|So many people
wrote so many nice things to me the last couple days, and since, unlike
a blog, they can't just post them on my site, I thought I'd share them
with you...I had no idea how many of these there were till I started
posting them....I'm a little overwhelmed by how many of you took the
time to write in and say something nice. It's rare that I get
comments, so to get so many at once is especially gratifying.
Thank you all...However, as much as I appreciate every one of these
comments, it is only appropriate that I point out that my small
contribution pales in comparison to those who manned the front lines,
particularly the firefighters and members of law enforcement that worked
on the fire, both from Sierra Madre and through our mutual aid
agreements, and City staff, who transitioned from processing licenses
and double-checking applications to manning the Emergency Operations
Center and making decisions that had immediate impact on the lives of
all who live in town. Kudos and sincere thanks to all the people
who helped save this town from devastation...
When I started posting these, people didn't
know that the things they sent were going to be posted, so I chose to
use initials only. As time went on, I'm sure people were aware
that what they sent was going to be posted, but I chose to just put the
rest up as I'd done with the first, unless what I received specifically
said Letter to the Editor.
Added June 12, 2008 -
video testimonial from Mayor Kurt
Sunday, May 4, 4:09am
You might remember me
from Rotary (I was President in 2000) and also seeing each other around
town. I have not been around lately because a career move took me
to Germany in 2005. I still have my house on Carter Ave which I
am currently renting.
Like many, many others,
I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your tireless
and accurate news coverage of the fire. Your website was the first
place I looked (after seeing the LA Times article on my Google News
page) and like a loyal friend, your website offered me the latest news.
Because of your
efforts, I was able to reduce my worries that everything (my house, my
tenants, my beloved Sierra Madre) had gone up in flames. There was no
other good source of news (except the Foothills news blog) What was
interesting is that due to the time change, I was able to inform some of
my SM and LA friends of the fire before they knew about it -- all from
my remote location in Europe!
The next time I am in
Sierra Madre, I am going to look you up and buy you a coffee (or better
yet, a beer!)
You sir, are one
of "Sierra Madre's Treasures"
Sincerely and with many
greetings from Germany,
Thanks to you also for your
coverage. I know all of us who were displaced relied on your site for
very much for the updates on the fire. It was a great relief to my
friends and family to be able to be kept informed.
Bill, you did a great job. I was happy to
refer people to your site since it had the best coverage. I am amazed at
the number of hits, but imagine that people spread the message through
emails, word of mouth, and phone calls. I called attention to your site
through the fcblog and my own emails.
Hope you are catching up
on your sleep.
We put up a family who was evacuated on
Sunday night. While everyone was busy getting beds ready and the kids
comfortable, I was searching for news and found your site and was amazed
at the frequency of updates.
I kept a macbook computer out on the kitchen
island with your site loaded for all to use. During the two days, as we
all would regularly come from our separate areas of the house to the
center of the kitchen, your web page was a great focal point and
enhanced the whole experience.
Thank you for all you
many thanks for the superb job you did keeping us all informed about the
I found your site to be
incredibly helpful during the fires. Thanks for doing such a great job
of keeping everyone up to date on the latest information!!
I know you weren't on
the front line fighting the fire, and lord knows those folks deserve our
gratitude forever, but you were really there for those of us who stayed
at home, out of the way, wondering what the heck was going on out there.
I know that I sent your
link around the country to let all my friends and family have a contact
with our city, and I know lots of others who did too. We even have
friends in Sweden who followed your coverage.
You were the only
source we had - the city was so far behind - and you need to know how
important that was to us.
Thanks for the awesome fire
coverage and being the "go to" site for current and the
Thank you and more from cabin
owner ___ in Winter Creek. Being in the westernmost group of
cabins, we certainly appreciate the accurate informative updates. Many
thanks from all of us.
G and D
Thank you so much for your website. It is
wonderful to know you have a place to find out just what is going on.
You provide a very important service to the people of Sierra Madre,
THANKS for all the work you've done
Bill....we haven't slept either since our home was 400 feet away from
the line of fire.
while this aft. reading all the comps and appreciation re your coverage
of the fire...and also read all your info and updates. What a fantastic
job you're doing!
your community seems to value your work.
Want to let you know
how much we appreciate your up-to-the-minute reporting on the fire. Our
family owns a number of canyon properties and family members live in the
Sierra Madre canyon. We are former Sierra Madre residents now living in
Oregon. Until we found your website the quantity and quality of
information from other sources was frustrating and disappointing. Our
thanks to you for excellent reporting and especially to the firefighters
and fire management personnel who saved the canyon and hillside homes.
Kudos for a great job!
Hi, Bill —
so very much for all your hard work and dedication to keeping the
community informed about the fire this past weekend. I've enjoyed
sierramadrenews.net for years but I now have an entirely new
appreciation of it. Your site had more accurate, regularly updated
information than the city or news sites, and I've relied on you and the
Foothill Cities blog for details and perspective these past few days.
the fire is no longer an imminent threat to Sierra Madre, I hope you are
finally allowing yourself to GET SOME SLEEP!
good person and an invaluable reporter. Thanks again for all that you've
Thank you...for providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date
information during the past few days.
You deserve tons of kudos in addition to a good night's sleep.
My family and I live on Alegria in Sierra Madre, so we were among those
eager for information all weekend when it was not clear whether we would
have to evacuate or not. Night before last, when the fire jumped back
over to our side and engulfed the mountain, we evacuated on the advice
of the police and will be returning this morning. I watched the city
website and channel 3 vigilantly with frustration at how little
information was updated and how infrequently. It was a friend in
Monrovia that discovered your website and from that point forward I felt
really informed about what was happening. We made our decisions based on
your reports. Instead of spending time writing individual e-mails to
people all over the country to update, we started sending them your
link. We got to the place with our evacuation hosts where we would ask
each other "what does Bill say"? Good journalism, it can be argued,
makes you feel like "you were there." In this case, we WERE there, and
your reports let us know what was happening to us.
Thanks for your diligence and your lost nights of sleep on behalf of the
community. You are a good reporter, you are a great neighbor.
YOU ARE THE MAN.
Great job on the fire. I depended on
your reports as the most rapid source of comprehensive wide ranging
news. Glad you got some sleep, well deserved.
Thank you very much,
This has been so useful. People call our
office all day and night plus calling us at home. I can give out your
web site and know the people will feel better than just listening to the
so much for your awesome work these last few days. We didn't
find out about your site until mid Sunday, and were very grateful since
neither the city's other main page nor channel 3 had anything more
recent that 6:30 AM.
again for your awesome work.
the great work done keeping everyone informed about the fire. I live in
New York City, but have quite a few family members in Sierra Madre
including grandparents who live off of North Auburn Ave.
I hear the fire burned down to a retaining wall that separates their
driveway from the hillside, so you can imagine my concern.
It was a
little tough getting updates because of the time difference and lack of
Southern California news in the Big Apple. Thanks for giving the extra
Love the site. Has been
_extremely_ helpful and informative!
I totally agree! As usual, good job, Bill.
Congratulations on your
coverage. Almost every Sierra Madre resident (who's paying attention)
knows that we have one terrific, dedicated reporter in town! Now that
the fire is moving towards Pasadena,
get some sleep!!!
Your work during the
fire was so appreciated ... I hope everyone takes the time to tell you
that. Your concern for us all is amazing, and our family really relied
on your info.
Thanks soooo much,
G. (on the
fire line in the lower canyon)
vacationing in rural Nevada. You have been our only news link -- no TV
or radio here, and since we have dial-up Internet connection on the
road, the major media sites load too slowly with all their bells and
whistles. We check your site daily for all local news -- at home and
away -- and greatly appreciate your service to the community.
I also want to thank
you for all your updates. You're site has been the best and most
reliable source for information on the fire….Thanks again for your
site. I hope that you are now catching up on sleep.
My husband and I live at ________. We were
evacuated on Monday morning at 3 a.m.
Thank you very much for keeping us up to
date on what is happening. I haven't been able to glean many details
from the City of Sierra Madre website as in the beginning the updates
were only about every 5 or so hours and the site was down this morning.
My husband is now working at the command
center in the amateur radio emergency team, mainly staying there if
needed as there's always communication problems (technical) between the
police and the fire department.
Again, thank you,
L and B
Your site has always been my first source of
news about Sierra Madre, but your coverage during the fire has been
amazing, extraordinary, and a true public service. Thank you for
keeping so many people so well-informed during such a chaotic time (and
for being so careful about the accuracy of your information!). Thanks
I live in
another state, and I just wanted to thank you for your updates. I grew
up in that area and have family and friends who still live there, so
I’ve appreciated being able to keep up with where the fire is and
whether or not I need to worry about my friends and family. One person
was evacuated yesterday, but thanks to your site I know she’ll have a
home to return to without having to call every hour to ask how it’s
I just want to thank you
for your coverage of the recent fire in Sierra Madre. Clearly you put
in many hours to keep the citizens informed and I really appreciate it.
Thank you for all your hard work, you're a good guy.
Bill, you have done
such a great job. Really. And it is way cool that you posted all the
nice comments on your site. You motivated me to make a nice comment of
My comment to you is GO
TO BED. SLEEP.
We will all survive.
We would rather have you well rested and on top of your game.
Thank you for all of
your hard work. You ROCK.
We’re on _______
between ___ and ____ (fellow Sierra Madreans). We are appreciative of
all your efforts to keep the community updated. Thanks for losing so
I appreciate your coverage.
It certainly helped me out today!
…Get some sleep and
thanks for all the great info!
wanted to send you a heartfelt THANK YOU for all the work you've been
doing in getting real and accurate information out to the public, unlike
the rest of the so-called "news" media. There's been so much dis-information
about this situation that I know that all of us in the canyon appreciate
your efforts as much as I do.
A sincere thank you from all of us...
I live in Pasadena Glen
up against the mountains and I have been checking your sight regularly,
for obvious reasons. Thanks a whole lot. A lot of us locals really
appreciate this. It's the most up to date source of information we have
on what we should be anticipating at this point.
…Thanks for your
updates and coverage of the fire.
I wanted to take a
moment and say thank you for your non-stop coverage of this trying time
for our city. I get periodic updates from (names withheld) during the
day but your website keeps pace and often has additional interesting and
helpful details. I am checking it regularly and I am sure many worried
residents have found the News Net an important source of what people
often need the most in times like this - information. Thank you
again for your devotion to the community.
And thanks for all your good
work. Most reliable fire information on the 'net.
the great reporting...
Hey, just wanted to
drop you a line after we met this morning on my truck at Lima and
Highland. Wanted to thank you for your continued coverage of the fires.
And say that it was great meeting you.
Glad someone is looking
out for local coverage, since the networks seem to be giving us only a
Your site is now my
first destination for Sierra Madre news!
over in Pasadena Glen and have turned to your web site for the only
on-going, accurate source of information on the fire. You are providing
an incredible public service and I wanted to express my gratitude for
the amount of time that you are taking to cover this and get the news
Monday, 8:01am - Sent to the FCBlog.com, but
we got a copy, too.
I'm sure you all know that Bill Coburn must
have stayed up all night, posting pics and updates to his site. … Bill
has very helpful information on his blog.
You're amazing, Bill!!
…Get some sleep, we
appreciate the updates. Keep up the good work.
Hi Bill -
I just wanted to say
thank you for the coverage you've been posting - it truly is the only
local news we're getting and it has been a comfort to be able to read
your updates. Great job, Bill!
You are doing a
phenomenal job covering the fire. I hope you are getting to sell some
of this stuff. I told everyone at Beantown this AM to go to your website
for the updates.
Thanks for the website
-- its providing the most up to date info (other than me calling the
house to see if the answering machine is still going).
covering this thing so well.
Thanks for your
updates, since the information control went to the USDA nothing we need
to know is coming from the City, channel 3 or local news.
Thanks for being there
Bill, superb coverage on your website!!
From what I could find,
your website has been the best source of real-time info for coverage of
Thanks for the good updates.
Just wanted to say
thanks for your coverage of the fire. We are up here above Carter and
have to stay put or they won't let us back in. Am checking your site
from time to time. Also looking at comments on the fc blog.