CalCoastNews Legal Defense Fund

$13,529 of $25k goal

Raised by 156 people in 8 months
As some of our loyal readers know, CalCoastNews and its founders, Karen Velie and Dan Blackburn, have been fighting a lawsuit since publication of a 2012 article about a San Luis Obispo County public agency, the Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA), and one of its contractors.

It is the fight of our life.
 
CalCoastNews has been fortunate to this point during this drawn-out lawsuit to be represented by a group of concerned and dedicated attorneys working either pro bono or for pocket money. 
 
The lengthy litigation has now entered the discovery stage, however, and CalCoastNews needs to take testimony from a number of people -- seven to 10 -- whose testimony is vital to our defense. Their testimony will take the form of depositions, sworn testimony before trial that the parties use to help determine the facts in the case. 

Depositions cost money. They require the services of court reporters. The record of the testimony in the deposition also has to be paid for before we can get a copy. 
 
To that end, we are seeking to raise $25,000 for CalCoastNews’ deposition expenses through this fundraising site in order to successfully combat what appears to be a lawsuit that is driven by politics.
 
The IWMA's immediate past president is county supervisor Adam Hill. Hill has boasted in writing that he is pushing the lawsuit against CalCoastNews in an undisguised effort to destroy the eight-year-old online news agency.

As part of that effort, the supervisor has repeatedly harassed and threatened CalCoastNews’ advertisers, which has impacted the news site’s revenues as well as its ability to provide important community news often ignored by other local media.
 
CalCoastNews’ value to the Central California region has been demonstrated in numerous instances: 
 
CalCoastNews unveiled the criminal activities of former “Citizen of the Year” Kelly Gearhart, the once publicly lauded developer who swindled millions of dollars from unsuspecting investors before being unmasked by a series of CalCoastNews articles. Gearhart now is serving a 14-year federal prison sentence.
 
An associate of Gearhart’s, James Miller of Hurst Financial, also fell in the midst of CalCoastNews’ investigations, and was sentenced to a seven-year federal prison term. 
 
Another subject of a CalCoastNews exclusive series, Karen Guth and her son Joshua Yaguda, both spent time in state prison after CalCoastNews exposed their financial misdeeds. Again, only CalCoastNews reported on the mother-son team’s fleecing of trusting investors  - - until after their eventual arrest in October 2008, when other local media discovered the story.

And CalCoastNews was the first to report -- in 2013 -- on the arrival in San Luis Obispo County of Beverly Hills billionaire businessman Stewart Resnick, his checkbook, his huge above-ground reservoirs, his deep straws into the water basin, and his frenzied clear-cutting of thousands of oak trees and planting of even more thousands of acres of new vineyards. 

Our coverage of a scandal in the Five Cities helped generate attention and help a write-in candidate defeat an entrenched mayor,  unprecedented on the Central Coast.

We have covered the stories that no one else in the county is willing or able to cover. If we don't win this lawsuit, San Luis Obispo and the Central Coast will be left with local news sources that do more to maintain the status quo -- rather than doing the job of looking out for the public by being a watchdog for government and businesses. 
 
Our attorneys are Berndt Ingo Brauer of San Jose, and local attorneys James Duenow and David S. Vogel.

We need your help to defend against this lawsuit.  

PLEASE NOTE: YOUR CONTRIBUTION CAN REMAIN PRIVATE. SIMPLY CHECK THE APPROPRIATE BOX. IF PRIVATE, NEITHER NAME NOR COMMENT WILL SHOW ON PAGE.
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Update 7
Posted by Karen Velie
9 days ago
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As many of you know, we lost the lawsuit and are now looking at our options while providing unbiased reporting to the Central Coast. We are not going to cower to the wishes of those wanting to shut us down. But that will require funding for further legal assistance. We are seeking $10,000.
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Update 6
Posted by Karen Velie
4 months ago
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The trial facing CalCoastNews has been delayed and now is on the court's calendar for March 6. This is very good news as we have more time to continue gathering evidence to prove our case. Linked is the CCN article on the judge's decision.

https://calcoastnews.com/2016/11/ccn-trial-delayed-march/

Also, we thought our supporters need to know about the constant flow of garbage aimed at CCN by one of SLO Supervisor Adam Hill's paid flunkies. Although we are loathe to cite the page in any way, we have linked as an example an article from a Facebook page that demeans CCN daily.


https://www.slotruth.org/2016/11/05/calcoastnews-karen-velie-the-journalist-con/
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Update 5
Posted by Karen Velie
5 months ago
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First of all, thanks to all of you for your help in this matter... we've been so busy preparing for trial that I haven't had a chance to thank or update all of you. Depositions have provided invaluable information regarding the origins and hidden purpose of this spurious claim; this information would not have been forthcoming without your help.

We need help now for witness fees and pre-trial costs.
Please pass the GoFundMe link on to others you think might be interested in helping support free and independent journalism.

Here's CCN's latest article on the Tenborg lawsuit.

https://calcoastnews.com/2016/10/ccn-set-battle-pernicious-lawsuit/
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Update 4
Posted by Karen Velie
8 months ago
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We at CalCoastNews want to thank our many supporters who have contributed to our legal fund on the site GoFundMe. As of Tuesday morning, $9,189 has been raised to help defray the cost of depositions, now ongoing.
Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you all!
The lawsuit against us presents a serious threat, both to the future of CalCoastNews, and to the capability of all news media to gather and report news of community interest without fear of government interference.
We are in the process of thanking each of our contributors individually, so please be patient. And if you are so inclined, pass our GoFundMe site on to others who might help in this important fight.
This period of discovery will allow CalCoastNews to depose witnesses whose testimony will reveal heretofore publicly concealed information of significant local environmental impact.
Again: Thank you all!
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Read a Previous Update

$13,529 of $25k goal

Raised by 156 people in 8 months
Created July 14, 2016
$200
Anonymous
8 days ago
$50
Anonymous
8 days ago
MB
$100
Mike Brennler
8 days ago

Fight the good fight

PD
$100
Penny & Allen Duckworth
8 days ago
PM
$100
Paul Marcotte
9 days ago

We need news coverage that is not available anywhere else. Your enemies cannot win!!

EM
$50
Ed Mendel
24 days ago
SL
$50
Steven Lawrence
24 days ago

Good luck, Dan.

$50
Anonymous
2 months ago
RC
$100
Richard Crutchfield
4 months ago

"The freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic Governments." 1776 Virginia colonial legislature Declaration of Rights. Thanks to all the Veterans who have served to preserve this Great Nation.

KM
$100
Kioren Moss
4 months ago
1
1

In memory of Steve Moss.

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