Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fire on the Hill (again)

First, we take a look at how others see the Hill.

City Paper follows the continuing saga of the Local and the CHCA board in this week's issue. Go there to see what others are reading about life on the Hill.

"Paper Torn
The editorial staff at the Chestnut Hill Local clashes with the board that controls its fate.
by Andrew McGill
The Local's changed, and so has the CHCA. Longtime members say the association's board has come to be increasingly dominated by area businessmen, and former editors say they've felt the difference — in recent years, the small newsweekly has felt more pressure to quiet down controversial coverage and be more discerning in printing incendiary letters..."

Read it and consider what the situation has devolved into.

But there is hope. Last night more than 85 people met in Chestnut Hill where they talked about what a faction of the Chestnut Hill Community Association board is attempting to do with the Local and what they can do to preserve the independence and reputation of one of Philadelphia's last independent newspapers.

Of note, a unanimous resolution of support for Local editor Pete Mazzaccaro was passed, a strong statement that the community is more than a little pissed off at the machinations of the Gang That Couldn't Vote Straight. This followed two resolutions to be given the board state that the current CHCA board must stay out of Local affairs until after the current election and that employee evaluations must be suspended until next January. To be truthful, there was one "no" vote on the resolution regarding the board interjecting itself in Local affairs, but that vote did serve to highlight where the Gang is headed.

More on all that later (with resolution postings) as we gather video and notes on a sordid telling of "gifted" memberships, barbarians at the doors, hijacked meetings and and general disregard for a sense of decency. And, yes, there was a plant in the middle of the crowd to report back to the phone mafia, 2009 edition. And yes again, this is the same board culture that railroaded a sitting member out the door several years ago in an executive sessions guarded by rent-a-cops and a couple of real police officers.

Tonight it will attempt to start off with a call for Executive Session, purportedly to discuss "legal issues." Bylaws and needing a week to stick something on the agenda? Not here. No telling what will happen tonight but community members at the Wednesday meeting sent a resounding "NO" to the board on the question of continuing on this merry path.

Will the board try to start with an executive session at tonight's meeting at the Chestnut Hill Library at 7:30, locking out the community and railroading someone new? Go and see.

Show up at the CHCA board meeting tonight. Ask questions. See if you can get a "gift" membership. No voting required. Someone may do it for you.

I just wonder what the representatives of two different groups working on creating a new paper in Northwest Philadelphia think of the Hill after last night's meeting. Now that's a lob over the plate if we ever saw one.

Scott Alloway (who is on vacation at an undisclosed location)

Update. Feb. 26. 2:35 PM: A fascinating missive on the City Paper story was posted in their comments. In it, Joe the Friday accused someone of assault, suggested that the contents of a staff member's personnel file were open to perusal and subject to public discussion, offered a misreading of personal history, stated (not alleged) that the editor was "defrauding" the community, stated (not alleged) that the editor failed to document aforementioned alleged assault and smeared the editor. Christ on a crutch. What a show of unrestrained and gleeful ignorance. Be proud, Joe the Friday. You make the community's indictment stronger.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pam Learned needs to understand something. When she says in the City paper story, "I went into the production room, and there was this whiteboard that had 'We want Jimmy Pack back' written all over it. There's all this little stuff everywhere that contributes to negative workspace — I don't think there's a clear sense on who their employer is."

Pam, the members of the community are the owners, not a collection of carpetbaggers from Lansdale or the Main Line. So the staff wants Jimmy back. That's a positive statement by them. Apparently they had no problems with Pack. And that's a cartload of BS on the Pack story in the Local - news is reported. The Local isn't one of your newsletters.

Good riddance from the board. Chestnut Hill has had enough of so-called business experts sitting on the community board.

Thu Feb 26, 11:53:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody seen Joe "Mutt" Pie lately? We all know he's been sniffing around trying to jettison McNally's successful competitors, but does he still have time in his busy schedule to re-visit those glorious days of yesteryear? Nobody knows how much it cost the debt-ridden CHCA back in 2005 when he announced far and wide that the Dornemann gang had sprung for one of those experts' experts who could retrieve computer files. Follow the smell.

Thu Feb 26, 04:42:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That comment on the City Paper site was CLEARLY authored by Mark Keintz. Wait until HIS employer finds out how he's been spending his time.

Thu Feb 26, 06:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jeremiade said...

Anonymous named three people who need to be credited for the great harm they have done to Chestnut Hill and the Local, specifically. I don't know Pam Learned but I know her public statements are not truthful. She said she resigned because of the legal liability a Local editorial caused. The only legal liability is that of the despicable actions of her and her fellow board members. She should and can be personally sued for what she participated in. (Suits against board members personally will probably be fruitless because the board is insured for their misdeeds.) Mark Keintz is desperately seeking approval of the board...he should give up on that and start thinking about the community. Joe Pie acted as the hammer in the Sturdivant Affair. He has no official status and is ignorant. That ignorance makes him easy to deal with unless he scares you. I feel sorry for his kids because you can not hide your true self from kids. I still can not believe he bragged to me about his part in the Sturdivant Affair.

Fri Feb 27, 09:29:00 AM EST  
Blogger Denys said...

Sounds more like Anne McNally. She was opsessed witht the fact that Jimmy and Pete were college roomates at last night's meeting.

Fri Feb 27, 10:06:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's bizarre in the comments section of the City Paper article - real personal, real foul... like a train wreck, it is hard to look away. These people care about the CH reputation?

Question: Who will Twitter the 3/12 meeting and what will be the hash tag, #CHCA perhaps?


Fri Mar 06, 12:14:00 AM EST  

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