CalCoastNews and The Sobering Truth

UPDATE (August 27): The New Times has published Velie’s police report. Their staff writes, “There are a lot of opening lines in this story” in their article. That’s an understatement.

UPDATE (August 25): The New Times published a memo to the San Luis Obispo City Council by SLO Police Chief Steve Gesell, who reiterated information presented in this article. Dated August 23, 2013, the memo states, “[Statements made by Velie claiming she was targeted due to her position as a reporter for the Cal Coast News] are false and the Police Department is releasing the following information in order to provide accurate factual background as to the events leading to Ms. Velie’s arrest.”

On August 13, CalCoastNews (CCN) Publisher Karen Velie was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.  The timing was impeccable. Around that time, Velie and CCN posted a flurry of blog articles micro-scoping District 3 Supervisor Adam Hill and his fiance, Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo Homeless Services Director Dee Torres. Then, news broke. According to a tentative ruling issued by SLO County Superior Court judge Barry LaBarbara, CCN private investigator Mike Brennler‘s comments to Torres’ ex-husband — about her allegedly stealing gift cards donated to CAPSLO — was constitutionally protected.

So what’s the takeaway from all these developments? According to Velie, Adam Hill and CAPSLO masterminded her arrest.  Continue reading CalCoastNews and The Sobering Truth

Darkness on the Edge of Town

Shortly before noon, a woman stopped by my office at work. I was told that she wanted to talk to me about an article I wrote on government surveillance. I won’t use her real name, so I’ll call her Jane.

Jane appeared in her mid 40s to early 50s. She dressed appropriately for a fine summer day in San Luis Obispo. She seemed to have a warm disposition but was nervous. Something was bothering her. I felt it would be invasive to ask what was bothering her, so I stood quietly and listened. Continue reading Darkness on the Edge of Town