Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Maxinista: Herding Cats

CH fecklessness swings both ways
by Sniper

The news is out, Lea Sitton Stanley, after five weeks on the job as editor of the Local, is fed up. And the folks who hired her are fed up too! None other than Betty Brady, the recently-reduced-to-two-days-a-week Community Manager, has been skittering around, letting folks in the Local office and outside the office, know that "We're sick of hearing her whine! She's always complaining! Not enough money [for hiring stringers or paying for more seasoned reporters]! Worried about her own [$55,000] pay and benefits package! [Allegedly $1200 a month after her Inky package tapers off by July.] Griping about having to teach the staff to write and having to spend all day Monday re-writing and copy-editing! Did she think she was coming to the Times or something? "

Small chance of that, Betty, but Lea is a pro from the Inquirer, from an old Southern newspaper family, too. And it's hard to adjust to the weirdness of Chestnut Hill, in those circumstances. Especially when you've been sold a bill of goods by the silver-tongued Maxine herself. The strangest part of the whole Maxinista phenomenon, and the Actionistas who are following her, is their schizophrenic insistence that they are for democracy and community participation, a free press and all the other buzz-points of citizen participation, when in fact they operate like old Meehan Republican machine pols -- secret deals in backrooms, non-accountability on finances, the flouting of all the former rules -- the Lentz policy, the advance printing of Board meeting agendas, and the locations of meetings, so that people can be prepared and actually attend . . . Secret ballots are more the AA way . . .

The word is in the street. Kay at Caruso's was telling someone the other day that Lea would be gone soon. Somebody else mentioned Pete Mazzaccaro's name as a possible replacement, but others said 'No, he's tainted. Doman hates him.' In fact Dougie Doman has a candidate from Lansdowne, a person as malleable as Boynton was, warming up in the wings. Mazzaccaro's name is just being floated to pacify the dopes in SOC from strenuously searching for an editor candidate who might have a chance against the Actionista designee . . . In its sandlot way, Chestnut Hill politics is growing a sophisticated rind. [Here's an idea: Nancy Berger and her husband Chris, alleged pilferer of Jim Sturdivant and Mike Mishak's computer files as "evidence", for distribution among the Maxinistas last fall, as Double Editors!! They'd be perfect for Actionista SWAT teams -- mean, sneaky, amoral . . . willing to hack off slices of their own flesh for the AA Cause! After all, Business is Business!!]

But let's examine a more disturbing trend. The swath of old ladies -- Pat Stokes, Quita Horan, Mary Anna Ross, Mary Jane Shelly, Virginia Mallery -- SOC members dedicated to the old CH politesse, where you're always courteous and nice and gentlewomanly -- after all, when the election is over, we've all got to live here, right? And there are a bunch of others -- Lou Aiello, Ned Mitinger , John Anderson, Susan Pizzano -- even the sainted Marie Lachat (who's always taken her lead from Pizzano) -- who think naming names and complaining loudly about hypocrisy and wrongdoing is vulgar and non-Chestnut Hill. Some of the above (not Lachat), decided some time ago to effectively boycott the blog -- "because it might hurt us [SOC]".

But how exactly? By ruffling Quita Horan, a very private and quiet rich lady who pays for ads and other things, so long as her sensibilities aren't offended? By angering Medicine Show hustlers like Dougie Doman, or Stewie Graham, the power-behind-the-scenes Karl Rove of AA, who will then be inspired to "go into overdrive for last minute votes." One person warned Sniper that "Stewart can easily throw in several thousands for ads, etc., and so we can't have [him} as [an] avowed enemy." (! He's not an enemy?) And then there's the long-held fear that Big Stew can screw up the next Editorial Search Committee pick -- after Stanley goes back to Mt. Airy -- by blocking certain desirable candidates from doing any more than submitting their names . . . Well, guess what, timorous SOCers? The latter's already happened. Just five weeks ago, and it will happen again, whether you develop the stones to say what you mean or not. And as far as gearing up for a Battle of the Bulge on votes, Carolyn "Leatherface" Haussermann completed her AA retirement-vote canvassing a week ago, and will be running a shuttle service for seniors from Cathedral Village on voting day . . .

All this came to a head on Tuesday in the infamous "backroom" (AA slanguage for the production department) of the Local, when Jim Foster, the coordinator of the SOC electoral campaign, had to fend off a verbal offensive by Ms. Pizzano, who demanded that nine names come off a SOC ad because they didn't agree with the tactic of naming Richard Becker, Douglas Doman and W (!) Stewart Graham, in Ed Feldman's very funny and acerbic poem, pointing out that the very people who
"created the committee
to control the paper
who abused the staff
who bullied the editor . . .
which created the mess the Hill is in"
are the same AA'ers who now say they want an "independent paper."

Sniper suggests -- in all humility and with no irony at all, for once -- that Ed Budnick Jr., Joanne Dhody, Marie Lachat, Ned Mitinger, Virginia Mallery, and Dr. Joseph and Susan Pizzano, reconsider their positions, and pull together with the other members of SOC to knock out AA candidates as incapable of reform as Becker, Doman and Graham are.

Just because Stewie and Richie Maloumian convinced Maxinista herself not to run for president again, because of her many faux pas and dissemblings, and counseled Sanjiv Jain to get off the slate because he'd grown too hot with recurrent scams, doesn't mean those two won't be affecting AA policy on the post-election board. Look what Actionistas have done already: nominated Carol "West Wing" Cope, a fallen-away Democrat to replace Maxine (they live next door, so you can imagine those summer koffee klatches); and Joe "Free Press" Pie -- who moves his lips when he reads print -- to head the Publisher's Committee!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sniper is just too mean for words.
Everything Chestnut Hill stands against. Why doesn't he/she get a life?

Wed Apr 19, 02:54:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Nancy Berger said...

Actually, Chris and I have put together the venture capital necessary to buy the paper, as Chris & Lombardi discussed over a few drinks [at Spasso, I believe it was] on March 2. At that time, Lombo was in the running as editor, but now ... I'll put my money on Mazz, who I always campaigned for ever since Katie Worrall announced her retirement. Unless, of course, he turns out to be the increasingly mean-spirited and just mean Sniper.
As for the credentialed Ms. Sitton -- cut me a break. Not even a "good luck to all candidates" ... "please vote" editorial? She can't manage that? And the copyediting sucks.

Wed Apr 19, 06:58:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And don't overlook the story that some Actionistas are circulating. They claim it's the Second Opinion Caucus that has its eyes on the Hiram Lodge when it's been the Actionista Allies who have been the ones chasing that nightmare for more than a year.

Speak softly, perhaps. But at least tell the truth.

Wed Apr 19, 07:45:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous robyn said...

my merriam-webster dictionary states:
SLANDER: n. a false report maliciously uttered and tending to injure the reputation of a person.
FIRST of all, Jim Foster CALLED ON TUESDAY. Second of all, the PHONE CALL was handed off to the SALES department where Ms. Pizzano was DEALING WITH CONFLICT OF INTEREST with the SALES DEPARTMENT not the PRODUCTION DEPT.
Ask yourself, am I part of the problem or am part of the solution?

Thu Apr 20, 01:35:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Lombo" was never "in the running" for any venture Mr. and Mrs. Berger might propose. On the night in question at Spasso, he was merely being a reporter, something the whimsical Berger's apparently know little about.
And what's the relevance of such remarks in a column about the fecklessness of Ms. Stanley's bosses, and about certain SOC members who'd rather lose the election than risk angering Richard Becker, Doug Doman and Stewart Graham by naming them in an ad?

John Lombardi

Thu Apr 20, 11:19:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Nancy Berger said...

I think what I love most about this exchange is that Lombardi, by his own admission one of the world's greatest, most talented editors and reporters [though not so great with apostrophe usage], is also a mind-reader. This guy really has a future!!
Just one little thing you forgot to put in your reporter's notebook, John. Chris' name is Henderson, not Berger.
And as to "relevance of such remarks" -- Lombardi's the one who started taking shots at us. We're simply replying in kind.

Thu Apr 20, 12:09:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what my comments aren't valid enough to post??

Thu Apr 20, 12:22:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone stopped to think about how all of this nastiness started with the appointment of John Lombardi as editor of the Local and how diminished we all are from the vitriol that has spewed forth from that sad, small time, Haverford newsletter editing, lacking in talent, little, little man?
How easily Eden is lost and now we all lie far East of there.

Thu Apr 20, 01:17:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Idiot! Stop being a child, get a job and live your life.

Thu Apr 20, 01:53:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enough with the Berger/Lombardi nonsense. What does it have to do with Sniper's column? If Berger wants to repay Lombardi "in kind", why doesn't she e-mail him directly or write a general letter to the blog?

Thu Apr 20, 02:23:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous John Lombardi said...

In response to the A who wrote "Has anyone stopped to think about how all of this nastiness started..."

Me and James Dean, Leathers. Remember the time you offered to give me a
ride to the Jersey border? And I don't edit a "Haverford newsletter." It's
a blog, right in the heart of Eden.

John Lombardi

Thu Apr 20, 04:56:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Ginny said...

John (aka Sniper,EE,Waylaid Pilgram and 'in most civilized circles' Flaming Asshole)

If we give you what you want, will you go away? Please??

You are an extremely dishonorable dude. So, tell us what you want.

Or better yet, show your mophead at the Annual Meeting and you'll find no shortage of folks, from all sides, who'll tell you what they want... for you to just go away.


Thu Apr 20, 06:23:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Nancy Berger said...

My dear Anonymous:
You're 100 percent correct, but aahhh ... there's the rub. Lombardi won't answer our (multiple) e-mails any more, since he started circulating these dirty, false rumors about us.
And you may want to reread Sniper's column [above], paragraph 3, whereupn Lombardi chose to editorialize. That's what the brackets around the text mean.
Can YOU get Lombardi to answer our e-mails?

Thu Apr 20, 07:48:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Vito said...

It seems to me that all of you need to grow up and tune into reality! By the way, aren't we at war in Iraq? Gasoline at three dollars a gallon, kids coming home in body bags, a murder a day in phila., find a real cause to fuck off all your energy!

Thu Apr 20, 11:50:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Response to Lombardi

Blog or newsletter, really doesn't matter: You're through - an old style newsie who can't get work. Sad little guy, just sad.

Fri Apr 21, 08:39:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really classy e-mails there, Carolyn. Demonize the "outsider" and evoke the sense of violated "Eden" all snobs and racists have used since social stratification got rolling -- back when your ancestors ruled Germany.

John Lombardi

Fri Apr 21, 11:44:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee John, speaking of class you sure have lots of it – all of it low. That one sure hit the mark. Me thinks you really do protest too much. Ta-ta Buddy-boy!

Sun Apr 23, 01:11:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really, John - playing the German (read: Nazi) card to discredit opposing views is both logical fallacy and highly unethical. Sad…very sad.

Sun Apr 23, 01:52:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to see Chestnut Hill's elite chuck the insults like monkeys with buckets of feces. Always good to see the folks can stay on top of the issues. And Berger? Almost every word out of your mouth is a lie, so who would believe anything you (or MR. BERGER) had to say? Go get your nails did or something... haven't you found a job yet?

Tue Apr 25, 10:25:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does one find out who is currently sitting on the board? Is there a scorecard anywhere where interested voters can find out the names attached to various reprehensible behaviors over the past year, e.g., "the clapping lady," "The guy who read his manifesto for 2 hours and got kicked off the board," "the people who would rather write obcenely long letters to the editor about Roberts' Rules of Order than offer time and energy to do the job they were elected to do"? I started crossing names off my ballot based on who was allied with known trouble, and there are no names left. I am going back to a "non-incumbent only" slate, but I need the names of who is on the board now.

I prefer to remain anonymous to gather my information. Please forgive me. I realize there is some cowardice involved.

Tue Apr 25, 10:43:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Carolyn, you can't answer any of the issue points raised in Sniper,or on the blog generally, so you remind everybody that all their troubles started when I came around, back in 2000. At that time, you were in an equally splenetic boil about my predecessor as editor, so you're never satisfied, unless you're calling the shots . . . It's a totalitarian sensibility that predates the Nazis by centuries, and is essentially classist and racist, & demonizes "auslanders" as an easy solution to all problems, while allowing you to evade blame for your own mistakes. That's really ethical and positive, isn't it?
Missed you at the Town Meeting last night . . .
John Lombardi

Tue Apr 25, 10:54:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pam Waters is the "clapping lady." She is also the "lady" who edited the hysterical screed "Parasites, Terrorists, etc." And boy is she a nitwit. She has recruited people to run on the Actionist slate, so merely voting for newcomers will not solve your dilemma. If anyone told you someone read a 2-hour manifesto, they are grossly misinformed (by the Actionist side, I assume). That did NOT happen.

The lady who writes letters about Roberts Rules of Order is a lovely woman who feels none of this would have happened if the Actionists had only followed the RULES! Is that too much to ask? I suggest you vote for the Second Opinion slate. They are the group that exposed what has been going on behind closed doors over the last year or two.

The Second Opinion Caucus at least grasps the concept that the CHCA is sunk without freedom of the press. The Actionists scream that they are for freedom of the press, but then the caveats begin. The "tone" of the paper should be such and such. And, the paper must be supervised to avoid lawsuits, etc.

Bottom line: the guy (Lloyd Wells) who founded the CHCA some 50 years ago is 100% behind the Second Opinion Caucus. He thinks the Actionists side will destroy the organization that worked well -- if at times messily -- for half a century.

Wed Apr 26, 10:05:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, please. Lloyd Wells was as much of a censor as any of these Maxinista/Actionista types. In Chestnut Hill, it's all about control. A bunch of old infants who just want their way or they'll shut you down. Waaaaaahhhh! That's the truly sickening thing.

Wed Apr 26, 01:00:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Henry D. said...

Lombardi, I've done some checking and you sir are an unabashed spin miester and shit disturber. I especially was keen to observe you at our meeting this week. Highly entertaining in an Enquirean way but worthless just the same.

I am assured by some of your supported SOC slate that you in fact did resign your Local editorship while some of the same were fumbling the safety on their weapons. They assure me they can banish you again after their victory is complete. CH can only hope.
Unfortunately the folks on all sides here will allow you your dark pleasures because it serves theirs all too well.
Your blog is nothing more than the fabled phone mafia on steroids.

Henry D.

Wed Apr 26, 11:39:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why didn't you say hello on Monday, Henry? Afraid of a "worthless Enquirer" hack? And you, as an upholder of quality journalism, should have the courage to name the SOC members who are gonna "banish me again" after they win the election. The problem with Chestnut Hill -- Maxinista, AA and a strand in SOC -- is that it likes to operate in the dark.

John Lombardi

Thu Apr 27, 10:35:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Josey Wales said...

So, some Hillers want blush at John Lombardi's Nazi references and pooh-pooh his remarks about overt racism and classism as the words of a "spin meister and shit disturber".... I reckon memories are failing folks up there. Blame it on the alzheimers.

Half if not more of the Hill was built by the Houstons and then Woodwards who rented out most of their properties to white weatlhy folks to keep out Jews, Italians and god-forbid African-Americans. Now I can't accuse them of being any more racist than the next WASP family, but their system worked really well. In fact, half of the homes in 19118 are still rentals. That's an awfully low home-owner rate for "respectable" neighborhood.... check your census data.

My favorite tale of Hill racisim dates back to the creation of Pastorius Park. A good portion of the park was under the homes of many Italian trades people. The Woodwards managed to get the city to evict them and turn the land over so they could build park. That's some altruism, huh?

And you might so, aw hell, Josey... That's the past. Well how about all that consternation about the planned homeless shelter in Mt. Airy (it ain't even in your neighborhood!) or the insistance I've heard a million times that the flower shop at the trolley turnaround at Germantown and Winston is run by drug dealers because, shit, only drug dealers would keep a flower shop open 24-hours and employ black folks.

I could go on and on, but I ain't got the time, nor the space here.

Now y'all can get back to yer bellyaching about how crude John Lombardi is...

Thu Apr 27, 10:58:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Henry D said...

When I visit the Zoo, I don't say hello to the animals. I merely observe their behavior.

Although, now that you've reminded me, I do occasionally wave back to the baboons. Sorry to have not given you similar attention on Tuesday.

Henry D.

Thu Apr 27, 04:00:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you been provided the latest Jain and Lachat file documents? Why is your blog so quiet about these two parasites? They're two sides of the same coin.


Thu Apr 27, 04:14:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really brave and lucid talk, there Henry D. Tell you what: Let's book the Library soon and debate the relevant issues. Feldman, Jim Foster and me vs. you, Stewart Graham and Ms. Dornemann. We'll see how you do on issues & facts, over your usual high-toned generalities and condescension.
If we draw a crowd we could charge a modest fee and donate it to the Community Fund.
Oh, I forgot. Your side doesn't believe in debating with "baboons".

John Lombardi

Fri Apr 28, 10:19:00 AM EDT  

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