Monday, August 06, 2007

McCaw Keeps Those Subs Coming!

On Friday I told you about how Santa Barbara News-Press owner Wendy McCaw's lawyers had been subpoenaing numerous former employees of the paper for the upcoming NLRB hearings that are starting on August 14th.

Make that scores and scores of former employees. One of those served late last week asked the process server, who is with an outfit from Visalia, California, how many subs they had served. He was told the number was 70. Is there anyone in town who hasn't been served?

Michael Seabaugh, who used to have his Healthspan column in the paper, was taking his garbage out early Friday morning clad in his boxers when a female process server, who apparently had staked out his residence, laid the papers on him. Talk about getting caught with your pants down!

The only thing more inexplicable than why Seabaugh was in his skivvies on a downtown street in the early a.m. is why he is being subpoenaed to begin with. He was not a regular employee of the paper producing his once a week column on a contract basis. He wasn't involved in the union organizing and withdrew his column in protest over the disciplining of Andrea Huebner, who was not eligible to join the union, for allowing a column in which he was mildly critical of Dr. Laura, a columnist still with the paper, find it's way into the paper.

In order to comply with the subpoena by appearing at the hearing Seabaugh will have to cancel a day's worth of appointments with his patients (he has a psychology practice).

And what about Josh Molina? Now working for the Mercury News in San Jose, Molina got served and will have to take a day off from work to drive down to Santa Barbara to appear at the hearing.

Not having to drive as far but nonetheless inconvenienced is Kim Pohas, a writer who was hired after Bloody Thursday and was only at the paper a relatively brief time. She was served at the offices of E! entertainment network in Hollywood where she now works.

I'm sure Pohas and Molina aren't they only ones who will be required to drive in from some distance. With all these unnecessary car trips you'd think that "environmentalist" McCaw owns stock in ExxonMobil or some other oil company. Oh, I forgot, she does, or at least her foundation once did.

The most ironic thing is that while McCaw's lawyers seem to have no compunction whatsoever about calling former employees who have no knowledge of the facts surrounding the issues before the NLRB, no one will put up a bigger stink and resist being called as a witness more vigorously than McCaw herself. Whether the attorneys for the NLRB or the Union intend to do that remains to be seen.

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I'm blogging today from Vancouver, British Columbia, where I arrived with my two kids on Sunday afternoon. We will be here all week.

On the plane ride up I read Sunday's L.A. Times which had lots of Santa Barbara news. They had a story on Friday night's State Street shooting as well as a good story on the Zaca fire, something that's barely been covered in the News-Press which is pretty amazing since it's something that Santa Barbaran's are dealing with day in and day out in terms of smoke and ash.

If you're looking for news coverage of the fire you might try the Santa Maria Times website which I understand is on top of the story.

Also, in Sunday's L.A. Times real estate section is an article by former News-Press business writer Frank Nelson, about a service that allows people who are building their own homes to keep tabs on their contractors and the progress of the construction via the Internet. A couple of Santa Barbarian's are mentioned in the article. Perhaps that technology could be adopted to allow those former News-Pressers who have been subpoenaed to testify without having to travel?

* * *

Heard a rumor that Santa Barbara City Council Member Iya Falcone was seen at Saturday's Fiesta Pancake Breakfast trying to order a blue-line waffle. Can anybody out there confirm?

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