Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Point/SBNP Counterpoint

This provided by Kim Jong-il? I'm not sure what the federal offense is if the Biltmore wasn't kept from doing business and the News Press Achievement Awards were not kept from being held or their free specch was wasn't chilled in any way...but here is the other side of the story.
Media contact:
Agnes Huff

November 15, 2006 01:47 PM Eastern Time

Santa Barbara News-Press Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge
against Teamsters Union for Picketing

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Santa Barbara
News-Press has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National
Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Teamsters Union for engaging
in illegal picketing which was threatening and coercive secondary activity
in violation of the National Labor Relations Act.

The charge states that the union, through its representatives, engaged in,
or encouraged others to engage in, illegal secondary activities for the
purpose of forcing or requiring the Santa Barbara Biltmore Hotel to cease
doing business with Ampersand Publishing, LLC, or pressuring
Ampersand to recognize or bargain with the Teamsters. The charge also
states that the conduct of the Teamsters included picketing at the Santa
Barbara Biltmore Hotel with the intended purpose of forcing Ampersand
Publishing to bargain with the Teamsters.

According to the Santa Barbara News-Press, the Teamsters continue
to wage a deliberate and hostile campaign against the newspaper and
others that do business with the paper. The Teamsters use former
employees, community members and public attacks against their intended
targets, including threats, intimidation, harassment and secondary
activities that harm third-parties. This type of campaign was waged by lead
Teamster organizer Marty Keegan against the San Diego Union Tribune
when that paper refused to meet union demands.

The Teamsters have admitted publicly that they intend to allocate
whatever resources are required and do everything they can to win this
campaign so they can use the News-Press as a stepping stone to unionize
all mid-size newspapers across the country.


Anonymous dd said...

I guess I missed something, so Craig Smith, where are you to set the record straight?
:-) dd

11/15/2006 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're trying to say the demonstration was aimed at a secondary instituation, ie the Biltmore, that those in attendance were targeting the Biltmore.

Anyone who was there, or who saw yesterday's Daily Sound cover, can confirm this was not true. The ire was squarely aimed at McCaw.

"McCaw, Obey The Law."

'Nuff said.

11/15/2006 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...

(High spirited West Indian music plays aboard the Calixe, as The Nipper, adorning a colorful pointed hat, leads McCaw and the festive party in a limbo line, which chants in rhythm...)

"How low can you go?! How low can you go?! How low can you go?! How low can you go?!..."

11/15/2006 5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Wendy Nipster and Travis, there's a little thing called the First Amendment that you forgot about:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

11/15/2006 6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NP isn't Congress!

11/15/2006 7:55 PM  
Anonymous control freak said...

This latest editorial about "debasing Santa Barbara" and the accompanying unfair labor practice charge are just plain nuts. The hotel security told the vigilers there was no problem with them being there, there was no message at all not to do business with the hotel, no attempt to block entry, and no attempt to go negative on the charity -- whatever it might be -- that the event was ostensibly fundraising for. The vigil was directed at NP management and McCaw, and she damn well knows it. The obvious sad truth is that when Wendy gets mad, her lawyers file a new set of b.s. papers, and her editorial staff scribbles a new screed or three (there have been three anti-Teamster editorials in the last week). It is unbelievable how this formerly fine paper is now used by McFlaw to engage in her personal and institutional vendettas, to the shame and disgrace of journalism, the community and the SBNP and its proud history. Who, indeed, is truly "debasing" Santa Barbara?

11/15/2006 8:26 PM  
Anonymous Nelville Flynn said...

This has nothing to do with freedom of speech. News-Press critics are free to stage a vigil at the homes of Melinda Burns, Marty Keegan or others if they choose.

What this is about, however, is twofold: making a mockery of an important charity event, and restraint of trade in the conduct of a union organizing campaign. The first is unacceptable to the Santa Barbara community; the second is legally impermissible.

By demonstrating outside an event honoring the best of Santa Barbara and raising money for charity, the protesters showed their utter disregard for the community they purport to represent. By actively encouraging people to cease subscribing to the News-Press, as Melinda Burns very publicly did, they showed that the union's true goal is not to represent employees but to destroy their employer.

These actions are deeply offensive to the Santa Barbara community.

11/15/2006 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judging from Wendy McCaw’s release above, she is burning stacks of cash on labor lawyers, security thugs, private investigators and public relations “doctors” in torching her own paper.

With all that dough, she should be able to invest in sizable raises for all the employees sticking with her, like the printing press guys, as she sits mute and barricaded in her tower.

If not, her actions will bring in even more unions – this time wanting more than ethics.

They won’t want Nip, but they may want the yacht.

11/15/2006 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCaw, Wiesenberger (his own father didn’t use “von” according to the New York Times) & Armstrong appear to be physical cowards. They freaked when employees attempted to deliver a letter to Publisher Wendy. And they now have freaked because of a candlelight vigil on a public street outside the Biltmore.

11/15/2006 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Civility, reasoned discussions and good manners …,” Wendy McCaw says in today’s editorial.

Why then, Wendy, make the weak NLRB filing today that will be spit back in your face like the others?

Why not show “good manners” and instead have a “civil” and “reasoned discussion” with the union? That filing shreds the credibility of your editorial this morning. No one believes you.

11/15/2006 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Civility, reasoned discussions and good manners …”

Is that what Wendy McCaw showed in blowing off the group of pastors that wanted to meet with her?

11/15/2006 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Civility, reasoned discussions and good manners … “

Is that what Wendy showed in having Travis Armstrong perp walk the Editor-in-Chief out the door and then suing him for $500,000?

11/15/2006 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Civility, reasoned discussions and good manners …”

Is that what Wendy McCaw showed in using a big L.A. firm to launch vendetta litigation against the Independent for complying with a News-Press cease and desist letter?

11/15/2006 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Civility, reasoned discussions and good manners …”

Wendy, Etc. Etc. Etc.

11/15/2006 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The News-Press is turning me from a union-hater into a union-sympathizer.

11/15/2006 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from Chapter 8: The Queen's Croquet Ground
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll

Then followed the Knave of Hearts, carrying the King's crown on a crimson velvet cushion; and, last of all this grand procession, came THE KING AND QUEEN OF HEARTS....

`Well, it must be removed,' said the King very decidedly, and he called the Queen, who was passing at the moment, `My dear! I wish you would have this cat removed!'

The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. `Off with his head!' she said, without even looking round.

`I'll fetch the executioner myself,' said the King eagerly, and he hurried off.

King of Hearts: Baron von Wheezenberger
Queen of Hearts: Mrs. McCaw
Knave of Hearts: Travis K. Armstrong

11/16/2006 12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


we couldn't even DISCUSS what was happening in that beautiful building, 1038, without losing our jobs if they knew we said it.

give me a break!

we're reporters. we're editors, a graphic artist and photographers.

unionizing was our only way to speak our minds and keep our jobs. and to steer the paper back toward real journalism. it's coming to a town near you. they won't get away with this.

11/16/2006 2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A judge is sure to slap News-Press management soon for filing so many frivolous, baseless, misleading and stalling lawsuits.

11/16/2006 3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The News-Press reaction mainly shows how insecure and guilt-ridden the organization is.

The vigil got to them!

If they were secure in their positions, they'd have invited Melinda in to address the attendees, and smothered her with admiration (while twisting the knife in her back legally). Ira Gottleib would have been publicly thanked for his attendance, but he would have been put on the spot to write a $10,000 check to charity, as so often happens to rich and powerful types at those affairs. They'd have reported the incident (and made sure Wendy's name was spelled right). Wendy would have hung out with the vigilers, and told them jokes.

But she feels (and knows) that she is a phony, as does the von Weinermeyer guy. They are threatened by it all.

Which of course means, where and when is the next vigil?

11/16/2006 6:36 AM  
Anonymous Worker Bee said...


Thank you for granting the public the right to assemble at Melinda Burns's home. I did not know we could do that.

Other than that, I must now revert to the, "No Responding directly To The Nipper's Goofy Posts," principal.

On the subject, I was at the vigil on Saturday. It couldn't have been more peaceful and affective. Each Lexus containing the hoity-toity slowed down to take in the civil crowd and be reminded that the charity event's royal hosts, The Queen McCaw and her jester, von Weisenberger, unlawfully terminate their employees.

The majority of passersby honked in approval of our message - McCaw Obey The Law.

11/16/2006 6:53 AM  
Anonymous sideliner said...

At 11/15/2006 9:45 PM, Nelville Flynn said...

These actions are deeply offensive to the Santa Barbara community."

Sorry, Mr. Flynn, but as a long-time (more than 40 years) member of the Santa Barbara community, living both in Montecito and now in Santa Barbara, what I am offended by is how the News-Press management/owner has taken a community resource, the sole local daily paper, and made it a source of venom and bias, some news stories excepted. (The nice Max-the owl stories, the crime reporting being exceptions.)

I am more than "offended" but saddened, even outraged at how important members of the staff have been treated, either fired or working conditions made so intolerable as to force them to quit. No one who knows ANYTHING about this high cost of living community and the dearth of newspaper jobs would even put a passing thought that giving up these jobs was anything but forced by disagreeable to impossible working conditions.

As a result, because of my dismay over what's happened to the paper (and certain that no letter to the editor to that effect would be published) I have cancelled my subscription. ...I do occasionally buy a copy and check in at the library for a quick scan of past copies, to pick up any local news not covered in with its links to other papers. I also make an effort to not patronize any of the present advertisers.

I do this not out of any union urging (that’s laughable to me!) but out of solidarity with the cause of fairness, honest and fair reporting and a quality newspaper, something that is for a community almost a matter of public trust.

I know none of the News-Press employees, past or present, but I was a subscriber for many, many years. Sharing many of the same or similar environmental interests I was very happy with the News-Press. I miss it, although from what I see of it now, it's a shade of its former self.

I know a fair amount about dispute resolution. What’s immediately clear, even obvious is that if there is a genuine desire to resolve a dispute, the first step is for the parties to talk. Not to wage the battle with hired guns of PR firms, but to sit down and talk. It’s gone beyond that, obviously.

Not owning a newspaper, the only forum the former employees and their supporters have to use is the public space, the streets and sidewalks and plazas and blogs and petitions.... Rather than being “offensive”, their actions are admirable and necessary for the Santa Barbara community to know that there are two sides to the story, that money can’t buy or force silence.

As a saddened spectator, I am deeply grateful to those who will not be muzzled, grateful, too, that there is a union that will fight for them against the otherwise overwhelming odds of the owner’s millions and millions.

And, not least, I am grateful that there is this blog where opinions and news of this central issue to the Santa Barbara community, the condition and fate of its daily newspaper, can be aired.

11/16/2006 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Are you kidding me? said...

Nelville's whine above about the vigil is just a manifestation of his continuing belief that NP management have no sense of responsibility to the community, let alone to the NP employees. The law, however, does compel employers to bargain with the duly-elected representative of those employees, and the vigil was, in part, a reminder that stalling and firing union supporters is not going to work. The charity was not the target, and there was no "restraint of trade" as that term is understood by lawyers. The NP's latest charge is a further abuse of the NLRB process, and will be quickly dismissed.

Yes, Nelville would be prone to say that "Freedom of speech" should only be exercised where he, and the other NP managers don't have to see or hear it. That's not what the letter and spirit of our constitution is about: shielding the responsible from criticism of their flaws; the founders of this country envisioned just the opposite, and even authoritarians like our president are confronted with public displays of disaffection. At the risk of being presumptuous, it seems that this whole saga could be summed up with the notion that the NP acts as if it believes it can and should control all speech that has anything to do with itself and its activities, and the community and the employees (and ex-employees) feel otherwise. So it is a battle of Wendy's lawyers, editorialists and hangers-on against the community, the employees, the union, and increasingly, the NLRB. Eventually justice will prevail.

11/16/2006 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, NELVILLE, I don't know where you grew up, but here in Southern California, protests were--and still are--a common fact of life, ESPECIALLY where the rich, famous and privileged gather......outside the Beverly Hilton hotel, in front of mansions, and yes even outside the Biltmore----the First Amendment is alive and well---- only a twisted and verrryyy narrow mind could possibly conclude that the protest outside the Biltmore was directed at the charities benefiting from the Lifetime Achievement Awards, or directed at the Biltmore. No, the target was made clear--precision=like, with the signs stating "McCaw, Obey the Law". And guess what! Anyone can walk through a hotel! A public establishment! WOW!!!!!!

11/16/2006 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"These actions are deeply offensive to the Santa Barbara community" ? are you drinking some bad bottled water Nev?
You have money now, Nelville, we get it, but do not assume that the increase in your bank account gives you commensurate moral authority over anyone.
You are now on everyone's radar Sporto, it was your choice- just remember that.

11/16/2006 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

unionizing was our only way to speak our minds and keep our jobs. and to steer the paper back toward real journalism.

Didn't work! And since not of you own newspapers, you simply have no right to speak on this issue!

11/16/2006 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to keep up with slang language but yes I do believe that trash receptacles in Santa Barbara are called "Wendy's".
Also i heard the new phrase for relieving oneself is now "I have to take a Nip".
Still have not heard back from the kids on whether it's blond or blonde.

11/16/2006 11:55 AM  
Anonymous hard-core Newspress supporter said...

Word up to "Nelville" and the Newspress decision-makers,

You're even losing with me on this one. Makes no sense at all. Are your critics getting to you and making you say/do ridiculous things, or am I just now beginning to see what they've been bitching about all along?

I am serious. Dr. Laura was a shaky choice that I could hold my nose over, but this latest outcry against a peaceful demonstration can't be justified.

Maybe you should teach by example and considering laying out an apology on this one. I guarantee that will bring some surprising respect.

11/16/2006 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It should be a cake walk for the Teamsters to unionize news papers with owners like McCaw put the stepping stones in place for them.

11/16/2006 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To think that I thought WM stood for Waste Management....boy those kids catch on fast they must be learning something at school.... hopefully how not to run a newspaper or business.
Thanks Wendy McCaw for helping our childern is to hoping that old dogs can learn new tricks.

11/16/2006 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I burst out in laughter and just about had an accident today while driving when my daughter said " boy you gotta be awfully rich to put your monogram on every garbage truck and trash can in town".

11/16/2006 10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote that: "unionizing was our only way to speak our minds and keep our jobs. and to steer the paper back toward real journalism."

Then anon 10:25 a.m. wrote: "Didn't work! And since not(sic) of you own newspapers, you simply have no right to speak on this issue!"

Dear 10:25 a.m.,

You are mistaken. We do have a right to speak on this issue, as Americans. We have the right to speak on this through federal labor laws that protect employees like us, granting us the right to organize, helping us to bargain better working conditions that enable us to do our jobs in ways that we, as hired professionals and experts, know they should be done.

If by "Didn't work!" you mean the paper still falls short of real journalism, well, on the whole you'll find no argument from me, though I have seen some fine work in the News-Press despite its troubles. You and I would agree then, I think, that the problem is the big blow delivered to the paper's credibility brought on by front office interference with the news.

If McCaw owned the Lakers, would she tell Phil Jackson how to coach or Kobe Bryant when to throw the ball? If she owned Cottage Hospital, would she tell a surgeon when to cut?

The 33-6 unionization vote was not the final round in this. Notice I used the words "steer" and "toward" the goal of practicing real journalism in relation to our successful unionization election. That landslide vote was one step in a series. Ethics and integrity will return to the paper when we sit down and cooperatively create a contract with management in line with journalism ethics and journalistic integrity as recognized and practiced by professional journalists industrywide. When that does happen, it will be a great day for the whole town, and definitely for us, but also for McCaw and her investment.

11/16/2006 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Off with her head! said...

So, Neville, it comes out in earlier your post, eh? It’s not that Melinda Burns is biased in her reporting, it’s that she advocates terminating subscriptions to bring your girlfriend in good faith to the bargaining table. The candlelight is getting a bit bright, eh?

11/17/2006 5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Red Queen drives her carriage over a cliff and forces her subjects to bring in a union for protection against more idiocy and then blames everyone but herself. Three of the latest hallucinations: (One) the mighty mafia Teamsters is attacking her by tagging newsstands with sharpies. (Two) the mighty mafia Teamsters is planning to attack every mid-sized paper in America, even if not “managed” by a Seattle divorcee and her water sipping boyfriend. (Three) the mighty mafia Teamsters is waging war on the Four Seasons Biltmore with candlelight. Paranoid? Yes. Detached from reality? Obviously. Your Majesty McCaw, get used to it: the Teamsters are your new partners. And they are not riding out of the kingdom in your lifetime.

11/17/2006 5:56 AM  
Anonymous David Pritchett said...

So everyone can see for themselves all the insinuated burning effigies, tire necklaces, Molatov cocktails, and obscene hatespeech out there on the sidewalk in front of Biltmore Hotel last Saturday for the candlelight vigil, here is the cablecast schedule (cable TV, not cabal TV) for this half-hour special production by Larry Nimmer, shown by the Rival Media, Santa Barbara Channels, Community Access Cable Channel 17:

Friday, 11/17 at 8 pm
Saturday, 11/18 at 6 pm
Sunday, 11/19 at 2 pm and 10 pm
Tuesday, 11/21 at 7:30 AM
Wed., 11/22 at 10 AM 6:30 PM
Thurs., 11/23 at 5:30 PM and 10:30 PM

11/17/2006 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the best thing to do, would be to help finds jobs for the poor souls stuck in the HELL called the NP.

11/17/2006 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Free Speech is as Free Speech Does said...

The commemorative and celebration dinner farewell for outgoing and self-scheduled retiring County Supervisor Susan Rose will be held on Saturday evening at Temple B'Nai Brith, located (yes) in the Noleta foothills.

Reports are that the event is fully sold out, with very cozy dining with 10 people per table instead of the usual 8.

However, if detractors of Susan Rose want to show up, light a candle vigil, and stand peaceably on the public sidewalk while waving signs, they still can do that, a right fully protected under our Constitution. No one will complain about such a demonstration of free speech and Constitutional rights, and plenty of people who are participating in the event inside gladly will die for the right for those detractors to demonstrate peaceably like that out there on the public ground.

So COME ON DOWN Travis Armstrong, Gary Earle, Agnes Huff n Puff, Andy Colab Caldwell, Kathy Lucian, Joe Armendariz, and all your buddies. No one will say or write later that you have no right to be there, and no one will claim you are trying to intimidate or disrespect charitable donors simply by being there on the public sidewalk, even with a sign.

If you are there, dear Trivis K. Armstrong, I even will bring you a plate of kosher chicken while you are out on the sidewalk. We'll even interview you on video and show it on TV!

What are you afraid of?

11/17/2006 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They seem to be in mortal fear of the truth.
Have a great time 3:43 PM

11/17/2006 10:16 PM  

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