One of San Diego larger private employers, Ashford University/Bridgepoint Education, announced layoffs for 450 employees yesterday, a move that’s bound to send ripples throughout the region. Employees were told to come in early, shown a video and offered a two-week severance package. Then it was out the door.
As promised by the Dougchester, the minions at the UT-San Diego did their best to put a positive spin on the situation, quoting a “senior analyst with Wells Fargo Securities” saying that the company’s moves (400 other employees were also transferred) were good enough to address concerns by accreditation authorities.
The coverage at UT-San Diego was technically correct in its reporting of the facts, giving a nod here and there to various “problems” that Ashford/Bridgepoint has encountered with agencies over its low graduation and high dropout rates along with a business model that is overwhelmingly oriented towards marketing as opposed to education.
What’s missing is the important contextual information. The crisis at the private educational institution is symptomatic, pointing to the likelihood of yet another ‘bubble’ bursting that will impact the larger economic picture, brought on by student loans that are defaulted. As with all bubbles, there will be ripple effects, and the people most affected will be those with the least to lose.
Also missing is any sense of the tragic impact that the economic model used by Ashford/Bridgepoint has and is having on the lives of both the students who are lured by its promises of opportunity and the former employees who have been cast aside. I’ve found an excellent account (read it here!) written by a former Bridgepoint employee that describes the moral bankruptcy driving this darling of the local business and political establishment.
In keeping with the long tradition by the San Diego news media, a warm, fuzzy blanket is being wrapped around a major “beloved” player in the local economy so that the public awareness will be shielded from the consequences of reprehensible corporate behavior and the complacency of elected officials that allows that conduct to continue unabated.
The aftermath of past corporate disintegrations brought on by unsustainable business models (or a legal/quasi-legal ponzi scheme, as I like to call it) has been a sort of local amnesia, followed by admonitions that “too much regulation” is bad for business. At the bottom of this well of malevolent corporate behavior is the ultimate reality that we citizens will get stuck with the bill for damages while most of its perpetrators will walk away unscathed.
Word of the Day: UT-SD CEO Lynch Adds to the Lexicon
The SD Reader has been aggressive in its reporting on the financial travails of the DougChester’s main Mission Valley minion, CEO John Lynch. There was the matter of the unpaid bill to American Express, now cleared up, according to a missive to the weekly paper. And then the there was the matter of the foreclosure notice on a house in Rancho Santa Fe. Lynch’s response to reporter Dorian Hargrove:
“I know you will attempt to make something celatious (sic: see below) of this, but several of my assets were tied up for 15 months when I was in a lawsuit with the former partners of the two radio companies of which I was a part owner. The lawsuits have been settled. And frankly, my personal balance sheet is in good shape. I have no (0) debt other than this one mortgage.”
After responding the Lynch’s plaintive plea suggesting that he was being persecuted (“the default is a matter of public record, and Lynch is an important person in San Diego.”), scribe Don Bauder went on to ponder the linguistic question brought up in the media mogul’s retort:
I am not sure I understand why Lynch used the word “celatious.” It is a rare word — almost non-existent. A 1934 Webster’s says that celation is “concealment, esp. of a pregnancy or childbirth.” Currently, the word is used infrequently, seemingly in matters concerning concealment of a child born out of wedlock. The word “cellacious” is a new coinage of salacious or lustful material communicated by mobile phone. The Reader has nothing celatious, cellacious, or salacious in mind when pursuing this financial matter.
If it’s Tuesday, you know what that means…. (Roger Hedgecock Edition)
It must be time for more wingnuttia… Yes folks, the craziness just keeps on keepin’ on, and I’m makin’ sure that you keep up with the latest stuff rather than waiting for those recycled emails from your crazy uncle…
I found myself the token conservative, the pin cushion, the foil for the snide and snarky, the stand-in for evil Romney. The audience was packed with Obamanites howling for conservative blood. It was a great night.
While I was fully aware of Maher’s politics and “humor,” I had been lured into this by the promise of a balanced panel, Maher and one other liberal and me and one other conservative.
The column is waaay funnier than his appearance on the show (which apparently he took seriously). Here’s an indirect link (HBO’s a little tight fisted with its product) to the clip where he summons up enough courage to respond to MSNBC’s blowhard Chris Mathews.
It’s so gratifying when you get to see somebody of Hedgecock’s ilk get a dose of their own medicine. Or, as SD CityBeat editor Dave Rolland said on Twitter: “Don’t you love it when guys who cultivate a bully persona suddenly think they’ve been victimized?”
So in today’s column we get to see Hedgecock’s reconstructed-to-fit-his-
The Green Party Campaign Comes to Town
The Green Party candidate for President, Dr. Jill Stein, will be making a campaign swing through San Diego tomorrow (September 26), with appearances at the University of San Diego (10:30am, Pardee Legal Research Center, Lecture Room 132, Sponsored by:Environmental Law Society of the University of San Diego) and San Diego State University (12:30pm, Tula Hall Meeting Room, Sponsored by M.E.C.H.A) For further information visit http://www.sdgreenparty.org/
Occupy San Diego’s Anniversary Planning Underway
Occupy San Diego will be celebrating its one year anniversary the weekend of October 6th and 7th, which, they remind us, will also mark the eleventh anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. They’re asking for people to take part in the planning for the commemoration of their first year in San Diego tomorrow, Wednesday, September 26th at 6pm at Children’s’ Park.
NoPark Gets a Nano
It keeping with its newly found status (as described by Forbes) as one of the nation’s best hipster neighborhoods, North Park is getting a yet another boutique business as Hess Brewery is opening a location in the old religious bookstore at 3812 Grim Ave. Hess maintains its ‘nano-brewery’ status (as opposed to ‘micro’) by virtue of the fact that they make beer in 50 gallon or less batches. They also sell their beer in cans, a rarity among small brewers.
Tweet of the Day:
— BoldProgressives.org (@BoldProgressive) September 24, 2012
On This Day: In 1789 the first U.S. Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution. Ten of the amendments became the Bill of Rights. In 1975 singer Jackie Wilson collapsed while performing “Lonely Teardrops” at the Latino Casino in Cherry Hill, NJ. He had suffered a heart attack that caused brain damage. He was 41 years old. He died in 1984 after spending the rest of his life in hospitals. In 1983 a Soviet military officer, Stanislav Petrov, averted a potential worldwide nuclear war. He declared a false alarm after a U.S. attack was detected by a Soviet early warning system. It was later discovered the alarms had been set off when the satellite warning system mistakenly interpreted sunlight reflections off clouds as the presence of enemy missiles.
Eat Fresh! Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Coronado (1st St. & B Ave., Ferry Landing) 2:30 – 6 pm, Escondido (Grand Ave. btw Juniper & Kalmia St.) 2:30 – 6:00 pm , Mira Mesa (Mira Mesa High School 10510 Reagan Rd.) 3–7 pm, Morena District (1240 West Morena Blvd.) 3 – 7 pm, Otay Ranch – Chula Vista (2015 Birch Rd. and Eastlake Blvd.) 4 –8 pm, Pacific Beach (Bayard & Garnet) 2 – 6:30pm, UCSD/La Jolla (UCSD Campus, Town Square at Gilman/Meyers) 10 am – 2 pm (Sept. 25 through mid-June; closed for winter, spring and summer breaks)
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