CalCoastNews Contributor

Daniel Blackburn

Daniel Blackburn is editor of KCCN.tv

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Did illegal ticket quotas hasten Gesell’s exit?

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN San Luis Obispo Police Chief Steve Gesell’s command staff initiated an illegal ticket quota scheme with pizza as a reward, emails obtained by CalCoastNews show, an activity that may have contributed to Gesell’s being placed on paid administrative leave Friday. City officials are not disclosing the reasons for Gesell’s […]... (Continue Reading)

Hill campaign threatens radio station’s advertising and broadcast license

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Facebook page of “Jenny Herzog” described in this article disappeared on May 8, at 8:40 p.m., about seven hours after this posting.) By DANIEL BLACKBURN A mysterious, self-described volunteer for Supervisor Adam Hill’s reelection campaign has warned that the campaign would file a complaint with the FCC and turn advertisers away from […]... (Continue Reading)

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Here’s the best motive to love or hate a new water district

OPINION by DANIEL BLACKBURN Advocates of a proposed Paso Robles basin water district trooped to the microphone Tuesday like dutiful crusaders, all to inform San Luis Obispo County supervisors of the many reasons for their support. Here’s a really good one that none of these promoters bothered to mention: a relatively obscure provision in a […]... (Continue Reading)

New Times’ staff riddled by departures

By DANIEL BLACKBURN New Times, San Luis Obispo’s weekly newspaper, is looking for a few good men… or women, an editor or two, and a reporter. Ryan Miller, the paper’s executive editor whose primary responsibility was running sister paper Santa Maria Sun, will be leaving after 15 years. Also, managing editor Ashley Schwellenbach and senior […]... (Continue Reading)

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Unmasking the ‘Hot Tub Capitalist’

By DANIEL BLACKBURN REVIEW: American Made — A Boomer’s Reflection, by Cliff Branch Long before he made his bones in the San Luis Obispo County real estate development world, Cliff Branch was, in the words of one associate, a marketing “mad man” awash in Boomer Generation hedonism but possessed by a desire to make money […]... (Continue Reading)

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Water district plans colored by subterfuge

By DANIEL BLACKBURN Planning by advocates of a sprawling water district to manage the Paso Robles basin has been cloaked in secrecy and back-room deals to help insure its eventual formation. Legislation carried by Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo) was significantly amended following a flurry of last-minute discussions between the lawmaker and district backers […]... (Continue Reading)

Supervisors will extend water moratorium

By DANIEL BLACKBURN A divided San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to extend an amended water moratorium beyond its August expiration date following several hours of often edgy discussion of the controversial issue. Supervisor Frank Mecham’s motion passed on a 3-2 vote, gaining support from supervisors Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson, and […]... (Continue Reading)

SLO backs chief over violations of city’s travel claims policy

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN In response to a CalCoastNews exclusive on multiple violations of city travel reimbursement policies by San Luis Obispo Police Chief Steve Gesell, the city manager and finance director worked out a way to explain the chief’s “mistakes.” Even though Gesell’s actions violate written city policies, Director of Finance Wayne […]... (Continue Reading)

Tribune publisher Ray seeks new pastures

By DANIEL BLACKBURN Tribune president and publisher Bruce G. Ray has resigned effective Feb. 27, Executive Editor Sandy Duerr announced Saturday in a front-page story. The resignation comes as stocks in the Tribune’s parent corporation, the McClatchy Company, have plummeted to $2.63 a share this week, from $74 a share in 2005. The stock’s low […]... (Continue Reading)

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Mecham’s abdication cheered, chided

By DANIEL BLACKBURN A bombshell announcement at Tuesday’s county supervisors’ board meeting has two of its members seething, two others grappling with their abrupt elevation to leadership stature, and its former chairman content with his unprecedented action. First District Supervisor Frank Mecham voluntarily relinquished his chairmanship — won only last month — to fellow board […]... (Continue Reading)