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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Government Office Building, Amsterdam, 1560

"Government Office Building, Amsterdam, 1560"
Pieter Boggle

Boggle was one of a new breed of Dutch investigatory artists who sprang up to document graft and abuse in government projects. Known collectively as the "muckpainters," they exposed the colossal waste and fraud inherent in Flemish state and federal programs.

This building, for instance, was to have been a simple stable and carriage house for federal vehicles with an estimated budget of 2,000 florins, including haulage, drayage and environmental impact statements. By the time Flemish officials approved the final design it had ballooned to a 12-story monstrosity costing over 1 million florins and included such unnecessary features as stained glass windows and a rooftop beer garden capable of holding 600 revelers.

Boggle's exposé, which ran in the Amsterdam Presse over a period of a week, helped blow the whistle on the notorious Tinklemann crime family. Unfortunately Boggle himself was caught up in the ensuing "Wassergeit" scandal, subsequently betrayed by his sons Jan the Elder and Pieter the Younger and emerged from it a ruined man, capable only of painting still-life miniatures which he hawked in public parks until his untimely death at the hands of a crazed litter control officer.

-- Ditty Nicolaides