Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The So-Called Journalism of the Mountain Views News Hits A New Low

Yet another revelation that the ethical and journalistic standards of the Mountain Views News are lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut (to use one of my granddad's favorite idioms) will probably not be very shocking for many in this town. The artless use of prevarication to further the interests of a certain political agenda being pretty much the trademark of this misguided and sad little paper. And while such things are not all that uncommon in marginal rags of this kind, what makes the MVN's methods particularly shoddy is that the fibbing is just so obvious and carelessly done. It's as if the paper's publisher believes that Sierra Madreans are just too lazy and feeble minded to ever question the veracity of her claims, and that she can get away with saying anything.

At last night's City Council meeting Sierra Madre Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray let the entire city know on live TV that she's pretty much had a bellyful of this paper's dishonest reporting. And apparently Sharon Neely, a high ranking executive at SCAG, was none too pleased when she heard about it, either. After all, it was her name that was used to bolster the core falsehood of the article in question. Here is how Mayor MacGillivray exposed this paper's disgraceful behavior for all the town to see:

The topic seems to have garnered an interest in the Mountain Views News as well. In the February 27 edition there is an article titled "Claims of Unique Sierra Madre Victory Misstated." The article is riddled with errors but ironically the title is correct - the paper is, in fact, misstating the actions of City Staff, the Mayor, City Council, and the subsequent "victory."

The paper refers to the withholding of the SCAG dues as a boycott by the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. A boycott is a refusal to negotiate. We used this delay of dues payment as a negotiating tool to see if the City could collaborate favorably with SCAG and it was with a majority vote of the City Council.

The article states that according to Sharon Neely, "Director of Legislation" at SCAG, every city that requested a reduction and justified it according to the guidelines was granted a reduction. I spoke directly with Sharon Neely last Thursday (whose correct title is Interim Deputy Executive Director for Policy, Strategy and Public Affairs), and, having shown her a copy of the paper, asked if the statement in the paper was true. She stated very firmly that she spoke with no one from the Mountain Views News and that she did not make that statement nor one similar to it, nor would she make that kind of statement. She suggested we speak with Angela Rushen, Manager of Media & Public Affairs, in case she had been contacted. So we found Angela who said Susan Henderson did, in fact, call her about 4PM on Friday, February 26. Angela said that she asked Ms. Henderson what her deadline was and when Ms. Henderson responded that it was midnight, Angela informed her that they were closing up and would not be able to give her a statement. Hence the last line of the article indicating that confirmation of the new numbers were not available at press time.

This is a blatant falsification of the facts and cannot be tolerated. The citizens of Sierra Madre deserve accurate reporting on all issues and especially those that can adversely affect the quality of life that we are all trying to sustain.

That the City of Sierra Madre has as its adjudicated paper of record a publication that would tell such an ignominious whopper in order to once again exhibit its resentment of certain members of our City government is tragic. That it is the recipient of our tax dollars for legal notices, which for all intents and purposes makes each and every one of us a functioning patron, only adds to this sense of betrayal.

The conversation of SCAG and SB 375 dominated the early portion of last night's meeting. Much of what was discussed has been covered here before, and we won't go into it now. But there was a comedic element in all of these deliberations, and it involved Joe Mosca. Joe, who has worked very hard to claim largely undeserved credit on the SCAG issue, appeared upset with the Mayor when he wasn't allowed to take the SMTV3 limelight on the topic. As a SGVCOG regionally (and not Sierra Madre) appointed member of the SCAG's RHNA numbers producing Community, Economic, and Human Development committee (CEHD), he felt it was his privilege to be the one speaking on the matter, and not MaryAnn. And, as is his wont when his hopes are thwarted, he got a little petulant about it.

Of course, and as any reader of The Tattler knows, had Joe actually been attending SCAG's CEHD meetings during the nearly two years when that responsibility was left to him alone, maybe MaryAnn MacGillivray and Don Watts wouldn't have to be attending them now. Instead he shined them off, leaving us virtually unrepresented at these important functions. For Joe to want all the glory last evening when he didn't do the work necessary to earn it seemed almost childlike.

Maybe when Joe gets older he'll realize one's actions do have consequences in the adult world, and that his predicament last night was really all of his own doing.


  1. Sierra Madre is sure lucky to have a mayor like MacGillivray who calls out inaccurate reporting, addresses how this affects the quality of life in a community. The mayor's of the surrounding cities need to follow her example.

  2. The arrogance of Henderson ran into a brick wall last night.
    Good job Mary Ann on calling this awful person out.

  3. Okay, if the SCAG officials didn't give this fallacious story to Henderson.....who did?

    Wasn't Mayor MacGillivray, wasn't Mayor Pro-tem Watts, must have been:

    LYING" SACRAMENTO JOE MOSCA.........this man is as disgraceful and deceitful as Henderson.
    He was the only one from Sierra Madre there besides MacGillivray and Watts....Joe finally started showing up at meetings when the Mayor rightfully decided Sierra Madre wasn't being represented and started attending these meetings along with Don Watts.
    They have gotten more done for Sierra Madre in 2 months than Mosca has done in 4 years.

    This man needs to be defeated on April 13Th.

  4. Sure wish this paper, and expecially this edition, were put out at Beantown, Starbucks, And every restaurant. The person who walks around needs to see it more than anyone. Joe cries and boo hoos that he is picked on and tries to doublespeak, but cannot even do that. It may get even more people to vote. Even Josh and Nancy are clueless about the SCAG mess Joe did and then he did not and now he takes credit for. Thanks MaryAnn for not allowing Joe to pontificate. He deserves NOTHING!!!!


  6. Joe's big message last night boiled down to its
    essence: "Me, me, me, and I, I, I."

    I've never seen someone so obviously begging
    to be taken seriously.

  7. Rude, rude, rude! Re- SCAG

    No one interupted Joe Mosca while he was speaking. But, when Mayor Pro-tem Don Watts was speaking, Mosca rudely kept interrupting by shouting over him to the point where Mayor MacGillivray, having asked him to stop interrupting, had to hammer down her gavel and insist that the Mayor Pro-tem Watts speak without Mosca's agressive interruption.

    Agressuve rudeness does not belong on the City Council.

    Get a life, Mosca

  8. Joe's act is getting very old. And what is making it even worse for him is he is worried about this election. He's becoming shrill.

  9. fair memory skillsMarch 10, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    Did Mr. Mosca inadvertently reveal himself as Ms. Henderson's interviewee? I could be mistake, but listen to the replay, and when the initial discussion of SCAG comes up, or later when the agendized discussion of SCAG takes place, Mr. Mosca defends what Ms. Henderson wrote, and mentions Sharon Neely. He seemed to be echoing exactly what the article said, as in "Sharon Neely did say..."

  10. Let's work to keep our intelligent majority, the true reflection of the best of Sierra Madre, and then maybe Buchanan will resign.
    Lots more time to take care of city business if he were not at those meetings. Man can't help himself. Always talks twice as long to say half as much.

  11. Inquiring Minds Need To Know!March 10, 2010 at 8:40 AM

    Must have been embarrassing for poor Joe. All that advice he gave Susan, only to have her end up being publicly outed on citywide TV as a liar. Here's a thought; how would old know-nothing Susan even know about someone like Neely? Or have the phone number of the SCAG media person? Must have gotten it from somebody...

  12. If Susan is doing campaign promotion work for Mosca this blatantly, shouldn't that be filed as an "in kind" campaign contribution? If so, haven't they missed the deadline for filing?

  13. Today people will pick up the MVN and believe what they read. Maybe a real boycott of advertisers is needed to run Susan out of town. Write every local business and tell them you will not do business with them while they are supporting a paper that does not report the truth.

  14. No no no, 8:46. You cannot punish local businesses that way. Especially when we've heard again & again that they are getting those ads for free.
    Forget it. Bad idea.
    You're pulling a Josh Moran.

  15. No boycotts. We do not need to take it out on our local businesses. The City of Sierra Madre advertises in the Loony Views News. Do we boycott City Hall?

    Go soak your head.

  16. Joe created an argumentative, divisive council meeting! Isn't that what Moran and Walsh are against? He showed disrespect to the Mayor and the Mayor Pro Tem. And what did Buchanan do? He, too, argued with the Mayor and the Mayor Pro Tem. It's the old bait and switch strategy. Accuse the MacGillivray Council with divisiveness, turn right around and provide the Council with disrespectful disruption!!!

  17. Yes, 8:59, you got it.
    It's that hypocritical mud-slinging that is so much a part of that faction's political rhetoric.
    It is perhaps the primary Shenanigan ruse.
    I'm not sure they are even aware of the extent to which they are self-contradictory.
    At least I hope they are not - otherwise they INTEND to lie.

  18. That's the dirt strategy, 8:59.

    It's called "the Luciferic Inversion"

    Truth into Falsehood-Falsehood into truth.

    The dirts entire platform is one big LIE, and they accuse us of what they do and take credit for what MaryAnn and Don and Kurt do right.

    These dirts and their sleazy leader, Bart Doyle are not worthy of any public office, let alone the City Council.

  19. how low will u go Susan?March 10, 2010 at 10:04 AM

    Mary Ann handled it all wrong in my opinion, she's treating the MV Whatever as if it is run by a journalism pro, it's not. It's run by a newby resident, who fanagled her way into the city by over volunteering for profit motives (currently) and when she first moved her, she flat out lied about herself, which is okay, but she made up stuff boasting about town that can be checked a law degree from Ohio State...or promoting herself as ranking executive with the Democratic Party that she embezzled funds from the party for personal shopping sprees...or she flips the middle finger at our judicial system when she was found financially liable for damages caused to a business partner and exposed for her past trangressions. yet, somehow, the business owner that defrauds the city with legal ad placement is on the Chamber?

    so, Mary Ann might started her comments by making a reference to the article as "includes pack of made up false comments by the reporter and the Editor, unverified facts by the Editor, random publishing schedule and this business owner is unwilling to comply with city request for reports that are required for a publication that publishes city legal notices"...and then toss the paper in a trash can (on camera), she could have said for the "100 people who actually read a copy of this paper whenever it's randomly published..."

    don't give Susan a platform anymore, require her business to comply with what the council has requested or take the legal advertising online, this is business and Susan makes it all about her (sort of like Joe Mosca and John B)

    and the new Mayor should request a rate card from the paper and compare its legal rates to the freebees and discounts that the paper gives now, it appears that the paper is charging the city one rate and using that revenue to offset discounted rates, a lawuit would require Susan to disclose her print schedule and revenue information in discovery

    the city ought to file a lawsuit against her for non performance, we know how much Susan just fits in place in a courtroom

  20. The City should just give the Mountain Views News notice that it is no longer going to place legal notices with the paper for advertising because as a vendor the paper has not responded to the City's request for subscription and publication information, as required of all City vendors. Let Grace Lorraine Publications and Susan Henderson sue!

  21. still read the papers, but not that oneMarch 10, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    10:20 that sounds like a great idea!
    Is it really possible?

  22. 10:20 is right. Time to call Henderson's bluff. There is no reason why we should endure the kinds of dishonest garbage being thrown at us by that paper.

  23. There are legal problems involved.
    Don't you think if Mayor MacGillivray, Kurt Zimmerman and Don Watts could have got rid of the adjudication they would have?

    Of course they would.

    A private citizen has to take her to court and I'm thinking this will happen soon enough.

    Susan is a grifter, a dishonest con artist who preys on the elderly in this town.

    She is pure trash.

  24. 10:04 and 10:20. It's not legal to post legal notices online. And, for the time being, Susan's paper is the only adjudicated (i.e., judically approved) paper for the publication of legal notices in town. Sadly, until somebody files an action to unadjudicate her paper and a court orders the same, we're stuck with Susan.

    P.S. Not publishing legal notices in not an option. Unless the Council publishes legal notices in an adjudicated paper, its actions (like adopting an ordinance) have no legal effect.

  25. How do other town's that do not have ajudicated papers within their city limits follow the legal requirements for their notices? If a town has an ajudicated paper they must use that one and cannot use another such as the Star News? What does Monrovia or Arcadia, Duarte/Bradbury use? To get out from under this quagmire the MtViewsNews has to be stripped of its adjudication. Why is H. Susan Henderson, 80 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. #??? so adament? This is the big income for this fabricating non-fact, vanity newsletter.

  26. We're the victim of another bad state law that is the product of newpaper lobbyists working their magic in Sacramento. If we had our choice we could put our legal advertising on the city site and be done with it. Free, easy, and with no politics. But instead we are forced to spend city taxes with a publication run by someone on a bizarre power trip. It is frightening what can be seen in that paper.

  27. I think that state law is up for grabs now that most folks are on the internet for their information. The papers can't keep up with the costs for the legally required physical distribution any more.

  28. Pulling the ads from that paper and forcing Susan to sue the City has its merits, except for one fatal flaw. Colanatuono & Levin are foils for the Building and Real Estate industries. The foxes in our proverbial hen house, so to speak.

    Their first assignment was to make certain that the One Carter proposal passed. Since then, they have been responsible for the Stonehouse development moving forward and putting up as many obstacles as possible for the City Council in regards to development and election related issues.

    The other issue is the Joint Powers Insurance Authority (JPIA). Should Susan file a lawsuit against the City, it is possible that the JPIA would force the City to settle before the case goes to court. In that situation Susan would keep her adjudication, her contract with the City and even get financial damages. Then the joke would be on us.

    Unless the taxpayers of Sierra Madre are willing to spend several hundred thousand dollars to hire an outside attorney and fight this all the way to court, our chances are not very good. Although conceptually it sounds Great!

  29. Thanks for that info 1:07.
    I saw that facilitation of the 1 Carter debacle with my own eyes, so I know you're right.
    City Attorney Colanatuono never came from the perspective of the citizens or preservation. He only came from the perspective of the developers and how they were going to win any lawsuits they filed against us. He completely ignored the hundreds of citizens who came to speak before him. Of course he would always add "We have every confidence that we would win." I suspect that behind closed doors he said just the opposite, and joined the council of 2004 in their celebrations.

  30. Let's hope that the economic crisis will sweep in the reform of allowing cities to publish their notices online.

  31. Wouldn't putting legal notices online be a green solution? No trees would have to die
    for that to happen.


  33. old timer

    Then you may also remember that Colantuono & Levin were brought in to handle the lawsuits brought against the City by Maranantha, because Charles Martin, our previous City Attorney was actually winning!

    Charles Martin, Sierra Madre's City Attorney for 46 years, only charged the City $2,000 a month for services, and defeated every frivolous lawsuit filed against the City, was told by Bart Doyle and Doug Hayes that Mr. Martin no longer had their "confidence," and was given a choice of resigning or being fired in a publicly humiliating fashion.

    And lest we forget, Micheal Colantuono filed amicus briefs to the State Supreme Court, AGAINST the City, before becoming City Attorney.

  34. 1:31

    Sounds like a good idea, until you consider how much fossil fuel has to be burned in order to power up the internet and everyone's computer.

  35. Anon @ 1:39

    I remember reading about that. Colantuono's amicus briefs to the Supreme Court were filed along with briefs from the B.I.A., all against the Friends of Sierra Madre that were trying to protect the CEQA process. And low and behold, here we are 10 years later and we're witnessing the same special interests attempt to erode the States environmental review laws.

  36. 1:39, my hats off to an older old timer. I do remember hearing that Religious Land Use suits were losing big time, but it wasn't from our city attorney Colantuono in our council chambers that I learned that.
    Looks like Colantuono was the 'hatchet man'
    It almost makes a person sick to think of the money wasted, the land wasted, the wildlife wasted, the damage done to the confidence Sierra Madreans could have in their representatives.
    "Shenanigan" might be too kindly a label.

  37. 1:40 - doesn't it take fossil fuels to turn trees into paper? Plus power the trucks that deliver the paper to the printer, then the papers to the publisher, and then from there to the 5 rusty racks with no signs downtown?

  38. And wouldn't it be interesting if the collusion and corruption (technically called "Conspiracy") between Colantuono and Enid Joffe ever became public?

  39. Friends of Sierra Madre? Isn't that the one that Linda Thornton brought and won? Now that's an attorney!

  40. Yes, she's an honest person. Will look right at you and tell you the truth.
    Smart and ethical.

  41. Speaking of Shenanigans,Has anyone one seen all the illegally placed signs placed on City Property by one Josh Moran..Report these violations to the Police Dept!

  42. Wanna know why I think Moran's signs are on City property? 'Cause most people don't want to be seen supporting the carpet bagger, that's why! If you were at his breakout coffee on South Baldwin you'd see his support comes from the DIRTS - Tonya Torres, Rob Stockly, Bart Doyle, Kathy Childs! Yip. There they were chatting up the fledgling wanna be Councilman. Don't think for a moment young Moran is working for reconcilliation; he's working for DIRTS!

  43. Google map: City properties colored in yellow. Developer-owned properties in pink. Pushpins for each candidate sign shown in these properties.

  44. Great idea 3:37 - can you do that?

    Regarding candidate Moran, did he ever explain how he could serve on the council when he'd have to recuse himself on all development issues?

  45. Ms. Volpe has said she's got all of the complaints and she's waiting for more direction before she acts. Keep calling Volpe, keep a record of when you called, and call Chief Diaz, CM Elaine Aguilar, and Mayor MacGillivray! Remember, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease".

  46. Google maps are easy, find a teenager!

  47. OK, but the teen has to know what property is the developers' and what property is the city's, right?

  48. As for the question of pulling the city contract from Ms. Henderson....has anyone put in a public records request to view the contract awarded to the newspaper? That would be the starting point....I suspect conditions exist that would allow either party to terminate based on compliance with the terms?

    If the city did cancel and she sued, I doubt seriously it would cost several hundred thousand....we all know she probably can't afford several hundred dollars for her legal representation?

    Additionally, and I may be incorrect, but I think the City not the JPIA can decide not to settle any lawsuit...the issue becomes who pays if the case is lost. If the City chooses to not settle and loses, it would be their burden not the JPIA's.

    But those with more knowledge, please fill me in if wrong.

  49. Of course, the teenagers are great for data entry, but have to be provided with the info from accurate property address records and digital photos of the signs at that address, which goes into the little balloon that pops up off of each pushpin. It's a little bit of work, but pays off with a great interactive graphic - that's accurate - that everyone can see for themselves without having to drive all over town.

  50. all I guess is that it must be easy to become an adjucated paper because if Susan can do it, anybody can

    I'm pretty sure Susan bought the adjudication status when she bought Tobia's old rag who had the contract.

    Susan was so business bright dull that Tobia had collected all the city $$$ up front and he kept the ad money and Susan published the city legals ads as required by contract, but Susan made it sound like she was doing the city a favor by running the city legal ads FREE, it's not our fault Susan got snookered by Tobia.

    Susan is gotten so full of bull malarkey that she's even got herself convinced or conned, but I'm way over reading another one of her "opinions", her written opinions are as goofy as her verbal opinions.

  51. Moran's signs shouldn't be on city property, we pay the taxes for those properties, he shouldn't put his private ads there. Or, everybody else ought to put a dozen signs there and then dare the big bad big city code enforcement to show up and arrest all of the candidates....

    I haven't heard anything that has come out of Mr. Moran's mouth that has impressed me as a viable candidate or someone who is balanced and fair, he's one sided and he has an agenda within city hall as related to his personal businesses.

    I haven't heard Mr. Moran explain how he won't be able to hear or vote on any Council business as it relates to real estate planning, developement or decisions with our city. He just doesn't belong on our council, it's a bad move for the city.

  52. Extra! Extra! The City has begun to remove Moran's signs. Two on Sturtevant were taken down late this afternoon. Call every illegal sign into the Police Department. Keep track of what time you called and who you talked to. If the sign doesn't come down, call the Chief!.

  53. Moran is a low life.
    It's unbelievable he is running for city council.

    Someone wrote on another blog:

    "God help Sierra Madre if they elect Moran".

    He has an unfortunate personality to be sure.

    Not even qualified.

    I don't think he has a chance. People in Sierra Madre are too sharp.

    They'll vote for Don Watts, they'll vote for John Crawford and they'll vote for Pat Alcorn.

  54. Nancy Walsh's mailing pathetic. Very out of touch. If she had bothered to attend any CC meetings she would know that half of what she "wants" has already been put into motion. The SNF is already in the "fix." She needs to teach her friend Joe common courtesy, ethics and honesty.He needs to attend the meetings he signs up for, and then admit he did not when it shows on the roll call he did not. Then, not to pretend he did. Explain to him that is one of the reasons he is called "Flip Flop Joe."

    Not "sensibly integrate Measure V into the planning process" but Nancy dear, ENFORCE IT, it is the LAW!!

    And, lastly, our current CC already has increased fiscal accountability and transparency. You are too late. Thank Kurt, Don and MaryAnn!!

    You are right to say "we are at a crossroads." And, we need to continue with the leadership we have who is keeping out big interests, development and people in town who have not been attending CC meetings and are being told what to say and what to do.

    Vote for
    Watts, who KNOWS the law, is experienced in our town and what is happening and how to govern, Vote for Pat Acorn, who attends every CC meeting and has learned what is happening and knows how to take charge of keeping the development out and knows the law and how government works, and VOTE for Crawford who is HIGHLY informed of the laws of California and how government is run and has kept all of us informed and taught us about the Laws (which can be difficult to understand, ie SB375), and followed the news of corruptions like the El Monte Train Station and other disasters in small local governments, like Sierra Madre, with his fine honest journalism.

    These 3 people and Mary Ann MacGillavry are our TRUE LEADERS of Sierra Madre who in 10 years we will look back on as the people who SAVED our little town from corruption and overgrowth.

  55. Mad as hell and not going to take it anymoreMarch 10, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    Nancy Walsh and Josh Moran are representative of the thinking that was able to steal our hillsides and almost stole our downtown. They are pawns of the small town shysters who tried to tell us they were educated and knew better than we did what was best for our town - which, it turns out, was best for their pockets. Now that we're mad and choosing people to represent us that can fight for us they're in a panic. Now they want civility! They accuse us of divisiveness! Well sign me up for uncivil and divisive. How can they sleep at night knowing they have mortgaged our town's assets and sold off our hillsides to the highest bidder?

  56. why would moran have to recuse himself?

  57. Front yard signs for Alcorn, Crawford or Watts have all been placed legally by the campaign sign organizers. They are monitored daily. It is very simple to follow the election law. One of the most interestingly misplaced signs for the election was in the parkway at the property just north of a previously city council member. For several days that individual went in and out the driveway, ignoring this illegally placed sign. It did match the candidate for which there was a sign in that former city council member's yard. Hum?

  58. Be Aware at 8:09

    Beautiful post!

    Thanks, you need to post this everyday on the Tattler.

  59. Someday this blog will look into going with a staff of writers. There really are some very thoughtful people in Sierra Madre.

  60. At his age, if Joe is not already aware that every action has a consequence in both the adult and child world, he'll never get it...

  61. Can't vote for Joe or Josh - Who is Nancy Walsh?March 11, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    8:37 Moran has to recuse himself from many council discussions just like other Councilmembers have done when the discussion revolves around something having to do with their employer, business or sometimes if it affects them personally as a citizen.

    Moran was a realtor and could easily renew his license and his mother is a local realtor and he has loyal ties to Webb Martin and Moran was a vocal opponent of Measure V...and he didn't even live in our town.

    If elected, Moran has glaring apparent conflicts with any Council discussion having to do with development, city real estate planning or housing tracts such as the Hillside, Stonehouse and 1 Carter.

    In effect, he won't be of any help to us as citizens and he can easily be a decisive personality on the Council, which has been his campaign so far, mostly decisive and finger pointing, mostly about real estate.

    If he doesn't recuse himself, he opens the city up to legal liablity.

    Personally, I'm sort of sick of residents who move into town for political purposes or to be a personality or fixture in Kersting Court and then relgiously claim to "love" the city.

    Like Joe Mosca and Josh Moran. John Buchanan did the same thing, within a year of moving into town, on behalf of his employer, Edison, John began joining every club or whatever for personal visibility and to build a resume for Council.

  62. 9:50. I think you mean "divisive" and not "decisive."