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Sunland Tujunga responds

Rocky Times off Foothill

Since I posted an earlier item on the raging dispute over revisiting a Specific Plan in Sunland Tujunga, I have received much correspondence. Of top notice were the following two emails from Robin Meares, and a long message from Elaine Brown, meant in response to a post attacking her elsewhere.

Meares may have also tried to post comments here which were disallowed at the time because I could not confirm her identity at the time the messages were posted.

Though I didn't mention Meares in my earlier item, she recognized old statements being made about a Neighborhood Council treasurer as directed specifically at her. As her emails will demonstrate, she refutes these charges entirely. Remaining sensitive to Meares' concerns publishing allegations based on interviews with others, I'm not including some allegations she made against another resident of Sunland Tujunga.

Email one from Robin Meares:

Tomi told me you want to "get in touch with me". I find it odd that you write lies, innuendo, distortions and character assassinations and THEN verify a story. Very unprofessional.

You are being used by Elaine and her coven. She has you eating out of her hands. Why do you think that the respected community leaders won't talk to you anymore?

Did you even check out your "sources" before trying to ruin good people? [allegation edited...] THIS a source? David Cain, David DeMuelle, Elaine, Terry, and anonymous (Terry Ashmore or Debi Statland) OMG... we laughed and laughed at that. The credibility of your whole site has now been ruined.

Everyone you list as a source is a laughing stock in this town and they are ruining you too and you are letting them by allowing them to use you to print lies. Michael Higby once told me that you are a "genius" . He truly meant that, but you are not acting like one.

If you care anything about yourself and your reputation, I strongly suggest you check out your character assassinations BEFORE printing them. Using The Foothills Paper as a source will further your NEW reputation as a laughing stock.

Robin Siegel-Meares

This is the second email I received from Meares--I'm not including the photo to which she refers:

(I've included a photo from The Foothills Paper, which was not in my original response to you . This was published in the local newspaper you are using as your source. This should show you the 'class' of person you hold in high esteem.)

Do your own research into [allegation edited].

I was a great Treasurer. My books were in perfect order and everything was there. I gave in depth report to the full STNC meetings every month and discussed each expenditure. It was ...boring, but necessary. After my first term I decided not to run again, at the wishes of my then younger children. My first term on the STNC had been as the Goup [sic] Representative for the McGroarty Arts Center where I was Board President for five years. The STNC took up too much of my time and they and my husband, are my priority, and still are even now that the children are "grown".

The person who was Treasurer after me was David DeMulle's then girlfriend. She was handed books that balanced and all the paperwork was locked in the STNC office. If there was a problem with them after I handed everything over to David DeMulle's girlfriend, I did not cause the problem. Again, ask DONE. DONE never had a problem with me, ever and neither did anyone else who was not connected to Elaine Brown and David DeMulle.

The character assassinations, lies and distortions that you are being used to perpetrate now, were perpetrated back then too. There was a plan to revitalize Commerce Ave that Elaine Brown did not like. She took out the same exact playbook she is using now and used David DeMulle (your role now) and his joke of a paper, to discredit all those who were pushing for revitalization/change in Sunland Tujunga. Sound familiar?

That $26,000 was part of the "lies" perpetrated. As anyone who has ever been a Treasurer in the Neighborhood Council system will tell you... there is no way that $26,000 could go "missing" or whatever the charge was. It was all part of Elaine's way to discredit those who wanted improvement in Sunland Tujunga. It made no sense then, and it makes no sense now. THAT should be your story. Why doesn't Elaine Brown want Sunland Tujunga to improve???

When I got to the end of your e-mail I realized that your mind is made up and nothing I write will sway you but, me, being me, will always try to right the wrong. This is your quote that had me realize that you really do not care about the truth: I'd like you to have a fair hearing too. What are you a judge and the jury too? I've already been convicted on a public blog by you, the judge and jury. FYI: I am not on trial. I am a stay at home Mom and a Private Citizen who you have chosen to defame. FEH!

Good luck. And let's NOT be pen pals. Please started acting like a mensch instead of a schmuck and maybe people, who are not the laughing stock of the whole town, will talk to you again.


I also received an email from Elaine Brown. Brown tells me that she tried to post this email as a comment last night at a local website that had attacked her reputation, but her comment was refused there. (A dozen or so character-assassinating anonymous comments, however, were published there instead. Opponents of revisiting the Specific Plan lodge similar complaints about the administration of a local message board called The Foothills Forum).

Elaine Brown's email follows:
During the last few weeks I have been maligned repeatedly on various internet venues by a number of persons who are viciously attacking me and anyone who objects to the opening of Sunland-Tujunga's Foothill Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan. I have carefully resisted lowering myself to the level of these maligners and to date I have refused to answer their remarkable lies and insults. However, today, the administrator for Mayor Sam's Blogspot who is Joe Barrett wrote more disparaging remarks in a thread entitled, "'Los Angeles Hotsheet for Thursday: The Joseph Mailander "Community Leader" Edition"'.

What differed today about this attack and the ensuing vitriolic comments was that it was directed toward the Commerce Business and Owners Restoration Association, Inc., and as president of COBRA, I believe I have no recourse but to respond.

Anyone who questions the validity of COBRA is free to check with the State of California and verify our legitimate status as a registered 501C3 in good standing.

The purpose of COBRA was never to revitalize Commerce. Its purpose was not to become a policing organization either. The purpose of COBRA was to restore the street which included replacing the sidewalks, curbs, and to pave the street surface. After several years of extensive effort, as the number one "Shovel Ready" project in Los Angeles, and using Federal Stimulus funds, we have successfully completed all our goals except the paving which was scheduled by the Bureau of Street Services for June 2011. Obviously that paving has not as yet taken place. For that reason we have not done a press release to announce what we have accomplished and that our job had been successfully completed.

We were fortunate earlier in the restoration process to have received a $200,000 donation from Councilmember Wendy Greuel to help us with the purchase of a Verdin street clock, street furniture and flower pots. Wendy also leveraged the remaining Community Development Beautification Grant funds to buy the 17 old-fashioned lights placed on the street prior to doing the extensive sidewalk and curb work.

Wendy also made a $1,500 donation directly to COBRA, and three fundraisers were held to raise funds by COBRA. These remaining monies will be directed into a maintenance fund for the Verdin Clock and COBRA's job will have been finished. As volunteers our only reward for these many years of effort is the lovely results and our gratitude goes to all those who helped us to reach these results including Wendy Greuel.

COBRA asked the STNC to remove the COBRA website several months ago, because it no longer served its purpose which was restoration - nothing else. Although the website was converted by Cindy Cleghorn into a personal, private site, the link on the STNC remained. We are grateful that we were able to work with the STNC this last week to get that link removed.

Unfortunately, the terrible state of the economy has coincided with the completion of the extensive improvements and many of the properties and businesses are struggling to survive. Oddly, the people who berate our efforts rarely supported any of those businesses which have failed or even those that remain.

As soon as the economy improves, we look forward to a street that is not only beautiful, but flourishing while keeping in mind that these are private properties owned by private individuals who have rights to do with their private investments as they please.

Elaine Brown
President of COBRA

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Sunland Tujunga Specific Plan dispute turns clamorous
Elaine Brown's forbidden comments
The Sunland Tujunga NC/Alliance letter