Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thank You For A Great Week Of Blogging

It was quite a week on The Tattler. We broke some big stories, attracted the attention of local mainstream media, and in the process brought a lot of traffic to this site. According to the "Stats Tracker " that the Blogger (Google) people gave me recently, we racked up over 8,000 "Page Views" in the last week, and 400 plus reader comments. All in a town of less than 11,000 people. These are very impressive numbers.

Which means that there really is a place for investigative news reporting in this town. When we began this site in December of 2008, the three existing Sierra Madre news outlets were not performing that function. Nor are they now, for that matter. What has passed for news coverage here for too long has consisted mostly of reprinting press releases written about the affairs and opinions of the same 20 or so people. All of whom are in complete lockstep agreement with each other about the big development pressures facing this town. Week after week. It is as if the other 10,480 people in this town, along with their viewpoints, don't even exist.

Again, thanks. Without you there would be little point in doing this. When the people of cities such as ours stand up for their interests, and speak their minds, we become stronger as communities.

And by the way, there really is a lot of this sort of thing going on in California right now. We live in what is perhaps the worst governed state in the U.S., and we've seen how the sad effects of that can filter down to the local level. Massive deficits and spending, the crisis in our public schools, industrial flight, an unemployment rate that continues to soar, and a pay-to-play regime in Sacramento that presumes to tell cities such as ours how we must change the basic design structures of our communities so that they can honor agreements made with the lobbyists that enrich them, all have contributed to this rising sense that we really need to start speaking up for ourselves.

Certainly the traditional news venues no longer seem willing to do it.

The Sierra Madre Tattler is all about giving you the chance to speak up and be heard. The amount of information received from residents and readers here that is used in our stories is far greater than you might think. And we do it in a way that protects the privacy of all who wish it. This blog does not accept advertising or cash contributions of any kind. Certainly we don't get money from the City. We are beholden to no special interests or industries. We answer only to you.

It is an honor and a privilege. See you again on Monday.


  1. Thanks to you, John the other papers are starting to take notice. The Star News reporter was even at our Planning Commission meeting on Thursday. Her deadline was past before they made a final decision on the Canyon Zone update, but at least we have caught the interest of those other than our biased papers that claim to print all the local news. Keep up the good work.

  2. The Tattler has provided a catalyst for those of us who know what is not right with Sierra Madre but didn't know how to join together to make it right. This little box I'm typing in is waaaaay tooooo small to begin to list the the victories of the last couple of years. True, some were not of the complete drive 'em into the dust never to rise again variety, but do you think for a moment the CC-1 would be parading their dog and pony if it weren't for the Tattlers organizing a protest? Join with us daily to bite butts and nip heels in our pursuit of what is good about our three square miles of Wistaria tinted heaven.

    John, every day I say a little prayer for you and yours to keep you safe and your brain in overdrive. Such wit and intellect are rare. I've made a mental note to add to my utterances a plea to watch over your cycling as well. Sorry for the bit of bad luck but amazed in how it contributed in ways mysterious. only obvious now that the stats are out, for the period of convalescence.

  3. I have been suggesting that John Crawford start running ads, due to the large volume of readership of this blog. He could make a nice profit.

    Despite my suggestion, John has refused to consider this. John Crawford is a working man with a family. In yet, he continues to stand by his pledge to serve this community with only unbiased truth. You can't do that with dozens of real estate ads, as most of our local press prove.
    That said, Old Kentucky still feels Crawford, while correct not to accept real estate ads, should accept small business ads, for a modest fee.
    We still have integrous small business and even large business who don't support massive development /higher taxes, at the expense of Sierra Madre and other residents of the area.
    I still recall friends from Arcadia and surrounding areas who told me "please don't let them change/over develop beautiful little Sierra Madre". These people come into town for the atmosphere here. They will stop coming if a DSP gets put back in.

    Thank you Crawford for your unselfish service to the community. You are teaching your children good values! You are teaching a lot of us, good values.

  4. The eloquence of the previous posts forced me to borrow from someone else and the first thing that came to mind was: "One man with courage makes a majority." (1832) The other quotations attributed to Andrew Jackson have got my American adrenaline pumping like the Zimmerman/Crawford Watergate Letter.
    "There are no necessary evils in government." ( July 10, 1832)
    "The right of resisting oppression is a natural right." (December 14, 1832)
    "If he [the President] speaks to Congress, it must be in the language of truth." (October 27, 1834)
    Death to tyrants.

  5. Don't forget the other two important names on the Watergate Letter: Anita Delmar and John Hermann. Also, there are researchers who help from behind the scene. "Never underestimate that a small thoughtful group of people could change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead.

  6. I hope next week is as informative as this last week.

    I've been talking to friends and we are all anxious to learn more.

    Thanks, Mr. Mod.

  7. For you lawyers who can't quite understand simple English like get your filthy development hands out of my pockets, here is the above sentiment (Death to tyrants) in Latin: SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS. (And yes, Sandy, the word "death" does not appear in that phrase, it is implied. Review the Great Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, with the king prostrate under the foot of the citizen--not the other way around.)

  8. Reader of John and more....September 18, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    Yes Thank you John. You do not put a spin on any of your news. You research your story's from every point of view you can find. You do not use emotional appeals and folksy down home tricks. You do not use false endorsements, and you do not use stereotypes. You do not use Jesus and excuse other people's behavior, because they love Jesus and KNOW what the bible says.

    You present the facts, nothing is made up, and we can prove what we read.

    What a joy to have a truly honest well educated and well read journalist, who can also back up what he says with a great conversation.

    You should have a television and radio show too.
    We are lucky to have you!
    Thank you for your passion for the truth!

  9. Aristotle endorsed the rule of law, writing that "law should govern", and those in power should be "servants of the laws."

    Has our CC ever been servants of the law? Or do they just twist them around whenever they please?

    The water bond...the General Plan Committee, Prop 218, the list goes on.....


    do they know the Rule of Law?

  10. John and Joe are interested in their careers first, and then the needs of those people who will help them advance their careers. Who, of course, rate John and Joe by their ability to help them make money. The people who happen to live here are the work-a-round.

    Typical California politicians.

  11. Yes, integrous is a wordSeptember 18, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    There was a time... 2008 to 2010, when the City Council led by Zimmerman and MacGillivray, aided by Don Watts, served the law and the people of Sierra Madre. Only time in my memory that the majority rule was integrous, honest, and lawful.

  12. We have several superior lawyers (as in honest) who are posters and/or readers of this board.

    We are very fortunate to have them interested in Sierra Madre.

    I don't judge all attorneys by a few bad apples in this town who happen to be lawyers or former lawyers who are now in publicity/public relations for their big energy employeers, and moonlight as wonks for the crooks in Sacramento.
    I don't respect Sandra Levin, because she supports the big development interests who pay some of her salary. We, the people also help pay your salary, Sandy Levin, and I am offended that you do not stick up for us, to the point of even breaking the law?

    Shame on you attorneys who have no respect for the rule of law, only making $$$$....NO MATTER WHAT.
    You will have to answer to this bad karma you are stacking up.

  13. Hail to the Tattler!!
    The alliance we are confronting is between City Administrations (seeking money, pensions, and larger city upward mobility). City Attorneys coordinating State Legislators and Developer Agendas (greased with lobby funds). City Councils who are opportunists getting money through the back door. And Consultant products created because of insecurity and incompetence in City Operations.

    We are confronting a "Cash Cow" dipped into by unsscrupulous individuals, Corporations, and City Administrations, who have little interest in our City welfare or the quality of its future.

    I marvel at what the internet has enabled us to do. The Tattler is breaking new ground and the best is yet to come!

  14. John, I cannot imagine the work load you have with a full time successful career and full time writing to save your town.
    But I also know you must sleep soundly, having actualized your gifts, and fulfilled the wise dictate to Speak Truth to Power.
    It is the residents of Sierra Madre who owe you thanks.

  15. Lawyers is as lawyers does.

  16. John, thank you for all you do. You have helped with elections to ordinances (no smoking) and continue to keep everyone up to date. Thank you for your efforts...the time and energy you devote to this site is a blessing.

  17. 10:38, great summary - city administrators, attorneys, councils, consultants, CAACC, AACCC, CACCA!
    Yes, we are fighting CACAA

  18. There are good lawyers, too. Ever heard of something called Measure V?

  19. While there might be parts of the Tattler that are a team effort, there has to be a strong leader to do the heavy lifting.That's you Crawford.

  20. Right now about all I can lift is a coffee cup.

  21. 10:50!
    Yes, we sure remember Kurt Zimmerman and Chris Sutton, a couple of SUPER LAWYERS!!

    Let's also add 2 more ( who must remain anonymous) who helped us plenty throughout Measure V fight, and like Kurt Zimerman, they didn't have to, and they didn't get paid. And thanks to Mr. Sutton and his staff, who really gave SMRRD their money's worth and won us a top class victory for a very square price. You people are the best!

    Yes, there are some very good people who are lawyers who also live in Sierra Madre.
    I know at least 2 more who post on this board, who don't have to bother, they are busy and successful people, but they do it because it is the right thing.
    You guys know who you are, thanks.

  22. This is what is so awesome about men and women like Kurt Zimmerman, Don Watts, MaryAnn MacGillivray,all our wonderful public speakers, Fay Angus, Teryl Willis, Barbara Leigh, Heather Allen, Carol Parker, John Herrmann, Anita Delmer, Barbara and Lee Cline, De and Pat Alcorn, Caroline Brown and many others. Dave the Neuroblast guy, and of course our fantastic "Mod" John Crawford. All of you people are gifts, you're all wonderful integrous people. They didn't have to get involved but they did, because it was the right thing to do.
    And I sure don't want to forget Nancy Shollenberg, Nancy is our elected city clerk, who does get a migrant fruit pickers salary, just like the honest council members, Kurt, Don, MaryAnn get. None of these individuals do this for the money. They don't serve their community because of any selfish hidden agenda. They do it because it's the right thing to do. They don't have to.....they don't have to....but they do.

    THANKS, thanks to all of you.

  23. Concerned Sierra Madre ResidentSeptember 18, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    I just read Terry Miller's strange article about the water rate letter posted on this blog earlier in the week. He says a "former councilmember who was overwhelmingly defeated in the last election" spoke at last Tuesday's City Council meeting about the letter, along with the signatories. I watched that meeting and I can recall no such thing happening. The letter was read by someone during public comment, but not by any former councilmember or one of the signers. And then it was just the one person.

    Is there something about Terry Miller that I should know about? Can he really be qualified to be running the Beacon Media family of papers? Including the once respectable Sierra Madre Weekly?

  24. Well, Sir Eric (for that's how I still think of you), well done. And please keep doing this. I have to say that this town has operated on a grapevine for a long time because the newspapers here have never had the spine to go against The Establishment. So thanks for your commitment to good old investigative journalism. One of the reasons your blog is so popular is that people know they can come here for the straight story--something sorely missing elsewhere.

  25. Yeah, 2:10 pm. There IS something you should know about Terry Miller, but I can't print it here. Crawford won't post it, even though I'm sure he knows it's true. Crawford's Tattler has certain civility and moral guidelines. Some things we just can't say.

    I can tell you is Terry Miller is a good friend of Joe Mosca and he certainly is not qualified to write that paper, and is so inept, he's a joke.
    Kind of a Josh Moran type.
    I hope you write a letter to that paper complaining of his fallacious statements, that he passes off as "news". He's actually worse than Henderson, well, maybe about equal.

  26. If people dare write the "truth" about another person it is called SLANDER.

    How fortunate we are that the TRUTH is PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE about the liar and thief Susan Harriet Henderson. How she shows her face around town speaks volumes about her lack of character.

    I, myself, know nothing of Terry Miller. How did Joe become connected to people so fast with his lack of character. People have a right to know who the people are behind the mask of the news and the journalists.

    Free speech is never free. Few Americans really understands this concept. Too bad our educational system does not REQUIRE EVERYONE to take a year in government including Freedom of Religion and Speech.

  27. Sierra Madre has no newspapers.

  28. Mod, censor this if you must, I hate pornographySeptember 18, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  29. I think Sir Eric, in view of the fact that he's not serving on the City Council, should establish a paper for the City of Sierra Madre, and get the adjudication status for its publication as a bona fide local news source.

  30. 6:53 - I had to take that one out. It might lead people to some pretty unfortunate stuff, and then I'd be in twubble. But it is a hell of a tip, so I thank you. Trust me, I will follow up.

  31. Digging thru the public web as 6:53 did is tantamount to taking a machete in the Amazon forest without a compass or a map. Sometimes you hit stuff that's still floating around, but was never really true. Other times it's sort of true but unverifiable. Every once in awhile you get eaten by Piranhas...

    True investigative reporting is real hard to come by nowadays, no budgets for that kind of a time sink and resource mining. Glad you're up to it, John!

  32. I trust you with my lifeSeptember 18, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    I am glad you did, that is the nastiest stuff I have ever seen. I saved the one page to email you, it looks like one thing but feels like coded communication that thread runs through several of those little stories, I wasn't going to join to search you know who. the tip of an iceberg. It was written recently but the repeated issues happened a few years back? Strange..

  33. Discretion is the better part of ValorSeptember 18, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    8:24, I think you meant well. I have a machete on my microwave, I have public record microfiche that go back to 1966. I would not give any of you anything that was not verifiable. But I don't know how to cook Piranhas. If you read that, you would know how embarassing it will be to several authoritative groups. Time sinks? Truth Floats..
    But if you are going to pretend I am in the amazon with a machete, I want an Indiana Jones hat too. Go with God and Thank you John for this rare moment in time, and your discretion

  34. For years, Terry Miller was the $ 25 per shot photographer for the Weakly and with the revolving door of Editors at the Weakly exhausted, the paper just handed over the reigns to yet another non-qualifed person, which again, the paper is nothing but an cheap advertising vehicle, a stumble step up from the Penny Saver.

    It's amazing to me that Miller and Henderson actually belive they have talent and people care what they have to say.

    You can't take them seriously, given we all know both of their backgrounds.

    Henderson's self proclaimed background history is full of deceit and fraud.

    Miller is just a hack photograhper given a job nobody else would take for the rate of pay.

    An Assistant Manager at McDonalds make more than Miller as Editor of the Weakly, so that should tell you something.

  35. Even then Beacon Media doesn't get their money's worth...

  36. Can we have some input and dialog on the zoning variance for the lot at the top of Camllo? Its the last lot on Camillo and the first lot at the top of Stonegulch. I remember something about "test drilling" at the sight because a house on the lot was shifting and problems resulted for the house. I think it was torn down. In its infinate desire to increase the tax base Danny Castro has found "nothing inapproprate" (my take) with a 3,910 sq ft house on a street which averages 2,100 square houses.
    If built we might request that the City contract for a house moving to Arcadia where they adore those mausoleums. Up there it should be visable from DT LA.