Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kudos to the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce must have been a busy place today. I see the Web site ( has been significantly modified and even brought current. My congratulations to the Chamber and its membership.

I do notice a similarity with another Idyllwild community service organization, but I suppose that's just poor eyesight. Or it helped to convert the site to something already existing.

The site was down this afternoon but is now available to visit. However, we did get a print from this morning, so those nostalgic for 2007-08, we have a copy of the Web page from this morning.

Now maybe our breaking news about the new site is old to some. I don't know if an announcement was made. We apparently are not on the membership email distribution.

Which reminds me, i believe a message went out to membership today. If any of you can share it with us, that would be great. After all, we want to be aligned with the over all agenda. Of course, all you anonymous writers are welcome to comment below.

Also, since the Town Crier only gets Chamber notices sporadically, perhaps you might share the letter regarding the nominating committee. We didn't receive that one either, of course, section 4.01 B a of the bylaws may be changed by the time you read this. but it currents states:

"At the January meeting of the Board of Directors, the President shall appoint, subject to the approval of the board, a nominating committee which shall consist of at least three members, one or more of whom shall be appointed from the general membership, and direct the Secretary to notify the membership, within s days of the January board meeting, by letter containing all information pertaining to seeking nomination, including the timeline of the election process. The membership has a two-week period to respond in writing to this letter."

So if you have the letter or email, please share that with us. It's too bad that slipped Andrea's mind. Oh wait, she not the secretary. Well I suppose the Secretary has been busy, it's hard holding a position, keeping the web site current every few years and following the bylaws.

Next year, I'll put it on the community "Master" calendar to remind us all. Even that page looks shockingly familar. I don't know. At least it's current. I didn't know the Idyllwild 5 & 10 K run and fitness walk had been changed. According to the 5 & 10k Web site ( which you can access from our Home page under affliates, it is scheduled for the first Saturday, June 5.

But the Chamber does not have it on its calendar. So in the spirit of positivity, I give the Chamber credit for its calendar and freeing up a Saturday morning.


  1. Brown text over a picture of a brown hillside. Sigh.

  2. Okay, even a Wordpress-style website would be better than this. Is this really putting our best foot forward? Ugh. I know, someone put a lot of effort into this site, but it could be better. And I'll say it, because no one else will. It looks exactly like the website. i don't know who set up these sites, but they're far too similar.

    I'm not an Idy insider and don't have an agenda, but all of these different organizations and Idy websites has GOT to be confusing for tourists. How many Idy websites does a single small town need? Shouldn't the Chamber be providing sufficient leadership to bring all of these groups together?

  3. There are indeed a large number of websites with the mission of representing Idyllwild to the rest of the world and to Idyllwild itself. Unfortunately most of those sites are incomplete and are not kept up to date. I recognize that this is not an easy task if a website is created and maintained in a traditional manner. For that reason I have created : that site is totally "data-driven" and easy to maintain once the considerable and technically demanding software design has been done. I am pleased to devote my technical expertise to the good of the community.

    Idyllwild Herald (aka Hubert Halkin)

  4. I have just visited the new website of the Chamber of Commerce at . It is definitely similar in style with the old idy-ca website. This is not surprising since it was created by the same individual: Ken Carlson, the current president of the chamber. If the chamber had the money to hire a professional website designer the result might (just might) be visually better, but this is volunteer work by a gifted amateur: Good work Ken!

  5. Hubert
    How positive of you, you are a most gracious man, given what I have heard you say about other web sites that don't equal you standards.

    As former Chamber Treasurer, perhaps, you could prevail upon the current administration to share a copy of its phone bills with you and us. I suggest we look at the past 12 months. Don't you agree? Just like the time you came into office.

    I know we're a member, just not on the list, so I don't expect our request will be acknowledged. But you as a mutual and postive mediator could obtain the records.

    After all some members raised the question at this week's meeting, but I notice you didn't include that in your copy of the minutes. Why?

  6. As Hubert said, I put the site together the best I could. I'm a lawyer, not a website designer or graphic artist. I used my own picture on the cover so Chamber doesn't have to pay royalties. The prior site was done in php, which I don't know, so it's now in HTML.
    The primary goal was to get it current and functioning, with no incomplete or dead end pages, and secondarily to make it more user friendly. Graphics and complex functionality are tertiary, but not insignificant. At least now I can update it, and if we ever get a regular volunteer to reliably take on the Chamber's website, we could be back in action.
    I would ask my graphics critics if they would care to volunteer their expertise to make the site prettier. The Chamber has no money, which is why this all took so long to do. Chamber had far greater priorities to this point. It would be great to have a back-end database sync-able with the membership database [MS ACCESS], if any of my critics would like to offer their free services in setting that up, too.
    No Town Crier reporter attended the January meeting, but we didn't have 3 people to appoint for the nominating committee who were wiling to do it, anyway, and as now are still looking for a third. We also don't have a Secretary, whose job it would have been to start the election process. Nevertheless, I have put out the word that we're looking for Board members to run. Wish us luck.

  7. Wow, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black... or should it be red in this town?

    Seriously though I can't stop laughing at the Town Crier of all entities in this town criticizing another organization's web site.

    It's clear you get what you pay for and until businesses in Idyllwild start HIRING actual professional web designers and developers expect more of the same.

    Perhaps it's time the chamber membership pony up the funds for a proper website, that'd include the crier right?

    I think Ken did a fine job of replacing an awfully outdated website with something usable.

    P.S. While we're all being so critical...
    ...your quote of the bylaws reads "within s days of the January"...
    ...further it's just bad form to write "5 & 10 K" in one sentence and "5 & 10k" in the next.

  8. Jon,

    Thanks for writing. You coments are well taken, our site could be better. But we do put new stories on weekly and blogs about information and breaking news as soon as we can.

    We were told we should be in step with the Chamber's agenda, which appears to be update the site every 2 to 3 years. If you want to see what was there Thursday morning, please, stop by.

    I'm sorry about the bad form on the race name, but again we believe it's happening despite the Chamber's official Idyllwild calendar.

    Finally you are correct that I quoted the bylaws "within s days of the January:"… but that is how they read, It is not a typo on my part, but I'm glad you read the message and saw what they have.

    Perhaps you can help Mr. Carlson, the attorney, make that and other typographical corrections.

    thanks again. Appreciate your visit.

  9. This all reminds a bit too much of "Mean Girls" the movie. I think it is completely unprofessional and petty to critisize any organization's attempt to rebuild and further promote Idyllwild. What will certainly turn folks off to our town is this childish bickering between so-called adults. We are a small town trying to survive this recession. Would it not serve us better to be kind and work together toward the same goal?

  10. Sounds like a fun challenge! Given that the chamber has no money, here's what I propose: all of us smartypants design critics go to the chamber site, scrape the code and rebuild it. Once those are built and hosted somewhere that The chamber can see, they can vote and pay the winner with a free chamber membership. Anybody up for it?

  11. @ Bob - Two words should be all it takes to show what a truly horrible idea that is:

    "Tree Monument"

  12. Survey Question #1 - Will you support the chamber after Ken Carlson is banished?

    Let's get to the truth here. Many business owners won't deal with Ken. Same with Triplett. The CLEAN slate was the beginning of the end for the chamber. Scorched earth in Idyllwild. Take no prisoners. Everyone opposite is an enemy. Egomaniacs.

    Triplet and Carlson polarized this business community over meaningless issues. There is absolutely no goodwill left. Except maybe for the newbies who have yet to experience this stupidity.

    Oh, and the new website...It will not bring ONE of the THOUSANDS of possible Riverside County visitors up here to enjoy this town and spend money. It looks like a community website, not a business website.

    It is time for these amateurs to get out of the way. This town needs serious help NOW! Forget surveying why businesses won't join the chamber. Survey the business to see how many more months they have before they close. Bring the results down the county and make the case that WE ARE REALLY IN TROUBLE. Read Marshall's article in this week's TC.

  13. Wow! Nice to see that the town I grew up in has become as petty as the rest of the world! Kudos Idyllwild! How about working together and fostering more of that small town atmosphere you so like to brag about instead of bickering over website development and who is qualified to do it. If you don't have the funds to purchase a professionally developed site, then be happy that someone is trying to publicize the town and it's merits to encourage flatlanders to visit. You may not like each other in the tiny town of 2500, but you all have to live on the same hill and work together for the good of the community.

  14. Dear Commenters,

    I personally want to thank each of you for taking some time to read the blog and especially the extra time to respond.

    I hoped a valuable community discussion would grow from this blog. I regret that it excludes those without access to computers or the internet.

    I have noticed the tone of some of the recent comments, particularly those from Mr. or Ms. Anonymous. These tend to be harsher (and some feel offensive), but those who do speak out, including myself, have to be prepared to listen to the response.

    My preference is each comment identify the speaker or (literally) the writer, this software permits "anonymous" responses and the Town Crier has not edited or deleted any yet.But we have that capability. That's not a threat but a warning to try to keep the discourse civil, maybe shrill, but not sufficiently offensive and personal to discourage the general public from reading this debate, discussion or dialogue.

    Although I note, that Mr Halkin, who took advantage of posting comments here Friday night and linking to his own site, has now censored the remaining give and take. His link and use of the TC blogs has disappeared, not quite in the spirit of free speech.

    I encourage you to use your name, but I prefer a fair and honest debate before that criterion. I hope that I haven't dissuaded future thoughts or ideas.

  15. Ms. here. My timidity stems from a fear of retribution. I admit that with my approach very little advances for the common good. However I do not wish to become a punching bag - legally and personally - to satisfy another's ego.


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