CalCoastNews Contributor

Daniel Blackburn

Daniel Blackburn is editor of KCCN.tv

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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)

Jail population plummets, sheriff budget increases

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN Jail inmate numbers in San Luis Obispo County have dropped by more than 25 percent since last year following initial implementation of Prop. 47, but San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson’s spending continues to climb. Proposition 47 reduces the classification of most “nonserious and nonviolent property and drug […]... (Continue Reading)

SLO police chief travels on the family plan

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN San Luis Obispo Police Chief Steve Gesell attended 13 conferences during 2014. Expense records show that some of the conferences turned into family trips and the city footed the bill. A two-month investigation by CalCoastNews has uncovered multiple violations of city policy and what appears to be abuses of […]... (Continue Reading)

Emails expose alleged misconduct by Arroyo Grande officials
 


Editor’s note: A video of Arroyo Grande Council Member Kristen Barneich noting her reasons for voting against an independent investigation into the July 3 incident is at the bottom of this story. By DANIEL BLACKBURN and KAREN VELIE Several public officials in Arroyo Grande unsuccessfully instructed members of the city’s police force to take official […]... (Continue Reading)

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