Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Sierra Madre Tattler's 5th Anniversary

The actual anniversary day was Thursday, but there were some other things going on and I figured I should hold off until today to break the happy news. But yes, on December 13, 2008 (it wasn't a Friday), the Sierra Madre Tattler was born. Our initial post, which was all about the momentous news that I was starting a blog, drew 3 comments and was probably read by 10 people the day it came out.

And that happened only after I had called a bunch of folks and asked if they might take a look at it. All of whom were polite, but not exactly as enthused as I had hoped they might be. With a couple asking the question, "Why are you bothering to do this? People only read newspapers." Obviously it was going to be a bit of a struggle.

Today, after 5 years of dedicated typing and 1,268 posted articles, things have changed. As of this moment (Dec 15, 3:50 a.m.), this blog has been viewed 1,207,287 times. Which is a lot for a small town of a little under 11,000 souls. Out of that lofty 7 figure total 592,607, or just under half, have come in the last 12 months (excluding December). A good indication that much of the interest we have been receiving developed in the last year or so. Last month alone we broke the 60,000 mark for the first time, which means that on a daily basis we are now being looked at by over 2,000 people. Or roughly the same number of folks that actually bother to vote in local elections here. Give or take a few hundred.

The Sierra Madre Tattler has also been the happy recipient of 69,918 comments to date from you our loyal readers. Which, I must tell you, is extremely gratifying. In the eyes of people who get their news on-line the legitimacy of a blog is often based on the amount of comments it receives. And any blog that ends the business day with a zero in the comments column will likely be viewed, fairly of not, as a thing of little value. No matter how good and well-informed the writing. To those who comment here you truly are The Tattler, and I owe an awful lot of this to your thoughtfulness. Good traffic figures are fine, but it is something that comes in a distant second to the quality and frequency of your comments.

I'd go into the history of the last 5 years with you today, but were I to do so today's post would become a book. Something that I have actually, and finally, begun to write. It will take a little time, however. The research part, which is everything ever written on this blog, is already done. Weaving all of that into a coherent tale being the challenge. I also have an agent who claims she will be able to find someone who would actually print such a thing. Something I am sure she tells all the guys.

But I will say this. I believe we have helped to change the way news is written in this town. If you recall, five or so years back the way events were covered was when something went down, the person writing the story would call our City Manager or Mayor to get an official word on what happened. It doesn't happen that way so much now.

Today a claim that the Mayor or City Manager possess all knowledge here in Sierra Madre would be a hilarious assumption. When is the last time you read a story where the Mayor's opinion on an important event mattered all that much? In the era of the Internet his word, or the word of the City Manager, would only be the beginning of a search for the real story, and never the final word.

As an example, I personally have not spoken to the City Manager of Sierra Madre since July of 2010. Why would I bother? That was when she, along with a rusty pipe toting Bruce Inman, attempted to convince me that the reason for a water rate increase was to repair an aged and rapidly failing water infrastructure. A tale that was receiving quite an awful lot of officially generated publicity at the time.

Later, of course, it turned out that this was a damnable lie and, as a very savvy reader of this blog discovered, the real reason for that water rate increase was to cover some old and festering water bond debt problems. All of which was uncovered through Internet research and then covered on The Tattler with our typical thoroughness and persistence.

Today our news belongs to the people. Our disingenuous City government lost that one because we took it away.

Where does it all go now? I personally think we are headed towards some rather momentous times for our little town. While the demons of downtown development have not experienced many victories of late, I believe that the beast has awakened and is once again hard at work. The reason for this being two-fold. One is the economy is slowly getting back to its feet, and in a country that doesn't manufacture as much as it used to, one of the key economic drivers today is housing and construction. You can't import houses, they at least are still American made. That market is coming back, and the beast knows it.

But the other reason is government money. Sacramento's SB 375 development mandates have finally found a financier, and his name is Uncle Sugar. Stack and pack development is not just the law in California, it is also the law of the land. And both parties in Washington DC joined together in a bipartisan glory to legislate the wherewithal to fund it. And what they have in mind for little towns such as ours is very similar to the Downtown Specific Plan that was rejected with the passage of Measure V back in 2007. With a little greenwash applied to make it all up to date and pretty.

Just in case you were wondering what the so-called Green Committee and its enablers are all about, they're here to tell you a story. The one that says buses and densely packed downtown condos are going to help save the planet from environmental collapse. And as truly idiotic as that one may seem to many, there are those who do believe it. And at least some of them are also convinced that they will be receiving Federal money to make it happen.

And, of course, all the usual suspects are involved. They always are. There is also very little that they will not do to win the 2014 City Council elections here to make certain their town wrecking dreams finally come true. They're even preparing to dump Nancy Walsh. After she gets to be Mayor, of course.

But I guess I have now wandered afar. And we will have to wait and see how these things actually unfold. But I can tell you this. 5 years is just the beginning. There is a lot more that will need to be written.

And, as always, The Tattler is on it.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

83 comments:

  1. I think your viewed by 2000 people a day is not a real number since many people post and look at a article more that once in a day , I think 500 would be a more accurate number . still a good turnout

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    1. A reasonable assumption but also an incorrect one. You can click on this blog quite a few times a day and it will still only register as just the one hit. The Google platform that I use takes this into account. Otherwise some blog owner could sit at his computer all day, click on and off a few ten thousand times, and then claim advertising credits he did not really earn. A more reality based conclusion would be that at least some of the traffic is from out of town. Which, since I am featured on the Pasadena Star News site, would be a good tip.

      Hope this helps.

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    2. Take that Capt Bringdown, wheres your cape?

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    3. i guess someone has hipped you to my "clever mr. ed" that i trained to hit the reset button 2000 times a day. damn.

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    4. Some people are a little chapped about the attention the Tattler gets. Most of them believe in unicorns.

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    5. if anybody should be concerned about completely false circulation numbers it should be the advertisers in Susan Hendrson's sidewalk throwaway.

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    6. True. She prints 300 copies, tops. Enough to fill the liquor store paper racks and a couple for city hall.

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    7. And the Senior Center - Henderson is crafty.
      Mayor Zimmerman brought Henderson's negligible printing numbers up more than once.
      Didn't unseat the grifter.

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    8. I like the Tattler so much that I log in from about 5 different computers depending on where I am. So I could count as five different people on any given day :)

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  2. JC happy anniversary! Thank you for your dedication and thoroughness in reporting. Before I moved back into town my brother used to tell me all this scandalous stuff going on and I thought he was loony, till I move backd and saw for myself. The Tattler brings to light very important issues that one could miss in the caos of a normal day here in the foothill land of unicorns. Thanks Tat!

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  3. some prankster put it on the december 13, 2008 wikipedia. someone is obviously feeling better today and should probably go back to work since he ..... i mean she ......... is feeling better. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_2008

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    1. well, it's gone now, but not before I took a screen shot :)

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  4. Happy Birthday, Sierra Madre Tattler!
    Thank you for providing not only Sierra Madre, but the entire area with a news source that would not have been available if not for the incredible talent of John Crawford and a dedicated group of citizen reporters!

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  5. You've changed the way news is written (if you say so), but you have not been able to change the news..pretty ineffectual in my opinion...good try sport.

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    1. How's that UUT extension working out for you? Gene Goss kicking enough butt for you on the City Council?

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    2. ah, steve. glad you're here. be a dear and grab me a cup of coffee.

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    3. Anybody heard from Joe Mosca lately?

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    4. Steve is holding out for one of those green jobs John Buchanan promised him.

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    5. The only green job Steve ever had is when he drank too much apple wine.

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    6. What would an anniversary article be without the trolls showing up? They, too, provide an invaluable service.

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    7. u may be right, we've tried to stop the lying and deceit puking out of the mouths of our elected officials and our employees working for us at city hall

      and ur right, it's hard to combat such stellar journalism such as The Sierra Madre Weakly and Hendersons' rag.

      we can't do much about the lies and false stories printed by the local paper but apparently that's okay with some in town



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    8. The secret about the Looney Views News is that most who pick it up only look at the pictures.

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  6. The reason Doyle, Buchanan and Moran are asking Nancy to leave is they hate the idea of women in government. Remember, they went after MaryAnn, too.

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    1. Yes, but they went after MaryAnn because she is smart, on to their diabolical misdeeds, and savy. They're as embarrassed by Walsh's lack of intelligence and general nastiness as the rest of us. When she's served her purposed they'll pull the plug and deny they ever knew the old bat.

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    2. If that was the case, then they would get rid of Josh as well.

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    3. How can you be so certain they'll get rid of Walsh? Every fascist group needs its useful idiots.

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    4. They're currently overstocked.

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    5. I hope you're right that they will get rid of Nancy Walsh. She's an embarrassment even to those of us who worked hard to defeat her. It is so obvious that she doesn't read the material before City Council meetings. I agree with 8:06 and not 8:02. They hated MaryAnn because she is smart, and her only agenda was to run Sierra Madre in the best way possible for the residents - not City Hall, Sacramento, or a few people who would profit from the Downtown Specific Plan, stack and pack condos, etc.

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    6. But who would they try and replace Nancy with? If it is true they're dumping her it must be to make room for Johnny Do-Gooder. They'd run over their own mother for Federal housing money. I think they're kicking Cha Cha to the curb to make room for Buchanan.

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    7. That is so mean. Nancy has a right to serve for 8 years, just like John Buchanan did. Now she must leave after four years so he can have twelve? That is just so wrong.

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    8. Oh, they'll reward with a plumy Commissioner spot like the Senior Commission where she can order the elders around and make them eat their stringbeans. Maybe make her Citizen of the Year or 4th of July Marshall...

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    9. Green Goddess. The deity that makes all the plants grow, the children be born and people walk to work.

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    10. Isn't 4 years the max for ditzy women? Fowler, Torres, Joffee?

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    11. then watch out if Shirtless Pete Siberell runs for Council. He was known for shutting down women who challenged him or didn't cow down to his theatrics at Little League.

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    12. I detect some misogyny in our midst.

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  7. Congratulations John! the Jaggernaut rolls on......

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  8. Happy 5th Tattler! You keep us grounded and sane, a breath of fresh morning air every day. We are grateful for all the dedication and effort!! I wish to order a copy of the book with a dedication and autograph, perhaps a personal photo of the Tattler editorial staff.

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    1. Thank you, too Modette!
      You have done a grand job, filling in for Crawford when he is on a plane or out of town on business. It's not easy to moderate this board!
      May I also add, I am pretty sure you are a volunteer! A real one.

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  9. Sierra Madre Tattler conbats the following:

    Fear has become the only sure fire commodity which Sierra Madre's city hall can pedal, and use tax payers dollars to do so. Spreading the "word" by those so called elected leader's is a staple of "control" used by those who really don't know what they are doing in the first place.

    Keep up the good work in keeping Sierra Madre a politicial rich community to live in, where underhanded politicans have to look over their shoulders before trying to pull a crooked stunt.

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  10. Congratulations, Sir Eric, and The Tattler on five years of straight shootin.

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  11. Let's speculate...who do you think they will run to replace Nancy? Naw, I don't mean "replace" but in place of... Is there a list of likely candidates?

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    1. 1) John Buchanan
      2) Joe Mosca
      3) Either of the above

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    2. Casper the Friendly Goss and Joshie are definitely running. It's gotta be Buchanan. If there is Fed cash involved, he will be back.

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    3. Egads. The Drunk, The Skunk, and The Spook.

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  12. On the research team. Do not wish to be featured on the inside cover of the book's editorial staff except all of us would have our faces blotted out. Anonymity is a virtue.

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  13. They've been working hard to make Gene Goss a household name and the Head Unicorn Tender has been promoting herself as well. Pete Siberell turned them down flat last cycle I understand. If Doyle gets SGVCOG he won't be running and that is the only good thing to be said about that. Anybody who has a stake in the Montecito LLC will not run because it would have to be revealed. Some of the oldies and not so goodys are no longer in the game and we can thank the Tattler for that -- TMI to make then viable candidates. Who wants voyers and heavy breathers?

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    1. As the keeper of the dirt scrapbook, Bob Matheson will need to be consulted.

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    2. Siberell is the last person that should ever be elected. He is a Buchanan clone with maybe even more of an ego. Buchanan never strutted around the Little League field in disco shorts and shirtless.

      Classless and clueless.

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    3. is there a picture anywhere of Buchanan at the city emergency meetings where he was knowingly lying to us about the rusty pipes.

      that should be mailed to every household in the city and everyone should know that he has fought against every citizen initiative and orchestrated a fraud on the people of Sierra Madre with the UUT even counseling the City to spread complete misinformation about the UUT.

      please if Buchanan ever attempts to run again, the campaign against him has to be ugly because he is a fraud - just another corporate marketing rep pretending to be a local guy but he is pushing for development.

      Buchanan needs to know that an overwhelming majority of the people are onto his shell game and he really needs to butt out of local council meetings and stop pretending that he cares about the city.

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    4. So who from our side will we have run against them?

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    5. Who "will we have"? Oh, to even hope that anyone from our side will want to run... what a daunting task to run "against them". Dear gawd, just please please have someone step up to the job that we can support that isn't a certifiable idiot.

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    6. not a certifiable idiot? damn. well i'm out.

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  14. I'd like to suggest a Troll Appreciation Day - but then maybe the lunkheads would figure out what a boon they are.

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    1. They really are conversation starters. Kind of like dogs that "make" on the rug.

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  15. It is really a shame and speaks volumes about our City Manager, Bruce and a handful of former and existing City Council Members who told us known lies and created a completely false emergency and lied repeatedly and when caught just shifted to another deception and these are employed by us the taxpayers.

    If Elaine worked in the real world and she lied to customers, she'd be fired with cause.

    So would Bruce.

    Buchanan doesn't live in the real world - his world is himself and his utility employer which he uses his backroom negotiations and flat out BS to benefit the business goals of his employer.

    Quite a shameful staff we've assembled and elected.


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  16. Feral Dad of Lima StreetDecember 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    hey hey hey! congratulations JC!!!

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  17. Off topic, but in light of the horrific Newtown, CT tragedy readers should know that the SMMS principal issued a notice to parents on 12/10/12 about "a subject seen driving near our campuses." According to the notice: "Police department representatives have spoken to the individual in question, and are satisfied at the moment that he has not violated any laws, but admit this still does not explain his behavior."

    The notice does not name the individual or mention whether the police have learned of any mental health issues or weapon ownership.

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    1. That is classic SMPD - we hear you that there's a problem, we looked at the problem, we agree it could be a problem. And that's it!
      Nada mas!

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    2. 10:13, while the chances are good this guy is more like a Matheson that the other kind of psycho, maybe his cruising habit will be taken more seriously now - as will the easy come and go on any campus where the best among us are supposed to be safe.

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  18. The Tattler gets more hits in a day than the total circulation of The Mountain Views News in a week. LOL

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    1. It is just another example of how the city gets the best buy for our buck.

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  19. For those of you who like to shop local. Did you know the Christmas Tree lot next to Arnolds is owned and operated by the Moran, Alden, and Heydorf families.

    Guess you can buy a tree from the mayor.

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    1. Does it come with a football betting ticket?

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    2. Wrong Moran. Not of the Mayorial Morans. No relation.

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    3. The mayor has a familial relation ownership with the lot next to the Kensington site?
      And he didn't recuse himself from deliberations and votes regarding the Kensington?

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    4. 12:24, the comment above yours says it's not Josh's family. But I totally get your reaction - there's been far too many instances when council members have not recused themselves. Most famously, Rob Stockly.

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    5. Easy don't worry 'bout dat.

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    6. It's the Moran that's married to Karen of the Volunteer Fire Department (or at least before their twins). No relation.

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    7. hmmmph. was looking forward to the backlot christmas kegger party

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  20. Happy Birthday, Tattler. Don't be modest, the presence of this blog helped get 2 Council Members elected last April. The MVN actively campaigned against Capoccia & Koerber and they won. I heard Susan H. wasn't a happy camper.

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  21. congratulations, Happy Birthday off topic but to 10:13, Adam was autistic, his mom was a teachers aide, here is an excerpt:

    The aunt of Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza said the shooter's mother pulled him out of Newtown's public school system because she was unhappy with the school district's plans for her son.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/adam-lanzas-mom-pulled-school-relative/story?id=17985433#.UMzcwXPjmhg

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    1. until the day they put "neurotypical" before every act of carnage that has been committed by non-autistic people, I won't even consider that a necessary detail.

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  22. To the wonderful folks who dropped off theTattler Anniversary unicorn t-shirt. I have not laughed so hard in I don't know how long. Thank you very much for the wonderful gift. Fits me perfectly and I will probably wear it all week.

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  23. Just had Edison here to change out my electric meter to one of the old fashioned ones that don't send as much information to SCE. It will cost me $10.00 more a month, but a bit less of "big brother" in my house is worth it.

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    1. The last people I would ever want to give my information to is Edison. Smart move on the dumb meter.

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  24. It's concerning that there's a lot of attention being given to the possibility that Adam Lanza was autistic. He was an individual, obviously with serious mental health issues. Still, he acted as an individual in this horrible tragedy. In looking for someone to blame in all of this, we need to be careful not to place it on a group of people, such as those in the autism community. They are no more likely prone to violence than any other group of individuals.
    This is from a mom who happens to be autistic/Asperger's
    http://paulacdurbinwestbyautisticblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/mother-with-asperger-syndrome-grieves.html

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  25. I suggest it isn't going to change anything to focus on any one thing or details about the Conn. shooting. Just negative thoughts. Why not instead focus on the positive: our own families, hug them when you can, encourage them frequently, and help them get over rough spots when there is a bump in the road.

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    1. I will reserve my right to express sympathy and to grieve the loss of young lives. I cannot imagine the depth of suffering amongst the parents, the families, the grandparents, the community, and the incredible courage it took for the first responders and others who arrived on the scene to such carnage. I envision a river of good will, of hope, flowing in the direction of Newtown and to others involved in this trajedy. May they all be blessed in their time of such abject need.

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    2. Not to take anything away from police, firefighters, and paramedics, but in this and many other actual or potential tragedies, the true first responders -- those who are on the scene when it's happening, such as the teachers and other school staff in CT -- are the true first responders who often selflessly put themselves in mortal danger without police training, weapons, and back up. It is they who exhibit incredible courage.

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  26. Don Watts's 2 cents :December 15, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Hey John and fellow Anonymous helpers, when the Tattler started, I had serious doubts about this new blog concept. But, my daughters who think I was around when the dinosaurs walked the earth felt differently.
    I have changed my opinion, and have watched the development of the Tattler into a Sierra Madre institution. An awful lot of very hard work on your part.
    I think the key reason for it's success has been a constant drum beat of honest opinion, something missing in our society and in particular, the political landscape, (sort of like an ice cold beer on a summer day).
    So, where ever I am I know I can see what the latest, and greatest Sierra Madre Hi-jinks is.
    Keep hitting the keyboard with your take on what's what.

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  27. Congratulations John. On the book, on the sweet-talking agent, on the five years of intelligent work. On being an ethical person who calls others to the task. We're very grateful.

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