Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Sierra Madre Tattler Celebrates Its 100th Post!

Seems like only yesterday that we kicked this thing off. December 13, 2008, to be exact. And now, a little more than 3 months later, we have hit the century mark. 100 posts. And well over a thousand comments from you, the amazing people who come to this blog on a daily basis to share your thoughts and observations with the rest of us.

Of course, at the beginning it was very quiet here. Nobody had ever heard of the Sierra Madre Tattler, and there wasn't much in the way of a marketing budget to get the word out. Besides blogging, for a variety of reasons that I ought to dig into some day, had kind of worn out its welcome in Sierra Madre. And this wasn't exactly what people were looking for.

But hard work solves most problems, and we just kept plugging away. Day after day we posted new articles, convinced that if The Tattler kept at it long enough, people would start to show up. And then, somehow, things began to slowly change.

And so, to celebrate this momentous milestone, we are going to repost the very first article ever written for The Tattler. Along with the 3 comments it attracted. It remains in many ways the mission statement of this place. And I can promise you this one thing, we are just getting started. Whether you were here at the beginning, or joined up somewhere along the way, thank you for your participation and support. Because in the end it's all about you. People can still make a big difference in this town, and you are doing that everyday. Thank you!

Sir Eric Maundry, against better advice, has decided to start a blog.

Oftentimes Sir Eric has regretted that there really are not all that many opportunities for posting news and opinion in our quaint hillside town. A gentleman known for the vigor of his opinions and his seemingly unquenchable desire to share them, Sir Eric has long felt that a venue for discussion is sorely needed here. Once a hotbed for the bloggly arts, Sierra Madre has seen the disappearance of just about anything approaching the form.

Sure there's 91024's sporadically active A View From The Canyon, but beyond discussing our occasionally life-threatening weather there just isn't all that much going on. Then there is Bill Coburn's rather chipper Sierra Madre News Net. Heavy on the "Lite" news, but can you find much there dealing with the more important City issues? No, not really. And besides, the only commenting Bill invites is on his attached blog, a modestly attended place where gushing about local talking head TV ladies from Eyewitless News infotainment broadcasts seems to be all the rage. Hail Hamilton has an interesting site, and we certainly do enjoy reading his cogent and sometimes idiosyncratic observations. But that is about it! Political strategies changed, and those who once so freely fomented on them packed up their blogs and went home to reconsider the rather disturbing errors of their ways.

But none of this is an adequate excuse for starting a blog, and certainly we shouldn't want to repeat any of the errors of our town's recent past.

Of course, this little burgh still has plenty of places you can go to see past mistakes in action. One look at the ecological disaster zone known as One Carter should be proof enough that common sense and civic concern are not always the first priority of our fair city or those comprising its governance. Or perhaps the bemused frippery of the most underused "recreation area" in the San Gabriel Valley, Goldberg Park, will trigger such reflections in you. And then, of course, there was that "Downtown Specific Plan" that so much of our money was squandered upon. You know, the one that Joe Mosca became so "distraught" about upon learning that it would actually be shared with us, you know, the great unwashed whose tax dollars were so needlessly spent to concoct it?

The overweening presumptions of the bureaucratic personality type always do have the power to astonish this observer.

And so, in the spirit of bad moves and things we should have known enough to avoid, allow me to welcome you to The Sierra Madre Tattler, Sierra Madre's first new blog in the glowing new era that started a week or two ago. or last month. We plan to discuss things that others refuse to consider (i.e. anything that does not fit the pre-approved agendas of the more established information venues here, you know, like cookie store openings in Arcadia, or the dyspeptic opinions of realty owners), and hopefully provoke the kinds of colorful conversations this city has long been famous for. Because that is what we do, right? There is no town quite like Sierra Madre, for so very many reasons, and free-ranging discussion of our local politics is certainly one of the reasons we love it so.


Anonymous said...
Welcome to the intellectual air and with that, a musical postcard to kick off the event...
December 13, 2008 7:18 AM

Your Host said...
Thank you for posting this. I often enjoy yodeling myself and just don't get much encouragement to do so. It might be interesting if the patrons at Lucky Baldwins were offered free beers in exchange for yodeling. Couldn't be much worse than what you hear in there on any other given night.
December 13, 2008 9:54 PM

Anonymous said...
@ Lisa can you throw a halfer at aspiring yodelers? It may be add some ambience to the joint or at least make people laugh a bit, which we all need, my Dear, what do you say?
December 16, 2008 6:49 PM 


  1. congratulations, and if my feelings are correct, and sometimes they are, the tattler is going to grow. and grow a lot more. newspapers -- all newspapers, not just the local examples -- have blown it, they're dinosaurs now. not sure what caused it, but everything someday wears out. taking responsibility for what you write ought to go with blogging. i can't endorse the traditional of not using your own name. if sierra madre truly is such a frightening a place to live that you can't own up to what you blog, that's the biggest story of all. i don't believe it though.
    Tattler is changing our village for the best.

  2. Congratulations, Sir Eric!
    Joe Scalzo just gave you his highest compliement of the day, he capitalized the Tattler!
    You are a welcome edition to Sierra Madre!
    You have consistently proven that to you, nothing is stronger than the truth. What a concept!
    Continued success, Sir.

  3. Woo hoo! Better living through technoloy, Sierra Maundry
    style. Love the yodeling vid. Any chance you could start
    a blog for fans of the genre? Seems like an underappreciated
    artform to me.

  4. A toast to you, Sir!

  5. I love your column, Sir Eric!
    I really love your cartoons! Too cute!

  6. Sir Eric:

    You are the best.
    I am sure this is only the beginning.

  7. Sir Eric,
    Thank you for dedicating so much of your time and your fine intellectual energy in protecting our town.

  8. Sir Eric,
    you mention Goldberg Park in your first article.
    Have you been by that place lately?
    It's a rat's nest (no offense, Minnie Mouse).
    Who would want to go there, for any reason, except a cat hunting rodents?
    Why did the city buy that?

  9. My opinion has always been that Goldberg Park was a legal necessity because that is the neighborhood where some in the Old Regime wanted to build the condos to satisfy our RHNA numbers. Sacramento requires a new park whenever such high density development is put in place.

  10. Thanks, that makes sense.
    We drove by there the other day, and I couldn't believe how run down and awful it looks, no shade, full of weeds and rodents.
    It's probably not even safe for children, there could even be snakes in there.

  11. Congrats!
    For the next 100 vow to check all your facts and find a way to heal the deep divisions in this town so that we might agree when we agree and agree to disagree when we don't but still help one another as neighbors.

  12. Keep on rockin' in the free world!

    Hey 11:47, what facts do you need checked? Or is it a
    fact that you can't supply any facts because you're just
    talking out of your fanny?

  13. 11:47, I've been involved in the political struggles, but they have never impacted my willingness to help my neighbors.
    How about you?

    The Goldberg pocket park is almost always deserted. Interesting guess Sir Eric - sure makes sense! I don't want to even think about what better use that money could have been put to....

  14. 11:47 is probably the publisher of the paper that
    thinks Sierra Madre is Mississippi. Or something.
    Sure sounds like her BS.

  15. Sir Writer, thank you for being one of the brave men, naturally brave (not roid brave!), who defends Sierra Madre.

  16. Thank you...a joy to read every morning!!

  17. If I am not mistaken, Goldberg Park was purchased with SOME already designated park funds.

    The property was purchased at an inflated price ($550,000ish?), and it only included half of the vacant land there at the corner of Ramona and Sunnyside. The south portion of the property was still owned by the Goldberg family the last with the thought that maybe they'd leave it vacant, but left their options open to develop it.

    If my memory serves me correctly I think the owner carried a trust deed for the city on the balance of the purchase price ($250,000ish at a low interest rate, but please verify this.

    There are some who thought that Joffe brokered this with the city for her good, lifelong friend, Roberta Goldberg. The Goldberg's certainly got the better end of this deal and the city overpaid for the property.

    What, with the naming of the park you'd think that the Goldberg's donated the land to Sierra Madre. Not true...they made out like bandits and came out looking like philanthropists. Remember, they also asked for a grant to create the improvements for the park. With their windfall profit you'd think they would have donated the improvements.

    Check in to the details, Sir Eric


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