Monday, January 05, 2009

A Year Later, What's Changed?

It's been a full year since an administrative law judge ruled that the Santa Barbara News-Press violated the National Labor Relations Act by discharging Melinda Burns, Anna Davison, Tom Schultz, Barney McManigal, Rob Kuznia, Dawn Hobbs, John Zant, and Melissa Evans in retaliation for their union activity and support.

Alas, the wheels of justice have turned all too slowly. News-Press owner Wendy McCaw appealed the administrative law judge's decision and has stone-walled the union at the negotiating table. The bottom line: not one of the wrongfully fired reporters has returned to the paper.

A year ago would you have bet that America would have a black president before the News-Press journalists would get their jobs back?

* * *

During 2008, Ampersand Publishing, the parent company of the News-Press which is wholly owned by Wendy McCaw, was a party to no less than nine lawsuits which were filed in the Santa Barbara Superior Court.

Six of the nine cases were small claims court actions where Ampersand was presumably suing advertisers who failed to pay.

Maybe Wendy should change the name of her company from Ampersand Publishing to Ampersand Litigation.

* * *

Sunday's editorial in the News-Press cited mismanagement by county officials as the reason county offices had to be shut down for the last two weeks of the year as a cost saving manager.

Of course, who would know more about "mismanagement" than Wendy and her boyfriend, the co-publishers of the News-Press. Is there a local employer who fired or laid off more employees last year than the paper headquartered at De la Guerra Plaza?

At least those furloughed county employees have jobs to return to today.

* * *

Travis Armstrong's op-ed column on Sunday kicked off the new year talking about many of the same subjects and people he pummeled last year.

Included were favorite Armstrong targets, Hannah Beth Jackson, Helene Schneider and the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Making his debut on the Armstrong enemies list was Carpinteria City Councilman, Brad Stein.

Welcome to The Cabal!