Posts Tagged ‘San Diego Union-Tribune’
Smart governing decisions saving taxpayer dollars and collaborative initiatives took top honors, while cavalier attitudes and lost opportunities were called out and shamed at the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA)’s 17th annual Goldens Awards Dinner, held at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in Mission Valley.
Remote controls were nowhere in sight as the evening’s theme “Taxpayer TV: We Can’t Make This $#!% Up!” entertained the appreciative audience who shared the details of the exclusive video parodies highlighting the program via social media. As in past programs, elected officials, members of the news media and other public figures willingly humiliated themselves in a good-natured send-up of the year in government news and achievements in San Diego.
Just in time could be my life’s mantra. I am reminded by Thor’s Assistant that no Official Drinking Game has been devised for tonight’s epic 17th annual San Diego County Taxpayers Golden Fleece and Watchdog Awards.
Calling Ms. Tipit to the rescue.
DISCLAIMER: In this litigious, risk-averse society, we must pause here to admonish anyone reading this column that it is strictly for entertainment purposes ONLY. Please drink responsibly if at all. Please do not be a dunderhead and drink and tweet/post/drive, or you will be the next person we write about on Rostra and it won’t be pretty.
One might think you would read about the ongoing criminal investigation of the Sweetwater Union High School District, but this is about politics in the normally quiet coastal community of Carlsbad.
Recently, Rostra ran a series of posts questioning the personal finances of Carlsbad City Councilwoman Farrah Douglas, which became an issue in her campaign seeking election to the California State Assembly for the newly drawn 76th District. Those posts, considered controversial by some, resulted in responses from the Douglas campaign including one from a bankruptcy attorney which represented her when her private residence entered the foreclosure process.
In addition to reporting on Douglas’s personal finances, the information posted to Rostra also included what appeared to be financial irregularities and possible conflicts of interest regarding the candidate’s campaign finances and service on the Carlsbad City Council. The Fair Political Practices Commission eventually acknowledged receiving a compliant and subsequently determined that they would not be investigating the claims of alleged financial wrongdoing.
Remember back in 2010 when the local Municipal Employees Association went crying to its state level big brother, Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), about Mayor Jerry Sanders using the power and prestige of his office to inspire and endorse Prop D, the sales tax increase?
No I don’t remember that either, because it did not happen. However, I do recall more recently the Municipal Employees Association asking PERB to bully over 120,000 San Diegans, including Mayor Sanders, by blocking the Comprehensive Pension Reform initiative from getting on the ballot. Last Tuesday, Judge William Dato told Goliath, labor groups and their heavy-handed bureaucrat friends, to back off of little taxpayer David… until after the election.
Five people who have a lot to do with the news you read, hear and see on a daily basis in San Diego got up early to talk about the role of news media organizations as advocates. What they had to say may surprise you… especially if you’re still living in the era of Walter Cronkite.
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association hosted the panel in the first of its Breakfast Club Forums for 2012. Participants included Mike McKinnon, station manager of KUSI TV; J.W. August, managing editor for KGTV; Scott Lewis, CEO of Voice of San Diego; Jeff Light, editor in chief, U-T San Diego; and Deanna Mackey, station manager, KPBS FM/TV. The assignment moderating this forum was mine.
Politics & Media Mashup: your weekend news aggregator leads off with “The 10 Most Tweeted San Diego Rostra Posts in 2011″ and includes stories and editorials from across the country about the death of redevelopment in California. Also included: pieces on local, state and national politics as well as social media.
You can hear Tony Manolatos talk politics and media with KOGO’s LaDona Harvey every Friday at 3:50 p.m. on AM 600 and FM 95.7.
If you missed yesterday’s post about Papa Doug’s front-page Christmas message in The San Diego Union-Tribune by Erica Holloway click here. And then check out this related post that national media critic and aggregator Jim Romenesko just tweeted:
Today’s Twittersphere got a tad wound up about the Christmas Day publisher’s note from the San Diego Union-Tribune’s new fearless (and Jesus-loving) leader Doug Manchester.
The open letter, “A day to count blessings and share happiness,” began as such:
Dear fellow San Diegans,
Christmas is ever spiritual because it celebrates the birth of a child more than 2,000 years ago whose arrival on Earth defines all the dates of history. No other individual, before or since, has so influenced mankind as Jesus Christ. As the dawn breaks on this Christmas morning, we rise to celebrate the day marking the birth of the Christ child, a day dedicated to “good tidings of great joy.”
Amid criticism of newspaper’s pro-stadium stance, new owners assure reporters they won’t be stadium advocates
Turns out, The San Diego Union-Tribune is not going to serve as a unabashed supporter of a new Chargers stadium.
The newspaper’s new ownership, hotelier Papa Doug Manchester and former local radio executive John Lynch, have been sharply criticized almost since the sale was announced last month because of comments Lynch made to Voice of San Diego.
Lynch, the paper’s CEO, told the Voice he wanted the Union-Tribune’s sports page to advocate for a new Chargers stadium “and call out those who don’t as obstructionists.”
A little further down the board is a Headline with the names of local businessman John Lynch, and my name. Below that is a photo of 3 Giant Hogs. The post’s author says this refers to corporate welfare, something I do not support. As a professional journalist, that poster must know the implications of such a Headline and Photo. It is my hope that discussion among Rostra regulars can return to a higher level in the future. I ask that this subject be retired, with all parties (including me) having learned some useful lessons. And that’s another reason to celebrate Thanksgiving Day!
These are not easy times for the people who remain at The San Diego Union-Tribune.
They know as much as we do about the newspaper’s new ownership, hotelier Doug Manchester and former local radio executive John Lynch, and their plans for a product that is a shell of what it used to be.
The smart money says Manchester is interested in the land more than the paper. He develops hotels – nice ones – and the paper sits in hotel happy Mission Valley just off Hotel Circle.
Proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished, Doug Manchester and John Lynch are getting criticism for trying to save a San Diego institution [the Union-Tribune] and the hundreds of jobs it provides for local families. Here are a few points about that criticism:
(1) No proposal regarding a new Charger Stadium has been approved by the San Diego City Council. If one ever emerges, we can review its financial details and decide if it is a good or bad idea. For this reason it’s illogical to label a so-far non-existent idea “Corporate Welfare.”
Since comments to Sills’ last post appear to be closed, I’m placing my reply in its own post. This reply-reply-to-reply format is cumbersome, so I’ve shortened it — hopefully without distorting the meaning. Read the original thread linked above to get everything. My comments are in boldface.
I respect Sills’ spirited defense of alleged conservatives John Lynch and Doug Manchester, but some of my own views have been misunderstood in the process. I’m for free enterprise. I’m against corporate welfare feeding at the public trough.
Yes, I know, that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? The paper’s glacial liberal editorial trend may soon be reversed. This correspondent welcomes the change, and expresses thanks to Doug Manchester and John Lynch, Sr. for investing their time and money into the community asset that is a Daily Newspaper. That they do so for a paper which has lost some circulation and advertising is truly remarkable. They are risking a lot on a deal that is not a Sure Thing. It will be a good thing if they make a profit from the total balance sheet. Profit is not a dirty word (!) and can keep this valuable news institution alive.
UPDATE: The news in the VOSD story is every bit as bad as I feared. From the story, John Lynch says:
He wants that sports page to be an advocate for a new football stadium “and call out those who don’t as obstructionists.”
“To my way of thinking,” Lynch said, “that’s a shovel-ready job for thousands.”
“We’d like to be a cheerleader for all that’s good about San Diego,” Lynch said. “Our motivation, both of us, was to do something good for San Diego.”
While the blogosphere and Twitterverse foams at the mouth over the spectre of hotelier Doug Manchester’s reported purchase of the San Diego Union-Tribune today, far more attention should be paid to the other key player on this team: former radio station owner and executive John Lynch. When it comes to newsroom operations, John Lynch is likely to have far more influence on the day to day product as president and CEO than Manchester.
My knee-jerk reaction — GOOD! Not GREAT, but much better than the current left-leaning, wussy interim owners.
UPDATE: Credit Where Due Dept: Don Bauder of the San Diego Reader discussed the rumor that Manchester was buying the U-T in a Sept. 29 blog post. Bauder properly called it a “strictly a rumor”, but one worth reporting.
I think that was the proper way to handle it. The rumor was widely given credence by local insiders, and journalists should let the public know what the insiders are saying to each other. (Ex-UTer Dave Ogul tweeted last week that Manchester was in escrow to buy the U-T. UPDATE – Ogul also took care to call it a rumor).
Some Friday thoughts for your weekend…
Mark Fabiani is clearly the toughest man on the San Diego Chargers payroll. While he’s been going around town taking shots at Mayor Jerry Sanders, the guys who suit up on Sundays continue to play like a bunch of Lotus Eaters.
Fabiani’s latest jab arrived this morning in Tom Blair’s column. Fabiani once again says the Mayor’s financing plan for a Convention Center expansion is seriously flawed and possibly illegal.
“The mayor, who says he’s already been advised the plan is legal, is standing firm,” Blair writes.
Pushers of the Comprehensive Pension Reform initiative breathed a big, expensive sigh of relief today.
The proponents turned in 145,000 signatures today to the City Clerk’s Office, according to Craig Gustafson at the San Diego-Union Tribune, for a needed 94,346.
What’s in Gustafson’s story that made my eyes pop and in a related estimate from Voice of San Diego’s Liam Dillon – that the measure could have cost more than $1 million so far. That astounding figure was attributed to Councilman Carl DeMaio and Lincoln Club President T.J. Zane, a major backer of the effort.
Just a few minutes ago, Ashly McGlone reports that the Sweetwater school district was caught erasing Ds and Fs from report cards, only to replace them with higher grades. The result? Inflated graduation rates for one of the nation’s largest school districts.
Here’s my favorite part of the story… Castle Park High School Principal Diego Ochoa signed off on the grade-change forms, but said he should not have done so.
Yesterday, in the midst of a crazy day in public relations, KUSI’s Bob Kittle revealed to me that next Friday will be his last day after a year at the helm.
He’s going to stay on as a political contributor, but he wants to write a book – a biography.
“The Legend Behind the Bowtie,” I said. He laughed warmly and generously.
Our little world experienced quite a shock in 2009 when he was rather unceremoniously turned out amid the years of lean growing leaner in the print journalism world.
When State Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) is not plucking the petals from a rose a to determine whether or not she should run for Mayor, she seems content to bungle up traffic on the 5 freeway in north San Diego City and County. Car accidents are proving to be the old-fashioned way to mess up traffic. Nowadays you can hold up the expansion of a freeway by introducing a bill in the State Senate–thus further marring traffic in the area you claim to represent. Six more lanes on the 5 freeway from La Jolla to Oceanside would sure be nice, but Kehoe doesn’t think so.
I have been a harsh critic of Mayor Sanders at times. But I need to give credit where it is due; he worked with purveyors of competing reform plans to come up with a single ballot measure. This increases the odds that a measure will pass, because there will be a unified reform effort. Yesterday’s U-T has the news:
The new measure, to be announced Tuesday, combines elements from a proposal two weeks ago by Jerry Sanders and Councilman Kevin Faulconer with ideas from Councilman Carl DeMaio.
I was alerted to a story by the U-T regarding scores of change orders being made to construction contracts at the Sweetwater Union High School District.
In the article, several residents raise concerns about the oversight (or lack thereof) regarding the district’s spending of Proposition O funds. Within the last few months however, there has been a Recall Ricasa blog circulating its way around various South Bay politicos (I assume much to amusement for some, consternation for others). The blog, as given by the name, is an attempt to begin a recall process on Sweetwater School Board Member (and Democrat) Arlie Ricasa.