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The Big Story on the local news scene was The Local News Scene yesterday as word oozed out during the morning that UT-San Diego publisher Doug Manchester had purchased the North County Times newspaper. Rumors about the sale reached a crescendo on Monday, as the San Diego Business Journal ran with an article about the sale and stood behind their story, even as UT-SD CEO John Lynch issued a statement saying that no deal had been reached.
The purchase price for the NCTimes was reported to be just short of $12 million. That outlay bought print-media dominance for UT-San Diego in the northern tier of San Diego County, much of which is made of up of affluent sub-divisions with desirable demographics for advertisers. Employees at the paper were invited to re-apply for their jobs starting Monday, even though actual transfer of ownership will not occur until October 1st.
The “Dougchester” assured everybody at a company gathering yesterday afternoon that the new ownership would be keeping the “winners”, even as he bragged about Mission Valley’s newest foray into video, waving a smart-phone showing UT-TV around in front of 150 grim faced employees. Actual operation details coming out of the merger have yet to be decided including whether or not the newspaper will continue to be published as a separate entity.
One thing that the UT-SD publisher was unequivocal about was that the editorial polices of the NCTimes would be reflecting his philosophy, which of late has consisted of increasingly desperate attacks on anything not Republican.
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Say ‘no’ to Predators overhead… Tomorrow, Thursday, August 16th, San Diego Veterans for Peace will begin a weekly vigil at the General Atomics plant in Poway, where the Predator Drone is built. The goal of this series of demonstrations is to get people thinking about the threat drones present to American liberties. Congress has passed legislation mandating that the Federal Aviation Administration create a comprehensive program for the integration of drone technology into the national air space by 2015. The agency is predicting that there will be 30,000 drones crisscrossing the skies of America by 2020.
San Diego Veterans for Peace is concerned that the melding of law enforcement with Homeland Security is producing the basis for a big brother state. Certainly there has been little to no public discourse about the implications of the ability of local law enforcement agencies sending drones to look in our back yards or bedroom windows, streaming the video to people unknown, without our permission. What could be a powerful tool for crime fighting could easily become an easily abused loophole that negates the Fourth Amendment. Sadly, the track record of law enforcement agencies utilizing technologies developed for combat use in domestic situations is very poor.