development on the former K-Mart site. Our community has a very limited amount of land (as we are located between 2 mountain narrow ranges. This 11 acre site is the only available location large enough to support a retail development that serves the locals.
If we lose this site to HD, that's it! It's all over. We will still have to drive or bus ourselves to Burbank or other non LA cities to meet our general merchandise needs. Hardware stores, we got. General merchandise, we do not. Home Depot has a store 10 minutes away in San Fernando, and Lowes is opening a store about 7 minutes away in Pacoima. This is about smart and balanced development, not
about being Nimbys or Caves.

October 27, 2008 5:10 PM  

Blogger Joe the Plumber said:

Mike,

I accept that Wal-mart may not have a lay out that seems logical to you.

But how about this for making sense: Home Depot doesn’t willy-nilly decisions. They make them based on economic feasibility studies and business modeling.

My point is who are you to tell them the store is wrong from a business point of view and back it up by saying

1. It doesn’t suit the typical HD model
2. There is not any guarantee of profit, and
3. The community doesn’t support them


1. I think Home Deport knows its modeling and can project a successful store better than you can, and if they are wrong the store will close.
2. Again, not sure what business teachings you’re working off of, but none that I know of guarantee you profit. If the store is not profitable, the store will close.
3. The “community support” argument is my favorite. If the community doesn’t support the store then guess what…IT WILL CLOSE!!!

The problem here is that Joe B and company know that if they don’t defeat the store before it opens, it will succeed. If they really represented the community, they would let the store open, and it would fail, and Home Depot would go away.

But alas, we all know the store will thrive, and here in lies the problem

This is going from a Kmart to a Home Depot. It’s not like they are taking pristine open space or tearing down some little old lady’s house. The magistrates have decided to figure out ways to muck up the permitting process in the interest of politics, not policy.

There comes a point where a vocal and organized group like Joe’s loses sight of its goals and gets tunnel vision.

If they are righteous in their position, their neighbors won’t shop there and guess what, the store will close.

Now if it is built it is a blow to their ego. It is an affront to them personally.
The problem here is that these people with too much time on their hands have found a cause…and didn’t come up with an exit strategy other than to say NO HOME DEPOT! Perhaps because anything beyond that would require critical thought too complicated for their minions…oops, sorry Mike…But telling me you drove around with joe b is like saying you’re riding with the pied piper.

“Even as I drove around with Joe B folks would honk and wave at him with his N2HD signs on his truck. That tells you something.”

Yeah, joe B is a bad driver! Horn broken, watch for finger!

Mike, have you ever conducted a survey, sampling, or poll? What happens if you take a random sampling, versus say a prescribed sampling. If you ask 10 people at a Klan rally if they support civil rights, and 10 out of 10 say no, does that make for a valid survey? No, you had an audience that was predisposed to a position. Who is gonna take the time to speak in favor of a home depot? Not joe the plumber, I’m busy working and as soon as that’s over I’m polishing off a six pack. But what am I telling you for, you went to the DRP meeting…and you are now Joe six pack.

But let’s play a numbers game… How many people went to the DRB meeting? How many honked at Joe B when you drove around? How many people signed a petition their neighbors shoved in front of them minus those that signed it to avoid conflict and just get back to dinner? Add all those up, and divide it by the number of people who live in S/T. What % do you come up with?

If you’ve ever had to sit on a decision making body that is open to public comment, you start to realize that not everyone’s comments are genuine and you start to decode the language.

Have you ever been in a spot like that Mike?

Sorry folks, but you’re tilting and windmills up there in S/T.

Home Depot is coming to S/T for the same reason that Trader Joe’s won’t (quick history lesson about the old ford site and the petition circulated around S/T to get a Trader Joe’s at that location) - it’s the economy stupid!

HD knows the numbers are there, TJ’s knows what the demographics are. But like my Daddy always said, there are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them that have to piss on the electric fence for themselves.

Joe B or Mike, or Jim. Give me 3 clear and concise reasons why HD is so bad for S/T ?

October 27, 2008 5:20 PM  

Blogger Joe the Plumber said:

Joe B. Your argument beings to make sense, and is better than you trying to argue procedural issues of CEQA, opening meeting laws and the like.

Here’s what undermines your “we need general merchandise argument”: there is a target in Pacoima closer than the HD in sylmar and the soon to be Lowes, and if "the rock" needs anything it needs schools and medical services, not more general merchandise. That is why KMART closed shop. It wasn’t profitable to keep the store open. Not enough buyers. Not enough need.

What doesn’t help your cause are people like petra.

“There's already one less than 7 miles away in Sylmar on Foothill Blvd. Feel free to check out the quality atmosphere there. I do every other morning when I go for breakfast at the McDonalds. It's very special.”

Quality atmosphere? Whatever do you mean petra? Are referring to being petrified of Mexicans? Day Laborers? Hmmm? I wonder?

And mike, why shouldn’t I take the moniker of Joe the Plumber…you and I might agree on something someday…and if you were true to the values you portray and not playing to the crowd a little you might agree that if the NO2HD folks are righteous, let them build out the HD and it will fail like Kmart did.

BTW- goat-jacker-offer- read Greenspans comments- what a champ! Real American heroes can admit when they are wrong, and he did!

October 27, 2008 5:40 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

Like I said Joe, this community already has hardware stores, we should not be forced to travel to Pacoima for general merchandise.
Moms & Seniors have a greater need for general merchandise. It is a real pain to load up the kids and drive to another town for basic household needs. Balanced development, not Home Depot placing a store here to drive the mom & pops out of business and serve contractors from outside of the area.

October 27, 2008 5:48 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

BTW, the Kmart closed because of a nationwide bankruptcy settlement, not lack of sales. K-Mart dumped most of the stores that were on leased land as ours was.

October 27, 2008 5:50 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

Joe, 3 reasons.

1. Home Depot is an industrial warehouse store, it sells in bulk, thus it's vendors must restock the store often, way more often than a store that sells clothes and coffee makers. This requires large trucks to carry heavy loads of lumber & bricks, etc down our one road through town. We're talking about 20+ of these deliveries per day. KMart had 1 0r 2 deliveries per week. Big difference!

2. Our community Plan designates this site as a pedestrian friendly
community retail center that serves the need of the locals. Who walks to Home Depot? Think shopping carts not forklifts.

3.There is an LAUSD elementary school less than a city block away. Trucks, and 18 wheelers do not mix with kids. The air quality from this increased presence of diesel trucks will adversely affect our unique air quality. We have a long history of being a refuge for asthmatics. This LAUSD school is reached by walking or driving by the proposed HD site.

I have plenty of more reasons if these aren't enough.

October 27, 2008 6:33 PM  

Blogger CreekHiker said:

Why do I get the impression that "Joe the Plumber" is really Rick Purcell??? Why not just admit you're on HD payroll?

As someone who lives behind this location, I don't want HD there ever! K-mart was a noisy enough neighbor but to have a store there that gets deliveries 24 /7... this will not be the quiet little house I worked so hard for!

Joe B - Great post!

October 27, 2008 6:49 PM  

Blogger Jack Hoff said:

Ah, Joe the Plumber, you missed my point and now you're probably going to charge me overtime...

From AP: "Greenspan, 82, acknowledged under questioning that he had made a “mistake” in believing that banks, operating in their own self-interest, would do what was necessary to protect their shareholders and institutions. Greenspan called that 'a flaw in the model ... that defines how the world works.'”

When you dictate to the S-T folk that they should trust Home Depot and the free market instead of looking out for their own community interest; in light of Greenspan's comments in testimony, you appear a little out of step with current realities. That's all I was saying.

Must go. It's time for dinner and there's a delightful tin can with my name on it!

October 27, 2008 7:06 PM  

Blogger Duh! said:

Faq Check:

1) The real Joe the Plummer is pretty much a liar - so not a particularly good model to use even for a Pro-Home Depot advocate. Joe, whose real name is Sam, has no money, no licence and no prospects to buy any plumbing business, and would benefit from Barack's tax plan not McCain's.

2) The Foothill Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan which is a City Ordinance that requires that any development on the old K-mart property must be "neighborhood friendly retail" or in other words of a shopping cart retail nature not a fork lift warehouse. To place a Home Depot on this property is to break City Law aside from the fact that the K-Mart property is located near an elementary school and in the midst of a residentail neighborhood.

3) The K-Mart that was located on this property was one of the most successful K-Marts in Southern California and was only closed because they were required to close all of their stores when they filed bankruptcy.

4) The City Council did not order the Community Leaders of Sunland Tujunga to negotiate with Home Depot - the Judge listening to the lawsuit between Home Depot and the City ordered the process.

5) The Community Leaders of Sunland Tujunga do not have "too much time on their hands." Actually, the number of land use problems are innumerable and take up a huge amount of their time. Developers in Los Angeles literally think they own Los Angeles and that the people have no purpose except to acquiese to their wishes and pay taxes. Many of us are "Proud to be NIMBYs" and any community that does not look out for its backyard will get what it does not deserve!

6) "Those People" as referred to by "Sam the Plumber" that always hang out around Home Depots already hang out in Sunland Tujunga on Foothill just west of Haines Canyon. They have not been run out of town by Sunland Tujungans so far and would just move from one location to another. There is no communitiy in Los Angeles which is more diverse; racism and gay-bashing just doesn't happen here unless it comes from Home Depot, their supporters, and their PR folks.

7) One does have to stop and wonder why "Those People" only hang out at Home Depots and not at Oshs, Lowes, Do It Centers, or hardwares. Why is that, Sam?

8) Because the building on this site is under 100,000 square feet Home Depot would not be required to build a Worker's Center located on its property, so where would, "Those People" use the bathroom, throw their trash, etc., Sam? Is it possible that the sidewalk used four times a day for children to travel back and forth from home to school might be the depository for their urine, stools, bottles and food wrappings?

9) This site would be the only Home Depot site in Los Angeles in the middle of a residential area, and the only site in a community which has only one ingress and one egress, and the only one next to an elementary school. So, Sam, if you are really interested in how a Home Depot does in a residential area, check out the very high crime rates and real problems at the Glendale HD store which is only partially in a residential area.

October 27, 2008 8:02 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Joe Biden,

Not in any particular order, first off there were probably about 300 people at that meeting. I spent the whole afternoon not participating but walking around listening to the different tables and then the final presentation. There was no one there in favor of Home Depot who didn't work for them.

Even if all the residents of Sunland-Tujunga don't shop at HD, it will still get business from surrounding communities.

You have to look at the site. It's really too small and trucks going in and out of there are going to have a tough time and cause a severe impact on the surrounding neighborhood.

If anything, just for good PR, Home Depot should pull out and move on.

October 27, 2008 8:05 PM  

Blogger Duh! said:

Faq Check:

10) The success of Home Depot in this town will depend on outsiders, because most of us in Sunland Tujunga will never use this potential store or any other Home Depot for that matter; however, those residents of communities on our perimeter don't necessarily give a hoot about S-T. They would be likely to come up over Foothill from the west through Lake View Terrace, a horse community, or over Sunland Boulevard, a horse community, or even from the communities to the east; communities where Anawalt, Osh, Do It Center, hardwares,and many other businesses and contractors which specialize would be put in jeopardy of going under just as would be the many merchants of Sunland Tujunga. Our community merchants and contractors cannot survive Home Depot undercutting them, and our community cannot handle the tremendous increase in traffic that Home Depot would generate.

October 27, 2008 8:17 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

Michael,

Walmart yes, Home Depot no. WalMart is single handedly responsible for the exportation of MILLIONS of US manufacturing jobs. They ride the "free market" to China while we are on the brink of a major recession or worse.

It is time people understand that buying AMERICAN and supporting your local stores helps us as a nation. Yes, it can cost more. Yes it can be difficult but there is a difference between shouting USA and actually DOING something to keep US business alive.

My opposition to the ST Home Depot is based completely on the communities wishes, as was my issue with the Northridge Wal-art. But as I grew older I learned what WM was all about and came to the conclusion they are just plain bad.

October 27, 2008 9:48 PM  

Blogger LannyMc said:

Have you been to HD lately? It certainly has never resembled the one I see in the commercials. The last couple of times I have tried to purchase anything, I ended up leaving after 15 minutes of standing and waiting for someone, anyone, to come and help me. The aisles are a mess and the help, when it does come, is not very knowledgable. We have several smaller hardware stores in town, and the larger ones are just a stones throw away. WE DO NOT NEED A HARDWARE STORE. Why is this so hard to comprehend? I live in this community, invest in it and send my children to school here. I certainly feel it is within my rights as a homeowner to have a say in what business comes in. And you really need to stop with the racial baiting. Really. It won't work. The only people to bring up race has been the HD people.

October 27, 2008 10:46 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

The real Joe the Plumber is not a liar, what the hell, are you drinking Joy Behar's Kool-Aid?

October 27, 2008 11:59 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Someone asked me to post this:

I agree with Joe B., the DRP has added more problems to this issue than anyone could have imagined. Shady, is right. The entire Home Depot proposal from the very beginning in 2004 has been shady. The Home Depot was trying to fly under the radar of local regulations with their Tenant Improvements building permits which eventually were revoked. It is absolutely clear that they are still trying to avoid Environmental Review on an even larger level with their application for exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The DRP is not the method nor the authority to "settle" this Land Use decision. What a waste of everyone's time and taxpayer money. Where's all the muckrakers?!!

October 28, 2008 12:01 AM  

Blogger Duh! said:

Faq Check:

Sorry, Michael, Joe's real name ain't Joe; Joe does not have a licence to practice plumbing; Joe does not own a plumbing business; Joe is turning his five seconds of fame into a book; Joe will receive a tax break from Obama's tax plan, because he does not make anywhere near $250,000 - not even $200,000 which is where the tax cuts will stop and limbo will start.
Duh! the Joe exposer.

October 28, 2008 12:27 AM  

Blogger SevenHillsTujunga said:

As a resident of Tujunga for a decade it is my opinion that we really don't need another home improvement center or hardware store. If it were a Lowes in lieu of a Homo Depot I would be of the same opinion.

An EIR really should be done regardless of who moves in and leases the property. I believe HD's fears are that they know they wouldn't pass an EIR. Being the large company they are if that is the case (knowing they wouldn't pass and EIR review) they knew it way back when they tried to sneak in a major PROJECT as minor renovations.

If HD knows they will pass an EIR, why not just go ahead and pay for one and get it done and over with. They may say it's the principle of it and therefore they shouldn't have to do it. But...how much money have they lost interim with all the bickering. Just do one independently and get it done and prove the community wrong.

With housing prices falling and foreclosures continuing it would be nice to see something go in at the old K-Mart site. No matter what goes in, jobs will be created.

If a HD goes in I will not shop there. No matter what goes in an EIR should be done.

Stop all the nonproductive meetings and snowjobs. Life is going on and the old K-Mart property is another eyesore in our beautiful community. Let's all get together and play fairly. No more schoolyard tactics.

All this ART business and the DRP meetings along with Town Council and City Hall meetings has been a circus. The only time we need a circus in Sunland Tujunga is when we have a fund raiser down at the Sunland Park like the Lions hold.

October 28, 2008 7:47 AM  

Blogger Duh! said:

Michael: FYI from Huffington's Post

Fox's Shepard Smith Forced To Offer Disclaimer After Joe The Plumber Interview
October 28, 2008 05:51 PM
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Joe The Plumber was out on the trail with John McCain today, apparently giving the thumbs up to someone in the crowd who felt that an Obama Presidency would bring about the end of Israel. From Raw Story:

The Ohio plumber, who has no license and is actually named Samuel Wurzelbacher, spoke at a McCain campaign event in Columbus Monday. A McCain supporter asked if "a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel." JTP hardly batted an eye.

"I'll go ahead and agree with you on that," Wurzelbacher said.


It's all a part of Joe the Plumber's "Maybe I'm A Foreign Policy Expert, But Anyway, You Should Go Out And Get Your Own Opinions On Things Instead Of Listening To Mine, Even Though I'm Going To Keep Opining If You Give Me Half A Chance, And Anyway, I Don't Even Really Know What John McCain's Position Is On Anything Anyway, And Probably I Should Be Snaking A Sink Trap Or Something, Instead Of Dragging Myself All Over The Country Making Statements Which I Then Sort Of Disavow A Few Minutes Later Anyway, Who Knows?" Tour of 2008!

Honestly, it's like the 24 Hour News has finally reached the 25th Hour or something.

Anyway, five minutes with Joe The Plumber had Shepard Smith so frustrated that the Fox anchor felt compelled to issue a disclaimer, immediately following the segment, pushing back on any notion that Obama would mean the "death of Israel," saying: "I just want to make this 100 percent perfectly clear -- Barack Obama has said repeatedly and demonstrated repeatedly that Israel will always be a friend of the United States, no matter what happens once he becomes President of the United States. His words." Smith later added, "The rest of it -- man...some things -- it just gets frightening sometimes. We'll be right back." I haven't seen Shep this broken up about the state of the world since Katrina.

Meanwhile, let's remember that after a year of trying to figure out what their campaign is about, the McCain camp has basically pinned all their hopes to the avatar of Joe The Plumber, a random dude who says, "I know just enough about foreign policy to probably be dangerous...I have no idea where John McCain's position is...I honestly want people to go out and find their own reasons. I tell people not to listen to everyone else's opinion. I'm not going to have them start listening to mine." His words. Such as they are.

October 28, 2008 11:48 PM  

Blogger Chuck said:

If HD goes in I will make a point to pay people to shop there.
I will go to my local B of A, get 20 rolls of pennies and give the first 50 people that show up 10 of them. They go in and buy a 5 cent "screw", make sure they count out every penny @ least twice, check the dates to make sure they are not giving up a wheatleaf or their "lucky penny". Finish the transaction, ask the cashier where customer service and returns are (see where this is going), walk out the door, say hi to me, then return the screw because it is not as big as what HD did to S/T asking that they be paid in pennies. Maybe as a nice twist, lose the receipt. They can go back in and find another screw or keep the 10 pennies as my payment to them for shopping @ HD. I would also ask that they pass it on to someone else to help promote our goodwill to our new "friend" of the Foothills.

October 29, 2008 7:50 PM  

Blogger Rita Of Sunland/Wally Wharton said:

I'm a proud Sutunga Kook Lux Klansman. An' of COURSE I wish the ole' K-mart wuz still there-- the NAME of the store had a friggin' K in it!! K-- fer the Klan, get it? An' I don't want no day labor center-- them pepper-guts should have their litters o' anchor babies somewhere else, like Mexico--HA! HA!

Just thought this post was ripe for a REAL racist rant.

October 30, 2008 9:48 AM  

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