Work and pleasure mixed
House Democrat Susan Davis has been stocking up on holdings of Facebook, the social media giant that critics say needs more federal regulation to reign in its privacy poking. During the five days ending January 15, according to a financial filing by Davis with the House clerk’s office February 7, she acquired Facebook common stock valued between $1000 and $15,000. During the same period, the Kensingtonian also picked up between $15,000 to $50,000 worth of stock in Illumina, Inc., the San Diego-based gene sequencing outfit. According to the website OpenSecrets.org Illumina has lobbied regarding an array of bills before the House, including the Advancing Access to Precision Medicine Act.
Two years ago, Davis met with Susan H. Tousi, senior vice president of product development for Illumina, along with other local biotech figures regarding funding cuts by president Donald Trump proposed for the National Institutes of Health. “Such a cut would negatively impact the life-saving research being done in San Diego, as well as our local economy,” she told reporters.
Meanwhile, California state Senate Democrat Ben Hueso has reported a gift of $2285 in November from the Independent Voter Project to attend the outfit’s controversial legislative “policy conference” in Maui financed by lobbyists. In addition, Hueso logged a $1448 gift from the Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation covering a March 2 overnight stay in Anaheim last year. As did his Assembly colleague Lorena Gonzalez, Hueso reported getting four free passes to Disneyland worth $470 on March 3, 2018. For her part, Assembly Republican Marie Waldron overnighted in San Francisco last June 21 thanks to a $1074.89 gift from the California Association of Health Plans. She also got $831 for an overnight stay in Torrey Pines during which she gave a speech to the California Charter Schools Association December 9, her report says.
California GOP senator Brian Jones was cagier than his colleagues. He disclosed only that his December 6 overnight, paid for with $906 from the California Independent Petroleum Association, took place somewhere inside the state’s boundaries.
Requiem for Hoy
When we last checked on Hoy San Diego, the Spanish-language paper put out by the Union-Tribune, its future was at best uncertain. The month was August 2017, advertising was falling off, and the Chicago Tribune, then owned by the oddly-named tronc, as was the U-T, had just canceled Hoy’s daily Windy City incarnation, cutting the paper’s press run to once a week. “The company remains committed to Hoy in its print and digital forms,” a spokeswoman insisted to media blogger Robert Feder.
San Diego’s Hoy, which under previous ownership was called Enlace, assured readers that the publication remained afloat. Then last June, tronc unloaded the U-T to Los Angeles pharmaceutical billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong in a $500 million-plus deal that also included the L.A. Times, and last month the ax finally fell. “This is the Last Edition of Hoy San Diego,” wrote editor Lilia O’Hara in the February 23 pages of the shrinking section. “The title of this column sounds drastic, but in fact, it’s good news,” she hastened to add. “To support the quality of our information with even greater strength, Hoy San Diego changes its name and size.”
Added U-T editor Jeff Light, per Google Translate: “Welcome to the first edition of The San Diego Union-Tribune in Spanish.” He continued, “the decision to align more tightly with the Union-Tribune in English reflects our conviction that San Diego is a single community.” Most of the stories, acknowledged Light, “will be translated from those published in English in our main newspaper, but there will also be original and exclusive material reported and written in Spanish.”
It was a far cry from February 2016 when the U-T promised that “Hoy San Diego will have zone pages for the North and South regions of San Diego County, as well as a Riverside edition and a Baja California edition named Hoy Fin de Semana.” Three years before that, Hoy’s predecessor Enlace “grabbed the Gold Award in the following above-30,000 circulation categories: outstanding multiple article series; outstanding design – newspaper, broadsheet format; and outstanding event” at the National Association of Hispanic Publications’ José Martí Publishing Awards. “We compete nationwide with the best of the best in Hispanic publications,” said Tom Jimenez, then U-T vice president of Spanish-language products, a position that no longer exists. “We’re very proud.”
Late last week, the U-T began advertising for a bilingual reporter for the Spanish section, to “cover news among the Latino and general population in San Diego.”