Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Could Susan Henderson's Elevation to the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Be Sending the Wrong Message About Sierra Madre?

The lost edition of the Mountain Views News finally emerged yesterday, making it a mere 9 days late. No explanation regarding its non-publication during the week of January 9 to the 15th (the paper says 16th, which would make it a Beatlesque 8 day week) is provided in this new edition, however. I guess the paper's policy is that it really isn't any of your business. Which is not what most would expect from an adjudicated City paper of record. And look, maybe the paper's publisher wanted to take a week off. Things like that do happen. But to not publicly announce this to advertisers, readers, or those local government employees who place our legal notices in this paper is a bit thoughtless, to say the very least. And it does beg the question of where last Saturday's (1/16/10) issue might actually be.

But that isn't what I wanted to discuss today. It was just there.

If you go to the Sierra Madre News.net site you will see that there is an item from January 15th entitled Chamber of Commerce Announces New Board of Directors. (Look left and scroll down.) Briefly here is what it has to say:

The Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce held its annual Members' Meeting on Jan. 6th and the ballots from the election of the Board of Directors for 2010 were counted.

With that notice is listed the newly elected members of the Chamber's Board of Directors. And among them is the publisher of the Mountain Views News, Susan Henderson.

One of the things that has driven the success of the Chamber of Commerce business model here in the U.S. is its strong advocacy for the needs of private enterprise over the relentless encroachment of government. And while this doesn't always sit well with the more social activist types amongst us, the Chamber has been highly effective in taking care of the needs of its core constituency. And one the most effective tools in their advocacy of business rights has been their stringent adherence to the highest ethical and moral principles. Something that is deeply ingrained in the Chamber ethos, and which has helped them to maintain an international leadership position.

Which is why the ascension of Susan Henderson to the Board of Directors of our local Chamber of Commerce is problematic. And it isn't just about her being removed from an important state wide position with the California Democrats for fibbing on a resume' that we're concerned about. Or her misuse of a party credit card for golf junkets or the purchasing of lingerie at Victoria's Secret. All of which was covered by the San Francisco Chronicle and can be found here.

No, the problem we're more concerned about is how exactly she came to control the business that qualifies her for so ethically sensitive a position in our community. Because according to California Superior Court Judge Edward C. Simpson, her acquisition of the paper, the Mountain Views News, was not exactly according to Hoyle. Here is his complete decision on this matter:

Katina Dunn, Plaintiff Vs.
DEUXAMIS PUBLISHING, INC. a California corporation; SUSAN HENDERSON, an individual; and DOES 1 through 20, inclusive. Defendents.

Case NO. GC039149

This case came on regularly for Trial on December 8, 2008 through December 9, 2008 in Department R of the above-entitled Court, the Honorable Edward C. Simpson, judge presiding. Plaintiff, KATINA DUNN ("DUNN"), appeared by her attorney of record, LAURA V. FARBER of Hahn & Hahn. Defendent, H. SUSAN HENDERSON ("HENDERSON") appeared. In Pro Per. Witnesses on the part of both Plaintiff and Defendant were sworn in open Court and examined and exhibits were admitted into evidence. After hearing the testimony, reviewing the evidence and the arguments of counsel, the Court rendered its decision as follows:

Based on findings of fact and application of the law, the Court issued a judgement for DUNN against HENDERSON on the shareholder derivative claims brought against HENDERSON for breach of fiduciary duty.

WHEREFORE, by virtue of the law, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that DEUXAMIS PUBLISHING, INC. ("DEUXAMIS") has a judgement against HENDERSON in the amount of $41,994.74 on the basis of HENDERSON'S failure to provide capital contributions to DEUXAMIS.

WHEREFORE, by virtue of the law, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that DEUXAMIS be dissolved.

WHEREFORE, by virtue of the law, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that due to HENDERSON'S misappropriation of design, masthead and formatting of the Mount-Wilson Observer, that injunctive relief be granted against Henderson and that she be required to eliminate use of the word"OBSERVER" in all Mountain Views-Observer newspapers, published both in print and on website and on any other documents bearing the name, "Mountain Views-Observer."

WHEREFORE, by virtue of the law, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that DUNN as a shareholder having successfully brought a shareholder derivative claim on behalf of DEUXAMIS, is the prevailing party against HENDERSON.

Dated: Dec 30, 2008

Edward C. Simpson
Judge of the Superior Court

(It must be noted here that out of the nearly $42,000 that is owed to the plaintiff in this case, only a miniscule amount has been paid to date. We'll see how patient the Court will continue to be in this matter.)

I would hate to think that these are the kinds of things that the Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce advocates, or finds to be acceptable business practice. Or rewards through prestigious appointments such as a Board of Directors slot. And since we do try and be charitable, I will assume that they were not as aware of the material reproduced here as Tattler readers are.

78 comments:

  1. The SM Chamber of Commerce has made a statement...they stand for WHAT...? The Tank IS Empty.

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  2. Too bad for The Chamber. I will express my displeasure by declining to join until Henderson is no longer affiliated with the Chamber.

    You are who you associate with. In my world, persons like her are to be ignored, shunned and frankly, should be castigated for their lies and deceit.

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  3. It is a shame that things like this happen in our town. It really is.

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  4. When a week is missed at the paper are the advertisers notified? Is their money given back? Or is the amount paid to the paper for advertising space just considered a donation to the paper?

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  5. The City will look into subscription numbers and dates of publication, because if they don't, it leaves them holding the ball and looking like they didn't do their job.

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  6. Poster 8:03. I wish I could agree with you, but what you are proposing has already been demanded by Council Member Kurt Zimmerman in City Council meetings. His demands have fallen on the deaf ears of his fellow Council Members and the City Manager.

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  7. Thus far, the only people around with the courage to take on Susan Henderson are the Dunns, Kurt Zimmerman and John Crawford.

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  8. John, I think you are being too charitable. I find it impossible to believe that all of the Chamber's members and particularly those who voted for her elevation to the Board knew nothing about Susan's past.

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  9. Because she has a newspaper behind her, pretty much everybody in town except for Councilman Zimmerman and candidate for the City Council John Crawford are afraid of Susan Henderson.

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  10. I am waiting for someone from the Chamber to explain her elevation to the Board of Directors. I know one thing, someone better keep a close eye on the books.

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  11. Susan is a con artist, and "artist" is no misnomer. She charms people.
    A good con can tell you the opposite of what is true and give lots of love to blind you, i.e., it was really Katina Dunn who stole from me, and there was a conspiracy in the court out to get me, or it was really a conspiracy in the Democratic Party that falsified my resume, and made fake Victoria Secrets charges because petty and jealous people were out to get me, or the Tattler is a conspiracy out to get me, or......Susan is skilled at playing the victim. A charming, lovable victim.

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  12. I thought the CC demanded to see her circulation and subscription records. She ignores them just as she ignores the judges ruling. The law does not apply to Susan, so she thinks and seems to get away with it.

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  13. I too will wait until the Chamber explains Ms. Henderson's board appointment. In light of her history they will have a lot of justification to give to us, the citizens of Sierra Madre. I am hopeful that they will see her true character as she serves her term (whatever its length). Thank you Sir Eric for the opportunity and the gift of information you provide to be expressed.

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  14. I'm sure Bill Coburn will make a statement, he doesn't want the Chamber be placed in any kind of a bad light. The last thing our local businesses need to something like this hanging over their heads. They're struggling enough, this could make it worse.

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  15. Poster 9:46, in my opinion, instead of a statement, Coburn et al. on the Chamber should ask Susan to step down.

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  16. It is an inappropriate stance by the Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce and a bad business move on their part.

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  17. It really reflects poorly on this town. I'd
    hate to think the Henderson story could be
    picked up by some of the bigger media outlets.
    It really is quite a story if you think
    about it. Disgraced former Democratic party state leader turns up years later in a small
    town, and things haven't changed for her.

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  18. I'm a little confused with the timing of Susan Henderson's publication of her newspaper. The paper is supposed to be published every Saturday. However, the January 9, 2010, edition did not appear in the stands until yesterday, January 18, 2010. And now, it's January 19, 2010, and she has yet to publish the January 16, 2010 edition. Is that right?

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  19. 8:15 and 8:26 I'm with you..why haven"t the other so called,"Concerned Citizens..demanded action to correct these outrages! Kurt,you Will be Missed by some of us.Good luck and God Speed!

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  20. 8:26 Ditto! Kurt Z. and John C. are the only ones with a spine.

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  21. I don't know, 11:02. That schedule looks like she might be having some trouble meeting her obligations. The issue on the streets as of yesterday must have sat at the printer for a while.

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  22. On Neuroblast there is the video of Councilman Zimmerman asking the city attorney about that paper, and the city attorney's reply. So surely City Hall has been on top of what is going on, since they were told publicly about the irregularities in publication and the lack of compliance with giving subscription numbers. Should be on the next agenda, don't you think? Or maybe it's a closed session matter - filing a complaint with the court.

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  23. I agree with Kurt Zimmerman. We will all miss you Kurt.
    Thank you John Crawford for making this public.
    I urge all my friends to lobby our councilmembers to take the adjudication away from Henderson, asp.
    Mayor MacGillivray and Mayor Pro Tem Watts!
    I strongly urge you to address this ASP.
    This is an outrage and a disgrace.

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  24. Well I know of several businesses that will not join the Chamber...so there are a few folks that do know what's going on. No matter how hard the chamber tries...things just don't run smoothly...can anyone say Dicken's Village?

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  25. OK we all agree Susan has no business as a Director for the Chamber. Now who has the cojones to go to their next meeting and say it or write to the Sierra Madre News. net and say it?

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  26. SMN.net does have a blog, but no activity whatsever. But cajones to write to old Bill? The Chamber of Commerce? Not sure I see the intimidation factor in any of these things you mention.

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  27. Poster 2:06. It's more like righteous indignation than intimidation.

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  28. Bill and the Chamber of Commerce are already reading these posts. It's time we all make decisions that unite us as a City. We're stronger that way.

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  29. Best way to unite this city is to swab out the decay. There is too much compromise with the slick and unethical in this town for my taste.

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  30. as long as Susan is on the Board, I'll stop supporting the Chamber, plain and simple.

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  31. It's funny. Our so-called establishment in town has always treated the preservationist community here as some kind of red headed stepchild. Yet somehow they lost in 2006,
    lost on Measure V, and lost control of the
    City Council in 2008.

    Maybe they're just compensating for their
    inability to get much of anything done.

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  32. as if the Chamber of Commerce actually means anything or does anything for city businesses, if it didn't exist we'd never notice

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  33. These organizations are like the King's new clothes. The fine folks put them on and strut around town as if they are true citizens of consequence, but does anybody really notice them? Not at all.

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  34. Wake up people, you're stuck in the past. We are living in a new world. Everyone is broke, two income houses are now one income houses. Multiple people have lost their jobs and many have lost their homes. And don't tell me, a big multi unit/mixed use building that no one will be able to buy onto is the solution. Candidates for City Council, what are you going to do to help point Sierra Madre in the right direction? Please use your real names when you post.

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  35. Look on the bright side, Sierra Madre, at least you don't have Paul Little as President of your Chamber of Commerce (and this man, who was booted off the Gold Line committee for his obnoxious behavior) is supposed to bring business to Pasadena??

    Time to Wake Up Pasadena!

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  36. When I think of Kurt leaving and look at the fact that he stood up and spoke the truth about Susan and fought the fought, I begin to realize how he must be so very exhausted. Thank you Kurt for your ethics.It is so difficult to work against the good ole boys in any culture, and remember Kurt worked in DC...All those people in the CofC totally know Susan's background and DO NOT GIVE A DAMN. If they did, they would have NEVER voted for her, and would have dismissed her. They listen to her and believe in her.
    Some people give Susan attention because they want to even when they know the facts. And, that is the mystery.

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  37. Virginia: I heard several comments from folks at PUSD and LASALLE years ago about his son who was as arrogant and spoiled as he was. They hated having the parents always come and "visit." He is a very sneaky and scarry man. Let's hope politics does not run in the family.

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  38. Not surprised about anything that the Chamber of Commerce would do. Alverno is a member. Why would a school need to join the Chamber if they are not running a business? Why does the City let the school operate their nightclub business without a permit?

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  39. Elaine Aguilar is listed as a director, along with Susan Henderson, on the Chamber site. Is that our city manager? The person we are expecting to protect the integrity of adjudication?

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  40. Wow. Really? Why would she want to do that? Isn't there some kind of conflict of interest in that?

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  41. hey does anyone know if sir eric and his family are okay? Does he need help?

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  42. A possible justification as to why Elaine Aguilar is a member of the Chamber could be, because the Chamber is almost completely subsidized by the City. Therefore, it would make sense that a representative of the City is on the Board of Directors.

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  43. Anyone know anything about today's PSN story on A4 titled, "Resident reports strange device in her mailbox"? Turns out SMPD found "a device that had wires in it and was somewhat sophisticated."

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  44. 11:50, interesting observation. So the COC is a taxpayer funded charity?

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  45. I suspect that there will soon be many calls for Elaine's resignation from the Chamber.

    I'm not sure that there's any conflict or potential conflict from her participation on the Board. That having been said, it makes me very uncomfortable that the highest-ranking, City employee is serving on the same Board with Susan Henderson.

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  46. 1:23, Me too. Almost like the City is validating Susan's selection/participation as a Director

    Did Elaine vote for Susan to become a Director?

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  47. 1:24. Given how poorly Susan has served the City -- by publishing its legal notices at irregular intervals and refusing to provide the City with a subscription list -- I can't believe Elaine would ever vote for Susan to become a Director.

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  48. 1:26 I sure hope not!!!!

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  49. Sierra Madre has an underground government. While the good people go off to work those left in town all day get their shenanigan on.

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  50. Isn't Susan now an Iguana (whoops, a Kiwanis), a Rotarian, a member of the Chamber of Commercialism, and a Democrat of Pasadena Foothills! Not a single one of these organisations is unaware of the allegations against her. I say boycott them all! They all scuttle in the same slime.

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  51. Kind of eye opening, isn't it? These are the kinds of people who traffic in these kinds of things. It's what happens when good people turn their backs on government.

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  52. Anon 12:38

    To some degree...yes. However, most of the Chamber's funding comes from the Wisteria Festival.

    The City pays for Police & Public Works over-time.

    Businesses along the Boulevard are blocked off by rental booths, therefore, actual Sierra Madre businesses are cut off from visitors, causing them to lose business and the City to lose sales tax revenue.

    The Chamber gets to keep 100% of the money collected from entrance fees (to see the Wisteria Vine), rental booths, etc.

    The Chamber then uses that money, which could be anywhere from $50,000 to $90,000, to pay for it's activities for the next year. Activities, which in the past have included, harassing business owners, putting businesses out of business in order to facilitate the sale of the property to developers (i.e. Howie's Market, Taylor's Meat Market and the Skilled Nursing Facility); supporting the Congregational Church's plan to over-develop its property into a monolithic cathedral complex; supporting the development of One Carter; supporting B.I.A. and C.A.R. agendas, including the DSP; and supporting Dirt candidates for City Council, such as Joe Mosca, John Buchanan, Enid Joffe, Rob Stockly, Tonja Torres and of course, Bart Doyle.

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  53. Oh goodness. What a wonderful service they perform!

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  54. 2:24, thanks for the summary. Looks like the Chamber is one more Sierra Madre institution that has been corrupted by the Downtown Investment Club.

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  55. Two of the Chamber's past presidents Bill Coburn and Karma Bell came out against Measure V.

    The Chamber also conducted a poll of its members and supposedly 86% were opposed to Measure V.

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  56. Thank you 2:24

    It's good to let the folks know what we are responding to.
    We must fight to protect and preserve our little town of Sierra Madre. Protect it from SPECIAL INTERESTS and the culture of corruption that runs Sacramento.

    JOHN CRAWFORD,DON WATTS and PAT ALCORN are the PEOPLE'S REPRESENITIVES, not SACRAMENTO'S AGENDA to control our local government.

    REJECT Sacramento/BIA/CAR/Political party's candidates who will absolutely be representing these groups, they will NOT be representing the residents best interests. Our property rights are in danger.
    Our hillsides, our downtown and every square inch will be in danger of being overdeveloped and they will not hesitate to use eminent domain.
    That is a Bart Doyle supported tactic.

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  57. 2:24 Why would a city site "wisteria vine" result in exclusive funds for one organization? Would it not be appropriate that this "Civic" wonder provide funds for a more worthwhile and broader activity in Sierra Madre; other than the Chambe of Commerace?

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  58. Take Back the VineJanuary 20, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    The vine is not on public property. It is a private vine and the owners can cooperate with any entity they like. The City can refuse to issue a TUP and not contribute funds or employees. It would probably result in some very bad PR, perhaps even a lawsuit... but every event seems to result in a lawsuit these days.

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  59. Am I the only resident who is so ignorant to where the $$$ of the C of C goes? From a public fundraiser, the world famous Wisteria. to a CHURCH???!!And, at the same time they are keeping the local business owners out of business? Isn't there something unethical going on here?

    And, Elaine Aguilar being involved, is just not a surprise. We all are aware, and have complained that both she and our lovely attorney are not working with all the members of the City Council.

    Aren't the Congs embarrassed to be associated with the CofC?

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  60. I've often wondered how it is Joe Mosca could have formed such a strong alliance with the highly fundamentalist leadership at the Congregational Church. I imagine that there are issues they do not see eye to eye on.

    Though, of course, in the end money trumps all.

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  61. Take Back the Vine...Nice scare tactics Dirt bag. Your threats of lawsuits make absolutely no sense. you guys are really getting desperate.

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  62. Looks as though someone hit a very sensitive Dirt nerve by suggesting that the Wisteria Festival be taken away from the Chamber of Commerce.

    "Take back the Vine's" inference that potential lawsuits are imminent should such an action be taken; a tactic often employed by the BIA and CAR to dissuade any opposition; is a sure sign of desperation. Any such lawsuit would be thrown out of court immediately, followed by an insult from the judge.

    However, it does illustrate just exactly how important the Wisteria Festival is for their agenda.

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  63. 2:24...please elaborate with some specifics, facts, documents, tape recordings, smoke signals, tapping sequences for proof of ANYTHING you are alleging in your post....would ya? hu?

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  64. Dirts are insensitive and bullys. Which is why it hits evryone else's nerves. They get away with too much like raising money on the emotions of the town over a beautiful vine, and then use it to benefit their own political issues. And we stand by and do nothing.....again....Joe and Susan and Bart run the town and people complain......wonder why....oh, and the right wing good Christians, isn't religion wonderful?

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  65. Who will go to the next CofC and ask why a woman who owes $43,000 to Katina Dunn, and show the Judge's document, to the Members? Takes a lot of strength. A very brave person with a lot of backup.

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  66. Not Hillside Intelligentsia, but not a hick either (much).January 20, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    There are more of you than there are of them...Yes or no?

    I mean do proponents of Sierra Madre quality of life issues outnumber hucksters and townwreckers?

    You might consider getting up on your feet and challenging your council and city attorney as to why they made an open ended contract with no specific performance requirements with that "newspaper" person.

    I did that in our burgh and they dumped the guy. Tried that?

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  67. 5:55.....Looks like you Dirts are genuinely scared of having one of your most vital, political arms cut off.

    Where are your benefactors when you need them? Broke? Or just decided to throw you losers under the bus? huh?

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  68. The Tattler has certainly been of interest to the Dirts for the past few days. Do you think that maybe there was a strategy meeting, and someone or a few people were assigned to do the Dirt posting?
    Wonder who?

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  69. 6:34... if Joe, Susan and Bart run the town then I guess we need to look at the competence and effectiveness of Kurt, MaryAnn and Don, looks like we elected some real idiots then.

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  70. Has anybody actually seen a January 16th edition of the MVN yet?

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  71. 8:49, bite your tongue. The inspired intelligence of Kurt, the skillful leadership of MaryAnn, the personal integrity of Don Watts, are the best qualities our elected representatives have shown in many, many years. Especially as they are in contrast to the bombast of Buchanan, and the slavering obsequiousness of Mosca.
    Can't speak for 6:34, but my guess is that the poster meant the city hall connections are well under the thumbs of folks like Bart and Harriet.

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  72. I thought the Chamber was supposed to be promoting actual businesses

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  73. I think the contributors to the Tattler and complainers of Ms. Henderson's involvement on the chamber should rush down and volunteer to help serve the community. There are a variety of service agencies and organizations that help serve the community. And there are plenty of opportunities. However, if you are an armchair quarterback who can fire off criticisms at people volunteering while you sit back and do nothing, please keep your big mouth shut.

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  74. 3:35 - a lot of us work full time, which is necessary to pay the taxes here. Of course, paying taxes isn't voluntary, but it is necessary to keep the city going. But to assume moral superiority over those whose hard work pays the bills around here is an unfortunate lapse on some peoples part.

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  75. 3:35, what makes you think some of us are not already volunteers? You might be surprised...

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  76. Wow. I worked with Susan Henderson at the Cal. Dem. Party in '94. She was one of the nastiest, dishonest and unethical people most of us had ever known and, while her demise was astonishing at the time because it was SO dramatic, it was not so surprising. She conned those she needed to for a while; someone eventually sent her CDP AmEx statement to the press. After she was run out of the CDP, she seemed to disappear for a while, it seemed. I always wondered what happened to her. Out of curiosity that pops up every 2-3 years, I just found out! My sympathies to those of you who must endure her. She's a very sick and hurtful person.

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  77. Send me an email, I'd love to catch up with you. ericmaundry@gmail.com

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  78. I am not one of those to jump on the Wagon against Susan Henderson, I read her editorials every chance I get,"with a critical eye." And I've found her view to be quite far to the left,"Always." However, I do not think it is because of her that our country and town are going the way of the dinasaour. It is those who actually give credence to that far left message that concerns me. I became conservative after attending a Liberal College when the entire message was always "rage against the machine." Now those who once railed against have control over it. And it is hard for me to believe they really love their country when all they do is rail against those who really do care about this town. Susan Henderson has the bully pulpit. Bully Bully. I think as a low-level citizen I should have a bully pulpit too. I wouldn't Slam Maryann Mcguilvry for handing out a book about the "Sharia" to her fellow councilmembers. I would be more concerned if she handed out a book that said, "no longer believe in the Bible!" YOU CAN'T THROW OUT THE BABY WITH THE BATHWATER!" We need those who actually have old fashioned middle-class elevated not slammed in the press. Instead we elevate those who still "RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE." YOU KEEP RAGING AGAINST US even as you run it, whats wrong with this picture?

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