Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dead Blogs

Last month on Harper's Index they reported that 94% of all blogs on the internet have not been updated in 4 months. Which I assume means that of that remaining 6%, a good portion don't have anything new to say more than every month or so. An example of that would be the once mighty Foothill Cities Blog which, while it would technically fit into the 6% because a new post will show up once in a while, is still pretty much a wasteland these days.

The published an article in June of 2007 called Dead Blogs. And on our topic du jour they had this to say:

Dead blogs litter the Internet like squashed bugs on a windshield during a warm Southern evening. Since their christening in 1999,millions of people have dabbled with blogs only to abandon them after a few months ... "I think a lot of people started blogs because they got excited; the hype was there, but they really didn't have a purpose," said futurist Jim Carroll, whose clients include Walt Disney Corp., Nestle' and NBC. "There's only so much you can read about somebody else's life before you get bored with it," he said ... The blog rush has slowed down from 175,000 new blogs posted every day in July 2006 to 120,000 new blogs per day as of March, according to Technorati, a blog tracking company.

And you can see this here in the beautiful San Gabriel Valley where blogs, once numerous and lively in their opinions, have pretty much faded away. In Sierra Madre during the Measure V conflagration there were quite a few of them, most of which took the opposing view.

Something I have been wanting to do for a while is publish my Dead Blogs List. These are blogs that played an important role in controversies that are still with us today, yet somehow ran out of gas and stopped writing new articles. And a few of them can still be found on-line, like armadillos in Texas that didn't quite make it to the other side of the I-40. Let's dig in.

Sierra Madre - A View From The Canyon: The last time someone posted on this site was in December 24, 2008, and it informed us that there is a Red Alert for mudslides in effect. And anyone going to this site now looking for information might assume that Red Alert has been in effect for almost 8 months. I still have this one linked on my site because you never know when the smell of blood might cause it to rise from its box and start flapping around once again. Written by a woman who referred to herself as 91024, it took decidedly pro-dirt positions during both the Measure V and 2008 elections. What is of real interest is this site's archives because they truly are a grab bag of every canard and red herring launched during our last 2 electoral battles. Weird interviews with Enid Joffe, a long post debate where Glen Lambdin makes a hilarious error on our City budget and then tries to deny it, the big lie about Sierra Madre's so-called "Family Values" ordinance, and quotes like this: "So now it's time to discuss the budget; there has been a lot of 'talk' about the budget and audits, all talk and no facts." Of course, that was before it was revealed that the budgetary savants employed by the Gang of Four had misplaced a million bucks, and everything that 91024 decried here actually turned out to be, well, facts. The last time a new post appeared on this one was in February, and it was to inform us that a Red Flag alert had been canceled. Good news that will apparently be with us forever. On the surface this was a fluffy news exercise with pictorials on the Centennial Opening Night Gala (lot's of pics of well-fed Sierra Madre socialites in period clothing), a 4th of July Parade, the 40th Annual Mt. Wilson Trail Race, various Pancake Breakfasts, and the memorable Easter Egg Hunt of 2006. But as with 91024's digital time capsule, there are some gems to be dug out from the archives. My favorite is the two interviews with Joe Mosca where he takes decidedly different sides on the Downtown Specific Plan debate. You can actually read as our two-faced City Council fellow turns his back on everything he promised his supporters in 2006 and confirms his allegiance to the Dark Side. The flip and the flop quite neatly delineated. Worth a look.

The Foothill Cities Blog (also here): Hard to believe it now, but at one time this was the center of many a debate on important issues facing the highways and byways of our little corner of the San Gabriel Valley. And nowhere was the outrage over Sacramento's war on California's small cities more closely detailed than here. At its height the FC Blog truly was a force to be reckoned with. So what happened? There are two theories. The first one is that its anonymous publishers, Publius and The Centinel (sic) of the San Gabriel Valley, simply lacked the guts to pull it off. Wanting to be a center of vivid controversy in hopes of driving traffic, they began to take on a wider range of contributors. Some of whom did create a large amount of commentary. But once things started to turn nasty, the FC's editors began complaining that the responsibility of editing posts was onerous, at which time they initiated a form of censorship over their writers. Leading to a drastic decease in credibility, particularly among the malcontents that comprised their base readership. The other theory, which I subscribe to if only because it annoys all the right people, is that The Centinel of the San Gabriel Valley was none other than former Pasadena Star News luminary Todd Ruiz, currently teaching English somewhere in N.W. Africa. His departure for the sandy Sahara does neatly coincide with the FC Blog's collapse, plus it would explain the lack of vision and insight that typified the site during its long slide into senility.

Under The Dome: During the blog boom The Pasadena Star News, forever in the throes of its ongoing struggle for relevance, decided that it to would get into the game. And what they came up with was Under The Dome, a sometimes sardonic "institutional blog" headed up by the aforementioned Todd Ruiz. And the commentary could at times be both biting and interesting, which is perhaps why the PSN later gave Todds-o the heave-ho. Now under the aegis of the plodding Dan Abendschein, it hasn't posted anything new since June 10th. Which is probably a good thing since Dan's idea of cutting edge blog reportage leans towards water rates and fiscus trees. It also includes a list of blogs that you can link to, most of which are either dead or on life support.

The Sierra Madre Cumquat: The link to The Cumquat is actually live again, though what it takes you to is a list of the services provided by its internet host, Go Daddy. This is probably because the current owner of the Cumquat brand, former Sierra Madre Rotary Club President B.D. Howes, worked out some kind of money saving deal with them. (What one of our former Rotary Club big domes is doing owning the rights to what was once an obscene website being a whole other story.) Now we've all discussed Jim Snider and The Cumquat here many times. It was frankly obscene, it attacked good and civic-minded people in dishonest and slanderous ways, and it brought great shame to this community. This linked April 2007 article in the Los Angeles Times being a good example. And that it had the support of anti-Measure V leaders such as then Mayor John Buchanan (thus earning him the nickname "Mayor Smut"), was outrageous. But I have a new theory. This obviously DIC orchestrated attack on Measure V supporters might very well have saved this town from the condo-glut fate of places like Monrovia and Asuza. Why? Because it united a good portion of an outraged town against these people, and for Measure V. It was a tactic that backfired horribly on those who funded it. In the end it was just flat out feeble-minded, and all that remains now is the stench that clings to its enablers like skunk.

The Sierra Madre Cactus: Someday I am going to have the privilege of meeting this guy, whoever he is. And I want to invite him to write for The Tattler, because in many ways he was an inspiration for this site. SMC was one of the most hilarious assaults on the pomposity and fraudulence of the anti-Measure V "movement" ever. Only 14 posts were made, and then it went away. But could it ever deliver a punch. Check this out from the last article ever printed there, "It's Official - Beth Buck is GONE." Beth Buck, resident loony 'unbiased' journalist writes about her NO on Measure V supporters (the ones who paid her $10,000 to help fight Measure V): The only thing I know for sure is that all the people who worked on the No on V campaign - you are incredible individuals. Especially my good friend Jim Snider, who without him as my alter ego, I wouldn't get to write the stuff I really feel ... With full time jobs (except for me), with families, with illnesses, mostly nausea from reading my rants, with little League, with all the obligations and everyday details of life, you still managed to give more of yourselves than you probably thought you had to give and I really appreciate the 10 grand ... I realize the Yes crowd, despite being complete a*******, they too had volunteers in Little League, pony league, friends of the Library, Councilmembers, Ex-Mayors, Mt. Wilson race, Search and rescue team members, Fire Council members and countless other organizations, that they too gave of themselves, but they are still asses because they dare to disagree with me and my realtor friends. Visit this site and check out what they were laying down back in the day.

The Sierra Madre Q***: The full name cannot be reprinted here because Sir Eric Maundry just doesn't talk that way, but this site took The Cumquat a step further into flat-out photo-shopped pornography. Written under the alias of Morgan Price Robinson, it is fully expunged from the internet with the exception of one-off third party mentions. Many suspect that this was the darker side of The Cumquat and its enablers, and it was where material that typified their darkest instincts was let loose on Sierra Madre. The movement to defeat Measure V had a violent and psychotic side, and this is one place that it showed its face.

Downtown Faced with a community up in arms over the prospect of massive redevelopment of our downtown, plus the distinct possibility that the question would be put on the ballot (Measure V), this blog was a rather ineffectual attempt by DSP supporters to regain a modicum of message control over what was at the time a raging debate. Hosted by the same Beth Buck celebrated on the Sierra Madre Cactus site, this developer-funded mess has now almost completely disappeared from the internet. It does have a Go Daddy hosted site holder, courtesy of current brand owner B.D. Howes, which you can find some allusion to here. But there are some DDO passages to be found on Bart Doyle's page, and those who enjoy this stuff will find them quite amusing. But as a political tool Downtown Dirt has to be considered a failure. The bellicose ramblings of Buck, along with the strident comments of its equally bizarre commenting contributors, quickly turned the effort into something of a village joke.

One other thing. The site I use to track hit traffic at this blog shows us up 40% this week. Something is happening, daddy-o. And its not just the sound of bongos.

Enjoy your weekend, see you all Monday.


  1. Maybe they died because even their creators could stand the smell of them any more? Pretty ugly piece of recent history here.

  2. We were talking to some ladies we hadn't seen for a while, they live in Sierra Madre. They don't get involved in politics and we were talking about a completely different subject when one of the ladies asked us...."do you read the Sierra Madre Tattler"? We laughed and said, "of course", they commented that they had recently started reading it, because several people they know mention it. They know read it every day. They told us, "people in this town are getting angry when informed of all these things, we are really up in arms". They really appreciate Sir Eric's Tattler to keep them out of the dark and fed BS. Our residents are tired of being "mushrooms".
    Several men who sit and have coffee at a local Donut Shop also are often talking about something they read on the Tattler. Word gets out.
    Thanks Sir Eric, and you are getting more new readers and informed citizens every day.

  3. Some people don't want to know the truth, they

    are more comfortable with their illusions.

    I suspect a lot of friends and even relatives of

    "dirts" fall into that catagory.

    It's naive, and adults who are more comfortable

    with denial are not being true to themselves.

    These "dirt" websites, Downtowndirt, Cumquat and

    Q. were proven to be vicious, vile and slanderous

    to where even the most naive dirts couldn't

    defend the people responsible, these included

    ex-mayors and councilmembers.

    Long live the Tattler...."chickens have come

    home to roost".

  4. Can't imangine starting my day without my Tattler.

  5. Tattler, it's hard to remember just how bad the struggle to stop overdevelopment in town got. You're absolutely correct that "The movement to defeat Measure V had a violent and psychotic side" and it was terrible to go through that. Nonetheless, I think we have to prepare for it again in the coming April elections.
    What I hate the most about it is all the lying and misdirection, or whatever the right propaganda terms are. They throw mud, and then accuse the object of their mud throwing as throwing mud. Can't win honestly so they play dirty.

  6. That's why we call them DIRTS, 12:49!

  7. It is sad that the prospect of making a couple of bucks caused these
    people to go off on the campaign of hate and smear that they did.
    And they did it against the people who are their neighbors. Small
    town real estate hustlers who thought they'd made it to the big time.
    They neither prospered by their deeds, nor did they show themselves
    to be anything but very small people.

  8. "they did it against the people who are their neighbors"
    That's the sad part, Curly.

  9. Interesting about Beth Buck being paid $10,000 by the No on V people. So she was just a paid attack bitch/whoops, I mean dog? Sorry.
    I do remember her having James Carlson pass out notices along the 4th of July parade route advertising "BETH IS BACK with DOWNTOWN DIRT".
    Then Beth hired day workers to pass out fliers that had pictures of CVS RITE AID type box drug stores, saying this is what they will build at Howie's if the YES on V people win!
    I recall, one of the members on the new General Plan Committee actually contacted the CVS and RITE AID people and got disclaimers in writing....they had NO plans to EVER build at the Howie's location. So Beth LIED. I remember seeing the shock on her face and Lisa Spigai Perez's face when this was disclosed publicly at the city council meeting. So much for that DIRT lie.
    Every piece of literature, post card, canned phone call we all got on almost a daily basis with their $170,000 war chest from the BIA and the CAR......was a LIE. Dirty tricks from the DIRTS.....we won anyway!

  10. Hey Beth Buck is STILL getting money out of Sierra Madre. A Buck or Two makes the 4th of July mailing - and what else, anyone know?

  11. It is just amazing how these dirts have their hand in everything, all those years they controlled everything in town.
    This woman Buck has no business getting any of our city money.
    I'm really p***ed off about hearing that!

  12. I hope THE TATTLER reminds the voters of the dirt's dirty deeds during the next election.

  13. 5:39 - I think the 4th of July "Chuck A Buck" flyer dough came mostly from donations. Matty Bosse has big "thank you for the money!" ads running on Coburn's site and in Choosey Susie's Loony Views News. And the $10,000 for her Downtown Dirt duties was from BIA and CAR sources. It was a true sign of Beth's deep concern for this community that when the money dried up she immediately closed down her site and moved out of town.

  14. Beth Buck had James Carlson pass those out in the 2007 Forth Parade, BK.
    However, she is still getting paid for the promotions?

  15. you really should wear a helmet

  16. Doesn't fit my rebel image. And the bumblebee suit thing isn't gonna happen, either.

  17. Once found on a Foothill City blog, a Claremont blogger tipped the world off that our former City Manager, Tammy Gates, Claremont's one-time assistant City Manager who, after leaving Sierra Madre for a posting in Yorba Linda, was fired for giving inside help to a downtown developer! Is Kurt Christensen still there? Also, saw in a LA Times article someone named John Davidson, who left Walnut for Sierra Madre under disgrace and didn't hang out here too long or with much success, was in another Southland city as City Manager. These civil employees slither along from post to post and we get to clean up the mess, that is if we can ever figure it out--$1,000,000 in "odd" budget nooks and crannies? Start now to find a candidate to go against Joe. It is the City Council and their choices for city hiring that direct much of what goes on. As the City Council changes so does the long-term direction of the city. That is why the Sierra Madre Mountain Conservancy asked to have the conservation easements over all of the city open space--that included the historical Mt. Wilson Trail and Bailey Canyon. That was because a City Council had considered selling the 1,200 acre Sierra Madre Historical Wilderness Area, an inholding in Angeles National Forest, back to the USNF, for $500,000 when the city was strapped for cash.

    Citizens groups always have to keep an eye on the bouncing ball and expose the foibles of the council and the staff. Sierra Madre does this better than most--the most important example being the success of 2-3o-13. But does anyone remember the fight to keep drive-through restaurants out of town? We have an ordinance against this through the efforts of folks you barely hear from nowadays. I Enjoy Bagels wanted to build a drive-through on the site where Prudential Real estate now sits. So, what's wrong with a nice little bagel place, you ask? Just about the time the ordinance was passed, I Enjoy Bagels was bought out by the same outfit who had one of the big pizza franchises which was later bought out by Boston Markets. That's why?

  18. Great information Anon et sourris!!!!!

    Wake up, Sierra Madre!!!!!!!

  19. I remember that drive-thru Bagel issue.
    I really think it was Bart Doyle's first major plan to over develop downtown Sierra Madre.
    I remember the people who were fighting it.
    One major player against that bad idea was also instrumental in helping us win Measure V and win the '08 election for MacGillivray.

  20. Ah, our boy Bart. What a success story! From a Bagel barn, to a 370 downtown condo project, and now a leading voice in the BIA's fight to bring SB 375 to our communities? Yep, he's quite a fellow.

    Anybody seen Bart lately? I keep wanting to ask him if the D.A. has given John Leung his passport back yet.

  21. Eminent domain Bart?
    Last time I saw him, he was giving a "seminar" to some of the Judy Webb Martin realtors on the sidewalk near Starbucks!

  22. Oh come on now, not all dogs are bad.

    Talking Pooches

  23. How dare anyone compare Bart Doyle to dogs!LOL
    Every dog I know in Sierra Madre is a far better citizen of this community than Bart ever was!
    In fact, I know some dogs who are among THE FINEST CITIZENS in Sierra Madre!

  24. I remember the bagel drive-through. I was among the opposition. Issues such as traffic and safety were among those raised because (not surprisingly) the City had failed to do a proper environmental review in considering the application. I'm pretty sure it was the last time the City Council turned down a project that had to go before it. And the Powers were angry. And it's a good thing they turned it down. Who knows what would be there right now? They got their revenge though, the view of the mountains from the Boulevard was blocked by that over-sized building. Payback's a . . . well, you know.

    It's like a part-time job watching Sierra Madre.

  25. Well, Doc, we sure appreciate a busy professional like you contributing to the Tattler!
    Thanks for all you do and have done for Sierra Madre!

  26. ahhh, downtown dirt was alot of fun.

    i know of a certain dude who would go onto the site and post as several different quirky Mayberry individuals and have then arguements with himself as posting back and forth on her message boards

    buck finally banned his ip address because he called her out for her lies and then she locked out all the computers at the library and coffeeshops