Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Was Hail Hamilton's Speech Really Out of Character for the Mountain Views News?

Things fall apart: the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed in the world - Yeats

Now there has been quite a bit of conversation around town regarding Hail Hamilton's speech last Tuesday evening. Even normally less than squeamish individuals like Bill Coburn made like they were offended by it. Which is saying a lot considering his decidedly one-sided umbrage during our recent election. But there is a question that must now be asked. Was this speech really all that much out of character for this noted emissary of the New Civility? Or, for that matter, the paper that publishes his column?

For those who have not had a chance to see it yet, here is a link to the video. The folks at Neuroblast Films have kindly saved it for both posterity and the pleasure of those folks who enjoy slowing down to check out particularly gnarly car wrecks. And if you haven't seen it yet, we offer a word of caution. Think back to the first time you saw the movie The Exorcist. Except this time Linda Blair was never cured.

Now before we go on with this lurid exposition into the eeriest corners of Sierra Madre, we would like to note that in his column this week Hail actually offers what he probably would like people to believe was an apology.

On Tuesday April 27, I spoke at the Sierra Madre City Council meeting. Perhaps calling retiring Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray a "wicked witch" was a poor choice of words. I apologize to my readers and others in the community. I apologize to MaryAnn. I spoke out in anger in response to an earlier speaker's statements about Joe Mosca. It was a post-traumatic stress symptom to what I consider one of the dirtiest council campaigns in recent memory.

An apology is when you confess that your actions were the fault of your esteemed self, and take the blame. But when you instead claim that it was others that caused you to act like a fool, then you are a 7 year old still trying to get the chocolate chip cookie despite your poor behavior. And I'm sure that Hail knows all about the "dirtiest council campaign in recent memory" since his weekly braying from the Op-Ed pages of the Mountain Views News was a part and parcel to it. Something his strange speech more than confirmed.

Then Hail, just to make sure that nobody from his planet thinks he's gone soft on them with this apology stuff (after all, he does have a history of going flipper on folks), went on to say this:

MaryAnn you have done enough damage for a lifetime. You have stirred up a hornet's nest of animosity and divisiveness among our community, not to mention the cesspool of acrimony you and your mud-slinging mob of rabble-rousers has made of local politics.

There are two things you need to do here, gentle reader. First is to rewatch Hail's little video clip again. And then, after you've once again witnessed three minutes of just about the most irrational and rawest nastiness you will ever see anywhere, replace the name MaryAnn with Hail Hamilton in the quote above. Because obviously it must have been a typo. When it comes to "cesspools of acrimony" and "mud-slinging," few have mastered the art form like the angry little dude we're discussing here.

But is this really out of character for the paper that affords his vanity column its nearly weekly perch at the bottom of so many birdcages? I'm not quite so sure that it is. Because we have seen this kind of thing before in the Mountain Views News. And it wasn't just in articles written by some of the local eccentrics the paper's publisher seems to attract. No, much of it has come from Susan Henderson herself.

Here are a couple of interesting passages that Ms. Henderson wrote and published in her own paper. That is, even after she had some time to think things through and calm down a little. See of you don't notice a style of writing, a certain way of expressing oneself, that seems almost endemic to the place.

From an editorial called 91024, Susan discussed people who disagreed with her on the choice for Mayor a year or so back:

The other face, the face that a few hate mongering, angry people put forth, has brought this town nothing but shame and ridicule. They would have the world believe that Sierra Madre is a city that doesn't understand the electoral process of civility. Their behavior would lead you to believe that Sierra Madre is intolerant and has absolutely no respect for another persons' opinions or rights. That is not Sierra Madre, that is the pitiful world that these angry individuals live in. They don't represent Sierra Madre, they represent their personal agendas of fear and intimidation.

From an editorial on the topic of birthdays, Susan made an unfortunate reference to an elderly woman's religious heritage:

A year or two ago, an elderly woman (85+) with whom I became acquainted, as editor of this newspaper, angrily confronted me in the most violent and hateful manner, yelling and screaming at the top of her lungs because she did not agree with something I wrote or said. The energy she expended trying to intimidate me was frightening. It was frightening to hear this woman, of Jewish descent I must add ...

And this from a column Ms. Henderson penned that was published at the end of March:

Look no further back and read the pages of hysteria, half truths, fabrications, outright lies and unsubstantiated summations made by him. Look at the cesspool of hate that he has created while hiding his identity ...

Put into this light I'd say that Hail's "All Hailzapoppin'" speech is probably just they way they talk around the water cooler at the Mountain Views News. While in most offices the employees like to chat about the Lakers, or movies, at the MVN apparently the top topics are "cesspools of hate" and the unspeakable terrors unleashed by fearsome 85 year old ladies.

It certainly doesn't sound like a very convivial work place environment to me.


  1. That is the craziest thing about Susan's paper. All those things she accuses others of doing are actually the things that she and her poodles do themselves. Very weird bunch of people.

  2. Hey Poodles are smart dogs who have a mind of their own!
    Let us just describe what his actions reveal about Hail.

    Megalomania is a non-clinical word defined as:

    1.A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
    2.An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions.


    Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, often used as a pejorative, denoting vanity, conceit, egotism or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.

    These conditions can be attributed to the entire staff of The Mt. Views News.

    Neuroblast Films

  3. Just you wait and seeMay 5, 2010 at 7:47 AM

    Also add P. Birdsall's coumn a few issues back to the low tone of this publication (almost called it a journal--but that would have to come out daily--cannot call it a newspaper either, as that label has standards hardly met by the Mt. Views News publication).

  4. Really is anyone surprised? Hail needs to offer an apology to Maryann, face to face. He needs to man up! He took the cheap and easy way out to "write" about it in his column -- it was his way of "saying it all again" because let's face it, he printed his speech again!

    To think that he is part of the LAUSD system just baffles my mind...then again it's part of the reason I don't send my kids there

  5. Great post Neuroblast!
    You nailed it, friend.

    All the people who "write" for this horrible paper are sociopaths. Especially, Henderson and Birdsall.

  6. I for one voted for MaryAnn and was elated when she was appointed Mayor. Clearly she was the most qualified candidate when appointed. I also want to thank her for her bravery in defense of our City and her ability to maintain an orderly meeting. I also admire her strength and intelligence. And remember MaryAnn, the people in Sierra Madre elected you into office, don't forget about that.

  7. Measure CC probably will not pass. Since it is a parcel tax with a specific purpose it required a 2/3 yes vote of the voters. The latest returns on the PUSD web page is 52.46% YES 47.54% NO. This was the largest turnout in a PUSD school election in years. Finally the voters have been heard.

  8. Too bad PUSD didn't plow all that money they spent on those insipid postcards into the schools instead.

  9. I have a feeling that PUSD will suddenly find a source of money. PUSD will continue to have the lowest pupil:teacher ratio in the area. The libraries for the 1st graders will remain open. Seniors will continue to have Advanced Placement classes. The high dropout rate will remain the same. Life will go on as usual in a messed up school district, just without more tax payers money.

  10. I think PUSD has become Chicken Little. Mismanage the taxpapers money and claim the sky is falling!

  11. The pro-development groups, whether they realize that is what they are or not, have found an identity in double-dealing.
    The projections, that Joe is good, MaryAnn is bad, that slow growthers are the attackers, pro-devs the victims, are craaaaaaazy.
    I'm afraid those like the screecher, are lost for good.
    People can only go just so far into denial & then they are not coming back. The 'owner' of the newspaper, on the other hand, is probably not in denial at all.
    Just sly.

  12. Susan and Hail have an interesting approach to "opinion" writing. Lie, slander, libel then retract or apologize. OMG! You don't accept their apology? It must be you.

  13. 7:53,I disagree with your statement that everyone who writes for the Looney Views is a sociopath.The problem is worse than that.Henderson has true believers,true followers who think that she is persecuted.She makes people feel cool to be on her side,and like Joe, she came in town and fooled most everyone.Much bigger problem.Bullies pretending to be victims.That's how that side won in the latest election in Sierra Madre.

  14. Hi, I'm Hail and I'm a Nutcase.May 5, 2010 at 9:00 AM

    Hail is a clown. His half baked apology was just another mindless rant attack fueled by a paranoid and rambling mind.

    I think I'll head into to town and throw away another copy of Henderson's toilet paper newspaper.

  15. Although we all have our misgivings as to how the money is spent, the message is the same to the students--they are not important. I voted for CC even though I expected that the push was not there for it to pass. Yes, as they lose teachers and programs, it wil not be clear to these youngsters that the adults were arguing about how the moeny would be spent or monitored, Just that something terribly wrong is afoot. I retired from one of the best public school districts in So. Cal and spent time recently with some of the teachers who are still there, battling it out in the classrooms and in negotiations. It is awful but nothing new. And I DON'T have a luxurious retirement package.

  16. Be Nice at all CostsMay 5, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    What about the disinformation the mvn published the weeks right before the election, the fire dept & police articles that hooked up MacGilivrey with the henchmen for all Sierra Madreans hold near & dear. Did the mvn apologize for that?

  17. if a "writer" had described Henderson as a "black" woman, Henderson would be screaming racism, hatred, bigotry and mean spiritness, etc etc etc

    but when Henderson does it, it's justified.

    Henderson is a bully, plain and simple.

  18. Hey Tattler, you have a problem with being likened to a cesspool?
    Can't you see, this is the way of civility.
    The question is how these heavy handed ministers of truth fool anybody.

  19. AJ, Hamilton isn't a man, he's a coward.

    I guarantee you that if the paper still had it's last real and only true editor, Katina Dunn, she wouldn't have let Hamilton print his lame apology which was just another Mary Ann attack.

  20. morning AnonymousMay 5, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    Hail's apology was not an apology. He said the same damn things, just switched some of the language around. And he obviously has no understanding of city business for the last couple of years.
    Any chance the Tattler could post Zimmerman's accounting of the council accomplishments?

  21. EX PUSD TeacherMay 5, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    The estimated cost to PUSD for the election is $530,000. Smooth move PUSD. Get out your checkbbok.

    If you voted YES please send them $600. That is what you were willing to pay as a property tax. As for me I will spend my $10 a month at Beantown.

  22. 9:14 am, you are mistaking the Mountain Views Observer and the Mountain Views News, and their respective editors, Katina Dunn and Susan Henderson. You should not link Katina with this rag of a paper which metamorphosed through the Mountain Views and Beth Buck, what's his name Tobia, and then on to Susan Henderson. You do a grave injustice to Katina Dunn. It's enough to say Katina was a great editor of a truly community newspaper.

  23. Do you think Bart Doyle realizes his endorsement
    of any matter does not mean diddly squat to anyone, anymore, ever?

    Same goes for Hail, Susan, Rich, stick a fork in them because they are done.

  24. Oh, 9:47 am, you are so wrong. How many votes did Mosca get? That's how many people to whom it matters. Same goes for Hail, Susan, and Rich.

    It may not matter to Tattlers, and many others, but a to what constitutes a majority, it matters greatly.

    Don't underestimate the enemy!

  25. Hang in there MaryAnn MacGillivray, time will prove you RIGHT as usual.

    You are the best person on that awful current council. You are the ONLY one with integrity and an IQ above room temperature. You are the ONLY one who doesn't work for special interests/BIA/CAR/SACRAMENTO/BART DOYLE.

    You hang in there. You still have many loyal friends here in Sierra Madre. We won't forget all the good you have done for Sierra Madre over the years!

  26. Not that I would say that the supporters of Mosca's reelection had any grasp of the issues--they are in a stupor and may just wake up in time to see the town they "love" slide into oblivion. Sad but true, the slow growth message did not resonate over the lies, obfuscations and blustering of the Mosca, Moran, Walsh, Buchanan, Doyle strangelhold.

  27. Susan's standard yap about those who speak irresponsibly embarrassing the town is a hoot. Who has embarrassed this town more than her and her dumbo columnists?

  28. 9:47, are you really Rip Van Winkle? The people you say are done are now in charge in that room where decisions are made that impact every single person living here.

  29. good memory skillsMay 5, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    Susan is a hoot.
    No one can claim what group is small, what group is the majority.
    Like so many Americans everywhere, Sierra Madre residents are too lazy to vote in numbers that ever speak of a majority.
    But I remember when Susan's cesspool of a few vocal bad 'uns was populated by most of the people she now rubs up alongside.

  30. Looks like the No on CC side won with reason, presenting facts.
    The Arcadia CC election went to the side of reason, and facts.
    What the hell happened in Sierra Madre?
    Sleazy smears won.

  31. I'm going to guess that those of you who are thrilled that CC was defeated do not have school age children attending PUSD. The district's budget has always been a nightmare. It is the nature of school district budgets. So yes, sadly there are mismanaged funds and administrators that have way too many perks. But the saddest part here is that the students will lose out in the end. And really, there are some of you who would rather spend $10 a month at Bean Town for the next 5 years than to help enhance the education of a child? You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

    T. Johnson

  32. They are pond scumMay 5, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    9:57 You know elected personalities, and election results are kind of like watching the academy awards, even though a lot of movies are much better than the award winner, the winner is the one which appeals to the mediocraty.

    I do not care enough about these folks to hate them, I always keep my friends close and my enemies closer.

    You do understand that for a late start, the editor really kicked booty. The merry band of Tatts will continue to kick booty.

    My family had a friend that got elected to a SGV
    council seat back in the late eighties, he did it by walking into council meetings and saying "My group does not want this, or my group does not feel this way" The irony is they bought into it, he was elected but later recalled. The double irony was as he told me, there was never any group. It was only him.

    It may take two years for justice to prevail but it will, I found that my greatest temporary disappointments, are later revealed to be great saving graces. Be patient, choose your fights wisely and watch as all good from this tempest in a tea cup, unfolds.

  33. I'll bet you Tatts $99.99 I am right

  34. Good advice 11:07: Be patient, choose your fights wisely.

    We will be back stronger and wiser for the 2010 defeat.

  35. voted no on CC & TT tooMay 5, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    T. Johnson, I don't go to Beantown.
    I followed the discussion on the measure, never saw an effective response to the data that PUSD spends more per student than 28 other school districts do, and started to resent people using the children as objects to induce guilt with in the voters.
    Clean up the administration and try again when sound fiscal decisions are made. In short, cut administrative costs and show the results.

  36. T. Johnson,

    Yep, I will spend my $10 at Beantown because that is all I have left after paying private school tuition and paying all the dam# Measure Y and Measure TT bonds, and for the PUSD schools on my property taxes. Yeah, the PUSD parents voted for it. Let them write the checks to the school foundations to pay for it. Like they said it's only 10 bucks a month.

  37. Hail Hamilton did the town a favor, and showed the teeth of the money invested folks, the pretend civility is gone and now all can see what they really are like when they're not on camera. I've heard the same is true of their representatives, one face for public and another for private. Hamilton showed their private faces. Looks like somebody didn't rein him in in time.

  38. The Hail Mary(anne) speech will be rememebered by everyone.

  39. illusions die hardMay 5, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    I overheard a remark that Hail was just doing what MaryAnn & Shirley Moore did to Joe.
    Big difference - MaryAnn and Shirley were reality based. Focused on the RECORD.
    Hail was into the fiction he had been fed or concocted. Nothing he said was accurate.

  40. Our City Council claims the support PUSD but:

    Joe sends his son to Pacific Oaks, one of the best schools for young children, he doesn't even use our local nursery school which is excellent and would never consider the program at Sierra Madre School for tots.

    Nancy Walsh's grandchildren attend St Rita School. Her daughter wants an excellent education for her daughters.

    Josh Moran and his sibs who grew up in Sierra Madre all attended the Gooden school and Flintridge Prep...Tony would never have considered PUSD for her kids education.

    Maryann's kids went private all the way.

    John Buchanan claims he supports PUSD but yanked his son out and put him at La Salle. Even John, for all his retoric about supporting PUSD knew it was not good for his son.

    They supported CC in public, but how did they really vote. That is the beauty of our system. We will never know. But their actions speak volumes.

  41. That is the tragedy of public education in California. This has become a class based system. Those with cash go private, and those who can't have to send their kids to dicey school systems like PUSD. Government is killing democracy in America. One step at a time.

  42. You might be amazed at how much good a responsible parent can do, how much he or she can enhance the kid's learning, how much of a difference a home that values learning can make.
    It's amazing, and it's not about money.

  43. I agree. Sierra Madre Elementary enjoys its great reputation because of the parents who volunteer there. They get it done in spite of PUSD.

  44. Many two working parents send their tots to Pacific Oaks, which has a day care component as well as pre-school and nursery school. Sierra Madre Community Nursery School does not offer day care, and requires a substantial parental time commitment which many families cannot make. Families choose the school they believe is best for their children and which they can afford. Those who choose private school continue to support public schools with their taxes. Many of my friends have chosen Sierra Madre School because it is a quality school with committed teachers and parents. PUSD provides a great education for many students who are interested in being educated. Unfortunately many students and their families blame the school system on their own inability to discipline their children and provide guidance -- too busy shopping and partying to be parents.

  45. That's right 2:24. And it's hard that Sierra Madre has to carry so much of the burden.

  46. Whoever turned our school buildings over to Pasadena back when needs to have a statue built in his honor. Right under a fruit tree so the parrots can salute him every morning right after a nice berry breakfast.

  47. All I have to say is that if the school ratios go to 30 to 1, I am leaving. I'm not putting my son through that. I know few responsible parents who are.

    From the tone of the no on cc people I can't tell if you don't think the 30 to 1 ratio is going to happen or if you don't care.

    I certainly feel that the concern is a lot higher that the PUSD doesn't get your $120 as compared to kindergarteners being in a classroom with a 30 to 1 ratio.

  48. I taught first grade in an 8' x 40' trailer. I had 27 first graders, a part time aide, a student teacher, and volunteer parents. Crowded yes. A lot of work yes. The kids learned and behaved. 1/4 of the children scored in the 90% or higher, 3/4 of the class scored above the 75%. Only 3 children scored lower than the 50%- those children were rarely at school. Class size is just one part of the equation. If the teacher DEMANDS good behavior class size (to a point) is not an issue. The Catholic schools have classes with over 35 students and the kids learn. Stay involved with your child's education. Make sure the teacher knows you are watching and demanding high standards. Children will rise to the level that is expecteded of them.

  49. Retired PUSD teacherMay 5, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    The Ed Code is 36 to 1 from 6-12 and get ready folks. You are all correct. No one in America values children or education.

    Most public officials send thier children to Private schools because either they want a religious education and the ARTS/BIG SPORTS PROGRAMS or they KNOW that in Public Schools their children will be with children who are neglected by their parents and the TEACHER will spend a good part of the day
    discipling the out of control students
    teaching the lowest students
    while their child sits and waits for the teacher!!!

    In California there is no grouping of students, therefore; all the students who may need more time cannot be placed in one group to be helped. And, the faster paced cannot be placed in another!! There are Honors classes, but that is an exception. And, the disruptive, well, that is the worst scenario of all. They are all mixed in all the classes and have a RIGHT to an education. Their parents rarely show up for conferences, to meetings, and when phoned if the child gets into serious trouble, who do they blame? The teacher!!!

    Or the Administration for reporting that the child was missing from school and the school police go looking for the children and they are caught committing a crime! I have seen this happen to a Principal talking with parents in the office who were yelling at an Officer and Princpal for picking up THEIR child who had cut school and was caught smoking pot and spray painting a church. The mother was bullying the authorities!

    I see Parents act out of control frequently. If you want to know about a real public school, go to Marshall or PHS, or LAUnified. Sierra Madre is wonderfully unique. Yes, parents are involved. But, most public schools are over crowded classrooms, with few supplys, many super great students and dedicated teachers. The few parents and students who ruin it for everyone else steal precious time for the community. Time is money. The waste at the top is apphalling.

    If Calif charged parents for books and a sliding scale tuition, more parents would get involved, classroom size would go down, the scores would go up, the arts and sports would return in masse, and there would be less problems with politicians with city councils who do not even keep up with the inside of an ever changing public school classroom.

  50. CC was defeated because of the public mistrust of the ADMINISTRATORS. They are the ones who lost the election. They hold the kids hostage, but it is the ADMINISTRATORS who are responsible.

  51. I think it also lost because the measure had no real mechanisms for accountability.

  52. As far as I can tell, Susan never took down any of the archived papers on the MVN website. What am I missing?

  53. 6:42, did you see Mt Wilson Observer or Mountain Views Observer on the MVN website? No. That's what is missing in the archives. The MVN is on the website, not the earlier papers.

  54. 6:16. Youn can find all of the Mt. Wilson Observer papers if you click "archives" at the bottom left hand corner of the online version of the MVN. Just checked this morning and they were all there.

  55. 6:16. I checked too, and you can access online copies of all of the Mt. Wilson Observer papers by clicking the archives box on the MVN website.

  56. Back to Hail's speech - it's a good symbol of the way Dirts think. No specifics, lots of emotionalism, and attack, attack, attack.
    When Susan & her marks write about town politics, they write about people, not facts. So no one wrote a column titled Joe Mosca Didn't Lie, no one wrote a letter to the editor that said Here's what Joe meant. Instead Dirts attack the people who get up in council meetings and say that joe Mosca lied.
    Avoid the real subject all together.
    Dishonest - but effective.

  57. I did my good deed for today. I threw away another copy of Henderson's paper. For good measure I threw away a copy of the weekly also, as long as Miller writes for them, I'll toss a copy if the Weakly in the trash each week along with Henderson's rag.

  58. Why would a Dirt face the issue head on when they can have a venom purge towards someone above reproach, like Fay Angus?

  59. @ 1:25

    "Instead Dirts attack the people who get up in council meetings and say that joe Mosca lied."

    Last time I checked one was presumed innocent. Why should anybody have to deal with allegations that aren't proven? Does not Joe deserve the same consideration as anyone else or is he guilty just for being Joe?

  60. I'm from MissouriMay 6, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Perfect response.
    You don't seem to be able to understand that it's not about like/dislike.
    Why don't you discuss the lie - instead of just switching the talk over to personalities.
    The point is, he lied. The proof is on Youtube and in many citizens' speeches and letters.
    If you have proof that he did not lie, show it.

  61. It is a perfect response - pity Joe, the victim, the pathetic little innocent that the big bullies are pushing around. Forget that he and his supporters are the real bullies.

  62. Wow! just wow.

  63. 5:11, when did you move to town, or are you even in town?Mosca's big lie has been common knowledge since he voted against the resolution for the citizens' right to vote, and suggested "other ways" after telling people he was for the right to vote.Happened four years ago!!!!Immortalized on Neuroblast,"Joe Mosca Flip Flop in Four Minutes"