Feeds:
Posts
Comments

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff of California closed Day 4 of the impeachment hearings with another gut punch to President Donald Trump. His seven-minute closing statement followed the day’s second session, which featured testimony from Defense Department official Laura Cooper and State Department official David Hale.

Here’s Schiff’s closing statement, which I recorded and then transcribed.

**

Democrat Adam Schiff and Republican Devin Nunes on at Wednesday’s impeachment hearing (NYT photo by Doug Mills)

I’ll be brief this evening. It’s been a long day, and I said most of what I wanted to say earlier in the day. But I did want to end this evening. And first of all thank you both for your testimony and your long service to the country. We are grateful that you answered the lawful process of a congressional supboena.

I wanted to share a few reflections on two words that have come up a lot in the course of these hearings. Those words are corruption and anti-corruption. We are supposed to believe, I imagine, listening to my colleagues, that Donald Trump is a great anti-corruption fighter; that his only concern about Ukraine was that it would fight corruption. But let’s look at that argument. Let’s look at the President’s words, and let’s look at his deeds.

Ambassador (Marie) Yovanovitch was an anti-corruption champion. No one has contradicted that that has come forward to testify here. She was a champion. And on the day she is at a meeting acknowledging in Ukraine another anti-corruption champion — a woman who had acid thrown in her face and died a painful death after months — she is called back to Washington because of a vicious smear campaign by the President’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, among others. She is recalled.

That is not anti-corruption; that is corruption. And one of the people responsible for this smear campaign, in addition to Mr. Giuliani — and it is a long and sordid list of those who were involved — is a man named Lutsenko (Yuriy Lutsenko, a former prosecutor general of Ukriane), someone who the minority’s own witness acknowledges has a poor reputation as self-serving and corrupt.

And what do we see about Mr. Lutsenko and his predecessor, Mr. (Viktor) Shokin? What does the President have to say about these corrupt former prosecutors? He praises them! He says they were treated very unfairly. That’s not anti-corruption; that’s corruption!

And when Ambassador Sondland testified today there was unquestionably a quid pro quo and everybody knew it, conditioning a White House meeting that Ukraine desperately wanted to show its friend and foe alike it had the support of the President of the United States, when that was conditioned — an official act was conditioned on the receipt of things of value to the President’s political investigations — that was not anti-corruption, that was corruption!

And when Ambassador Sondland testified today that he could put two and two together and so can we, that there was also a quid pro quo on the military aid — that aid was not going to be released unless he did a public statement of these political investigations the President wanted — that’s not anti-corruption; that is corruption!

And let’s look at the President’s words on that phone call — that infamous phone call on July 25. Does he ask President Zelensky, “How’s that reform coming in the Rada (the Ukrainian parliament)? What are you doing to root out corruption? What about that new anti-corruption court?” Of course not! Of course not! Are we really to believe   that was his priority. No! What does he ask? “I want you to do us a favor: Investigate this crazy 2016 server conspiracy, that the server is somewhere in Ukraine.” And, more ominously, “Investigate the Bidens.” That’s not anti-corruption; that is corruption.

And the next day, when he’s on the phone to Ambassador Sondland in that outdoor restaurant in Kiev, what does he want to know about? Does he want to know about how Zelensky is going to fight corruption? Of course not! The only thing he brings up in that call is the investigation he wants into the Bidens. That’s not anti-corruption; that is corruption.

Every now and then there’s a conversation that really says all you need to know. And sometimes it doesn’t seem all that significant, but I’ll tell you, this one really struck me. It was a conversation Ambassador Volker related in his testimony. It was a conversation just this past September, when he’s talking to Andriy Yermak (top adviser to President Zelensky). And he’s advising him, as indeed he should, “You know, you may not want to go through with an investigation or prosecution of former President (Petro) Poroshenko. Engaging in political investigations is really not a good idea.” And you know what Yermak says? “Oh, you mean like you want us to do of the Bidens and the Clintons?”

Well, there’s a word for that, too. And it’s not corruption or anti-corruption; it’s called hypocrisy. And this is the problem here: We do have an anti-corruption policy around the world. And the great men and women in your department, Undersecretary Hale, and in your department, Ms. Cooper, they carry that message around the world: that the United States is devoted to the rule of law. But when they see a President of the United States who is not devoted to the rule of law, who is not devoted to anti-corruption, but instead demonstrates in word and deed corruption, they are forced to ask themselves, “What does America stand for any more?”

That concludes this evening’s hearing.

If you didn’t hear U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff’s closing statement Tuesday evening, at the conclusion of Day 3 of the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings, you missed a great speech. Schiff spoke passionately, eloquently and without notes for nearly eight minutes.

The statement came after several hours of testimony by Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, who was a National Security Council official until he resigned on the eve of his private testimony last month.

Here is the transcript of Schiff’s statement…

I thank you both for your testimony today. I would highlight a couple of things about what we have heard this afternoon. First, Ambassador Volker, your written testimony, in which you say, in hindsight, “I now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the Ukrainian company Burisma as equivalent to investigating former Vice President Biden. I saw them as very different, the former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable.” And, in retrospect, you said, “I should have seen that connection differently, and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections.”

That’s where we are today. Ambassador, we appreciate your willingness to amend your earlier testimony in light of what you now know. I think you made it very clear that knowing what you know today that, in fact, the president sought an investigation of his political rival, Vice President Biden, and you would not have countenanced any effort by the Ukrainians to engage in such conduct.

I appreciate also that you are able to debunk, I hope for the last time, the idea that Joe Biden did something wrong and that he, in accordance with U.S. policy, sought to replace a corrupt prosecutor, something that not only the U.S. State Department wanted, and not only the European Union wanted, and not only the IMF (International Monetary Fund) wanted but was the consensus position of the United State national security infrastructure. You did not get a lot of questions about that because, I think, you effectively said that was all nonsense. We appreciate your candor about that.

Mr. Morrison, I think what’s most remarkable about your testimony is the acknowledgment that, immediately after the vice president met with President Zelensky in Warsaw, you witnessed Gordon Sondland meeting with Andrey Yermak, a top adviser to President Zelensky, and then immediately thereafter Sondland told you that he had informed the Ukrainians that if they wanted that $400 million in aid, they were going to have to do those investigations that the President wanted.

You were later informed — this is also significant as you testified here today — that Ambassador Sondland, in his subsequent conversations with President Trump, had informed you that it wasn’t going to be enough for the Ukrainian prosecutor general to announce the investigations the president wanted. President Zelensky had to do it himself if he wanted to get that aid, let alone the meeting with the White House.

You’ve been asked to opine on the meaning of the term bribery, although you weren’t asked to opine on the terms high crimes and misdemeanors. But bribery, for those watching at home, is the conditioning of official acts in exchange for something of personal value. The official acts we’re talking about here are a White House meeting President Zelensky desperately sought and was deeply important to his country at war with Russia, to show the United States had this new president’s back.

That meeting was important. That meeting is an official act. The military assistance is even more significant because Ukrainians are dying every day in their war with Russia. And so, the withholding of military assistance to get these investigations, which you now have acknowledged, Ambassador Volker, was wrong for the President to request. The idea of withholding that military aid to get these political investigations should be anathema, repugnant to every American because it means the sacrifice, not just of the Ukrainian national security, but American national security for the interests of the president personally and politically.

Now my Republican colleagues, all they seem to be upset about with this is not that the President sought an investigation of his political rival — not that he withheld a White House meeting to pressure Ukraine. Their objection is that he got caught! Their objection is that someone blew the whistle, and they would like this whistle blower identified. The President wants the whistle blower punished.

That’s their objection — not that the President engaged in this conduct — that he got caught! Their defense is, well, he ended up releasing the aid. Yes, after he got caught! It doesn’t make this any less odious. Americans may be watching this and asking, “Why should we care about Ukraine?” And this was the import, I think, of the conversation in that Kiev restaurant, with Gordon Sondland holding that phone away from his head because the President was talking so loud.

What does the President ask in that call the day after that call he had with Zelensky? What did he ask on that cellphone call? Not whether the Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) had passed anti-corruption. No…Are the Ukrainians going to do the investigation. And Sondland’s answer is…they’re going to do it; they’ll do anything, essentially, the President wants.

What’s more telling is the conversation, I think, the foreign service officer (David) Holmes has afterwards with Sondland in which the President says basically that President Trump doesn’t give an expletive about Ukraine. He cares about the big things. Mr. Holmes says, “Well, Ukraine’s at war with the Russians; that’s a big thing.” And Sondland’s answer is, no, he cares about big things that affect his personal interests.

That’s why Americans should care about this. Americans should care about what happens to our allies, who are dying. Americans should care about their own national security and their own President and their own Constitution. And they will need to ask themselves — as we will have to ask ourselves in Congress — “Are we prepared to accept that the President of the United States can leverage official acts — military assistance, White House meetings — to get an investigation of a political rival?” Are we prepared to say, “Well, I guess that’s what we should expect of a President”?

I don’t think we want to go there. I don’t think our founding fathers would have wanted us to go there. Indeed, when the founding fathers provided a remedy, that remedy being impeachment, they had the very concern that a President of the United States may betray the national security interests of the country for personal interests. They put that remedy in the Constitution not because they wanted to willy-nilly overturn elections. No, because they wanted a powerful anti-corruption mechanism when that corruption came from the highest office in the land.

We are adjourned.

 

I’m starting to have a bad feeling about Quinton Lucas.

My fear is he’s going to be a lightweight mayor, one who doesn’t have the courage of his convictions.

Fueling that fear is the way he handled last week’s vote on the proposed $133 million, 25-story Strata office tower above existing buildings at 13th and Main streets.

It’s well known, of course, that Lucas beat Jolie Justus in the mayor’s race earlier this year in large part because he pledged to reduce city subsidies to developers.

A June 10 story on KCUR’s website paraphrased Lucas as saying he would severely limit the incentives available downtown and on the Country Club Plaza. It then quoted him as saying: “The greatest incentives should only be available — with a few exceptions — but should only be available in the East Side or in severely economically distressed parts of the city.”

Strata was the first major test of Lucas’ commitment to his promises…and he flunked.

The original plan included $63 million in incentives — $27 million for the office tower itself and $36 million for the parking garage. When it came before the City Council last Thursday, the office-tower incentive was out and the parking incentive remained…Nevertheless, it was still a huge giveaway.

Seven council members, the minimum needed for passage, voted “yes.” (I’ll give you that vote breakdown in a minute.) Lucas and three other council members — Brandon Ellington, Melissa Robinson and Teresa Loar — voted “no.”

The fattest arrow in the mayor’s quiver, however, is the veto power. On Friday, Lucas’ office said he would not use that arrow.

That action (or inaction) sends a strong signal to developers everywhere that he won’t erect a high wall against similar developments. He’s like the stand-up comedian who holds up one hand trying to stem the applause while subtly beckoning it with the other hand down low.

When he goes out in public and is questioned about the giveaway, Lucas can say, “Hey, I did all I could. I voted ‘no.’ I can’t control what my colleagues do.”

Had he vetoed the ordinance, as he should have, the Strata incentive easily could have been dead. Under the City Charter, it takes eight votes to override a veto. The Strata ordinance passed on a vote of 7-4, with council members Heather Hall, Kevin O’Neill, Dan Fowler, Katheryn Shields, Eric Bunch, Ryana Parks-Shaw and Kevin McManus voting “yes.”

Councilman Lee Barnes was absent, and the only other council member, Andrea Bough, recused herself because of a potential conflict of interest.

Had Lucas vetoed the ordinance, forcing a second vote, Barnes probably would have held the deciding vote, with Bough having to recuse herself again.

I don’t know where Barnes stands on the issue, but he’s a bit of a maverick, and my suspicion is he would have voted “no” — in which case the measure would have fallen a vote short.

**

So, that’s where we find ourselves: with a mayor who appears to want to be able to say he’s watching out for taxpayers’ interests while, in reality, sending smoke signals to developers that the city treasury remains accessible to the special interests.

It takes a very strong leader to stand up to the developers, who, collectively, are far and away the biggest contributors to council and mayoral candidates. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear Lucas has the spine voters hoped he had when they voted for him five months ago.

Correction: I initially wrote that it took nine votes to override a veto, but I was informed by a former city attorney it was changed to eight during Cleaver’s years as mayor.

My $891.23-per-month McClatchy pension appears to be hanging by something between a thread and three-pound-test fishing line.

I’ve been predicting for months that the company, which owns 29 daily papers, including The Star, has nowhere to go but down and out.

The company finally admitted as much yesterday when it announced its third-quarter financial results.

The single biggest piece of news was not that the company lost $305 million between July 1 and September 30 (that was deceiving because it consisted mostly of a  required markdown of assets) but that its pension plan was underfunded by $535 million.

Of pressing concern, a $120 million pension funding payment is due in the spring.

Under the heading “pension matters and potential restructuring,” McClatchy ominously said in a news release, “The company and its advisors are exploring all available options to address these liquidity pressures.”

The steps the company has recently taken include hiring financial and legal advisers to explore options. The Poynter Institute for Media Studies quickly published a story saying such language typically means one thing: The company is “exploring the possibility of a sale.”

McClatchy has more than 24,000 pensioners, and it has begun discussions with the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and its largest debt holder, a hedge fund called Chatham Asset Management, regarding a possible “restructuring.”

“Should the PBGC and the company reach such a solution,” the McClatchy release said, “the assets and obligations of the qualified plan would be assumed by the PBGC, which would continue to pay the company’s pensioners their benefits. The company believes, under current regulations, such a solution would not have an adverse impact on qualified pension benefits for substantially all of its retirees.”

That’s the rosiest outlook. On the other hand…

“There can be no assurance that the ongoing discussions with PBGC, its debt holder, and other parties will result in any restructuring transaction, that the company will obtain any required stakeholder consent to consummate a restructuring transaction, or that the restructuring transaction will occur on a timely basis or at all.”

Or at all.

The likeliest scenario, according to the Poynter story, is that Chatham, McClatchy’s largest stockholder as well as its biggest lender, will move in and take over the company. Chatham already has a controlling interest in a large Canadian chain, and it is the parent company of the National Enquirer. (The fact that McClatchy and The Star are in the grip of the company that employs that greaseball David Pecker is hard to swallow.)

**

My hope is that if Chatham becomes the owner of McClatchy, whose stock is publicly traded, it will consider selling off at least some of the 29 papers to local owners. I’ve had my fingers crossed for a couple of years that might happen with The Star, but the fact is it’s unlikely, because most of the hedge funds that have moved in on newspaper chains have done so to suck out the revenue and invest it in other, non-newspaper assets that earn significant returns.

That strategy, as I’ve said before, is euphemistically called “harvesting market position.” (When I hear that term, I can’t help think of a thresher crawling through a field and churning up newspapers.)

A lot of harvesting is taking place in the newspaper business these days. Only a handful of major metropolitan dailies are doing well, and two of them, The New York Times and The Washington Post, have converted themselves into national newspapers. The Times, by far the most successful paper in the country, has been working at that conversion for at least two decades; The Post has made great strides in that direction since Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, purchased it in 2013.

**

Back to my pension…I worked at The Star for 36 years, and I’ve drawn that $891.23 a month since retiring in June 2006. While it’s a fairly piddling amount considering the number of years I put in, I’ve always been proud and pleased to get that automatic-deposit notification at the end of each month.

You can buy a lot of lunches on $891 a month, and I guess I might have to cut back if the pension goes away or is significantly reduced. One of the groups I lunch with periodically includes former Star reporters Julius Karash and Mike Rice and our politically conservative buddy John Altevogt. (Like Julius says, “It’s always good to know what the other side is thinking.”)

Last night, Altevogt sent the three of us an email in which he said, “Looks like we may have to pick up the tab for Fitz next time around, until he can get a gig as a Walmart greeter.”

The only problem is Walmart is getting rid of its greeters faster than newspaper chains are getting rid of reporters, photographers and editors.

Ah, well, on we go…onward and upward.

I know a lot about Emanuel Cleaver.

As The Star’s City Hall reporter from 1985 to 1995, I covered him as a City Councilman for six years, and I covered him during his first term as mayor from 1991 to 1995.

I know the good, the bad and the ugly about Emanuel Cleaver, who has been Missouri’s 5th District U.S. representative since 2005.

You probably have heard or read by now about Cleaver’s ridiculous TV attack on members of the Save The Paseo group, which pulled off a huge win at the polls last week, leading the charge for reinstating The Paseo to its rightful and historic place in the city’s fabulous parkways and boulevards system.

On an MSNBC show hosted by Al Sharpton, Cleaver chided the Save The Paseo folks who had interrupted a pre-election rally by saying, “Even the Klan never marched into a church.”

He went on to say “people are embarrassed here in Kansas City” — referring to the removal of King’s name from one of the city’s most prominent boulevards.

…Before I go any further, let me put stakes in the hearts of those two assertions.

First, the Save The Paseo people were wrong to interrupt the pro-Martin-Luther-King-Jr.-Boulevard rally. In politics, you respect your opponents’ right to hold events and wage their campaign, and you respond appropriately. Nevertheless, comparing them with the KKK was outrageous. Cleaver uttered those words for one reason — shock value.

Second, I don’t know what Cleaver was smoking before he said “people are embarrassed” about the election outcome because 70 percent of those who went to the polls voted to change the name boulevard’s back to The Paseo. To say the general populace is embarrassed is downright laughable.

Now, here’s the most important thing you need to know about Cleaver: First and foremost, he loves the spotlight. Oh, sure, he likes to play the humble-preacher role, and he likes to talk about the need for civility in politics. But more than anything, he likes the arc lights, the microphones and center stage. An experienced preacher, he can turn a phrase and command a crowd.

So, when he got a chance to go on national TV and feign outrage and misrepresent the situation in Kansas City simply because he thought he could ignite a political firestorm, he didn’t hesitate.

Didn’t hesitate even though he knew damn good and well that the vote was in no way a dismissal of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy but, rather, a stiff arm to a City Council that rammed the King name through to satisfy the political group Freedom Inc. and a blusterous group of black ministers who are accustomed to getting their way at City Hall.

As The Star said in an editorial today, “Cleaver did not tell Sharpton there was a lot more to it…Or that ‘us’ in this us-versus-them scenario was not a monolith.”

(By the way, I’m proud of The Star for slapping Cleaver down on this, especially after kowtowing to the black ministers and advocating for the King Boulevard designation.)

What Cleaver did on Sharpton’s show — and again Monday at a community meeting in south Kansas City — was throw his city under the bus…the city he proudly led and praised and boasted about for eight years when he was mayor.

It was a cheap shot — the cheapest of shots — and he should pay for it.

Problem is he won’t. He’s essentially got a lifetime job. He’s a popular Democrat running in a strongly Democratic district. No Democrat with any sense challenges Cleaver for the Democratic nomination every two years, and Republicans are beating their heads against a wall when they try to take him on.

That’s another reason he could blow smoke like he did on Sharpton’s show; it was a free blow.

Nevertheless, here in Kansas City, we know where the real embarrassment was on this issue. It was on Cleaver. Head to toe, he is draped, painted and embroidered in embarrassment.

One redeeming feature of a heartbreaking sports loss is that it presents a golden opportunity for great, emotional writing.

While a thrilling victory lends itself to descriptive and elevated prose, it doesn’t hold the same capacity for capturing the depth of the feelings and range of emotions that linger after a devastating loss.

That’s because the thrill of victory tends to be one-dimensional: It lifts one straight up, dispersing undiluted joy in all directions. A stunning loss, however, leaves one wallowing in a raw stew of emotions, including dismay, second guessing, anger, despair.

It is extremely challenging for a writer to wade through that stew in a way that helps the reader sort through his or her feelings and make the swallowing a bit easier.

But The Star’s Vahe Gregorian accomplished it in today’s column about the Kansas City Chiefs’ jaw-dropping, 35-32 loss to the Tennessee Titans yesterday.

Let me skirt you through this excellent, emotionally satisfying read…

Gregorian

Gregorian, who has been with The Star six and a half years, started off by neatly summing up the game as a “diabolical fiasco,” thus setting the overall tone and aptly signaling the enormity of this defeat.

Then, he quickly set up a two-phase approach, first describing how most Chiefs’ fans were safe to assume victory was theirs with less than two minutes to go but then proceeding to chronicle the numbing, nightmarish unraveling.

Gregorian quotes Chiefs’ defensive end Frank Clark on how a “gritty victory” seemed assured…

“Ninety-nine percent of the time, that’s a ‘W’. But it’s that 1 percent, you know, where it went in the other’s favor.”

All that was left for Chiefs to do, Gregorian said, was close out the game. But in a sentence that all long-suffering Chiefs’ fans can relate to, Gregorian noted that closing is “a simple-sounding concept that seems to elude them more often than it should.”

From there he segued into the horrifying details of the unraveling — the failed third-down play that forced an attempted field goal and then the jarring miscommunication between center and place kicker that resulted in a premature snap and holder Dustin Colquitt’s ensuing desperate (and illegal) attempt to pass the ball for a first down.

Explaining the miscommunication, probably the foremost mystery to Chiefs’ fans, Gregorian said long-snapper James Winchester misinterpreted Colquitt’s glance up at kicker Harrison Butker as the cue to snap.

Quoting Winchester: “I looked back, Dustin was looking forward. Then I started to see him look back. But I had already started the snap.”

Almost equally improbable was how the Titans were able to block Butker’s desperate, last-second field goal attempt. Again Gregorian was there with a logical explanation…

“Tennessee’s Josh Kalu zoomed in from Butker’s right with a running jump having read Colquitt’s cadence pattern.”

Wrapping up the column, Gregorian circled back to Frank Clark’s assessment that 99-percent of the time this would have been a victory.

Ultimately, Gregorian wrote, the game was lost because the offense fell short on the third-down play and because the defense couldn’t stop the Titans.

Then, going from micro to macro, Gregorian concluded “it’s still hard to ever exhale with this team or know what it’s really about…99 percent chance of winning or not.”

Not being able “to ever exhale.” Doesn’t that say it all about the Chiefs?

…Congratulations then to Vahe on a penetrating and satisfying analysis of a game that left Chiefs’ fans stomachs and minds churning.

**

Note: For all the beauty of this column, The Star managed, in all-too-typical fashion, to screw it up.

The online version was fine, but in the print edition, an editor cut the last four paragraphs of the column for space reasons. That left the print-edition column ending with a resounding thud and eliminating Gregorian’s facile return to the pivotal 99-percent theme.

A good editor could have nipped and spliced elsewhere in the column and saved the full-circle ending. But, no, this editor just picked up a cleaver and chopped from the bottom.

What a disservice to both Gregorian and the readers…In the journalistic sense you could call it a “diabolical fiasco.”

Ouch!

KC voters are giving Mayor Quinton Lucas, the City Council and Kansas City’s black ministers a good spanking…Well deserved, too.

With 99 percent of the votes in, the count on Question 5 was 31,274 “yes” (got back to The Paseo) and 13,909 “no.” That’s a percentage difference of 69 to 31.

The roots of this go back to 2018, when the black ministers began insisting on changing the name of The Paseo, one of our most beloved boulevards, to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

A committee subsequently appointed by then-Mayor Sly James wasn’t too keen on the idea; the Kansas City Parks Department and the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners didn’t like it; and, most important, the vast majority of city residents who testified before the committee didn’t want it.

With the issue stalled, the ministers threatened to gather enough signatures to force the Council to put the issue on an election ballot. In the face of that threat — and with municipal elections on the horizon — the Council capitulated, and in January, the council approved the name change on an 8-4 vote.

But today it was the citizens who got the last word.

Hats off to the determined Save The Paseo group, which went out and got enough signatures to get the issue on the ballot and, with a fierce wind of voter discontentment at its back, charged to victory.

Look out for this group. They organized effectively, and, having proved to themselves that grassroots activism works, they might mobilize on other issues. You can check out their Facebook page here.

While voters and the Save The Paseo group are the big winners, the road is littered with big losers. Start with Lucas, who, in his first big issue election out of the box, suffered a humiliating defeat.

Move to the black ministers, who have too often gotten their way in Kansas City by screaming and howling.

Throw in the black political group Freedom Inc., which was reduced to milquetoast without the benefit of big bucks from candidates or special interest groups.

Finally, toss in The Kansas City Star editorial board, which lined up with the ministers mainly because, well, that’s where the board thought was the politically correct place to be.

…I could tell, and predicted in yesterday’s post, that this was going to be a big win for advocates of saving The Paseo. It was in the air, and the comments on my blog post foretold the outcome.

Wisely, for once, I wasn’t going to be left behind: I voted”yes” too.

Hey, hey, hey!