Gap in North County news story

I ask, Did you call the cops?

Fifteen years ago the North County Times had its own editorial cartoonist Mark Thornhill who would skewer local politicians like Oceanside city councilwoman Esther Sanchez.
  • Fifteen years ago the North County Times had its own editorial cartoonist Mark Thornhill who would skewer local politicians like Oceanside city councilwoman Esther Sanchez.


In reference to the letter from massprivatei (Hacker stalls Port of San Diego’s video spy network”, News Ticker, March 11), I’d just like to suggest he look at England’s policing, and how, when anyone is “in public,” as we are in America when we are on “public roads,” we are to act lawfully and must assume we are being watched. In England with their surveillance cameras covering almost all public sidewalks and roads, they are able to respond and convict law breakers of all kinds, much more effectively. In San Diego, with thousands of illegal persons at any one time, trying to avoid capture for whatever they have done, it would be much easier to capture and incarcerate them much more quickly, before they can do more harm, like England does. When you're in public, as when you’re on Facebook or really anywhere on the internet, assume you’re being watched, so be good, don’t break the law!

  • Bob Charles
  • Carlsbad

Liz and Greg Kimmel on Facebook

Liz and Greg Kimmel on Facebook

Mother’s superior

So some prominent well-heeled doll baby in La Jolla has played dirty pool in getting her kid into some elite university (“KFMB’s Elisabeth Kimmel caught in Georgetown admission bribe,” News Ticker, March 12). Seems to me these folks really believe in prostitution. Cutting tangents is not the American way. My beloved mother, a survivor of D-Day on the shores of Normandy had gone from high school in San Diego to UCLA highest honors PhD candidate despite coming from a relatively poor Italian family in France. She died of a brain tumor months before graduation. I can only cringe with disgust at this woman’s outrageous immoral and unethical behavior. What a sorry excuse of being an American.

  • Daniel Smiechowski
  • Bay Ho

Rich money; big box

Which is more important: Rich money people (we don’t need another big box store) OR the community of a neighborhood (Linda Vista) ? And especially when it concerns children & young people (“Linda Vista’s Skate World, you’re fine, now go away”, Neighborhood News, March 1)! There are many groups (hockey, roller derby, dance skaters, the huge Tue nights VERY crowded young people’s sessions) at Skateworld. And since Skateworld is the ONLY roller rink in all of San Diego County. So we have our children & young people coming to our only rink from all over the county. And that includes my group, the “Coffee Clutch” for older people & seniors who skate on Tues. mornings. One of them comes every Tuesday all the way from Descanso! So we chat AND get our exercise. Another note – the rink is a safe place & keeps kids off the street. So from the tiny tots to the seniors, it is definitely community! There is ANOTHER reason to keep the rink. It is a historic building, built in 1941 as the Tenant Activity Building for the workers living in the housing (how Linda Vista was born!). This one of a kind large quonset hut style has about 10 bent wood laminated beams running across the top & down the sides(steel was not an option in wartime). The beams are set 9 feet into the ground (I had read). I wonder if it was also built as a bomb shelter??

  • Naida Hindert
  • University Heights

Marcos, Claudia, and the author patrol near The Observatory.

Marcos, Claudia, and the author patrol near The Observatory.

Backyard intrusions

Mr. Madriaga’s article on crime in NP (“North Park locals patrol the neighborhood,” City Lights,March 20) seriously requires context before anyone should jump to the conclusion that, “it’s a freak show out there.”

The article’s opening anecdote, no doubt true, illustrates context. Marcos and Claudia, true to their motto “We Don’t Dial 911” witness a crime being committed (shooting up heroin) and don’t dial 911. This leads directly to a second and a third crime, assault and attempted murder. The article continues describing other crimes witnessed and not reported, e.g. the masked intruder in the back yard, and the numerous car break-ins (and yes my car was broken into). This explains why “crimemaps.com” reported only three crimes. Those were the three crimes someone called in.

I see this same casual approach to crimes in progress as a user of “Next Door;” dozens of reports of various crimes, and when I ask “did you call the cops,” the answer invariably is some variation on “oh!” On the several occasions I have had to call the cops, they showed up in force promptly, and promptly caught someone.

The point is that protecting and improving our neighborhoods is a something we all need to participate in, be it by actual “Neighborhood Watch” patrolling, or simply responsibly calling in reports of criminal activity we may witness. Mr. Madriaga’s article would have been more useful had he toned down the sensationalism and focused on reason why Marcos and Claudia’s attempt to form a Neighborhood Watch program has faltered.

  • Joseph Carmellino
  • North Park

Smelly newsers

The Ken Leighton article, North County News Nears Nadir (in the March 14 issue – Neighborhood News) totally ignores the newspaper reality on the North County Coast at present. Readers of Leighton’s article were not told the full story regarding the current and past history of local papers covering the North County Coast and Tom Missett has no reason to fill in the blanks either.

A partial backstory related to Oceanside is needed here to give readers a fuller appreciation of the current newspaper scene where I reside. A few years back a new free newspaper appeared on news racks alongside the San Diego Reader and The Coast News. The new paper was called The Blade and it always featured a large cartoon character of a man with a very large mouth who was yelling. It was published by Tom Missett and put out by Ken Leighton and friends. For credibility it claimed to be the new incarnation of the old Blade-Citizen and the editorial line was that the paper would be the new voice of truth for Oceanside.

The paper was 6 to 8 pages and had a mean-spirited political tone that turned off most locals. Forget positive community news coverage, this paper had an axe to grind. The obvious aim was to savage certain city council members and promote anyone who supported big developers and developments. The Blade only appeared a handful of times and then disappeared but it sprouted up again with a few issues just before two elections. These papers were filled with vitriol and misinformation as well as ads for favored political causes and select politicians.

In the Reader article Leighton and Tom Missett paint a grand picture of the Blade-Citizen and its significance in North County. Many longtime Oceanside residents recall that during the 1990s the Blade-Citizen regularly gave the city a black eye when it came to reporting crime and local blight conditions. The Blade-Citizen had a decidedly negative slant in its coverage that seemed odd and disturbing to many Oceanside residents who did not view the city in the same light.

The question that vexed many was why the hometown paper was so hard on Oceanside. For others, who took the long view and put the pieces of the puzzle together, the answer was Money. If Oceanside was perceived as a bad place to invest in property the value of real estate would be depressed and it would be a better bargain for shrewd investors. These insiders knew that the property would appreciate significantly over time and they were also aware that Oceanside was the best place on the coast to push through large coastal developments with minimal opposition. Look at the Big Box hotels and various other monstrosities that now dot the coastal zone downtown with more to come.

Leighton’s article purposely ignores the most comprehensive and authoritative source of news and current information for the North County Coast. All well informed residents here read The Coast News and I’m sure Tom Missett and Ken Leighton read it too. The paper has been published weekly since 1987. The 40+ page paper is free and 30,000+ copies are distributed weekly between Del Mar and Oceanside at hundreds of locations.

Like the venerable San Diego Reader, The Coast News has an online edition so you never have to miss an issue if you are out of town. I do agree with Leighton and Missett regarding the worthless nature of the San Diego Union-Tribune (aka the San Diego Urine Tribute) and never read it as hard copy and rarely check it online. I’ve been reading the Reader since 1972 and never miss an issue. The Reader has always covered county and city issues in depth and I very much appreciate its willingness to ask and get answers to hidden issues as well as features that inform and entertain. When I meet anyone who is new to the area I always tell them to read the Reader and The Coast News every week if they want to be well informed and avoid Fake News.

  • Gregory Anthony
  • Oceanside

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To "Gregory Anthony" Yes of course the Coast News does exist. The issue that came out last week has one story about Oceanside. Hey, it's good the Coast News still exists as a print entity, but to suggest it matters or that it moves the needle, is a stretch. A good example is that when the Reader ran story that a high-end craft cocktail bar was going in where a problem downtown was, changing the future profile of downtown Oceanside https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2... the very next Coast News the paper ran a reprint story with old photos about the adjacent historic hotel remodel apparently in reaction to the Reader's article. The "full story" about the Coast News coverage "Gregory Anthony" is that there's not much of a story at all. Yes, Tom Missett brought back the Blade for a run in 2015-/2016. And while it was too heavy handed, I still subscribe to Mr. Missett's contention that the two councilmembers targeted by Mr. Missett were and are bad for the city. I was involved with the first incarnation of the The Blade, but was not around for its second run last year. You can go on and on about The Blade, but I defy you to prove how the Coast news has any relevance to Oceanside. In the last year the Reader has broken stories on how mobile park owners are screwing seniors on fixed income out of their homes (posted yesterday), the former Camp Pendleton Marine who launched an effort to allow homeless to stay in their overnights at Palomar College (later picked up by the L.A. Times), the plight of the universally hated "prison hotel" (twice), the fact that the airport is completely unregulated and that anyone can land there 24/7 for free, a tiki bar coming to the end of the pier, the closure of the Main Attraction strip club, the closure of Oceanside's 2nd largest private employer TE Connectivity, the breaking story on the closure of the Firewater Saloon, the flood damage in South O was avoidable. Oh, and what about the fact that we drew attention to the endorsement by key Oceanside unions of a Carlsbad banker for appointment to city council. Attention led to that appointee withdrawing his name. Oh and how about the article on Victor Roy who was reported to have no qualifications for the city treasurer. What do you know!! Tonight the council votes on implementing minimum requirements for any future clerk and treasurer or appointing them as most other cities do. As for the Blade-Citizen giving Oceanside a "black eye" because it reported on crime. Any local (which you clearly or not, if so, prove it) will tell you it was just that coverage and pressure that helped clean up Oceanside. Oh, and by the way the U-T is not "worthless." Phil Diehl, while overworked by covering four cities, is an excellent reporter. Because the Coast News reprints city press releases hardly means it is a better paper than the UT. I'm speaking only for myself.

Where did I put my blue pencil Gregory Anthony, I smell an angry reporter here who didn't get the scoop on a great story.

I think Oceansiders, which I don't believe you actually are, would like more than what the Coast News currently provides. You appear to be upset that the printed news is not filled with stories of sunshine freely flowing up everyone's ass within the city confines.

The fact of the matter is that Oceanside has many problems that your conventional media is not reporting. Between the grifters that pervade the halls of city council and staff, all the way down to the property developers peddling wonderful new housing complexes for anyone who can afford $700K or above; much of the news is currently going under the local news radar.

I agree with Leighton above that Phil Diehl has done an outstanding job covering the city with the few resources that he has, but one only has so much time in the day.

OK- "Gregory Anthony." Still waiting to find out who you are. None of the locals have ever heard of you. You wouldn't be Jim Kydd would you?

The 'brought back' Blade was NOT a newspaper. It was a way for Mr. Missett to spew his political views disguised as a newspaper and to avoid PAC regulations.

PatBrown. Yes the motivation to "spew his political views" was a major innovation for Mr. Missett to bring back the Blade. He spelled out exactly the issues he had with certain elected officials including specific charges of corruption. These printed charges were never challenged. There were no demands for correction. EVER. Do you understand that if there were lies printed, people demand retractions and/or they sue. That never ever happened. Yes, the Blade was a bit too heavy handed to survive. But it was a free paper that also had paid writers, graphics people and ad sales people. Just like a real paper. Would sure like to know what your PAC regulations concept is. But I'm guessing since you won't divulge your real name or your real initiative behind writing this, we will never know what the "PAC regulations" means.

Mr. Leighton. You have your opinion and I have mine. My opinion is that it was NOT a legitimate newspaper. Political views cleverly disguised as a newspaper that only came out at election time and then went away and then only to resurface again at election time. Especially the last version that was only published prior to the election and never again. That is not a newspaper. It is disgusting when someone disguises his political viewpoints as a newspaper. I believe that there was no intent for the Blade to be published except for Mr. Missett's views. Again, my opinion.

And why do you think it is not my real name? Do you disguise yourself online and that is why you have also suggested that this is not my name or that Mr. Anthony is not who he says he is?

No PatBrown. I do not disguise myself online. That is why I use real name. Do you not see my real name PatBrown? "Gregory Anthony" positioned himself as an Oceanside local. Only problem is that no one who is involved in Oceanside stuff has ever heard of a Gregory Anthony. Back to the Blade....Yes Tom Missett launched the Blade to help advance his views. He was frustrated that the North County Times did not exist and that the UT had neither the manpower or incentive to write about important stuff that was being ignored. You could say he was a little bitter about that. I hate to break the news to you PatBrown, but that is why a lot people launched newspapers over the years, for better or worse. Now, the important thing to remember is that the first Blade resurrection of 2016-17 made a lot of outrageous charges about two council members. As outrageous as they were, THEY WERE TRUE. Those fingered never demanded these charges be corrected. They could never disprove them and they never tried. They never even threatened a lawsuit. So the point is that while the tone of The Blade was harsh and you could argue often one-side, all these "slams" you saw in the Blade were true and, some say, needed to be said. Yes, we all have opinions. And for all your slurs about The Blade not being legitimate, I would maintain that for all their offensiveness, these charges were things that needed to be said even if they seemed harsh and provocative. Mr. Missett tried his best to get the D.A. to file charges and investigate one of those Oceanside city officials. Thank you for responding. I am speaking only for myself.

Mr. Leighton, If the DA thought charges should be brought against council members then that's what would have happened, so your argument pretty much falls flat on it's face regarding the reasoning behind his "important stuff" that he needed to vent about. Let's get down to brass tacks. Mr. Missett indeed had an "axe to grind" with the council members who voted against his plan for digital billboards in Oceanside. Also, since the people he was attacking were public officials, there is a very high bar to sue for libel (which as a writer you should already know). Again, I am just speaking for myself.

One of the specific charges was that one councilmember paid himself out of his own reelection campaign (exactly what happened with Duncan Hunter Jr.) and voted on a development he had a direct interest in. (City of Bell, City of Industry, etc. etc.) It didn't work out so well for Hunter, but this Oceanside councilman got away with it. Mr. Missett's paper spelled out exactly how and when this councilman enriched himself. Maybe Mr. Missett had an axe to grind. Either the stuff he reported on about the councilman was untrue and libelous or it was not. The fact the councilman so far has gotten away with it does not make his behavior any less culpable. The fact that councilman did not demand a retraction I think says something. As always, I am speaking only for myself.

The fact that the DA thought that the charges publicized by Mr. Missett did not rise to a prosecution, "PatBrown," doesn't mean anything in my opinion. During her reign as DA, Bonnie Dumanis got like (I want to say) 18 charges of police misconduct and not once did she find anything at all wrong with any of them. Also, may I remind you of Sheriff Gore and his contention that the lady in Coronado who committed suicide with her hands tied behind her back. May I suggest that the law enforcement powers that be in San Diego may not, um....well you get the message.

And nothing will change under crying Summer Stephan. Useless as pig shit district attorney.

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