Newsletter: July 3, 2013

Dear friends of inewsource,

With the Fourth of July upon us, we wish you a happy holiday and celebrate the recent work of inewsource. We continue to peel back the layers on the inequities of the Mello-Roos property tax that so many of you pay; we continue to tweak our newly designed website to make your reading and searching experience top-notch; and we continue to mature as an organization.

Tell your friends: Truth matters! Help us find it! Share this email!

— Lorie Hearn, Executive Director | loriehearn@inewsource.org

Mello-Roos: Digging through documents

The inewsource team has been busy viewing documents and analyzing data in our continuing series on Mello-Roos.

Mello-Roos is that special add-on property tax one in ten property owners pay in San Diego County. We’ll have a follow-up on the neighborhood in Del Sur where we found two homeowners who were overcharged thousands on their tax bills. And we’re working to figure out why some homeowners in the Poway Unified School District are paying dramatically different amounts than their neighbors.

The district is not responding to our questions, and is instead insisting we file Public Records Act requests for documents. They are also filtering our email communication through their lawyer. We’ve enlisted the help of three homeowners who contacted us with questions about their tax bills when they used our interactive tax map. We asked these citizen journalists to contact the school district directly. We expect the district must at least respond to these taxpayers about how their Mello-Roos tax bills were calculated.

Tweaking the website

As you may know, we dramatically redesigned our website a few weeks ago to make it more user-friendly and easier to navigate. While we’re still polishing the edges, we’d appreciate your feedback as you use the site. What works? What doesn’t? Is there something you’d like to see that’s not up? Please let us know by emailing Brad at bradracino@inewsource.org.

Continuing on with our hospice coverage

inewsource reporter Joanne Faryon was on KPBS’ Roundtable Friday discussing the latest in the San Diego Hospice bankruptcy case. We were the first to report the government is looking into possible criminal charges, citing the Federal health care offenses section of the criminal code in documents filed in bankruptcy court. Stay tuned for more on hospice in our reporting.

An update from our Executive Director

As you read this, I am newly back from Stanford, where I was fortunate to have participated in the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders. This program, which included executives from around the world, underscored the importance of our social mission to provide you with the highest quality, in-depth journalism, while building a foundation that you can rely on for the long run.

Some of the highlights:

— Opportunity to increase awareness of journalism nonprofits and the role they can play in the nonprofit world;

— A powerful new network of nonprofit executives and Stanford business experts;

— Ideas for better integrating our social mission and economic strategy.

We are committed to asking the hard questions about your government, your taxes, your quality of life, and we thank you for supporting the organization that makes this possible. Share your enthusiasm for inewsource with a friend by forwarding this email.

Truth matters. Help us find it.

Give today.

shadow-ornament

We'll let you know when big things happen.

About Lorie Hearn:

Lorie Hearn is the founder and executive director of inewsource.