Newsletter: July 18, 2013

Dear friends of inewsource,

This past week inewsource has been there for you, underscoring the importance of credible, impartial journalism.

We’ve been front and center on the saga of Mayor Bob Filner; we’ve discovered more problems with the special property tax called Mello-Roos; and we’re fighting to keep a local government agency from deleting public emails after only 60 days. (Please sign our petition now! By 2 p.m., it will be too late!!)

In the midst of it all, we picked up an impressive number of awards from the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Keep reading for more on the whirlwind week.

Thank you all for supporting our work. And don’t forget: Tell your friends: Truth matters. Help us find it! Share this email.

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

The Filner Files

inewsource and KPBS have led the region on key parts of the coverage of the incredible events at City Hall. Together, we broke the story of the allegations of sexual harassment against Mayor Bob Filner. These were allegations we’d been investigating for months, but a difficult story to break responsibly without quotable sources. Filner’s former supporters have aired alleged details and have called for his resignation. We continue to break news but at the same time take a step back: Listen, watch and read Brad Racino’s story today on managing crises.

More Mello-Roos

The interactive map continues to serve homeowners well!

Reporters Joanne Faryon and Kelly Paice have helped to identify overcharges — and undercharges — and it’s resulting in refunds. It’s also prompted a call for an audit by a San Diego councilman, who wants to make sure his constituents are being fairly taxed.

Our stories had focused on one particular tax district of 344 homes where we and the city found mistakes. The latest coverage this week reported another mistake — this time in a district administered by the Poway school district. This could signal problems with the integrity of the Mello-Roos tax.

Stay tuned! Joanne and Kelly are following the story. And if you haven’t yet, check out our map. See if you pay Mello-Roos.

Derailing an email policy

As you know, inewsource is an independent, nonpolitical investigative journalism nonprofit. We are, however, advocates for open and accessible government. Here’s a call to action! You can make a difference today by signing our petition to support transparency in government.

The North County Transit District, which Brad Racino has been investigating for six months — documenting declines in service, safety, management and reputation — is poised to darken the sunshine law.

If this measure passes, memos and notes that are considered not to be “district records” will be deleted after 60 days — and it will be left up to the agency’s 100-or-so employees to decide what is and what’s not a district record.

The vote is this afternoon. Join us in opposing this action!

We’ve crafted an easy-to-send email.

Awards Galore!

We captured five first place awards and four second and thirds at the annual SPJ awards last week. Our work on the UT owner’s political and financial connections, California accountability, Deadly Patrols and our Port Authority application won high praise.

The full list with links to the stories is on our Facebook page.

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.