Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Maxinista: Shock, Awe and Generational Cronyism

by Sniper

How about this for a laugh? Dougie Doman is out! He didn't get enough votes to validate his creepy tenure as arbiter of bad taste for Maxinista and Stewie! His shell game caught up with him! Too protective of his Institute for Human Development in Wyndmoor. Afraid somebody at the Local might actually launch an investigative piece about his business . . . now he'll have to hightail it to Italy, beyond the reach of the paper, where he has another Institute, retailing pricey hope to the physically bereft, too . . . Or turn the whole shooting gallery over to his sister, whom his father placed above him in the Doman hierarchy . . . Because here's the catch: now that the Maxinista/Actionista-dominated Executive Committee has lost its stranglehold on the Local's windpipe, the paper can resume its natural role as free interpreter of CH happenings . . . no more nonsense! Name names! Write editorials! Chase the Publisher's Committee back into the caverns of Maxine's imagination , from which it sprang (with help from the strange Stewie, the unreadable Parry) . . . Maxinistas and their proteges, the Actionistas, forgot that a truly free press can't hurt you. Because it literally is the community.

The vote was devastating. Twenty-four board seats up, 19 for SOC, five for the AA. And this despite the Graham/Doman/Dornemann/Hausermann rollout drive, where free CHCA memberships were allegedly offered to mitered oldsters from venues like Cathedral Village, in exchange for filled-in ballots. The counterpunch was, reportedly, SOC's Ron Recko and 9th ward Democrat leader John O'Connell, who went out and brought new CHCA members into the fray, who weren't easily influenced by the generational cronyism of the old Chestnut Hill power-ocracy -- the one that reaches across all "party" and "slate" lines, and includes former members of the Lloyd Wells Originals; proto-classists like Carolyn "Puffy" Hausermann and her lawnboy, Superbrat Snowden; "reformers" once unafraid to name names and fight earlier Orwellian outbreaks, like Maurice McCarthy & Tolis Vardakis's "Civil Code," the forerunner in 2000 of the whole mess that coalesced under Maxine's regime . . . but who are now withering on the vine with premature gravitas."

Poor Betty Brady. Straining her face to keep it from cracking Monday at 5:45 p.m. when the vote tallies burst suddenly over the Local like rough ocean waves from Wildwood (not Cape May!), proclaiming the end of a three-year downturn. People were stunned:
"You mean Joe Pie and Jane Piotrowski won't be sneaking around here, spying anymore?" one formerly tight-lipped employee gasped. "Do you think Kari and Betty are done, too? How about Ellen [Manning]? Do ya think she'll give up now on her plans to get rid of Cheryl [Massaro], Ellen [Maher] and Mary [Flannery]?" "Give up?" a visitor laughed happily. "She may be gone herself! If they had a real Community Manager, they wouldn't need a 'Community Development Manager' would they?"

Already the calls are rolling in: Walter "Foghorn" Sullivan, formerly chary of getting too close to SOC-hoppers (Maxinista/Actionistas used to watch their backs like East German Stasi undercovers), rang up a SOC ringleader to say he wanted to "open the door" for negotiations in the "wake of all the unpleasantness"; Jeremy Heep, the youthful (okay, Tia?) lawyer and AA presidential hopeful, just weeks ago stand-offish with those he was about to conquer, began initiating calls for meetings to decide what would likely happen on the many nominating questions now thrown into disarray -- the rulers of the next 12 months were supposedly already listed for combat duty, according to one highly placed source. Because Max, as prior president, sits on the Executive Committee and heads the Nominating Committee!

Overheard at Sanjiv Jain's Chestnut Hill Coffeehouse, an unofficial meeting place for Maxinistas prior to the Great Fall, were disloyal speculations on the boss's contributions to the AA defeat: "That goddamned $3200 [fee for renting the first floor of 8431 Germantown Avenue, promised to Sanji by Max's pals in the CHCA -- though it's illegal because Jain was supposed to be "volunteering" as "community property manager" at the time], probably hurt [the AA] when the frigging blog printed it," groused a sore loser. "Yeah, and the fact that he let the AA use his old store on the top of the Hill for a headquarters, with all their wholesome photos of them and their dogs in the windows, probably didn't play too well, either . . . When you cut yourself loose from someone [Jain's and Maxine's persuasions by Stewie Graham and Richie Maloumian to not seek election this year], you've got to cut yourself off!"

The major turnout of 1700 voters made the difference -- in the last apathetic years, elections were won with tiny pluralities, 450 votes total, as if Chestnut Hill Community Association officers were being inducted into a tennis association, or a tea sodality. This year, winners polled in the 800s, and losers in the low 600s, with SOC getting the majority of crossover votes -- those who "crossed" slates. Ned Mitinger, a former Community Manager, led the vote-getting with 825 votes, with smoothie Stewie Graham right behind him at 806, and Marie Lachat next with 775. But the mold has been cast. Big voter anger out there.

For Chestnut Hill to really renew itself though, both in its government and newspaper, it's got to broaden participation. Get rid not only of the Maxine Dornemanns, Doug Domans, Sanjiv Jains, Stewie Grahams, Pam Waters's and Brian Tilleys, but attack the generational cronyism that has allowed the Lloyd Wells Originals to fuse with their purported enemies -- Doman and Graham.

An example: As I write this, I've just learned that Mary Anna Ross, a kind of drum major emeritus, has been conducting semi-secret meetings to arrange Janine Dwyer's nomination for CHCA president. Janine didn't run this year, but as a board member, former president and Honorary Sister in the Hair Salon Granny Caucus, she's temperamentally disposed to please all parties at all times, as Mark Keintz was -- to his great loss in this election. What's bad is the behind-the-scenes angling of Ross and her cohorts, who simply seem to want to retain control by age fiat . . . Why shouldn't Recko, Jim Foster and others who worked so hard to win the election have a say in who gets to pick the SOC prez? It's the Aiello way, the Wells way . . . Don't forget. Ross was a major opponent of the SOC campaign ad that "dared" to name Doug Doman , Stewart Graham and Richard Becker as major players in AA double-dealing a couple of weeks ago, a silly fear "issue" which could have split the party at the polls and hurt SOC far more than the mild ad copy did.

Meanwhile, the blog creep who calls himself/herself "Henry D" is threatening to make a public issue of the sensational charges made in CH Notebook against Marie Lachat's financial agreement with the CHCA to terminate her job as Community Manager a little over a year ago . . . talk about sore losers.

Where is the Granny Caucus on this crucial matter?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now the Local may have a chance to expose tax delinquent Snowden. He owes the BID over $18,000 from 2005! He will not pay it because he is pissed off at everyone. They might want to check his real estate tax status.

Wed May 10, 10:40:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Holy Smoke said...

Cache Lachat for President
Scott Allairoway for VP
Ronnie Wrecko for Treasurer
Ned Mightinjure for Secretary

Chestnut Hill is on the move!!!

-holy smoke

Wed May 10, 10:41:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The inmates are now in charge of the asylum.

Wed May 10, 01:23:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who would have thought the Maxinists and Action Alliance could produce so much profound poetry.
Spinning over content, eh? With really nothing to say.

Wed May 10, 01:37:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Over the past few months, I have attended the meetings and read the newspaper and the blog in order to understand what was going on. Jim Foster made an incredibly good impression on me He is intelligent, articulate, calm and reasonable. I hope he will be given a position of power.

P.S. Using the Chestnut Hill Local archives and googling names to research the main players was also helpful in sorting out the bad actors in this mess. (Hi, slow clappers.) David Contosta's book, "Chestnut Hill: Suburb in the City," is also highly recommended to anyone who wants to understand the difference between a volunteer community organization and the "quasi-government" that the founders of the CHCA quite imaginatively created. It's also a good read for anyone who loves Chestnut Hill.

Wed May 10, 01:44:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the Local might even do some real investigative reporting and talk about the millions of dollars of historic restoration done by Bowman Properties over the past twenty-five years or the dozens of businesses subsidized by Bowman or perhaps the millions of dollars in contributions to Chestnut Hill charities and causes.

The best thing to have happen would be for the community to stop bashing Bowman Properties before they really decide to cut this neighborhood loose and do what most other property owners would do and exploit these buildings to their fullest value.

- Publius

Thu May 11, 08:31:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Josey Wales said...


My friend, you're a joke. Bowman ain't done a thing worth shit in Chestnut Hill other than insure the best properties remain boarded up while The Big Brat in charge threatens to rent out space to tattoo parlors and head shops... And the dopes on the Hill buy all this hooey. Where the hell in Chestnut HIll is the client base for tattoos and bongs!?

Historic renovation? Is that what you call the old Martha Hutchinson antique shop? That building looks like a post war shack imported from Dresden.

It's time for peoplpe to take their heads from out their ass and stop giving credit to bowman for spending a few bucks on planting pansies and realize the whole operation is nothing but a child's developer fantasy toy.

Thu May 11, 09:21:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thu May 11, 10:27:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Josey,

When was the last time you were in Chestnut Hill with your eyes open?

Take a look at the former Martha Hutchinson’s Antiques in full restoration.

You might also want to see the folks at Bowman and get a tour of what they’ve done over the past 25 years, but of course how would you know? You haven’t been here that long.

It is time for these third rate fools who don’t know what they are talking about to close their mouths, listen and learn the facts.

When was the last time you ever spoke to someone at Bowman? Never?

But then it’s so much more fun to bash without knowing what is really going on for your own sophomoric amusement.

Come back when you’ve grown up.


P.S. You’d be surprised what there is a market for with the Chestnut Hill demographic as bait. Again, learn your facts before flapping the mouth.

Mon May 15, 09:44:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Under the Blue Moon site looks like post war Berlin. The old Chestnut Hill Market looks like a rotting cadaver. The corner of Willow Grove(Lorenzon Building), looks like 1960's Harlem. Martha Hutchinson's building rotted for five years. Bowman can't keep a tennant except for starbuck's. And nobody can live in his apartments BECAUSE THEY COST TOO MUCH!!!!!

Bowman is a cancer and a tax delinquient!!!!! A spoiled Gay Sam Rappaport!!!!!!!! With no ******* concience. He is Scum!!!!!!!!!!!

Forty year Chestnut Hill resident!

Mon May 15, 11:47:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forty year resident?
Lifetime biggot.

Tue May 16, 09:02:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Josey Wales said...


You got one thing right. I reckon I am a third rate fool, especially for posting a comment in response to your funny words.

Since we're all missing the boat big time here, why don't you let us know just what it is that Bowman Properties has done that is a net gain for the neighborhood. While you're at it, explain why the Blue Moon is drawing close to a decade of vacancy. And how about that empty corner at Willow Grove and Germantown?

Mind you, from my populist point of view, renovating estate homes into tasteful condo units doesn't cut the mustard. How do you make a case that the "posities" you describe, outweigh the negligence?

Josey Wales

Tue May 16, 09:34:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the editor said comments would be civil or not appear at all? The last paragraph of the above posting is egregious and adds nothing to the legitimate discussion of the role Snowden plays in Chestnut Hill.

Tue May 16, 10:05:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Try dozens of restored buildings on Germantown Avenue that you are not even aware of. Have you noticed that this so-called negligence coincides precisely with the tirades and unfounded abuse heaped upon Bowman during the last five years.

Perhaps the Blue Moon remains unleased because businesses don’t wish to locate in this sorry town at any rent level.

Have you ever thought that perhaps Bowman has been turning down tenants that you wouldn’t particularly care for at its own expense?

Like most of the critical folks in Chestnut Hill, you obviously know about one-third the story and then create the remaining two-thirds as fiction.

Learn. Be informed. Or pipe down.


Wed May 17, 10:40:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Publius, conservator of perspective, arbiter of taste and good sense.
Where wert thou when Snowden threatened to rent to tattoo parlors and palm readers?
It's a tax scam he's running against the time when he can cash out his many dumps for high profits.
He's a small-time realty chisler, with fading charm for ladies of certain ages and perhaps men like yourself.
He has very little to do with preserving Chestnut Hill's substance, just it's grand illusion.

Wed May 17, 02:57:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Josey Wales said...


Since I'm not informed and you are, how about some specifics? How about actaully turning your smug off and informing us about the other two thirds that no one knows about? I guess it must be a closely guarded secret.

Sure, Bowman has prettied up a lot of buildings on the Hill, but is that really much of an accomplishment? Lots of developers in Philly are renovating historic buildings and many are not having trouble finding tenants.

And I know it's not an issue of Bowman doing only percise historic replications; the company has gone on record favoring retail corridor guidleines that would allow them to merge multple properties into larger retail spaces a la Manayunk. So what's the problem? Neducin seems to be doing just fine.

I love the "maybe businesses don't want to locate in this sorry town" line. That's a real pisser. You want to attack me for criticizing Bowman, but then you go and call Chestnut Hill a sorry town. Maybe if Bowman feels that way it can pack up and go somewhere sunnier like New Hope, where the people are real accomodating.

As for people looking to do business on the Hill, I know several prospective restaurant owners have entered into deals with Bowman on the Blue Moon property only to pull out at the last second because Bowman wanted too much control. I know that a couple with plans for a health food grocer for the old Chestnut Hill Resellers were given the royal Bowman runaround before their plans were squashed. I reckon Bowman doesn't have the skill sets required to actaully land a tenant and prefers to whine about how the people in town dare to have opinions about the way he does business.

And every landlord alive turns down tenants and searches for good ones. Particularly if they give a hoot about the neighborhood in which they do business. And they don't cry about it.

So stop being an uptight pansy and uncover all this information you say you got there or keep yer pie hole zipped.

Wed May 17, 03:00:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If folks wanted to make amends and work positively with Bowman, people might find that good things could happen. Continuing Josey type behavior will only make things worse. Much worse.

Wed May 17, 03:56:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Josey Wales said...

Hey anonymous...

"Josey type behavior"? What's that? Posing challenging questions? (With an admitted sprinkling of ad hominem jabs... it's all in good fun.) And just what in the hell do you mean by "make amends"? What sort of terrible actions have befallen poor Snowden and his little development company? Do tough words really hurt that much? Are people in Chestnut Hill that fragile?

It was the intention of the founders of this country to make progress THROUGH and BECAUSE OF tough questions, not inspite of them. It's not bad behavior, It's the way things should be.

Enjoy your cocoon,
Josey Wales

Wed May 17, 04:44:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Josey,
Nothing you said is true.

Wed May 17, 04:48:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Josey Wales said...

That's all you got? "Nothing I said is true."?

I'm real disapointed. I thought you had some real information to share us, Publius.

As for the truth of it, I've talked to these folks myself. Some of these things have even been recorded, in small ways at least, in The Local (but I bet you don't belive anything in that rag, just a sorry paper for a "sorry town," right?).

And for recent history, one only need go back to the tale of the guy who wanted to open a Lebanese restaurant at Willow Grove and Germantown in a Bowman property. Since you know it all already, Publius, there's no need to get into the details of how well that went down, is there?

I suppose maybe his was the kind of business Chestnut Hiller's don't want?

Wed May 17, 05:52:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josey Wales, You speak the truth! Keep it coming. Money creates power and taste.

Wed May 17, 09:27:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If $ creates power and taste, how do you explain Las Vegas, Hollywood, TV, Dr. Phil, Oprah, WalMart, the oil industry, American fundamentalists like Pat Robertson, the best-seller lists, health costs, crime in the suites, Media simplification, etc., etc.?

Thu May 18, 12:58:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly! Bowman properties, empty buildings, quasi restorations, fake store fronts, disneyland in chestnut hill. Gee, what a great life. Next, who get's to roll the dice. Get out of jail, pass go

Thu May 18, 10:35:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Josey,

Publius probably gave up on your ‘conversation’ in a fit of incredulity…and disgust. As was said before, you get about a third of your facts right with the rest a toxic brew of fiction and lack of knowledge flavored with a not-so-pleasant dash of intolerance. Let’s set the record straight:

First: Dan Neducin has been out of Manyunk retail real estate for years and that business district is struggling much like Chestnut Hill.

Second: Center City’s success has cost neighborhood strips like Chestnut Hill and Manyunk dearly. Mt. Airy is prospering only in comparison to its recent past: even a dead cat bounces. Communities with low customer and space volumes – as well as ridiculous approval processes and a few insane, impossible-to-please residents are the last to attract fresh development capital.

Third: As to your analysis the supposedly failed Bowman transactions – your apparent intimate knowledge of the tenant’s side of these negotiations only gives us about a third of the real picture. Of course, you never left your silo long enough to get the full story, now did you? Did you ever speak to Bowman? Do you even know what they own? Or what they’ve built? Even if you’re looking for a job at the Local, you have no right to make the suppositions you assert without knowing definitively the other side’s position. By small example, your ‘knowledge’ of all of these sorts of things doesn’t include the fact that the restaurant plan for Willow Grove Avenue was Persian not Lebanese. But hey, given your other stated intolerances, I guess you just figure those people all look alike anyway, so what the hell.

Obviously, a landlord wants control in a lease – they own the property don’t they? But then your skill set trends more toward the road to bankruptcy than sound property management.

Face facts Josey, at the end of the day Bowman has absolute control of these properties, they are buying more and Chestnut Hill simply needs to come to terms with these facts and by extension Rich Snowden. Rather than using this resource to better itself, Chestnut Hill eats its own in a delusional orgy of duplicitous character assassinations and dated redistributional politics masquerading as free press and community.

Any community gets the sort of life it deserves whether that be in its physical development or intangibles such as tolerance, fairness and kindness. Thanks for giving us all a nice clear picture of our community’s nasty underbelly of ignorance, envy and prejudice all, as you say, in ‘fun’ as only Sheriff Clark or Bull Conner could love it. Right now in its history, Chestnut Hill is sadly getting what it deserves. Hopefully this period will pass when bigots like yourself head somewhere else.

P.S. Josey, please use spell check. Your ignorance of the language pales only by comparison to your lack of business knowledge and sense of what is really happening in Chestnut Hill.

Fri May 19, 03:42:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Josey Wales said...

Well, I reckon you sure got me figured out: a raving, silo-dwelling intolerant. And while I do enjoy an occasional orgy, I prefer those that do not involve character assassination and “redistributional” politics. In fact, I’m not sure what redistributional politics might even look like if I saw it, but I don’t think it would be much fun in a hot tub sharing a chilled bottle of mescal.

On a slightly more serious note, though: What’s with the thick layer of victimization rhetoric? This paragraph is something else:

“Any community gets the sort of life it deserves whether that be in its physical development or intangibles such as tolerance, fairness and kindness. Thanks for giving us all a nice clear picture of our community’s nasty underbelly of ignorance, envy and prejudice all, as you say, in ‘fun’ as only Sheriff Clark or Bull Conner could love it. Right now in its history, Chestnut Hill is sadly getting what it deserves. Hopefully this period will pass when bigots like yourself head somewhere else.”

I’m no Freud, but that sounds like the words of a man (I’m guessing man) who feels personally burned. I’d wager you got some stock in Bowman. And where in the world do you get the bigot charge? I didn’t see much in my entries above that qualify me as a bigot. It’s always fun to throw around baseless charges like that. Whenever Bowman gets questioned, all the defenders come out crying about intolerance, ignorance and envy. Those persecution blues are pretty sad and a disservice to people who actually do suffer from bigotry.

All that bellyaching about how hard it is for Bowman to do business in Chestnut Hill comes off as a whole lot of bullshit is what I’m telling you. I don’t care if you like to blow goats in barnyards or like to get huffed up on gasoline fumes and dress like Betty Paige, I got no problem with anybody’s personal preferences. Bigotry just doesn’t figure into it.

So if you’re telling me that Center City’s success is the problem in Chestnut Hill, coupled with a neighborhood that likes to give developers a hard time, I have to wonder: What’s the business sense of buying properties in Chestnut Hill? I guess we’re supposed to really believe, it’s out of Snowden’s deep love for Chestnut Hill. So forgive me if I find it hard to believe that kindness and love are the keystones of the business, particularly when all his defenders routinely pillory Chestnut Hill as a pathetic, terrible neighborhood and belittle and harass that neighborhood’s working residents.

Everyone should just “come to terms with it.” Snowden’s buying a lot of properties and anyone who questions his competence is labeled a bigot. We’re all just “getting what we deserve,” right?

p.s. Thanks for the spell check tip… I’ll try and type slower in the future. I admire your standards, sir.

Sun May 21, 10:28:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Richard Snowden Loves Chestnut Hill, why hasn't he paid his BID obligation? $18,000.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mon May 22, 08:20:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for proving the point. You have no cogent arguments. You are still a bigot. This discussion is closed.

Tue May 23, 09:47:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Josey Wales said...

I'm a bigot... OK, that sounds like a cogent argument, professor.

Josey Wales

Wed May 24, 11:33:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Snowden (Bowman) is not in business to help Chestnut Hill but rather to profit from Chestnut Hill. That is his right and that is his goal. His style and business tactics can be attacked if they impact the common man (me). Tax dodges with historic easemenmts and failure to pay taxes and assessments affect me.

The vacant properties don't bother me as much as they apparently bother some. At least he hasn't brought in an objectionable business to those locations. These absurd claims that he has done anything to help Chestnut Hill remain unsubstantiated because they are untrue. He is an average developer trying to profit in an above average community. (That comment about ours being an above average community was thrown in to provide something controversial.)

Wed May 24, 04:21:00 PM EDT  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


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