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Claremont COURIER 1-24-14

Claremont COURIER 1-24-14

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Published by Claremont COURIER
The Claremont COURIER is the award winning community newspaper in Claremont, CA. Issue: 1-24-2014
The Claremont COURIER is the award winning community newspaper in Claremont, CA. Issue: 1-24-2014

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Published by: Claremont COURIER on Jan 24, 2014
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Friday, January 24, 2014
One dollar
our  er 
l remont
20There’s no place like home. Stay informed. Visit our website: claremont-courier.comPOLICE BLOTTER/
COURIER photo/Peter WeinbergerCouncilmember Corey Calaycay took the opportunity to shake hands with fellow councilmember JoeLyons during the State of the City presentation on Wednesday at the Candlelight Pavilion in Claremont.Things are looking rosy for Claremont, according to city staff. See page 3 for a full report. Coun-cilmembers Sam Pedroza and Larry Schroeder look on as Mayor Opanyi Nasiali offers opening remarksat the cityʼs annual event.
It was a bittersweetgoodbye for retiring librarian Cindy Deweyfrom Vista del Valle
What’s shakin’ in Claremont?
COURIER photo/Steven Felschundneff
Pack takes hard-fought loss againstDamien, 59-54/
or those who follow the world of newspa-per and digital publishing, last week hadsome big news.
First, the grand “hyper-local” experiment by AOL in creat-ing over 800 Patch local news websites (including Claremont-La Verne) finally failed after four years. AOL had beenshopping the business and finally sold it to the private equityfirm Hale Global. Although Hale Global says it will continueto “nurture” the websites, the betting line is they will split upthe assets and try and sell them in pieces for a profit. Kind of warms your heart doesn’t it?There were many in the newspaper industry, especiallycommunity newspaper publishers, who watched Patch quiteclosely. AOL dumped a ton of money into Patch, literallystarting 800 websites overnight. They had a cookie-cutter for-mula on how each website would look and function, with agoal of turning a profit within a couple of years. Or less.In the early stages, as money flowed, there was some excite-ment (and concern) that Patch was going to break new groundin publishing local news online. They paid good wages to theeditors, who managed the websites, and developed many bellsand whistles to involve readers in their products.But it became clear very early that key ingredients weremissing for success. It started with the model where one per-son does everything to publish news. Those decently paid edi-tors of each site were responsible for writing, photography,posting stories, proofing and probably a lot of technical sup-port. They also worked 60 to 70 hour weeks.From my perspective, this model was literally impossible tomaintain. Not only were people burning out after six months(creating a ton of turnover), they had no real area of expertise.I can only imagine the difficulty of attending a news event,having to write a story, shoot pictures and video and then goback to the office to edit and publish all of this to meet dead-line. Then do it all over again in a couple of hours.I’ll confess, we at the COURIER have learned to multitaskand have done this in a pinch. But it’s critical to start a newsgathering business built on people who bring a particular ex-pertise and skill level to the table, and then use them in thatarea. That’s why in most cases Beth Hartnett writes, StevenFelschundneff shoots pictures and Mary Rose sells advertis-ing. This is the “old school” way of managing the news cover-age, but it works. Of course, it’s also expensive.So, as Patch employees burned out, the quality—which wasmediocre at first—became much worse in the end. Without aquality product, your business will not survive. With advertising never really taking off, especially at thelocal level, Patch seemed doomed after just two years of exis-tence. AOL continued to pour money into Patch, losing atleast $25 million annually. To their credit, they kept goinglonger than most media companies would. In this day and age, profits come first, and can never startsoon enough. Which brings me to the
Orange County Regis-ter
. The newspaper that literally had become the darling of theindustry. Notice I wrote that in the past tense.But there still is a good story line. Guy arrives (Aaron Kush-ner) on the publishing scene with lots of money and a Stanfordbackground, and saves Freedom Communications (
OC Regis-ter’s
parent company) from bankruptcy in 2012. He is a trueromantic about newspaper publishing and bucks every media
by Peter Weinberger
Claremont COURIER/Friday, January 24, 2014
The Claremont Courier (United States Postal Service 115-180) is published once weekly by the Courier Graphics Corporation at 1420 N. ClaremontBlvd., Suite 205B, Claremont, California 91711-5003. The Courier is a newspaper of general circulation as defined by the political code of the state of California, entered as periodicals matter September 17, 1908 at the post office at Claremont, California under the act of March 3, 1879. Periodicals postageis paid at Claremont, California 91711-5003. Single copy: One dollar. Annual subscription: $52.00. Send all remittances and correspondence about sub-scriptions, undelivered copies and changes of address to the Courier, 1420 N. Claremont Blvd., Suite 205B, Claremont, California 91711-5003. Tele-phone: 909-621-4761. Copyright © 2014 Claremont Courier
one hundred and sixth year, number 4
420 N. Claremont Blvd., Ste. 205BClaremont, CA 91711
(909) 621-4761Office hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Janis Weinberger
Publisher and Owner
Peter Weinberger
Kathryn Dunn
City Reporter
Beth Hartnett
Education Reporter/Obituaries
Sarah Torribio
Education Reporter/Obituaries
Christina Burton (Interim)
Sports Reporter
Bryan Stauffersports@claremont-courier.com
Photo Editor/Staff Photographer
Steven Felschundneff
Reporter At Large
Pat Yarborough
Calendar Editor
Jenelle Renschcalendar@claremont-courier.com
Back Page
Ad Design
Jenelle Rensch
Page Layout
Kathryn Dunn, Jenelle Rensch
Peter Weinberger
Advertising Director
Mary Rose
Classified Editor
Jessica Gustin
Business Administration
Office Manager/ Legal Notices
Vickie Rosenberg
Billing/Accounting Manager
Dee Proffitt
Tom Smith
our  er 
l remont
Consider the source
More news, color,better newsprint,online updates,mobile website,cool columns, upgraded calendar,ads reach morereaders, and more.
Newspaper every Friday.
It’s not how you read the COURIER, but the quality and accuracy of the content
 (909) 621-4761
Pressure for company profits can beour own worst enemy 
/next page
he stage may have been dark, butthe Candlelight Pavilion was abuzzwith activity on Wednesday asClaremont officials and business folkcrowded the Foothill Boulevard landmarkfor the yearly State of the City address.
In addition to good food, guests of the annual eventhave been treated to favorable news inrecent years as Claremont officialsmove forward with increased citywideimprovements thanks to better than ex-pected city finances. This year was more of the same. Following 2012’s$1.8 million surplus, Claremont again saw an increasein city finances of more than $1.3 million, primarilythanks to reduced spending, streamlining the city’s ap-proval processes and increased economic developmentin city shopping centers. “With a strong economic base, the city has realizeda healthy increase in sales tax revenue,” said ClaremontMayor Opanyi Nasiali. “When I ran for city councilthree years ago, I campaigned on the slogan ‘LivingWithin Our Means.’ At the time the city was facing a $3million deficit caused by a state seizure of local funds,the impact of a failing economy and unsustainable ex-penses such as employee pension costs...I am pleased tosay the state of the city is positive.” In 2013, dubbed the year of “moving forward,” thecouncil did just that, progressing in housing develop-ment as well as in areas deemed as top priorities to thecouncil such as economic development. After years influx, shopping centers like the now flourishing AutoCenter Drive have become a significant contributor tothe city’s improved economic stability. Auto Center has become known for much more thanthe cluster of auto dealerships from whence it draws itsname. While Norms proved an important addition tothe promenade, the opening of the Super King grocerystore in late 2011 proved to be particularly fortuitous.Since July 2013, more than 11 businesses have cometo call the Auto Center mini-mall home, from dentistoffices to dining destinations. Today the center is at 97percent capacity and growing. City officials hope tomimic the success of the revitalized shopping center asthey focus on filling vacancies at the freshly renovatedPeppertree Square. As economic development booms, city officials ex-pect to see the same boost in the city’s housing marketthanks to the advancement of several housing projectsover the past year. Developer Taylor Morrison held agrand opening ceremony last week for its Citrus Glencomplex, a cluster of 50 townhome-style dwellings lo-cated on the corner of Padua and Base Line Road. In thenext several years, Claremont residents can expect tosee as many as 694 new housing units, many of whichwill be townhomes, as other developers follow suit. Despite the surplus, city officials asserted continuedfiscal responsibility as a top priority in 2014. With sev-eral pricey items on Claremonters’ wish list—expan-sions at the Joslyn Center, a new police station andpotential water acquisition among them—city admin-istrators are making advance preparations for cityspending with the creation of several master plans.Among the blueprints in progress are master plans forthe Wilderness Park, police station, Joslyn Center andFoothill Boulevard, currently in the public inputprocess. More information is available on the city’swebsite. The Claremont team also recently completed a no-table update to the city’s sustainability plan, whichcouncilmembers note includes not just energy-efficientpractices, but financially sound decision making. AsClaremont continues with the potential acquisition of the city’s water system and other potentially costly ex-penditures, officials maintained a commitment to con-tinuing to evaluate financial costs to the city and itsresidents. “We will continue to focus on living within ourmeans and consider the financial impact of these deci-sions on our budget,” Mr. Nasiali said. “The city coun-cil and staff consider our financial health to be a toppriority.”
—Beth Hartnett
Claremont COURIER/Friday, January 24, 2014
COURIER photo/Peter WeinbergerMayor Opanyi Nasiali takes time out during the State of the City address to thank the many people in the roomthat help make Claremont a great city.
Strong 2013 has officials feeling good about city’s state
trend by reinvesting in the
printedition, hiring back many laid off em-ployees. Mr. Kushner says strong content willbuild community, sell subscriptions andbring advertisers back to the newspa-per. Changes abound as Freedom buysthe
 Riverside Press Enterprise
andstarts a daily newspaper in Long Beach.Then we hear talk of the new
 Los Ange-les Register
. Clearly, Mr. Kushner hassome sort of kryptonite and has a directline to Superman.I personally thought this philosophywas a rock solid approach. Focusing onquality content is job one at theCOURIER and it continues to work forus. The
Orange County Register
magi-cally became thick with pages, full of ads. We watched, and hoped, that thisgrand experiment would work. It’s far from over, but Houston, it’s2014 and we have a problem. Turns out,
leadership wereexpecting an immediate turnaround andreaders would flock back to the news-paper, and continue using the website.They have not. In fact, subscriptionshave been flat even after all this invest-ment. Profits since 2012? No one fromthe outside really knows.My opinion, Mr. Kushner? You aredoing a great job so keep up the goodwork. I think the plan will work, butyou have a solid four years to go. Anewspaper cannot cut and trim theproduct for almost a decade and thenexpect readers to jump back on boardimmediately. Even with all your goodintentions. In fact, it’s a lot easier tolose readers than get them back. Unfortunately, it may be too late toheed this advice. This could have been atwo-year plan from an investment per-spective. The
recently an-nounced layoffs, 32 in all, including thelongtime editor Ken Brusic. The new ed-itor Rob Curley has a reputation for digi-tal innovation. But even with increasingdigital revenue, it won’t all pay the billsto maintain Mr. Kushner’s vision. Staffers are also wondering how theyare going to literally report news fromall over southern California with, well,less staff. There’s more to this story, but I’mhaving serious déjà vu. A companygoes into emergency mode because of the pressure for a return on investment.As money dries up, the cost-cuttingstarts, impacting the quality of theproduct. It becomes a vicious cycle.So here’s hoping the
Orange County Register
will have great success. Iworked there once and care about manyof the staffers. Mr. Kushner, if you want to talk,Mondays are usually good for lunch. I’llcome visit since I know my way aroundyour building.
continued from the previous page
City to send HousingElement Update back to commission
fter identifying additional prop-erties available as possible low-income housing sites, CityManager Tony Ramos has expressed hisintent to send the Housing Element Up-date back to the planning commissionfor a second review.
On January 7, the planning commission approvedsending the Housing Element Update to the citycouncil for approval. The announcement that the up-date will be sent back to the commission will occurat the Tuesday, January 28 city council meeting.“We need to vet this more,” Mr. Ramos ex-plained. “This may result in missing the Februarydeadline, but we want to make sure all residents’concerns are addressed.”
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