Saturday, June 16, 2012

When Will Mother Moo's Cow Come Home?

It is the cow theft that rocked the world. From the humble tinkle-belled bovine buddy of the ice cream loving children of Sierra Madre to a crime victim of near global repute, and the object of a media blitz that has clawed at the hearts of millions. No tragedy speaks to the agony and outrage of the residents of this sleepy foothill city in the San Gabriel Valley more than the sight of this beloved mascot for idiosyncratic ice cream being lugged down our midnight shrouded walkways by a likely drunken miscreant of a thief that we now all know by sight, yet cannot seem to hang a name on.

She is an infamous and mysterious perpetrator, one who has so obviously walked our streets, yet we cannot quite place. Known yet unknown, the faithless stranger who came to partake in the bibulous joys of the Sierra Madre nightlife, yet once she was done with that stole our hearts. And not in the good way.

Purple prose aside, this really is quite an event. Kersting Court was clogged with news vans last evening, eager to get in on the Tragedy of Moo. Scouting the scene from the seat of my bicycle, I got to hear some of the questions being asked of our local folks as they walked by. "What do you think about somebody stealing Mother Moo's cow," the gentleman from KCAL 9 asked one busy mother with two tykes in tow. And then, to one of her small daughters, "Does it make you sad that the cow is gone?" The little girl nodded yes, it really did. And that isn't right, either. Then they went inside for some ice cream.

Mother Moo's Creamery itself was packed. While the loss of the cow certainly is having an emotional effect on the owner of the emporium, and after all nobody likes having things stolen from them, it certainly has not been bad for business. News of what happened there has spread like wildfire, whipped into a frenzy by a full blown media maelstrom, and the town has turned out to show its support. All while enjoying large cups filled with some delicious and at times unique ice cream.

The shop has also become the recipient of millions of dollars in free publicity. This story made all the Eyewitless News style TV broadcasts last night. It is just the kind of human interest story that appeals to the folks who watch those shows. And the ratings conscious news jockeys who pilot these infotainment revues gave the people just what they want. From a relatively new business here in town, Mother Moo's has now seen itself billed as a beloved local institution, one that has become the victim of a heartless crime. The nation in turn cries out in its shared pain.

This could end up being the most successful - if unintentional - business promotion in Sierra Madre history. Let's just hope somebody doesn't decide it would be smart to arrange the theft of a certain Wistaria vine.

Here is how CBS TV News transcribed their report on the station's website (click here):

There are crimes of passion and crimes of the heart - but rarely do you have a crime involving the theft of a plastic cow. Until now. How now stolen cow?

The cow was a small plastic fixture at Mother Moo Creamery, a local ice cream shop in Sierra Madre. The owner tells KCAL9 and CBS2 reporter Edward Lawrence that kids loved her.

Police have released surveillance video showing the bovine bandit. And the owner tells Lawrence he has no idea why someone would want to steal the figurine. Sierra Madre police said an unidentified woman came to the front of the store about 12:30 in the morning.

And it's all residents in the area can talk about.

Indeed. Now this wouldn't be a Tattler report if we didn't have just a little bit of social criticism to offer you this fine Saturday morning. After all, that is what we do here.

What if all the news vans had shown up on our streets when it was discovered that the City had lied about the reasons for ramming through the contentious and highly unpopular water rate hike of a couple years back? Would that kind of news exposure shamed our public officials into doing the right thing?

Or what if they were to come here over the next few weeks to report on the outrageous and quite possibly illegal attempt by local real estate hustlers and the sleazy politicians they control to steal the hard won rights of Sierra Madre's residents to vote on downtown development? Given that kind of media scrutiny, do you think they'd be able to pull it off? Despite the machinations of all their dishonest lawyers?

But I guess that isn't how you sell TV advertising to Sit 'N Sleep and Rusnak Mercedes Benz. It isn't what people look for when they tune into the local news. It's not what residents in the area can talk about.

I hope the cow comes home. I've been robbed, too. As have more people in this town than anyone seems to know. Maybe that is a cause for all of the outrage. Perhaps it's the anger of a shared painful experience.

We can hope.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

47 comments:

  1. For once I thought a nice fun story on the Tattler but know it had to become another attack on something just like the post before which
    had some attacks on the store and the wrong person somebody thought was the owner.

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    1. A nice story about somebody being robbed? Do tell.

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    2. Stop whining, 7:11.

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    3. There is a difference between the Tattler 'stories' as you call them, and the comments. I agree with you about that comment yesterday - but I don't read the Tattler for the fun stories. I read it for accurate information about local government. And this site is where I hope to read that the drunk thief has been identified and arrested for petty theft.

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    4. It was probably a plant from the old Elizabeth Wistar crowd. That's the dirty kind of dirty politics they play.

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    5. Good thing to mention her/him - otherwise, no one would think of her/him, at all.

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    6. My favorite part of the whole Wistar thing is when she/he/it whined that it couldn't keep up with the Tattler's posting pace and called it quits. Whoever it was, and I'd bet it was a committee with one person who actually did some work, it was one of the lamest election strategies ever. They got beat like a tom tom.

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  2. Yes, a local business got robbed. It's the feel good story of 2012.

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  3. I nominate The Moderator for the Pulitizer Prize. The first pargraph of this article is one of the best pieces of writing I have ever read. Way to go, Mod!

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  4. Has anybody checked Craigslist or EBay for this cow? Maybe under collectibles?

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  5. The problem in our town is that nobody noticed the people are about to be robbed of a measure v vote on the ALF instead we worry over a stolen cow!
    Let's bite the "bullet" and bring in expd chief Diaz to head up investigation! Besides it will stop her from screwing up town on the advisory board! All said and done my money is on Neil. Has anyone checked his pig pen?

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  6. It is rumored the cow is being held for ransom.

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    1. Pay the ransome, we want the cow in the 4th of July parade...oh wait, Matt Bosse and Joe Mosca have left town. Maybe they will return for the parade and be the "grand marshalls". If not, perhaps their friend Matheson will be named.

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    2. I heard that Matheson will be in the parade riding on the back of an elephant.

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    3. The Grand Marshalls for this year's 4th of July Parade have been chosen: the owners of the Wistaria Vine. And a good choice it is.

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  7. If we could just bring more business to town, we could continue to raise our crime rate, then we could be proud of ourselves, and get that one-tenth of one percent sales tax revenue that some of you won't shut up about.

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  8. Back a bit: on the confusion on the two Karens, Clemmons and Klemmons (I don't have the spelling in front of me, so let it go) I would just hazzard a guess that the question was asked by a person with the history of the one, not even knowing the Moo gal by name until the moo-theft and no boycotting of the creamery was undertaken what-so-ever.

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    1. Petty local squabbles and resentments between certain unhappy residents do get their day in the sun here. Some people say they don't like it, but they keep coming back. Which is a shame if you think about it.

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    2. Speaking of which, I saw nancy Walsh downtown yesterday. And uncomfortably close up. too. That woman is built like a lineman for the Packers. I would not want to wrestle with her, no sirree.

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    3. As a result of the free buffets that of which she partakes, no doubt. Maybe the branding of Sierra Madre should be a more literal interpretation, like on the flanks of its more corpulent residents...

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    4. What are you, 9:48? A skinny little sissy? It's comments like yours that take us back to 6th grade.
      How many times do people need to say "Fatty fatty" or "Olive Oil" before they get over it.
      How about commenting on Walsh's political decisions, which are terrible, and leave her physical appearance out of it.

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    5. Hey! I'm just saying!

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  9. I do feel sorry for the owner of the cow and her shop. But the cost of the ice cream is way toooooo high. Never see many people there. How do they sustain themselves?

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    1. She's an artisan, and if I had extra money I would definitely go there. But since I am not one of the wealthy Sierra Madreans, I don't. If the wealthy Sierra Madreans want to keep that business, they'll need to frequent it often.

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  10. Doing your own marketing study to determine why you would open a business in Sierra Madre would be advised. You could look at all the political flyers over the past 30 years and see there was always a bullet point about increasing the downtown tax base. Check out city budget reviews of the tax revenues for retail sales and City Council budget sessions telling of how little it is. Ask around to see what was the oldest business in town and ask what is their staying power. Ask why the Montecito Arts District sign was painted on the corner of Baldwin and East Montecito in 2000 and there is nothing there to show for it 12 years later. Maybe someone would tell you why the eatery at the site just west of the Only Place in Town is empty again and again and again. Get that information before you sign the lease.

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    1. Many small businesses fail within a year or two, and that's everywhere, not just in SM. Goes double for restaurants. The restaurant next to Only Place has consistently suffered from low quality food, Only Place has raised the bar to OK quality food. Cafe 322 served low quality food - people loved the place for the music, but didn't eat there. Restaurants have to have at least OK food to make it. Small business owners have to have a cushion to help them through the first bumpy years.

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  11. Hopefully we won't have to add this one to the long list of crimes in this town that never got solved.

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  12. EVG --- Matheson --- Cow.

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    1. The news trucks should be parked outside Matheson's house. And if he's no longer there, they should be broadcasting his picture.
      Damnit.

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    2. TV news shows up for human interest stories. Mudslides, wind storms, massive identity fraud like at the EVG station, and cow statue thefts. Real hard news doesn't interest them. It isn't where they choose to go. Just like so many other people we know, local TV news is in bed with with the crooks that run LA County. They're a lot like the Looney Views News. They don't do their jobs. They just kiss up to entrenched power.

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  13. Interesting article on Patch about the "green committee."

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    1. Care to elaborate 10:06? I don't go on AOL because I get a big increase in junk email when I do.

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    2. It was a retelling of the Koerber vs. Mayor Snotty fight over Agenda 21. Mayor Snotty being all in favor of a central government ordering us where to place unwanted high density transit village development, and Koerber against it. The green committee is just there to add a layer of greenwash to the same old redevelopment crap Snotty's mom wants to earn commissions on, and Koerber was right to call him out on it. I just wish he'd have laid off the ideology. It's plenty bad enough just as it is.

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    3. I'm for saving money, and don't want any more commissions because of what they cost us in staff time and supplies. If there are volunteers who want to do the work, great. Organize, do it without using city hall, save the town money and probably get a better product too!

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    4. You're missing the point 12:10 pm. ALL of the city's committees and commissioms ARE volunteer. There is no getting around "cost us in staff time and supplies". The only committee that didn't cost the city was the GPSC's Ad Hoc Committee that organized the first forum. No Brown Act, no staff. EVERY other committee and commission has it's "liaison" staff member and several have a C&L lawyer for oversight.

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    5. 12:10pm, you do see the point! The point is 6 people would show up for the first meeting. The city would not throw any information or resources behind the citizens's right to organize and it would all be over by the third meeting.

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    6. And the GPSC's ad hoc committee brought their own cookies, plates, napkins and drinks! No pasta feeds and bottled water for those stalwart volunteers.

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    7. If volunteers don't care enough to get a green thing going without lawyers and city staff on city premises, let the green thing go.

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    8. Rule of thumb - if the city is involved it probably has something to do with over- development.

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    9. "There is no getting around "cost us in staff time and supplies".
      Yes there is.
      Don't use staff, don't use city lawyers, don't use city supplies.
      If people care, they'll make it happen.

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    10. Amen, 12:55. This city's government is not essential to life here. Do it yourself.

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  14. the sheep of arabyJune 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    i am sure in a strange twist of events, the thief will sue the creamery for the profits netted after the great publicity garnered from the theft. maybe party girl could steal my lawn flamingos and net me some of that eyewitness news love

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  15. How do the Little League folks do it? I only see them when they ask for a CUP and a fee waiver. Although they do use park facilities... how do they organize themselves?

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  16. Geez, such much buzz over something so insignificant.

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  17. This story really mooooooved me.

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  18. The person who stole the cow is a mooron.

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