Sunday, June 3, 2012

Your Tattler Sunday News & Review

(Mod: I'm supposed to do these every Sunday, but sometimes I just don't get around to doing it. On occasion there are other things to do, especially now that the house is finally being rebuilt. Weekends just haven't been the same, I'm afraid. However, I'm pleased to report that today it is all happening. Ready and here with all of the news that fits, your Tattler Sunday News and Review.)

AOL's Patch: Big Losses on Hyperlocal News (Bloomberg Businessweek)

In the fall of 2009, a group of journalists and publishers gathered in Manhattan to hear Jeff Jarvis, a Web evangelist and blogger, deliver a talk about the bright future of "hyperlocal" news. Jarvis told the assembled group that even as small and mid-sized papers were closing down, community journalism was being remade by thousands of independent, local bloggers, And these solo news artists appeared to be making good money: Bloggers working in communities with 50,000 individuals were pulling in $200,000 a year in advertising revenue, according to a study from the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, where Jarvis is a professor.

Two-and-a half years later, the notion of bloggers making six-figure incomes by chronicling town hall meetings, police blotter reports, and high school sports looks more like a fading dream than a bankable reality. Case in point: AOL. On May 25, a group of investors known as Starboard Value - which owns 5.3 percent of AOL is fighting for three seats on the board of directors - published a lengthy critique of the company's management. The sharpest words were reserved for AOL's continued, heavy investment in Patch, the company's network of 863 locally staffed community news sites, which AOL CEO Tim Armstrong founded and sold to AOL after joining the company. In 2011, according to Starboard's estimates, Patch lost $147 million while generating a mere $13 million in ad revenue, - roughly $15,000 per site. "We do not believe Patch is a viable business," the Starboard report said.

(The rest of this story can be found by clicking here.)

Marin Independent Journal Readers' Forum (Letter to the Editor)

SB 375 is a flawed law based on false theories on centering housing in density around transportation corridors. There is no scientific data to support this theory. Housing has a larger carbon footprint than autos and living near high-volume traffic is not healthy.

This law was sponsored by and is used by developers, builders and institutional investors looking to build high density affordable housing that is currently the only way to keep the building industry going after the housing bubble broke. The state housing quotas only make sense to the builders who benefit from state requirements.

Often, fortunately, affordable housing calculated on the state's flawed growth projections is not built. The elimination of redevelopment agencies also brings reality to these affordable housing quotas.

Well, buckle your seatbelt. The same triad of developers, builders and institutional investors have sponsored SB 1220. The same politicians who wrote SB 375 have submitted SB 1220. The legislation will add a $75 fee to the cost of filing real estate documents to build a $1 billion fund to help build affordable housing.

In reality, it is a massive subsidy for developers, builders and institutional investors to build affordable housing based on flawed SB 375 assumptions and unsupportable growth. Please contact your state legislator to oppose SB 1220. - Al Dugan, Novato

Shamus Roller at Housing California (e-mail to Eric Maundry)

Dear Eric: This afternoon the HOMeS Act (Senate Bill 1220), fell just two votes short of passage in the full Senate, with a final vote of 25-13. I am incredibly disappointed that this bill didn't pass, but the number of votes is indicative of the great work that was done by so many of your during this campaign. If we can get just two votes away in a year with an election and a massive budget deficit, I know that we can get a permanent source of funding for affordable homes very soon.

I know that many of you are as disappointed as I am about coming up short on this vote, but I invite you to take a moment to reflect on the great work you did, the lessons we learned, and the growing capacity of our broadened community to make a political impact. - Shamus Roller

Assembly candidates slug it out via mail (Pasadena Sun)

In the 41st Assembly District, the battle for the ballot box is being fought through the mailbox. The three Democrats in the five-way June 5 primary race and two independent political committees have spent more than $500,000 on political mailers in the past two months.

Democratic candidate Victoria Rusnak, who spent $320,000 on campaign literature, has been the target of at least four attack mailers from the Alliance for California's Tomorrow, a political committee funded by real estate, medical and insurance groups.

The group spent $82,000 slinging mud at Rusnak in May and $29,000 in support of Rusnak rival, Pasadena City Councilman Chris Holden, according to records filed with the California secretary of state.

Political committees cannot legally coordinate with the candidates they support, and Holden said he was in the dark about the groups' ads until they arrived in his mailbox.

(This article also contains speculation about the origin of the "four clowns" postcard opposing Measure A. Click here to link.)

Cows Crash Party, Drink Beer (Time Magazine)

These guys are party animals. In Boxford, Mass., a gang of five or six escaped local cows decided the best thing to do with their new-found freedom was to get drunk ASAP. The herd made their way to a local home, drove off the human residents - who were holding a backyard party - and made straight for the beer.

"They got up as the cows went toward the table," Lt. James Riter of the Boxford police said of the surprised party guests, according to NBC. "They stepped back and the cows took over the table, knocking over the beers with their noses, drinking the beer off the table. They went to the recycling bin to find any leftovers." Riter said the cows clearly relished the treat. "They enjoyed it. There's no doubt about it."

(Click here for the full Time Magazine report on renegade cows.)

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

52 comments:

  1. Beer drinking cows - The original Party Animals

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    1. Hey! Sierra Madre's got a couple of those, cows that drink. See 'em around town at the Buc and Lucky's quite often. So what else is new?

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    2. LOL! This is true!

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    3. perhaps this explains cow methane

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    4. Good point. This is a green issue.

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  2. Tell them to stay outta my yard!

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  3. Ah let 'em have the beer. If you read the whole article, you'll see the stories of two others who escaped from slaughter houses. What a world.

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  4. Patch is failing in much the same way Facebook may eventually fail: the money isn't there. If the local businesses don't benefit from the ads they buy, they won't renew, and that happened with 70% of the local businesses who took out ads on Patch.

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    1. AOL's stockholders have had their fill of hyperlocal patch. Their days are numbered.

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    2. Colin bought an ad on Patch and he was successful. Wait, forget I said that.

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    3. He should have bought people beer instead.

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    4. I disagree 10:38. Beer wouldn't be as safe. No cows would want to take away a Patch ad.

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  5. Sounds like Josh when he comes to a party uninvited. He drives everyone away and starts knocking over the beer to get a drink. I have never seen him dumpster dive but that wouldn't surprise me.

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  6. You deserve to be paid something for your Tattler, Sir Eric. It is no secret your journalism is better than anyone else around. It would be great for you to get advertisers! NOT impossible...

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    1. Nah. I have a day job that pays me enough. This is my volunteer work for the community. The last thing I want to get in the way of telling the real story is having to worry about the sensibilities of some dude who pays me $50 a month for some little box ad. This town has enough cheap sellouts already.

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  7. I personally support the cows. Any bunch of dumbarses who would run away from cows and leave theor beer undefended do not deserve to have any. You go, Elsie!

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    1. The cows were no doubt hungry, thirsty, and scared. Great fun.

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  8. There are very interesting comments on the Patch article, from independent local bloggers for the most part. Looks like the independents are doing very well. From one of the comments:
    "CORPORATE, TEMPLATIZED HYPERLOCAL DOES NOT WORK. INDEPENDENT DOES."

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    1. Can you imagine the conference calls Patch editors have to sit on? A bunch of clueless New Yorkers who have never set foot in a towns like ours telling people who actually live there what they have to do. Of course it doesn't work.

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  9. I say we invite these cows to the 4th of July Parade and set them loose on the Chamber of Commerce's beer garden. Seeing that bunch run off by a bunch of milk cows would make my year.

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    1. If thirsty cows were coming to take away Mayor Moran's beer, do you think he would run or stand and fight?

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  10. Let's all shed a tear for Shamus Roller. But for 2 votes in the Sate Senate he could have helped wreck towns just like ours.

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  11. Two votes shy! Just think how close that wreckage came!

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    1. The sad irony is that these were Republican votes. Something that makes a lifelong Democrat like me feel kind of ill.

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    2. Yes, that was good. But the destruction of our cities in the name of SB 375 is a huge issue, and one that many people feel strongly about. Why aren't the Republicans exploiting that? My guess is they won't go there because they get their campaign donations from the same people the Democrats do. Instead they think we all share their obsession with chasing hispanics back to Mexico.

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  12. How can we find out who voted against 1220, I would like to send them a thank you note, to let them know we are watching them do a good job.

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  13. The fall out emenating from the Face Book fiasco is telling. The premise of Face Book is that you need and must accumulate many "friends" in order to be a whole person.

    But the way you acquire friends is to first be a friend, then nurture that friendship. Then perhaps friendship will follow. It is earned not solicited. The whole Face Book thing is backward and is doomed to fail for this reason alone. What I said is time tested since humans began to communicate with each other.

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    1. There is a bright side to the Facebook stock market fiasco, though. "U2's Bono could lose $342 million after facebook shares plummet." Click on my name.

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    2. "In the name of love..."

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  14. Facebook leaves me cold. I have cancelled mine several times and when I am alerted to a post to my page I take a cursory look and give up. I would rather have an e-mail from my "friends."

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  15. Harriet "Susan" Henderson came out yesterday in favor of Measure A. Looks like the resume' pumper vote is breaking for "A."

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    1. "Susie" Henderson also said I should vote for Barack Obama and should have voted for the UUT. 'Nuff said.

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    2. Susan changed from the Republicans to the Democrats once she figured out they were a softer touch.

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    3. Hmmm, stupid is as stupid does. There are cows smarter than people, nowadays. Anyone touting measure a must be hiding their heads in the recycling bins & believes in development & hopes the general public is uninformed. Thank God for the internet. Look what it's doing to the Bilddeberg group of elite. Yeah to informed "We the people!!!! trying to make a difference & take back America. Make a difference at the polls! Vote NO on measure A.

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    4. Yeah, vote for Mitt and bring back all those idiots who ran the country into the ground. You go ahead and vote for Romney... Good God!

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    5. For sure there's a herd of cows smart enough to get picnic food and beer without having to listen to endless speeches by boring politicians! Let's hear it for the Cow Party!!

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    6. Moo for brew!

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    7. Cud for Bud!

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  16. I'm voting for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Here's why:
    1) He'll legalize things like gay marriage and marijuana use. We're all adults, and we don't need Uncle Nanny standing over our shoulders with a rolling pin telling us what we should and should not do.
    2) He'd close things like the Department of Education, HUD, and anything to do with the Patriot Act. This would save hundreds of billions in taxes, helping to end the trillion dollar deficits that threaten the survival of this country.
    3) He can't win. So that no matter what Obama or Romney do over the next 4 years, it won't be your fault. After all, you didn't vote for them.

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  17. 12:08, Barack Obama thanks you for voting Libertaraian. A third party vote is a for for Obama.

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    1. It truly is a hard year for picking the lesser of two evils, that's for sure. The social engineer versus the arbitrager. Which way to turn?

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    2. A third-party vote is only wasted if you're afraid of losing.

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  18. S henderson switched to dems when she found out repubs would not pony up for victoria secret shopping sprees...the thought still gives me nightmares!

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    1. Let's see, she used the Democratic Party Amex card to make her illicit purchase at Victoria's Secret in Washington DC. It was the mid 1990s. So maybe she did it because she was hoping for a chance to impress President Clinton?

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    2. Hey Crawford! I thought the Tattler didn't do national politics... this dem bashing isn't in the spirit of local politics done well.

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    3. It doesn't look to me like any parties fared well here today. Even the Libertarians took it on the chin.

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    4. How can you complain about government in California and not knock the Democrats? That would be like complaining about the government in Idaho and not bashing Republicans. It's a one party state.

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    5. Is Idaho bankrupt?

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    6. And how many years was Arnold Governator of California? Brown is the one who shut down the CRA...

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    7. Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.

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  19. Don't worry, 3:52. You can always Blame Bush.

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    1. You make being right sound like a bad thing, 7:18.

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