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A Two Newspaper Town Again

Dan Blackburn from UncoveredSLO.com dropped by on Friday to discuss the controversy swirling at Cal Poly in the School of Engineering. It seems a private university in Saudi Arabia wants to give Poly $6 million to help establish an engineering program on their campus. The only restriction is that the Saudis have made it clear that no women, gays or minorities would be welcome from Poly to teach in the new program.

Engineering faculty are opposed to this program and only the Dean seems determined to shove it through. The Tribune had been tipped off by concerned faculty members, but they elected not to pursue the story for unknown reasons. But Blackburn and Karen Velie stepped in and the story is now up on their web site.

Dan also broke the news to our listeners that the F.B.I. is indeed coming to Atascadero to investigate Wade McKinney and other city officials in lieu on the FEMA scandal that only UncoveredSLO.com reported on. It was their first story.

UncoveredSLO.com has taken a lot of crap on this blog, mostly from Anonymous sources whom I suspect are jealous New Times employees (great cover story this week on CMC prisoners in love. YAWN!). But within 30 days of start up, UncoveredSLO got the feds to look into Atascadero.

Where, oh where, has the Tribune been on this story? Reporter Stephan Curran has been asleep at the wheel. Lon Allan, who should know better, wrote a column last week attacking Mayor Brennler and suggesting he was undermining morale at City Hall. News Flash to Lon Allan: gee, what do you think an F.B.I. investigation will do to morale, Lon?

But Dan was particularly passionate when he underscored the benefit of UncoveredSLO to the community. Once again, we are a “Two Newspaper Town.” In a month, Blackburn and Velie have broken stories about French Hospital, Cal Poly, county probation, Atascadero City Hall and they’re just getting started. They are providing the Tribune competition and they’re beating them at every turn with just two reporters.

Which means the Tribune is going to have to get serious and start reporting big stories again. New Times has clearly given up and is content to be some kind of free lifestyle magazine.

We all win when there’s competition. I’m happy for Dan and Karen and wish them the best in continuing to uncover the Central Coast

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