Tuesday, June 30, 2009
If billionaire Warren Buffett doesn't like it....
..then it probably is not a good idea. He knows how economies and industries work and he doesn't support this bill because it is "regressive"...meaning everyone pays for it. He warns us that everyone "will be paying a lot more for electricity."
Monday, June 29, 2009
Deja vu! Autry Likely to be Handed At-Will Use of Public Land for $1 per Year.
June 30, 2009, "Day of Reckoning" for the Southwest Museum
Labels: bernard madoff
Tom McClintock tells it straight
Congressman Tom McClintock warns that the Waxman-Markey energy bill, known as "Cap and Trade" is extremely destructive. Listen to the part where he talks about California going for this liberal fantasy of controlling emissions, and its promises of "an explosion of green jobs". Instead, California got skyrocketing unemployment.
Hoping to improve its relations with local Muslims the LAPD has named its first Islamic chaplain. Sheik Qazi Asad, a Pakistani national, has done work for the LA County Sheriff's Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Asad told the LA Times, "We need to establish very good communication . . . where both parties are talking to each other. This is just opening up the door."
With the City of Los Angeles in a serious financial situation members of the City Council are leading efforts to allow the City to have the option to declare bankruptcy. Members led by Councilmen Dennis Zine and Bernard Parks are opposing legislation currently being considered by the State Legislature to restrict California's cities from going bankrupt. Democratic Assemblyman Tony Mendoza of Artesia introduced AB 155 in January that puts review provisions and conditions on cities before they can file for bankruptcy protection.
The one upside to Paul Koretz taking office next Wednesday is Jack Weiss will be long gone. However the Daily News is kvetching that despite that the City Council will still be populated by most of the same jokers who've been there for some time. That's despite the fact the that former green sheet of record actually endorsed all these clowns and didn't support candidates who could have made the difference they're seeking.
KABC's Phillips to Start New Show Tonight
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Part of Their World
Neighborhood Council leaders ask why bother. The City developed a process for the naming of neighborhoods but have apparently denied the wishes of both the Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys Neighborhood Councils. Residents in the affected area who opposed the effort tell of harassment and retaliation by the pro-effort. The effort, led by activist Laurette Healey, was a badly needed win for her following several failed attempts at office and heading up previous shady ballot measures that luckily failed at the ballot box. So will Healey now run for Greuel's seat?
I've decided I'm going to follow the logic of the Van Nuys yayhoos. I occasionally shop in Sunland Tujunga, I have friends there and I like the community. I would like the northern half of my home to be annexed to that community. I'll file my application tomorrow.
Mays was well known for his TV commercials and infomercials for various cleaning products such as OxyClean. Ironically, he was a month older than recently deceased pop star Michael Jackson.
Mays had been aboard US Airways Flight 1241 from Philadelphia to Tampa that blew out its front tires as it landed at Tampa International Airport on June 27, the day before his death. None of the 138 passengers and five crew members were reported to be seriously injured immediately following the incident, but several passengers reported having bumps and bruises from falling objects.Mays told a local Tampa TV station that some of the objects "hit me on the head, but I got a hard head." It is unclear whether Mays' death was related to the incident.
An Apology to Rita of Sunland
Friday, June 26, 2009
Spotted: RevCarr on Twitter
Going to Mayor Villaraigosa's Day of Service tomorrow. Join thousands in giving back to Los Angeles. Then join us for a party at City Hall.
He needs followers—help him out.
One year ago there was a major take down of the Avenues gang in Glassell Park. Tomorrow from 10-2pm there's a block party. What a change.
Labels: Rev. Jeff Carr
First it was the crap that he pulled at the Miss USA paegeant, then he got into with the Black Eyed Peas and claimed they kick the shit out of him and the latest is that the bitch boy up and dissed M Jax.
Yesterday when the news came out that Michael Jackson had collapsed and was rushed to the hospital Perez threw up a snarky post that Jackson was "faking." When word came quickly that the King of Pop had passed, Perez grudgingly removed the post.
Mario Lavendeira - Perez's real name - has shown the remarkable ability to piss off all kinds of people with his mouth. Here's a guy that both Ann Coulter and GLAAD have serious issues with. That's not easy. Tabloid celebrities like Tila Tequila, Kris Jenner and others have taken Hilton to task publicly many times.
Following the M Jax post Hilton found himself under Twitter attack from Ashlee Simpson and her husband musician Pete Wentz. That began a greater Twitter war from thousands of Tweeters who began a movement to encourage other Twitter users to "unfollow" Hilton by consistently sending out the #unfollowperez hashtag. One report on Twitter said that Perez - who has one of the largest followings of celebrites on the social networking site - had lost over 800,000 followers after his comments on Jackson.
And we thought Don Quixote was annoying!
Nativo López alleges DA conspiracy
Investigators in the [Secretary of State] election-fraud unit said Nativo V. Lopez, 57, of Santa Ana leased office space in Boyle Heights and registered to vote using that address although he lived with his family in Orange County. They also say Lopez, president of the Mexican American Political Assn., cast an illegal ballot in L.A. in the 2008 presidential primary.
López calls the felony accusations baseless and tells La Opinión he’s the target of a politically-motivated LA County DA. (Rough translation)
They are going to have to justify their claims and their charges and I will have the opportunity to defend myself. … I will stress is that there is a lot of political motivation in the bottom of these allegations, there is no doubt that as a public figure I have been at the forefront of many controversial causes.
Twelve years ago, the Orange County DA investigated allegations that López registered non-citizens to vote. Charges were never filed.
Labels: Nativo Lopez
Michael Jackson 1958 - 2009
There are plenty of important things to worry about in the world right now. North Korea is making aggressive militaristic threats against the United States. In Iran, the misguided authorities in power are shooting innocent people in the streets. The United States economy is still melting down and the "stimulus" concept of the federal government appears to be nothing more than wishful thinking. However.....ALL of these things will be ignored for a few days due to the death of pop music superstar Michael Jackson. No offense to the families of Ed McMahon or Farrah Fawcett, because I'm sure they were nice people, but their deaths will go largely unnoticed this week... simply because they were NOT Michael Jackson.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Major Rockstar Dead!
One of the most colorful figures to lead the 60's garage/psychedelic movement, the legendary Sky Saxon passed away today in Austin, Texas. His band, the Seeds, were once a staple of the Sunset Strip before disbanding in 1967. They are probably best known for the hit "Pushing Too Hard". Sky was the singer and was often called "The American Mick Jagger". After the Seeds disbanded, Sky moved to Hawaii, joined a commune, changed his name to Sky "Sunshine" Saxon and was rumored to have multiple wives. He did attempt several comebacks with limited success. He was reported to be 63 years old.
Labels: sky saxon
Question for the morning
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
That’s how the feds describe Alex Sanchez: An MS13 shot-caller who is alleged to have participated in a conspiracy to commit murder in 2006 while running Homies Unidos, a prominent gang intervention organization. Sanchez was arrested this morning at his Bellflower home as part of an FBI operation targeting two dozen members of the Salvadoran street gang.
WitnessLA editor Celeste Fremon splashed “Target of FBI Rampage” over a photograph of Sanchez following news of his arrest. Dueling replies posted on LA Weekly and LA Times articles take aim both at the FBI and the local politicians who celebrated and funded Sanchez’ intervention efforts.
It’s another sharp turn in a life of sharp turns. Sanchez arrived in the US around 1980 at age seven and joined MS13 at age 14. In 1994 he was deported to El Salvador on a parole violation. One year later, he returned to establish the US chapter of Homies Unidos and in 2002 won political asylum with the help of former California State Senator Tom Hayden. Hayden’s son, Troy Garity, is listed as chairman of Homies Unidos.
Last year, NPR sought Sanchez for comment on the FBI’s efforts to dismantle the 18th Street gang—specifically on leadership succession when law enforcement closes in. There are always new shot-callers to fill the void, Sanchez explains. “Shot callers are local heroes; role models.” … In what may emerge as a moment of prescience, he then added, “The lure of the gang culture may be stronger than any federal-local anti-gang collaboration.”
Councilmember Ed P. Reyes is hosting the City’s First Vegan Bake Sale Thursday, June 25, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Los Angeles City Hall Farmers Market, 200 N. Spring Street, to help raise awareness and funds for the Los Angeles River.
Los Angeles is one of more than 80 cities in eight days internationally holding a vegan bake sale as part of Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale, a fun global event to help people, the animals and the environment.
“The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale helps brings attention to our planet, especially the L.A. River, because of its environmental implications for the City of Los Angeles,” said Reyes, who chairs the City's Los Angeles River Ad Hoc Committee. “Thursday’s event is also about making educated and compassionate choices about the food we eat. The vegan bake sale will feature favorites like chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes and brownies, as well as diabetic-friendly and gluten-free goods.”
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Los Angeles River Keepers, a Los Angeles Conservation Corps team of students who help clean and green the L.A. River.
"Delicious vegan sweets and the L.A. River Keepers: two things working hard to preserve our environment,” said Hop Hopkins, Los Angeles Conservation Corps Program Manager, a vegan who has been active in food justice programs to aid urban communities.
The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale is being organized by the Washington D.C.-based, Compassion for Animals.
“When people bite into a mouth-watering vegan cheesecake, cherry cobbler or chocolate chip cookie for their first time, their misperceptions about vegan food may immediately begin to melt away,” said Gary Loewenthal, Director, Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. “And the positive experience often leads them to learn more about the ethical, environmental, and health benefits of a vegan lifestyle.”
Open thread for Wednesday
Blog away, dum dums.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Ed McMahon, 86
McMahon died shortly after midnight at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center surrounded by his wife, Pam, and other family members, said his publicist, Howard Bragman.
Bragman didn't give a cause of death, saying only that McMahon had a "multitude of health problems the last few months."
Monday, June 22, 2009
The most delicious of all is that which was forwarded to us this afternoon by a devoted supporter of the Mayor. Though I can not actually link this to being official Villaraigosa spin (it did not come from his office) the following treatise compares Mayor Villaraigosa to legendary New York Mayor Fiorello LaGurdia.
LaGuardia was a hard nosed Republican who lead New York during the Depression and through the end of World War II. He fought the mob, brought jobs to his city and was a middle class hero. Called "The Little Flower" one of the most notable actions of LaGuardia was during a newspaper strike he read the Sunday funnies to children over the radio. Of course, one of New York's major airports was named after him.
So knowing that, you may find the following very rich, while you think of Villaraigosa rattling around Getty House this evening like Norma Desmond.
The La Guardia-Villaraigosa Bond
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa just announced today that he is not running for Governor of California, it's a loss for what would've been a colorful, fun and ultimately successful campaign for Governor by Villaraigosa. But his decision not to run says something about the man who has carefully studied another big-city Mayor, Fiorello H. La Guardia.
If you've ever spent more than 5 minutes with Villaraigosa (watching him nightly on your newscast doesn't count) you would know that our current Mayor of LA, is a student of Mayor La Guardia more than any Mayor in America
Both were firsts, La Guardia New Yorks first Italian-American Mayor and Villaraigosa Los Angeles's first Mexican-American Mayor.(during the modern era)
La Guardia's term was during and post the Great Depression and so too will Villaraigosa's term be with what many historians say is the worst financial situation since the depression.
Both were big on law enforcement.
La Guardia's first call to action was the arrest Lucky Luciano and Villaraigosa's first large budget fight was to increase the LAPD to its highest of highs.
Both crafted strong ethical regimes.
La Guardia ran on an anti-corruption ticket and looked to clean up the ethics of New York, Villaraigosa's first Executive Mayoral order was to require ethics pledges from every city commissioner and staffer in his office. Even going so far to hire an Ethics Czar in attorney Tom Saenz who still brings a clear vision of transparency to City Hall.
La Guardia represented East Harlem while in Congress before becoming Mayor, Villaraigosa represented East LA in the Assembly before becoming Mayor.
The only major difference between the two men is party, La Guardia was a Republican who acted like a Democrat with his support for the New Deal and Villaraigosa is a Democrat who acted like a Republican when he crossed a union picket line (EAA), increased the LAPD (more than a real republican Riordan could ever do) and went against the ACLU in cracking down on crime in downtown LA.
But Villaraigosa relishes his role as Mayor -- anyone who is born and raised here can attest to this City's wonderful attributes. Where in the world can you get some wonderful Galbi in Koreatown for lunch and then eat some equisite Ethopian food for Dinner, a city as diverse as LA can only be a wish come true for anyone who cares about public policy and the plight of the voiceless.
La Guardia was the same way in New York, he rejected immigration quotas, was elected with strong Jewish backing and fell in love all over again with the City he represented. La Guardia's mantra was jobs, jobs, jobs and people of all races loved him for that -- Villaraigosa supports comprehensive immigration reform, has strong jewish backing (see this months Jewish Journal), with a call for jobs, jobs and more jobs (see Measure R-Subway to the Sea) and while some local demagogues may wince, Los Angeles is a City Villaraigosa loves and you can see the evidence every time you see his thousand watt smile.
If you actually ever studied the democratic primary turnout - you would've seen it was for Villaraigosa to take and if you can add up to 4, you'd see that a Democrat (any democrat) will beat any Republican during the general election come November 2010. Villaraigosa knew that, his political team knew that, but its not good enough to be a "good Mayor" Villaraigosa has his sights on being a "Great Mayor".
You're welcome Los Angeles.
Credit CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer (stand by for transcript, CNN has promised it to us shortly)
Courtesy The Situation Room with Wolf Blizter, CNN
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We're about to get the exclusive announcement right here in THE SITUATION ROOM. The mayor of Los Angeles set to announce whether he will or will not run for governor of California.
The mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, is joining us live from Los Angeles.
Mayor, thanks very much for coming in.
MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA (D), LOS ANGELES: Hi, Wolf. How are you?
You told me a few weeks ago that you would tell us right here in THE SITUATION ROOM your decision. I know you've been agonizing over this decision for weeks if not months.
Are you going to run to become the next governor of California?
VILLARAIGOSA: The answer is no. And I make that decision because, as I've said many times, I love the city I was born and raised in, the city that my grandpa came to a hundred years ago.
Cities all across the country are on the front lines of the challenges facing us in terms of the economic crisis. Here in the city of L.A., a 12.5 percent unemployment rate, 21,000 people have lost their home over the last two years. We're facing an unprecedented and historical budget deficit at $530 million. And I feel compelled to complete what I started out to do.
I said to Los Angeles four years ago to dream with me. I said we were going to take on the many challenges that we face in the city, public schools and public safety, the issue of the environment. I said that we were going to do everything we could to come together as a city, and I can't leave this city in the middle of a crisis. It's as simple as that.
BLITZER: But you know, Mayor, if you're the governor of California, there's a lot you could certainly do to help not only the people of Los Angeles, but a lot of other cities throughout that state, as well.
VILLARAIGOSA: You're right, Wolf, and that's why this was an agonizing decision. What is going on in Sacramento currently is an abomination.
The system is fundamentally flawed. It's broken. It's currently in a meltdown as we speak. But I was elected mayor and re-elected by the people of this city. They've given me the honor for a second term, and I feel compelled to complete the promise that I made to them.
I'm going to dream, and I want the people to dream with me. But in order to do that, we're going to have to take on the immediate challenges of finding jobs, of turning the economy around, of continuing the education reform, of building on the public safety record that we've established where we're the second big city in America, crime down eight years in a row, and safer than any time since 1954.
But those things are good, but they're not good enough. We've got to do more. And I've been...
BLITZER: I was going to say, Mayor, the other guys who are running, including Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco, in all the polls it showed that you would have been very, very competitive with them.
When did you make up your mind that this is something you didn't want to do, run for governor?
VILLARAIGOSA: I've been making up my mind for a long time, frankly. The reason why I didn't early on make a decision one way or the other was because, as I said, this city's given me so much. I didn't want to walk away. But as you said, the challenges of the state are so great, as well.
I was speaker of the assembly. I have a great deal of support in the legislature and throughout the state. But this is about the city I love.
And I also have a young girl, 16 years old. She's the apple of my eye, and she's got two more years of high school and then she's gone. And I don't want to be campaigning for a year and then leading the state in Sacramento and my little precious is, you know, finishing up her high school education.
BLITZER: It's always personal decisions as well as political decisions.
The "L.A. Times" poll had your approval number at 55 percent approve of the way you're doing your job, 37 disapprove. There was a cover of "Los Angeles" magazine that branded you as a failure. I'm sure you've seen that cover, as well.
Are you ready to endorse someone now for the Democratic nomination?
VILLARAIGOSA: Well, let me just say when I was asked in a press conference what I thought about it, I said great picture -- three years younger, 10 pounds lighter. You know, that's what happens when you're mayor. You're the focus of the good times and the bad.
The fact of the matter is we've got many challenges in this city. In a time when the unemployment rate is at 12.5 percent, a 55 percent approval isn't so bad. But I recognize that I've got a lot of work to do. I've got to do a better job...
BLITZER: Who do you like for the nomination?
VILLARAIGOSA: And I've got to do a better job even than the job that we've done over the last four years.
In terms of who I like, I'm not focused on that. I'm focused on my job and the challenges that we're facing. There's plenty of time to weigh in on that race.
I can tell you this -- whoever is going to be the next governor in the state of California better talk turkey with the people of California. I said the system is broken, and it is. A two-thirds vote to pass a budget, one of only three states in the country that require that. Two-thirds vote to pass taxes, one of 16 or 17 that require super majority.
Term limits is broken. The fact of the matter is we need to support open primaries.
The initiative process is broken when it takes a majority vote to deny a whole group of people the fundamental right to marry but you can pass a -- you need a two-thirds vote to pass a budget.
So there's a lot of things broken. I hope to participate in that conversation, but my focus will be on the city of Los Angeles. My focus will be on -- and the national stage, really making the case for cities in metropolitan areas.
Just elected the second vice president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. We're going to be in Washington, D.C., making the case that if we're going to turn America around, we've got to turn our cities around.
BLITZER: Mayor Villaraigosa, we'll see you here in Washington, D.C.
Thanks very much. Thanks for living up to your commitment to tell us first your decision, and the decision is you are not running for the governor's race in the state of California.
Thanks very much for coming in.
VILLARAIGOSA: Thank you, Wolf.
Villaraigosa announcement at 1:00
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (vee-yah-ry-GOH'-sah) is planning to make an announcement about California's gubernatorial race.
The mayor's spokesman Matt Szabo (ZAY'-bow) says Villaraigosa will appear on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" at 1 p.m. PDT Monday. The spokesman would not elaborate.
So far, the mayor's Tweeter is silent. … The fact that he hasn't Twittered in two months is probably all you need to know.
Labels: antonio villaraigosa
Krekorian wants to bankrupt L.A.
Attention CD 2 voters! Paul Krekorian is headed your way, and he's bringing a whole lot of financial trouble along with him from Sacramento. It is bad enough that this Burbank resident has decided to seek the Los Angeles City Council position in Council District 2. The fact that he intends to bring his Sacramento-style mentality of irresponsibility and his overspending habits to L.A. is frightening. We already have Mayor Villaraigosa and a majority of the City Council Members, who are hard at work destroying this City. Adding Assemblyman Paul Krekorian to the mix would just be overkill. However, he would fit in very well downtown....
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Chris Essel at S.O.H.A.
Chris Essel says she "wants to give back to the community" and would "love to get to know each and every one of you". These type of statements of false altruism by political candidates tend to make me nauseous.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Hell Breaks Loose In Iran
WARNING: This next clip is pretty disturbing. A young woman is killed by gunshot during the confrontations:
-Meanwhile, back here in Los Angeles, hundreds gather to protest the violence and the election.
-President Obama steps off the sidelines in response to the violence.
-And if you want to follow the Twitter from an Iranian student on the frontline go to https://twitter.com/Change_for_Iran
Friday, June 19, 2009
LAPD Duplicating Services, Wasting Taxpayer $ at LAX
The LAWAPD, the 'LAX police', is the public safety agency tasked with public safety at LAX. This specialized agency maintains a force roughly the size of two full LAPD divisions.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The voters are PO'd as of late. Not that Paul isn't a nice guy but if he is tied to Villar then he's got trouble. Remember Jack Weiss?
No doubt that Krekorian will have excellent resources and makes for an attractive candidate but being a carpetbagger and being tied to AV is not going to help him in the super pissed-off places like Studio City, Sunland, Tujunga and West Van Nuys, all places where folks vote in higher than average numbers in a special election.
I got an invitation to Wendy Greuel's pre-assumption festivities. It's a catered affair at CBS Studios featuring a live band. Now I know criticizing these soirees especially for the third and fourth floor types is like criticizing Christmas but one has to ask the question: who's paying for this? I am certain not the taxpayers so it means once again we probably have donors donating to another "transition fund" and footing the bill for a high-end celebration that makes the pol happy. Quid pro quo? Pay to play? Or is Wendy paying for it herself? If that's the case, then kudos, nothing wrong with putting on your own party. However I did go to Wendy's first inauguration before she became an entrenched pol and that was a low-key respectable affair with no caterers and only a boom box for entertainment.
Finally, have you seen Jack Weiss since he lost the election? He's looking terrible; kind of like Tom Hanks from Castaway (after the plane crashed).
Phil Jennerjahn, Carlos Alvarez, Zuma Dogg, Joe B and Mayor Sam all support the taco trucks. And so do the county courts. A Superior Court judge overturned a ticket issued to a taco truck owner for violating a City law that limited the amount of time a taco truck can park in a specific location. Story at LAist and SaveOurTacoTrucks.org.
CurbedLA reports that residents around Dodger Stadium tired of game fans parking in front of their homes have taken to putting up their own no parking signs. Now that it has been blogged about I am sure the City will take action against these folks.
Popular San Fernando Valley schoolteacher Mary Ann Farber will be retiring after 18 years in the classroom at Beckford Elementary. Story at Beckford Parents Blog.
The dumbasses at LADOT are at it again. In cities like New York, San Francisco, San Diego, etc. pedicabs are all the rage. But LA has this odd paranoid control freak mentality and they've been illegal for years. So when rules were written by the Department that would effectively regulate the cabs out of business the folks on the Transportation Commission had the sense enough to tell staff they were on crack and to redo the whole thing. Among LADOT's lame-ass rules not mirrored even in nanny state San Francisco were that the cab operators could not wear Hawaiian shirts and that passengers must wear helmets. Read the rest at Streetsblog.
Krekorian to CD 2: "I'm your man!"
It looks like State Assemblyman Paul Krekorian could not resist the allure of a larger paycheck and has apparently decided to carpetbag over into the Los Angeles City Council race in District 2. He decided not to let the fact that he lives in Burbank be any obstacle to his ambitions. This will come as distressing news to Villaraigosa show-pony Chris Essel, who , according to some, had already called the moving trucks in anticipation of her big victory in the September election.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The best news in my view to come out of the meeting is that Berger himself will head up the Public Integrity and Ethics Task Force for Trutanich. This signals that Trutanich - unlike some past and present City/District Attorneys who talked about going after corrupt politicians - may actually mean what he has said. Placing a pitbull like Berger - who is more than aware of local shadiness - on the task means that Nuch is serious about about ferreting out fraud, waste and abuse. I would suggest they hire Zuma Dogg as a Senior Inspector General to round out the team.
Read more at David Berger's blog.
Open Thread for Tuesday
Monday, June 15, 2009
Lakers' parade costs City $1,000,000
Sunday, June 14, 2009
The Race for CD 2
Laker Fans Riot Again
He was the second oldest of five children. Though he had a very rough childhood, living with what we would call today a dysfunctional father, he never considered himself a "victim." Rising up from utter poverty and suffering physical and emotional abuse from an alcoholic father and rage-a-holic stepmother he became a successful businessman, a respected leader of his community and a devoted family man.
Seward, called Eddie and then Ed as an adult, was named for his grandfather, a well to do attorney and land speculator born in Turin Village, New York. The elder Seward's family migrated to Iowa in the 1850s. Though he studied law and was a licensed attorney, Seward never actually practiced and instead bought and sold thousands of acres of prime Iowa farmland.
One of these properties was the stately Cedar Falls manse where my great-great grandfather lived his life as a bachelor. In 1887,at the age of 29, he fathered an out of wedlock child - Nathan Codner - with the teenage daughter of his gatekeeper. Nathan, not liking that his wealthy father had shunned him, legally changed his name to Edward Higby at the age of 21 and began a many years effort to shake his father down for some of his largess.
Not having the father of the year himself as a dad Nathan cum Edward didn't make much of himself either in the parent category. When his wife and Grandpa Ed's mother, Elsie Pritchard, died on Christmas Eve 1925, Nate was out drinking and carousing and had to be marshaled by a neighbor to retrieve his five young children who Elsie had sent to buy themselves Christmas candy just before she passed. I have been told that my Grandfather always held his father responsible for his mother's death; had Nate been at home and not drinking up the family's limited funds Elsie may have got the medical care she needed.
A few years later my Grandfather was now living in Oklahoma with his father and Nate's new bride Daisy Compton. Grandpa Ed's oldest sister, Sarah, and next youngest brother Pritchard were back in Cedar Falls with their grandfather while the two youngest children, James and Claire, lived with the Higbys in Oklahoma.
As the oldest child in the Oklahoma home, Grandpa was forced to sleep in a small shack outside the main house. One day he came home from school and helped himself to a small amount of food from the kitchen. For whatever reason this enraged Daisy and when Grandpa left to go somewhere, Daisy took a large ax and destroyed Grandpa Ed's shack. Upon returning and discovery this, the 14 year old Ed, tired of years of abuse, lost his cool and assaulted Daisy. Neighbors quickly summoned Nate who then had his son jailed.
After a few days in the lockup the Sheriff informed my Grandfather he had served his time and and could go home. My Grandfather informed the Sheriff there was no way in hell he was going back to live with that "Son of a bitch" and promptly headed off on the nearly 700 mile trek back to the family homestead in Iowa - walking most of the way. On his trip my grandfather found that the Salvation Army was the only charity that would provide him assistance and why to this day it is a favorite family charity.
One afternoon Grandpa Ed's sister Sarah saw what she thought was a hobo walking up the road. She quickly realized that it was her brother looking for shelter. Knowing that her Grandfather Seward wasn't happen he was not only raising his grandchildren but the children of his late brother, the 16 year old Sarah wasn't sure that Seward would allow one more child. So she hid Grandpa Ed in a servants quarter, dressed him in her Grandfather's old clothes, fed him leftovers from the family meals and enrolled him in high school. After of six months of this, one evening at the dinner table Seward said to her "Sarah bring Ed in the house and knock off this foolishness." Grandpa Ed lived with his Grandfather until he graduated high school and enrolled in Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa).
Grandpa Ed worked in a number of jobs such as running a boathouse on the Blackhawk River and then became trained as a machinist. It was while living in Cedar Falls, working and attending college that someone suggested if he wanted to meet a nice girl, he go to church. That he did and he met Winnifred Lynch, the stunning youngest daughter of a 10 child Irish farming family.
One Friday in 1935 the 21 year old Ed was to take out the 18 year old Winnifred - called Ticky by her family and friends - on a night on the town. But there was one hitch - the boss he was working for said payday wasn't to come until Monday and he'd have to get by until then.
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt called the country to war, my Grandfather did his patriotic duty and went to enlist in the armed forces. Yet there was a problem. The recruiter discovered Ed was a journeyman tool and die maker, a skill far too valuable and necessary for the war effort to send him into combat. So Ed was hired by the United States Department of War to apply his skills to manufacturing precision parts for planes, tanks and other necessary items to defend the homeland. Forced to leave his young family behind, Ed traveled to places such as Washington state and Minnesota (where his second son David was born in 1942) until eventually he could be reunited with his family.
After the war Grandpa Ed became aware of an opportunity to open a hardware store about 60 miles north in tiny Rudd, IA. For the first few years in Rudd, Ed, Ticky, Jim and Dave lived in a small apartment over the hardware store until the store became successful enough that he could build a modest home a few blocks away from the store.
In Rudd Grandpa Ed became a pillar of the community, was unanimously elected Mayor (he got all eight votes) and became involved in organizations such as the Masonic Lodge, the Congregational Church and beginning what became an annual tradition - organizing massive pancake breakfasts that the whole community showed up to (even when Ed and Ticky relocated to North Hollywood in the late 60s - having few relatives and not yet many friends in their new home - their first backyard pancake breakfast turned out nearly 200 attendees). It was in Rudd as well that Ed nurtured and developed a passion of his - building and flying small airplanes. Indeed many times the plane came in handy when locating a much needed item that a hardware store customer desperately needed.
After several years in Rudd Ed and Ticky thought it was time for a change. Though they had considered a move to Studio City where Ticky's older sister Flo and her family lived, instead Ed followed up on an opportunity to open another hardware store in Camanche, Iowa, some 200 miles away in the eastern part of the state. So the Higbys once again hit the road.
While in the Camanche area, my dad now in his early 20s met my mother. In 1962 they were married and decided to follow up on that deferred dream of moving to California. When I was born in 1964, Ed and Ticky decided that the Camanche hardware market wasn't as prosperous as expected, and tired of the cold Iowa winters, hence they joined us here in North Hollywood.
Quickly adapting to their new environment Ed and Ticky became involved in a new church, were active in airplane owner organizations and made many friends. They were solid citizens who had tremendous respect from all whom knew them. They had a close loving family. That's why it was a significant shock on November 5, 1972 when we received the call that their small two seater plane had crashed slightly after takeoff from Lancaster Airport and they were both killed instantly.
As I stated before, my grandfather never considered himself a victim. He rose from adversity to become an established businessman, a respected community leader and a devoted family man. Though I would hasten to call him a liberal in the sense we use that word today, Ed Higby was a lifelong Democrat who believed in hard work, patriotism and fair play for all. We saw this when his bigoted brother-in-law refused to walk Ed's niece down the aisle when she married a Jew and Ed stepped in to give her away. Ed also encouraged his son Dave's retarded brother-in-law Duane to visit him in his garage and learn some mechanical skills even though Duane's own parents thought it was a waste; "Duane is too stupid to learn anything" his mother told my Grandpa. Ed believed that everyone deserved a chance if they wanted it. He was a good man who made a mark on many.
Ed was 58 when he passed away and I was only 8. I have cried many times lamenting the fact that I did not have his presence in my life growing up. However I am grateful beyond words for the time I did have with him and proud of the remarkable impact he had on so many people.
Happy Birthday Grandpa Ed. I miss you.
Labels: seward edward higby