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Blog…Tool…Open…Help…Know… and other Four-Letter-Words

By   /   January 15, 2013  /   3 Comments

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68953352_e19617e1491Blog is NOT a four letter word and is a successful Tool used by Cactus Thorns to advocate Open transparency in local governments of Towns and Cities. The rules of engagement have changed and traditional local media no longer have total control over what is being reported, or not reported. Volunteer citizen reporters of Cactus Thorns report on the decisions and actions of elected officials and Staff. This community blog is available to Help and inform the citizens, keeping them in the Know.

Volumes of documents requested through the Public Information Act are often linked to the stories often jamming the information highway to bring you added back-up material.  The Publisher of Cactus Thorns, Dan O’Brien, mans this blog 24/7 keeping the information up to date with breaking news and deflecting invading hackers.

Mark Nuaimi,Yucca Valley Town Manager, is a frequent poster on Cactus Thorns Blog and posts his comments on the newspaper Blog. >Link 

As Mayor of Fontana, Nuaimi praised community blogs to get his message out . In his  2007 published article, “Blog it Really isn’t a Four Letter Word,” written for the California City News, he tosses out an Irreverent Barb about a story printed by a local “fishwrap,” and admits he has participated for three years in a local blog under the name, “Mayor Mark.”

“I have responded to editorials and articles that I felt missed the mark on our local issues.  But the great part of the blog is that residents can ALSO respond …” 

Mark Nuaimi also stated,

The blog allows the elected official to write once, answer often.  Rather than having to field ten emails asking the same question, you can post on the blog a topic of interest and refer folks to the answer.  In my community, this feature was utilized extensively as we battled rate increases from our private water company.  Having the information on-line and then allowing “Mayor Mark” to expand on the information….” Source>Link

The Institute for Local Government also advocates for transparency:

“Transparency is a key element of public trust and confidence.  A commitment to transparency demonstrates to the community that an agency and its officials have nothing to hide.  There are a variety of ways to show this commitment: Conscientious observance of transparency laws, concerted efforts to share information with the public about local agency operations and decision-making process, commitment to engaging the public in the decision-making process.” 

Their suggestions and guideline for website transparency opportunities are listed here.>Link

Cactus Thorns provides a community service and you can also give:


[cpDonation id='Supportblog']


Margo Sturges Author >>>Link

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About the author

Margo Sturges

Yucca Valley Editor

Note: Margo Sturges has written many articles for Cactus Thorns and is the founder of Citizens4Change.info. Email contact: MargoSturgesYV(at)aol.com "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."- George Orwell


  1. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Margo, if one would like to donate directly through snail mail, etc, to what address could one send a donation?

  2. Hi Linda- Send to:
    Dan O’Brien
    C/O Margo Sturges
    MB Property Owners Association
    P.O. Box 1411
    Yucca Valley, Ca. 92286

  3. LINDAG LINDAG says:

    Thanks Margo, Many of us here in La Quinta enjoy reading the Cactus Thorn and I will try to spread the word in my part of the Valley to contribute financially to this endeavor.

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