Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Heard in the Community...

An email arrived with information that adds to the mixed situation at the Chestnut Hill Local.

The writer said:

"It was announced at this morning's meeting of the Chestnut Hill Business Association that Carole Boynton had suffered a major heart attack and is in a coma."

CHNotebook: We can report that Carole has awakened and is communicating with written messages. We are not sure of the extent of her illness nor what exactly was the cause of the situation. We are sure that all join in with thoughts and prayers for Ms. Boynton and her family.

The writer also noted:

"This afternoon, I received the following email.

Effective immediately, I am no longer an employee of the Chestnut Hill Local.

Any business-related e-mails should be directed to Kari Ghezarian at karig@chestnuthill.org.

General press releases should be sent to listings@chestnuthilllocal.com.

It’s been a pleasure working with all of you these past years.

Nancy Berger

That's all I know at the moment."

We heard the same thing from several people. No further information is available.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Maxinista: The Hole in the Walsh Gang

More hard truths about the clique that stole the Local

by Sniper
January 26, 2006: Oh holey night! Lawrence Walsh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Neiman Fellow and former big gun for the Washington Post, lecturer at Duke, battlefield news cameraman in Vietnam, ME of the Texas Observer, had just come off a gurney where he'd had a colonoscopy done. He was reeling with the after-affects of sedation. He arrived at Chestnut Hill Hospital (!), where the Maxinistas had weirdly switched their illegal Executive Session to consider firing him from the CHCA Board at the last minute -- maybe they were doing a P.R. deal with CHH's new management team?; or maybe they hoped that with his frail health, he might be needing the ER?

Anyway, standard Maxinista obfuscation, the usual murky procedural night moves. Corruption of the very Roberts Rules of Order types like Sanjiv "Can We Move On?" Jain reflexively use to stifle discussion by loud guys Ron Recko and Ed Feldman . . . But the truth is, an official Board of Directors meeting must actually convene before an Executive Session -- which excludes the general public -- can be called. And notice of the agenda must be published seven days in advance. But Max was so anxious to get her kangaroo court martial rolling that she and Jane Becker and others smarmed over objections of procedural foul play and convened the ES before the Board Meeting opened! Thus the whole three-hour farce that followed is legally null and void . . .

So what happened was three hours of the interested public cooling its heels while petty remarks Lawrence once made were woven into a tapestry of trivia meant to show his unfitness to serve on the august Publisher's Committee and Board. This from a group that esteems and lauds Medicine Show fraud Douglas Doman, inheritor of the Institute for the Achievement of Human (whew) Potential in Wyndmoor, who retails pricey hope to the physically helpless; real estate hustler Jain; dreadful crybaby and inept operator SuperBrat Snowden (currently down in W. Va., reportedly trying to buy up dangerous coal mines to exploit); and Exploding Car Mysterioso & McNally's Saloon Fixture Joe Pie . . . A typical charge was that Walsh had muttered "bitch!" about some alleged clumsy makeout moves by Pam "Boom-Boom" Waters on WASP cutey Jeremy Heep (at an earlier meeting.) For the record, Lawrence admits it.

Okay. Walsh, gaga on meds, has to endure a maelstrom of twittering before they kick him out. A slander package, containing an e-mail he'd written to former Local editor Jim Sturdivant and copied to former staff writer Mike Mishak, in which he'd counseled Mishak -- upon solicitation of advice -- to resign his position, and which had been making the clandestine rounds for months and burning up the Phone Mafia lines in town, was distributed to the assembled CHCA heavies. Oh, Law & Order, Criminal Intent! Foolishly, but understandably, Walsh had been vehemently denying that he'd suggested either Jim or Mike should quit. Given the level of hostility in the community, the tiny stitches ripped wide at every opportunity, he didn't feel he could speak truthfully in such a hateful atmosphere. Chestnut Hill was like Clay County, Missouri in 1863 or something, when Bloody Bill Anderson was shooting abolitionists who disagreed with the Old Values . . .

Mishak, as fine a reporter as the Local has seen (despite one dumb move involving not contacting SBSnowden before writing a story about that churl's questionable business practices), had been weighing whether he should leave the Local's glorious employ. These doubts started in 2004, at a dinner Sniper attended at the Warsaw Cafe on 16th Street, long before Sturdivant even showed up. As things grew worse under the Maxinista boot, Mike naturally turned to Lawrence, the only man on the premises with pro journalism chops. After Jim's resignation following a silent coup still shamefully denied by the Executive Committee, Mishak was offered effective "control," if he agreed not to criticize the CHCA and its ruling clique (!). The offer was made by Kari Ghezarian. When Mishak rightly refused, a Jain associate, Vijay Kothare, with credentials as solid as newly-minted Maxinista Carol Cope's, was brought in as a back-up spy to make sure neither Mishak, Scott Alloway nor Robyn John did anything interesting with what was left of the Local. And this was when Nancy Berger and Joe Pie were already marauding through 8434; these are people capable of squeezing the joy out of firecrackers -- Kothare ended up writing a report for Sanjiv characterizing Walsh and his friends as "parasites" and the recalcitrant staff as "terrorists".

Once more, for the record:

There is no rule in the CHCA bylaws preventing Board and/or committee members from advising Local staffers to apply or resign, a charge the Maxinistas have been furling over Walsh's dome like a Scarlet Letter. Sniper knows of two current members who've just advised a candidate for the editor's job to go for it.

Mishak didn't need Walsh to tell him to resign. And Lawrence and his boys are not the Hole in the Wall Gang. He should have been censured for lying, then, if his health allows it, reinstated, since his ouster violates all known rules of procedural honesty, and because no one else in the CHCA cares more about journalism's true role here.

It's the Maxinistas who should be thrown out in the spring election. For being subversive of the Fourth Estate.

Where are the Hill's liberal due process lawyers when you need them?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Offers Youse Can't Refuse...

This note refers to the Feb. 23 editorial in the Chestnut Hill Local titled "Chestnut Hill or Mob Hill." It's a spot of humor.

By the by, in the Letters section, please clue in on "truthiness." Martha Haley points out: "The editor showed the addition of a "correction" indicated by the insertion of (sic) next to the word "truthiness." It is a word in popular use, resurrected by Comedy Central's Steven Colbert and used by, among others, Frank Rich in the New York Times.

Reference: Truthiness Voted 2005 Word of the Year

In its 16th annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted truthiness as the word of the year. Recently popularized on the Colbert Report, a satirical mock news show on the Comedy Central television channel, truthiness refers to the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true. As Stephen Colbert put it, "I don't trust books. They're all fact, no heart." Other meanings of the word date as far back as 1824.

To the Chestnut Hill Notebook:

I can't get the image out of my head.

A trim woman wearing a Talbot's dress and a single strand of pearls strides purposefully into the office of the newspaper editor. She glowers threateningly. Her finely manicured hand inches close to her open Coach handbag. In a raspy baritone, she growls: "I'm gonna make ya an offa ya can't refuse."



Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Do You Know Better?

This comment was a reply to the "The Smoking Gun." Rather than have it lost in the maze of comments, we are placing it here as well so readers gain a better understanding of the issues surrounding the troubles at the Local and the Chestnut Hill Community Association. The message is strong; a position the Local has lacked for several months now.

I am no longer surprised to hear egregious lies dropped like leaflets on the heads of a disinterested public, but this cavalcade of character assaults is both disgusting in the extreme and an embarrassment to the poster.

Nap seems to think that by slamming a wide spectrum of individuals, any one criticism will appear more credible. Didn't work. Nap appears to be looking out mainly for Nap (and how Nap hopes to get his/her ducks in a row regarding future career moves at the paper or elsewhere) in everything Nap posts. In this regard, Nap is probably cleverer than I was in announcing to the board exactly why I left. Casual slander is a key survival tactic at 8434 Germantown Ave. and Nap has apparently drunk deep from that well.

Where do I begin? Not writing stories? I wrote one almost every week. I could pick dozens of examples, but, for simplicity's sake, let's just look at the last month I was at the Local. Ask the people at the Wissahickon Skating Club or Morris Arboretum if I took press releases and put my byline on them. Ask Stewart Graham about the article I wrote on Chestnut Hill recycling. Ask the Friends of Pastorius Park. The Jenks Home and School Association. Ask anyone I came into contact with professionally -- except, of course, Nap.

Not assigning stories? Of course I did. Mike and I also hashed out story ideas together. Weekly, and at length.

Newsgroups? Didn't belong to any. Internet surfing? Not much (how would Nap know, anyway? I had a private office). I had my favorite newspaper sites and WFMU (freeform radio that way it ought to be) streaming live on Monday evenings, when Mike and I were at the office sometimes until 9 or 10 p.m. Nap must have me confused with folks in the office who spent way too much of their time dialing up show tunes and scrolling through pictures from their last vacation.

Frankly, Mike and I worked our asses off. We were dedicated and downright fussy about the slant of stories and look of the front page. That little paper kept me up nights on Monday and Tuesday. It was a high-tension race to the finish line each week, what with our small staff and commitment to being NW Philly's newspaper of record. Some weeks were great; others fell short, sometimes gut-wrenchingly so. I was far from perfect, but I did a mighty good job with what I was given.

How dare you, Nap. I'm sure you know better.

Posted by James Sturdivant to Chestnut Hill Notebook

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Compelled to Address Malicious, Yet Absurd, Accusations....

Dear Mr. Lombardi:

I thought I'd send this to you, in the eventuality that it doesn't get printed in the Local.

Stephanie S. Sturdivant

From: Sturdivant, Stephanie
Sent: Tue 2/21/2006 3:41 PM
To: carole@chestnuthilllocal.com
Subject: letter to the editor

Editor's Note: James Sturdivant made his own observations in comments on the post "The Smoking Gun..."

Dear Editor:

The following is a letter to include in your "From Our Readers" Section. Thank you in advance for printing it in the Local in a timely fashion.

Upon reading Pamela Waters' malicious indictment of Mr. Lawrence Walsh, I finally felt compelled to voice my opinion in the Local's pages. I have remained silent during the CHCA leadership's attacks on my husband, allowing his admirable professional reputation and body of public work to speak for themselves. Despite repeated attempts to slander, blame, and demoralize Jim, we, as a family, felt confident that the Chestnut Hill community need only review previous editions of the Local under Jim's leadership to illustrate the ridiculousness of his detractors' claims. Yet, Lawrence Walsh has no such public body of work to defend him. Rather, he must rely on his friends and colleagues to come to his aid.

I cannot comprehend how Ms. Waters can even begin to support her claims that Mr. Walsh is guilty of "sexual harrassment, verbal abuse, and physical threats." All of these assertions are absurd. It seems to me that Mr. Walsh's sole crimes were to support my husband and dare to stand up to the CHCA president and her followers. As for her assertion that Mr. Walsh advised Mike Mishak to resign, this lie is refuted by the very "letters from associates" Ms. Waters refers to in her opinion piece. Mike Mishak has stated in no uncertain terms, verbally and in print, that Mr. Walsh had nothing to do with his resignation. There is no need to review how a few key single-minded CHCA leaders created the insufferable working conditions, wholly unprofessional atmosphere, and culture of innuendo and mistrust that led to the resignations of Jim and Mike and the ultimate demise of the Local. Mr. Walsh did not contribute to any of this in any way.

The CHCA leadership is looking for a new scapegoat, since they've tired of using my husband as one. In their attempts to "mop up" their mess and create favorable propaganda, the CHCA leadership is only making themselves look more foolish and culpable. When your neighbors see fit to personally attack you in an attempt to bolster their already faltering public image, whole families are affected. I cannot sit silently while Pam Waters and other misguided and misinformed tools do the same thing to Mr. Walsh's family as they did to mine.

Stephanie S. Sturdivant, Chestnut Hill

Stephanie S. Sturdivant
Graduation Project Coordinator/English Teacher
Radnor High School
130 King of Prussia Rd.
Radnor, PA 19087

Creating an Election Process the Community Can Trust

Anne Spaeth developed a proposal for the Chestbut Hill Community Association elections due this spring (should the board ever get its act together and end its witch hunts). We are posting it so the community has an opportunity to review her ideas and present comments to their elected officials (the directors).It reads as follows:

I sent the following to the Board, the Community Manager and Administrative Coordinator, and the Interim Editor this morning (Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006). I hope we can approve them at the Board meeting on Thursday.

"Because of the difficulties our Board has experienced this year, and the
resulting pressures under which the staff has been forced to work, I am
proposing adoption of the following Election Procedures in the hope that it
will ameliorate the situation and lessen concerns on the part of any party
or parties that there might be bias involved."


The date, time, and location of the Annual Meeting shall be determined by the Board and published prominently in the Local and on our website (chestnuthill.org ) as soon as possible .

The site of the Annual meeting shall be in Chestnut Hill, at a place easily accessed by all. The Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church, The Chestnut Hill Methodist Church, The Ascension Lutheran Church, St Paul’s Episcopal Church, fit these requirements, as well as the Watertower does, and have adequate space to accommodate all those who might wish to attend.

Only members of the Chestnut Hill Community Association can run for election.

Nomination forms will be printed in the Local beginning in March. All nominations must be received by March 23rd, the date of the last Board Meeting prior to the Annual Meeting . The list of nominees will be published in the following week’s Local of March 30th. Candidates’ individual pictures and statements will be published in the following week’s Local of April 6th together with a copy of the ballot containing any motions to be voted on at the meeting. All issues to be voted upon must be included on this ballot.

The Community Manager and the Administrative Coordinator shall verify that the nominee and those four other individuals supporting the nominee are all members of the Association.

There will be three copies of the membership list in the CHCA office. The mater copy will not leave the office. There will be a sign-out sheet so that individuals may take out the second and third copies for short periods of time to be copied elsewhere. Those individuals taking the list out to copy must sign the sign-out sheet with the time they take it out and must sign it back in with the time it is returned. If the membership list is lost by the individual signing it out, or not returned promptly, the individual will be so identified and must replace the list.

Neither candidates for office, or others may use CHCA office staff, telephone, stationery, machinery, office space or materials for campaign purposes. Neither may any officers use the Association logo on stationery of their own, or use their CHCA titles when signing a letter to constituents relating to the election.

Campaign ads are permitted provide they are marked “Advertisement”. Neither CHCA logonor titles may be used in the advertisement.

The Vice President of the Operational Division will name the Judges of Electionsubject to the approval of the Board.

The Judges of Election should be individuals without any actual or perceived conflict of interest regarding the outcome of the voting. Therefore the Judges should not be members of the board, officers or employees of the CHCA. The Judges should be members of the community who have an assuredly neutral position. Examples would be the ministers of the Churches mentioned or other churches in Chestnut Hill such as the Friends Meeting or the Baptist Church.

A Judge of Election shall draw names for position on the ballot and names will appear on the ballot in the order drawn. Any issues to be voted on must be clearly identified and included on this same ballot. No other issues may bebrought up for a vote at the Annual Meeting.

All voting will be by written, secret ballot as specified in the Bylaws (Article IV,B.1.c.), and either mailed to the address specified by the Judges of Election or delivered in person at the Annual Meeting.

Mailed ballots must be mailed or delivered to an address to be determined by the Judges of Election, which will not be the that of the CHCA office, that of any Board member, committee member or employee of the CHCA.

Ballots must be in the same form as those printed in the Local. Those in the Local may be xeroxed.

The deadline for receiving ballots, regardless of postmark, is the close of the Annual Meeting when the Judges of Election will ask for any remaining ballots brought to the Meeting to be put into the Ballot Box before leaving the meeting. Any ballots received after that by hand or mail will not be acceptable.

The ballots are placed in boxes under the supervision of the Judges of Election. Following the meeting these boxes are taken by the Judges of Election to a location decided upon by the Judges and stored there, under their security, until the time for counting starts, probably the next day or on Saturday morning. Ballots that were mailed will be held at the same location under the care of the Judges of Election. A suitable place would be any of the locations mentioned above, or a similarly neutral site determined
by them.

“Any Member of the Association who is a Member on the day of the Annual Meeting or who was a member during the preceding calendar year may vote in the election.” (Article IV, B.1.c.)

The Judges will be responsible for supervising and validating the counting of all votes.

The Vice President of The Operational Division will appoint a group to assist the judges in that task of verifying the ballots and of counting the votes together with the Community Manager.

No envelopes will be opened until the counting process starts. This process will be open to all who wish to attend. One envelope is opened by one of the Judges, the name read out by the Judge, and verified to be a member able to vote by the Secretary of the CHCA, who will have a list of the current membership of the CHCA. There will possibly be some names that are hard to read, and in such cases that name will be confirmed by the other Judges of Election. If the name is not able to be read well enough to make it possible to determine whether such a person is a member, the ballot is placed in a pile of “challenged ballots.” There may be some names that do not appear on the current membership list, either because the list is incorrect or the person is in fact not a member or because the individual may have joined only that day. All such ballots will be put aside in that separate pile, and will not be counted at that time. They will not be discarded. They will be kept separate. There may names which the Secretary believes to be the names of current members, but those in attendance believe are not members. The reason for challenging the legitimate membership of such a persons must be stated by the person challenging the ballot and considered a reasonable cause for challenge by two of the three judges in order for the objection to constitute grounds for placing the ballot in the “challenged pile.” If a person(s) in attendance is apparently trying to disrupt the counting process by challenging without cause the judges have the right and the responsibility to have the person removed from the counting room. Thus, it will not be possible for those in attendance to challenge arbitrarily.

All challenged ballots will be kept separate and will not be counted until later The decision as to whether a challenge has been resolved will be made by the three Judges of Election.

If the Secretary confirms that the name on the ballot matches with a name on the membership list the name will be read out as legitimate and the ballot passed to the other two Judges.

The Judge initially opening the ballots is responsible for keeping a tally of every ballot opened, so that an accurate count of the total number of ballots counted will be one outcome of the election.

The other Judges keep a tally of the instructions on the ballot. A list of all candidates and ballot questions on the ballot will have been prepared prior to the counting. This list will be a virtual duplicate of the ballot itself. Each Judge will have such a list. The second Judge examines the ballot, and marks his/her tally according to the votes listed on the ballot including the names of all those who have received votes to be elected. The ballot is then passed to the third Judge who keeps an independent tally himself/herself of the voting. The envelopes will be opened in random order.

After all the envelopes have been opened the first Judge announces the total tally of those voting. The Second and the Third judges count the number of votes for each candidate and each ballot issue on their tallies. If they agree they record that number as the number of unchallenged votes. If the numbers disagree the First Judge reviews the ballots with the other two Judges to find where the recording error was made. When there is agreement then that number is recorded as the final count of unchallenged votes for that candidate or ballot issue.

The notice of the election results will be posted on the CHCA door at 8434 Germantown Avenue .and will include the number of validated ballots tallied, the names of the candidates with the number of votes each received, in that order,the number votes received on each issue to be voted on by the membership, and the number of ballots declared invalid.

The Local will publish this notice, in the same form, in the following week’s issue of the Local.

All ballots, including those disqualified, will be saved for thirty days and will be available in the CHCA office for examination during that time.

Monday, February 20, 2006

And on the Creative Side of Life...

We received this little note from a reader and thought her project deserved a postive mention.

Two words... GOSSIP COLUMN. Would Chestnut Hill ever desire us to print you up at a Star Magazine? We can do that at the Local you know, we have the computer resources and technology. Oh, and the creative Whooha. We can scan in and modify photos, cut and paste things to make them look just as scandalous as you people type it up to be. Come on lets make some money! Lets make more accusations of dissension!!

And to think I layout all those letters in the Forum pages every week, if only they had photos it'd be so much more eye-catching. Sense the sarcasm; play with it like a kitten. Ok, next.

On to more important things, like, I'm side tracking all of you to pay attention to more creative endeavors.

AbZoolutly Chestnut Hill is the phrase of the day, for more than just the fact that everyone is squawking like hens. In case you didn't catch that edition of the Local, the animals ARE coming. Chestnut Hill's Germantown Ave and Bethlehem Pike will decorated with them in the fall. Yours truly, Robyn John, will be tempting creative genius with my contribution to the movement. Hopefully, any of you that value art for arts sake will take some interest. Come September, maybe conversations about lions on Germantown Avenue will replace topics of what’s going on inside Local offices.

And in the end, imagine this, you can buy one of these fabulous creatures. They'll be auctioned off for charity in the fall.

PS. Were waiting for our new editor. Arms open wide. Carole isn’t a bad person, she’s a good woman. Have some respect; her life is just as complicated as any of ours.

Robyn John the Indubitable
Production Manager for the Chestnut Hill Local

Friday, February 17, 2006

Quid Pro Quo...

Anonymous wrote to us:
"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi."

Anonymous stated, at the outset, "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit…"
I believe a more faithful rendition of the statement would begin along these lines, something closer to what Cicero may have written:
"Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit . . . "

After all, “There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain....”

The full text may be found at http://www.subterrane.com/definibus.shtml#10.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Smoking Gun...

Ahh. The Sad State of the Local

by Nap

The interim editor of the Chestnut Hill Local seems intent on appeasement; editing or omitting letters that she perceives would offend the powers that be in hopes of becoming permanent editor (hah… fat chance). She barely knows how to send an email or save a file, let alone run a newspaper. The direction of the Local seems to be heading towards a recipe swap and household hints newsletter.

The other week, just a couple of days prior to press, a special advertising section that had been planned/pushed/sold for months had been completely forgotten. No content ready for it whatsoever.

In every edition there are typos and typos and typos. A date in the calendar section is for 2005! An editor printing out e-mails & attachments to be typed in. And that’s just off the top of my head.

All the moaning and groaning about the current paper, although for the most part legitimate, overlooks basic facts. The emotional politics surrounding these events have resulted in departed Local staffers rising to a martyr-like status!

The truth is the Local has been going downhill in content for years. I never thought I would miss Katie Worrell. Jim Sturdivant is an excellent writer and was an incredible asset to the paper his first go around in that capacity. The truth is however, that when he returned as editor he ceased writing. In a paper as small as the Local, editors still write stories. Except for editorials, which were usually top notch (perhaps a few lacking in judgment, but from a writing standpoint second to none) he wrote NOTHING.

Things under his byline were pretty much verbatim press releases. He spent all day surfing the internet and subscribing to just about every internet news list under the sun.

His main contribution to each weekly edition was his editorial, and playing with fonts and reverse headlines on top of photographs as if he had just taken "Quark 101 - Fun with Layout.” Although the current Local is as bland as milquetoast, at least it doesn’t look like an 8th grade graphics art project.

Michael Mishak had talent and great promise. Unfortunately in his early days, he lacked strong leadership and someone to show him the ropes – where the “do-not-cross” line was. His early stories while fun to read, seemed as if he wanted the Local to be the New York Post, and he was a bit quick to print without significant fact checking, and any serious attempt to obtain a comment from the subject of his stories. He tended to cross the line in his stories from news reporting to editorial. The lack of objectivity was apparent. Jim had the experience and strength to give him guidance, and Michael’s maturation as a reporter over his last year there was clear.

Here’s the problem. The Local is more than just a paper, it’s also a business. It’s got to bring in enough to cover its costs. The sad truth is that under Jim it was run as neither. No one handed out assignments to cover stories. The editor didn’t give a rat's ass over things like: Dropping Circulation; Decreasing Ad Revenues; Inefficient Layout Practices; A Brand New Database Not Being Used.


Maxine Dornneman isn’t qualified to lead anything (although she gets a much worse rap here than what she deserves - people here tend to give her evil sinister motivations. It's more just plain incompetence), much less than a 50 person board. She’s a mediator by training, for Christ’s sake (and supposedly a good one – although you could never tell by the factions that the association has splintered into). Being a mediator gave her a style of "Managing by Consensus," which is not leading.

Besides, consensus of a 50 person board is impossible.

The publishers committee is for what exactly? Under the bylaws it has no power, it does nothing.

I look at the posts on this blog and I laugh… so many people know so little. Most of the people involved think that the world revolves around the CHCA and them. I’d be willing to bet that a significant percentage of the Local's readership had no idea until lately that the CHCA even owned the local, and that the vast majority of them are sick of 50 percent of the front section content being dedicated to narcissistic preening of people with a lot to say that no one wants to hear.

Ahh. I could go on for ever, but work beckons.

In future pieces I’ll lay some real juicy tidbits on you all… really blow some minds. I just wanted to let you know where I’m coming from. I’ve got no political axes to grind; I’m not personally invested in one side or the other. I’m just trying to keep it real.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

When All Else Fails, Rework The Truth...

There was a letter circulating in November which addressed issues at the Chestnut Hill Local. It started with, "As a long time subscriber and occasional contributor to the Local, I am deeply disappointed in the Board’s decision to stifle a piece that may have been objectionable to some of its members. In the November 3, 2005, Forum on the Hill, the staff eloquently stated myriad reasons for freedom of speech and the press, and I trust reliably recapitulated the course of events leading to the resignations of the two top editors of the paper."

But more importantly, the letter stated clearly what everyone knows about Mssrs. Sturdivant and Mishak; to whit, "Regardless of why these gentlemen resigned, Board pressure or their own volition, they are no longer at the helm of an outstanding neighborhood newspaper."

Clearly, in the days immediately following the coup and resignations, people knew the truth; Sturdvant and Mishak resigned because they had honor and dignity; that they could not be bought by ths board of directors. That people could say counseling either of these two professional journalists to leave was wrong tells us one thing: Money is more important than honor. "Why not be bought?" the Maxinistas might say. "You need a job." Well, there's a term for that – whore. And neither man was about to commit professional suicide by staying with the Local.

The author continued, "The incredulous decision by the Board (21 to 14) not to offer Mr. Sturdivant his job back seemed to border on the ridiculous as they asserted that the THREE individuals who applied pressure to him had no authority to do so."

And we all know that the three are still with the paper, with the Operations Manager penciled in at a $41,000 annual cost. Selling out the editor has its rewards, obviously.

"Something stinks in Chestnut Hill, and as Wes Roberts related in the Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, 'The error in appointing incompetent chieftains is in leaving them in positions of authority over other Huns.' It seems to me that Mr. Sturdivant was one of the other Huns."

Ah, we get to the heart of the issue. (All together now, repeat the mantra the Maxinistas chant in their sleep: Editor's Note - Mr. Sturdivant and Mr. Mishak resigned from their jobs. The Local did not fire them.) Now, back to reality. The "leadership" of CHCA had been threatening Sturdivant for months, as witnessed by this e-mail exchange between Sturdivant, George Parry and Merk Keintz, an exchange shared with us. The heat was on and the Maxinistas had an ending scripted:
Aug 18, 2005, George Parry wrote:
Wednesday, August 17, 2005 12:22 PM
Publisher's Committee Meeting

I think you ran the meeting well. Everybody got to say their piece. And some got to lob grenades.

I have one question for your copious free time: In your non-forewarning of Jim, did you mean to imply you thought there was evidence of his "picking a fight"?


And George answers:

I think that there are people on the board (some of whom, I believe, may be overly sensitive to criticism) who are developing a grievance against the Local's editorial positions. As I said to Lawrence Walsh - none too gently - that is just a fact, and, if a consensus develops on the board that the Local should not be criticizing the CHCA, Jim will be in real trouble.

As for the evidence of his picking a fight, I finally read his editorial about the CHCA being a political versus service organization. First, he was wrong about membership declining. He attempted to minimize that point at the meeting, but, if he wants to criticize the way that the CHCA is being run, he had better get his facts straight especially when he raises an issue that has been a major concern of the board and one to which the board has devoted so much time and effort. One could well interpret Jim's error as either an appalling indifference to or a deliberate misstatement of the facts in order to make a point critical of the CHCA leadership. And saying that someone should write back to argue the point is bogus. Why should the CHCA have to defend itself against its own newspaper when the paper misstates the facts? All that does is spread the disinformation/misinformation (whatever it is) further and give it legitimacy (i.e., well, now it's debatable whether or not membership is declining) that it doesn't deserve.

Second, the tag line of the editorial (saying that CHCA was probably off some where being non-political) was not simply provocative but snide. But look at the supposed justification for it: someone missed a meeting. Big deal. For Maxine and the rest of the leadership, life is full of meetings, more meetings and endless, mind-numbing meetings. How does missing a single meeting justify a jab like that?

Third, I was perturbed at Jim's apparent immaturity and self-righteousness. How dare Maxine take issue with one of his editorials? His performance in that regard was simply ludicrous. He can criticize Maxine, but she isn't allowed to take issue with what he said? Well, who made him Pope? He needs to toughen up and learn to stand on his own two feet.

So, yes, on balance - even allowing for some on the board who are overly sensitive - I think that he is picking a fight with the board leadership. Under the Lentz policy, he is free to do so. But the board is free to take whatever action it wants to protect itself from being attacked by the Local. Maybe, after debate, the board will let him continue to serve as editor despite his criticism. Certainly there were board members present at the meeting in support of Jim or, at least, opposed to Maxine. But, if he continues attacking, he had better start keeping an accurate head count as to which board members will support him if his continued employment comes up for a vote.

I don't know why any of this should come as a surprise to Jim or anyone else. It is human nature not to like being criticized. Indeed, that is the operative psychological principle underlying editorials: criticism will cause discomfort which will change behavior so that the discomfort caused by the criticism will end. Fine. So why should we expect the board to cease being human and meekly submit to Jim's criticism without hitting back? He gets to write his editorials, and they get to fire him. That's how it works, and he needs to think about that before he climbs into the ring for the next round.

I am taking the liberty of sharing these thoughts (and your attached e-mail) with the committee members, Maxine and Jim.

Best regards,

Well gosh darn and everything. I guess what comes next is another of their unwritten rules: "We get to sign their paychecks and they get to kiss our …"

Makes one proud to be a Chestnut Hiller.

Maxinista: Rough

news, reasonable rumor, & comment

re the clique that stole the Local
by Sniper

The rough thing about the events of the last six months is the tiny number of ding-dongs who've been able to bring the Chestnut Hill Local to its knees, belching and expectorating like VP Cheney trying to explain away his shotgun accident: you've got awful little Sanjiv Jain, the wannabe new Snowden-on-the-Hill; Pam "Ding-Dong" Waters, a Virginia Bell (vintage stripper) lookalike, who's actually a Mt. Airy housewife and interior decorator; Tia Burke, the one-time McDonalds grease empire battler and lawyer, now transformed into a Jain groupie (she stands up at public meetings whenever little Sanji begins to bray (as if ready to smite his hecklers!); Nancy Berger, the proofreader-turned-Maximum Leader; Joe Pie, the Creature From the Black Saloon; George Parry, a one-time serious lawyer, currently twisted around Maxinista's um, pinkie… and then there's M herself, reddish-haired, determined, seductively articulate, looking a little like a rumpled Laura Bush in a minister's collar.

Somehow they've changed all the rules, ignored the board of directors, and, word has it, take their cues from some mysterious trustees determined to subvert the CHCA to the CHBA (Hi, Bob Previdi!), an old battle that goes back to the 60s, apparently. The idea here is Hoover/Coolidge Republicanism -- "The Business of America is Business!" -- and damn anybody who doesn't get off on maxing profits plus pushing positive community spin… journalism, poor frail creature that it's become, should get out of the way! Who wants to read real stories, like what's behind the Commerce Bank fiasco? Behind the loopy mismanagement of CHCA funds? The silent coup that forced Jim Sturdivant to resign or risk puking on his shoes, acceding to demotion as a staff writer? ("Jim writes so well! We just wanted him to write more!," barked Bergie last fall). The cowardly appeasement of SuperBrat Snowden (hereafter "SBS"), waster of his grandmom's providence, real estate dilettante extraordinaire, proprietor of empty venues up and down the Avenue… Only a bunch of Luddites who still read for content & style could be interested in such stuff, poor fools… So when you get a couple of them on the CHCA board, like Lawrence Walsh and Martha Haley, you demonize them and get them to resign… (And they, for some reason, go along with it!)

Ah, Chestnut Hill. Still hung up on your cobblestones and historical trash cans… afraid to engage the hard facts that Germantown and Mt. Airy are pushing you for liebesraum. That the WASP dream-ideal is kind of Bing Crosby-ish in this era of Kanye West and Ludacris… How did you elect Maxinista three times?

All her ideas belonged to Maurice "the Collar" McCarthy: that overt "rudeness" -- good reporting -- is next to Godlessness; that P.R. trumps substance every time; that nothing can't be won in Chestnut Hill with a minimum show of old-line wardleader smarts -- ring 'dem doorbells, since voter pluralities are often no more than 175 to 300 bodies. But now she's gone too far. Her Kitchen Cabinet (the Executive Committee), refuses to allow CHCA's books to be read even by legitimate board members (Mark Keintz and Chris Kemezis, working both sides of the street as usual, collaborate). She won't reveal the sad truth about the failures of the last Holiday House Tour drive, or the flop of the Black & White Gala. She's packed the Local with nincompoops, who allow propaganda like January 12th's "For the record… the truth" to lie by omission (Sturdivant wasn't the victim of a silent coup, he quit! Sturdi quit, I tell you! And so did Mishak!). She assigns the minimally-employed -- Boynton, Pie, Berger -- to hobble those remaining members of the Local staff who actually know what they're doing. She brokers a deal where mortal political enemies Lawrence Walsh and George Parry are supposed to simultaneously resign from the CHCA, but only Walsh is extruded.

Bad blood. Bad blood, I tell you. Max's feckless brother Nolan, for example, now safely ensconced as a gofer in Councilman Frank Rizzo Jr.'s office by Stewart Graham, CHCA's Karl Rove (and reportedly the secret conduit for the mysterious trustees' political orders) -- is such a hapless fool his (Nolan's) car was recently towed by the Parking Authority for "abandonment". Joe Pie, Max's and Parry's hit man, is reportedly the reason a well-liked McNally's bartender just quit and went to work at Fatty's in Wyndmoor… maybe that's why Pie's wife Anne, his only source of income, prevailed on her pal Maxinista to set Joe up at the Local to harass the helpless staff! Get him out of the bar! Among other things, apparently, Joe was bad for business…

Friday, February 10, 2006

Make It Up As You Go Along...

The leading complaint of people seeking a change in the current board makeup has been the varying and inconsistent interpretation of the bylaws and rules of order. These interpretations have led to questionable (and inconsistent) edicts and rulings by the current administration. These have ranged from paying a sitting board member for work and reneging on a negotiated agreement regarding committee composition to allowing people other than board members to impose demands on employees. Today, we received another tale of their seat-of-the-pants management style.

Read on.

After having been told (sometime past 11 p.m. at the January CHCA Board meeting) by the Vice President of the Physical Division that anyone NOT seated at the "Board table" was there as OBSERVERS ONLY, it was no surprise to see that rule played out at the February Executive Committee meeting.

Asking to be recognized to request two well-prepared items for submission to the agenda for the Board meeting scheduled for late January, Janine Dwyer, member of the Board and past president of the CHCA was told that no one outside the Executive Committee was permitted to speak. She pressed on over the objections of President Maxine Dornemann and was able to complete her presentation.

Under "new business," Walter Sullivan who had been seated all evening at the Executive Committee table, began a lengthy petition and request that the Committee move on his proposal at that time.

Walter Sulllivan, while a member of the CHCA Board, is not a member of the Executive Committee.

Did they think that no one would notice?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

All Politics is Local...

"If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions." : Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787.

And how has this changed in 200+ years?

A Conversation with the Local...

They're doing it again. It's like a magic chant to ward off spells. Every time Jim Sturdivant or Mike Mishak is mentioned in a letter to the Local, the paper has a stock answer that pops up at the end of the piece. One need not say any more than their names and poof, the phrase appears. It's akin to a kid saying "There are no monsters under the bed. There are no monsters under the bed..." That's right. They're out there in plain sight.

We can only imagine a conversation with the former editors, the management of the Local and a passerby.

Passerby: It's a beautiful day, Mike.

Local (interjecting): Editor's Note - Mr. Sturdivant and Mr. Mishak resigned from their jobs. The Local did not fire them.

Passerby: I see the Commerce Bank project is still not going anywhere, Jim.

Local (interjecting): Editor's Note - Mr. Sturdivant and Mr. Mishak resigned from their jobs. The Local did not fire them.

Passerby: I read a letter in the Local which include that the former editor and assistant editor left the paper, Mike.

Local (interjecting): Editor's Note - Mr. Sturdivant and Mr. Mishak resigned from their jobs. The Local did not fire them.

Passerby: How's that Community Fund drive going, Jim?

Local (interjecting): Editor's Note - Mr. Sturdivant and Mr. Mishak resigned from their jobs. The Local did not fire them.

Passerby: I wonder what the former editor of the Local is doing these days, Mike.

Local (interjecting): Editor's Note - Mr. Sturdivant and Mr. Mishak resigned from their jobs. The Local did not fire them.

Uhhh. Get over it people. You've done what you've done and there is a price to pay for playing games with people's lives and not being honorable.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Truth, the Whole, and the Modified Truth

This post on Saturday was lost in the Blogspot problem period. It is being reposted today.

For those who continue to read the Chestnut Hill Local, even under the new editorial oversight policy as per the May 2004 By Law changes, an example of the actual application of that policy might be eye-opening.

I submitted my first comments to the Local on the issues debated since the departure of the editor and news writer to my column “Off Center” by Jim Foster for publication in the issue that would be printed on February 2, 2006.

I explained to the editor in covering comments that I had spent the last three months interviewing Board Members, employees, CHCA members and interested parties in order to gain insight to all perspectives before I commented. I also attended two Board Meetings, one Executive Committee Meeting and the special meeting held in the Library to discuss the crucial issues in open forum.

My comments under the heading THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING. . . . . did make it to print under my usual byline. - - - - or at least I thought they did.

After reading the print version in the Local I immediately knew some key sentences were missing, including the ones in particular that proved unequivocally the major point I made in the comments, and one I wanted the community, CHCA members, and Board Members to consider in the days ahead. I have printed below the two paragraphs that included the redacted sentences and those words in italics that were deleted:


Although reported in the Local of May 6, 2004, few noticed that revisions of the By-Laws included the creation of a Publisher’s Committee to replace the Management Committee that had responsibility for the newspaper - - a rose by any other name. However, the major significant change in ARTICLE VI COMMITTEES, B. STANDING COMMITTEES, 5a of the By-Laws was the elimination of one sentence: The committee has no jurisdiction over the editorial policy or the content of the paper, other than advertising.” It could not have been more clear that oversight was to replace journalistic freedom. Additional language in this revision placed editorial oversight under committee supervision. “Not even the Operations Manager (I meant vice president) of the CHCA was aware of this change as was made clear in the Executive Committee meeting I attended two weeks ago. When questioned by a Board Member in that meeting, he denied such a change was made, only to reverse himself moments later as he read the changed language aloud to the assembled membership.

Called for 7:00 at the Chestnut Hill Hospital, the meeting was to be centered around a presentation by the new management as expansion and construction plans and to include discussion and presentations from PenDot officials as to plans for modified traffic and highway changes in the area. In addition, community members were present to make their points on issues of individual concern. In a process right out of an alternative form of government, the Board adjourned to a locked separate room with “protection” from the Philadelphia Police Department, and further restrictions from hospital security guards who had instructions to allow no one, member or not, to enter the room. This “Executive Session” lasted for three hours as a team of hospital senior executives, highway planners, residents and the press waited it out with no information or explanation. We later learn that the sole purpose of this three hour priority session was to put a Board Member on trial and remove him for crimes of the written and spoken word. I think some very recognizable folks may be living in a parallel universe.
I repeat, ALL OF THE ABOVE SENTENCES IN ITALICS WERE REMOVED BY THE EDITOR, even though one sentence is left hanging. With the exception of the last sentence, which was my opinion, the rest of that language represented description of first hand experience and ones that were witnessed by no less than 20-25 at the Executive Committee and a much larger number at the Board Meeting.

The statement by the Operations Vice President confirms, in an undeniable manner, the major point I was trying to make in the commentary that most of those who participate in the CHCA do not even know what they voted for and how much damage those changes can do when as few as one person can modify what has been said, done, and delete at will data that might make all the difference in what a community would learn has happened or is about to happen. Make no mistake, as I said later in my piece, this is grass roots First Amendment, pure and simple.

The editor claims these deletions were only her doing and for “space reasons”. Sure!

Whatever your previous point of view regarding the direction of the CHCA and the newspaper, this should give everyone pause as to where you go from here. If you believe in the free exchange of information and ideas with open debate in structured setting, you had it in the CHCA with the Local as an arms-length information source. If you prefer a few power brokers to run a top-down monopoly on your community decisions, with the ability to silence or modify debate at will, leave things the way they are. However, you should change the name of the newspaper to “PRAVDA ON GERMANTOWN AVENUE”

Jim Foster

Sunday, February 05, 2006

What Newspapers Are

An area newspaperperson offers a few thoughts on the nature of the industry. We should pay attention, lest we find ourselves without what we need.

Citizen Kane thought it would be fun to run a newspaper and build himself a Xanadu. Mr. Kane - the big fictitious American who he was - thought no special interests should be allowed to interfere with the truth.

As such a way of life should be, ideally, inspired to relate that statement. Such should be the way any ‘newspaper’ should be run, under the protections of the constitution’s freedom of speech amendment. Therefore, any and all deterrent towards that ideal should be evaluated, speculated and criticized.

Nothing in a newspaper should be for frivolity's sake, for that is not the nature of a newspaper, although maybe that of a newsletter or magazine. News is news, no matter what area you represent or what kind of mission statement you procure.

If you are deemed a newspaper then you should take that title as seriously as you do any endeavor. Newspapers expose, they tell truth when no one else can it. They inform you when no one else can say it. They notify you when no one else will remember it. They document the history and tell the tale of what is before you.

The workingman reads the newspaper to find out what is happening in his community while he is at work contributing to his community. Please give that man what he is due: quality reports and insightful information, real facts, opinions, editorial musings that provoke not only discussion but further actions towards improvement of his daily life. In short, give him the challenge of something worthy of reading.

It is not just a medium worth considering, it’s a way of life.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Blogspot That Ate...

Seems Blogspot has been eating posts since early Saturday afternoon. It's been kinky and even offline for four hours today (Saturday, Feb. 4). These things happen. Right now the master list doesn't show Foul, Part 2, on the server but it appears on the page. Go figure.

Err. Wrote too soon. On the preview, "Foul... Part 2" disappeared. There's always tomorrow.

If you sent a post and it isn't here, try a resend.

Thanks for your patience.

Foul... Part 2

A reader sent this e-mail which asks if the Chestnut Hill Community Association Board followed through on its promise to make changes in the makeup of the Publishers Committee. No mention has been made in the CHCA newsletter about them keeping their promise. The posting section is acting up so it will go here. The full comment is posted under the Jan. 29, 2006, "Foul..." story below.

I would like to know what happened to the deal that George Parry and Lawrence Walsh (Pulitzer Prize winner) would BOTH resign from the Publishers' Committee. Now Walsh is gone and Parry remains. The assault on the Local continues.

Rumor has it that Walsh was treated shamelessly. His fury is understandable. My guess is that the Executive Committee does not want the community to know how out of control the Board has become under their leadership, hence the secrecy. That said, keeping all those people waiting until 11 pm while they lock themselves in a room under police "protection" is a great way to spread the news that the lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

Rumor has it that the Interim Censor has been lopping paragraphs out of Opinion pieces that don't conform to the party (i.e., Dornemann) line. It is a FACT that she is not publishing certain letter that would shed some light on this sorry mess.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Exclusion, Disdain and a Lack of Honoring the Rules

Let's hear it for Mike Mishak and Jimmy Pack who have written again for Philly Style Magazine-also known as Pete's Magazine. I sent this Letter to the Local Forum to the poor excuse of an interim editor. I feel bad that I'm throwing more "junk" at her (editorial 1-26-06). Too bad. Fool that I am, I thought that was part of the job.

From Marie Lachat

Last week the CHCA Board of Directors removed a Pulitzer Prize winner from the Publisher’s Committee and from the board. This was a board member who cared deeply about the issue of Free Press and as a professional journalist had much to offer our weekly newspaper. If you voted for him, as I did, too bad. The Truth Squad will be sure that their truth about this evil-doer is spread all over town to justify an action that I’ve not known to happen in my twelve years as an active member. This is what has happened to all whom they have banished from the esteemed Club CHCA.

Club CHCA does not include all board members nor all its dues paying members. Club CHCA is the power arm of the community association. It’s just for players, the elite, the corporate minded, the framers and rebranders of our very low lives.

Club CHCA disdains having to operate by the plebian rules of a community association and a nonprofit. These laws are known as the bylaws and CHCA bylaws have been an essential part of the legal operation of the community association for about 50 years. Club CHCA disregards the bylaws as well as the out of the loop board members time and time again. Maybe to them it reads “bye laws.”

Club CHCA often refers to the fact that they are volunteers as if they had invented the word and as if no one else in this community were so inclinded to be so charitable. However, Club CHCA had no regard for participants in CHCA public monthly board meeting by scheduling this controversial Executive Session before the meeting Thus the ordinary folks were left to wait two and a half hours for the public meeting to begin.

Club CHCA makes the rules. Let the peons wait. The emergency inquisition of an evil board member, neighbor, and fellow resident must be held at all costs. Chainsaw Al Dunlap has come to Chestnut Hill. A dozen or so employees and now a board member have been axed. How many more heads will role while the Club CHCA leaders rule.
Watch your neck!

Club CHCA doesn’t want anyone who supports free press to be part of Club CHCA. A new policy on Letters to the Local appeared on page two of The Local dated January 26, 2006. This never came before the board as the operating laws say it must, but it did come a week after the interim editor refered to the letters of the undesirables as “junk”.

Club CHCA has never presented the Board of Directors with guideline for the Publisher’s Committe, though they are obligated to approve bylaws for all committees. Ah, the better to keep the ignorami out of their way.

Club CHCA doesn’t have to honor the bylaws. They play by their own rules but they are playing with our money. Club CHCA has a plan. Wake up and find out what it is before it is too late.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A Parody

We received this message this morning at about the time we finished reading this week's CHCA Local. A few words can say so much.

I just picked up a copy of what I thought was this week's Local.
Obviously, it is a parody.
Anyone know when the real paper will be coming out.

Congratulations Maxine

This piece was sent to the Chestnut Hill Local as an Op -Ed piece. In keeping with the current administration's editorial interests, it did not appear in the paper. But then, letters from Community Manager Betty Brady and Business Manager Kara Ghezarian did. These two employees shed a little light on Inspector Clousseau's activities within the paper, most notably his contributions of the last six months. We would guess the Maxinistas need to play up the lad, given that his own efforts are a sick parody of a responsible "volunteer."

Wait a minute. The last six months? Wasn't that when the conspirators within the office began plotting the former editor's fall from grace? Uh-hmmm. And weren't Betty and Kari part of that plot? Yep. Talk about sucking up, and to all people, the Inspector. He who was castigated roundly in public at a CHCA board meeting for bullying, abusiveness and general incompetence when it came to newspapers. These people don't know when to stop embarresing themselves, do they. And to have the audacity to give him thanks for supporting the staff when Joey was accused of being extremely disruptive and totally at a loss when it comes to professional journalism. He should stick to carpet installing instead of being a lap dog to people he thinks like him.

But we digress. Mr. Wells letter needs to be read. It serves to shed more light on the abuses of power and the general incompetence of those running the Chestnut Hill Community Association.

Posted via email, approximately 6 PM, 1/26/06. From Lloyd Wells:

In fairness we all owe a real debt of gratitude to Maxine Dornemann and her administration for making the Local into the Public Forum it was intended to be. There’s little doubt that since her direct involvement each succeeding issue is being read by an ever increasing number of people.

It has not, however, been entirely Maxine’s “cellarer” administration that deserves all the credit; a large portion of thanks must, in all fairness, go to the constructively angry voices of Lawrence Walsh, Mary Anna Ross-Cowper, Ann Spaeth, Martha Haley, Ron Reco and more recently the letter of Fred Walker [1/25/06 issue].

In suggesting that Maxine’s administration is nurturing the increasing readership, a good example in point is the likelihood, as of this writing, that CHCA Board Member Lawrence Walsh will be ostracized by the “democratic” proceedings of this administration at a meeting tonight (Jan. 26) of the CHCA’s Board.

Fred Walker’s letter, referred to above, illuminates the “political hand grenade” that is currently developing in CH. This bombshell threatens the existence of what most of us hope will continue to be a “greene country towne” - [William Penn’s dream for Philadelphia as a whole].

Fred’s wry expression of gratitude to all American taxpayers for their quarter million dollar grant [gift] “to the seven lots owned by the CHCA” further illustrates this administration’s incompetence. [12/29/05 issue] As reported, this contribution was arranged by Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Chakah Fatta, apparently aided and abetted by CHCA Board member and Democratic Leader of Philadelphia’s 9th Ward, John O’Connell.

In the 11/24/05 issue it was reported that Pennsylvania State Democratic Senator LeAnna Washington presented twenty five thousand dollars to the Chestnut Hill District to study our parking system. Though the LOCAL reports that the CHCA owns the seven lots, W. Stewart Graham, Esq., CHCA Executive Committee advisor, knows very well that neither the CHCA or the Parking Foundation owns the real estate involved. I personally explained all this to Mr. Graham in 1992 when he visited me for a weekend prior to his becoming CH’s Community Manager. It also should be noted that Mr. Graham was appointed principal assistant to the Democratic Minority leader of the current Philadelphia City Council, Frank Rizzo, Jr. [who hints at his interest in a mayoral run (2/17/05 issue)]. Is it possible that Mr. Graham will nominate Mr. Rizzo, Jr. for the CH Award to be presented at this spring’s annual meeting of the CHCA?]

Having largely organized the Parking Foundation, I’m aware that essentially all of the real estate comprising the 7 lots is privately owned. Thus, the quarter million dollars of federal tax funding, reportedly to be used to improve the private properties of the several landlords involved, raises the question as to what it will be used for. Would the objectives of this administration [meeting behind closed doors by their own choice] be better served were it to purchase the Hiram Lodge property with these funds?

I must add here, that I in no way suspect Paul Roller, President of the Parking Foundation, of being involved in this possible manipulation of public funds. Few in CH, including the CH Businessmen’s Association, have any idea of how or why their Association or the Parking Foundation came into being or why, in days gone by, these civic efforts were so successful.

Lastly, let me compliment Mary Anna Ross-Cowper for publicly recognizing the need for independent political parties in CH; which in no way would be connected with the national Democratic, Republican or other parties. [1/25/06 issue.]

Mary Anna was the first Chairwoman of the CHCA’s “Greene Party” established circa 1965. The “Greene Party” was organized when it was recognized that “we-the-sovereign-people of the U.S.A.” had established a political system in 1789 that empowered the majority to implement their pleasure on all Americans.

Of course, political interaction is often heated and uncomfortable - need I say. Due to this reality the “Greene Party” was dissolved in 1976. Thus, the subsequent erosion of democratic process in CH has resulted in today’s tragic situation.

Lloyd P. Wells


Northwest Notebook,
Chestnut Hill Notebook,
Pointed Observations,
and NADAWeb.

The Crew

Look for the signature at the end of the post.

We accept donations in support of our work.
E-mail us at Northwest Notebook.

Readership since
January 28, 2006

Powered by Blogger

Rules on Posting

To make comments on a post, hit comments. Don't be a wanker, though. No name, no play. Ain't life a bitch when you can't hide behind something?

Save the Internet

Keep an eye on legislation affecting the Internet.
Go to Save the Internet

Visit the West Mt. Airy Neighbors.
Check Out Adult Education Classes Philadelphia.

Northwest Notebook (formerly Chestnut Hill Notebook)
This site is part of the
Philly Future community.
Don't forget Germantown Radio.
Check out other Philadelphia weblogs in our region.

Blogtalk Radio br Site Feed

Earlier posts are in the Archives by Month.

Powered by Blogger