Fake news of CalCoastNews ownership change continues

September 12, 2017

OPINION by JOSH FRIEDMAN

For more than four years, persons opposed to the investigative reporting that CalCoastNews does have threatened, harassed and demeaned CCN reporters, affiliates, advertisers, and commenters.

Most recently, assertions that affiliates of San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill were taking over the news site have stalled reporting and raised serious concerns among contributors including people who have written comments about CCN stories.

In late July, Charles Tenborg told a New Times’ reporter he was working to obtain ownership of CCN. In March, Tenborg won a $1.1 million judgment against reporters Karen Velie and Dan Blackburn and an LLC owned by Velie, a judgment which is currently under appeal.

Bill Loving was not named in the libel suit even though he was the editor of CCN at the time and edited and approved the story. Unlike Velie and Blackburn, who had to mount a defense with virtually no money or other resources, Loving had both funds and friends in media law practice.

Tenborg’s victory did not give him the right to simply take over CCN. Legal processes must be followed. A claim against Velie and Blackburn for the judgment had to follow the rule of law regarding debts arising from a libel judgment. The process is still ongoing.

Tenborg created an LLC titled CalCoastNews/UncoveredSLO.com which further promoted his false assertion that the CCN news site belonged to him.

Aaron Ochs, an online troll Tenborg had previously asked to help fund his lawsuit, sent out a press release saying he will be running CalCoastNews and have Velie working under his direction.

Though both Tenborg and Ochs’ claims were untrue, some CCN supporters and commenters believed the misinformation. Many people who have participated on CCN then voiced concerns that they could be targets of harassment if their personal information became known to Hill, Ochs or Tenborg.

As a result, former CCN editor Bill Loving and reporter Karen Velie went to work for Cal Coast Times, a recently created news site covering the Central Coast.

Over the past 10 years, CCN reporters have investigated and reported on important issues that have led to positive changes in the community. CCN’s in-depth reporting led to charges being filed against John Wallace, Kelly Gearhart, James Miller, Karen Guth, Josh Yaguda and others. It has also led to a group who would like to silence investigative reporting on the Central Coast.

CCN reporters have continued to pursue stories that cannot be found in other local media. CCN reported that Hill worked as a paid consultant for a development firm and publicly promoted that company’s projects while serving as a supervisor.

Shortly after the series of articles on Hill and the developers was posted, a former contributor of CCN was threatened through an email account that utilized a fake name. The threats prompted the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office to open an investigation, which is currently ongoing.

Most recently, a CCN reporter’s investigation into allegations of neglect and torture at the San Luis Obispo County Jail resulted in the public demanding change.

In order to provide local news without fear of reprisal against reporters, supporters and contributors, Velie and Loving will continue to report on matters of public interest through Cal Coast Times.







Loading...

7 Comments

  1. 2much says:

    I have converted to CCT from CCN as my primary reading for the central coast news…I encourage all to follow.

    (3) 7 Total Votes - 5 up - 2 down
  2. Jorge Estrada says:

    It is a very sad realization that money can buy fabrication of what the purchaser wants to be the truth. I certainly understand that we can’t afford fake news and even more dangerous is to have bought and paid for fake news. I for one do not like personal attacks in media and prefer to share my opinion on government doings, this subject affects all of us and can be changed at election booth. Yes there are evil people and evil doings but that circle of hate needs to be defused by focusing on things we can change through working together.

    (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down
  3. Myself says:

    I seem to be lost here, is CCN still going to operate or is it going to shut down, I’ve looked at CCT and right now its a double of this site.
    I would hope that there would not be much of a change in the reporting of CCN as it has been the best, and I would like to think that the supporters and writers would not take hill and och seriously as most everyone knows these two are ready for the guys in white with jackets that have long straps on them.

    (11) 25 Total Votes - 18 up - 7 down
  4. TKG says:

    Nobody has done a better job of local investigative reporting than Cal Coast News and its reporters Karen Velie and Josh Friedman. Unfortunately, exposing the truth has its consequences. CCN has been an invaluable outlet for the freedom of expression of ideas that go against the bias of mainstream media and it will be sorely missed. With the Cal Coast Times, we should all be thankful that Karen and Bill Loving won’t be going away anytime soon, except for people like Adam Hill and Aaron Ochs.

    (15) 33 Total Votes - 24 up - 9 down
  5. abigchocoholic says:

    And Hulk Hogan got over 100 million for voluntarily having sex with his buddy’s wife while Nicole Simpson’s family only got a 30 million judgment against OJ for slaughtering her.

    The world of alleged damages has become a strange place.

    (-6) 14 Total Votes - 4 up - 10 down
  6. abigchocoholic says:

    It will take time for Blackburn and Velie to recover their mojo after this devastating ordeal:
    ————
    Time? It says the judgment is for 1.1m. That accrues interest at over 100k a year. Time is the enemy, not the helper.

    (-5) 9 Total Votes - 2 up - 7 down
  7. Boldguy says:

    I’ve wanted to comment on this for awhile.
    Since the lawsuit, CCN has changed dramatically,and with good reason! Getting beat up by our legal system is one of the most stressful things an individual can go through, it leaves scars on a persons psyche! It will take time for Blackburn and Velie to recover their mojo after this devastating ordeal:(
    I wish them both the very best, they deserve better than they’ve received, for all the good they have done and the bad that they have revealed!!!

    (60) 86 Total Votes - 73 up - 13 down

Leave a Comment