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Here is the first paragraph of a release this morning (March 4) from the Economic Development Corp. (EDC). "San Diego Regional EDC's media relations program is gaining momentum, with a feature article in the Wednesday, March 4, 2009 issue of the New York Times." The article "highlights Quarry Falls, Liberty Station, and the Ballpark District as highly successful models for redevelopment," says the release. The Times article focuses primarily on the Quarry Falls project, but lauds the other two. The article claims that Quarry "is among the redevelopment efforts moving forward in a city that began its economic recovery under a new mayor, Jerry Sanders, in 2005. Mr. Sanders, who inherited a city in financial crisis -- its water and sewer systems deteriorating, its pensions underfunded and its municipal bond ratings low -- has overseen a turnaround that has helped restore the city's fiscal health." Huh? The water and sewer systems are still in horrible shape and the pension system is in worse shape. The article makes no mention of the CCDC and SEDC scandals, and only hints that downtown condos (particularly in the ballpark district) are a disaster -- a sea of emptiness. San Diego's "once soaring buy-and-flip office market is gone, and there is a glut of housing," concedes the article, but those are the only mentions of reality. (There is no mention that housing prices are down 40 percent from their peak.)Yes, the Economic Development Corp.'s media relations program has indeed done a fine job.

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Comments

Don Bauder March 5, 2009 @ 9:39 a.m.

Response to post #9: You have accurately described what happens with so many other newspapers, TV stations, etc., and why you are subjected to so much fluff. That's exactly how it works. However, the Times is normally more sophisticated -- except, as I said, in the case of those real estate puff pieces it does. I have never figured out what the Economic Development Corp. does, other than fete visiting executives, real estate investors, etc. and do occasional research pieces that are usually pretty thin. EDC was originally set up to relieve local developers from having to do all this wining and dining. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering March 4, 2009 @ 1:07 p.m.

For those just wondering about this piece here is the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/04/realestate/commercial/04quarry.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Quarry%20falls&st=cse

But when it comes to the credibility of DAN LUZADDER, the author, it's non-existent. I wonder if he wrote this or, as Don suggests, San Diego's EDC did.

To bad the NYT doesn't accept reader's comments on their web pages... we could giv'em a earful..

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Don Bauder March 4, 2009 @ 2:21 p.m.

Response to post #1: Full disclosure: I have 200 shares of NY Times -- the only media stock I own. Twice I made money buying and selling that stock but this time I am deeply in the hole, having bought at $17 expecting an excellent yield and now it's at $4 or so and yielding little or nothing. I would dump it on the basis of this story -- can you imagine someone saying Sanders has solved the pension, sewer and water problems? -- but it's so low I will hang on. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering March 5, 2009 @ 12:15 p.m.

Great catch DON, the VOSD reports this today 3/5/09

"The city of San Diego has an estimated $600,000 fee-for-services contract with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. for marketing and public relations, EDC Marketing Manager Megan Carleton told me this morning. The fruits of those labors were especially evident yesterday when The New York Times ran a piece crediting the mayor with restoring the city's financial health and encouraging development, although the story provided few concrete examples of the mayor's role in either. On the same day, EnergyCurrent featured the city's cleantech efforts."

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SurfPuppy619 March 5, 2009 @ 12:27 p.m.

The New York Times ran a piece crediting the mayor with restoring the city's financial health and encouraging development, although the story provided few concrete examples of the mayor's role in either. On the same day, EnergyCurrent featured the city's cleantech efforts."

By JustWondering

provided "few concrete examples of the mayor's role"...how about provided NO exapmles- because there is not a single one.

Sanders has been a complete FLOP as Mayor, and face facts-anything he does from here until he is termed out is too little too late.

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Don Bauder March 5, 2009 @ 2:19 p.m.

Response to post #11: Anyone laughing at the story can mark down the author through these links. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 5, 2009 @ 2:22 p.m.

Response to post #12: Carleton was not thinking when she sent out a release taking credit for that ridiculous fluff piece, which is already the laughingstock of San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering March 5, 2009 @ 2:23 p.m.

Hey Johnny there's another way to look at this... If things are as rosy as portrayed by the NYT, then neither the taxpayers nor the city employees need do anything... in fact they should all get a cola..

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Don Bauder March 5, 2009 @ 2:31 p.m.

Response to post #13: Sanders was given credit for things he had nothing to do with, and praised for failed efforts he was involved in. Best, Don Bauder

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Fred Williams March 4, 2009 @ 4:17 p.m.

Wow! That NYT piece is a real piece of work. I've never heard of this mystical San Diego they describe...

EDC's PR flacks sure did pull a fast one on DAN LUZADDER of the Times. His editor ought to have a frank talk with him about his future in the news reporting business. Did they fire all the fact checkers, or does the real estate section always present press releases as news?

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SurfPuppy619 March 4, 2009 @ 4:46 p.m.

To bad the NYT doesn't accept reader's comments on their web pages... we could giv'em a earful..

By JustWondering

And JW knows how to give an earful!

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Don Bauder March 4, 2009 @ 6 p.m.

Response to post #3: There is a lot of puffery in that real estate section of the NY Times. I've read some other embarrassing stories, but this one took the cake. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2009 @ 6:01 p.m.

Response to post #4: That's a mouthful. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 4, 2009 @ 6:04 p.m.

Response to post #5: I doubt if there would be a direct payment, but there may be a subtle quid pro quo, such as the puffee promising the puffer to buy some ads. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 6, 2009 @ 6:54 a.m.

Response to post #16: You raise an excellent point. The city pays big bucks to have spinmeisters say how wonderful things are. Ergo, the municipal unions and taxpayers should use this city-financed fluffery as a reason to resist making any sacrifices. If I were a union member in the meet and confer process, I would certainly use that ridiculous NY Times piece as a reason to fight any cutbacks. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell March 4, 2009 @ 9:09 p.m.

The NYT reporter was probably on a publicity junket arranged by a public relations firm on the EDC dime. The reporter and his family likey received a free luxury suite at a hotel, a rental car, and three free meals a day for a week or more. The reporter probably took his family to Seaworld, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, etc. EDC publicity flacks probably gave the reporter a press packet with handouts so the reporter could piece the story together without too much effort. I don't know that this ocurred in this particular situation, but I understand it is very common for journalists to accept such trips. The reporter may believe, with some justification, that he should take everything he can get because he's going to lose his job and never work as a journalist again.

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Fred Williams March 9, 2009 @ 7:49 a.m.

And then there's Dan, Dan Luzadder. Even with a Pulitzer on his résumé--he won it along with others at the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel in 1983 for covering a flood--Luzadder, 54, has shot only job search air balls since Interactive Week vanished along with his investigative writing job. Though he's found enviable freelance work, like covering the Kobe Bryant case for New York's Daily News, his unemployment is never far from his mind, nor is the fear that accompanies it.

"I don't think most people are prepared for the stress that goes along with [unemployment]," he says. "There's a lot about self worth, that sort of thing. Maybe I'm not the journalist I thought I was." In one of his essays on the site, he wrote, "And though it is little comfort, I know there are hundreds of thousands out there with whom we share this certain anxiety: downsizing, cutting back, accepting less, dealing with rejection, questioning the future, questioning whether we will ever be what we hoped we would be--more independent and still able to give our kids the things we didn't have."

Source: http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=3433

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Don Bauder March 9, 2009 @ 11:09 a.m.

Response to post #19: Interesting. He may have done a fluff piece because he thought that was what the Times editors wanted. Or there may have been a quid pro quo of some kind with EDC. In any case, he has embarrassed himself. To claim that Sanders has cleaned up the pension and sewer/water problems is blatantly inaccurate. To give Sanders credit for Liberty Station and ballpark district redevelopment is ludicrous; both came before he was in office. (And he should get blame, rather than praise for those two redevelopment efforts). And neither project is located downtown, about which redevelopment praise is sung. To leave out the big condo mess downtown was unconscionable, although he had one reference to residential overbuilding. Times editors should be told about this story. As I have said before several times on this blog, one of the multiple problems with the U-T is that the paper is left, to a large degree, with young, poorly paid reporters. They know the editors and the owner want puffery about the establishment. So a paper that had little credibility to begin with has sunk even lower, because reporters won't rock the boat; their copy is tailored to what they believe the editors want: establishment puffery. Best, Don Bauder

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