Thursday, October 02, 2008

My Follow-Up to My Open Letter to SLO County Tribune Executive Editor, Sandra Duerr

Hello Mrs. Duerr,

I'm just checking to see if you received my e-mail (reprinted below) from a couple of weeks ago?

The reason I'm curious, is because I've noticed that, since my previous e-mail to you on this subject, your newspaper continues to print stories on the "saga" (your word) of the SLO Blues baseball team owner for falling behind on his payments to the city of SLO, yet, still not a word on how the "citizens group" known as Taxpayers Watch, comprised of recalled elected officials, is (present tense) also behind on paying back their $40,000 bill owed to another local government agency.

Now, I'm not questioning your coverage on the baseball team owner (hey, if you guys find that story so "newsworthy" that it warrants a series of investigative reports, well, then knock yourselves out. Whatever.).

But, here's what I don't understand: The Tribune goes Woodward-AND-Bernstein (for once) on a minor league baseball team owner because he's a little behind on his payments, yet, at the exact same time that "saga" (your word) is taking place, a similar, yet, trust me, much more important story is also happening (present tense) in San Luis Obispo County, involving a few recalled elected officials, that formed a "group," and then tried to use that "group" to "dissolve" the very government agency that they were recently, and democratically recalled from.

And, I'll let you in on a little something, because I know that the editorial staff at the Trib doesn't have their minds wrapped around this: Had Taxpayers Watch succeeded in their dissolution effort, up to $80 million in "liabilities" would have transferred to county taxpayers, according to LAFCO, the local government agency that handled the hearings.

That dissolution process spanned "four hearings over nine months," and, in the end, LAFCO (comprised of elected government officials from across the county), found the Taxpayers Watch strategy to be so frivolous that they billed the "group" over $40,000 to cover the "entire cost" of the proceedings, and when Taxpayers Watch whined about the cost, LAFCO immediately sued them in Superior Court to get their money back.

And, it was only then did the four "members" of Taxpayers Watch, clearly in an effort to make that embarrassing lawsuit go away, sign a document that included a time schedule for payback. They fell behind on their payments, and had to go BACK to LAFCO, just a couple of months ago and nearly two years after they signed their payment schedule, and request an extension for payment, which was granted.

And the Trib hasn't written a word on any of it, and that story is taking place (present tense) at the exact same time your newspaper is going Woodward-AND-Bernstein (for once) on a minor league baseball team owner.

Now, I may not be Ed Murrow, but, Huh?!

So, I'll ask again... how do you respond?

Why is your newspaper doing a series of reports on one story, but not a word on another, much more important story, which involves the exact same subject: late payments by private people for using a government agency's facilities?

Finally, before I go... Remember in my previous e-mail to you where I wrote:

- - -

"P.S. If you do a quick Google search for 'los osos sewer', out of the nearly 13,000 results, SewerWatch is #1, and I have published this letter on SewerWatch. You can view it here:

- - -

Congratulations. Since I published that e-mail on SewerWatch two weeks ago, your Google rankings have skyrocketed!

I just went and Googled "Sandra Duerr" in quotes, and of the "about 425" results, this was #7... on the first page:

Where it will likely remain, forever.

Somewhere near, I'm sure, this e-mail, which I have also published on SewerWatch:

Looking forward, again, to your response.


P.S. The Trib's new web site makes my browser crash.



  • Ron, two things:
    The Triv. is only a shadow of a newspaper, I've been traveling around and I always pick up the local rag when I can.
    Most towns with a population of over a thousand sport a better paper, you are whipping a long dead pony there.
    As far as their website, are you using Safari? if not, why not?
    Macs rule, mine never crashes.

    OBTW You gotta try and get some Prarie Vodka from Minnesota, there is a link on my blog.

    Love your site as usual, Kudos from the heartland of America!

    By Blogger Mike Green, at 4:07 PM, October 02, 2008  

  • Ron,

    I am amused that you are criticizing others for going Woodward-AND-Bernstein on one issue and yet not even mentioning another situation which is in many ways, the logical equivalent.

    That being said, when you've several times criticized how the Solutions Group promised us a $38.75 per month sewer during the campaign to form a CSD even though they should have known in advance that this figure was unrealistic ... why have you never ever ever said anything about how the recall campaign promised us a $100/month solution even though they should have known in advance that this figure was unrealistic?

    By Blogger Shark Inlet (a.k.a. Stiv Neener), at 4:31 PM, October 02, 2008  

  • Sharkey, why not jump on Ron's bandwagon and ridicule the Triv for the same omissions?
    They dropped the ball on BOTH occasions!

    By Blogger Mike Green, at 6:00 PM, October 02, 2008  

  • Aw c'mon Mike, ron's total word count on one topic probably exceeds the Trib's word count on ALL topics. I think Shark is reasonable in his request of ron.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 2:01 PM, October 05, 2008  

  • ron probably will never be fair in his evaluation of screw-ups because he has so much more respect for the new Board's ineptitude. Getting a sewer was possible, in fact almost accomplished, by the collective old Boards, thereby ending the "story." The new Board gained ron's respect as they had absolutely no chance of getting us a sewer, bumbling every chance, thereby prolonging and intensifying the Los Osos drama for ron -- to continue his "livelihood" of writing about his Pandora obsession relating to his theory of Los Osos' sewer problems.

    By Blogger Sewertoons, at 2:14 PM, October 05, 2008  

  • I'm not talking about The LOCSD I'm talking about that lame assed excuse for a newspaper the Trivial Tribune!

    Somebody show me where they have EVER helped Los Osos.

    By Blogger Mike Green, at 3:45 PM, October 05, 2008  

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