Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Black Day in Santa Barbara

For full video of ex-News-Press editor Jerry Roberts' press conference, see The Santa Barbara Newsroom article. Robert's wife, Linda Kiefer, should be his permanent spokesperson. In the video, the non-bylined Sunday article is described as "a black day in Santa Barbara".

As many of you probably guessed, the comment yesterday from a DriveSaver's employee was not real -- according to management at DriveSavers, who sent me an email. This is exactly why I said to take it with a grain or two of salt. Also, an anonymous commenter has been trying to push another local Blog as having the story first. Whether you are an imposter for DriveSavers or marketing another local "big-B" Blog -- put aside your quest and whatever your intentions may be...this story is too important to try to drive hits to your Blog or catch me in a liable position for your own or corporate benefit.

Ethics and morals are far more important than the story of the day -- especially when a clearly honorable man is being maligned with impunity. Take a deep breath and think about what it would be like if you were in the same position.

If you had any doubts as to Robert's role in this matter, see the video linked to above. After that, study up on what it takes to recover data from a used hard drive that is not protected by secure login, a locked door or a week at the News-Press in the hands of management. Make your own conclusions...and talk amongst yourselves.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The L.A. Times has a story today about Robert's demand for a retraction. It carried a story yesterday about the smear of Roberts, along with several dozen other papers around the world, including the New York Times.

As has been the case with many of McCaw's other troubles since the summer, all the reporting about this vile attack comes from media other than the "newspaper of record" News-Press.

Rather than doing the right thing and running an immediate retraction, McCaw is talking to more lawyers the Times says. Cappello tries misdirection.

Disgusting. Really disgusting.,1,533865.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california

4/24/2007 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering the plugs I've seen here and elsewhere for one blog in particular, and the self-promotion I've seen within its own content, it's pretty easy to conclude which blog is attempting to push itself to the front as having the story first.
They should get their priorities right. I stopped reading that website some time ago because of its arrogance and attitude. Good job.

4/24/2007 7:57 AM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

If this doesn't finally tip the scales and show everyone the true colors of the SBNP, I don't know what will.

And I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but I think the time is past to stop being apologists for anyone who continues to work in that organization but doesn't want to be seen as an accomplice to these slime tactics. I know that some longtime employees may need to pay the mortgage and feed their families, but as Raul Gil stated, certain actions are just "the right thing to do."

About reporters such as Hannah Guzik and Leana Orsua, who remain at the paper, I say they are union scabs at best, accomplices (by association only) to this nastiness at worst. Who are they? I am incredibly curious about how they feel about this, now that things are getting so disgusting and immoral. Maybe one day they will come out with their own Vlad Kogan confessions as "ex-inmates."

I hope this comment isn't seen as a personal attack. Sara, if so, please feel free to edit or let me know how to contact you via email to discuss.

4/24/2007 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To these advertisers in the Feb. 2007 health section, do you feel good about your dollars supporting Wendy McCaws actions? And do you think we should feel good about supporting you so you can support her? I'd really like to know.

Arolan & Co.
Bob's Vacuum
Carolan & Co.
Christian Science Santa Barbara
Coastal Softub
Cottage Hospital
Cutting Edge Hair & Body Salon
Dr. Donald Flanigan
Dr. Jacob Bastomski
Dr. Kathleen Griffin
Dr. Stuart Winthrop
Gulley & Larsen Insurance
Herbal Spirit of Santa Barbara
Independent Living USA
Issels Medical Center
Joseph Hwang, DMD
Le-Reve Aromatherapy Spa & Boutique
Massage Envy
Medical Skin Restoration & Laser Center
Milpas Chiropractic
Play-It-Again Sports
Qui Si Bella
Rehabilitation Institute of Santa Barbara
SB running Co.
San Luis Sports
Santa Barbara / Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club
Santa Barbara Clinical Research
Santa Barbara Eyeglass Factory
Skin Deep
Solvang Lutheran Home

4/24/2007 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To these advertisers in the News-Press April 2007 youth activity guide, do you feel good about your dollars supporting Wendy McCaw's actions to smear Jerry Roberts, a good man and father? And do you think we should feel good about supporting you so you can support her? I'd really like to know.

A.S.A.P. Cats
Art Essentials
Beach City Sports
Beach House
Beach Stars Gymnastics
Cal Learning Center
Camp Gan Israel
Camp Haverim
Camp Kono
Camp Whittier
Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club
Channel Islands YMCA
Children’s Creative
City of Santa Barbara
Cliff Drive Summer Camp (Free Methodist Church SB)
Columbia College
Craft Essentials
Dance Unlimited
Dance With Pizzazz!
Dept of Parks & Recreation State Of California
Dr. Stuart Winthrop
Eling's Park
Fereday Swim School
Girls Incorporated
Girls Incorporated Gymnastics
Goleta Sports
Goleta Valley Community Center
Golf n' Stuff
Grant House Sewing Machines
Gustafson Dance
Healthy Cooking for Kids
Hidden Oaks
Hope Community Church
Horseman's Hangout
Huntington Learning Center
Jensen Music
Key Note Camp
Kids Club
Laguna Blanca School
Le-Reve Aromatherapy Day Spa
Martial Arts Family Fitness
Mind Your Manners
Montessori Center School
My Gym
Nick Rail Music
Page Youth Center
Parks and Recreation-UCSB Recreation Department
Play-It-Again Sports
Quantum Learning Network
Rainbow School
Raintree Ranch Equestrian Center
SB BMX Promotions, Inc.
SB Seashell
Salvation Army
Santa Barbara Art Camp
Santa Barbara Athletic Club
Santa Barbara Ballet
Santa Barbara Botanical Garden
Santa Barbara Charter School
Santa Barbara Christian School
Santa Barbara Cub Scouts
Santa Barbara Gymnastics Club
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Santa Barbara Sailing
Santa Barbara Youth Foundation
Santa Barbara Zoo
Soroptimist International
South Coast Writing
Steve Morris' Defensive Driving School
The Money Camp
UC Baseball
UCSB Recreation Department
United Boys & Girls Club
West Coast Ballet
Whiz Kidz
Wilderness Youth Project
Wilson's SB Swim Camp
S.B. Swim Camp
Youth Leadership Conference
Young Singers Club

4/24/2007 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how advertisers like Mid-State Bank and Lazy Acres can justify making McCaw's evil actions possible. Are her sinister retaliations in line with those company's core values?

I feel that between McCaw and Schlessinger, the goodness of Santa Barbara is being covered with a gooey layer of sleaze. I feel soiled just driving through.

Any business owner who relies on tourism should seek to shut the paper down.

4/24/2007 10:03 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

allegro805 -- don't see it as a personal attack although I think "scab" as technical term has too many other connotations. It would be interesting to know what they think but I can understand needing to pay the mortage. Perhaps they will be all the wiser should the News-Press get a new owner and they still have their job.

Anons - I think these advertisers don't really know what other options they have and have advertised in the summer camp issue for years. It's how they get their business -- I hate to say it but 30,000+ readers is still a lot.

4/24/2007 10:08 AM  
Anonymous boB said...

The rumor is that sponsors threats got Imus fired. It's time for sponsors to use their collective power to get rid of Travis Armstrong, and Scott Steepleton.

That would be an excellent start to house cleaning and reclaiming some semblance of propriety at the paper.

I finally can say I cancelled my subscription, but did it with much saddness. I'm going to have to work to figure out how to have two newspapers in the morning for my wife at home and me at coffee. I may just tell the LA Times to deliver 2 instead of one.

It's clear that we need another daily local paper to rise up. The Sound is not there yet, but if all of those advertisers would pull their dollars from SBNP and direct them to the Sound, perhaps we would see that paper mature and develop and replace this yellow journalism trash!

I'm boB

4/24/2007 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, Allegro, for some it's not about paying the mortgage. There are still several union supporters and indeed activists inside who are carrying forward the effort to get the union certified and force Wendy to the bargaining table to talk over many matters and grievances. There are also eight illegally fired reporters who AREN"T making mortgage payments and are making huge personal sacrifices to stay around for this fight when any of them could get a good journalism job elsewhere (the others who have left the NP have nearly all been hired by larger newspapers in San Jose, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Diego, etc.)
Also, I'd not that those illegally fired eight fully support those union supporters inside to stay inside.
You may disagree with these people that the News-Press is salvageable. But this is the fight they have chosen, and there is considerable commitment that would be obvious if you knew them.

4/24/2007 10:44 AM  
Anonymous In the Room Sunday Afternoon said...

Hannah Guzik was the Newspress reporter present during the Roberts news conference on that Sunday two days ago. She asked one question about whether Roberts placed the porn on that computer. He said no. That was it, but I suppose she had to ask.

Roberts attorney said a Newspress reporter was asked to be there as a way to facilitate their later retraction or actually correct article. That was wishful thinking of course, but a necessary exercise.

Guzik only writes what Steepleton tells her. She is essentially a labor scab, hired as a supposed replacement writer freshly out of college, just like Bethany Hopkins there and Leana Orsua, who has a couple of years more experience but it does not show.

The longer these scabs stay at the Newspress, the more damaged their careers will be, if they really intend to have careers. Vlad Kogan was the same and got skewered for it in this blog and others, but he eventually mustered some courage and left to return to San Diego to write for a web-based news outlet.

The remaining workers, many of whom voted for the unionization, are very stuck in a bad situation if they want to remain in the news business and live in Santa Barbara without being independently wealthy. They deserve some pity and understanding, but the situation is entirely different for the scabs who are just opportunists at the expense of experienced and ethical reporters.

The public is the real victim here, as the deep news is not getting reported because the Newspress has no bodies to do the reporting and writing, and when they do get to a story it often is very very weak and a joke.

4/24/2007 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Desert Toad said...

A few comments on the technical aspects of the offensive data:

The various stories say the material on the computer's drive was stored in an unallocated portion of the drive. This could happen if the drive was re-partitioned at some point in time and some space on the drive was not allocated to any partition, or the partition table was modified so that a previously extant partition was "deleted". (In my opinion this points to the data being present before the News-Press acquired the machine.)

In either case, no (or very little) data is erased in a partitioning action, so it is relatively easy to recover such files. Likewise, the only way to truly erase data on a disk is to over-write the space it occupies on the disk. A good practice in general when you discard or receive a computer is to thoroughly wipe the open space on the drive(s). Numerous commercial and free tools exist for such purposes.

15k files sounds like a lot, but if it was copied as an archived package and then expanded, it might take only minutes to get the data on a machine. Also, the story that there is no "time and date" stamp associated with the data is likely overstated. What's more likely is that there's no way to be sure that the existing time and date stamps could be traced to the actual date the data was placed on the machine. A fictitious datestamp can be created just by setting the computer's calendar, copying files, and then resetting it.

4/24/2007 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This incident does explain a number of things going back to last July. First, consider what the N-P management must have thought when they first learned of the data on Roberts' computer. One might well imagine that that knowledge significantly colored their later actions.

Also, it appears that this news has been a widely-known secret since at least January. It'd be interesting to know what those in the know were anticipating would happen when this became public knowledge.

Of course, the N-P management now has completely exposed their position and motives, removing all hope of getting the benefit of the doubt--about anything.

4/24/2007 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel that between McCaw and Schlessinger, the goodness of Santa Barbara is being covered with a gooey layer of sleaze. I feel soiled just driving through.

When you say driving through, you mean, of course that you are taking public transportation right? Maybe that gooey layer of sleaze is coming from your car.

4/24/2007 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why worry about beautiful streets and fancy shops and film festivals to attract tourists when the News-Press is covering the area with slime.

Do you think people around the world want to come vacation at a place where this kind of vindictiveness is going on? Look at the cities, states and countries whose newspapers are running this story today and tell me this will not have a negative effect on tourism in Santa Barbara:

New York
San Jose
San Diego
Los Angeles
San Francisco
Washington, DC
And many more.

Are readers of these newspapers not potential visitors to Santa Barara? And does a local paper not set the tone for the town? This rich vindictive recluse is hurting the financial well-being of the whole city.

4/24/2007 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Bob who needs a second newspaper, try the New York Times. You can get it home-delivered here, and just look at what you get that isn't in the News-Press, and the trash that is in the News-Press that you aviod with the Times. The only reason I ever took the News-Press was for local news. The tiny bit that is left is of doubtful accuracy, or obviously slanted. And if you want to know the latest obscenity from Wendy and friends, just read the blogs.

4/24/2007 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Bob...initially I felt the same print-paper withdrawal...but a quick email to allowed a a wide-range of LOCAL news to drop into my computer by 8:30 AM.

In the past six months I have really learned to enjoy my morning on-line read and I now like it even better than what I now see as stale printed papers. The daily on-line news is fresh, brief, and with links to more flushed out discussion, if I am so inclined.

Bob, the NP mess has unintentionally pushed SB newshounds into leading the world into new media consuming. Welcome to www--reports from the wide, wonderful world without the wobbly News-Distres--

4/24/2007 2:08 PM  
Anonymous boB said...

Thanks for that suggestion, 12:28. I actually dug out an NY Times mail ad from my trash yesterday to see what the rates were. It's not cheap though, and I can't wade through 2 large Sunday papers. I am happy with the LA Times (grew up there) so I just don't know. I'll think about it. Frankly I wish the Ventura Star or even the Santa Maria Times(?) was home delivered in SB. One of those plus the LA Times would probably work pretty well. The problem is that my wife and I read "the paper" at the same time in different locations! Hmmm! Then there is La Opinion (sorry for the missing diacritical marks), but don't think it is home delivered!

I'm boB

Sara, you always spell my name backwards!

4/24/2007 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 12:05 mentions quite a few cities that are carrying the story, but has anyone noticed that KEYT dropped it? They covered it sunday night and monday morning, and that was it. I watched yesterday at 5:00 and 6:00, but missed 11:00, there was nothing. Nothing again this morning. . .

What's up with that?

4/24/2007 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too noticed KEYT killed the story!

4/25/2007 8:09 AM  
Anonymous DSE said...

Sara, a bit puzzled about your reaction to the poster who said they worked at DriveSavers... I suppose there are a few who post here who claim to be former (or even current) News-Pressers, but you don't seem to subject their claims to scrutiny. Don't know whether you'd delete their posts either based on the word of, say, Yolanda Apodaca.

I'd say the legal issues are about the same.

Now there are a variety of clever ways that can be used to date a file... some image files have extended fields in them that are updated by programs that unpack or save them, and also one can analyze portions where a file is fragmented, and use the files in the skipped segment to estimate a date. Not clear that DriveSavers does the utmost job at hunting through these and more challenging techniques, and as for the FBI, well, they missed the 9/11 plot even though their own agents reported it.

4/25/2007 8:37 AM  
Anonymous nomdecrayola said...

I saw a quick glossed over report on KEYT a couple mornings ago, waited for it again in the next half hour - nothing. Logged onto their site - nothing. Looked for it again during the evening news - nothing. McCaw must have had Capello lean on them. Why isn't KEYT covering this story???

4/25/2007 9:52 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

DSE -- a manager from Drive Savers sent me an email and politely asked that the comment be removed. I see no reason not to and that made sense. Originally, I felt it necessary to say that we needed to take their identity with a grain of salt as they are an integral part of the story. Someone who says they are an ex-News-Press staffer as an anonymous commenter matters little within the context of most posts. As for Apodaca -- I would certainly take into serious consideration emails from News-Press management about comments current employees of theirs may have made. I don't remember ever receiving a self-identitifed comment from a current employee however.

If the context did matter -- I would question it and warn people. Also, I have deleted comments where ex-staffers have been actually named where they could not be verified or they emailed me and said it wasn't them. If you see something and question it in the future, let me know and I'd be happy to take a look at the issue on a case by case basis.

4/25/2007 9:55 AM  
Anonymous boB said...

This was my first morning without the SBNP. My wife is out of town so its not a completely valid day without the NP. but my LA Times was in the driveway and I started with the Calendar section to get the comics (which I usually do in the SBNP) out of the way. I then realized that I take much more of the Times to coffee than I need to. She could be scanning A while I was doing Calendar and perhaps some of B.

Then I could take at least A and Sports to coffee and maybe B if she's done, and leave the special sections behind.

Then when I come back, I could leave A and B and take the supplementary sections with me if I intend to use it during my day away from home (as in read during lunch). I also thot, gee, maybe the SF Chronicle would be an interesting add on. I may experiment with some of the selection at my favorite on-the-way-to-coffee 24/7 minimart.

And BTW, the online suggestions were a good idea! She particularly might choose to look at those. Thanks one and all.

I'm boB

(Sara, you keep spelling my name backwards)

4/25/2007 5:04 PM  

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