croton blog for croton-on-hudson new york

Crotonblog Sold—New Owner to Be the Croton Republican Committee

April 1, 2008

The owners of Crotonblog, announced today that they have accepted an offer from the Croton Republican Committee to purchase their innovative and irreverent blog after three years two months and 18 days of operation. The selling price was not disclosed, but it included a substantial amount of cash, a valuable collection of Topps baseball cards plus a set of highly collectible toy soldiers in exquisite detail made by the W. Britain firm.

“We decided to sell because it was getting somewhat boring going after the Republicans year after year,” announced the principal owner and editor in a news release. “They have no imagination politically and allow themselves to be manipulated by a small coterie of lobbyists and people with an axe to grind. Their 2008 ticket is a good example. The Croton Republicans today are about as far as you can get from the party of Abraham Lincoln.”

Crotonblog’s ace reporter interviewed two members of the Croton Republican Committee about the terms of the sale. “Frankly,” said Chairman Charles “Chuck” Trendell, “I thought Vice Chairman Otto Wintermeier here would make the announcement.” Your alert reporter noticed that both were wearing lapel flag pins. He decided not to mention that flag pins had gone out of style. Even the President no longer wears them.

“No, no, Chuck. You were going to do the announcing,” said Mr. Wintermeier. Then he added quietly to this reporter, “He always calls me ‘Otto’ when he’s peeved with me.”

“But isn’t that your name?” this award-winning reporter asked. “It’s the name by which you’re registered on the Board of Elections registration lists.”

‘Yeah, sure. But it’s not the name I use. Anyway, we’re getting away from the subject here,” Mr. Wintermeier pointed out.

“You screwed up. Otto. Why don’t you just admit it?” Mr. Trendell demanded.

“Okay, okay, Chuck. So I screwed up. But your baseball cards weren’t enough. I’m the one who threw the toy soldiers into the pot and clinched the deal.”

“Otto, you dummy. Can’t you see that this guy is taking notes on everything we’re saying?”

“Can we get back to the reason the Croton Republican Committee bought the Crotonblog?” your crack reporter asked.

“That’s easy, ” Mr. Trendell offered. “They caused our defeat by harpooning everything we said and did.”

“You mean lampooning,” Mr. Wintermeier suggested.

“That, too,” Mr. Trendell said brightly.

“So you really bought Crotonblog to shut them up,” your prize-winning reporter declared.

“Yeah, I suppose you could put it that way,” Mr. Wintermeier acknowledged, somewhat reluctantly. “I wanted to start our own blog with Rob DiFrancesco as editor. You know, kinda bring him back into the fold, sort of, ” he added. “But Chuck wouldn’t have it.”

“You bet your bippy I wouldn’t have it. That kid could screw up a two-car funeral. He almost cost us the 2007 election.”

“And there’ll be some policy changes, too. Crotonblog will be more like Fox News, only different,” Mr. Wintermeier said.

“That’s right,” Mr. Trendell joined in. “No more of that ‘fair and balanced’ crap. It’s our way or the highway from now on.”

At this point, the door opened and in came Joan Minett, former secretary of the Croton Republican Committee. We had heard that she had been replaced by Mrs. Jean Kraemer because nobody could read Mrs. Minett’s shorthand notes, including Mrs. Minett.

She was out of breath. “It’s raining cats and dogs out there. I just stepped in a poodle,” she explained as she closed her umbrella. Nobody laughed. “I rushed over here because I heard a rumor that the Committee was thinking about buying that awful Crotonblog from Mr. Russ Whale.”

“We’ve already bought it. And you’ve got his name wrong,” Messrs. Trendell and Winterneier suggested simultaneously, proffering the correct name.

“Wheel, Whale. Whatever.” Joann Minett replied. “He’s evil.”

Sensing that the conversation in front of a crackerjack reporter was getting onto thin ice, Mr. Trendell said, “Well, Joann, now that we own Crotonblog there’ll be no more film clips showing you at the microphone wildly waving your arms.”

“Gesticulating,” said Mr. Wintermeier.

“That, too,” added Mr. Trendell.

“I don’t see why everybody got their underwear in a twist because I do that all the time when I talk. I can’t help it. I’m Italian, and we all talk with our hands. It’s in our blood. Who’s this guy here?” she asked, nodding in the direction of your investigative reporter.

“He’s a reporter from the Crotonblog,” Mr. Trendell explained.

“Then he’s the enemy.” She shook her umbrella at me, getting water all over my notes. “Are you the one who does all the strolling? You better watch out. You don’t want me after you. Remember, we pay your salary.”

“In that case, how about a raise?” this overworked reporter asked, dodging the wet umbrella that sailed right by his head. It looked like this was going to be the beginning of an unusual working relationship.

On April 20, 2008 9:19 AM, weewill said:

“…… a warm welcome back to the Blog to our Republican activists. It’s great we’re talking to each other, rather than on separate blogs. And who knows, perhaps together we can improve the climate of civility here.”

This quote from Rick Olver says it all and perhaps this is one of the many reasons over 62% of residents voted for him.

Along with improving the climate of give and take by all of us, the village board can now move forward on resolving the many issues this wonderful village faces. These are tough times and we need clear and analytical approaches to the problems, not the useless nit-picking so often the case in the past.

P.S. And by the way: it’s nice to note that the comments by the “five people who talk to each other” on the other blog have been very mellow and community-spirited since the recent elections.

Very nice and perhaps a beginning ….. ?

On April 19, 2008 5:32 PM, Rick Olver said:

I wanted to comment earlier on the latest attacks by “bob10520” and “twinkies”, but I had four evenings of Croton Board and committee meetings this week.

Here are the facts: I could not be involved in village affairs while I worked for the UN. This means Boards and Committees, not charity work. I have always done such work, some with local community groups, but not the ones listed by “bob10520”. Locally, I’ve been doing things like flipping burgers for CCNS, US Youth Soccer, my church, etc.

The lovely thing about this “issue” is its absurdity - the only people who seem to care are the five people who talk to each other under different names on the NCN blog. Sixty-two percent of Croton voters didn’t mind my limited local involvement. So “did Rick plant a daffodil?” is a beautiful ending to the Croton Blog’s April Fool’s joke.

Oh, and by the way, a warm welcome back to the Blog to our Republican activists. It’s great we’re talking to each other, rather than on separate blogs. And who knows, perhaps together we can improve the climate of civility here.

On April 15, 2008 1:51 PM, TeaDrinker said:

In a fit of pique last Sunday at the way the NCN crowd is sharpening their knives and are out to get poor Richard Olver before he even gets traction in his new job as trustee, I invoked the family’s ancient Irish curse on the NCN forums. Talk about fast action! Look at what happened. Scares the bejesus out of me.

A screenshot of the NC forums they appeared on Monday and Tuesday.

On April 14, 2008 10:00 PM, Twinkies said:

Thank you Tom and Bob10520. I personally find the NCNews Forums/Blog to be far superior. It has covered the recent deaths of notable residents, contained information on the budget, the Millennium Pipeline, and yes, printed the response from the United Nations which cannot be disputed. It is fully moderated and civil, and since any resident can start a topic, it is more than just the one man show you have here. Anyone can start a topic. Now THAT’S REAL. Everyone knows that of the original 7 founders, there is only one left. They have all disavowed involvement.

On April 13, 2008 11:15 PM, Tom Faranda said:

Good heavens! This thing is still running? Or on the other hand, thank God! because look at all I’ve learned from the posters since my last visit last Sunday.

Things like “Crotonblog is the best thing that ever happened in Croton.”

And that this blog is a great protector of free speech - where would we be without it, especially with Gingrich and his minions having poisoned the water well of civil discourse (according to someone or other - can’t be bothered to scroll back to see who anonymously posted that one).

And, oh yes, we need highly paid trustees and a mayor because the town is soooo difficult to run. It’s not enough to pay a village manager around 165K, we need to pay these big decision-makers big bucks (just to show the rest of the river towns how prosperous and generous we are -or is it one upmanship of a sort?).

And those lovely, windy responses from the editor(s) - still maintaining the fiction that this is more then a one man operation.

Yes, Praise the Lord. If not for the crotonblog we’d all have rocks being tossed through our windows. Scroll down to find that piece of info.

On April 13, 2008 5:07 PM, bob10520 said:

The founding fathers of this great nation set forth with their words, writings and actions a system of government, which is by the people and for the people. This specification was designed to prevent an elite ruling class. As such there are very few limitations placed upon the holding of elected office. The issues of capability are dealt with during the election cycle in the form of a campaign. The Village of Croton on Hudson has for many years now employed a Village Clerk/Manager who has the responsibility for the day to day management of the Villages operations. This change from the so called “strong mayor” management was put in place to relieve the Village Board members from the day to day decisions and from having intimate knowledge of every item placed before the Village. The Village Board is presented with the information gathered from numerous sources, some internal and some external, as well as the input of the public and then makes a decision in the form of a board vote. The enacting of the boards will falls to the Village Manager and his staff. Therefore Drama Desk has nothing to fear in running for office.

With respect to Mr. Olver I would like to thank him for supporting my position with regard to the dis-respectful and insulting negative comments on this blog as well as for his service to the Village. I am sorry Mrs. Gallelli has not done the same. I do not dispute that the UN has policies in place to prevent ethical conflicts of people in its employ. I believe that the question asked of Mr. Olver during the campaign was to illicit a response on his involvement in community service to the Village of Croton during his 6 years living here. His answer to this question has been to assert the UN policy of “Participation in boards, panels, committees, expert groups or similar bodies that are external to the Organization constitutes an outside activity that requires the prior approval of the Secretary-General.” This policy does not answer for why he did not tell us about serving lunch to the elderly at a Croton Caring committee luncheon or delivering food for them at the holidays. How about assisting in the delivery of medical assistance equipment for the Lions Club or Coaching a sports team or volunteering to referee. How about assisting with the maintenance of the trails or helping out during the annual river-front clean up. None of these actions would put anyone in a in any form ethical conflict as they do not entail any business or political actions or decisions. All of my suggestions are those that require only the desire to make this Village a better place. Before I am leapt upon by the posters to this blog I will clarify that I do not know that Mr. Olver has not done any of these things for the last 6 years though I have never seen him at any of these events or activities. If he has indeed been involved in volunteering solely in the form of providing labor than why not say so instead of hiding behind an employer’s policy.

With respect to “The Editors” I do read the North County Blog, the Journal News, The Gazette, the Village web site and even this site as well as many other sources of information in my attempt to make an informed decision with regard to issues before this Village. Yes I did use information gained from the NC blog as well as the debates and other election information when I referred to Mr. Olver as having lied. Even a half truth is a lie. I am not naïve and certainly realize the posters on the NC blog are biased toward the Republicans just as this blog and its posters are biased toward the Democrats. I view myself as not being beholden to either side simply because it is the position of a particular political party. My opinions are a result of all of the sources and as a result I do not always agree with one or the other. I have been disappointed that this blog has not posted any story on the Village budget or the items in it. It would seem that a 16 million dollar budget would be worth discussing prior to the public meeting on April 14th. How about a story on the recent changes in Village management such as the departure of the Village Manager and the Police Chief. If this blog is to be a source of information for Village residents don’t you think it should write a story about issues currently in the spotlight thereby eliciting comments from all of the posters who might provide additional information and the subjects at hand?

On April 12, 2008 1:16 PM, TeaDrinker said:

Three items about recent posts on this thread: (1) The two sculptured male lions that guard the front steps of the New York Public Library’s main building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street were name Patience and Fortitude by Mayor LaGuardia. As you face the Library, at the bottom of the broad steps leading up to the main entrance, Patience is on the left and Fortitude is on the right.

(2) “Drama Desk” makes an important point about Croton. With a budget of more than $16 million and a work force of more than 80, this village is a good-sized business whose operation and its finances are much too important to trust to well-meaning but unqualified citizens just because they want to serve and “give something back.” Management experience should be a basic qualification before people run for the jobs of trustee or mayor, and knowledge of finance, budgeting and employee relations should count, as well.

As partial recompense for the enormous amount of time demanded by these jobs, perhaps the annual stipend is too low to attract qualified candidates. Good times or bad, Village employees’ salaries rise steadily each year. And everything else in this life has gone up, relentlessly. Why not the measly salaries of $3,000 and $5,000 paid to trustees and mayor? These numbers haven’t changed for years and are so low as to almost be insulting.

(3) “Bob10520” better watch his step. An ancient Irish curse? A little shiver ran down my spine as I read that. Don’t laugh. Some people have the power. My blessed Irish great-grandmother from the Old Sod would pronounce a Gaelic curse on anyone outside the family who got out of line—and then she’d spit. That made it official. Heaven help them. Soon strange things would happen to the victim.

On April 11, 2008 9:09 PM, TeaDrinker said:

I guess it’s now my turn again at bat. I see my original comment has spawned brickbats and bouquets, and I am grateful for the latter. It was a spirited exchange that hurt no one and may have set a record for comments generated by a single article. Regrettably, the cleverly written April Fool’s Day satire that started the whole shamozzle got lost in the shuffle.

To Mr. Faranda, who suggested that I run for office, I am compelled to point out that the incorporated village of Croton-on-Hudson is a large corporate enterprise with a budget of more than $16 million and more than 80 employees. It needs the expert managerial talents of someone other than this ink-stained scrivener. More qualified persons surely exist in this village who could be importuned to lend their skills to its management by running for office

Satire is usually not so lightly and deftly written as it was in that April Fool’s Day piece. Playwright George S. Kaufman once described satire as “what closes on Saturday night,” and he was right. It is not easy to write satirical dialogue that reads easily and sounds plausible. Whoever wrote that piece poking gentle fun at Messrs. Trendell and Wintermeier, the nominal heads of the Republican Committee, and Mrs. Minett, its former secretary and loudest spokesperson, was definitely not malicious.

Now I come again to Bob10520 who needed three additional comments to his original outburst to try to explain what he meant when he accused that satire of pissing on the graves of the defeated Republicans. He used the circumlocution “urinating” to spare the sensitive eyes of readers, apparently unaware that the word “pissing” has a long history dating back to the Elizabethan stage.

Considering that in his first specious comment he was referring to the inoffensive satire that spoofed the humorless Republicans, his comparison could not have been more inexact. Perhaps Crotonblog should label future works of this nature “PLAYFUL SATIRE” in a bold and brassy font to prevent Bob10520 from misinterpreting their import and pissing me off again.

I see, too, that Bob10520 is not above repeating on Crotonblog a scurrilous lie against the honorable Richard Olver, a model of rectitude and good behavior, in a shameful attempt to discredit him almost before his service to this village has begun. I hereby invoke and pronounce an ancient Irish curse upon Bob10520. Let’s see him try to get out of that.

On April 11, 2008 4:58 PM, TeaDrinker said:

The Editors Respond to Rick Olver:

Crotonblog can understand Richard Olver’s frustration and anger at being accused of lying. We can only say, “Welcome to Croton politics. It will only get worse.” The troublemakers are a small group of malcontents who specialize in making issues out of non-issues. Mr. Olver has already experienced their machinations in raising suspicions about his veracity as to UN policy from the very moment he announced his candidacy. Bob Wintermeier even went so far as to write letters and make phone calls to the UN.

Contributors to that other and seldom-read blog carried on this mendacious campaign. We were extremely disappointed, however, to see the infection being spread to Crotonblog by an indiscreet “Bob10520,” who was so willing to repeat an unsubstantiated accusation in the comment immediately preceding Mr. Olver’s indignant response.

Mr. Olver may bemoan the qualities of some of the comments and contributions appearing on Crotonblog. Crotonblog was founded with the resolve never to engage in censorship. We are dedicated to maintaining the principle of freedom of speech at all costs, even though outrageous lies are the opposition’s stock in trade. When the climate of politics in Croton becomes milder and more equable, we are sure the tone of comments and contributions will become less strident in response to the change.

So, in the meantime, Mr. Olver, Crotonblog offers you consolation in the form of an expression of the late Fiorello H. LaGuardia, who counseled “Patience and Fortitude,” two qualities he felt New Yorkers would need to survive the Depression. As Mark Twain once observed, “A lie travels halfway around the world before the truth can get its trousers on.” It was ever thus.

On April 11, 2008 10:22 AM, Rick Olver said:

As someone who has spent years in the public eye, I do wince when I see others skewered unfairly - it has happened to me (and will likely happen again). But I am able to laugh at myself, and assume other public figures can too. Up to a point.

That point is passed when attacks mock or sneer. The tone in some comments and indeed some articles in the Croton Blog makes me cringe. Let me put it plainly: to get civility back in our Croton politics, name calling must end. And the Blog and Gazette should both set a better example. That does not diminish the value of Croton Blog exposing important facts or trends or events, that otherwise might never be commented upon.

The NCN Blog is a different story. It is dominated by a small circle that distorts and insinuates. And if an untruth is repeated often enough, it takes on a life of its own. Bob 10520 repeats the NCN untruth that I “lied” about being barred from community affairs while I worked for the UN. The truth is that UN circular ST/IC/2006/30 says: “Participation in boards, panels, committees, expert groups or similar bodies that are external to the Organization constitutes an outside activity that requires the prior approval of the Secretary-General.” This is about avoiding even the appearance of conflict of interest. I did community service, but not in any activity that could be seen as an unethical conflict. And they say I “lied!”

On April 9, 2008 1:43 AM, bob10520 said:

Apparently Drama Desk has misunderstood my comments from the beginning. The crux of my arguments was solely that it is in bad taste; and sportsmanship for that matter to continue to publicly ridicule former candidates. If at some point in the future these people choose to resume their public lives by taking a public stance on an issue or running for office again then they are surely fair game again. At no time in my posts did I ever discuss who I voted for or supported in the election of my political affiliation. I am sorry if I was not clear and confused you on this point. No I will not speak in support of Mr. Streany or Ms. Minett likewise I will not speak in support of Mr. Olver who choose to lie when challenged about his lack of any community service a point gleefully ignored by the blog and it’s posters.

On April 8, 2008 3:32 PM, red hill resident said:

Wow, this is an entertaining string. Thank you all. I especially want to compliment Drama Desk. Your comments were well thought out, well written, and I couldn’t agree more. Since no one has replied to your question as to why the GOP ran such weak candidates, may I offer a theory? Let’s say that the Republican party honchos were fairly assured that the voters of Croton would reject the unpleasant thought of a Schmidt super majority. As such, the election was pretty well lost before it began. Streany and Minnett appear believing that a seat on the village board was their right, their reward, their manifest destiny. I suggest that it was a lot easier for the GOP to throw these two poor saps under the bus than to search for viable candidates in what was surely a losing proposition.

On April 8, 2008 2:23 PM, SSmith said:

i guess the thing that i find most disturbing about all of this is that Gary Cahill - erstwhile “publisher” of the Gazette - has been spewing vitriolic, childish, mean-spirited and downright offensive letters and nasty satirical cartoons by Mr. Pellicci in his so-called newspaper for many more years than Crotonblog has even been around!! Why don’t people in town call him on the carpet and ask him to knock that off while we are on the subject? Why? Becasue he probably won’t publish those letters. He obviously subjectively filters the letters and content he wants to appear in his paper. How is that not divisive? The Gazette is obviously not going to change their practices. My solution…i canceled my subscription long ago!!

The beautiful thing about this blog is that it is free to use and read. The information presented here has never been disputed as to its truthfulness which at the end of the day is really what matters when critical decisions need to be made about our village’s future. Can the Gazette honestly say that it as a journalistic entity ever asked the tough questions or ruffled a few feathers to get out these truths?

Crotonblog has never excluded anyone from joining in any discussion - whether the editors agree or not with the post or ensuing comments. i say good on ya & keep it going.

All those out there who do not appreciate this style of journalism have no one to thank but our current President’s party, whose divide-the-country, in-your-face attack mentality media blitzes can trace its roots directly to when Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House in the mid 90s…and they have never stopped.

Finally, if the Thornton’s wanted out of the blog after helping to start it years ago; then why didn’t they write a letter to the editor back then saying so and been done with it? or better yet put one in the Gazette? you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Perhaps Jeff T should consider paying for the free advertising he received on more than one occasion on this blog for his art work. Does the Gazette normally give out free unlimited space advertising?

On April 8, 2008 2:09 PM, TeaDrinker said:

The Editors Respond to Benedict:


On April 8, 2008 2:07 PM, TeaDrinker said:

The Editors Respond to Wayne Stevenson:

We don’t mean to sound cocky, but we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. We happen to like Crotonblog just the way it is, and many have told us they enjoy its combativeness during election campaigns and the prickliness of its comments. Anonymity is a fundamental principle on which Crotonblog is based. Identity theft is rife on the Internet, and we encourage users to protect their identities.

Mr. Stevenson is right about his suggestion that if posters revealed their identities, it would certainly change the picture. Let us count the ways (to borrow Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s phrase): Windows will be broken, houses will be egged, cars will be “keyed,” and tires will be slashed. Such acts of vandalism have all happened to individuals whose identity was known when they had the temerity to make unpopular comments publicly in Croton. Is Mr. Stevenson willing to indemnify those whose property is damaged as a consequence of following his suggestion? We think not. So much for the peaceable kingdom of Croton-on-Hudson, where a mean-spirited lunatic fringe—found within Croton’s Republican party—is alive and healthy.

Crotonblog is a free electronic publication not unlike a circular that might be handed out to passersby. We suggest that those who log onto it read it with that in mind. If you don’t like our message, you can do the equivalent of depositing it in the nearest wastebasket—that is to say, log off. If you are unhappy with it and receive it automatically, please notify us and we’ll remove your name from our subscription list.

On April 8, 2008 2:02 PM, TeaDrinker said:

The Editors Respond Again to Jeff Thornton:

Crotonblog’s content IS Crotonblog. Let Mr. Thornton get this fact straight in his head. We never had any intention to play gatekeeper and decide who can post or comment on Crotonblog and who cannot. There is no way Crotonblog can scan postings to make sure they will offend nobody. Mr. Thornton knows this but refuses to accept the reality of that statement. He cannot say that he objects only to the unpopular comments on Crotonblog—but the nice comments can remain.

By anybody’s definition that’s censorship and violates the freedom of speech Crotonblog was set up to honor and behind which we stand. We cannot winnow the unpopular comments from the nice comments to please Mr. Thornton. We invite those who do not like what some—including ourselves—have said on Crotonblog to go elsewhere. We will not change our open editorial policies to accommodate the narrow wishes of a few bluenoses.

What Mr. Thornton wants Crotonblog to do is to filter comments and block those that some people may not like. Doing that puts us at the same level as the Chinese government that blocks from the Internet comments about the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the Falun Gong, Tibet or democracy. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and so does international law. If you don’t believe in freedom of expression for ideas you don’t like or for statements made by people you despise, Mr. Thornton, you don’t believe in freedom of speech at all.

On April 8, 2008 11:23 AM, Benedict said:

Crotonblog is like that one loud, obnoxious, opinionated friend we all have. You cringe at the immature and less than tactful things that he/she is prone to say but you still hang with them because they do have some nice redeeming qualities. Trying to change this friend will only further encourage their bad tendencies because while they love to criticize others, they are not open to being criticized themselves.

On April 7, 2008 10:04 PM, Wayne Stevenson said:

I think what Jeff is getting at is the general tone of the discussion here. One can state his or her opinion quite clearly without the use of insults, innuendo, and general prickliness. Why must this wonderful forum be poisoned by the nastiness of its posters? Would these same people have the nerve to behave this way when confronting their “opponents” in person? Is there something shameful about civility?

Without opening the “anonymous posting” can of worms (previously beaten to death on this blog), I have to wonder if some of the nastier comments would be made if people were held accountable (their identities revealed) to their comments.

On April 7, 2008 9:15 PM, Jeff T. said:


I’ll just point to what I actually said, “there are also mean spirited comments and posts that are only tearing apart our community.”

I did not say that Crotonblog was tearing apart the community. On the contrary, I said that Crotonblog was a “useful and valuable Croton institution.”

I’ll leave it at that.

—Jeff Thornton

On April 7, 2008 7:45 PM, TeaDrinker said:

I should love to award the dinner to Georgianna as has been suggested or even take her to dinner myself because I’m sure it would be a memorable evening of challenging ideas and inspiring give-and-take. My offer was to anyone who could show that Bob10520 had responded to my bleat about the low quality of Republican candidates in Croton. That would be hard to do because Bob10520 never acknowledged or addressed the question in any of his comments. How about it, Bob, got anything to say in defense of the bottom-drawer selections? Can anybody explain what the Republicans were thinking when they chose their twin losers?

On April 7, 2008 7:39 PM, TeaDrinker said:

I take particular exception to Jeff Thornton’s charge that Crotonblog is “tearing apart the community.” That’s a line straight out of Mayor Greg Schmidt’s playbook. Imagine the mayor of a community refusing to read a blog where issues affecting his community are dissected and discussed. A wiser man would sneak a peek once in a while. Mayor Schmidt! I’m talking about you!

Crotonblog is the best thing that has ever happened to Croton. Who cares if it afflicts the comfortable, particularly those in government? It’s intended to do just that. For a change, we have a medium where citizens can unload their unrestrained opinions and hold the government accountable as never before—with no likelihood of retaliation.

Remember Treasurer Abe Zambrano’s inept attempt to scare citizens into allowing the installation of water meters by sending out phony water bills in astronomical amounts. Crotonblog exposed this foolish tactic. Like it or not, it’s the new journalism. This displacement is demonstrated by the fact that newspapers, now finding themselves with declining circulations, are joining the blog parade. Don’t wait to discover that the parade’s gone by.

On April 7, 2008 4:45 PM, TeaDrinker said:

During a recent Internet search, I found a website that may be more akin to the Thornton’s taste:

On April 7, 2008 4:39 PM, TeaDrinker said:

The Editors Respond to Jeff Thornton:

Jeff Thornton knows that comments to an article should be reserved to the article being commented upon. His should have been a letter to the editor. While it is true that the Thorntons left Crotonblog in our first year, we do not feel that we are telling tales out of school when we say that their departure went unmourned. They were unhappy with the disputatious “tone” of Crotonblog from early on. They could just as easily have remained with us and molded Crotonblog more to their liking. We would point out that however unhappy they were with Crotonblog, their displeasure did not keep them from posting notices of Jeff Thornton’s art shows on it and attracting the riffraff that read Crotonblog.

Moreover, Crotoblog is a vast community bulletin board. We have no control over what posters want to say on it. No one is forced to read a blog they don’t enjoy. If the Thornton’s yearn for a blog that matches their idea of what a blog should be, we would remind them that we showed them how to launch a blog. They are welcome to follow their bliss and start a blog of their own.

On April 7, 2008 4:35 PM, waffels said:

Thankfully this blog is not tearing the community apart. What it does do is exposes those individuals that are tearing this village apart. It also gets very important information out that otherwise wouldn’t. It gives people the opportunity to vent their frustrations and share insight to the goings on without fear of face to face retribution. Sometimes the goings on require a good old fashioned verbal butt kicking and it’s easier to express ones feelings anonymously. Nothing physical is going on here just bruised egos now and then. I would have to believe most of us are adults. Relax, have fun, be angry, be loud, inspire, give advise, put someone in his or her place, it doesn’t matter it’s all just words and you take from it whatever you decide……….

On April 7, 2008 11:13 AM, Jeff T. said:

I just think it would be so much better if this useful and valuable Croton institution could be less acrimonious, and more level-headed and courteous. A lot of us disagree on different issues, but we could be more civil to each other. There are a lot of helpful and productive items that are discussed through posts and comments on the blog, but there are also mean spirited comments and posts that are only tearing apart our community. That’s what led Karen and I to quit as members of the blog over two years ago. The atmosphere hasn’t changed since then, but I’m still holding out hope that it will. —Jeff Thornton

On April 6, 2008 9:01 PM, Tom Faranda said:

Yes, Drama Desk definitely owes Georgianna dinner.

But beyond that D.D. is clearly such a bright person - his posts are up to Crotonblog standards - that I think he should come out from behind his anonymity and run for mayor or trustee in the next election cycle.

On April 6, 2008 8:34 PM, bob10520 said:

It appears some understand and others never will. So be it. One last thing; it seems the “Drama Desk” owes Georgianna dinner.

On April 6, 2008 8:31 PM, TeaDrinker said:

I wish the Queen Mother of the Democratic Party would please spare us repeated reiterations of the party’s high-flown principles. In the waning days of the campaign just past, wasn’t it the Democrats that printed and circulated to every household in Croton all four pages of Joe Streany’s criminal record—specifically the state’s case against him for violating New York’s Public Officers Law that could have subjected him to a fine of a quarter-million dollars? Honor bright and high road, indeed! All’s fair in love and war—and in politics, too. I would have done the same, but without the massive doses of Pecksniffian hypocrisy about oft-stated principles. (For those for whom the Pecksniff reference is obscure, it is to a character in Charles Dickens’ novel, “Martin Chuzzlewit.”)

On April 6, 2008 8:19 PM, TeaDrinker said:

I wish Georgianna Grant would butt out of what essentially is a squabble between “Bob10520” and me, and spare readers her remarks. I never asked the Democratic Party to endorse my comments about the low quality of Republican candidates for leadership positions, nor is there any need for the Democrats to censure me or to disassociate themselves from my strongly worded opinions.

Apparently, she doesn’t recognize the growing importance of imagery in political campaigns. Think of the ill-chosen image that backfired: It had Hillary ducking snipers’ bullets on the tarmac at Tuzla airport in Bosnia in 1996, when her group was actually welcomed by flower-bearing children.

Studies have shown that voters are more likely to recall in the voting booth images like “sermonizing steamfitter” than a candidate’s name. I find it interesting that Georgianna painstakingly repeated the offensive appellations and then wrote, ambivalently, “I say ‘well done.’” But where did she get the impression that the editors of Crotonblog are prevented from freely expressing themselves whilst commentators can write anything? The Crotonblog itself has never been wary about what it says.

On April 4, 2008 10:50 AM, weewill said:

A few weeks before the start of the recent election campaign, I promised the Democrats campaign strategy would deal with facts and truth. At the same time, I made it perfectly clear that we would not stand silently by and let erroneous or manipulated statements go unchallenged if initiated by the opposition.

We tried to avoid labels such as “soreheads” ” comic caricatures” , “hectoring steamfitters” ,”inattentive authors”, “ethically challenged”, “housewives suffused with anger”, “low quality republican candidates”, “joke ticket”, “bottom-drawer candidates”, “ hot-tempered chiropractor”, “rubber-stamp plumber”, ”Lil Abner and Mammy Yokum” and other such terms adding no substance to election rhetoric.

DramaDesk, has it occurred to you that your last post is pretty graphic as you portray your opinion of the recent candidates? I say “well done” but why is that you’re allowed to do it and the Editors of the Blog are not?

On April 3, 2008 8:34 PM, TeaDrinker said:

If anyone can see any connection between my comment and Bob10520’s response to it, I’ll buy them a good dinner for two at the restaurant of their choice. Nevertheless, I am grateful for the opportunity to illuminate what I said.

Far from “beating a dead horse,” mine was a wakeup call to the Republicans to stop trying to palm off as serious candidates another Streany/Minett team or the Brennan/Konig team again. The job of trustee is a serious, decision-making task that requires responsible citizens, not soreheads or comic caricatures.

Unless the Republicans nominate as trustees persons to whom we can safely entrust the fate of this village, they are doomed to defeat. Nowhere in his response does Bob10520 address the character issue, which was the crux of my comment, making his deceptive talk of “issues” nothing but hypocritically pious language only intended to change the subject.

Croton has had enough of hectoring steamfitters and inattentive authors, and decidedly wanted no part of the ethically challenged and housewives suffused with anger. The fundamental issue is the low quality of Republican tickets.

On April 2, 2008 11:23 PM, bob10520 said:

Apparently Drama Desk and Waffels missed the point. Yes I know it was an April Fools joke. But it is in poor taste to continue to beat up on a competitor that was beaten. My point was why don’t we take this win and turn it into an opportunity to debate issues and separate ourselves from attacks of a personal nature on individuals. I’ll say it again; It’s time to take the high road!!! Drama Desk’s post just serves to prove my point. Thank You. For all those seeking an example of Dead Horse Beating please see Drama Desk’s post. By the way as a life long resident of this Village I will proudly wear the label Yokel. At least Georgianna seem to get the gist of what I was saying but her post is also disingenuous. There have been just as many nasty attacks by the Democrats. To connect attacks on you and other Democrats that were made by the so called “vocal minority” with all Republicans or at least those currently in office and then say that Ann and Rick can not be connected to the attacks on this blog is ridiculous. If they do not support these attacks then say so; otherwise they get to sit back and reap the gains of this negativity but not accept any responsibility for it.

On April 2, 2008 10:41 AM, TeaDrinker said:

I have been an interested observer of the petty squabbles that have been played out on Crotonblog since its inception. The brouhaha generated by Bob10520’s knuckle-headed attack on the deft and delightful April Fool’s Day burlesque deserves comment, however. He completely missed the point of the piece, which was rapierlike, not heavy-handed, and worthy of The New Yorker. No graves were urinated on, but I would say that in his outrage Bob10520 did pee his pants. In case he didn’t notice, the piece was directed at the management of the Croton Republican Party. I wish more of the writing in Crotonblog (and blogs in general) were of this quality. It was a breath of fresh air that made me chuckle. Crotonblog should sign up the writer of this satire for more pieces of the same quality. It’s nice to know we have such talent in our village.

Bob10520’s anger was misdirected. It should have been not toward Crotonblog but at the Republicans. Offering a slate of unqualified candidates incapable of managing the affairs of a village of nearly eight thousand souls and a budget of $16,000,000 was a gross insult to the intelligence of the voters of Croton. And who were these candidates, the cream of the Republican crop? One was a longtime volunteer fireman who described the fire department as a “club” and a “hobby” and who acknowledged having ethical problems in money matters, who put the railroad’s interests ahead of the village’s and who was no supporter of women’s civil rights. Joining him on their “joke” ticket, the Republicans presented for voters’ consideration a housewife with no more management experience than gleaned from her role as part-time lunchroom monitor at the local elementary school and with no more fiduciary experience than managing a household budget. With bottom-drawer candidates of such low quality, no wonder voters stay away from the polls in droves.

The first candidate was designated because he was expected to draw “the Old Croton vote” and “the firehouse vote.” The second was chosen because she is a would-be whistle blower perpetually whining at board meetings about the garbage created by the shopping center behind her house. In her long-winded appearances, she also regularly exhibits the collective deficiencies of the public education system. The two Republican candidates were a gross insult to the voters of Croton. The irony is that these hapless individuals learned nothing from the election and insist that they will run again. If the Republicans are interested in not committing political suicide, in the future they will seek more suitable candidates from the reservoir of lawyers, accountants and managers who make their homes in Croton.

The Republicans hoped against hope that voters would add these two to their existing majority on the village board. In the key role as mayor we have a hot-tempered chiropractor who has never managed the fortunes of anything larger than a one-man office. He is supported in rubber-stamp fashion by a steamfitter (read “heavy-duty plumber“) and janitor of Croton’s only five-story apartment house who regularly tortures the English language in homey sermons to citizens. The third rubber-stamp trustee is a published author and radio commentator whose record of attendance at work sessions is miserable, and who spends her time at board meetings busily copyediting scripts or manuscripts.

What Bob10520 should have railed against was Republican complaisance and readiness to offer candidates whose qualifications are solely a willingness to be sacrificial lambs. We expect these absurdly low-paying positions to be filled by qualified candidates imbued with a spirit of public service and who can be importuned to serve, even if only for a term or two. Croton is not Dogpatch inhabited by yokels and bumpkins. If the Republicans insist on trying to palm off Li’l Abner and Mammy Yokum on voters, they are going to be rebuffed with the same vigor that greeted Mr. Streany and Mrs. Minett, their candidates so emphatically rejected less than a month ago. Making matters worse, truly qualified citizens are simply not going to run for offices so diminished in stature by the low quality of the candidates the Republicans insist on running to snare the know-nothing vote.

On April 1, 2008 8:23 PM, waffels said:

Wow Bob, April Fools?… May be time to find a blog that suits your fancy more. This one may be a little too much fun for you.

On April 1, 2008 8:12 PM, weewill said:

Bob10520 …

I can understand how you are turned off by nasty comments and posts. Most of us are. With respect, however, I suggest if you had been the target and recipient of the vile accusations flung over the years by a very few of these same Republicans, you might feel differently.

Allow me to give you a few examples. We Democrats suffered the injustice of their bruising, battering and fabrication for years. They refused to listen to sound legal reasoning. They constantly questioned our integrity and claimed to know what our “shady” motivations were. They professed to know that “deals” had been made; that we knew about and ignored rats and roaches in the trash; and that we had no interest in the health and welfare of our residents. They went even further and repeated over and over again that “something smells here.” We were accused of being “on the take” and were labeled “cash for trash trustees.” And can anyone forget the awful political cartoons depicting us as monkeys and witches?

I haven’t forgotten them and —- YES indeed —- victory is sweet. Based on my own personal experience the Editor’s April Fool’s post was much less vitriolic and insulting than those vicious attacks endured by Democrats for many, many years from these same political opponents.


P.S. And I further suggest that you are being pretty presumptuous yourself in assuming Ann and Rick support vitriolic attacks. The Ann and Rick I know support facts and truth … not attacks. .

On April 1, 2008 6:31 PM, bob10520 said:

My God that’s Lame!!!! It’s time to grow up Ross and friends!!! The Democrats won the election yet you insist on Urinating on the Republicans grave. You epitomize arrogance and conceit. Remember last year? You guys were awfully quiet after that election. Maybe its time we take the high road and stick to editorializing the issues rather than biased personal attacks on individuals. Nobody is perfect not even you guys!!!! I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat but this kind of behavior really turns me OFF to even listening to Ann or Rick as I have to assume they support your vitriolic attacks.

On April 1, 2008 10:20 AM, weewill said:

Shucks …. now the North County News Chat Room will shut down. Without the unpleasant and made up gossip provided by a very few Croton Republicans to that chat room, there won’t be any thing left to chat about.

Just think …. should they ever begin to post on Crotonblog, they can be sure their renditions of the truth will always be challenged by the facts.

Who was it that said “…you can fool some of the people some of the time ……?”


Recent Articles