Friday, July 10, 2009

The Sierra Madre Weekly Doesn't Seem To Know Very Much About Sierra Madre

Maybe it's because few of the folks who write for it actually live here, or possibly it is just a native lack of curiosity on their part. But the Sierra Madre Weekly's grasp of what is going on in the town it is named after seems, well, tenuous at best. But then again, if you were publishing basically the same paper in 6 different towns from an office in Monrovia, and doing little more than just changing mastheads in the process, I guess you'd be a bit hard pressed in the authenticity category as well.

Here is a case in point. In the Grand Marshall selection process leading up to the 4th of July parade, there was a bit of controversy (well, a difference of opinion) on who exactly should be selected for the honor. And there really were two camps with decidedly different viewpoints on the matter. Which is fine. Sierra Madre is a town where folks care about such things. And people here understand that.

But this is how the Sierra Madre Weekly saw it:

"Despite some Bloggo-blabbermouth's claim to the contrary, there was no 'controversy' over the selection of the July 4th Parade Grand Marshall in Sierra Madre this year. In fact, the 'controversy' was only blog propelled and perceived."

Of course, what the authors of this article (most likely in part Terry Miller, the long time SMW mainstay who apparently outed himself recently as having once been a photographer for the lascivious website The Cumquat) are referring to here is something that appeared on this very blog. Though I can't for the life of me figure out who he is referring to as a "Bloggo-blabbermouth." The people who write for The Tattler are highly sophisticated artisans of the written word who deal in great ideas expressed with stunning clarity. If they didn't they'd be writing for The Weekly.

(Personally, I think Terry's umbrage here is due to his being a tad upset that we made fun of noted environmental advocate Joe Mosca and the "Green Thunder V-8 GTO" he rode in our 4th of July parade. Terry does seem to be a dedicated fan of the Councilman, and can become distraught when others don't share his enthusiasm.)

And so, as volunteers dedicated to bringing truth to the fore, we here at the Sierra Madre Tattler are going tell this as it really happened. This is a Sierra Madre story, and one that needs to be heard.

At this year's Memorial Day ceremonies at the Pioneer Cemetery, Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray gave a speech that many who attended agreed was a first class remembrance for the service and sacrifice of the men and women who served. And there was one paragraph in particular that made a lasting impression on those listening.

"In 48 months of World War II there were 1,078,162 casualties, with 407,316 deaths, or about 6,639 Americans dying in combat during each month of the war. These are staggering numbers. And the recriminations even during the war at home from the politicians and the press were as relentless as they are today. But Americans in the field never faltered. Even after 19,000 Americans died in the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944, and 13,000 died in hand-to-hand combat taking Okinawa, our troops persevered. Their courage and sacrifice knew no bounds. And as we all know, as does the world, without our contribution to the war civilization as we know it would not have survived - aggressive tyrannies would have controlled continents to the East and West. This is what it means to say that the dead shall not have died in vain. And, thank God, not all of our soldiers died - millions who wore a uniform survived, and some of them are here with us today."

And as she said these words the eyes of all present turned to observe the men of our Veterans of Foreign Wars post, some of whom are our last surviving veterans of the war that MaryAnn had just so vividly described. They seized their rifles, stepped up and as they have done throughout long decades now past, fired a salute in honor of the those who died in this greatest of causes.

It was then that some of the people who attended this memorial began to realize that we needed to do something to honor these men. Because if we didn't do it now, when would we ever have that opportunity again?

So a campaign was organized, and people began sending letters and e-mails to the 4th of July Parade Committee, asking them to honor the service of these men though their selection as this year's collective Grand Marshal. And it seemed inevitable to many that this would happen. How could it not?

But then no decision was made, at least for a while, nor was there any indication from "The Committee" (as they styled themselves) that this idea was in any way acceptable to them. Some of those advocating the VFW selection began to worry, and asked Mayor MacGillivray if perhaps she might intercede and move things along a little bit. MaryAnn agreed to do this, and initiated an exchange of e-mails with Matt Bosse, the head of The Committee.

Dear Matt,
I would like to nominate the VFW as Grand Marshals for this year's parade. No group could be more deserving to be honored on Independence Day than those who fought for our freedom and independence. Many of the members in Sierra Madre are going into care-giving situations and we may not have the opportunity again.
Sincerely,
MaryAnn MacGillivray

This is the e-mail Mayor MacGillivray received in return from Matt:

Hello,
Thank you for your nomination. I will bring this before the committee for consideration.
Matt

Sensing in the brevity of this reply that perhaps Matt wasn't aware of the importance of this request to many in our community, or the exact meaning such an honor would bring to our parade, MaryAnn made another attempt.

Dear Matt,
I know that quite a few people have forwarded nominations for the VFW for this year's parade. I have also learned that if they are Grand Marshals, the various branches of the Armed Forces will send a band contingent -- that would be a first, I think, for Sierra Madre. I'm sure that the committee will agree that within our community there is a no group or person more deserving of the recognition than the VFW and so in anticipation I will make the initial contact for the bands. Please let me know who the other members of the committee are so that I can share this information with them. We will not have this opportunity again.
Sincerely,
MaryAnn MacGillivray

Now you would think that the identities of the members of a committee chosen to select a Grand Marshall for a village 4th of July parade would not be a state secret, and it could be shared at least with a Mayor. But apparently this was no run-of-the-mill parade selection committee. It needed to be hidden away. Like Dick Cheney in his bunker.

Hello MaryAnn,
Thank you for your third (sic) email nominating VFW for Grand Marshals; they are a very worthy candidate for the honor of Grand Marshal, as are our 12 nominations so far. As per tradition, I will bring this nomination (along with your emails) to the committee for consideration, as has been done for the past 20+ years ... We have received 13 nominations so far, and the committee has asked me to put the nominations together for them to decide upon at the end of May. Each nominator feels very strongly and passionately about their nominee, so in order to avoid a deluge of phone calls, emails, and lobbying to each member, I am going to ask you to trust me to bring each nomination forward to the committee.
Hope you have a nice Memorial Day Weekend,
Matt

Obviously Matt took this responsibility very seriously. And committee security certainly did hold. Not only did nobody surmise the identities of this secret committee before the parade, as far as I can tell their identities are still a secret. Hopefully they have been able to return to Sierra Madre and resume normal lives here.

As we all know, The Committee, whoever they may be, did not select the VFW to serve as this year's Grand Marshal to the Sierra Madre 4th of July Parade. Instead that honor went to a very distinguished citizen of our town, Midge Morash. Midge, known to many here as Mother Nature, is credited with creating some of the wooded preserves in town, saving them from the developers' bulldozers. Bailey Canyon Park in particular serves as a monument to her caring and dedication. It is a place that I know well as it is about 100 yards from where I'm sitting now. We've hosted many birthday parties for our children there.

So that was the controversy. Some were disappointed, others apparently not. But we all got past it, and had a wonderful parade. As we have for the past 20+ years. And beyond.

41 comments:

  1. is it just me, or do Matt's e-mails come off as being
    just a little, er, snotty? Volunteerism is important for
    this community, and such service needs to be honored.
    But giving without grace only diminishes the effect,
    and no matter how hard the work becomes the thing
    people remember most.

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  2. We got the exact same email from Matt Bosse.
    I'm betting the "committee" was him and Joe.
    I spoke with Mayor MacGillivray at the Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery. She mentioned the WWII vets, and how we could have the official military bands in our 4th parade, which would have been really special.
    Shame on Matt Bosse and Joe Mosca for doing this.
    Although I'm not surprised they did.
    I wish I could think of a stronger word than DISGRACEFUL!

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  3. Great words Curly - giving without grace.
    I'll volunteer if everybody knows I am volunteering.

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  4. a highly sophisticated artisan of the written word who deals in great ideas expressed with stunning clarityJuly 10, 2009 at 8:32 AM

    Yes, who was the committee?
    Thanks to the Tattler for printing the Mayor's Memorial Day speech. It was powerful to hear that day, & good to see again.

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  5. Perhaps a question to be asked at Public Commement.

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  6. I challenge Mosca/Bosse to answer that question
    poster Pasta asks:

    WHO WAS ON THE COMMITTEE?

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  7. $12 Glass Of WineJuly 10, 2009 at 8:48 AM

    So what's with our green councilman riding around in a GTO? Let me guess, after the parade they went behind the fire station and washed it?

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  8. The only thing "green" about Joe Mosca is is ENVY of councilman Kurt Zimmerman.

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  9. What I find really offensive is Matt Bosse's rudeness to Mayor MacGillivray.
    Un-called for and VERY UN-SIERRA MADREAN MATT!!!

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  10. Matt sounds like he might be telling the mayor "Don't worry your pretty little head about it"

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  11. Exactly 9:24

    Very disrespectful.
    Matt's partner Joe Mosca is equally disrespectful to Mayor MacGillivray.
    Joe was absolutely IMPUDENT to MaryAnn at the last council meeting. IMPUDENT!
    Who in the world was responsible for naming these two sophomoric men to run our 4th of July parade?

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  12. 2 things from me this morning. First of all "$12 Glass Of Wine," I'd really like to know where it is you go to find such a price. Where I dine all $12 will get you is a cup of strained ketchup.

    Secondly, am I the only one familiar with decorum around here? When approaching a 4th of July Parade Committee Chairman, you must always be aware of the following. Keep your head bowed and never ever make eye contact. It is not your place.

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  13. If any of our public speakers are reading the board today.....how about asking this question at the podium.....Who was the committee members on the 4th of July parade committe who chose to disregard dozens of requests to have the our old vets be the Marshals?
    Joe and Matt need to be accountable for this.

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  14. Matt and Joe's decision to not select the WW2 vets was unfortunate.
    Sierra Madre could have had the military bands perform in our parade, what a glorious 4th for Sierra Madre! We would have made the TV news.
    Thanks, Matt and Joe....again you show your intense dislike for our town.

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  15. a highly sophisticated artisan of the written word who deals in great ideas expressed with stunning clarityJuly 10, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    Old Kentucky, can't you just hear Buchanan & Mosca now? "The members of the committee volunteered and we should be grateful that they volunteered and they worked hard and we don't want to send the message that we don't value them when we value them so highly for their volunteer contributions, and to question any decision these wonderful volunteers make is to be disrespectful to their volunteering."
    That would be Buchanan, and Mosca would say
    "I agree with Council member Buchanan and I want to thank you all for coming, and thank him for speaking, and most of all thank our volunteers for volunteering, and they are great."
    Yech. It's enough to make me want to quit volunteering.

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  16. unfortunately for many of those highly praised by the twin dirigibles of the platitudinous volunteering means little more than buying $5 glasses of wine at a fund raiser...

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  17. 4th of July Committee revealed

    I assume all were equally guilty of the SNUB and should be ashamed of themselves for the choice.

    From the City web site:
    Press Releases 6/22/09
    Fourth of July Celebratio,...



    Matt Bosse is chairman of the all-volunteer Fourth of July Committee with Colleen McEvoy as co-chair. Other members include Hank Landsberg, past chair; Karma Bell, Susan Clifton, Chuck Dorsett, Yvonne Eberhard, Sue Levoe, Arlene and Jack Wolf and Jan Reed.

    http://www.cityofsierramadre.com/index.php?mod=news_detail&id=405

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  18. NOTHING gets by Pasta.
    Thanks, friend.

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  19. One of the truly great things at this parade was when the vets marched by. The applause was spontaneous and went on for a long while. Politics are politics, and I'm sure Joe's "green" reelection campaign plans played a role in the Grand Marshall selection. But the VFW was the peoples' choice on the 4th. It was very gratifying to see.

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  20. It's amazing how tone deaf Mosca can be at times. Sometimes I think Joe needs a life coach. Or at least an interpreter with solid connections to the human race.

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  21. GTO Joe,

    Typical sociopath behavior.

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  22. What's so typical is how these committee folks managed to refuse to honor the vets and then placed someone else respected in the community as the Grand Marshal so that criticism of the committee would be perceived as criticism for the selected Grand Marshal. Machiavelli would have been proud. Well, done.

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  23. Based on some of the names of the committee members, I am not surprised at their behavior. ANYONE that MaryAnne would have nominated would have been pushed aside by this motley crew, even if it had been Ghandi himself. MaryAnne's too well associated with the more conservative approach to development in this town, so her advice is ignored, I'm sure, whenever possible.

    Do any of you remember the accusatory tone taken by those who volunteer excessively in town against those who don't (I believe this was in the aftermath of the DSP workshops and during the subsequent Measure V campaign)? That somehow, by virtue of their volunteer status, their opinions should carry more weight in city decisions than those of people who are not so intimately involved in the convoluted city processes (regardless of how the rest of the city residents felt about something)? Most of those "volunteers" behave like they belong to an exclusive club -not one, by the way, I would wish to join. Their arrogance (Matt Bosse is really good at it) is insufferable...

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  24. And before we get too far into the volunteer discussion, I can think of a few volunteers who were "uninvited" to volunteer. Some committees were disbanded and some of the efforts halted because the Powers did not like the outcome of the volunteer efforts and also, in some cases, did not like some of the volunteers. So it's a badge that's really a misnomer. It's not about volunteering, it's about being included in the Power structure.

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  25. Dr. S., I hear you about the committee using Midge as a shield.
    How could anyone possibly complain about giving that great person this honor? You can't. Disgusting use of an honorable person. Ain't the first time we've seen that in SM politics.

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  26. I tried to volunteer several times and was never selected, even though I was qualified for the position ( I wanted to be a volunteer at Sierra Madre school). I had done volunteer work for the Arcadia schools for years.
    I'm thinking back now and based on what Dr. Staccato just posted, it becomes clear.
    I wasn't in the exclusive club of "dirts".
    I'm sure this has discouraged many qualified people from volunteering.
    Now we have a situation where the man who is suppose to recruit volunteers has close ties with Susan Henderson's paper.....

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  27. 3:16 Define close ties? Setting up interviews which spotlight various people in the city hardly can be considered close ties. The last line of your post is not accurate. Granted SH is not a nice person but turning on people is out of line.

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  28. 3:16 you are RIGHT! A certain group of people gathered together and made themselves obvious that they were for big development and for JOE, and they called themselves the DIRTS!! This is not difficult to recognize. It is what happens in society, certain people group off into other groups and it sadly becomes "them" and "us."
    The worst part is when good people are mis-led to follow bad people and believe they are following something REAL....

    Joe and his followers are not only arrogant, sophomoric, rude, narcissistic and live in a world of grandiosity, but they are sadistic. If Maryann asked for Midge, they would have not given her the title. They are children who are defiant and do whatever they want with no regard for decency human life. Which is very interesting since Matt is an AIDS physician, makes one stop and wonder, huh?

    We need to change the way people are chosen to Volunteer in this town. Many people have tried to volunteer and the same nit wits are chosen. People who do not care about books are on the Library Board, the Arts Council is always a huge controversey (although this year we do have Debbie Sheridan) which is a huge improvement!

    And now look who is on the JULY 4: all of Joe and Matt's friends and no one to represent THE PEOPLE OF SIERRA MADRE. JUST THE EXCLUSIVE DIRT CLUB!! HOW IN THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN, WHO FIXED THAT ONE!)
    Someone please change the july 4 committee for 2010! Get rid of Joe, Matt, and GANG!

    Remember always that Joe and Susan arrived just about the same time and sold out to all of us and turned on us and Katina. Coulda been a coinky-dinky? Whatever, we will never know, but we know now to be very careful of all of them and never to TRUST them.

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  29. Honoring our WWII vets to the accompaniment of authentic military marching bands would have made for a stirring parade. What these people gave us was something far less. What a shame.

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  30. 4:28..that's got to be one of the most ignoramous postings I have read....

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  31. Mosca does not work for Sierra Madre. If he did he would have kept his promises.

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  32. Joe's Red Jeep Goes "Beep!"July 11, 2009 at 8:52 PM

    Watch out bicyclists, you're in the way of a VERY important fella!

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  33. So was it some "bloggo-blabbermouth" who put Joe Mosca in the car with the "U Guilty" license plate?

    I surely hope so!!

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  34. I personally think it was one of those karmic things. The Gods really do have a sense of humor, and there is nobody more fun to laugh at than Almost Mayor Mosca.

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  35. susan's writing is juvenile and full of lies

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  36. The dirts have lost elections, The DSP, control of the Council, the Canyon Committee, next the General Plan Committee, they are also losing seats on many commissons. All they have left is their little parade. BOO HOO

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  37. it's a shame how inbred Sierra Madre politics has become

    woe is the day when shirtless Pete announces his run for the council, at least many of us know his real self and how he manipulated Little League for his own benefit, I still wonder how he got elected Citizen of the Year, that was a joke

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  38. Those who thought they were in on a really good thing have become impatient for their boys to deliver. One more bad election and a certain once promising political career could very well be on ice.

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