Posts Tagged ‘Matt Hart’

Welcome back, Mr. Blackburn

I’ve taken some grief and lost a few professional contacts during the lost couple years because I support local investigative reporting–specifically the work of Dan Blackburn and Karen Velie.

The two former New Times reporters founded CalCoastNews in 2008 and have been poking around the county ever since. Blackburn eventually moved on to devote himself more to video work and recently started up Central Coast News Agency. Last Tuesday, he introduced his first documentary on Hometown Radio–a damning piece about alleged misconduct by Sheriff’s deputies in the arrest of a North County man, Matt Hart.

One of the key issues raised by Blackburn is that the deputies essentially raided Hart’s locked gun case in his house — neither one with a warrant. And they’ve been holding on to the guns for more than two years.

I thought the Tuesday segment went very well and Blackburn sent a message yesterday, saying that authorities had decided–after the radio show aired–to return the guns to Hart. Blackburn’s piece has created a firestorm on the Internet and the issue apparently has been taken up by gun enthusiasts everywhere.

Blackburn hopes to do one of these video pieces a month. I hope so. He and Karen Velie play an important watchdog function in our community, especially with more traditional new sources (yes, including KVEC) cutting back. Welcome back, Mr. Blackburn. Good job.

On Thursday’s show: Bill Loving from the Cal Poly journalism department, Dr. John Ashbaugh, Gari Cave from Morro Bay, a look at modern dance on the Central Coast, and another edition of Central Coast Finest.

Come join us: I’m the luncheon speaker at today’s gathering of the Nipomo Chamber of Commerce. Come by the club house at Black Lake and join in the conversation.