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The Genesis of the Crotonblog-NCN Feud

May 27, 2008

Crotonblog is grateful for the several expressions of loyalty by its readers that are posted elsewhere on the blog. So that readers do not get the impression that we have a pathological fixation with the back-alley three-card monte game the NCN forums represent, we hasten to explain the reasons for our adversarial position.

It all began when Crotonblog was mercilessly attacked on the original NCN’s Crotonblog rip-off, called Croton Blog by NCN, and this continues to this day on its replacement Croton forum. The trumped-up charge is “Crotonblog is tearing the village of Croton apart.” At village board meetings, Croton’s mayor, Gregory Schmidt, and trustee Thomas P. Brennan also have made this slanderous charge. And Mayor Schmidt, in an explosive outburst before customers at the Black Cow coffee house, lost his cool and repeated the hyperbolic charge before astonished customers.

On NCN’s Croton forum, Crotonblog’s respect for the principle of anonymity has been falsely compared to regrettable instances of false identity creation or identity theft on the Internet that have led to fatal consequences. It is interesting to note that the only recorded abuse of anonymity on Crotonblog was committed by one Maria Cudequest, who is now the principal contributor to NCN ‘s Croton forum.

Crotonblog’s initial reaction was to ignore the NCN forum’s incessant attacks. However there comes a time when an annoying horsefly’s buzzing persistence can no longer be ignored, and so we swatted it. Based on solid research, we exposed the ridiculous charade of the NCN forums in the article entitled, “The Phony Blogging Activities of The North County News.” We call this “running up the rattlesnake flag,” the famous 1775 Gadsden Flag. Its motto, “Don’t Tread on Me,” told King George III to exercise caution—angry colonists can strike back.

If the NCN forum’s participants practiced the principle of live and let live, relations could go swimmingly. But, like a dog worrying a bone, they keep on attacking Crotonblog and its staff. We can offer no explanation to account for this fascination with us. On the one hand they accuse Crotonblog of being the handiwork of one person. Yet they continually talk about obtaining a subpoena to uncover the names of Crotonblog’s staff. We can only conclude that the old biddies, who all have single names like French film stars and monopolize the NCN forum, must be suffering from a severe case of subpoena envy.

We know that the original NCN attack on Crotonblog for its toleration of anonymous postings was nothing more than an ill-conceived and unsuccessful attempt to boost that newspaper’s falling circulation. The hypocrisy of the North County News position was revealed when they embraced anonymity in their forums, largely to protect their shills masquerading as contributors. In fact, almost all contributors to NCN’s Croton forum hide behind pseudonyms, only proving that Crotonblog’s position on anonymity was right all along. As the old expression has it, what goes around comes around. Another area of mock concern on the NCN Croton forum—the only forum of the twelve NCN community forums with a spark of life—is civility, an empty catchall phrase. To them, anything posted on Crotonblog that NCN shills don’t like represents incivility and discourtesy.

Satire is protected speech. Under the rubrics of “What’s up, Doc?” and “Just Asking…,” Crotonblog acknowledges that it has published satirical pieces making fun of Mayor Schmidt’s practice of sweeping village problems under the rug in the hope that they’ll go away. Of course, these satirical aide memoirs also remind the public about the mayor’s dilatory tendencies. We also have made fun of the mayor’s monumentally bad temper, exhibited occasionally at village board meetings and displayed in full glory regularly at the frequent executive sessions when no witnesses are present.

There can be no greater incivility toward the public he pretends to serve than a mayor in A.D. 2008 who is so out of touch with the electronic age as to refuse to return citizens’ telephone calls or e-mail messages, and who claims not to read this blog that covers the village of Croton-on-Hudson. So, if you see puffs of smoke emanating from the roof of the Stanley H. Kellerhouse Municipal Building, don’t panic or call in a fire alarm. It’s probably just Mayor Schmidt sending an urgent message in the form of Indian smoke signals to village employees down at the Municipal Garage.

On May 30, 2008 9:46 PM, Mrs. Smith said:

Perhaps if Schmidt would answer emails and read blogs he would be honest enough to correct misinformation posted on the net by Chuck Trendell that he is responsible for the creation of SummerFest. The truth is that Summerfest was the brainchild of Grace Price, former owner of Wondrous Things, and Bob Elliott who created SummerFest as a way to promote the upper village businesses. It had nothing to do with citizen Schmidt.

On May 30, 2008 9:06 PM, Eduardo Ferrari said:

I agree with the comment that the mayor and city hall does not read e-mails. I have sent a lot of mails to them and I never ever got any reply or phone call. It is a shame, because it could be a quick way to get in touch with the citizens and the towns problems.

On May 29, 2008 11:38 AM, waffels said:

Tom…….the NCN started it’s blog after the Crotonblog was kicking in to high gear. There was obvious liberal leaning dissenters outnumbered on this site and they all seemed to jump to the the NCN blog where they could all swim in the same pool of lies. This blog IS about Croton and it does add a wonderful opportunity for people to speak out and vent if needed. It’s also a wonderful resource for general information which the NCN and the Croton Gazette do not put out. Take it or leave it. I for one enjoy the dialogue and the ability to spill my guts on any and all topics.

On May 29, 2008 9:56 AM, Tom said:

Isnt this a blog about Croton? It seems that this blog has turned into an obsession by the owner whom now seems to attack NCN at any chance. I dont think anyone cares whether or not they have anonymous posters, etc. Its a rather informative blog that actually DISCUSSES Croton. Please bring Crotonblog back onto the right track and get away from the rather cynical posts of late.



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