Broke, broker, brokest

It is always sad when people who pretend to be rich are too poor to pay for luxuries like fire departments and ambulances.

While Garret and Cynthia Unno of Palos Verdes Estates were banging the drum for stricter enforcement of traffic laws, a/k/a EVIL CYCLISTS ARE RUNNING ALL THE STOP SIGNS AND ENDANGERING OUR 5,000-LB. STEEL BOXES, someone forgot to keep the home fires burning, or rather someone forgot to make sure that there was going to be someone to put the home fires out.

In an impressive push to punish skinny, hairless, underwear-clad bicycle riders, the rabidly unfit PVE bike-hating minority whipped its police department into a veritable ticket-issuing orgasm of stop, cite, and pad the local budget. In addition to stationing Deppity Doofus on Paseo del Mar every Saturday to apprehend the criminal Donut Ride biker gang and cite its riders for blasting through stop signs, the hue and cry reached such fitful proportions that all you had to do to get Mayor King to lose it was whisper “Cyclist! Stop sign!” and she’d sound off like a hound with a treed possum.

And the fever was catching. Councilpersons Jim Goodhart and John Rea, although initially of the opinion that perhaps cyclists weren’t much of a problem in PVE, and might even be vulnerable road users deserving protection, eventually caught the Biker Plague Rage and abandoned all pretense of making reasoned decisions about allocation of police resources vis-a-vis bikes and traffic enforcement.

The more tickets that got written, the hotter the fever grew until Garret, Cynthia, Zaragoza Lady, and the other advocates of SAVE OUR STOP SIGNS had logged so many attaboys and attagirls and lockemups and hangemhighs on NextDoor that the servers started to smoke.

Problem was, in this case where there was smoke there wasn’t any fire. If there had been, the LA Fire Department, under contract with the city, would have come and put it out and the nutty SAVE OUR STOP SIGN folks would have realized that the real issue they had in Palos Verdes Estates wasn’t the honor of their violated stop signs but something much more important: Whether or not they were going to have a fire department and EMS to haul them off on a crash cart when their clogged arteries, hypertension, erectile dysfunction, scabies, stroke, aneurysm, gout, and cardiac arrest kicked in.

Because at the same time the Unnos were training their lasers on the STOP SIGN SANCTITY PROJECT, another cabal of tax-hating, Trump-loving, Everything-for-me-Nothing-for-you residents was quietly putting together a measure that would defund the city’s fire and emergency medical services. They quietly drafted the measure. They quietly put it on the ballot. And they quietly laughed all the way home while the STOP SIGN WORSHIPERS, gloating over the daily count of traffic citations, neglected to mobilize their forces to preserve something that actually mattered.

And when the tax measure that supports fire and EMS services was rejected because it couldn’t pass the hilariously high 2/3 vote ceiling, Mayor King, Defeated Councilman Goodhart, and Defeated Councilman Rea (beaten in his quest for city treasurer) realized that they were now facing a budget shortfall of almost $2.5 million out of a total city budget of $17 million, and the cuts would begin in July.

What does this have to do with flatlander transients pedaling into PVE and making a mockery of the modesty and virginal pureness of the city’s stop signs? Well, this: The body blow to the city’s finances may well lower the boom on the city’s police force.

PVE, unlike the ghettos of Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, and Rolling Hills Estates, has its very own police force whereas the other peninsula cities contract out with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. PVE has long been willing to pay for the extra cost, which is significant, because it gives the city extreme control over law enforcement (such as directing its manpower at keeping stop signs safe from bicycles) that simply can’t be exercised over the county sheriff’s department, a massive law enforcement agency that had a budget of almost $3 billion in 2015.

Fortunately, the city has an emergency budget of over $9 million, but even lawyer arithmetic will tell you that this rainy day fund won’t last for more than a few seasons of stop sign protection when it has to cover EMS, fire, and the erection of a crying wall for the politicians who’ve been booted out of office. As the high-G note of panic shrieks through the town, a huge contingent of citizens now plans to attend the March 14 council meeting to protest the outcome of a democratic vote that most were too lazy to participate in.

Maybe in the grand scheme of things spending all of your political capital to attack bicycles via anonymous troll web sites, yappy-yap comment threads on NextDoor, and defense of the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch wasn’t so smart after all, unless of course you never plan on needing fire protection in a place frequently ravaged by wildfires, and unless a population of geriatric couch-loungers never plans on waking in the middle of the night with chest pains.

The silliest part is that despite losing their fire and EMS, the angry minority’s attempts to oust cyclists from the peninsula hasn’t even worked. Last time I checked, the Donut Ride was still going strong. And I heard through the grapevine that last Saturday Deppity Doofus sat and waited at Paseo del Mar a lonnnnng time  for the ride to come by, but for some funny reason it never did.


And I guess if your house catches fire, you can call the Unnos, the Lunada Bay Boys on Mom’s Couch, or the city’s hidden-in-plain-view anonymous Internet troll. I’m sure they’ll hurry right over.



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40 thoughts on “Broke, broker, brokest”

  1. Sort of funny how that works in our country. If you want a good police force, fire department, EMS, nice roads, garbage pick up, snow removal, street lights, sewer service, fresh water, etc. Ya gotta pay for it….

    1. You mean people won’t work for free?? Funniest part is that the community that prides itself on excessive wealth and prosperity can’t afford an extra $977 per year.

      Any broke-ass bike racer spends that much on entry fees.

      Which just goes to show what a sorry bunch of penny-pinching, mortgaged-to-the-hilt wankers they really are …

    2. Where I grew up we had all of that, AND, not only did they pickup your garbage, but they had a crew that drove ahead of and behind the garbage trucks that both brought your cans to the street, and put them back again!! (They don’t do that any more)

      I thought that was NORMAL, until I went to school in the middle of Pennsyltucky, and my landlord told me who to call (and pay) to get the garbage picked up. What?!?

      1. Best way to run a government is to pass the cost of services that benefit everyone onto the poor. That way you get to keep everything else for yourself.

        Problem in PVE is that they’ve kicked out all the proles, and are left with nothing but their own crushing debt loads, bad investments, spendthrift children, deadbeat relatives, insatiable consumer spouses, unaffordable toy collections, and third vacation homes they’re too busy to use such that THEY ARE TOO BROKE TO PAY THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.


      2. Garbage trucks in PVE still bring your cans to the street and put them back! But heaven forbid they spend the few extra dollars to put fires out…

        1. Dude, $977 for a whole year of handsome men to come get your cat out of the tree is yuge money. Especially when you’re still writing alimony checks on that third divorce and junior’s fifth rehab is costing $15k/month, and Billy’s 28 and still working his way through the second semester of junior college.

          Plus, as long as those biker gangs keep getting tickets, who cares?

    1. Takes skill and intuition to master these British specialty words, so my general approach is to use them four or five times per sentence in the hope that, like Jell-O tossed on the wall, something will eventually stick.

  2. Michelle landes

    Insane !! Funny thing is I stopped at all stop signs last week , 1 mom almost t boned me coffee and phone in tow! 60 mph close calls on Hawthorne . I see two nice people getting written up for not clipping out on there mellow tour around pv from Pasadena . Guess where there never riding again !!!

  3. Three deaths. Daily assaults. Hundreds of cyclists begging for simple protections. City response is “Stop Signs!” and “Ride somewhere else”. Zero warnings or tickets for Three Foot Law violations. City Council believes the city is “unique” and therefore California Vehicular Code does not apply. Wait until there’s a new Sheriff in town who tells the city they must follow the same rules as every other Californian. The residents must be having a coronary. #peachandtranquility

    1. The city’s founding history of racism and keeping out the riff-raff will only work with their own private security force, i.e. the PVEPD. It will never be de-funded, ever.

  4. Hank from Pasadena

    Great Blog. What is your take on the current Cal Bill to get the Idaho stop in California?

      1. Hank from Pasadena

        It would solve quite a bit of the stop sign issue, but maybe not the big group rides.

        If a person is already not inclined to feel a kinship with a lycra clad roadie, they are not going to understand it when 150 people on the Montrose ride roll through a stop sign and they wait for all 150.

        One person, sure, 15 in a tight bunch. Probably. But it kinda feels like the 150 are the equivalent of about ten cars. So for the under informed its like sitting at a four way stop while ten cars go the other way.

        You can prove that its faster than making the 150 riders all stop, but as we see, proof is not all its cracked up to be these days. Better to go with unsupported feelings and superstition.

        1. I’d rather do something that benefited the hundreds of thousands of single riders than people who ride in groups.

      2. Hank from Pasadena

        And I think the Idaho stop bill should easily pass Its not even a close call for me. Cyclists are like pedestrians would be if there were no sidewalks and you had to walk on the road.

        You wouldn’t have a pedestrian stop at a stop sign, you would have them yield if a car was already going through the intersection or about to go through. Same thing for joggers.

        Pedestrians stop at stop lights for the same reasons cyclists would, a several thousand pound object heading through a green light at 35 plus mph is deadly.

        A certain group of drivers are assholes anyway, and traffic makes even the non-asshole contingent frustrated. But allowing cyclists to yield at stop signs makes so much sense I am hard pressed to think who would be against it.

      3. Hank from Pasadena

        And as you, I think, pointed out, stop signs are made purely for cars anyway – they are not made to stop joggers, walkers or cyclists. The reasons may not be as ridiculously obvious as things apparently need to be these days, but to me they are obvious.

  5. I think you misunderstand what’s happening in PVE. $4.7 MM is gone as of July. They will fire the PVEPD saving $7.3 MM and replace with LASD at $4MM. Then they will find $1.4 MM in savings or special tax to fill the gap. In the end, since Kepley was an expert in not enforcing any laws, the LASD can’t be any worse. PVE will continue only nearly identically as before, but its residents will be RICHER due to $90MM in estimated tax savings over the 12 years Measure D will be gone.

    1. I’ll believe Kepley’s pink slip when I see it, and will celebrate with a fresh box of Krispy Kremes sent to his office.

      “Expert in not enforcing any laws,” too funny. I will borrow that if you don’t mind, thank you. Best codicil ever to a job title: “Jeffrey Kepley, Expert in Not Enforcing Any Laws.”

      But my analysis is still correct. Because they are too broke to pay for the parcel tax they are going to lose their private security force and be forced to hire an actual law enforcement agency.

      And while this will result in a theoretical savings, they won’t be one penny richer because the alimony payments, deadbeat children, and maxed out lines of credit will inhale the few extra tax dollars they no longer have to pay.

      I will say that if their goal is continued crackdowns on vicious stop sign abusers in their underwear, LASD has some pretty good chops in that department.

      When a city’s denizens can’t afford $977/yr. to pay for fire and EMS services, that city is broke, regardless of how much money they have.

      Maybe with all their free time, former council people Rea and Goodhart, and former Chief Kepley will join Big Orange and discover the joys of bicycling.

      I will take them on a very fun Saturday ride named after a famous American food item.

      1. Sean and I used to live in PVE so have some insights here. Most of the residents are not “rich” in the purest sense. They are “house rich and cash poor”. The city is populated with a huge % of retired aerospace workers who for some reason were part of a very lucky wave of home buyers in the 1950s and 1960s. Sorry to say it, but they often are really uninformed and frankly stupid. So stupid that they allowed this PVE police dept. to gobble up over the years over $100,000,000 of comp even though there’s hardly any real crime in the city. The overtime situation reportedly has gotten out of control under Kepley as he reportedly is hated by his officers and they use sick leave and “injuries” to work over the taxpayers. Word is thick that, after screwing over his officers by pissing off the voters, he’ll be gone within a few months from now.

      2. @ Debbie R
        PVE will likely also be hobbled for decades by obligations for $150K-200K taxpayer-guaranteed-pensions-for-life for all their “public safety” officers retiring at ages 50-55.
        All those overtime shenanigans count toward their final pension payouts.

  6. My parents lived for several years in an out-of-state county that literally had ZERO professional law enforcement from 5:00 pm to 8:00 am. Several times there was a ballot measure that would have cost each landowner a small amount ($125?) per year to hire a minimal 24/7 staff, but every time it failed. The attitude was “I gots a gun and a dog. I don’t need no stinkin’ sheruff.”

    Maybe that county will offer how-to clinics, and PVE residents can attend.

    1. First they will need to prep the populace with more user-friendly clinics so that when the Git A Kop clinic is held it will be well-attended. Suggested warmer-upper workshops:

      1. Git Jr. Off the Couch in 3 E-Z Steps! (He’s only 35, but it’s never too soon.)

      2. Stanch the Bleeding! Don’t marry any more Vegas hookers without a pre-nup!

      3. Hiring people to enjoy your vacation home: You can’t have it all, but someone else can have some!

      4. Finding New Lines of Credit: Ways to quadruple your mortgage so Mitzy McBuffalo can get a new Range Grazer.

      5. Hate Speech: Best practices for online trolling.

      6. Video Stardom in Your Spare Time: Be a bigger hit in PVE than Michael Kirst!

  7. Obviously the PVE Sacramento lobbyist will be working against the bill recently introduced by Jay Obernolte (R-Hesperia) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) to allow cyclists to roll though stop signs.

    1. I love how one lobbyist can thwart the interest of the entire state. Just like the founding fathers intended, no doubt.

  8. Hopefully the day will never come when group rides over 6 (insert any number) have to be “permitted” . A tenuous balance we hang in. Keep up the good work!

      1. City of Pasadena says we are an organized ride because there’s a FB page and we should have a permit.

    1. New fund-raising for the cash-strapped denizens of $977ville on Kickstarter/GoFundMe/ etc.

    2. I’m getting off the track here, I get your point about how they want to keep everything black and white? ALL movies have budgetary issues. It’s better for the studios that way.

  9. When I was in my prime (four centuries ago) I rode bicycles and big motorcycles (not at the same time…). The motorcycle gang, excuse me, “club”, I rode with NEVER stopped at ANY stop signs or traffic lights. Interestingly, the cops NEVER gave a “club” member a ticket and we NEVER heard any politicians complaining. Have your local “club” escort you on the “donut ride” and have a ticket free experience….

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