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Hillcrest homeless decision leads to cyber-bully incident

Then media onslaught from publisher of gay newspaper and Carl DeMaio

Opposition to Hillcrest Business Association's decision to hire a security firm to chase out disruptive homeless people from the community has caused the association to cancel a meeting due to reports of cyber-bullying and online extortion.

"The [Hillcrest Business Association] has regrettably been forced to cancel the upcoming Open House and Mixer on July 28th at Medical Age Management due to threats and cyber bullying," reads a July 23 message on the association's website. "We do not wish to expose our members to more harassment and threats and thus have decided to cancel the event."

Taylor Gobar

The alleged threat occurred on Friday, July 22, when political activist Taylor Gobar posted a message on the Facebook page for Medical Age Management, an anti-aging skin-care treatment center that had volunteered to host a mixer for the business association where the homeless security measures would be discussed.

Gobar opposes the plan to bring in a security detail to rid Hillcrest of disorderly homeless people. She expressed her opinion to the business association and when nothing was done she took to social media and began organizing a protest.

"I disagree with these methods, and have voiced my opinions to the [business association]. Because they are a group of businesses, I figured the best way to get their attention is to use the word boycott and start getting in touch with local businesses via Facebook and phone. I cancelled my plans and let certain businesses know I would not be spending money there while this practice was in place."

On July 22, Gobar posted the following message on the anti-aging center's profile page: "This company is the venue for a mixer for the Hillcrest Business Association on July 28.... This security team is anti-homeless, paid to roust and remove 'undesirables'. It's a heartless attack on people who have nowhere else to go."

Gobar's message drew a quick response. Dr. Darren Farnesi, the owner of Medical Age Management, contacted Gobar and asked her to remove the post. She declined.

Hours later Timothy Rawles, a writer for the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News (SDGLN), contacted Gobar's employer to ask questions about Gobar's position.

Johnathan Hale and Carl DeMaio

SDGLN is owned by Johnathan Hale, the former president of the Hillcrest Business Association. Hale is married to former councilmember–turned–conservative talk show host Carl DeMaio.

Gobar returned to Facebook and mentioned the news organization having contacted her employer. She posted screenshots of previous articles on Hale and his work with the Hillcrest Business Association.

A few minutes later, Hale responded to Gobar. "What you are doing is completely unethical and will be dealt with."

The message has since been deleted.

SDGLN's Rawles then contacted Gobar.

"...I recently saw your [one] star review of Medical Age Management. I'm with SDGLN and wondered about your thought process in giving such a low review. Have you tried the product? I am doing a story on the company and was doing research when I came across your post."

Rawles then asked her to verify her place of employment.

Gobar told Rawles that due to Hale's position, she would not be participating for an article in SDGLN.

Rawles responded, "...I'm not interested in covering the event, just trying to confirm that you are using negative reviews for politcal gain, good or bad, to put a business [in] a bad light. It's an independent story I'm working on. And I'm also working with Medical Age Management on a story as well."

Hours later, SDGLN posted an article entitled, "Taylor Gobar's one-star review appears to be internet extortion to a Hillcrest business: FBI contacted."

In the article, Rawles wrote, "It's a trend, it's real, and it's unethical. It's called 'Internet Defamation,' and I would soon find out one person is using it to threaten a well-respected Hillcrest business into submission....

"In the modern age, social activism against a business has become less about not shopping there to express protest over a certain aspect of society, it has been reduced to leaving one-star reviews for no apparent reason other than to defame a small business into capitulation."

DeMaio soon joined the fray, posting an article on KOGO's website.

"Taylor Gobar disagrees with the [Hillcrest Business Association's] program, but instead of expressing her disagreement through appropriate channels, she opted to post a flurry of negative reviews on [Hillcrest Business Association's] business members’ pages on rating sites. She then issued an ultimatum: either the businesses force a policy change at [Hillcrest Business Association] on homeless issues, or she would continue to post the negative reviews. Umm — isn’t that called extortion, lady?

"It is disgusting that radical activists like Taylor Gobar lash out in inappropriate ways because of their political views. Taylor Gobar is nothing more than a cyber bully. "

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Opposition to Hillcrest Business Association's decision to hire a security firm to chase out disruptive homeless people from the community has caused the association to cancel a meeting due to reports of cyber-bullying and online extortion.

"The [Hillcrest Business Association] has regrettably been forced to cancel the upcoming Open House and Mixer on July 28th at Medical Age Management due to threats and cyber bullying," reads a July 23 message on the association's website. "We do not wish to expose our members to more harassment and threats and thus have decided to cancel the event."

Taylor Gobar

The alleged threat occurred on Friday, July 22, when political activist Taylor Gobar posted a message on the Facebook page for Medical Age Management, an anti-aging skin-care treatment center that had volunteered to host a mixer for the business association where the homeless security measures would be discussed.

Gobar opposes the plan to bring in a security detail to rid Hillcrest of disorderly homeless people. She expressed her opinion to the business association and when nothing was done she took to social media and began organizing a protest.

"I disagree with these methods, and have voiced my opinions to the [business association]. Because they are a group of businesses, I figured the best way to get their attention is to use the word boycott and start getting in touch with local businesses via Facebook and phone. I cancelled my plans and let certain businesses know I would not be spending money there while this practice was in place."

On July 22, Gobar posted the following message on the anti-aging center's profile page: "This company is the venue for a mixer for the Hillcrest Business Association on July 28.... This security team is anti-homeless, paid to roust and remove 'undesirables'. It's a heartless attack on people who have nowhere else to go."

Gobar's message drew a quick response. Dr. Darren Farnesi, the owner of Medical Age Management, contacted Gobar and asked her to remove the post. She declined.

Hours later Timothy Rawles, a writer for the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News (SDGLN), contacted Gobar's employer to ask questions about Gobar's position.

Johnathan Hale and Carl DeMaio

SDGLN is owned by Johnathan Hale, the former president of the Hillcrest Business Association. Hale is married to former councilmember–turned–conservative talk show host Carl DeMaio.

Gobar returned to Facebook and mentioned the news organization having contacted her employer. She posted screenshots of previous articles on Hale and his work with the Hillcrest Business Association.

A few minutes later, Hale responded to Gobar. "What you are doing is completely unethical and will be dealt with."

The message has since been deleted.

SDGLN's Rawles then contacted Gobar.

"...I recently saw your [one] star review of Medical Age Management. I'm with SDGLN and wondered about your thought process in giving such a low review. Have you tried the product? I am doing a story on the company and was doing research when I came across your post."

Rawles then asked her to verify her place of employment.

Gobar told Rawles that due to Hale's position, she would not be participating for an article in SDGLN.

Rawles responded, "...I'm not interested in covering the event, just trying to confirm that you are using negative reviews for politcal gain, good or bad, to put a business [in] a bad light. It's an independent story I'm working on. And I'm also working with Medical Age Management on a story as well."

Hours later, SDGLN posted an article entitled, "Taylor Gobar's one-star review appears to be internet extortion to a Hillcrest business: FBI contacted."

In the article, Rawles wrote, "It's a trend, it's real, and it's unethical. It's called 'Internet Defamation,' and I would soon find out one person is using it to threaten a well-respected Hillcrest business into submission....

"In the modern age, social activism against a business has become less about not shopping there to express protest over a certain aspect of society, it has been reduced to leaving one-star reviews for no apparent reason other than to defame a small business into capitulation."

DeMaio soon joined the fray, posting an article on KOGO's website.

"Taylor Gobar disagrees with the [Hillcrest Business Association's] program, but instead of expressing her disagreement through appropriate channels, she opted to post a flurry of negative reviews on [Hillcrest Business Association's] business members’ pages on rating sites. She then issued an ultimatum: either the businesses force a policy change at [Hillcrest Business Association] on homeless issues, or she would continue to post the negative reviews. Umm — isn’t that called extortion, lady?

"It is disgusting that radical activists like Taylor Gobar lash out in inappropriate ways because of their political views. Taylor Gobar is nothing more than a cyber bully. "

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Comments
16

And contacting her employer "to ask questions about Gobar's position" is also unethical and hints of retaliation.

July 26, 2016

I have a question for Ms. Gobar: Just what would she suggest the the merchants do about the homeless that sleep, drink alcohol, do drugs, urinate and defecate in front of their places of business? Retail establishments are in the business of providing goods and services to the public at a price that will allow them to stay in business and provide for themselves, their families and those of their employees. Would Ms. Gobar be willing to work with the Business Association and take these undesirables home with her? Most, if not all, of the "disruptive" homeless are chronic alcohol/drug abusers who have no desire to get off the streets. Ms. Gobar offers criticism but no solutions.

July 26, 2016

This is an example of someone crossing the line of ethics. She should be dealt with swiftly and made an example of. The reason the Businesses in Hillcrest have had to resort to hiring security to remove trespassing and violent offenders is because it is a safety issue. I am not a business owner in Hillcrest but I am a home owner and in the last year I have had to call 911, Paramedics and the Police multiple times including last week as a transient was passed out in the middle of the street with a large open container of Vodka. I have also almost been assaulted 2 times for asking nicely for transients to vacate my property (one was passed out on my porch!) Another was trying to hide 2 of his 3 bikes behind my hedge. There are more examples but I will spare you. This is a serious problem for the city and the Mayor needs to outline an action plan, it is called leadership Mr Faulconer. Operating a small business is challenging enough we have seen many in the area shutter. It does not help when you are walking your kids to support a business and someone is passed out on their entrance. Or try having aggressive panhandlers cuss you out because you say "I am sorry I have no money for you". To go to lengths and try hurt a business with a fake yelp review is cowardice. Good luck representing business in San Diego with your "social media skills" Any potential customer or employer will "google you" and a story will be told they won't touch you with a stick. I guess you reap what you sew.

July 26, 2016

It's "reap what you sow."

July 26, 2016

Sew, sow, who cares. We can't wait for governing bodies to solve all our concerns. Open a residential rehab or it won't get better for them or us.

July 26, 2016

Who is going to pay for this "residential rehab" you suggest?

July 31, 2016

The product of private schools and Brown University, would Ms. Gobar would like to offer her front porch, backyard and planter beds for the care and comfort of hardcore homeless? She believes that 'somebody' needs to house these folks so maybe she can take a few off the street rather than harass businesses. Her actions are silly for an immature 7th grader and ridiculous for a 'Media Profesional'.

July 26, 2016

So you're upset about San Diego's homelessness crisis. Join the club, so are the police, city leadership, residents, activists, and homeless people. If you're complaining that someone is advocating for humane solutions rather than tax-wasting run-around and corrupt mismanagement, then your anger is misdirected. Displacing and criminalizing people for addiction, or simply for existing in your presence, is not only immature but shows a sociopathic level of deficit in empathy and goodwill toward your fellow man.

If every one of us had the means to take another person into our home, by god of course we would and this problem would be solved. Hell, if the mayor would just take a page from other cities and place people in vacant housing, that would do it too. Housing First has been proven far more effective in helping addicts get into solid recovery than requiring treatment as a prerequisite, but unfortunately the sadistic attitudes that prevail among the discriminating public and apparently the HBA only serve to punish people for being human and worsen the problem for everyone.

How would you feel if it were your daughter, or mother out on the street? She'd call 211 to get into a shelter bed and be informed of the impossibly long wait list. She'd stay up all night in fear of thieves, rapists, and murderers and then in the day she'd try to find shade to rest from the hot sun but be told to move along by those who care more for protecting property than people.

If you want to be constructive, then help. Tell your landlord to participate in the Housing our Heroes program for vets, who make up 20% of our homeless population. Tell your city councilmember that moving mentally ill people or addicts around from street to street without providing real support is an unsafe, inhumane waste of your tax dollars. If you are a caring person, tell your local businesses that you will not give them your patronage if they continue to criminalize poverty. I commend Taylor for putting herself on the line to advocate for those more vulnerable, and San Diego would be a finer city if more of us were like her.

July 26, 2016

If you feed a stray dog you will get stray dogs. The mentally ill need to be taken off the streets and put in mental institutions. Those who want help should get it. The rest are worthless human trash that do not want to join society or get off drugs/alcohol or play by the rules. They should get nothing and life should be made as hard as possible. Help those that want help the rest can move in with you.

July 27, 2016

I completely agree that those who want help should get it. The problem is that they're asking for help from the city's services and NOT getting it. They're not getting the food and shelter and employment services our taxes are supposed to provide because, like with most industries, those funds are being filtered to the top through corruption and purposeful mismanagement. THAT's the problem we're asking those with power and influence to remedy. It is a sad and flawed mind, however, that thinks misery deserves to be compounded with punishment. That's Stanford Prison rules, man.

July 27, 2016

But San Diego needs a stadium . . . .

July 28, 2016

...and an expanded convention center. Like I need a hole in my head.

Jan. 27, 2018

So Johnathan Hale is still using that fake name? He was John Theodore Wyckoff Jr., back in Arkansas. Was his name legally changed, and why did he change it? "Hale" and DeMaio don't want to talk about it, for some reason.

July 26, 2016

My understanding, from a couple of investigative stories is that John Theodore Wyckoff changed his name to Johnathan T. Hackett Jr. and then changed his surname to Hale because "he had a past that includes a felony conviction for burglary."

Apparently Lorena Gonzales was one of the first to tweet the revelation.

July 26, 2016

My question was rhetorical. I already knew the answer. ;-)

July 27, 2016

Taylor isn't the first person slandered and targeted by Johnathan Hale and SDGLN. He continually uses SDGLN to target those who are against his agenda. Here is another example: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/sdgln/san-diego-california-92104/sdgln-san-diego-gay-and-lesbian-newshale-media-used-a-fake-media-site-to-tarnish-latham-1424197

Jan. 27, 2018

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