As many of you already know, or were about to discover I'm certain, the acrimonious partnership that constituted Deuxamis Publishing recently came to a bitter end in a courtroom of the Superior Court of the State of California, N.E. Judicial District, Pasadena.
Katina Dunn, who at one time constituted 50% of this newspaper publishing empire, sued and won her case against the current publisher of The Mountain Views Observer, her now former business partner Susan Henderson.
In Court Case # GC039149 (Katina Dunn, Plaintiff, vs. Deuxamis Publishing, a California Corporation, and Susan Henderson, an individual, Defendant), the Judge ruled in favor of the claims of the Plaintiff. In the process the Court found that Susan Henderson, who represented herself in court on this matter, owes Deuxamis Publishing the lordly sum of $41,900. And that upon payment of this considerable lump of greenbacks the partnership known as Deuxamis Publishing will be legally dissolved. Turned to vapor as it were, and cast into the brisk desert winds that so typify some of our weather here. Kind of like the current American banking system, if you think about it.
Additionally, it was also decided by this Court that Susan Henderson's publication, The Mountain Views Observer, must now and forever drop from its masthead the legendary Sierra Madre newspaper name, "The Observer." A change the Court ordered be made no later than early January, 2009.
As far as we can tell, only a small portion of that $41,900 settlement has ever been paid. Which in our mind makes it possible to wonder if Susan even legally controls the Looney Views News. It could be that she is merely, in a legal sense, just kind of squatting there.
But be that as it may, I thought we should take a peek at a claim Susan makes this week in the paper she somehow controls. The first portion is from the editorial she published this weekend celebrating the seven or so years since that fateful California Superior Court decision brought the Mountain Views News screaming into existence.
OK then. The second portion of what we believe is a very dubious claim is found a few pages later. It comes wrapped up in an large advertisement for the paper itself, one that lists the reasons why you should fork over some of your hard earned cash and subscribe to a paper that you can pick up in front of either of two downtown liquor stores for free on most Saturdays.
The claim we are focusing on is the last of those we cut and pasted here. The one that states the paper has received 14 million online hits in a bit less than the seven years Susan is celebrating this weekend.
Here is the math. Seven years times the 52 papers published per annum is 364 different editions. Divide 14 million by those 364 issues and that comes to 38,462 hits per each published weekly on-line edition. In a town of less than 11,000 people that really is quite a lot. Everybody in Sierra Madre, including the little children and babes, would have to be reading and re-reading the online version of this newspaper more than three times every week to reach that number.
And if you subtract the 6 or so months since January when that 14 million hits number was first supposedly reached, well, then this math then becomes even more problematic.
So what kind of on-line traffic does the Mountain Views News website actually get? Here is what an authority on website traffic, StatShow.com, says on this subject (link):
Hmm. Well, first off it turns out that the Mountain Views News website is actually less than seven years old. So I guess we need to bump that claimed weekly hits per week rate up a little. Let's round it off at 45,000.
According to StatShow.com that daily page view number is actually 158, with 71 unique visitors per day. Or 1,106 page views per week, which is quite a bit shy of either the 38,000 or 45,000 weekly number that Susan is claiming.
So does the Mountain Views News mystery math actually add up? Of course it does not. Did you really expect it to?
All of which begs the following related questions. How many print issues does Susan distribute in town? And does that number equal what is required by the State of California to legally qualify for its current adjudicated status? Thereby entitling it to receive legal and public notice advertising from City Hall?
And if it does not meet that threshold, were any of the many City of Sierra Madre public hearings announced there over these last several years, then dutifully conducted by the City Council, actually legal?
Inquiring minds would like to know.
I'll bet CETT's attorney, Richard McDonald, would like to know the answer to that one, too.