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Thursday, August 02, 2007

How To Grow Astroturf

In light of the recent decision by the City Council to send the plan for a Home Depot back to the Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee - and the anti-Home Depot astro-turfers current chop licking, its worthy to take a look at a past plastic grass effort by one of their major supporters, Do It Center (which apparently doesn't even rank a Wikipedia entry).

In the November 2006 election Measure Z was a matter before the voters. The proposal would have allowed a retail center to be built in the City of Westlake Village. A key beneficiary of this measure would have been not a Home Depot but their competitor, the Lowe's hardware chain.

However it wasn't Home Depot that put major money against the pro-Lowe's measure but - you guessed it - Do It Center! To the tune of $325,000, Do It Center forces, operating under the warm and fuzzy name of "Save Westlake Village," managed to defeat the measure 45% to 55%.

Do It Center must not be doing very well if they have to use government to eliminate the competition. Looks like their business model is scare the neighbors about the competition coming to town and put major money towards the effort.

Maybe they'd do better if they offered service and prices customers want. Nah, that's too hard and its judgmental to expect that.

By the way, Tuesday's vote was primarily for show. The Council has given Wendy Greuel the victory she needs to placate activists in Sunland-Tujunga. Now the Council will go forward with forcing Home Depot to do an EIR, extract a few token mitigation concessions, get them to give some money to some fund and make them play ball with the unions. Then, the store will open. The threat of litigation against the City is just too huge for them to shut down Home Depot altogether.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

How about a comprehensive entry on the Home Depot/ neighborhood issues?

This insider joke approach to reporting is really annoying.

Get over yourselves.

Another glaring difference between you and the so called mainstream media.

August 02, 2007 12:37 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

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and vote for me for best political blog and best overall blog as well, IF AND ONLY IF you feel my blog is of a high quality. I really think I have a legitimate shot at winning. If you are open to spreading the word, that would be cool as well.

Thank you.

eric aka www.blacktygrrrr.wordpress.com

P.S. If you are open to doing a link exchange, I get some pretty decent traffic.

August 02, 2007 12:40 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Eric you must be a Mexican who works for Home Depot!

August 02, 2007 1:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Higby just supports Home Depot (as most who don't have to LIVE HERE do. He supports building with no reviews, no environmental study, no traffic study and couldn't give a crap less about the city's specific PLAN. In fact, according to Higby Why even have a plan or zoning laws? let everyone build whatever the hell they want wherever the hell they want. (Unless of course it is a homeless shelter next door to HIS home.

Do-it center hasn't donated much to the cause. In fact Jim Alger raised nearly $1,500 bucks for us last week and we are still in the hole close to 50k.

Home Depot buses its supporters from out of town, 99% of the anti Home Depot crowd is from this area. Just because Do-It center supports our cause (for obvious reasons) doesn't mean the cause didn't start in the community.

The issue here is whether or not Home Depot must follow the PLAN for this area... nothing more nothing less. If you have a problem sticking with the plan, then change the plan don't just ignore it.

August 02, 2007 3:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who did Alger strong arm the money out of this time?

August 02, 2007 5:25 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Actually, all he did was ASK for it at a crowded meeting.

When did Alger ever "strong arm" money out of anyone?

August 02, 2007 5:35 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Good God! Given her track record on PR firms working for the city, this is outrageous!! Firewalls my ass.

Chick hires ex-mayor's aide as consultant
Marcus Allen also works for lobbyists. A councilman says that could be a conflict but the controller says there will be firewalls.
By David Zahniser
Times Staff Writer

August 2, 2007

Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick said Wednesday she has hired a former aide to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as a $250-per-hour management consultant to advise her on policies, audits and news releases.

Carlsbad resident Marcus Allen, who spent two years as Villaraigosa's No. 2 policy advisor, will receive up to $85,000 per year as a consultant on such issues as the effectiveness of the city's anti-gang programs.

City Councilman Dennis Zine, chairman of the council committee that oversees personnel issues, questioned whether the job will pose a conflict, because Allen is also a consultant to City Hall lobbyists Harvey Englander and Arnie Berghoff.

Zine pointed out that frequent targets of Chick's audits are city contractors who retain lobbyists to defend themselves against her findings. "How do you serve two masters?" he asked. "How do you serve under contract [to the controller] at the same time you're serving a lobbyist?"

Chick said she vetted such questions with Allen, whose contract requires him to divulge if he has a potential conflict of interest. Englander "won't know anything about what Marcus is doing with me," Chick said. "This is a man who understands firewalls."

The controller also promised to sever Allen's contract if she learns that Englander or Berghoff has retained the subject of an ongoing audit as a client. "If there's any perception of a conflict," Allen's contract "is over. End of story," she said.

Allen, 46, left the mayor's office in June. He said he will work as many as 340 hours for Chick, who employed him as her chief deputy from 2001 to 2005.

Allen is not the first official at City Hall to transition from full-time employee to paid consultant. Since 2001, City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo has retained as his chief advisor Ann D'Amato, a retired city employee who receives $175,000 annually.

Last year, Lydia Kennard left her job as head of Los Angeles World Airports and quickly secured a three-year contract with the agency as an aviation consultant earning up to $200,000 per year. Kennard severed that contract Tuesday, leaving to become a board member for URS Corp., an airport contractor.

Still, not every consulting contract has been approved. In 2004, Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Larry Keller resigned his post and soon secured a three-year, $450,000 consulting contract from the harbor commission. The City Council blocked that arrangement.

Allen's contract doesn't require council approval.


August 02, 2007 7:11 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What is Laura thinking? (Or not)

Englander and Beghoff have a lot of clients; the City Ethics Commission better get to work.

Where are you when we need you, Gil Garcetti?? Lee Ann?

August 02, 2007 7:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Oh, but everyone knows that Laura Chick understands the importance of perception, right!? Yeh, sure, not this time, NO WAY!!! Zine hits the nail on the head on this one....

August 02, 2007 8:02 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What does Laura Chick have to do with Home Depot. Wait a minute! She's investigating Alger and Barrett's DoIt Center NC scheme (getting DoIt to donate to No2HomeDepot if the NC spent their wad on emergency supplies at DoIt).

August 02, 2007 8:09 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey ALGER and Barrit and ST RESIDENT! IF what HIGBY says about DO-IT CTR is true in Westlake Village YOU GOT RIPPED! IF you really are $50K in the HOLE - where is your $300K that WESTLAKE VILLAGE got???? Much more bang for their buck in ST for DO-IT. It is true you get more BANG for your BUCK in ST right? Drag a $20 through the trailer park just like PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON!

August 02, 2007 8:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I can’t help from thinking that Wendy Greuel has a special interest in this as her Mom is the owner Frontier building supply and the other side of her family owns Weston Builders Supply CO.

August 02, 2007 9:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Chick has been given a free ride by the media for years, trading juicy leaks for favorable coverage. She tries to position herself as an independent voice, but in reality she's a vicious political infighter who has used her office to reward her friends and punish her enemies. (Anybody remember what she did to Hahn?) Both the LAT and the DN have the same story this morning, but both of them miss her past and present relationships with Berghoff and Englander. Maybe Zanhiser will have the balls and resources to really take a look at this woman. He could start by talking to Steve Soboroff.

August 02, 2007 9:16 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In response to "Balancing Needs" (Daily News, Aug 2, 2007)

Poor, poor Home Depot. Let me stick a finger in my eye to bring up a tear for their dilema. Now, let me tell you that Home Depot has been caught in their pattern of bulldozing their way into communities where it is inappropriate to place an industrial retailer. Home Depot says "community plans be damned" and the Sunland Tujunga community and their elected representative, Los Angeles City Councilmember Wendy Greuel, say "the bulldozer stops here." Poor, poor Home Depot who has no regard for the community of Sunland Tujunga which has been requesting compliance with the Foothill Corridor Specific Plan. We live here and Home Depot has to bus-in and pay their supporters. Tell Home Depot to follow the laws and procedures and comply with community and specific plans, then we will all listen and evaluate. For now, Home Depot, stop talking and start acting like a corporation responsible not just to shareholders, but to the communities you blight.

* * * * *

Balancing needs
Home Depot caught in public's frustration
Article Last Updated: 08/01/2007 09:51:41 PM PDT

THE opposition to the Home Depot planned for Sunland-Tujunga comes in many forms.

There are those who lament the tactics used by the big-box home-improvement store in trying to get approval to finish converting an old Kmart on Foothill Boulevard.

There are others who worry that the truck traffic will add congestion and an unpleasant element to a strip that many were hoping to beautify.

And there are those who don't like seeing Latino day laborers who are sure to set up shop in front of the new store - as they have in other communities.

There's no reason why these concerns can't be reasonably addressed. There's no reason that the competing interests can't be balanced and still bring in a new job-providing, sales-tax-producing business that would serve a traditionally under-served community.

The City Council, which only takes an interest when a community gets organized well enough to demand attention, took control of the controversy Tuesday.

The council intends to review Planning Commission approval of the conversion of the site. And at the risk of a lawsuit, it could order the retailer to conduct a more in-depth study of impacts that would delay the opening, while changing very little.
Home Depot officials complain that they have done all the right things so far. They have a good point. Home Depot stores have been built all over the city and serve their communities well.

But Los Angeles' residents and politicians are beginning to realize that the old ways of building anything, anywhere, with little regard for surrounding neighborhoods, no longer works in this built-out city.

This controversy has erupted out of a longtime frustration with this haphazard attitude to development. Home Depot, unfortunately, is caught in the middle of a larger struggle for Angelenos to have a say in how their communities evolve.

Now that this issue is on the table, it ought to be the precursor for a larger debate of the city's land-use philosophy. The city needs a clear and comprehensive plan for development so these types of controversy become artifacts of the 20th century.

August 02, 2007 9:17 AM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Guys - please - Mrs. Greuel passed away last month. Can we leave her out of the discussion? I don't agree with Wendy at all on this, but she's a good lady and her mom was a great person. Be nice.

August 02, 2007 9:38 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Isn't a pivotal issue with the S-T location the fact that it is near a school and that Home Depot attracts, uh, "men without documents," who will basically hang out all day and observe the children?

And wouldn't another concern, given the close proximity of the school, be that diesel trucks used in construction emit particulate matter (PM) that inhibits lung development in children along with triggering asthma attacks on the playground (btw, the number one cause of school absenteeism -- childhood asthma).

Just wondering aloud here.

August 02, 2007 10:13 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam,

It's obvious that you are totally out of touch and don't have a clue of what our fight is about.

We, the people of Sunland-Tujunga, don't want a Home Depot. Now, we particulary don't want that company since they have proven to be unreputable, unethical, sleazy and could care less about our community. They don't deserve to be be here.

I know because I was the originator of No Home Depot in Sunland-Tujunga. The STNC tried for 6 months to get Home Depot to communicate with us after we heard from Kmart employees that they were coming in. It was obvious that they planned to come in under the rador of our specific plan. I, as a separate Ah Hoc organization at that time, proceeded to do my own study and visited the businesses in our area that would be affected. A total of 15 businesses would either be serverely impacted or forced out of business leaving us with a ghost town, after we worked so deligently for many years to improve our community.

I put together the first No Home Depot public meeting, not Do It Center, at Councilmember Greuel's "Community Coffee" in February, 2004 at Glendale Bakery in Tujunga. The STNC had not taken a position at that time due to lack of communication and confirmation from Home Depot.

Close to 75 community members showed up with opposition signs and some had to stay outside during the worst pooring rain storm we had in about 5 years, the rest is history. Home Depot met with a small fact finding group, of which I was a member, about 6 times. I,as was well as others, found their attitude to be condensending and insulting. Without informing us, they applied and received their "piecemeal permits" without ever meeting with our entire Neighborhood Council or community. Their excuse was they would be bombard by a hostile community because they had bypassed us before applying for their permits.

The only time they met with the community was when we challenged Building and Safety for issuing the permits at a Town Hall Meeting with Councilmember Greuel. At that time we disclosed the violations they claimed as "tenant improvements" and requested that their "remodel" be deemed a "project" and be required to do an Environmental Impact Report because of proven structural improvements. An organization had already been formed by Joe Barrett, Abby Diamond and Paula Warner called Sunland-Tujunga Aliance who took the torch and challenged Home Depot. They have spent many long and laborous hours raising funds and preparding the appeals in order to support our communities position. As you are aware NC's cannot hold fund raisers.

Your comments regarding Do It Center's roll is not accurate, although they have been a model friendly business and neighbor to Sunland-Tujunga for many years. Their building and lot is always neat and clean, their service is good and prices are affordable. I repeat, the Sunland-Tujunga Alliance has been the force behind our community.

At my last inquirey there are 350 business in our Chamber of Commerce. Many are contributing to the No Home Depot Campaign. Of the 60 businesses that Home Depot say want them in town, ten have already said they don't belong on their list and some said they were duped into joining "Sunland-Tujunga First" which is Home Depots spin committee against our community. I can produce, in writing, that information from those companies. Why is that not surprising. So much for the integrity of Home Depot.

Sunland-Tujunga is truly in need of a General Merchandise store and community center. The former Kmart property is the only lot left in town that can accomdate such a business. It would also serve the communities of La Tuna Cyn, Shadow Hills, Lake View Terrace and the Crescenta Valley regionas well as others. It is 15 miles to the nearest general merchandize store in Glendale, Burbank or Pasadena, who are currently getting our retail dollars. That does not keep the people off the freeways which the city of L.A. is working toward. Needs of families and seniors should also be a consideration. Jobs should not be the issue here. Any center will bring jobs with it. The issue here is "quality of life" and most important is, Community Specific Plans should be upheld per their ordinance. All community plans will be in jeopardy if our is not adhered to. Note, the type of traffic Home Depot will bring to our "center of town" with a school and church within 500 ft. will have a negative impact on our neighborhoods.

We expect Home Depot or any other company that wants to do buiness in Sunland-Tujunga to honor and abide by our community specific plan. It's just that simple.

A special "thank you" to Councilmember Wendy Greuel and the L.A. City Council for passing the Section 245 motion to give us a voice. I am a member of serveral organizations in our community and I am proud to say that I live in Sunland-Tujunga.

Nina Royal

August 02, 2007 10:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nina Royal works for Do-It Center

August 02, 2007 10:40 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is a shameless plant by Home Deopt and its lacky, incompetant lobbyist Rick Taylor. How transparent can you get, Rick..!!!


August 02, 2007 10:58 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Rick Taylor and Home Depot are scum. Mayor Sam should see through this bs.

August 02, 2007 10:59 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

To 10:40. In what capacity? And is she factually incorrect?

August 02, 2007 11:06 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I want an environmental study on the car trash that Richard Greene tossed out of his BMW onto Mt. Gleason Avenue. Hey, HD, you and your representatives really respect and care about our community of Sunland Tujunga, dontcha!? Sure. Sure. Sure. Maybe you should bus-in your orange shirts to clean up your trash!

August 02, 2007 11:19 AM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Nina works for Do-It? Interesting. See I never said Home Depot was saints. Indeed, they seem to have some issues as a company (not just in ST). My view is that those who don't want Home Depot don't get to use government to keep them out, they can do it by the market by not shopping there. This is what the US Constitution says.

You do not have the right to tell a private business they can't locate on their land (or land they have rented). But you have the right to not shop there and to tell everyone they suck.

If there was a market for a department store, well there would be one there. K-Mart went belly up. They could have opened a Sears if they thought that would have worked. And when they sold the land only Home Depot wanted it. Not much else you can do there.

And of course these other businesses don't want Home Depot. They don't want the competition. But that is not how America works. How America works is like the Mom and Pop hardware store in Glendale that re-invented itself when Home Depot came to town and they thrived. Guess what - Home Depot is closing down in Glendale and some other store is going in there.

For Jack Hoff - the trucks will be there no matter what store you build. I guess unless the city just takes the land and turns it into Joe Barrett Park you will have trucks. And men (or women?) looking at the kids.

There will be a Home Depot unless Home Depot figures they can't make any money there. The Council wants the sales tax. They also don't want to be sued which if Home Depot is not allowed to go there they will sue and Rocky will settle and you ST people will cost the rest of us taxppayers millions.

For some reason you liberals don't like big box stores. You might be surprised to know that Mayor Sam does not like big box stores (except Target if that counts as a big box). But the reason I don't like them has nothing to do with politics, I just find them annoying to shop in. I prefer to shop at HOWS or Trader Joe's compared to Costco. I'd rather shop online than go to Circuit City or Best Buy or Frys. I think the reasons liberals hate Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc. is that a lot of these stores are based in the south, are owned by Republicans, they don't unionize, etc. That's a silly way to think, if everyone did that conservatives wouldn't go to the movies or drink Starbucks.

Anyway, Home Depot is coming, your best bet would be to make nice with them and get them to give your community groups as much dough as you can get. Cause at this point they will open and you will be out in the cold.

August 02, 2007 11:26 AM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Home Depot really does need to fire Rick Taylor and hire me and Zuma to be their spokesholes.

August 02, 2007 11:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam -- get your head out of your backside -- research the community plan, foothill corridor specific plan and City regs about "PROJECTS" and look at the Home Depot site again. Yes, the community can tell a retailer that they are not welcome. We are just saying follow the rules, HD. Meanwhile they continue to be buttheads. Like you. You are not a simple man, Higby, so don't plan the simple solution.

August 02, 2007 11:32 AM  

Blogger Don Culo said:

Why does anybody need to do any more studies about the impact of Home Depot in the area, if the people living there don't want another Home Depot, this should be the driving force to city planning.

Any city's development plans have to reflect the desires of the residents not the corporations/developers or politicians

August 02, 2007 11:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam, just to clarify my point, it was not whether construction would occur in the building of HD, but that people normally don't rent light or heavy duty diesel trucks to shop at Target -- there's idling time for loading, noise, etc. that might need to be mitigated given the proximity of the school.

Sorry you don't see "men without documents" drinking 40 ouncers and peeing in the street five days a week as a societal issue, but liberal and conservative parents of elementary students do view that as a warning sign...

August 02, 2007 11:47 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

hey guys, it's over. gruel is going to get what she wants, taylor is going to cash his checks and the community will retain its shit-kicking, biker-loving character. oh, and the bused in supporters will be ready for the next campaign. All they need are new T-shirts.

August 02, 2007 12:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

So, will the entire Council be on TV tonight declaring all bridges in LA are safe? Seems like another Another lame excuse for a photo op

August 02, 2007 12:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hello everyone, my name is Nina Royal. If I worked for Do It Center, I would probably make a decent salary which is more than I make now. : )

I want clear up mis-information about my background. I have been a community activist in this city for 22 years. A year ago this month, I opted to become Publisher/Editor of my regional newspaper called North Valley Reporter. I was previously employed by another local newspaper. I also write for City Watch when given assignments.

I have been a member of our NC since it's inception and saw a need for our communities in the North Valley to communicate, support and share each others issues and events.

I personally do not do editorials because I believe in being fair in reporting the news, not making it. I am a also a firm believer in honesty and integrity. When Home Depot offered to advertise in my paper, I walked the talk and turned them down because I do not approve of the way they have been maligning my community.

Anyone in the media business knows how tough it is to get advertising dollars and so far my business only breaks even. However, because of my ethics, I believe it will improve to a level of at least paying my expenses. Even if it doesn't, I will not sell out to Home Depot. With continued help from my family and members from all the communities I serve, I will continue to publish the Reporter. Home Depot needs to do right by my community and complete an Environmental Impact Report.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I really appreciate the opportunity to voice my personal opinion and defend my community on this blogg.

August 02, 2007 12:27 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nina, you seem like a nice lady. never use your name on this blog. You'll end up being accused of having an affair with the mayor.

August 02, 2007 12:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Tony Villar would never do Nina. He doesn't do crackers.

August 02, 2007 12:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Tony Villar is already planning the ribbon cutting for Home Depot.

August 02, 2007 12:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nina you sound like a kook. Remind not to invest in or loan money to your business.

August 02, 2007 12:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Anyone that has truly been following this issue,is aware of the facts and had attended community meetings would certainly be aware that Nina Royal is not employed by Do It Center.

She has been a tireless worker for the community on safety issues and planning issues, among many others. She distributes her newspaper at local stores and community meetings. Many of those that blog on this site are quick to besmirch the reputations of people they know nothing about.

Just like the snide comment above regarding Wendy Greuel's mother. The lady just passed away 2 weeks ago, but any target is open to your sniping. Let's have a little respect and stick to the facts.

Home Depot has spent plenty trying to avoid the Foothill Specific Plan and EIR, while playing the race card. Their tactics have demonstrated none of the so-called "Home Depot Cares" trumpeted by their phony P.R. mailers. Home Depot cares about getting their way, avoiding the permit process and pillaging as much money as they can out of the community. After observing their unethical methods, I have boycotted their stores for the past 3 years. No one in my family or friends will ever do business with them. Our home improvement contracts will specifically exclude doing any business with them or any of their affiliates. Hoe Depot never wanted to sit down with the community, so they don't need us, our community or our money.

August 02, 2007 12:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:



August 02, 2007 12:57 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


August 02, 2007 12:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1257 your community doesn't have any money

August 02, 2007 12:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

12:51 & 12:56 are typical of certain ignorant,juvenile morons that spend an inordinate amount of time posting slurs on this site. Home Depot plants, no doubt, as they never have any credible opinions or information to offer. The gutter is their level of discourse.

August 02, 2007 1:01 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

12:51 & 12:56 are typical of certain ignorant,juvenile morons that spend an inordinate amount of time posting slurs on this site. Home Depot plants, no doubt, as they never have any credible opinions or information to offer. The gutter is their level of discourse.

August 02, 2007 1:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

12:59 why don't you bitch about your NEIGHBORS who are ILLEGALS?

August 02, 2007 1:03 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Another example of this fine ethical organization, the facts just can't be ignored:

July 31,2007

(CBS) In an exclusive, CBS News has learned of a corruption scandal involving The Home Depot.

In recent weeks, four Home Depot purchasing managers were fired at a meeting at an Atlanta hotel for their role in the scandal, reports CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian.

The managers were allegedly paid enormous sums — totaling millions of dollars — to insure that certain flooring products made their way onto the company's shelves, which is among the most competitive retail real estate in the world.

The world's largest home improvement retailer, The Home Depot boasts more than 2,000 stores.

One source tells CBS News that CEO Frank Blake took immediate action upon learning of the scheme. On Thursday, the company is expected to hold meetings with employees to reiterate its ethical standards.

The FBI is said to be investigating and had no immediate comment.

When contacted by CBS News late Tuesday, the company confirmed the nature of the investigation and issued a statement saying it is "cooperating with authorities" and that "maintaining our ethical standards is of the utmost importance to The Home Depot."

Hello, what ethical standards?? This corrupt atmosphere pervades the whole corporation as well as their legal counsel and P.R. people.

August 02, 2007 1:28 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nina Royal is not the issue here. Alger is not the issue here. The Mayor is not the issue here. The Do-It Center is not the issue here. Home Depot bullying their hypocritical pious way into Sunland-Tujunga is the issue. Let's stay on subject, folks. Want to start another issue to discuss? Write a separate column.

August 02, 2007 1:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Too Bad - I liked Laura Chick but I see Dakota Communications lists her a client.

August 02, 2007 1:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Do-It Center is the issue here. They're funding No 2 Home Depot in Sunland-Tujunga just like they did Save Westlake Village. Classic astroturf.

August 02, 2007 4:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

In an exclusive, Neighborhood Council News has learned of a corruption scandal involving No2HomeDepot.

The activists allegedly planned to spend enormous sums — totaling thousnds of dollars — of taxpayer money on a dubious plan to buy emergency supplies from Do It Center for the community with the hope that the Home Depot competitor would make a large donation to their organizaton.

The Office of City Controller Laura Chick is said to be investigating and had no immediate comment.

August 02, 2007 5:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:




August 02, 2007 5:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam: you really think H D should hire you and zuma to rep them because you're cheap? Did you see how all the workers shrank in horror from Matt Dowd when he tried to speak on their behalf, likened his cheesy victory (of being allowed to sell junk at Venice Beach) to their wearing t-shirts with "political" slogans? Somehow, having smelly bums "advocate for you" is sthe surest way to lose.

So go ahead, do Jim Alger a huge favor: take your loud, crude and smelly lunatics with you to "help" Home Depot.

August 02, 2007 5:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If everyone who quits a city job had to wait a year before having anything to do with city hall, everyone would be unemployed: what else would they do? That IS their "experience," just like a dental hygienist or dentist isn't going to become a plumber after quitting one dental practice. -- Boy, is this a stupid misinterpretation.

Just like that idiot Fine Ch. 4 found as their "authority." Who made that guy judge and jury, anyway? He's just a fat talking head who found a chance to get that fat, ugly head on tv.

They just can't lobby their former bosses/dept's in a similar capacity.

August 02, 2007 5:45 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Who is Jim Alger?

August 02, 2007 7:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam is right that if a community doesn't want a certain business there, they can lobby that company not to come, protest them and write editorials, hire a lobbyist, whatever they want. IF the company does meet all current legislation and comes anyway, they can boycott.

BUT it is not the place of government to tell that company not to come just based on the desires or lack thereof of that community: that would be way, way overstepping their authority. Wendy seems to have been crossing that line in her public speeches earlier, and had to rein in her ambitions, make it very clear that the CC was just voting on whether it was a new "project" requiring an EIR.

No way would the Council have supported her with her earlier broad "wrong company in the wrong place" stump speech. That may have appealed to the people, made her look like a populist, but it was also way over the line and would have set a bad precedent.

I have to congratulate the way Jim Alger and his troops handled themselves at Council: polite and respectful, not belligerent and downright hostile, like many H A's and individuals on the Westside who wonder why they're not listened to.

So S-T may be working class, but they showed more class than the spoiled, snotty rich people who are most active on the Westside - CD 5.

They let Home Depot play the part of pushy Goliath, and it worked.

August 02, 2007 7:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Home Depot did not meet all current regulations, codes, or specific plan criteria, that is why they are in trouble now.
They tried to cheat, and they got caught!

August 02, 2007 7:59 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jim Alger is an occasional adviser to No Home Depot, these were not "his" troops. Joe Barret is the leader of No Home Depot.

August 02, 2007 8:02 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The City Attorney said at the Council
session that they were quite willing to take on Home Depot if they did indeed file a lawsuit. The City is not afraid, Sunland-Tujunga is not afraid, only Mayor Sam is.
Come out of the closet, Higby, you are HD's spokeshole!

August 02, 2007 9:38 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

But Jim Alger told me he has ST wrapped around his finger!

August 02, 2007 9:47 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam, I'm a Republican and I don't want Home Depot in Sunland-Tujunga. I want a company that follows the law, our Community's Specific plan and also fits the needs of our community.

Home Depot isn't the only employer available that can bring jobs and tax dollars to the city. That is a lot of hype. However, they do have enough money to bully their way through with their non-existant ethics, inferior products and service plus poor housekeeping. People that have money to will still be spending it somewhere in Los Angeles. It doesn't have to be at Home Depot. Maybe it will be Do It Center or Lowes or a Sears or an Ace Hardware. I understand that they employee people and pay taxes also.They most likely give good service too.

Democrats and Republicans alike will be hositle when their front doors face Home Depot's trashy looking yards and their property value plummets! Oh, and don't forget about the hugh trucks and forklifts going all day and night. Maybe it's ok by those people who live in gated communities or high end neighborhoods where there is no chance of a Home Depot settling in close proximity of their homes, schools and churches where they would not be welcomed. I am sure that is where Rick Taylor and Richard Greene and the rest of the big executives for Home Depot live.

That neighborhood in Sunland-Tujunga may not have BMW's and Lincoln navigators parked in their driveway, but they deserve the same respect and consideration as gated and high-end communities in Los Angeles. Sunland-Tujuinga is being discrimated against. Home Depot belongs in an industrial zone, not the bedroom community of Sunland-Tujunga which is a refuge for persons with respitory illness.
Home Depot has no intention of being a good neighbor. They are doing everything in their power not to complete and EIR.

August 03, 2007 3:05 PM  

Blogger Jim Alger said:

The bigger question is why do you care who I am?

No, I am not running for CD 2, never "strongarmed" anyone and certainly don't have ST "wrapped around my finger".

Geesh you guys need to get some new material.

August 04, 2007 4:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jim Alger

August 05, 2007 4:03 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jim Alger is the guy who is now involved in the fight to prevent Holy Cross hospital from expanding bed space in the Valley. He suggests that this institution which has served the Valley well for decades has something to hide and is refusing to do an EIR study fearing some negative information will come out.

He does not care if it increases the costs in construction which will ultimately be passed on to patients.

With all the hospitals failing or closing like Grananda Hills Hospital, which will now be turned into a High School, everyone should be supporting this expansion.

August 05, 2007 10:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The person that wrote that people should complain about those that hire illegals is correct.

Those that employ illegals are to blame for the problems that we have. They want cheap labor and then complain about them later. Meanwhile poor Americans are the ones that are hurt. The rich take advantage of the illegals and the rest of us pay for it.

August 12, 2007 10:27 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor Sam, you've hit the nail on the head. Home Depot will open and the City will settle with them. The community is going to loose it's opportunity to realize any benefits. This is because the few people who oppose this, speak as if they represent all of ST. Be warned, there is a large faction of supporters whom are about to rock your world. Yes we live here and we don't want to miss out on the benefits that can come from this store. The Mayor is right! You should listen.Start to make nice nice. HD is starting to show up more and is making more contact with the ST people. You don't think this is because they don't think the store will open do you? Stop fighting it and grasp reality.

December 14, 2007 3:27 PM  

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