Monday, June 25, 2007

Bonnie Dumanis tries to limit media coverage of her own press conference

Mark Walker of the (San Diego) North County Times wrote on June 19, 2007:

" District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Tuesday that her office made a mistake when it barred a North County Times reporter from attending a news conference she conducted on Monday.

"The newspaper's reporters will not be barred from future news conferences, Dumanis said.

""We are back on track," the district attorney said during a meeting with Dan McSwain, the newspaper's acting editor."

Here's something I found on Bonnie's own online biography:
"She taught ethics and trial skills at the University of San Diego School of Law ..."
That would be the same school that hired Rudy Castruita, the San Diego County Office of Education recent past Superintendent who supported Daniel Shinoff's illegal tactics in support of school officials who broke laws.

Our comments are back! Thank you, SDUT!

This morning I found that all the comments were back on the Logan Jenkins article. (See previous post.)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The San Diego Union-Tribune Has Standards

Yesterday, Logan Jenkins of the San Diego Union Tribune wrote about the settlement MiraCosta College made with President Victoria Richart to get her to go away:

"I don't know what element of the settlement to admire more.

"The $650,000 in “damages”? (You help blow up the place and then collect for your theoretical injury at the hands of dissident board members who may have illegally dissed your leadership. Fabulous!)

"Indemnification in all future lawsuits? (You walk away clean, no harm, no foul – forever!)

"The confidentiality clause? (All lips are sealed. No snitching!)

"Though not highlighted in the press, one clause of the settlement struck us as especially brilliant.

"If the college fails to pony up the dough by next Saturday, you'll “remain as Superintendent/President until those payments are made.”

"Talk about striking the fear of God into your marks. Pay me or I'll . . . stay!

"Madam president, you must be very tired, but deliriously happy."

These three comments had been posted by the time I read the piece on the Internet:

By wondering on 06/23/2007
Bravo, Mr. Jenkins !!!

By whatagreatscam on 06/23/2007
I was not even aware of all the preceding details of this situation and it was apparent to me that this circumstance is the modus operandi of this woman. Those board members must have been asleep.

By Sky173 on 06/24/2007
I guess San Diego has become the haven of every white collar crook in the U.S., be it college president, politician, or developer.

I figured, why don't I add a post, too? Here's what I said:
I hope Victoria Richart will show due respect to those who have paved the way for her. What if Daniel Shinoff's partner Leslie Devaney had never pulled off the Laurie Madigan deal in Chula Vista? In Chula Vista, the public official in charge, mayor Cheryl Cox, was also a client of Daniel Shinoff, just like the MiraCosta Board. It's remarkable the way the Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz law firm plays both ends against the middle, with the taxpayers footing the bill for both sides!

I came back two hours later, and all four posts had been erased. I'm trying to figure out which of the rules we broke.
Here is the SDUT posting policy: "Comments containing threats, foul language or thinly disguised foul language will be deleted. Keep it civil, stay on topic and your posts will remain online."

I figure I violated the unwritten SDUT policy: "Thou shalt not speak ill of Daniel Shinoff, Leslie Devaney, or Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz."

UPDATE: All the comments were back the morning after I posted this. Thank you, SDUT!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Kogan focuses on the politics of education

Just yesterday I complained that VOICE OF SAN DIEGO shortchanges education coverage, so I was delighted to see Vladimir Kogan's story today about Greg Campbell, who was apparently fired for working to organize a union at Art Institute of California.

Kogan writes:

"In a statement issued Tuesday, and in a subsequent interview, Art Institute President Elizabeth Erickson declined to discuss the details of Campbell's dismissal, though she denied that it was related to his work on behalf of the union

"'I cannot comment on any personnel issue, but I have never and will never make an employment decision based on union activity/affiliation,' she said in a written statement.

"Erickson has made no secret of her opposition to the union. In several letters distributed to staff at the college, Erickson has urged faculty members to not sign the union authorization cards.

"She ended one memo on the drive, dated April 26, with a sentence written in bold capitals: "You may be signing up for more than you bargained for!" (Erickson said her intention was to warn faculty that signing the union cards would entangle them in a legally binding contract.)"

Obviously, Erickson thinks she has plausible deniability, but I think most people would understand from her words that she was threatening the jobs of people trying to form a union.

Erickson stated further that a union "would only reduce her ability to work personally and one-on-one with individual faculty members."

She refused to answer a question about her position on an academic senate without a union. She said: "I would say that I don't choose to answer that question."

If Erickson were really interested in education, she'd be in more of a learning mode herself. She obviously thinks she knows all there is to know about the subjects and methods that would benefit her students.

That's not too likely. I think the school would benefit from more input from the faculty.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Both the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Voice of San Diego Could Do Better

The San Diego Union Tribune has many talented reporters, but I believe that SDUT journalists are thwarted constantly in their efforts to get out the truth. I'm interested in education, and I've long believed that Voice of San Diego might have done as good a job on education reporting as Chris Moran and Leonel Sanchez do at the Union-Tribune if the VOSD editorial staff hadn't changed.

I felt that Marsha Sutton was knowledgeable about education and sincere in her desire to improve it, but was not aggressive about telling the real story.

I noticed her big two-installment article about school financing in 2006 never even mentioned how much SDCOE spends on lawyers. Even the SDUT has printed some pretty aggressive reporting about school lawyers Bonny Garcia and Daniel Shinoff. What gives? Why was Marsha Sutton more gentle with Garcia and Shinoff than the Union Tribune was?