night reader's blog

State of the City Report

The Pat Brown Institute and Cal State LA have released its State of the City report for the City of LA. It includes a lot of information about the County, too.

Bowen Decertifies Electronic Voting Machines

The Times reports that our electronic voting machines are all screwed up.

Finally, I am so glad that this issue made the headlines. Bowen did a good thing, bringing a lot of security issues to the fore.

The Times story did miss one thing, though -- when vote tampering happens on physical ballots, people have some ability to recognize it because people have to move the paper around or put it into the ballot box. With electronic fraud, it's impossible to detect unless you know what's happening.

Really Really Free Market in Pasadena

Really Really Free Market in Pasadena is a community-based giveaway. It's like a flea market, except everything is given away for free. The next one happens on July 14th. Click on the link for details.

People give stuff away on Freecycle and Craigslist, and this is a similar thing. Sometimes, it's easier to give stuff away than it is to sell it. Sometimes, it's even easier than finding somebody to take it as a "donation" - because they refuse some donations, knowing their thrift shop won't be able to sell it.

Annexation of South San Gabriel?

NOTE - there is no meeting this Thursday. There IS, however, a county run meeting for other local issues at Evergreen Baptist Church on Wed. 18th.

The South San Gabriel group that meets at Estelle's (we don't have a name, but we formed part of SOC, and also came up with the name SOC) is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to discuss the proposed annexation of the southeastern part of SSG into Rosemead, for purposes of erecting some kind of arena or entertainment center.

Why do people destroy potentially functional discards?

There's a big-screen TV on the sidewalk on Delta, near the Wal Mart, and it's been there for a couple weeks. It was being dumped, obviously. After a few days, someone punched or kicked the screen in, basically destroying it. Why did they do this?

Creating this big TV took a lot of fuel, and it contains parts that could be used by someone interested in making a projection TV or using the lenses for something else. Now, it's trashed. It will have to be dismantled as e-waste, and dumped, with the toxics going to appropriate places.

Local Schools do Well in Newsweek Rankings

I was never one for school spirit, but it was nice to see that the school listed in Newsweek's best public high schools. The ranking is calculated by factors like the number of students taking Advanced Placement courses.

Keppel was at 594. Schurr was at 1017. Bell Gardens was 1316. Alhambra and Rosemead didn't show up; what's up with that? Alhambra was 678 in 2006.

LAUSD schools did pretty well, too, despite what people might think. They gave MUSD and Alhambra Union a run for its money, with several schools in the top 500. Of course, many of the LA schools were magnets, so that skews things, but even considering that, they generally had higher levels of poverty (reflected by the school lunch stats) than the local schools out here.

Is the Pico Rivera Mayor Covering Up for a Graf Guy?

Sheesh... some hoods have all the luck. According to Raul at, CC member and Mayor Beilke is covering up for a graf tagger, by putting his name on the record as the dude getting busted for the spraying.

Okay, what is this? It's one thing to be a "cool" adult, who's "down with hip-hop" or whatever, but it's a whole other thing to cover for a tagger whose work is costing the city money.

Watch Out for the Lawyers

Recently, there was a change of attorneys in Rosemead. The contracting of attorneys is a potentially political hot potato, and there was some controversy surrounding it. Basically, the high price that attorneys command make the city attorney contract extremely lucrative, so law firms donate to city council candidates in the hopes of getting new contracts.

The site has a story about such a possible deal.