SGV Trib Letters Page

I don't know what's up with the Trib, but two days in a row, they've had these weird racist letters.  One was questioning what Muslim immigrants brought to the country, and saying they shouldn't be here.  The other was about adding Korean language classes to a school, but the writer assumed the requester wasn't fluent in English, and that it was a nefarious plan originating in North Korea.

A "good" letter in the Tribune

July 18, 2006:

Council in chaos

A special meeting of the Rosemead City Council was held on June 6, to set the date for the recall election of Rosemead Council members Jay Imperial and Gary Taylor. But the meeting quickly deteriorated into a fiasco. As a result of the ensuing chaos, audience members wondered if it was actually a meeting of the Rosemead City Council or if it was a meeting of the Three Stooges?

Here is what happened: Taylor very rudely broke in when Councilman John Nunez was speaking, and asked Councilman John Tran an irrelevant question that had nothing to do with the topic under discussion. Councilwoman Maggie Clark publicly lamented about possible financial problems with her home.

And then as though all that had happened was just a prelude to the main event, beyond belief, in an action by an elected official at a public meeting, Imperial lambasted a resident who had addressed the council.

Imperial spoke in harsh tones heard by all in attendance but not completely understood because Imperial possibly spoke in a foreign language, and he possibly laced his comment with profanity.

Incredible, you say? Yes, but true.

Shame on the three council members: Taylor, Imperial, and Clark. No decorum, no manners, no dignity and no control.

Anita Kerr


They really, really hate me!

Both the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Pasadena Star-News printed a short letter to the editor today (July 27), criticizing my "diatribe" in favor of the recall.  I assume this is in response to one of my own letters to the editor, that appeared in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune last month.  You can read it at the bottom of this set of letters here:

That's the third time a letter in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and/or Pasadena Star-News has "called me out" by name.  The second time in a letter from some goofball from Coos Bay, OR.  The first time was by the Wal-Mart sock puppet who works for Jay Imperial.

But what is particularly annoying about this most recent attack is that the letter that the lady is responding to WASN'T EVEN PUBLISHED in the Pasadena Star News. It only appeared in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Jeez!  If they're going to publish "rebuttals" to my letters in the Pasadena Star-News, the least they can do is show me the courtesy of actually publishing my letters in that paper in the first place!

Letter from John K. in July 29 Pasadena Star News

Complaint black hole


According to the story "Keeping tabs on Wal-Mart," (July 13) the city will start keeping a log of complaints about the Wal-Mart project.

In other words, complaining to the city was, until recently, the same as dropping the complaint into a black hole. If you complain about some other project will your complaint get the "normal" treatment? That is, will it not be recorded, not be communicated to others, and not be put into any system to track citizens' concerns?

I guess we should be happy that city bigwigs and rich folks don't collect the most pathetic of these letters and sit around drinking martinis and laughing at them.

They don't do that, do they?

John Kawakami

South San Gabriel

Placement in the Pasadena Star News

It's some kind of bogus "tricknology" the newspaper company is pulling on us.  The SOC folks get printed in the PASADENA paper (probably to appeal to their more affluent readers who worry about big corporations) while the pro-Walmart rants get into the SGV TRIB (probably to appeal to the Walmart advertising vice president or something).

It's a very anti-free-speech action they're taking.  They're basically granting us permission to speak as long as it's far away from the target audience.

I bet the editors at the paper are sitting around the pool, with their martinis, congratulating themeselves on how clever they are to "piss in our lemonade" and then pretend to be decent to us.

The paper is bogus.  They sometimes fail to fact-check their articles, when it suits their slant.  They will sometimes hide the particulars of an incident if it makes their political allies look bad.

. . . And another Crackpot Letter:

San Gabriel Valley Tribune, July 26, 2006

Wal-Mart like the rest

As a frequent visitor to Rosemead, I cannot believe the attacks against Wal-Mart generated by folks that are anti-American. The anti-Wal-Mart folks are anti-Chinese (i.e., 85 percent of Wal-Mart's products are Chinese), anti-union and anti-taxbase for the revenue that will be generated by annual sales in Rosemead!

As a retired union member (CCPOA), most folks do not realize a union is formed and becomes a union. Short and simple, the working folks get together and vote for or against a union. If a majority of workers approve the union, it becomes a union. If the workers do not approve of the union through voting elections, no union is formed.

In a nutshell, it is either yea or nay.

I drove out to the location of the Wal-Mart store and saw a beautiful golf fairway along Walnut Grove. Across the street is a huge commercial building and parking. Kitty-corner from the Wal-Mart is another huge building and parking and up the street from Wal-Mart is another huge building and parking. So I ask again, why is everyone of the whiner crowd anti-Wal-Mart?

Did they disrespect the other businesses? Did this band of anti-capitalists picket the other capitalist businesses? Their office/parking spaces are about the same land footprint! Everyone I know shops at Wal-Mart, and when the store is opened, the same whiners will shop there too.

I own property in Coos-Bay, Oregon; Kingman, Arizona; and in Meadview, Arizona - and Wal-Mart is where I shop because I save money. I do not agree with anti-Oriental, Pacific Rim bashing of people or products! And, no, I do not own Wal-Mart stock.

John Sanchez



My response:

What the heck?  Does Mike Lewis have relatives up in Coos Bay?  Because this is the second pro-Wal-Mart letter from Coos Bay, OR that's appeared in the SGV Tribune.  Is life so dull and perfect in Coos Bay that they need to look all the way down to Rosemead to have something interesting to say?

And if you're going to come all the way down from Coos Bay, the least you can do is take a better look around.  Stand where the building is.  What do you see?  To the north:  Eldridge Rice Elementary School.  Kitty Corner?  More of Rice School, and some residences.  Across the street (Delta) from the building, and standing not 50 yards from the back of the building?  More residences.

Stand anywhere on the Wal-Mart property and look for another retail outlet.  You won't see any, because the city's master plan intended this area to be office space.  That's what all the other big "commercial" buildings along Walnut Grove are.  And the difference between an office building and a 24-hour supercenter?  Office workers come in in the morning and go home in the afternoon.  Traffic peaks for about 30 minutes before and after normal business hours.  Unlike a 24-hour supercenter, no one pulls into the corporate offices of Panda Express at 2 in the morning looking for a case of beer.  There aren't 1,000 cars in the Panda Express parking lot, and those cars don't keep coming and going every hour of the office's operations.

Also, I don't quite see what's so patriotic about a store that, according to the author, buys 85% of its products from China.  And opposing a government that butchers its own people when they protest for democracy?  There's nothing anti-Chinese about that, either.  Anti-communist?  Yes, I'm guilty of that.  But anti-Chinese?  Anti-American?  Not Guilty!

I believe in the right of a free people to peaceably assemble, to petition to redress grievances, and to participate in fair and free elections that hold their elected officials accountable for their actions.

The real question you ought to be asking yourself, Mr. Coos Bay, is why the apologists for Wal-Mart don't support these things? They don't support them in China, and they don't support them in Rosemead. And you say *I'm* anti-American? Pathetic.

Patriotism and Wal-Mart

It's sad how a company that's leading the big charge to outsource more and more manufacturing to "any old country" gets to be so closely associated with patriotism.  I don't buy the polarizing rhetoric that says that if you don't go along with the big business agenda or the Republican Party, you're un-American.

As for anti-Chinese... yeah right.  Some of the anti-Walmart rhetoric out there is anti-Chinese, but not very much.  It's mostly the Pat Buchanan types going off on that tangent.  If there is someone who is Chinese, and operating a "sweatshop" that exploits Chinese workers, then, I might have animosity to the guy who owns the factory, but not the poor sap who has to work there.

I don't see how SOC is anti-union, or being pro-Walmart is pro-union, or whatever that guy said.  He didn't make sense.  The Walmart company is anti-union, like a lot of other big businesses -- they just don't like the idea of having the workers negotiate a contract together.  They like dictating the pay scales and rules for raises and bonuses from the headquarters.  I think most big companys like to operate that way, if possible.

As for Walmart disrespecting other businesses... they do so indirectly.  Walmart tried to get a freeway sign out of the City.  That was going to be paid for by the taxpayers, including the competing businesses.  If you had a business, would you want to be contributing to your competitor's advertising budget?  That's what Walmart wanted Rosemead to do.  Fortunately, Larry Bevington and his gang stopped that one.

(The math on that is pretty sick, too.  If Walmart has a sign, and you're a competitor, you have to pay for a sign as well.  So not only would you have paid for Walmart's sign -- you'd have to pay a lot more to get your own sign improved.)

They do the same with other cities too.  For example, in a lot of cities, big retail operations get a long tax abatement.  (WM isn't demanding one in this situation, for obvious reasons.)  These tax abatements cost the cities millions of dollars.  It's the local competition that foots the bill for these giveaways.  Up in Alhambra, the Target got a tax abatement; the new Kohls got one too.  I think businesses stay quiet about these giveaways because they figure that they may qualify for some, too, and it doesn't pay to rock the boat.  Eventually, it's the regular Joe who ultimately pays for all these things, in the form of higher taxes on income, sales, and houses.

What I didn't get was why he listed his properties.  It's not like this country is a feudal monarchy, where the biggest landowners get the most votes.