Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Susan Henderson Attempts to Rewrite the History of Her Newspaper

Those who study the past are aware of former Soviet Dictator Josef Stalin's unfortunate penchant for rewriting history. And in particular having anyone he deemed no longer politically worthy of any form of recognition not only completely scrubbed from the records, but also having their likenesses airbrushed from official photographs as well. We have provided an example here.

Now most people in town know just how terribly sensitive Mountain Views News publisher Susan Henderson is about having her colorful history discussed. Her fall from grace as the #2 official in the California Democratic Party in 1995 has been recounted before. Revelations regarding fabrications on her resume' (Susan possesses neither the law degree or MBA she claimed), or the use of the Democratic Party's credit card for such things as golf junkets and Victoria's Secret purchases, have been weighed here as well. Many people in the course of their lives lose jobs, of course. But rarely for reasons quite as embarrassing as these.

But apparently there is something else that Susan would prefer to not hear talked about, and that is the actual origins of the paper she publishes. In an op-ed piece in this weekend's MVN Susan proudly crows about her paper's latest anniversary. Which is either the 4th or 5th depending on how you're counting. And there, amidst all the name dropping and other self-serving malarkey, is this rather preposterous claim:

In August 2007, I, Mountain Views News Publisher and Editor, Susan Henderson, embarked on an ambitious endeavor by creating this publication, a community newspaper committed to providing news, not gossip or innuendo, to Sierra Madre, Pasadena, Altadena, Monrovia and Arcadia.

Now the "not gossip or innuendo" bit is rather revealing in a Freudian slip kind of way. Can you imagine the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, or even the Pasadena Star News feeling the need to proclaim - and in a celebratory anniversary op-ed no less - that what they print is actually true? A newspaper confident about the veracity of its reporting would never need to justify itself in so peculiar a manner. Of course, anyone familiar with the gross inaccuracies contained in the Mountain Views News attacks on Sierra Madre's City Clerk, as a recent example, should understand why Susan might need to deny something so clearly obvious to many.

The paper now known as the Mountain Views News did not get its start in August of 2007 as Susan claims. Rather it was first launched on October 1, 2006 as The Mt. Wilson Observer. It was on that date Katina Dunn and Susan Henderson, after having left the Sierra Madre Weekly, set out to bring this community the kind of coverage it hadn't seen much of in the previous 5 years. That being reporting free from the suffocating influence of large corporate developers, realty and utility interests that control so much of what passes for news in the San Gabriel Valley. That the Observer's truth-telling was successful can be seen in the passage of Measure V, the historic development initiative that wrested control of this community's future away from those same powerful economic interests. Interests that spent well over $170,000 in their failed attempt to defeat it.

However, it was an alliance that wouldn't last. Due to Susan's repeated failures to honor her financial obligations in this business partnership, Katina Dunn was forced to take Ms. Henderson to Court. And in a devastating denunciation of the defendant's often surreal claims by California Superior Court Judge Edward C. Simpson, the case was decided on behalf of the Plaintiff. Here is that decision verbatim:

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

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 and Hahn. Defendant, 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 News 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

Based on what you can read in this decision by Judge Simpson, Susan Henderson's "ambitious endeavor" to create a newspaper in August of 2007 (one that in many ways already existed) turns out to be something decidedly different from what she is now claiming. Rather it was about the collapse of a business partnership with Katina Dunn, due almost exclusively to Henderson's refusal to pay her fair share of the costs associated with running a weekly newspaper. A failure which led Judge Simpson to hit Henderson with an almost $42,000 judgement. Most of which reportedly remains unpaid nearly two years later.

And while Susan declares today that she was being "ambitious' in August of 2007, in December of 2008 Judge Simpson declared her "endeavor" a "misappropriation" as key aspects of the paper she was by then publishing were not legally hers to use. They belonged to Katina. Misappropriation in this case being perhaps the politest of the words available to describe so unfortunate an occurrence.

It is no wonder Henderson felt the need to airbrush so inconvenient a person as Katina Dunn out of her fanciful account of this paper's creation. And while this is obviously another of Susan's cyclical pleas for respect, I can't see how anyone aware of the facts could ever fall for it.

One more point

In the not too distant future the paper now known as the Mountain Views News will be up for a new contract with the City. The money the MVN is provided by City Hall being pretty much what keeps it afloat. Given the predilection of this paper's publisher to repeatedly launch nasty and untrue attacks on both taxpayers and those elected officials who do not agree with the pro-development majority on the City Council, it must now be asked if perhaps there is another agenda at work beyond the mere printing of legal advertising. Face it, you'd have to look hard and long to find another adjudicated local weekly newspaper in this country that publishes the kinds of ugly attacks found in the MVN. This is hardly business as usual in America.

One of the obligations of any City Council is moral leadership. If ours should choose to continue to fund this paper or, as rumor has it, even reward it with a raise, then it must be assumed that what is published there is done with the sanction of both the City Council and City Staff.

After all, these jobs do come with responsibilities. It is time they lived up to one of them. And isn't this City Council all about fostering civility? I'd hate to think that they're breaking all of their campaign promises this soon.


  1. Susan {Harriet Poole} Henderson, only lies when her lips are moving.

  2. You give her too much credit, Dave at 7:19
    Harriet Poole lies when she is speaking, when she is typing, when she is thinking, when she is dreaming.
    Harriet (aka Susan Henderson) IS A LIE!

    Sadly, so is the gang of 4, Buchanan, Mosca, Moran and Walsh. They will give her another contract.

  3. The point about other cities not having an abusive adjudicated paper is a good one. Why is it we have this situation and other towns don't?

  4. The residents of the city of Bell are out gathering signatures to RECALL 4 of their 5 city council members.
    Sounds like that would be a good idea in Sierra Madre, it these DEVELOPMENT pimps don't start voting on behalf of the residents here in Sierra Madre.

  5. The City completely hid our outrageous water bond debt from the rate payers when they sent out the rate hike notice. They said it was all about pipes. They thought they could get away with it but they did not. Cover ups are always worse than the crime.

  6. that Susan Henderson sure can lie can't she?

    I think I'll go downtown and to the library and pick up a half dozen of her so-called paper and toss in the trash

  7. how many of our 400 year old water pipes have burst in the last couple months since the petition exposed the tax hike for what it actually was and still is?

  8. if DEUX AMIS means two friends, imagine what Henderson will do or say to and about her enemies?

    she has called us Sierra Madrean, freeloaders, racist, bigoted, liars and made up stories about Jewish grandmothers who have assaulted her and lied about her own past etc etc etc

    she's a nut.

  9. Hi Tatts, hi Dear Editor, hope you had a great rest, looks like it did good. This is a great story. I am in a little internet cafe called "The Rock" in Tahlequah OK.

    For the record, I have only seen innuendo and malicious gossip pour out of that morally bankrupt rag under the guise of editorialism by Ms. Susan Henderson aka Harriet Poole. I have no idea why anyone or any city would sponsor or contribute funds or advertise in it.

    Any business entity with ethics would not. Skunks have a better odor than that paper.

  10. Fraud and deceit..Institutionalize "Gangsterism"apparently has become common over the years within Sierra Madre.A Community which is being fleeced by Special Interest Land Developers and their cohorts and led by the nose by opportunist within City Hall and City Council.Time to turn the lights on and clean the Special Interest roaches out!Thank you, Sir Eric, for Turning The Lights On.It is a sickening spectacle.

  11. Unfortunately her's is the only adjudicated newspaper in town, but a raise? Give me a break. By the way, the Council threw CIVILITY out the window the first council meeting they attended with their uncivil supporters. " That first meeting was a disgrace the way the crowd hissed and booed at some of the speakers, and that disgusting attack on MaryAnn. Think of all the uncivil things they have done since April. The most egregious -- saying committees are not legal because they had the opponents yard signs at their houses, and that their friends don't want to attend the GPU meetings because they are "afraid". Whew, what civility is that? I thought they were supposed to be representing all of Sierra Madre, not just their friends.

  12. A special request to Tattlers:

    Our beloved "Mod" has been injured in a bike accident.
    He'll spend the next few weeks taking care of a painful injury. Tattler will be spotty for a while, as he is typing with his left hand only.
    Please send healing prayers to John. Speedy recovery to you, big guy!

  13. This "gangsterism" is grotesque and will probably be a prime example down the road of corporate takeover methods in the San Gabriel Valley. In the annals of history along with Bell and Vernon. Wait 'till the newspapers get ahold of the entire daisy chain going up to Sacramento and DC via County and Police/Fire/Labor.

  14. Too bad the city could not be required to pay (Ms. Henderson for running the city legals) directly toward the fine that was the judgement of $40,000.00 +/- to Katina Dunn as well as the money owed the house keeper that Ms. Henderson stiffed.

  15. Maybe Henderson's 'pay' should be garnished until the judgement is fully paid off.

  16. Looks like the time for G4 is getting near the City of Bell...........arrogance is so blind.

  17. To say that Susan's paper isn't a political tool of City Hall is naive. But our money shouldn't be used to pay for it.

  18. I hope your full recovery is successful... When I broke my right arm I found that it was an opportunity to develop the other side of my brain. I actually continue today to use my left hand. Also thank you for the very interesting "readings" quote. Is it from a particular lecture or book? Take good care of yourself. Thank you.

  19. Damn it, John! Tough luck,
    get better soon, friend.
    We need you!

  20. As we make the running dash the finish line, remember we all are a sum of each move we make. Some glorious and some not so much so. She should pay her debt and move on. Life is short.

  21. So, we talk to each other about the sins of Henderson and we all agree. Who is going to talk to the G4 and convince them they are not civil and ethical to the people of SM by giving Susan a raise and that they are NOT representing anyone but themselves? Everyone in town knows that Susan takes orders froom John and Joe, which is why she is in business. Time for J and J to use the rare honesty they do not possess and make her pay the Dunns (what an act of civility) and then head for the hills.

    She represents their evil. Aren't they embarrassed? Guess not.......

  22. That is the big question, P. Is what she says her madness alone, or is it done because she wants to please her paymasters? Got to be the latter I say.

  23. Henderson is a sociopath. Pure and simple. A clever one, yes, a dangerous one, yes. She hurts people, with her cheating, lying and racism.
    The fact that the gang of 4 is in cahoots with her, says it all.
    The fact that MaryAnn MacGillivray never gave her as much as an interview, speaks volumes.
    MaryAnn is an honest person. What was it Will Rogers always said? "Can't fool an honest man". In this case Harriet Poole aka Susan Henderson, couldn't fool an honest woman, that being our former beloved Mayor, MaryAnn MacGillivray, a dedicated public servant and patriot, not a politician beholden to special interests of the over-development types.

    The day the gang of 4 took over the city council will prove to be a very unfortunate event to happen to this city. They will take control of the General Plan Committee, they will trash the Canyon Zone Committee's plans. and last but not least they will bring back the dreaded DSP. Something building association pimp, Bart Doyle has been working for all these years.
    Didn't one of the GP Committee members request that Bart Doyle be called upon to "speak" to the committee and the public on the issue of the General Plan?
    Isn't that equivalent to the "fox in the hen house"?

    We are in deep trouble, Sierra Madre.

  24. Sierra Madre is a beautiful little town that is run by some very strange people.

  25. To set the record straight, 7:45 am, several meetings ago a Councilmember suggested that the GPU Committee talk with former GP Committee members to get their imput on an update. That having been said, the GPU Committee is making contact with former GP Comittee members. To the best of my knowledge Bart Doyle is a resident of Sierra Madre, a former member of the General Plan Committee, and although unpopular with some elements in town, entitled to have a say in the "People's Document". Don't undermine the good work Denise Delmar is doing with her Steering Committee and give the City Council reason to dismantle the Steering Committee as biased and partisan.

  26. The city council has already made it clear that they do not trust the sitting members of the General Plan Steering Committee. That is why they are adding four new members. Perhaps Mr. Doyle will apply. That would no doubt delight the pro-development majority of the council.

  27. still read the papers, but not that oneSeptember 9, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    From a study by Stajano and Wilson on 7 psychological principles cons exploit:
    The distraction principle: While you are distracted by what retains your interest, hustlers can do anything to you and you won’t notice.
    The social compliance principle: Society trains people not to question authority. Hustlers exploit this “suspension of suspiciousness” to make you do what they want.
    The herd principle: Even suspicious marks will let their guard down when everyone next to them appears to share the same risks. Safety in numbers? Not if they’re all conspiring against you.
    The dishonesty principle: Anything illegal you do will be used against you by the fraudster, making it harder for you to seek help once you realize you’ve been had.
    The deception principle: Things and people are not what they seem. Hustlers know how to manipulate you to make you believe that they are.
    The need and greed principle: Your needs and desires make you vulnerable. Once hustlers know what you really want, they can easily manipulate you.
    The Time principle: When you are under time pressure to make an important choice, you use a different decision strategy. Hustlers steer you towards a strategy involving less reasoning.

  28. 7:45
    There is no fox in the hen house.

    Every person in Sierra Madre has a right to have their opinions voiced whether you agree with them or not. The General Plan Outreach Volunteers are doing their best to reach everyone in this city. You must attend the meetings in order to be heard. Posting innuendos about the members of the steering committee is not only detrimental to the committee it doesn’t get you anywhere. So if you want Sierra Madre to be a place where future generations will want to raise their children, come to the meetings and be involved. Stop your uncalled for rants on the blog and really do something productive.

  29. been there, done thatSeptember 9, 2010 at 11:29 AM

    Henderson is really good at the Deception and the Need and Greed - she makes people feel like they are the cool ones hanging out with her.

  30. Sue's not shabby at the social compliance principle and the herd principle stuff.
    Don't forget, she has risen up the social ladder to be the grand pooh bah.

  31. Rumor has it that Mr. Doyle has been involved in many aspects of Sierra Madre government for a long time, behnd the scenes. If true, it might be an improvement to have his contributions be made out in the open.....

  32. What I've heard about Bart Doyle is he was the CFO in that corrupt Titan mess in El Monte, he was or is an attorney for the Building Industry Association, he was plastered at a planning commission meeting some years back and yelling, and that he was a chief player in the bonds for SM water, the consequences that we're struggling with now.
    Not a whole lot of upbeat rumors about the guy.
    Sounds perfect for the general plan.

  33. I don't want to come off as sounding too cynical, but the GPSC is pretty much our House of Lords. It has no power to enforce any of its desires, with the City Council holding all the real cards. There are other, and better, ways to preserve this town. Besides, doesn't Coburn's frantic involvement tell you something? He's hardly the kind of dog to stray very far from the shiny dinner bowl Bart has orivided for him.

  34. Ooooh 11:44, cynical, or realistic?
    I'm gonna vote "realistic."
    The chief political activity in this little village is staging dog and pony shows.
    The only real power folks have is door to door, neighbor to neighbor.
    Any General Plan that doesn't groove the way Buchanan and Mosca want it to groove is dead already.

  35. The only thing this City Council fears are recalls, voter initiatives, and signed petitions. The water protest showed that. The Gang of 4 doesn't give a bucket of wax what you think or say. They work for the big money people only.

    Try to work with them and you end up working for them.

  36. You are right, 10:33. Bart Doyle lives in Sierra Madre, most likely follows the City Council on TV, and reads the newspapers. IF he wanted to get involved in the GPU Committee he would have been attending meetings, giving input, and generally make his opinion known. One member of the Committee called him over a year ago, spoke with him over 2 hours, has copious notes and is willing to share, when given a chance to do so. As a member of the community, Mr. Doyle does not need an engraved invitation to attend any or all meetings, but can attend any time he wishes.

  37. This town has a lot of nincompoops in decision making roles, but hey, whatcha gonna do?
    It is that way, so we'll just have to muddle through as best we can.
    At least the dreadful specific plan that would have sent downtown the way of the water system, teetering on financial ruin, was squashed.
    The plan by the downtown investors might be to bring it back, but I don't think they'd be able to fool the majority of the residents again.

  38. What a pity.
    The General Plan Update folks are working hard, the volunteers are working hard, there is genuine community involvement, and a sincere effort to get everyone's point of view - and at the end of the day the only points of view that will matter belong to Walsh, Moran, Buchanan and Mosca.
    It's a pity.

  39. 3:17, I hope that's true about the residents not being fooled. Recent history does not support that conclusion.

  40. Sierra Madre has become a microcosm of the kinds of trouble democracy finds itself in this country. People no longer have the will or necessary intellect to understand the issues. They no longer understand where their real interests lie. So they end up voting for shallow phonies like Mosca or Buchanan. And after getting plucked like fat chickens they can't for the life of them figure out how it happened.

  41. Their Popularity is dyingSeptember 9, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    Do not be so sure people have been swayed by the gang of 4. Mosca, Buchanan Walsh and Moran have not convinced many and the walk of the water did more to convince the residents that those 4 did not run with the people in mind, but with their sleazy pockets in mind.

    Bart Doyle's influence is slowly running out of water.......he has too many bad choices in his past. Not many folks could have much nice to say about El Monte, Moran, or Walsh, plus his growing lack of common sense.

  42. In 2003 then Mayor Bart Doyle worked a deal that involved a little under $7 million dollars in water bonds. The total debt load to Sierra Madre was $13 million dollars to term. Anybody know where that money was spent? Certainly didn't go towards fixing any pipes.

  43. You can always spot an article by Susan Henderson. The writing is on the level of a special needs third grader.